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Both Lighting the Wrong Path

“Moralism is just a three-dollar flashlight to light the pathway to Hell. And of course, if we are guilty of the opposite error, if our lives are manifesting a lineup of dirty deeds done dirt cheap, the only real sin we are avoiding is that of hypocrisy. Overt immorality is the fifty-dollar flashlight” (Against the Church, p. 85).

Whetted Style

“Style is not a thing of mere ornament. Style is the glitter and polish of a warrior’s sword, but is also its keen edge” (Broadus, Preparation and Delivery, p. 322).

Category: Expository | Tags:

Vision Forum and a Season of Meditation

If you read through the complaint filed against Doug Phillips and Vision Forum by Lourdes Torres-Manteufel, it is plain that the tangled mess there — a mess that is entirely the responsibility of Doug Phillips — is a tangled mess.

I make a point of saying (again) that this whole catastrophe is the responsibility of Doug Phillips because it is, and also because — as should be apparent in the comment threads of my previous posts on this — there is a certain kind of mind that does not understand careful adjudication of claims and counter-claims. While they don’t understand how justice is supposed to work, they do understand taking up sides based on a partisan agenda. Thus it is that any expressed desire for caution in practice is taken as a full-throated defense of abusive behavior in principle. If it seems like someone doesn’t want to hang Doug Phillips right this minute, the accusation is thrown at them — “how would you feel if this had been your daughter?” I think I would feel about the same way as I would feel if false accusations of sexual abuse were thrown at my son.

I continue to believe that this whole thing should be sorted through by Christians, with a view to our testimony before a watching world. Based on the undisputed facts that have come out thus far, I have no doubt that if this were adjudicated properly, we would all see at the conclusion that Doug Phillips acted the part of a manipulative scoundrel. I met him once, in 2010, and he took the opportunity then to blow sunshine up my skirt. So nothing about this is a defense of the indefensible.

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Their Temples of Reason

It is usually no fun when people play the race card, but when evolutionists do it, the results can be highly entertaining, at least after a few million years.

My brother Gordon is Senior Fellow of Natural History at New St. Andrews. He was recently engaged to teach a one-off course in microbiology at the University of Idaho, which drew this protest, and then this one.

There is a kind of evolutionist who insists that his theory can only be falsified with rabbit fossils in the precambrian, and then rests easily in the full assurance that anything with a rabbit fossil in it can’t be precambrian by definition. This method works swell for them, and so they try to use a similar approach to journal articles, terminal degrees, and teaching slots. Creationists are clearly not equipped to be in the proximity of any of those things — for are they not all cornpones? — and so whenever they see a creationist they chase him out promptly, and then use his strange absence as an argument. His absence is an argument, and his presence is an outrage. What my net don’t catch ain’t fish, and if it does catch one on accident, we can always throw it back immediately and pretend it didn’t happen.

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Category: Apologetics | Tags:

The Same Nervous System

“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)

The Basket Case Chronicles #150

And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular” (1 Cor. 12:26–27).

Not only do we adjust for one another, so that the more presentable parts of the body are presented, and the less presentable parts are covered, but we also share the same spiritual nervous system. If one member of the body is in pain, then the entire body experiences the pain. If one part is glorified, then the entire body rejoices.

So Paul then gathers up all the illustrations from the body he has been using, and says that the Corinthians together are the body of Christ, and he says that each one of them is a particular member. They are therefore interconnected, and should function with that interconnectedness in the way he has been describing.

Davenant Presents . . .

Future Prot

A number of you regulars at this blog are located in Southern California, which means this is an event you should mark on your calendars. For those of you living elsewhere, you can get information about live-streaming at this location — so I guess you all should mark your calendars. Okay, everybody mark your calendars. It promises to be a hummer.

Here is the back story on how this all came together. The event was made possible by the Davenant Trust, the same group that provided New St. Andrews with a generous gift to kick start our translation project of Reformation theology. Make sure to check them out.

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Why Grace Makes Everybody Nervous

“But those who insist that apple trees must always produce apples will make the friends of free grace nervous, not because they have anything against apples, but rather because they know the human propensity for manufacturing shiny plastic apples, with the little hooks that make it easy to hang them, like so many Christmas tree ornaments, on our doctrinal and liturgical bramble bushes. But on the other hand, those who insist that true grace always messes up the categories of the ecclesiastical fussers make the friends of true moral order nervous — because there are, after all, numerous warnings (from people like Jesus and Paul, who should have a place in these particular discussions, after all) about those who ‘live this way’ not inheriting the kingdom. Kind of cold, according to some people, but the wedding banquet is the kind of event you can get thrown out of” (Against the Church, pp. 84-85).

The Nature of Nature

Unbelievers live in the world, and this is why we must continue to insist on the authority of nature. They also live in the world defined by Scripture, but they are more inclined to deny this than to deny they live in the world. Not only so, but whenever they deny that they live in the world defined by the enscripturated Word, Christians are more inclined to let them get away with it. This is because Christians accept the Bible, and non-Christians don’t. Everybody lives in the world, like it or not.

Right, and this is why we must continue to insist that the world has a nature, and that this nature is teleologically structured. There is an entelechy to all things, and this purpose, this telos, this intention, this embodiment, was determined by the God who made the world. The world has a nature. Whenever we speak of Nature, we are simply expressing this truth in a shorthand way.

But we are currently living in the midst of a large-scale revolt against nature and nature’s God, and this revolt wants to say that “nature” is a blank, that it has no nature, and that man can therefore impose whatever he wants on it. The godly man wants his dominion to be the result of an obedient conforming to the way things are, while the ungodly man wants his dominion to be the result of whatever he wills, and what he wills is almost always wired up to his lusts somehow.

According to the theorists of this revolt, the world is a lump of dough, to be shaped into whatever forms the masters of the universe in question desire for it. Sarte’s phrase for this was that “existence precedes essence,” and he touted the idea that human beings do not possess any inherent nature or value, and that everything we become is therefore a function of the will. Just as Nixon surrendered economic sanity by allegedly saying “we are all Keynesians now,” so also fickle Christians seem to be readying themselves for the time when they can say “we are all existentialists now.” It turns out the Cities of the Plain have a theological society, and we have a bunch of guys who are desperate not to get kicked out of it.

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