Thursday, December 23, 2010

My motto for 2011

"The blessings of ministry often come to us first disguised as inconveniences."

- a BR original

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Them's Strivin' Words ...

'The human race is divided into two races, those who love holiness and those who do not. The former are having their humanity restored in Jesus Christ, and the latter are actively pursuing the gollumization of humanity. So the human race is divided by the grace of the gospel in accordance with the Bible's description of God's character. This description is something that less squeamish generations of Christians used to call God's "law."

Those who love God recoil from the things that nonbelievers both do (Eph. 5:12) and applaud doing (Rom. 1:32). They despise even the garments that are stained by the flesh (Jude 23). But a Christian might protest -- "I don't agree with the way you are approaching this. I'm a Christian and I don't have that kind of detestation." But that argument would only have weight if you really were a Christian. That's where the argument falls down.'

-Doug Wilson

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Unconstitutional Separation of Church and State

It is often noted that the so-called “Separation of Church and State”… is not found in the Constitution. In fact, it is an UNCONSTITUTIONAL notion. After a discussion yesterday with some friends, I've decided that from now on, whenever I hear that phrase used in conversation I am going to politely interrupt in order to assert this. What the constitution says on the subject [in one of the parts before the "in the year of our Lord" line...] is – and I quote, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

So, out of the 5 words – “Separation of Church and State” – not a single one is actually found in the text of the constitution. If you insist on keeping the terminology, the Federal Constitution establishes the  “Separation of Church and CONGRESS”,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On TSA Scanners, Speed Cameras, and Big Brother's Boot

"If Orwell were to come back now, what do you think he would be more shocked by -- the number of cameras all over the UK or the number of people who had read his book and yet did not see any connection?"

-D. Wilson

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Ratification Day!

“The more you read the Constitution, the more you will begin to understand that we are not living in ‘Post-Christian America’, we are living in ‘Post-America’.”

-attributed to Historian, John Whitehead

POP U.S. HISTORY QUIZ:  Q: Today is December 7th … besides the bombing of Pearl Harbor, what great even of American history took place on this date?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Appropriate Backlash

4th Amendment undergarments are now being sold by several online retailers.  Sadly, this may be the first time many of the airport military personnel have read a section of the constitution they've sworn to support and defend. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Copy the key words from your desired job description/posting.  [If your resume says "supervise," but the job post says "manage," change it.]

Include a few bullet points highlighting your most noteworthy achievements.  Quantify whenever possible.

Get rid of redundancies and obvious statements. Also, experts now recommend dropping the ‘purpose statement’. Brevity is key.

Several "power verbs for your resume" lists are available online. Find one and use it.

[Turn your resume upside-down and look at it from a distance. This will help you analyze its appearance separately from its content.] One HR rep admits: "Sometimes a resume will catch my eye simply because it's formatted beautifully. I know the most important component is the content on the page, but you should also pay attention to the packaging. Trust me, hiring managers notice!"

[Summary of Charles Purdy’s recent article for – Creative Ways to Improve your Resume]

Thursday, December 2, 2010

You Dropped the Ball ... Again!

Steven Johnson is the now-infamous wide receiver on the Buffalo Bills who dropped what would have been the game-winning TD pass against the Steelers last week.  He then issued a statement to the world in the form of the above 'tweet' to God.  It is sad and sadly representative of the state of popular Christianity in our world today.  The God-is-my-vending-machine-in-the-sky theology is as easy to drop as it is to adopt [... or maybe I shouldn't use the word 'drop'.] Hopefully, those words were just a foolish venting that he will be quick to repent of.  True faith, living faith, ... saving faith ... perseveres - there is no other alternative [see Hebrews ... the whole book.]
For a more faithful option, consider with me the words of our spiritual forefather, Job [who, incidentally had lost a lot more than leverage for a potential future signing bonus]:
"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him..."
May God grant us Job's heart.

