“Our baptist brothers see the problem, and (in my view) want to uproot the tares before it is time. They wind up damaging the wheat. The sacramentalists, I believe, are too careless about letting everything grow together, until eventually, like the Episcopal Church, they think that morning glory is wheat. And why shouldn’t we ordain this morning glory as a bishop? His relationship with the ragweed is a mutually affirming and caring relationship” (Against the Church, p. 35).
“The imagination of every man and woman has an appetite and must be fed” (Wiersbe, Preaching and Teaching With Imagination, p. 31).
“The conclusion ought to have moved like a river, growing in volume and power, but instead of that, the discourse loses itself in some great marsh, or ends like the emptying of a pitcher, with a few poor drops and dregs” (Broadus, Preparation and Delivery, p. 278).
After my post on Rand Paul and National Review, I got various responses, and so I want to write about two divergent but representative takes. In effect, one response is that things are better than I think, and the other response is that things are way worse than I think. Because I am Chestertonian in outlook, I am quite prepared to believe that both are correct in some fashion, but I still want to skootch around a bit in reply.
First, I know that a number of Christians are employed by the intelligence community, and I know that their intention in doing their work is to protect the nation. I know that they believe that there are reasonable safeguards in place — otherwise they wouldn’t be doing what they are doing. So none of what I have written is intended as a slam on people in that position.
At the same time, the safeguards are clearly not adequate, and this is true whatever view you take of Snowden. If Snowden is right, then the federal government has access to all kinds of information about me and mine that they ought not to have. And if Snowden is a treasonous little sneak, he — a low-level functionary — somehow managed to get his mitts on truckloads of sensitive information. Who let him do that?
My argument on this is simple. It is not that the metadata is currently being abused, right this minute. My question is what should we expect if a scandal in this area did arise? Given Snowden, this is entirely possible, right? Why would we think that Obama’s spinners and the national media would play it any differently than they have played the other outrageous things that have been happening? Obama got elected to the Senate in the first place because his opponent’s sealed divorce records were made public. Obama plays Chicago ball, and no, I am not referring to the Cubs.
“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
The Basket Case Chronicles #145
“If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? (1 Cor. 12:15-17).
Before going on to apply the illustration of the human body to spiritual gifts, it is important for us to take in the various points presented by the illustration. The first point is that unity is unavoidable (v. 15). The foot cannot say that being not-a-hand means that the foot is outside the body. Regardless of what the foot says about it, it is in the same body with the hand—despite the fact that they are not at all alike. Their functions are dissimilar, but they are parts of the same body nonetheless. Paul makes the same point over again with the ear and the eye (v. 16). If the ear notices that it is not an eye, and that premise may be true enough, but the conclusion that it is not “of the body” does not follow. It remains in the same body together with the eye. Paul’s second point is that the hidden logic here destroys the very idea of a body. If the whole body were an eye, that whole body would be deaf. If the whole body were an ear, then there would be no way to smell.
“If there are only two final destinations, Heaven or Hell, and there are, and if it is possible for baptized Christians, who have been communing since they were ‘so high,’ with all their external papers in order, to go to Hell, and it is, and if God is sovereign over all history (which includes every biography), which He is, then we must have a robust doctrine of heart regeneration. It is the only way to make sense of the basic data” (Against the Church, pp. 34-35).
“The approach is purely cosmetic. It sees imagination as skill in decorating the cake with no thought given to improving the recipe. Imagination in preaching is not a new technique to be learned but a radical new attitude and outlook to be cultivated” (Wiersbe, Preaching and Teaching With Imagination, p. 27).
“Preachers seldom neglect to prepare some introduction to a sermon, but very often neglect the conclusion; and yet the latter is even more important than the former” (Broadus, Preparation and Delivery, p 277).