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I have been blessed to spend the last few days with my good buddy, Robert Allister "Bobby" Rose. One of our favorite things to do is watch Japanese anime. We began with a show called Yu Yu Hakusho that aired in the early 1990s. In some respects, it could be suited for a more youthful audience, but this is not always the case. (Indeed, most often not.) But the last couple of years has been spent with a show called, "Ruroni Kenshin," which translates to "Wandering Samurai." (I nerdily recall from a History Channel program that "ruroni" denotes a samurai that does not have a lord.) In any case, this is the plot: (basically) A swordsman, Kenshin Himura, wanders the Japanese countryside near the dawn of the Meiji Era, (1878) hoping to find atonement for crimes committed as "Battosai the Manslayer," a legendary samurai in the service of the Tokugawa shogunate. Taken in by the gentle but fierce Kaoru Kamiya, Himura finds more than he bargaine
I'm officially mad about the Google ad at the bottom of my page: one of those Mormon commercials. With all due respect, here at Safe Haven, we believe unreservedly in the Nicene Creed: "We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ...begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, begotten, not made; consubstantial with the Father ..." In short, Mormons are not Christians, because they deny this. Sorry; gotta shoot you straight. [What about Glenn Beck?--ed.] Well, he's not a Christian, either. I am right-wing enough to believe that he'll say something true about politics 32.2% percent of the time. But please stuff it concerning God, sir; you've now idea who you're talking about.
My friend Gail Sallee wondered aloud on the inter-webs why people shop in the mall in their pajamas; I don't have a hard and fast answer, but I have a cranky speculation: I think it is a symptom of the loss of the distinction between public and private space. A full-fledged ruckus or fracas ensues if you happen to humbly suggest that the God-man died on a cross and rose from the dead, but curses if you try to stop me from shopping at that Dillard's over there as if it were my living room. It's not that there's too much stuff in the public space, it's just the wrong stuff. Isn't that weird? We can share our bodies in public, but not our hearts. I'll make you a deal: I'll button my face if you button your shirt. Side-Rant: I love malls. I love shopping. I love nearly everything about it. I don't have to buy anything; I just enjoy the experience. I know I'm not supposed to say this; I'm supposed to lament greed and gaudiness and suburbs and weal
5 Thoughts On Finally Watching "It's A Wonderful Life" 5. If I become a tenth of the man George Bailey is, I shall be blessed indeed. 4. Dude, Mary is a total fox. Why'd you fart around so long? 3. Can't get much more Catholic than that movie. Just sayin'. 2. Top 3 Personal Favorite Actresses: (3. Kelly Preston 2. Natalie Wood 1. Katharine Hepburn. Top 3 Favorite Actors: 3. Tom Cruise 2. Jimmy Stewart 1. Cary Grant. Also receiving votes: Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Dustin Hoffman.) 1. Look out, Potter. God is watching.
5 More Ways To Tell You Are Jason Kettinger 5. At least 88 percent of the time, "flush" refers to a poker hand, not to a toilet. 4. You've dreamed of getting "Colombo" on DVD. 3. You've seen "Bloodsport" 37 times. 2. You have yelled out, "Yeah, Carpenters!" and "Darn right, Lionel Richie!" at your TV. 1. Your funniest inside joke involves the word, "crevasse."
