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...]

A Rook for a Queen

Rook Queen

One of the most interesting things about the Planned Parenthood scandal is that it has blown the Obergefell scandal off the front page. This might seem problematic to some, given the travesty that was Obergefell, but to my mind it is entirely to the strategic good. In the long game, I am always willing to trade a rook for a queen. Don't mistake me here. Obergefell is the lamest of abominations, and it has to go. But the reason it was possible for it to be imposed on us in the first place was because of all the legal mayhem that had happened to heterosexual marriages over the decades prior. There are sadly multiple examples of this -- things like no-fault divorce -- but the crowning insult to heterosexual marriage was the bloody decision of Roe. That crowning insult was the attempt to make heterosexual unions fruitless, and to enforce that fruitlessness by declaring open season on the fruit. Not all babies are killed, but all the babies could be. According to that decision, … [Read more...]

Review: My Ántonia

My Ántonia by Willa Cather My rating: 4 of 5 stars I read this once before, a long time ago, and only remembered enough to remember that I had read it. But then I was given an audio version of it for my birthday last month, and have been listening to it in my truck. I really enjoyed it, thoroughly enjoyed it.Willa Cather set the book in Black Hawk, Nebraska, a thin cover for her home town of Red Cloud. The book was published in 1918, and taking a few clues from dates in the story, the fictional story ends in about 1928, ten years out from the time of publication. My father was born in Nebraska in 1927, just up the road a piece, which gave me a small twist of pleasure.A main character, it seems to me, is the Nebraska countryside. I was just talking about that aspect of it with my father, and he said people assume that Nebraska is flat because the highway runs through the Platte River Valley, which really is flat. My father then told me that his father once said that … [Read more...]

FAQs about Abortion

We can no longer pretend that we do not know.

Planned Parenthood is in the midst of a self-inflicted public relations nightmare. Our job is to keep it that way. But in the rolling aftermath of this disaster of theirs, many pro-life Christians are probably finding themselves in the midst of more conversations on the topic than has been true for quite some time. This really is a teachable moment for our nation, and one of the things we must provide in that teachable moment is answers. The propaganda machine surrounding abortion has created a lot of confusion. The sting videos have revealed the fact of the confusion, but they have not revealed where the confusions first began. That has to be done with careful explanation. So because many of you are now in conversations with family, friends or co-workers about "the videos," I thought I would put together a short list of FAQs that might help navigate some of the conversations that are likely to happen. 1. When does human life begin? According to Scripture, unborn … [Read more...]