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Seeing the threat to his royalties, Eugene Peterson finesses things—making things worse...

Now the Washington Post reports Eugene Peterson is having second thoughts about whether or not he himself (at 84 and retired from the pastorate) would actually in the final analysis really and truly go ahead and officiate at a sodomite wedding. Tough question that one—especially when one considers the filthy lucre at stake.

Which is a lot. Of money, that is. The Post reports:

Eugene Peterson, who is best known for “The Message” Bible translation, set off a firestorm this week when he said in an interview with Religion News Service that he would be willing to conduct a same-sex marriage. In response, LifeWay Christian Resources, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, said it was prepared to stop selling Peterson’s books.

A threat to royalties can have a profound impact on a pastor.

Predictably, this financial threat to Eugene Peterson didn't produce true repentance, but only further conniving betrayals of God, His Word, and His sheep...

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 public shame of Eugene Peterson...

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 11.35.28 AM.pngA friend just sent me this link to a recent interview Jonathan Merritt of Religious News Service did with eighty-four year old IVP and NavPress author, Regent prof, and pastor, Eugene Peterson. This particular excerpt has to do with sodomy, lesbianism, and sodomite marriage. Peterson says he's OK with them all.

My friend writes, "As one formed by Intervarsity in the late 80s/early 90s, I see one "esteemed " teacher after another have no courage."

He's speaking euphemistically. This is no mere lack of courage, but utter apostasy. In other words, this man will never enter the Kingdom of God.

One might hope the things Peterson says are the product of early stages of dementia if only they didn't perfectly reflect everything I've known of Inter-Varsity and its press for decades now. How any Christian continues to give money in support of this organization and its employees is...

While Jews are persecuted, Evangelicals are captivated...

What goes down while UK Evangelicals are up in Keswick being "captivated" by OM's Peter Maiden, Alistair Begg, and "Research Professor" Don Carson?

London's private Vishnitz Orthodox girls' school fails its third inspection for conformity to the UK's Equalities Act and is on the verge of being shut down. Their crime?

The young Jewish women were not indoctrinated in “sexual orientation." Government inspectors declared "this restricts pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and does not promote equality of opportunity in ways that take account of differing lifestyles."

What happens when UK pastors farm out their Biblical witness against the homosexualist juggernaut to the SSA chatterboxes of...

Flattery never brings reform...

...if I were to sum up my principal objections to most forms of feminism, it would be in the contention that feminism privileges dogmatic ideology over close and receptive attention to reality.  - A. Roberts, link

In Scripture, authority is symbolically masculine, as it originates with a God who stands over against us ...and who refers to himself with masculine pronouns.  - A. Roberts, link

I have some fairly far-reaching criticisms of complementarianism as most understand it. I believe that it unjustly marginalizes women within the life of the Church and society in many and various ways and tends to devalue them. I believe that women need to exercise far more prominent roles in the life and teaching of the Church, not just as a matter of permission, but as a matter of necessity.  - A. Roberts, link

We need more female spiritual directors, lay teachers, theologians, commentators, scholars, churchwardens, vestrywomen, treasurers, vergers, sacristans, elder women (different from elders), deaconesses, lay chaplains, leaders of Bible studies, missionaries, etc.  - A. Roberts, link

Justin Taylor works for Wheaton publisher Crossway. Now, just prior to their release of a book Heirs Together by UK Ph.D. Alastair Roberts, Justin got Gospel Coalition to run a piece on their blog introducing what Justin assures readers is a "big book." The GC blog post introduced by Taylor is written by Roberts and titled "How Should We Think About Watching Women Fight Women?" 

The post gives us an idea what Roberts's book will be like. He writes about "the particular subjective and objective otherness of the other sex," saying it is an "otherness that should excite wonder, love, responsibility, and care," A few sentences later he writes: "the strength and athleticism of women such as Rousey and Nunes is worthy of admiration in many respects." Then this...

