A Mound of Pink Cotton Balls

Double Standards

More needs to said about the idea of cultural justification. Apart from an understanding of this, there is no hope of grasping the deep divisions that the debates over same sex mirages are revealing. Note that I did not say that these debates are creating these division, but rather that they are revealing them. Same sex mirage is the earthquake; different approaches to cultural justification are the tectonic plates. Justification is of course a theological category. For those who are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation. When God looks at believers, what He sees is the perfect obedience of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our federal representative and head, which means that He is the appointed face of the new human race, the appointed face of the new humanity. And when God wants to communicate with that new human race, He addresses us to our face. All that righteousness, that goodness, that obedience, is credited to us, imputed to us, declared to be ours, and bestowed on us by a … [Read more...]

Falling on Deaf Ears

So then, what is the point of recycling basement tapes if actual tapes are not involved? It was long enough ago that I am not sure about the basement, but in addition to some songs from Angelfood, I hope also gradually to post some other songs here as well -- these from an album called Falling on Deaf Ears. The attached photo is what we used for the cover art. This set of songs was sort of an in betweeny thing with Mountain Angel Band on one side and The Jenny Geddes Band on the other. Here is one cut from that if-you-want-you-can-call-it-an-album -- it was on cassette only. This song is called White Falls Down From the Streetlight. The lyrics are below. Sorry for the one part that cuts out near the end. White Falls Down From the Streetlight White falls down from the streetlight, The sidewalk is gray like a bone, A young man dies in a street fight; He dies alone. Red light is over the doorway, A young girl is standing inside. I don't think that her … [Read more...]

Pentecostal Boldness

Introduction: On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit of God was poured out in abundance. That initial baptism of the Holy Spirit was followed, throughout the book of Acts, and throughout church history, with repeated fillings of the Spirit. When the Spirit fills a man already Spirit-baptized, the result is power, authority, logic on fire, and boldness. The Text: “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we … [Read more...]

Exercising the Truth of the Gospel

When we come to the Table, we are being given the privilege of exercising ourselves in the truths of the gospel. One of the ways that God enables us to do this is through the establishment of memorials, and this memorial is one of them. When God wanted us to exercise ourselves in the truth of creation, He gave us the Sabbath day as a memorial. When God wanted the Israelites to remember their deliverance from Egypt, He gave them a memorial in the Passover feast. When God wanted us to exercise our understanding of resurrection life, He transferred the memorial of the Sabbath Day to the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day (Heb. 4:9-10; Rev. 1:10). And when He wanted us to exercise ourselves in our knowledge of the shed blood of Jesus, and of His broken body, He gave us this memorial. When we do this, we do it in remembrance of Him, but because it is a covenantal memorial we have to remember also that we are lifting it up into the presence of God so that He will remember. When … [Read more...]

The Rock of Catastrophe

When Peter describes the church, he describes us as living stones, built up into a spiritual house (1 Pet. 2:5). This house is a holy priesthood, set apart to offer up spiritual sacrifices, sacrifices that are made acceptable to God through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He goes on to say that there is a basic distinction between people, between those who are living stones, built up upon the cornerstone of Jesus Christ, and those who treat the cornerstone as a stone of stumbling and rock of offense. So Jesus is either the living rock upon all other living rock derives its life, or Jesus is the rock of catastrophe for those who were appointed to their epic disobedience. When they stumble, the text says that they stumble at the Word. This Word is what we build upon, and this Word is what they stumble over. It is the same Word, with two different responses entirely. Now everything we do as a Christian church should be done in such a way as to testify to this glorious truth, … [Read more...]

In Which C.S. Lewis Holds Up a Mirror in Front of the Internet

Screwtape

"The use of Fashions in thought is to distract the attention of men from their real dangers. We direct the fashionable outcry of each generation against those vices of which it is least in danger and fix its approval on the virtue nearest to that vice which we are trying to make endemic. The game is to have them all running about with fire extinguishers whenever there's a flood, and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gunwale under. Thus we make it fashionable to expose the dangers of enthusiasm at the very moment when they're all really becoming worldly and lukewarm; a century later, when we are really making them all Byronic and drunk with emotion, the fashionable outcry is directed against the dangers of the mere 'understanding.' Cruel ages are put on their guard against Sentimentality, feckless and idle ones against Respectability, lecherous ones against Puritanism; and whenever all men are really hastening to be slaves or tyrants we make Liberalism the … [Read more...]