The Top 5 Dumbest Things I've Heard Since I Started 'The Quest' 5. "I care about the Bible. I don't care about church history." I don't even know where to start. 4. "Nobody has it all right." Well, then how do you know Jesus is God, or that He rose from the dead? How agnostic do you want to be? 3. "Do you really want to join the Church that gave us the Crusades?" No, not really. But I'll take Thomas Aquinas, Chesterton, Ratzinger, Wojtyla, and Mother Theresa. Yahtzee! Or Gin. Or something. 2. "Repeal Trent, and I'm there." First off, most of you haven't even read the thing. Second, this can't possibly happen. As I recall, we asked for an ecumenical council. This is it. What now? Furthermore, in Catholic theology, asking the Church to repudiate an ecumenical council is like asking the sun to rise in the west. Added bonus: Who made you who said this the Arbiter of All Christian Doctrine? 1. "Luther wasn
OK, everyone. Hi. Today was the final week of the Understanding Catholicism at my Presbyterian church. It's been a fascinating ride, not least to watch the, um, interesting, reactions to official Catholic teaching on a plethora of issues. Frankly, I didn't expect to find so many ex-Catholics here. And I don't think it will wash to say that people leave the Catholic Church because they want to sin, at least not these people, it would appear. And as a semi-official Friend of the Catholic Church, it breaks my heart. Not that my community is any less with their addition, but I would tell any Catholic that he or she is sitting on a gold mine if you happen to notice. [Isn't that a little friendly to an organization that has perverted the gospel?--ed.] As soon as you figure out what 'the gospel' is, I'll let you know. But if that term means something close to, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" then I must issue an emphatic &
My favorite football player, Brett Favre, failed to start a football game tonight for the first time in 18 years. On September 20, 1992, Favre entered for the Green Bay Packers at quarterback for an injured Don Majkowski, and started every NFL game since until tonight. A record 297-game streak for non-kickers. Favre is not only in the conversation for the greatest quarterbacks ever, the streak is comparable, and in many ways superior, to Cal Ripken's consecutive starts streak in baseball, which, if memory serves, stands at 2632 games. I would barely care about football if not for Brett Favre. He's one of a very few that I have to watch, just to see what will happen. Even when he fails, it's ridiculously exciting. When he was in his prime as the 3-time consecutive MVP in the mid-to-late '90s, I hated him, in a manner of speaking. The Packers walked around with a swagger, led by General Favre. And then Green Bay faced my favorite team, the St. Louis Rams, in the 2001 play
Viruses destroyed my computer, so I was gone for a time, but we're back now. Anyway, I had the occasion to be a little sad, maybe a bit selfish yesterday because a woman that I've had some affections for got engaged. [You're in love with everyone.--ed.] Fair enough. But it brought to mind a pop-country song called, "Just To See You Smile." Consider these words: Just to see you smile I'd do anything That you wanted me to When all is said and done I'd never count the cost It's worth all that's lost Just to see you smile. And yesterday I knew just what you wanted When you came walkin' up to me with him So I told you that I was happy for you And given the chance, I'd lie again. [Me talking] I felt that sting a bit, but I reflected on it a bit longer, and I realized, by God's grace, that I didn't have to lie. Even if it never arose because I wanted her to be happy, (which I do) I could still be happy because God is about to show his
My home computer was assailed by the barbarian tribes; I am referring to viruses. [You just vainly compared your PC to the Roman Empire.--ed.] Yes. This is why I haven't blogged in a few days, and why no new episodes of The JK Show have appeared. [Nobody watches your stupid show. In fact, the viruses probably came from an angry Reformed dude tired of your papist sympathies.--ed.] I've actually considered that; nah, I'm not that important. In any case, since I am (fruitlessly) continuing my Protestant seminary career despite my deep questions, I have to say that today's lecture in my Acts and Paul class (Acts of the Apostles and Pauline epistles) was the best one yet. [It'd better be; this was the text.--ed.] I know, right? Just before I'm ready to chuck Protestant hermeneutics and trust the Church to tell me what I believe, an exegesis like that one comes along. I mean, we defeated the Arian heresy with the Greek text, a little Jewish context, and a little f