Crossway's $500 ESV and Rupert Murdoch...

For me, it's been a long love affair with Online Bible for the Mac (OLB) and I'm happy to announce that it no longer crashes under Apple's Sierra OS—if, that is, you're enrolled in Apple's beta program and running 10.12.2. (See announcement at bottom of page.)

I started using OLB back in the eighties when it was shareware, but they had no shareware fee. They didn't require money, but only that you give away several copies of the program in your first month of use. The coders said their software was the first "Bible software based on the principle of grace rather than greed."

What Wheaton College learned from Stan Jones's mistakes...

During the advent season last year, a tenured African American professor at Wheaton College named Larycia Hawkins wore a scarf on her head as her own personal declaration of solidarity with Muslims. Dr. Hawkins explained her actions on FB: "I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God."

Quickly, Provost Stan Jones met with Prof. Hawkins and she was put on administrative leave. Dr. Jones had served as provost since 1996, but his discipline of Prof. Hawkins's public heresy brought so much hostility from faculty members and students down on his head that he later announced he would resign as provost and return to teaching. After a couple months, Wheaton hired a woman as his replacement...

UK's Christian(ity) Today: blasphemy does not bother God...

Leaving religious freedom to the side, it is profoundly disturbing that the UK's Evangelical voice Christian Today published this servile tripe:

There's something profoundly disturbing about the idea that God should require the services of an executioner to protect His honour. When Christians stand up against blasphemy laws, we aren't denying God's glory, we are affirming it: we're saying he is untouchable by human ignorance, scorn or abuse.

The writer of these two sentences is in the thrall of human ignorance. Has he never read the Bible? Shall we start with the Flood? With Sodom and Gomorrah? Maybe he's a New Testament-only man and we need to start with Herod and move on to the Corinthians God killed because...

The ESV: Crossway reverses itself...

Lane Dennis just announced his business made a "mistake" and is reversing their recent decision to leave the present text of his ESV unchanged, in perpetuity. Lane ends his statement announcing the reversal with this:

We believe deeply that the translation and publication of the Bible is a sacred trust and unspeakable privilege, and we want to do all we can to steward this calling, before God, with the reverence and care that it deserves.

The "we" is Lane speaking as Crossway's CEO.

Lane talks about his "sacred trust" and "unspeakable privilege." He says his business is zealous to "steward" this "calling" they have from God. The "God" is implied—"calling" is a slightly oblique way Christians invoke God's Name.

Lane says their Divine calling is deserving of "reverence and care." Read the statement and you'll find lots of flowery words accompanying their reversal. You'll even find the word "apology," but there's no hint of moral failure or plain ordinary sin...

Wayne Grudem's ethical casuistry...

Lots of people have done a good job dissecting the endorsement of Donald Trump by my former colleague, Wayne Grudem. If you only have time for one of the critiques, try this one by Bill Muehlenberg. But let me add a couple thoughts of my own.

As I said, Grudem's endorsement is long—so long and detailed that readers may get lost in the verbiage. So here's a summary of his arguments:

I have "taught Christian ethics for 39 years [and] I think voting for Trump is a morally good choice."

Grudem claims to be an academic expert in the matter of making difficult decisions (ethics). And having established his authority, Grudem tells us Trump is the right choice. But not just the right choice. He aims his pitch at the higher spiritual plane, saying Trump is a "morally good choice."

Grudem gives the reason Trump is a morally good choice:

Justice Ginsburg is 83, and she has had colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and has a heart stent.

Yup, that's just as he wrote it. The entire reason we should make the "morally good choice" of Donald Trump is that Justice Ginsburg is about to die and...

Denny Hastert, Evangelical, Wheaton College alum, husband, father...

Wheaton College's Dennis Hastert is the quintessential sodomite predator. Read this article, watch this video, and note all the details—every last one of them if you want to guard your children and the children of your church and school from being corrupted by such a man.


Wheaton College alum.



Note his easy access to young boys.

