June 2016

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Where you can find masculine affection today...

I saw two men hugging in public last weekend. Actually, it wasn’t two, it was about two hundred. And they weren’t just hugging, they were lung-burstingly singing and dancing with their arms around each other.

No, it wasn’t a same-sex “wedding.”

It was a soccer game.

Never seen men, mostly white and in their 20s-40s, let out all of their emotions and show affection with other men? Go visit your local Major League Soccer game, sit near the “supporter’s section,” and see what happens.

There’s glory, there’s conflict, and there’s male emotion in spades....

Liam Goligher and Carl Trueman...

Because I have affection and respect for Liam Goligher, and because other men are capable and willing to show the errors in the positions on God's creation order of man and woman he and Carl Trueman have staked out, I have taken down my previous post. Still, I do wait for Liam to correct his abuse of John Calvin in service of his own errors.

You are the main event...

joanna.jpgDid you know that you're the main event at this year's Clearnote Church Homecoming? It's true. We're celebrating God's kindness to us these past 20 years, and nowhere is His kindness more evident than in the lives that have been touched through the ministry of Clearnote Church. If you've attended Clearnote Church at any time in the past 20 years, we want you to know: we miss you, we thank God for you in our prayers, and we'd be delighted for you to join us, if only for a day, for the Homecoming on July 9th, 2016...

For fathers on Father's Day: You're the man!

For whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. – Proverbs 3:12

For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him. – Genesis 18:19

On this Father’s Day, 2016, let us examine the duty of fatherhood that is most despised today. Fatherhood is love. Fatherhood is also responsibility, and the authority and discipline flowing from that responsibility.

There is no way to fulfill a father’s responsibility without exercising authority and discipline. So hating authority and discipline (unless it makes us better at some sport), we hate responsibility, also.

Look at the child’s petulant declaration of independence: “Leave me alone! I can do it myself!” This little one is bearing witness to the Fall’s corruption as he demands that his father not intervene in his life. He wants to be left to his own devices (which aren’t much at this point in his life).

Adam and Eve hid in the Garden of Eden and hoped God would leave them alone. But God did not leave them alone...

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The crisis in complementarianism...

Dr. Carl Trueman has just proclaimed that “complementarianism as currently constructed would seem to be now in crisis.”

He’s right, but not for the reason he gives.

Conservative Evangelicalism is not in danger of abandoning the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. That doctrine is so well-established Scripturally and historically that I am confident clear-headed argument will correct those who err. So if Trinitarian orthodoxy is alive and well, what is the true crisis among complementarians?

The real crisis is...

The good father: you are responsible for your wife and child...

What is man?

Many have tried to state the essence of manhood. They have pointed to things like provision, protection, and authority, but none of these things exist in a vacuum. Each of them is a derivative of something larger, something more elemental.

God made man for responsibility. Listen to what He said to...

Liam Goligher misquotes John Calvin...

(NOTE FROM TB: In response to concern with my use of the phrase "economic subordination," I have added a footnote responding to that concern.)

Over on Carl Trueman's blog hosted by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, my friend Liam Goligher, senior minister of Philly's Tenth Presbyterian Church, has been joining Trueman in an attack upon the historic, Biblical doctrine of our Lord's economic subordination1 to His Father. Liam claims those who believe and teach that Jesus submitted to His Father before His incarnation deny the orthodox Christian faith. He tells his readers that men who hold to economic subordination cannot at the same time affirm the Nicene Creed's declaration of our Lord's equality with His Father.

Of course, Liam's declaration concerning the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity is wrong. Here, though, I simply want to correct Liam's abuse of John Calvin in support of his error.

Liam writes:

I am an unashamed biblical complementarian. The original use of that word took its cue from the biblical teaching about the differences yet complementarity of human beings made in the image of God while not running away from the challenges of applying biblical exhortations for wives to submit to their own husbands in the Lord or the prohibition on ordination for women in the church. With only those two caveats, as Calvin told John Knox, women may be princes in the state, but not pastors in the church.

