The Counseling Thing
Thank you so much for your ministry. God has used your writings and lectures to impact me and my family significantly. On the biblical counseling topic I would put this false teaching as one of the most dangerous. Counseling, and psychology get into the living rooms and bedrooms of people. And if we are mixing God’s Word with man’s wisdom the living room and bedroom will be damaged. Colossians 2:8. Some great resources: 1. To understand the foundations of this faithful movement David Powlinson’s, The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context. 2. Heath Lambperts 95 Theses for an Authentically Christian Commitment to Counseling
PJ, thank you.
Regarding your reference to Numbers and wisdom from a donkey, as my wife says, Donald Trump may be a donkey, but he periodically utters wisdom that exceeds much of what we hear from ordained ministers or biblical counselors. Thank you for addressing modern day problems of pastoral care and biblical counseling.
Ron, yes. Always listen to the talking donkeys.
Kudos to Isaiah
Isaiah is especially rich in emotion, exposing the love for his people, in anguish at the judgement he had to proclaim, and joy at glimpses of the Servant he was blessed to proclaim. When I read Isaiah and the other prophets with expectation, the gospel and the letters are not only more clear but more rewarding. The beauty of the mystery, and the trust of the prophet in his distress and joy, and a recognition of the huge advances in human culture since Christ has ruled after the Ascension. Priceless.
Back to Burning the Schools
This is my first time writing to you and in reference to “Burn All the Schools.” If this isn’t a debatable matter, why aren’t more pastors speaking out against the pandemic capitulation of Christian parents to the godless public school system? I would imagine Christian leaders would have qualms about parents putting their children in a Buddhist or Mormon school, but secular run institutions get a pass, why? The defenses I most often hear are first like you mentioned, “my kids are salt and light” and from almost every pastor I’ve spoken to, “this is an issue that falls under Christian Liberty and families must decide for themselves how they’re going to educate their children.” What do you think it is that keeps more pastors and churches from encouraging a mass exodus of Christians from government schools and what do you think is the most prudent way to go about having this conversation with people? I seem to come up against more resistance to the idea of limiting school choice for Christians than I do on most other topics and that’s the case even when I don’t call it what it is to keep them in the public schools . . . sin. Thank you for being one of the lone voices speaking about this issue with the strength and resolve it deserves.
Ryan, I think the issue is money.
Having just retired from over 30 years as a teacher (private Christian schools (2) for 7 years; public schools (3) for 25 years), I think I have pretty much seen it all. This is what I have observed: a strong Christian child will survive whatever schooling experience they have and a weak Christian child will follow the world. I have seen even Christian home schooled children quickly turn their back on biblical truth despite the parents’ best efforts. I have seen children who only ever saw a public school classroom be pillars of the gospel. I have known many parents who were the most diligent in the raising of children in the nurture and admonition of God have their hearts broken by a wayward child (mine included). We live in trying times.
Melody, yes, I think this is true. But in my view this doesn’t alter what God tells parents to do.
Pitfalls of Fill-in-the-Blank Schools: It would seem that anywhere you go, everywhere you turn, sin is crouching at the door waiting for the right time to muck something up. Well, duh . . . Thanks for the enlightening list of worries about homeschooling and Christian schooling. We have done both, and we have seen elements from both lists. I wonder now if it is on your radar to flip the coin and show us a series of blessings from both of these options. This would not, naturally, be some sort of reverse of the pitfalls but more of a set of “pros” to counterbalance the “cons.” My kids’ fates are sealed, having graduated two into college with a third nearly done. But I suspect there are a great many parents, upon reading these two lists, who are now tempted to toss up their hands in despair and cry out, “Maybe ignorance is bliss!”
Sometimes as I read an article, I (unconsciously) perform an “autocomplete” action until I actually complete the sentence in real time. It is sort of like a musical score whereby you project what the next several notes might be based upon what you have heard so far. So, when I read “Pretending that everybody is simply ‘a student,’ where respect is expected to run along egalitarian lines, is a pipe dream.” I “auto completed” and substituted “pipe bomb” for pipe dream. It still sort of works.
Gray, one could even argue that it constitutes an improvement.
