Baptist Bishops

“Grace Reformed was a small Reformed Baptist church, and Pastor Mitchell had been there for twelve years, which was something of a record for Reformed Baptist churches in that region. The previous three pastors had been there for about a year and a half each, and the last of the three had been the kind of fellow who typed long doctrinal screeds to errant fellow ministers, single-spaced, and with typing up the sides of the margins. Some thought that he had mastered the art of typing with his fists, and sometimes with his knees. Anyhow, his pulpit ministrations had left the congregation in an exhausted frame of mind, and parishioners would go home after the message, recline on the sofa, and pant. The sermons were of the ‘all grace, no slack’ variety, and more than a few worshippers were concerned about just how much more grace their families could take. But after the last of these three gentlemen imploded one Sunday in the pulpit, trying to fit infinite predestination into his thimblebrain and from thence into the sermon, the search committee decided to try something a little different, and went on the recommendation of a parishioner’s cousin instead of the recommendation of the bishop. Now, Baptists don’t have bishops—at least not that anybody admits to—but at any rate, the bishop was very angry and Grace Reformed was drummed out of the elite corps of regional churches.”

Evangellyfish, pp. 66-67

Where’d the Letters Go?

Andrew Marvell once eloquently spoke of “time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near,” and sometimes in the hurly burly of life hurtling by, time’s wingèd chariot overtakes one, and runs one clean over. I mention this merely as a way of explaining why there will be no letters section this morning.

When the Wall of Sound Falls Over On You

“The assembled congregation began to sing, or so the two men guessed from the fact that words were on the screen, and people’s mouths were moving, but the amplified music from up front had all of them buried. Bradford had been one or two concerts like this in his life before, but Rourke felt like he was under an acoustical rock pile. There was no break between songs, each one moving aside when its time was done, and allowing another to merge flawlessly to take its place. The whole thing was like a superbly engineered six-lane highway with two lanes merging from the right. But after four songs, the screens suddenly changed, and the band fell suddenly silent.”

Evangellyfish, pp. 60-61