John Calvin said no such thing. Rather, Calvin was consistent in declaring the teaching of Scripture concerning...

The Orlando massacre...

I have changed this post at the suggestion of a brother in Christ.

As I said, the discovery that the Orlando shooter was tempted by homosexuality is so very sad. Sadness upon sadness. What does a Muslim do with his sin and shame? Can he be forgiven? Does the Koran and the god of the Koran offer redemption? Forgiveness? Mercy?

No. Mercy, forgiveness, and peace are only found in Jesus Christ Who came to save sinners.

This is the message we have been given for such men, as well as for the men he murdered and his wife and family he left behind.

Do we have faith to spread the message of reconciliation...

Daddy Tried interview on Wayne Shepherd's "First Person"...

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of talking with Wayne Shepherd about my book on fatherhood, Daddy Tried. Although we have common friends, Wayne and I hadn’t met.

Wayne hosts "First Person," a well-respected interview show that runs on 200-some radio stations. Wayne reminded me of Charlie Rose. Calm, perceptive, and interested, he’d read the book and his questions were helpful. So yes, I very much enjoyed our conversation.

Give a listen to Wayne's interview. First Person will broadcast this Saturday or Sunday. Chicago's WMBI (90.1 FM) will run it Saturday at 2:30 PM Central Time (time corrected). For other locations, here's a list of the stations and times.

If you'd prefer, you can... 

The good father: the church's nursing nazis...

Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes. (Isaiah 40:11)

Twenty years ago, the first conflict our elders faced was between women over nursing. Both sides were convinced they were right.

The issue?

On-demand versus scheduled feeding. Some women believed the health of the infants of the church depended upon the mother feeding her baby when he cried while others believed the baby crying should not be the absolute rule of the home. Both had their arguments and both could sound right. But, looking at the big picture, the elders saw a failure of love and humility. Ever so gently, then, they said they did not want the women of the church dividing over the proper method of nursing.

Some women would still say it is a life-and-death issue. The on-demanders would point to some of the scheduled feeders and warn that their infants were in danger of starvation...

You're invited to the 2016 Clearnote Homecoming...

Homecoming Web Banner-1.jpgThis year, Clearnote Church Bloomington celebrates its 20th anniversary. That means almost a generation has passed. We've gone from one pastor to eight. From a capella to piano to a rock band. Little boys and girls have become men and women having boys and girls of their own. Many friends, families, and loved ones have come and gone. Only one thing has been constant in our church for all twenty of its years - God's goodness and faithfulness to His people...

First Lady Obama's hypocrisy: what's this "we" white woman...

Following Paul Ryan’s tepid endorsement, it didn’t take long for Donald Trump to have Ryan wishing he hadn’t. Trump continues to do his worst to divide us along Anglo/Hispanic lines and the latest was his attack on Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the presiding judge over the Trump University debacle. Trump said Judge Curiel has “conflicts of interest” which render him incapable of judicial objectivity and he wants him off the case: “He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico."

Trump’s bombast in service of his churlishness is an uncapped fire hydrant. Maybe the best reason not to vote for him is careful consideration of what the world would look like with this blowhard jumping into the steaming cauldron of Ki Jinping, Duterte, Kim Jong-un, Khamenei, ISIS, Netanyahu, and Putin—four of them with nuclear triggers and two others close.

Which brings me to the woman who includes you and me in her imperial “we." First Lady Michelle Obama claims to speak for all of us when she says Donald Trump “is not who we are." "We don’t build up walls to keep people out.” Mrs. Obama continues, "I have seen how leaders [who] dehumanize entire groups of people often do so because they have nothing else to offer.” She concludes, "that is not who we are. ...no we’re all in this together. We always have been.”

What Mrs. Obama hides and members of the press are too bathed in the bloodshed of their own children to reveal is that... 

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