Beauty Works Out

"It is too much the habit to regard beauty, as mere ornamentation; as something that is added to other properties, instead of growing out of them . . . if the definition that has been given be the true one, beauty is rather an inevitable accompaniment, than a labored decoration" (Shedd, Homiletics and Pastoral Theology, p. 91) … [Read more...]

Thanks Bunches, Techie Pagans!

But at least we don't shoot lions . . .

There are many reasons to look forward to the day of resurrection. The foremost of course will be to be with the Lord Jesus, and then after that to be with all the saints -- with those I have longed to meet but especially those who will make that day a wonderful day of reunion. Now when faithful Christians make lists of their top ten reasons for looking forward to that day of resurrection, the chances are pretty good that the top five will be very similar to one another. There will be a lot of commonality. But after that, things will trail off a bit. For example, my number 7 is that nobody will be trying to establish a single payer health care system. Just think about luxuriating in that for about five hundred years. Now hold that thought, because I am actually wanting to talk about the Planned Parenthood debacle. Planned Parenthood is now officially toxic, and our very straightforward and simple task is to keep them toxic. Twenty years from now the two words Planned Parenthood … [Read more...]

Review: Building a Timeless House in an Instant Age

Building a Timeless House in an Instant Age by Brent Hull My rating: 4 of 5 stars I enjoyed this book very much, and learned quite a bit from it. I had previously read The Old Way of Seeing, which was similar, and am fascinated at what makes so many modern residential homes so mud fence ugly. Reading this book together with Old Way will go a long way to answering those questions. A lot of great detail in here.I do have one minor criticism, and this comes up whenever our culture is being compared to previous generations. All our crappy stuff gets compared to all the timeless stuff that is still standing from the olden days. But what about all their crappy stuff, as in the stuff that didn't make it down to our time in order to be compared to anything? An ancient Roman insula, a tenement house, had to be horrendous compared to a modern trailer park. But it is easy for us to sniff at the trailer park, imagining that the ancients had togas that were automatically bleached … [Read more...]

And Then Swash Some More

In the spirit of Rachel Dolezal's spray tan, and Bruce Jenner's lipstick, I propose this simple reversal of color as a way of moving forward . . .

In this battle with Planned Parenthood that just erupted, certain worried cautions against triumphalism really ought to wait until after the triumph. I would much rather encourage the troops to pour it on, they're doing great. And they have been doing great. The Center for Medical Progress has done a wonderful thing in and through these videos -- and again I want to stop in order to suggest the Medal of Freedom for David Daleiden. But another wonderful thing has happened as well. I think that those who are concerned about "triumphalism" are in fact noticing something that really is happening. That something should in fact be noticed, and -- given how our worried evangelical leadership frequently works -- defended. What I am talking about is all the pro-life exuberance and joy. The pursuit of Planned Barrenhood has been robust, pointed, widespread, funny, hard-hitting, massive, and driven by what can only be called battle joy. Speaking quite frankly, I have simply been proud … [Read more...]

Book of the Month/August

What Is Marriage

This is a book that needs to be carefully read by every pastor and Christian leader. We live in a time that cries out for careful definitions for just about everything, and this book supplies us with a careful definition of marriage. It does so in the realm of common grace. In other words, the arguments here are philosophical, historical, and sociological, not exegetical. But what they argue is fully consistent with Scripture, and I believe the book helpfully addresses some areas that exegetical arguments frequently do not. In other words, the "traditional" view of marriage should not be understood as a practice of marriage on autopilot, with no one quite knowing what they were doing or why. The issues before us now have been thoroughly dealt with over the course of centuries, and the modern novelties simply have not done their homework. Fortunately for them, homework is not necessary if the approach you are taking is that of raw judicial tyranny. For example, the ancient … [Read more...]

On Christian Disobedience #5

Introduction: As we have been considering the relationship of the believer to the modern secular state, what have we learned? We know that our current rulers are in high rebellion against God, and have therefore forfeited all moral legitimacy. Judgment, when meted out by God, will have been most mercifully delayed—even if it happens tomorrow. In the meantime, we submit to the de facto rule of the regime because God is the one who judges, and because we are included in His judgments. But even in judgment their authority is not absolute in God's eyes, and so there is a point where we must resist. Further, their authority is not absolute according to their own constitutions and laws, which have far more residual Christianity woven throughout them than the secularists would like us to believe. Remember particularly that resistance is sometimes the only way to submit to "the established authorities." Our dilemma can be summed up this way. Our rulers have no moral legitimacy. But neither … [Read more...]

