“A lecture may connect a teacher’s notebook with a student’s notebook, but a sermon must connect God’s mind and heart with the mind and heart of the listener. It’s when we penetrate the imagination with metaphors that we assist the listener in ‘putting things together’” (Wiersbe, Preaching and Teaching with Imagination, p. 80).
Lourdes Torres-Manteufel was 15 when she met Doug Phillips, leader of Vision Forum, back in 1999. On her account, she was an adult when the relationship became sexual. The whole tangled affair is now in the courts, and it looks to become even more tangled and tawdry before we are all done.
My point in writing about this again is not to discuss any of the sensational or lurid details, which are really bad on anyone’s account, but rather to point to some of the larger realities that are perhaps going to be missed in the midst of the recriminations.
In the meantime, I pray that this thing gets settled out of court. I hope that Doug Phillips never even thinks about getting into ministry again. And it is also my prayer and hope that if the whole thing is dropped, that Torres-Manteufel, recently married, will get a running shot at a blessed and normal life.
As an aside, this is not the first time that I have been astonished by the willingness of Christian “worldview teachers” to resort to the unbelieving civil courts. If the stakes are large enough, the thinking goes, then surely it is not realistic to do what Paul said, allowing yourself to be defrauded rather than humiliate the church in the eyes of the unbelievers. In this instance, the sexual sin committed was humiliating enough — but at least the decencies of hypocrisy were observed. Now, with brazen threats of suits, Doug Phillips is disobeying the Word in a flagrant way (1 Cor. 6:1-8), and all to avoid paying consequences that he brought down on his own head. The Pauline injunction does apply to Torres-Manteufel also, but Phillips is the one was a teacher for many years, and who professed to understand this principle, and who should be willing to pay every dime he has to prevent this from becoming a greater laughingstock than it already has. Teachers incur a stricter judgment (Jas. 3:1), and our current problem should be more with what Phillips is doing right this minute, out in the open, and not what he did earlier behind closed doors.
“Love is not a walk around the block, but rather a long-haul trucking trip” (Against the Church, p. 76).
Everything you need to know about the Bundy face-off with the feds you learned in your childhood — that is, if you had the kind of childhood in which you read all the Robin Hood stories. If you want to know the rudiments of what is going on now, just substitute in phrases like “Prince John,” “Sheriff of Nottingham,” and “the king’s deer.”
Incidentally, before passing on from the Robin Hood thing, let me straighten out a common misconception about all that. When he robbed from the rich to give to the poor, this was not redistributionist socialism. It was not envy-ridden socialism, it was simple Sherwood justice. He was robbing from rich thieves in government, and giving the money back to the victims of a predatory IRS. The merry men did not have a flag, but if they had, it would have been yellow with a rattlesnake on it.
That noted, let me make just a few observations — as I have now taken up amateur sociology! — about the incident in Nevada.
I have noted a number of conservatives expressing their sympathies with Bundy, but also insisting that “legally” he doesn’t have a leg to stand on, and as conservatives we have to stand with the rule of law. Without the rule of law we are as but gibbons in the jungle. Right?
“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
The Basket Case Chronicles #149
“For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another” (1 Corinthians 12:24–25).
So the body is naturally solicitous for the parts of the body that have less honor. There is a natural modesty we have, given by God, which causes us to compensate. The “comely parts” need no additional honor through clothing or jewelry, but other parts do. This giving of additional care to certain parts of the body is described as God “tempering the body together.”
“The New Testament era was born in a hot revival. The movement exploded in a fervor of religious zeal. The accusers at Pentecost thought everybody was drunk, not that everybody was singing Matins” (Against the Church, p. 76).
I just recently finished reading Not Cool by Greg Gutfeld. It is a book filled with astounding insights and unnecessary crassness, and all from someone who describes himself as a “troubled agnostic.”
Gutfeld sees, as few other people do, that our politics is a matter of preening, and that the whole country is a maladministered high school, one in which the cool bullies have seized all practical control. The subtitle “The Hipster Elite and Their War on You” says it all, and it is not really overstated. I wish more of our preachers could see the problem that afflicts us as Gutfeld sees it, while continuing to see what Gutfeld does not yet see. The only way out of this morass is the gospel of grace.
I thought of having this be my book-of-the-month next go round, but then I would have dump in so many disclaimers as to make the whole thing a grand exercise in pushing and pulling. So I thought I would write on just one aspect of Gutfeld’s book. He describes himself as libertarian, but I think he is more of a contrarian than anything. He leans against conservative groupthink when he is around them, and against libertarian groupthink when around them. For example, his chapter on the military was much more positive than a thoroughbred libertarian would write.
The aspect of Gutfeld’s jeremiad that I wanted to address was his chapter on homosexual marriage. He is a libertarian, so he is for it. But the chapter largely revolved around his complaints against straights who come out for same sex mirage as a way of increasing their cool quotient. He also remonstrates with all the activists who want to tag opponents of same sex mirage with “hate thoughts” — Gutfeld seeks to be reasonable there as well. Give everybody a minute, he argues. This has been a huge shift, one that has occurred in the course of just one generation, and so why are you hectoring everybody who wants to think about it for a moment? So this was a defense of opponents of same sex mirage by a proponent of it.
I am really excited about this one. All the labor that has gone into the recovery of Latin is starting to bear some serious fruit. The press release from NSA is below:
An initiative at New Saint Andrews College will fund graduate student fellowships to translate theological works of 16th- and 17th-century Reformers from Latin to modern English for use by Christians around the world.
With two founding gifts – of a rare collection of Reformation-era books and funding for two initial graduate fellowships – the College plans to begin translation work this fall. In launching what has become known as “Wenden House Project,” students in the College’s Theology & Letters M.A. program will be the initial beneficiaries, receiving annual fellowships of half or more of their graduate tuition in exchange for translation work. The College’s Tyndale Library will provide a home for the Wenden House Project Collection, and ultimately, the students’ translation work will be published in both scholarly volumes and for free use online by Christians worldwide.
Support for the project has come from a private donor and the Davenant Trust, a recently-founded organization dedicated to the renewal of Protestant theology and historical scholarship.
“We’re very grateful for the gifts we’ve received for this initiative,” said NSA President Roy Atwood. “It’s a boon to our graduate program and opens doors for others to join us in supporting and growing this bold initiative that has such global impact.” President Atwood commended College Dean Dr. Ben Merkle, who will provide the editorial direction and program oversight, for his visionary work in establishing the project.
“The Anglo-Saxon verb wenden literally means ‘to turn’ or ‘to redirect,’” explained Merkle. “Our goal will be the same: to redirect the insights of the sixteenth century into the twenty-first.”
Merkle likened the project to King Alfred the Great’s ninth century recovery of Latin volumes of early church fathers like Augustine and Gregory which were similarly left untranslated on library shelves.
The Master of Arts program in Theology & Letters at New Saint Andrews College is an academically-rigorous, two-year graduate program for those aspiring to be theologically-informed creative writers and/or culturally-informed theologians. Students interested in the Davenant Fellowships to be awarded by the Wenden House Project should inquire at (208) 882-1566 and learn about the M.A. program at www.nsa.edu.
New Saint Andrews is a nationally-recognized, limited-enrollment liberal arts college in the classical and Christian tradition located in historic downtown Moscow, Idaho, on Friendship Square. The College is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Association of Reformed Colleges and Universities.