A faith that can be destroyed by suffering is not faith. - Richard Wurmbrand

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Learning to Love Limits [together ... at the dinner table]

One of the worst things you can convey to kids is “You can do anything you put your mind to”. The idea that nothing should get in the way of their 'willing' something to be. I think that this is a really pernicious thing that denies their ‘createdness’... that denies the fact that their gifts are tied with limits that God has established. God has created them with a particularity that doesn’t include everything and shouldn’t include everything, otherwise they wouldn’t be the particular person they are. …Now, how does that [great childrearing] happen? You don’t lecture about that; you don’t put an outline on the blackboard. This happens largely through the ritualized aspect of life. I often say that it starts with having meals together regularly. That’s the place where most orientation in life begins. All of you who’ve raised children know that this is the beginning of civilization – teaching your children to eat and not be barbarians.
-Ken Myers

The 'T' stands for 'Thomas' ... and 'Total Depravity'

"In questions of power...let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

--T. Jefferson
Kentucky Resolutions, 1798.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Great Quote from a Great Man on His Birthday

[Adam and Eve] wanted, as we say, to ‘call their souls their own’. But that means to live a lie, for our souls are not, in fact, our own. They wanted some corner in the universe of which they could say to God, ‘This is our business, not yours.’ But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives.

-a wonderfully Kuyperian, C S Lewis, in The Problem of Pain

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Preaching: what it is and what it isn't

A minister who preaches on the authority and infallibility of Scripture is often accused of being arrogant, said one pastor. Such criticism, however, is withheld from someone who sits on a stool in a cardigan and chats with the congregation, telling personal stories.

Criticizing the latter form, Doug Wilson, pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, made the case for the preacher who declares "thus saith the Lord."

"A minister should ascend into the pulpit in order to declare what would have been true had he never been born. He is there to preach what was written in the Word before all ages and is utterly disconnected from his personal dreams, hopes and aspirations," Wilson said at the Desiring God Ministries' national conference in Minneapolis on Saturday. "A minister is not up there to develop a relationship with everybody individually."

Ministers are not supposed to be extemporaneous actors trying to figure out their lines from everything other than the Bible, he noted. They may maintain that their scripts are better, their plot lines are grittier or that their shows make more money, but a minister's script is Scripture, Wilson stressed.

"He is there to declare something that is outside of his control. What God has revealed to us in the Bible is the message. That's the script."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Washington's Thanksgiving Address

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Thanksgiving Sermon

In case any of you may be interested, you can hear most of the audio from a sermon I preached recently on Psalm 98 here.
[artwork: Lika Tov]

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Nice News

"The modern church is slave to the spirit of the times.  If we really had our druthers, we wouldn’t want worship to be too terribly demanding, would we? We wouldn’t want doctrines that actually challenge our pet notions. We really only want music that we’re comfortable with. We really only want preaching that reassures us and reinforces our peculiar preferences and affords us our sense of serenity and all in record time.

We want quick things, cheap grace, inspirational platitudes, bumper-sticker theology, easy faith; we want Christianity Light; we want the nice news, not the good news."

- George Grant
[photo: Vision Forum]

Friday, November 19, 2010


"The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making."

-Douglas Adams

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On Repetitions, Vain or Otherwise

At an average Vacation Bible School, if you were to suggest, “Hey, let’s recite the Apostles’ Creed every morning,” everybody would flip out and they would lecture you sternly, about vain repetition and how it would rapidly become meaningless.  But if you were to say, “Oh, well let’s dispense with the Pledge of Allegiance then,” you would rapidly discover that it’s not meaningless at all.  We have a high view of America and a low view of the Kingdom.

-Doug Wilson

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snakes in the Garden

“Umberto Eco in his anthology on ugliness made the observation that Rococo and Baroque architecture and Thomas Kinkade paintings fail for the same reason in that they attempt to tell a story without the necessity of redemption.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Prayer of Praise and Adoration 11/7/2010

The LORD reigns; Let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; Let the earth be moved!

The LORD is great in Zion, And He is high above all the peoples. Let them praise Your great and awesome name— He is holy...

Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His holy hill; For the LORD our God is holy.