Inescapability of Natural Law

"Worship and honor were required by the knowledge that natural revelation brought. This they refused to do, in defiance of this light from natural revelation, and this light from natural revelation can certainly be called a natural law. It has all the ingredients -- a lawgiver, a standard, a subject, and moral responsibility. Nothing is missing" (Rules for Reformers, p. 144). … [Read more...]

Peace Peace Peace

Angelfood Front

So one of the things I am trying to learn how to do in these new digs -- like the foolish women in Paul, I am always learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth -- is how to post an audio. In the spirit of adventure, let us try this . . . And of course, it is another cut from Angelfood.           Correction: this song is actually from Falling on Deaf Ears. Just goes to show how long ago it all was. … [Read more...]

Keep It Up, Boys

Abortion Graphic

The graphic is from a pro-abort article at Mashable, which you can read here. This is a real sign of genuine progress. We are not where we need to be yet, but we are well on the way there. And this should be an encouragement to those Christians who have clearly understood the nature of the evils we are up against. This really is a war between fruitfulness and fruitlessness, between harvest and pillage. Because self-restraint is not their strong suit, they jammed Roe v. Wade down the throats of the overwhelming number of states in the hope that everyone would eventually come around to see it their progressive way. But it is now a full generation later, and the majority of our states still don't want it. The left is poised to make the very same mistake via the Supreme Court's decision of same sex mirage next month, and so, if they do, we should respond in precisely the same way. The only difference should be that now we require no time to mobilize, and the push-back should be … [Read more...]

My Role As Evil Genius

Okay. I guess I need to say something. For those readers from out of town we have a small local dust-up going, having to do with some irrelevant bigotries from the ebbing world of print journalism. What happened was this. Our town has a locally-owned food co-op, and a number of our church members get their groceries there, and are consequently members of the co-op. The co-op recently had their regular board election, and a couple of members of Christ Church were elected. One person who attends Christ Church was already on the board. This means that three of the seven board members are now from our church, which ought to be as alarming as running into a couple of church folks at Les Schwab Tire Center. An alarm was sounded, but unnecessarily, because nothing is going on. There is no conspiracy to do anything going down, and all the board members themselves appear to be rubbing along well enough to work it out. We disagree about a lot of things, but if we can't agree to rally … [Read more...]

A Bucket With No Bottom

Warfield Order

I am currently reading A Humble Inquiry by Jonathan Edwards, in which he explains the reasons why he was putting some doctrinal daylight between himself and his predecessor Solomon Stoddard. And since these basic issues, being what they are, cannot ever go away, and because in addition they have become deeply embedded in the American psyche (even our pagans are evangelicals), let me say just a few necessary things about the practice of child communion in the CREC and the doctrine of regeneration. Edwards had a high level of respect for Stoddard, and this was possible, I believe, because both were evangelicals, as opposed to the formalists. Stoddard believed that communion was a "converting ordinance," but he did so believing that there was such a thing as conversion, and that there were visible communicant members of the visible church who needed to be so converted. The debate between Edwards and Stoddard was over how best to get the people from here to there, and not over whether … [Read more...]

Transformation in an Instant

"At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Ps. 16: 11) The Basket Case Chronicles #192 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:50–52). Paul here uses “flesh and blood” as a shorthand way of talking about our bodies in this fallen world. He is not referring to our materiality, but rather to the fact that our material bodies will decompose in the grave. After His resurrection, our Lord referred to His “flesh and bone” (Luke 24:39), dismissing forever the idea that the resurrection body is in any way ghostly or immaterial. We can see that Paul is not rejecting the material resurrection through how his parallelism works. He says that … [Read more...]

Millennials, Screwtape, and the Homo-Tsunami

Before making the illuminating comments I would like to present this morning, I need to prevail upon you to do a little refresher as necessary. As the sexual controversies of our day continue to unfold, the need of the hour is for believers to understand what is actually going on, and how we got to this place. In pursuit of this noble objective, I am going to be talking a little bit about millennials -- bless their little round faces -- and so I would refer you to this previous post I once wrote about hiring millennials. I do so because at that time, I surrounded my assertions with a host of refined qualifications, but after the fact got the kind of blow-back that ignored all the qualifications, and made me think bulls-eye to myself. Because this post addresses another weak spot in the millennial psyche, I make these prefatory comments in the hope that nobody makes me say bulls-eye to myself again. Self-congratulation is spiritually dangerous, and I would therefore ask you all to … [Read more...]