Note his taking these young men and boys on trips to the Caribbean.

This is precisely what the music director at one of the best-known PCA churches in the country did with the young men he taught and worked with in the church...

Wheaton and Calvin merely dispense status...

From an article by Justin Fox over at Bloomberg View:

[Academic] journals are getting more and more selective as time goes by. According to Glenn Ellison of MIT ...the average acceptance rate at the top general-interest economics journals has declined from 18 percent in 1980 to about 6 percent now.

This trend will be familiar to anyone who has looked at admission rates to top universities. Despite ever-rising tuition costs and the growth of much-cheaper online alternatives, the highest-status universities keep getting more selective. The best way to understand this, I think, is to see both academic journals and top universities less as purveyors of information or knowledge than as dispensers of status. Information may want to be free, but status will always be scarce.

The scandal of the Evangelical college...

Why bother continuing to warn souls against the betrayal of God by the profs and administrations of Evangelical colleges?

A quarter century ago, I bought a book that put some social science muscle behind what I had observed growing up in Wheaton and knowing Wheaton's profs, administrators, and their families firsthand. The book was Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation by University of Virginia sociologist James Davison Hunter. Originally published in 1987, Hunter's work was based upon a careful survey of students at Evangelical colleges and seminaries, including Wheaton College, Gordon College, Westmont College, Seattle-Pacific University, Taylor University, Messiah College, Fuller Theological Seminary, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Wheaton Graduate School, and Westminster Theological Seminary.

University of Chicago Press summarized Hunters' work..

Gospel Coalition joins the gay celibate movement (7); the heart of the issue...

For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. (1 Corinthians 11:7)

Evangelicals have no doctrine of sex. We have Biblical commands we are scrupulous to obey and Greek words we are scrupulous to defend the meaning of, but we have no theology of sex.

Actually, though, it's worse than that: we are opposed to any theology of sex.

Yes, some of us still believe the husband should be the head of his wife. Some of us also still want the father to be the head of the home and the guy preaching Sunday morning to be an actual guy. Some of us, also, still think our church's elders should be guys.

Other than those few things, though, we believe in little more than body parts. Probably women should still be the sex that gestates and men should provide food for gestating women. Also, in most Christian homes, it's likely still good for the mother not to have to put her kids in daycare—especially while she's nursing.

Beyond men having servant leader, tie-breaking authority in private Christian places and Christians having certain scruples concerning the proper use of body parts, though, we have no theology of sex. This is the reason Evangelicals have no problem with the "gay Christian" lobby as long as these "gay Christians" living with one another in "spiritual friendships" promise not to have sex with each other. If they go off the reservation and say they're going to go ahead and have sex with each other, after all, we finally find our principles and tell them it's sin. But without the improper use of body parts, there is no sin. Identity is one thing. Body parts are something else. Body parts are serious business. They're visible. They don't lie and they have to be obeyed...

Gospel Coalition joins the gay celibate movement (6); uncertain notes always have a context...

For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? (1Corinthians 14:8)

What's the context for Gospel Coalition and various Southern Baptist profs from Louisville coming out against reparative therapy and loudly pronouncing "there’s no place in the Bible where heterosexuality is commanded"?

The context is our culture's hatred of the law of binary heterosexuality instituted by God in the Garden of Eden prior to the Fall. Every law and every person in our culture who teaches the male and female heterosexuality Jesus proclaimed was "from the beginning" is under relentless attack and the battle has been going against us for decades, now. So we have to decide whether to continue to fight out of love for our neighbors, or to throw in the towel. 

The recent attack upon reparative therapy and heterosexuality is the new sweet spot where Christians weary of the battle are hiding, hoping to wait it out until the artillery shells are gone and the smoke over the battlefield has dispersed. They'd never say it, but keep your eye on where these men are in relation to the rockets' red glare and you'll note how carefully they've placed themselves.

