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