In Defense of Telling Other Nations To Mind Their Own Business In Regard To The American President (Even As a Christian) I come across my evangelical colleagues starting a story with, "Having lived overseas for X years, I can tell you, we'd be shocked at how we're viewed around the world" and "Bush was an embarrassment". With all due respect, stuff it. (The nuance is following.) We ought rightly be concerned with those moral issues, which, like it or not, may put the US in a bad light in light of the Word of God, and even the natural law. (War, the nature of capital punishment, torture, abortion, etc.) And we may well find that a particular president failed to defend especially the dignity of human beings in one or many of these areas, and we should never fail to say that. Even in the most successful of presidents (say, Reagan) major flaws remain. May I be never so nationalist to fail to notice. And of course, picking a genocidal monster as leader is never
Because I don't feel like linking to it, (oh, fine ) I'd offer just a couple sentences of critique/constructive thought on why it won't wash against the Catholic claims re: apostolic succession. First, we are essentially agreed on the priesthood of all believers in a baptismal sense. This cannot satisfy, in itself, the objection. We make the distinction between a baptismal priesthood and a ministerial 'priesthood' (I beg pardon, Reformed Protestant brethren!) all the time. I invite you to try celebrating the Eucharist in your own house (then consulting the PCA's BCO) if you doubt me! Weak sauce, Doug, weak sauce. It was our rank inability to be consistent in our priestly egalitarianism that got me thinking about this in the first place! Paging Jeff Meyers! Why ordination, if Doug is correct? And if not, are we sure our dudes are validly sent by Christ? What would prove it? Better yet, what would disprove it? If correct doctrine is the true measure, then 'co
Top 5 Jokes At The Celebrity Roast Of Huldrych Zwingli 5. "I told Zwingli not to get torn up, but he never listens." 4. "Huldrych was mad because his wife forgot their anniversary; she said she wasn't fond of liturgical observances." 3. "He was mad Marty and John didn't bring birthday presents; they said the gifts were merely symbolic of their affection anyhow." 2. "Your cheese isn't the only thing full of holes. The Platonists waved, and promised a postcard." 1. "Roger Goodell called; he said you'd make an excellent commissioner of the No Fun League."
5 Reactions To The Republican Takeover of the House of Representatives 5. Geez, I hate Republicans, in a pro-liberty, God-fearing sort of way. 4. At least they won't have Nancy Pelosi to kick around anymore. 3. The only thing I see being repealed is common sense. 2. Maybe we shouldn't give franking privileges to people who don't read the bills they pass. 1. Maybe we can dig our children out of mountains of debt by turning off the war machine.
In this journey of mine that will most likely end in Rome [Don't bias it.--ed.] (fair enough), one dear friend of mine has taken to jokingly calling me a "papist dog." [Good friends, sheesh.--ed.] I think it's two-headed: first, we deeply regret many of the nasty things we said about Catholics over the centuries, in light of many faithful, biblical, Christ-loving Catholics we know (and the last two popes). And second, it demonstrates a great fear that particular Catholic distinctives (Mary, the saints, possibly Eucharist) are idolatry. Now, I have to say, my bias of experience spending loads and loads of time with "traditional" Catholics and learning Catholic theology pushes me in the direction of rejecting such a charge as unfounded. Still, idolatry is a serious charge for one Christian to make against another. In fact, it is so serious a charge that it puts the lie to much of our ecumenical talk these days. If Catholics are idolaters, we can have nothing
5 Signs You Are Ankle-Deep In The Tiber 5. You start laughing at traditional Protestant notions of "apostolic." 4. You say "Holy Mother Church" without snickering. 3. You are more anti-Nestorian than anti-Marian. (Svendsen, MacArthur, get with the program!) 2. You start daydreaming about dating Catholic girls. [It's always sex with you, isn't it?--ed.] Nolo contendere. 1. You join an RCIA class. [You're outed now.--ed.] The biggest open secret ever.