-Psalm 99

Heavenly Father and Almighty God,

You are God and there is no other. The idols of men are blind, deaf, and dumb and those who worship them are made to become just like them. But you are the one, true, and living God, omnipotent. You cause Your people to go from strength to strength. And You do this every time without a single sin. In You is all goodness, never-changing justice, and white-hot holiness. We read this in Your Word; we find it in Your Providence; and we see it wrapped in flesh through Your Son, our Lord Jesus, through Whom we pray, and to Whom with You and the Holy Spirit, we offer our worship this morning and always. Amen.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Idolatrous Fundamentalism

“Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice.”

- G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News, 9/11/09

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quote de jour

Someone once asked me what I thought of seeker-sensitive services. I said that as long as they’re part of martyr-friendly churches, that’s fine.

-Ken Myers

Friday, October 1, 2010

Walking along the Way ...

Yesterday there was a tornado warning in our town, and that was very sobering for my boys, and ended up creating a teachable moment as I was putting them to bed, which rolled into a teachable hour.  Discussion questions:

What is violence [from our reading of Psalm 140]?
Do lions have spirits [so they can go to Heaven]?
What should we do if a tornado comes at our house?
Would you [daddy] rather be in Heaven with Jesus, Gabriel, Peter, Gideon, David, and Noah [etc] or with us [your family]?
What are these little balls that hurt when I squeeze them?
If the President tells you to disobey God’s commandments, what should a Christian do?
When your body dies, how long does it take your spirit to get to Heaven?
What kind of worm has teeth [from Christ's description of Hell]?

What a privilege to be a father! I can honestly say that this is the first time we’ve ever had a really in depth conversation with the boys, but by God’s grace, it won’t be the last. I’m going to plan to have these often and I would encourage you to do the same.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

FV Fever

"Our motivation is pastoral: to bring the people in the pew in contact with the language God chose to use in the Bible."

-James Jordan, summing up the Federal Vision [click below to read the rest of his commentary]

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Hollow Sciences

"The questions that human beings still want to ask, science has no answers for by definition- by deliberate design.  It refuses to take up those questions.  It has said, 'That's for the Theology department or Philosophers.'  When it comes to the question of purpose or what is human flourishing.  It can show you how to fix a bone but how one should live one's life is not a question that science is going to answer."

- Dr. Leon Kass

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Taking Time to/in Worship

The most important thing I did in the lives of the people in my congregation to help them live in a disordered world was teach them to take time to worship. We’re in such a hurry. Efficiency is such a tyrant. People are in such a hurry, they want to get through it. And it’s not that they want to leave the worship service, it’s just that they think if things don’t happen fast, it’s not going to be productive. I very deliberately decided we were going to have leisurely worship – we were going to take time. When it came time for me to give a Pastoral prayer, instead of jumping up from the seat and starting the prayer right away, I’d count to 5 or 10, then say ‘Let us pray.’ Then I’d pause to collect my thoughts, let them collect their thoughts. It drove them nuts. It took them 10 years to get to the point where they could figure out what was going on and love it.

- Eugene Peterson [as quoted by Ken Myers]

[painting: Dean Mitchell, 'Let Us Pray',]

Christology: Narnia-style

"'But please, please - won't you - can't you give me something that will cure Mother?' Up till then he had been looking at the Lion's great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at its face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion's eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt sure as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself.

"'My son, my son," said Aslan. "I know. Grief is great. Only you and I in this land know that yet. Let us be good to one another."

- C S Lewis, The Magician's Nephew

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

-  Hebrews 4.15

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Beauty, Modesty, and Christ

A Christian woman should seek to be two things in her public appearance -- beautiful and (to all but one) unavailable. One of the fundamental mistakes that women make, when they are falling away from a biblical understanding of femininity, is that of confusing the effects created by signals of availability with the effects of beauty. But this is a drastic mistake. Beauty attracts certainly, in a certain way, but so does availability attract -- in another way entirely. Because Christian women know that general availability is prohibited in Scripture, they are the ones most prone to make this category mistake. They adopt signals from the world, and try to change the meaning of those signals in their heart. But it doesn't matter what those signals mean down inside her own heart.

- Douglas Wilson

Friday, September 24, 2010

And this explains a lot about our celebrities...