"Just tell them we don't believe in heterosexuality! We believe in Jesus. Tell them the Bible doesn't call men to heterosexuality! Tell them we are Christian counselors and we are against reparative therapy, too!"

Readers may object, saying these are principled men who are taking a stand against reparative therapy and heterosexuality because of their commitment to Scripture. That it has nothing to do with any desire to escape our culture's hostility against reparative therapy and heterosexuality.

So let me get this straight. The motives of shepherds of God's flock are always pure? They ought never to be questioned or judged?

Star Wars: "Rey is a woman who refuses to be defined as one."

NOTE: Son Taylor says I'm all wrong about this, and maybe I am. Read The Atlantic article (linked below in the original text of this post) and decide for yourself if they're right as they're wrong, if you know what I mean? Regardless, what a contrast this is to the Blessed Virgin Mary about whom I'm preaching this morning. So this additional material from The Atlantic:

And Rey proves herself to be, in extremely short order, extremely adept as a fighter. She is brave. She is smart. She is resourceful. She is a pilot of Soloian skill. She has a ninja-like command of a bow staff.

The plot of The Force Awakens, in fact, revolves around—relies on—Rey’s martial abilities. It also gently mocks the characters who would doubt those abilities. Finn, in particular, repeatedly attempts to inject chivalry into situations where chivalry is drastically out of place. During a fight the pair has against the First Order troopers, he runs over to Rey in an attempt to rescue her—only to realize that her attackers have already been neatly dispatched with. When Finn grabs her hand as they flee, she snaps, “I know how to run without you holding my hand.” (A few moments later: “Stop taking my hand!”) When Finn asks her, after another battle with intergalactic baddies, “Are you okay?” she shoots him a why-wouldn’t-I-be look. She replies, simply, “Yeah.”

They’re good jokes, but also loaded ones. Rey, after all, has been surviving all this time not just without her family—they left Jakku years ago, and she’s waiting for them to return—but also without, for the most part, a society. And extreme self-sufficiency has a way of putting social conventions into relief. The broader joke embedded in all these small ones is that all the stuff that makes for chivalry (and inequalities, and patriarchy, and if you stretch things only a teeny bit, maybe even gender itself) is itself extremely contingent. It would never occur to Rey that she would be in need of chivalry’s attentions. She has neither the luxury nor the burden of being a damsel in distress; she’s too busy surviving. She fights alongside men and women and droids, superficial matters of identity—clothing, appearance, even gender—all subsumed under bigger questions that come down to, basically: “Can you fight?”

Now, back to my original post:

Mary Lee and I went to see the first Star Wars movie back during our first year of marriage. It was OK, but nothing special.

(Snark removed.)

Still there's no arguing with success. The latest cleared $100,000,000 the first night. That plus they've updated their sexuality to fit our times, which of course means the latest product exchanges God's gift of heterosexuality for man's wickedness of homosexuality...

Gospel Coalition joins the gay celibate movement (5); lending a hand to those working to criminalize reparative or conversion therapy...

For twenty years or so, the battle lines were drawn up over whether or not our Supreme Court would strike down state laws prohibiting homosexual acts. With even conservative Reformed seminary professors such as Covenant Theological Seminary's David Jones calling for the repeal of these laws, it was inevitable the Supreme Court would take Jones's cue. The battle stretched over several decades, but in time SCOTUS repealed all state laws prohibiting homsexual relations.

The battle lines then were drawn up over whether or not our Supreme Court would strike down state laws prohibiting homosexual marriage. Again, conservative Reformed seminary professors and pastors refused to defend the Western world's historic commitment to heterosexual marriage. Building upon their prior ruling bringing the force of law to bear in support of homosexual relations, SCOTUS consolidated the ground they had taken and repealed all state laws prohibiting homosexual marriage. 