Is Jon Alter completely insane? I say yes. I've known Democratic fear-mongering, but this is astonishing. Get this man an economics textbook (and perhaps a functioning brain, bless him), stat. I'm under no illusions about the greatness of Republicans; in fact, it'll probably be like 1994: The Revolution That Wasn't. But the left-wing version of ideal America has never existed, and will never work. How did we get to the point of addressing our opponents as sub-human like this? I was concerned about what Obama and Co. would do [Not that concerned; you voted for him.--ed.] but I recall nothing but optimism even at the change of Congress. You'll note well that the Democratic congressional candidates in '06 and '08 that provided the majorities in both houses on paper are not terribly liberal, either socially or economically. Their Faustian bargain to support Pelosi (a true believer) and to bite the bullet on the president's health-care plan (enacted shadily
To follow up on a point I was making on Facebook, we don't realize the scandal as Christians we've created by all our denominations. The principled way to be in one is only this: "My other choices are so wrong on doctrinal point X that we have to separate." In today's evangelical world, to suggest that someone might be wrong enough to be in danger of Hell is, to say the least, uncool. Even when it's absolutely true. Door-to-door Arians, liberal Protestants, etc. looking in your direction. We say completely stupid things like, "Well, as long as so-and-so believes the gospel" WITHOUT EVER SAYING WHAT IT IS, and apparently not caring that we all are telling a slightly different story on that point. It simply doesn't bother us that we receive the Body and Blood of our Lord (variously understood) but that we don't share it in common, largely. We share common rites (baptism, Eucharist) but we understand them differently. We even deny them to each o
I've been away for a few days. The internet has been down at the house; I think the previous residents (my mother and stepdad) forgot to pay the bill again. [Would you pay it, if you didn't live there?--ed.] They said they would, through this month. Anyway, my grandfather was in town; my big-mouth mother told him about That One Thing At That Secret Place. He's Church of Christ. He matter-of-factly stated that I was looking into a cult. I recovered, though: I told him I was doing research for a book. (Totally true.) I will never again speak ill of anyone whose family relations present a difficulty for them. I need to be honest here, though: I utterly hate the Restorationist movement. I hate most of its theology, its hostility toward other Christians, its antipathy for serious theology, its view of history, and the rather prevalent tendency toward fundamentalism. I love many people in those churches, not least my family. But I gotta call it like I see it. [That denial of orig
Though I am not a good singer, I love to sing. On the one hand, I'll sing almost anything; my affection for a wide array of pop music is well known (and perhaps derided). On the other, the great hymns of the faith* are often on my lips and heart. One such hymn is "Rock of Ages." The tune of this hymn has been quite varied since its intitial composition a bajillion years ago, but the tune I learned (linked above) through Reformed University Fellowship I'll call "the RUF melody." Whether or not they had anything to do with it. In any case, this particular iteration never fails to sink deep into my soul. I saw an episode of "Little House on the Prairie" where Mr. Ingalls (Michael Landon) sings this at church (and disturbingly low-church it was, BTW), and I have to say, I hated its whole musicality. That original melody sounds like we walked into a saloon. Will I turn to my right and see Yosemite Sam? Just for fun, take the words out. Saloon, right?
The Delaware Debate for US Senator: O'Donnell vs. Coons: First 15 minutes--Coons [I am a protectionist, and a redistributionist]. O'Donnell [I am a horrible public speaker, but I am cute and right-wing]. Next 10--Foreign Policy: O'Donnell [You favor random withdrawal]. Coons [It's a random narco-war we cannot win in Afghanistan]. Social Security/Medicare--O'Donnell [I'm not terribly conservative and willing to cut it]. Abortion/Faith: Coons--[I'm allegedly a Christian but morality has no impact in public life]. O'Donnell--[Of course evolution is a myth, but don't make me say it]. Marxism--Coons [I'm a capitalist! I swear!] O'Donnell-- [You are a commie]. Education Reform--Coons [Charter schools rule]. O'Donnell [I don't have the guts to eliminate the Department of Education, but I like vouchers]. Health Care--O'Donnell [Obama care confuses coverage with care, coverage portability]. Coons [I support Obamacare]. CNN idiotical