" The antinomian turn of mind has become much more common with the general rise of self-importance, which is a corollary of democracy: and in an age of celebrity, everyone feels obliged to leave his mark on the world, or else feel an intolerable wound to his ego. It is often rather difficult to make a mark on the world in a positive way, by the invention of something, for example, or by genuine scholarship or artistic creation, so that all that remains for the person who wishes to make his mark is opposition, bloody-mindedness, destruction and the breaking of taboos (by which is often meant perfectly reasonable social prohibitions of the kind upon which the preservation of civilization depends)"

- Theodore Dalrymple, Romancing Opiates

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This explains a lot about our churches ...

“The difference between the Korean ‘war’ generation and the Iraq ‘war’ generation is that the former was an educated public but they also had a tragic sense. They came out of the depression.  They knew that when they ate meat it came from a cow and it was a bloody mess to get them that. They knew that when they flushed a toilet it went somewhere. They knew all of these terrible things about life – that it was nasty, brutish, solitary, and short sometimes. They did not have 500 channels. They did not have cell phones. They were much more tolerant of human error. It’s true of civilization in general, the more affluent and leisured a civilization is, the harder it is for them to make sacrifices.”

- Victor Hanson, author of Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power and Between War and Peace: Lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

International Hobbit Day

Not sure who gets to decide such a thing, but yesterday I happened to notice that my co-worker's wacky calendar marked today as 'Hobbit Day'.  Just wanted to pass that along.  Happy Hobbit Day, everybody.  Maybe a good excuse to pull out the old volume and read a few pages to the kids [like you needed an excuse].

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Constitution Day!

Take the time out and read the Constitution today.  It will surprise you how small it is, in stark contrast to our government ... which is supposedly regulated by it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What I LOVE about the Constitution

Though leery of bumperstickers, I recently tattooed my car with the one pictured above.  Once I'd done so, it occurred to me that I should probably spend some time preparing an answer for anyone who might happen to ask me why I love the Constitution.  After quite a bit of thought, here's the response.

For starters, I love that it's short, separates powers, contains the rule of Law rather than men, and that its primary aim is the limitation of the government, not its citizens.

Contrary to what most people think, the US Constitution doesn't purport to catalog the rights of citizens [or states!].  Rather, it restricts government officials and specifically defends the citizens' rights which are most often violated by tyrannical rulers.  In short, while it calls itself the 'rule of the land' it is more accurately thought of as the 'rule of our land's leaders'.  It is not the law I have to follow.  It is the law that Obama, Pelosi, and Roberts have to follow.

But my real, one-word answer is this: DEPRAVITY.  It's been said that more than anyone, America has John Calvin to thank for her gov't.  And this leads to my answer.  Ultimately, it is because the US Constitution takes the idea of human depravity seriously.  Political power inflames a man's radical depravity and corrupts him.  So the best forms of government will limit that power. Here is how James Madison, the 'father of the Constitution'and devoted Calvinist,  put it in one of his better known Federalist Papers:

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions."
[photo: I heart the Constitution by Liberty Jane on]

Monday, September 13, 2010


At the heart of the Constitutional crisis we face as a nation is this paradox:
There is such a thing as an illegal law.

And then this question:
What is the proper response [read: duty] of individual citizens and then the county, city, state, and federal office holders who work for them?

I believe the answer to this question is our roadmap home.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Chaplaincy to the American Way of Life

Rather than addressing the culture’s disorders, some of the strategists said, ‘Let’s conform to the cultural disorder’.  Let’s present a way of church membership that doesn’t require any kind of commitment.  Let’s present church as a spectator event.  The most successful are the least Christian.  As long as the Church become the chaplaincy to the American way of life, and as long as the American way of life becomes more and more confused, [gay marriage, polygamy, whatever], then the churches that provide this chaplaincy are going to become less and less Christian.  In a culture that’s becoming more and more post-Christian, every faithful church is going to look more and more Amish.   Not deliberately … not because we want to look Amish, but because our neighbors are going to think, ‘You guys are weird! … Monogamous, what is that!? Heterosexual, where did that come from?!’

- Ken Myers

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

David Chilton Quotes ...