A Wall of Water on Each Side

We are instructed by Scripture to think of this meal in multiple ways. It is not just “one thing.” And four of the central aspects of this meal should be treasured in our hearts regularly. First, it is a commemoration. Jesus Himself established this pattern when He said that we were to observe the meal as a memorial (Luke 22:19). This memorial works in two directions—it reminds us and, like the rainbow, it reminds God. Second, it is a confession. This is not to be understood as a confession of sin, but rather as a confession of our faith. As often as we observe this meal, we proclaim the Lord’s death (1 Cor. 11:26). This meal is a confession of gospel faith. Third, it is communion. When we come to this Table in evangelical faith, we are privileged to commune with Christ, to partake of Him and of one another (1 Cor. 10:16). The word for this is koinonia, and the Lord’s Supper is how God knits us together. And last, it is a covenant. Again, the Lord taught us this when He … [Read more...]

Death as a Way of Life

When a person drifts in the context of a sound and healthy church—a church in which very many people are not drifting, but are being nourished and fed—the reason that person is drifting is the direct result of not dealing with sin. And in the Scriptures, dealing with sin is not the same thing as managing or controlling it, or keeping it somewhat subdued and out of sight. No, the scriptural response to sin is always death—mortification. You can live in the middle of a crowd of people who are mortifying their sins, and this unfortunately has no impact on your sins. If ten people sitting around you confess their sins heartily, and you do not, then you get no benefit from what they have done. There is no benefit unless and until you imitate them. And if you do this for any length of time, then outside pressures will ensure that you start to drift. When you start to drift, you will then start making excuses to cover for your drift. So guarding yourself begins with understanding … [Read more...]

The Grove of Ashtaroth

Grove Ashtaroth

A common definition of hypocrisy is to understand it as saying one thing and failing to live up to that standard. While such personal inconsistency is not a good thing, the kind of hypocrisy that Scripture so fiercely denounces occupies another level. High hypocrisy, defined biblically, occurs when you accuse, condemn or assault others for things that you yourself do. The great problem comes when the same sin or worse is being committed by someone who sets himself up as a judge or moral arbiter. A man who fails to reach a standard he has set for himself to achieve may actually be far advanced in his sanctification. A man who readily condemns another man for failing to do just what he fails to do is a hypocrite. The tell is the accusation. The tell is the diabolical part, the pointing finger. When two men fall, they may each help each other up. But when one man assaults the other for falling, you know something else is up, something else is going on. And by this standard, America … [Read more...]

Cheat Sheet #2

CheatSheet2_Gay Rights Fallacies-1

If you have not yet obtained your very own copy of The Bestiary of Adorable Fallacies, I have only one thing to say to you -- and that is fie, fie! Actually, all right, that's two things. But even if you rush to the computer right now and order it, you will be without the information below for an unconscionable amount of time. So here it is, right now. For more info, just click on the image. … [Read more...]

Moral Imagination and the Right to Life

Moral Imagination

The right to life is the basic human right. When it is denied, no other right will ever be recognized. When it is affirmed, and appropriately grounded, all other God-given rights will be recognized and defended in just the way they ought to be. In order to appropriately ground this right, however, we have to define our terms. We have to acknowledge what we are talking about, and this requires a moral imagination. But a functioning moral imagination is not possible without two things. The first is a fixed natural world, which runs as it does under the governance of God, and the second is a sure Word from the God who has done this for us. We need natural revelation, given to us by God, and we need Scripture to correct our sinful tendencies to veer off from what God has obviously presented to us in the world. Think of it this way. Every person reading this began his or her existence as a human being as a single cell. One of the largest cells in the human body, it is even visible to … [Read more...]

Hashtag Tactics

The outrage against Planned Parenthood is ongoing, and the third video released today. Thus far, the pro-life response has been vigorous, coherent and good, but unless we are careful, the outrage might begin to sprawl. Before I make some tactical suggestions to help keep it all focused, I suggest you watch the third video. Here it is: That said, here are three sets of hashtag strategies I would like to encourage everyone to use. 1. First, let me introduce a web site that can help us coordinate our efforts -- Cleaning House Clearing House. For example, one of the principles of war is concentration, and we do need to keep this focused. It would be far better, in other words, for everyone to be contacting the same corporation in the same week, instead of randomly. We can do this while keeping track of those corporations that distance themselves from Planned Parenthood. The speed with which some corporations have already done this indicates this is an achievable goal. … [Read more...]