I'm not sure how much "secular" music Jesus listens to, [He hears it all, dummy.--ed.] but I'm willing to bet a large sum of money he really likes this song. He might point out, however, that loving is harder is than James Taylor makes it sound. Well, He would know. (God be praised!) In any case, I spent all day (in Mental Conference Room 2, anyway) trying to remember "Everyday" by the aforementioned JT, because I keep hearing part of the song in a phone commercial or something, and thinking, "JT singing this is so much better." Duh, right? I needed a lift earlier (besides the mild annoyance of not being able to remember the name of a song I've heard eleventy billion times) so I looked up "Up On The Roof" and listened to it a lot of times. It's that version he did on "Sesame Street" circa 1976 that rules. I actually heard this song for the first time in 1991 or thereabouts, when JT was a guest on "Saturday Night L
I like music, and thus, I like YouTube. Though most of the videos flirt with copyright violations. Anyway, I got roped into a "Wow, Toto is amazing!" phase yesterday, [waiting while you look up " Africa "and cower in the corner, hoping not to get caught] and I happened to come across a song called " Lea ." Now, more experienced Toto fans know that they like naming songs after members of the fairer sex, and that they've changed lead singers a couple times, for whatever that's worth. My first thought was, "What an outstanding pop song," and my next one was, "Why didn't Babyface cover this on his remake album 'Playlist'?" Don't even act like it's not right up his alley . [Babyface should pay you.--ed.] I know, right? Why didn't Toto's label release "Lea" as a single in 1986? [Because they're stupid, and they think we are, too.--ed.] Even so, follow the Money Train...er, that is, the Soul Tr
A brief note on page views: This blog crossed over 3000 page views 6 days before Christmas, 2009. As of last night, we have 5200. It's not monumental, but I thank those who read and enjoy my occasionally intelligent blather. [Your page views are inflated because you read your old posts.--ed.] That'd be reasonable, but for the fact that it tells me when I'm inflating the counter. So eat it!
5 Reactions to the Foreign Service Officer Test (Yes, I promise, Uncle Sam, not a word as to its content) 5. It was fun. There was a time crunch, but it was enjoyable. 4. There was a bit of liberal clap-trap on the test, but less than I thought there'd be. 3. A lot more people whose heads are filled with useless, random information (like mine) should think about serving your country like this. You're d--- skippy, I felt patriotic taking the test, and well I should. 2. It wasn't hard. I will eat crow if I failed, but it was easier than I expected. 1. I think I passed, consequently.
I cannot get away from politics, hard as I might try, and I can only hope that I keep the spheres separate enough that noone reading this blog is tempted to think the Christian gospel is linked to the political fortunes of one group or another. I sure don't feel that way, and I hope you don't, either. That said, not only do I have opinions, but I have some training as a political scientist/analyst, (which in truth is nothing more than the collection of a few insidery terms, a dash of history, and a love of the political process, which frankly anyone can have) so I see the world through those eyes also. I need to tell you about the 2006 midterm elections. Here in the US, every seat in the US House of Representatives is contested every 2 years. In 2006, the Republican Party (henceforth "GOP" for 'Grand Ole Party') controlled the House, the Senate, and the presidency leading up to the elections. The GOP lost the majority in both houses of Congress. Gary C. Jacobs
OK, two more things: (And Anne Katherine Robinson, you may officially stop reading until the second "thing," because this is about pop music, though the self-depracation and witticism may be worth it. Your choice.) I woke up with a song in my head: "Isn't She Lovely" by Mr. Stevie Wonder. Which was weird, because I have an absolute certainty that I am not father to a daughter. Still, a lovely song it is. And the second song that popped in was " I Can't Sleep Baby (If I)" by R. Kelly. It was a huge hit when I was a teenager. And Mr. Kelly is sadly better known for his legal troubles, and the fact that 87.8% of his songs are about sex. Not relationships, as you may be thinking. Yet this disarmingly simple song is one of those that makes you say, "He sang the #@&! out of that one." It's just criminal how good a voice he has, and he's wasting it, and his life, at least by appearances, in pleasure. He wrote and sang the annoying b