Now the battle lines are drawn up over what is called "reparative" or "conversion therapy." Such therapy is the outworking of the Christian doctrine of sexuality and those who practice this sort of counseling work to move souls caught up in effeminacy toward embracing their manhood or womanhood given them by God. Christian pastors, psychologists, and family therapists call those caught in the prison of homosexual lust and identity to repent of it, and to plead with God to restore to them the nature he gave them at their conception when He created them male or female.

Across the country, our states and cities are passing laws criminalizing this Christian ministry. Once again, conservative Reformed professors and pastors are on the bandwagon. They too believe conversion therapy is bad...

Gospel Coalition joins the gay celibate movement (4); the unbearable lightness of age and sex...

If, as Gospel Coalition's men assure us, "Godliness is not heterosexuality," then "Godliness is not acting your age," either, and this man living as a woman and child is just peachy-keen, Christianly speaking. No joke.

If heterosexuality is not a calling from God with holiness being the obedience of that calling, neither is age a calling from God with holiness being the obedience of that calling. Gospel Coalition can have no objection to this man who denies his manhood and his age, chortling "I just get to play."

Gospel Coalition joins the gay celibate movement (3); "Godliness Is Not Heterosexuality"

(This is the third in a series of posts [first, second] on the Gospel Coalition's declaration, "Godliness Is Not Heterosexuality.")

He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. (Genesis 5:2)

Gospel Coalition has a tough problem on their hands. With their pronouncement, "Godliness is not heterosexuality," they've backed themselves into a corner they share with a skunk that doesn't stop spraying.

The problem begins to come clear when we think of other formulations of the Coalitions' pronouncement—say "Godliness is not honesty" or "Godliness is not modesty." Honesty and modesty are accepted moral virtues. Certainly honesty is not the entirety of Godliness, but no one would buck at the statement "to be honest is to be Godly." Thus Gospel Coalition wouldn't dare to run the headline "Godliness is not honesty."

On the other hand, they did run the headline, "Godliness Is Not Heterosexuality." With this headline, the Coalition is trying to make a point they believe the church needs to hear as we seek to get a few more years of peace in this post-Obergefell world...

Gospel Coalition joins the gay celibate movement (2); the plausibility problem...

(This is the second in a series of posts (first) on the Gospel Coalition's post by Ed Shaw, author of a book promoting the "gay celibate Christian, "spiritual friendship," "Side B" movement. This movement is the sweet spot today among Evangelicals wanting to appear kinder and gentler in our post-Obergefell world. The Gospel Coalition's error is typical of the error of the church today with respect to this battle, and thus worthy of careful study and consideration. If you persevere through this series, we hope you will gain wisdom in knowing how to preach to, disciple, and love men and women caught in homosexual sin.)

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart, his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:43-45)

A couple days ago, the Gospel Coalition ran a piece written by Ed Shaw in his new book, Same-Sex Attraction and the Church: The Surprising Plausibility of the Celibate Life. Note the subtitle, particularly the word ‘plausibility.’ In his response to Doug Wilson's criticism of the Gospel Coalition's error (here and here), Denny Burk defended the Gospel Coalition and Shaw, agreeing that Christianity and the church have a plausibility problem among sodomites:

The point of the book is to explain why many same-sex attracted people find Christianity so implausible. The requirement of celibacy is so devastating to them that they simply cast aside the faith altogether. Shaw is trying to highlight “missteps” that churches often make that make Christianity seem implausible and that thus alienate same-sex attracted Christians. The British title expresses this better: The Plausibility Problem: The Church and Same-Sex Attraction.

In other words, the purpose of Shaw’s book is better expressed by its title over in the UK where “plausibility” moves from the subtitle to the title. Same-sex attracted people often find Christianity “implausible” because of the requirement of celibacy, so they “cast off the faith.” Churches make mistakes that “make Christianity seem implausible" and “alienate same-sex attracted Christians.”

The problem Shaw’s book addresses is that both unbelievers and believers find Christianity “implausible.” Think about this.

It reminds me of a recent exchange I’ve had with the father of a young man who has molested several very young girls...