About a week ago, there was a woman [not from our church] asking me about how we raise our children because she saw that the children in our church are different than the ones that she knows of. And there were a bunch of kids playing volleyball and I said, watch this, I’ll show ya’. So I picked one at random and yelled out ‘Angie, what’s the most important lesson you can learn in life?’ and she said ‘Patience!’ There was another little girl about ten or eleven years old and I said, ‘Lauren, what’s the most important lesson in life?’ and she said, ‘to wait!’ We’ve been teaching that to these kids, drilling it into them so that it’s a reflex response. Spontaneously they know that the most important lesson they can learn personally in their lives is to wait… to have patience. This has great value when we contemplate our children being old enough to drive and climb into a back seat. What’s the most important lesson in life? Wait! There are things worth waiting for. But if I’m geared in terms of instant gratification then I’m going to make certain choices.

-Dave Chilton, author of Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators

Monday, September 6, 2010

No Armchair Fathers

It’s the height of hypocrisy to scream from all the rooftops ‘Where are all the men?!’ and not be doing anything at all to rectify the problem.

-Voddie Baucham

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Whosoever sheddeth man's blood ...

51 inmates were murdered by other inmates in 2000. Moreover, there were more than 34,000 reported assaults by inmates on other inmates and nearly 18,000 on staff. Rape is common – according to one study – perpetrated on 1 in every 5 inmates.

“How do you stop people who see a murder wrap as a badge of honor? How do you stop people who have already been stopped by the law and sentenced to life imprisonment?”

- Gregory Jessner, lawyer working w/ members of inmate gangs …

Hmmm … seems to me there should be some way … what did they use to do?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Jefferson, Gore, and Darwin

'Why is it in 2000 that we had to choose between Bush and Gore when in 1800 they got to choose between Adams and Jefferson? I answer with the old Henry Adams line: “If you look at the history of the American presidency panoramically, you’ve got to believe that Darwin got it exactly backwards.”'

-Joseph Ellis, author of Founding Brothers, His Excellency: George Washington, & American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Quote du jour

"The real world, contrary to what a lot of people on the political left think, is not the Olympic skating championships."

-Tom Clancy

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rules for Political Engagement [an abridged article by Gary North]

Here are 10 facts of US national politics that you must understand to get meaningful change.

1. You can't beat something with nothing.
2. 80% of politicians respond only to two things: (1) fear; (2) pain.
3. Bureaucrats (tenured) respond only to one thing: budget cuts.
4. Political reform never comes as long as the tax money flows in.
5. The #1 goal is to reduce the government's funds, not re-direct them.
6. Congress's club system sucks in 80% of new members by term #2.
7. Politicians listen to their peers, not to their constituents.
8. Money from the government buys off most voters.
9. Most citizens care little about politics and know less.
10. This gives influence to organized swing-vote blocs.

When our friends get into power, they aren't our friends any more.
When a movement is in either political party's hip pocket, it will be sat on.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why Ministers Must be Men

"It is very easy for objectors to say that the reason Christian women were not allowed to become religious ministers back in the 'olden time' was because the position of women in society back then would have made the Christian faith disreputable to outsiders if women were allowed to function in this way . . . The problem with this argument is that it is actually the reverse of the truth. The Christian church did not have to exclude women in order to fit right in. Excluding women from the ministry was the odd thing to do. The ancient world was crawling with priestesses, and if Christians had admitted women into their ministry, no one would have raised an eyebrow. The church took the counter-cultural route and did something that made her stand out -- which is, incidentally, what we are being called to do ...
[In 1 Tim 2] Paul then gives the prohibition that has been the cause of so much controversy. It must be said that the controversy exists, not because Paul said something that was unclear, but rather because he said something that is inconvenient for us, especially for those who want to have a ministry as cool as three-hundred dollar sunglasses...

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Skinflint's Manifesto [Preface] ...

I do not need to spend more than $50 on:

a wristwatch;
a pair of shoes;
a cell phone;
a pair of non-prescription sunglasses.

... societal status symbols.  Refuse to spend your way up the pecking order.

... what else?

Friday, August 20, 2010