I published some snark in the general direction of Baptists in my "Historic Church Documents" post/rant, whereupon it was contested quite ably and respectfully by J. Patrick Smith, a cousin of "Tbone," which makes him a friend of the blog covenantally speaking :) as any good paedobaptist would do. We'll see if he wants to make the association his own later on. :) In any case, I thought his illustration in the comments was a good one, and framed it in a new way for me. But this provides a delightful segue into another problem introduced by the comment: the appeal to Sola Scriptura. Given the fact that A) both (Protestant) paedobaptists and credobaptists affirm Sola Scriptura (and its necessary corollaries of inspiration and infalliability/inerrancy, and B) both have Scriptural justification for their positions, tell me, who is right? Forget baptism; pick anything you want. Same problem: No obvious means for settling disputes, and no path for eventual visible reun
OK, two things: First, I have counted 6 times by two different professors at my steadfastly Reformed, Westminster-loving seminary in the last week-plus, occasions where any normal Protestant would add the word, "alone" to the phrase, "justification by faith." Golden opportunities, mind you. Even in contexts of disagreement with the Roman Catholic Church, where such an appellation would seem most appropriate, in fact. 6 times. And my alleged comrades-in-arms, birthed not only in the bloodbath of Luther's protest, but in the blood of the Lamb, declined to add it. Look, I'm almost Catholic; I don't care what you say, to some extent. And I certainly wouldn't want to get anyone in trouble over there. But if we Reformed are re-visiting this position, we ought to talk about it, not hide our insights behind the bulky sweater of covenant theology or the Coke-bottle glasses of storied hermeneutics. [Maybe they're sick of being trapped by the Catholic apol
Dear George Michael, Recent events involving your car and drugs have forced the British legal system to incarcerate you. I suppose we are all relieved that no one was hurt. And as you are no doubt aware, you will have some time to reflect not only on this incident, but on the general direction of your life. As one optimistic friend once said, "There are no problems, only opportunities." I might only interject that there seem to be both, and this is fitting for the merciful God to allow. I would not dare to judge you, or claim to know exactly what you must do. That said, I wonder if your remarkable and full life up to now is all that you had hoped. Is it abundant in the true sense? You have explored every human avenue of pleasure that exists on earth. You've worked hard, and played harder. Perhaps even now, those things are revealed as cruel masters indeed. Others looking in might say that I've no standing to say such a thing; 'tis true, my path has been mercifull
I've been something of a fan of President Obama since he appeared on the scene in 2004. I heard the convention address that made him a star in 2004 (and was deeply moved, I must say). I predicted his election in 2006, after hearing a speech he gave to the Save Darfur rally in Washington, DC that spring. Right-wingers (and I am one, in many respects) scoff at his alleged soaring rhetoric and meteoric rise. And he should rightly receive mountains of criticism for his anti-life policies regarding abortion, his nationalizing economic policies that stunt growth, and his amateurish dealings with the opposition and its ideas, such as they are. But those who do not respect the events of his election, who mock his supporters as unthinking idiots, who behave as though the country is a gulag in which we are all trapped (understanding that the logical end of many Obama policies/ideas is exactly that) are not only irritating, but they demonstrate a lack of understanding in how American politics
At the risk of getting him in trouble, I have a list of 5: Top 5 'Collins-isms' Of The Past 3 Weeks (possible paraphrases) 5. "I hear a lot of sneezers and coughers in here. Make note of the sneezers and coughers, so that when we all fall ill with various afflictions, we can beat them to death." 4. "You are used to seeing David as a Jesus figure. The message of the Bible is that Jesus is a David figure." (Lesson: Respect the original OT context) 3. "If you read Psalm 24 and say, 'How great is it, that Jesus kept the Law in my place?' I will beat you, because that's not what it's saying." (Lesson: We should strive for holiness) 2. "This is a love song, a poem. Not a particularly good one, mind you, but some of you were no doubt conceived with a song like this playing in the background." 1. "I'm hearing what you are saying, and it's horrible." (response to a question) Added Bonus: In response to a &q