The Cuomo Prayer
Thanks for the created prayer regarding Andrew Cuomo and his decision concerning late term murder. My intent is to pray this prayer as often as possible, hopefully every day. I am guilty of cowardice and complacency with regard to the abortion issue in America. I think I underestimated, years ago, the power and perseverance of the abortionist culture. . . Thank you for energizing me to step up to my responsibility again. My difficulty in praying portions of this prayer is that I, like James and John, want to call down fire upon them. God’s will be done.
Tony, thank you.
Christ Hidden in Your Calling
Would it be correct, in Matthew 19:12, to understand or interpret “kingdom of heaven,” as “vocation?” “. . . We inherit a whole system of desires which do not necessarily contradict God’s will but which, after centuries of usurped autonomy, steadfastly ignore it. If the thing we like doing is, in fact, the thing God wants us to do, yet that is not our reason for doing it; it remains a mere happy coincidence” (C.S. Lewis The Problem of Pain).
Justin, I wouldn’t apply that verse that way, but I believe that the church is a subset of the kingdom, and that all lawful vocations are an essential part of kingdom work.
While I doubt I’m the first person to coin this sobriquet, I just wanted you to know that when I converse with like-minded believers about you and others in your circles, I use the term “the Kremlin” in reference to the conglomerate of interrelated evangelical institutions which comprise the postmillennial-industrial complex in Moscow, Idaho. (Canon Press, NSA, Greyfriars Hall, Roman Roads Media, CrossPolitic, Credenda Agenda, etc.) Get it? Moscow! Kremlin! Clever, huh? I can think of some soreheads who might prefer “the Gulag” as a more fitting epithet, but who cares what they think? Nevertheless, praise God for you and all the other KGB comrades out in Moscow who continue to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints! I am blessed richly by all of the excellent books, podcasts, blog posts, lectures, and other materials that come out of the Kremlin.
Joe, thanks. So this is what it feels like to be a commie.
Regarding the right to bear arms and nuclear weapons: In principle people should be able to have whatever weapons they can responsibly use and maintain. So my question is how does one use a nuke responsibly?
Christopher, the answer of course is “with moderation.”
Regarding Matt’s problem with the search bar . . . when I was searching from the “Letters for a Tuesday” page nothing came up. When I went back to the “Home” page and used the search bar, the article popped up right away. :)
Shawnna, thanks. Yes, that is true. You have to go back to the home page.
Governor Northam and the Death Chick
Won’t the next democratic nominee to the court also be a serial pedophile, one who figures out (finally!) that the 14th amendment was actually written with the North American Man-Boy Love Association in mind?
Tom, oh that kind of serial pedophile.
“. . . That same day she introduced legislation that would protect the lives of fall cankerworms, a bill prohibiting spraying during certain months . . .” Whoa!…..Give ’em an inch worm and they’ll take a mile! ; – )
Okay, Jason, that’s quite enough.
The whole situation is a horrific. That late-term abortions are more palatable to people than a blackface photo that is over three decades old is hard to even process. The left cannot allow Roe to be overturned. We haven’t even seen the start of this. Their whole argument for why abortion is not murder is that it’s legal. If it ceases to be legal, there goes that argument. So many people have a vested interest in needing abortion to be anything other than the killing of a person. Their whole idea of themselves as good people falls apart if they admit that they have enabled, supported, cheered, and even actively participated in the killing of people. The only good to come out of that press conference was, as my husband said, a clear illustration of the importance of a wife who can stay calm under pressure. Without them, how many men would think a press conference about abortion and racism would be the right time to show off their moonwalking skills?
Lori, but I think the American people wanted to see him moonwalk.
Thinking of these most recent pushes for expanded abortion protection put me in mind of the line “Those who give the orders are not the ones to die” from the song “There were Roses” by Tommy Sands (a song lamenting Catholic-Protestant violence in Ireland). Obviously, in the case of abortion it is never the advocates who die, only the babies do. But by extension, the fact is that the elites who endorse blanket protection for abortion for the ideological reasons that you mention (and others) are manifestly not representatives of the demographic that is getting the preponderance of abortions. Abortion is a mostly symbolic reality for them. The ones who “die,” as you point out with the statistic regarding the number of babies of color that are aborted, are members of a demographic far from enjoying the self-creating power of absolute choice that the cognoscenti champion. The elites are the cultural field marshals leading the ideological charge fully knowing that they bear neither the relational and economic burdens that lead to many abortions, nor the psychological and spiritual burdens that result from them.