Anybody who knows me knows that I'm a bit girl-crazy. [What are you, 12?--ed.] Yes. After a fashion. No one of the fairer sex has seen fit to snag me off the market, so yes. Anyway, one meets with a certain lack of success (or limited success) and the natural reaction, albeit perhaps not the most productive one, is to question one's desirability and so forth. I'm not breaking any news here, surely. Lonely dudes, can I get a witness? I know you feel me. [You're a jobless, penniless bum in graduate school who's apparently about to torpedo your most viable career option. Would you date you?--ed.] No. But kats get lucky all the time like that. I had a friend who introduced me to the film version of "Phantom of the Opera" directed by Joel Schumacher. Yes, I know, it's not faithful to the story/play, blah blah, shut up. Anyway, I personally really identified with the Phantom. And yes, it begins on creepy terms, given the fact that Christine Daae is just a
I deserve to be thrown out of our little ecclesial protest movement for a paragraph like this: [Also, it is neither the Law or the prophets, so it is wisdom by the process of elimination using the Jewish categories. Goerling says of Psalm 1, “Psalm 1 is a didactic Psalm, a guide to life.” He adds, “In form and content it belongs to the wisdom Psalms.” Tuell adds, “Just as Jesus' beatitudes (Matt 5:3-12) are descriptive rather than prescriptive, so the beatitude pronounced upon the righteous in Ps 1 describes rather than defines them.” What this may mean is that Collins’ concern about legalism arising from certain readings and views of merit may be premature. It seems quite possible that the blessed man can both “deserve his blessedness” and be in a totally dependent covenant relationship. We’ll return to this later.] [Sheesh, hurry up and become a Catholic already, and stop leading us on.--ed.] Well, you shouldn't be that surprised; as I told the great Tim Butler, "The Cat
5 Obvious (And Not So Obvious) Reactions To Catholic Theology/Ecclesiology If One Is Protestant 5. "Seriously, you believe that?" 4. "That's beautiful, but I don't see that in the Bible." 3. "The Church is infalliable...really? Watch the news lately? [After being informed of the "faith and morals" qualification] Great. Now, with a few more qualifications, your dogmas can be completely impervious to actual historical evidence." 2. "Lecture us about how we're not 'apostolic' when you and the Orthodox figure out which one of you is the true Church." 1. "Al Gore should have made 'An Inconvenient Truth' about this $#!@ right here. Polar bears are much more important. Yeah." (No.)
I have a friend who, God bless him, doesn't handle honest questions and debate very well. I've annoyed him severely on 2 separate occasions. I should have known. But it wasn't my fault. We were listening to that great new hymn, "In Christ Alone" when we came to this line: "Till on that cross as Jesus died/The wrath of God was satisfied." And I couldn't stop myself, saying, "That's the only line that gives me the slightest hesitation." And then there we were, discussing atonement theology and soteriology. The next line in fact makes even less sense in Reformed theology: "For every sin on Him was laid..." And we talked about whether it was fitting for the God who is Love to require obedience that he does not, and will not, enable by his grace. Because, of course, in Reformed theology, the atonement of Christ is effectual for the elect only. And since the elect are brought through the ordo salutis monergistically without cooperat
Alas, The Wedding Weekend Extravaganza is over! Congratulations to Tamara and JJ, and Evan & Stacey. (Smith) Note to JJ: Feel more than free to introduce me more formally to your cousin Brooke. Ahem. [You know nothing at all about her.--ed.] True. And it was only a few dances. But there should be warning labels that come with beauty like that. I hate when that happens. She also stated at the end of the evening that I was "Rock Chalk" , which, note well, is a high compliment from a member of a family that is loyal to the University of Kansas. [Kansas?! You've gone mad!--ed.] All I'm saying is, if I ran into her again, I wouldn't mind. Added bonus if the words "church" or "Jesus" don't make her vomit. In any case, the second wedding was like going to a party with friends. The Smith/Meek wedding, by contrast, felt like a family reunion. In the best and purest sense. The Smith patriarch (let the reader understand) said to me, "You'
The thoughts I had regarding the "Historic Church Documents" page here are thus: There is quite a variation in confessional position represented by the documents here. Reformed, Anglican, Lutheran, and of course, creedal documents from the early undivided church are here. I must conclude that their presence represents affirmation by the proprietors, which presents problems by the fact of the variance alone. Possible Reasonable Explanation: The differences between them, say the authors, are less than the gulf between all of us and Tridentine Rome. But if it were a united Protestant front, wouldn't they unite ecclesial governments? I cannot conclude that the documents' presence was an act of mere reportage, because there is nothing overtly contrary to the Reformed tradition on the page. That they believe all these traditions can broadly be called Reformed is astonishing, and is an insult to anyone holding the other confessions. Still, perhaps it's a way of affirmin
I would say I'm pretty conversant with pop culture; maybe too much. Then again, I think I'm pretty discerning. All prospective (Protestant) pastor-types learn to develop a little voice in our heads that affirms (in some sense, if possible) and challenges everything that we, or our parishioners may watch or hear. Like every twentysomethingish (American) dude who happens to be a Christian, I have my odd list of famous or influential people that I'd love to befriend and testify to Christ in their general direction. In my dreamworld, it's set up like this: "You have one hour to tell influential person X whatever you wish about Jesus and the gospel, and they won't run away." It's a rotating list of sports heroes, political figures, pop singers, etc. I realized today I had to add a name to my list, even though he's not American, and he is, in my words, an "awesome pariah": George Michael . You can't grow up in the 1980s (especially listenin
"Casino Royale" was on my TV when I returned tonight. I love this movie; it once again demonstrates that Texas Hold 'Em is "BA," Daniel Craig did a superb acting job, and you can take this character seriously now. However, I hate the final climactic scene. I had to turn it off. Yes, I am a sap. Worse still, I logged into Facebook, and there is a feature called, "Friend Finder." It then informs you which of your friends found friends with it. And the cursed thing keeps showing my current "like" interest. For the record, we saw 1 movie, ate ice cream, and had one other thing fall through. In any case, I'm trying to forget her, because it's a hopeless cause, but even one inch square, she takes my breath away. Sheesh. Someone punch me.
Today was my first day back at seminary. It's a conservative evangelical seminary of some repute, committed to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms (with no real gripe against other confessionally Reformed documents). I doubt anyone can see my own doubts about Reformed Theology or Protestantism in general. [Well, now they know, idiot.--ed.] Yeah, well. I'm jazzed about my professor for Psalms and Wisdom Literature; I was mad that his Wikipedia entry is threatened with deletion for lack of notability. He's "BA" as my brother would say. I've made friends with some prospective Catholic priests, and their laments about modernism overtaking some of their teachers sadden me. I know if not for that thorny problem of visible communion with the Catholic Church, they would be ridiculously blessed by him, as we are. I don't know whether to root for this or not; obviously, if I did, I would place myself in communion with the successor of Peter. That may
I feel always a little bit betrayed when I consider that one alleged proof-text of double-imputation: 2 Cor 5:21: "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (ESV) That "might become" seems fairly significant, no? But don't jump to any hasty conclusions. [grabbing BGAD lexicon] Um, I did not find a verse reference for the exact form in the Greek, but the subjunctive after the "in order that" strongly implies the "might." Anyway, it most assuredly does not say, "possess the righteousness of God". It says "in order that we might become the righteousness of God." As in, we are not currently displaying it. Same problem in Romans 1 and 3: However full our forgiveness and security may be, the text really isn't talking about an alien righteousness; it's talking about the character of God shown forth in us as a whole. In fact, it may be significant that the
I need to follow up on what I said yesterday; I thought I covered my bases in terms of my intention not to speak with any binding or wide-ranging authority. In addition, though I was discussing something important, I surely felt some parts would go down easier when leavened with a little humor (the success of which you are free to dispute). And I definitely am not trying to shut down discussion among different groups of people (various groups of women, or men and women); in fact, the opposite is the case. But I definitely needed to say what I said. I'm open to disagreement, correction, and whatever else. That post, however, was my view of things as a relatively young, single, pseudo-evangelical with an admittedly big mouth and a keyboard. My small yet quickly arriving sample size of correspondence on that piece is of two kinds: 1. "How dare you hate on 'Lost'! It's the greatest show ever made/on today/I've ever seen!" And my only comment on that is that yo