Too Many Delicatuli

The central thing that believing Christians have to learn in our current cultural challenges is how to deal with the full court press. We have to learn how to break the press.Calvinball

At the same time, in order to do this successfully, we have to learn how to dismiss irrelevancies. We do not need to learn how to break the press “when the gym ceiling is over thirty feet tall.” We do not need to learn how to break the press when the opponents “are wearing the darker uniforms.” We do not need to learn how to break the press when “their water boy is a girl.” We simply need to learn how to break the press.

So what is the nature of that press? The culture of unbelief that surrounds us is demanding that we cede control of definitions—to dribble off with my analogy, the right to define is what we call “the ball.” They are demanding control of the dictionary, the control of all definitions, which reduces to the right to shape all expressions of reality. And when we surrender the ball, they will try to turn our appointed game of basketball into a game of Calvinball.

But in order to keep the ball round, and the hoops secure at ten feet, we have to learn how to play a little Calvinistball. God set the rules of the game on the sixth day of creation, approximately 6,000 years ago, and that’s the way it will remain. When God speaks, the mountains stand fast. When God declares it, the boys stay boys and the girls stay girls.

The big confusion for most Christians today is the difficulty we have with the content of the proposed redefinitions, rather than the mere fact of their redefinitions. We go back and forth in our minds over whether this particular change is “a big deal” or not. But the big deal is the rule-changing, and who has the authority to do it, and not necessarily the rule change considered in itself.

Our secularist lords are always and everywhere trying to shape our reality by means of their words. They want to do this with history, with philosophy, with morality, with gender, with food, and with politics. This is why they hate free speech as much as they do. This is why they want to criminalize dissent. We must counter this by refusing to budge on anything, which we do in the name of the eternal Word.

God is unchanging, and His purpose of salvation is unwavering.

“So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.” (Heb. 6:17–18, ESV).

In order to break the press, Christians must learn, from the outset, to have absolutely “no problem passages.” This is the only way to break the press—holding fast to the hope set before us, which in turn is grounded on God’s unshakeable Word. Once the exegesis is settled, the fight to stand fast begins. If you want something else, you want something that has never existed in this sorry world. Try another planet, one where serving God gains universal applause. You might have some trouble getting there, but once that is done, everything is fantastic.

Why do so many Christians waver as they do when the issue is as clear-cut as whether there is a fixed, natural, creational distinction between men and women? That is the big E on the eye chart, isn’t it? The issue is not insight, the issue is courage. If you were to be confronted by a lynch mob, and the leader asked you what two plus two amounted to, and you said four, and the crowd roared noooo!!! and somebody in the front row started waving the rope, and the leader asked you to try again, what you would be facing would not be considered by most of us to be a math problem. This is not a math problem. It is a test of courage, not arithmetic.

It is very easy to get all the little Sunday School kids to say “the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.” This is because when you teach them to chant this, they are trafficking in truths like “Jesus loves the little children.” But they will grow up, and they will read their Bibles (some of them), and they will then encounter passages that say that Paul returned a runaway slave to Philemon, Noah survived a global flood in a floating zoo, that the ancient Jews were not to suffer a witch to live, and that wives should be obedient to their husbands.

What this does for many Christians is turn them aside into a life of intellectual dishonesty. They start ordering the preferred menu items of a faith that “works for them,” assembling on plates in front of them various “Bible bits,” “psalms of inspiration,” and other doctrinal sweetmeats. All of it is theology à la carte.

The end result is the affliction of the present hour, which is that we have far too many delicatuli, as Tertullian called them—silken Christians. As Thomas Watson noted, they want to glory in the transfiguration of Christ on Tabor, but have nothing to do with a very different kind of transfiguration on Golgotha. But Golgotha is where all the true authority comes from.

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Michael Snowgeoffrobinson40 ACRES & A KARDASHIANashvScott Jacobsen Recent comment authors

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Rob Steele
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Rob Steele

Can we agree that our exegesis might need some work? We’ve all changed so much in the past to get here that it would be strange if wherever we are now turned out to be the ultimate understanding of God’s word. I refer specifically to Genesis and the age of the earth.

But yeah, every jot and tittle is true. Down with secularism. Go fight win.

timbushong
Member

“…our exegesis might need some work?”

Sure, and that applies to everyone, on every side, regardless of one’s place in history. Most of the controversies that surround biblical “age of the earth” questions have not arisen due to exegetical concerns, but due to other concerns, such as Darwin and scientism.

Rob Steele
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Rob Steele

Agree. Completely. Similarly with flatness of earth concerns. Turns out what we thought were Biblical claims about that weren’t that at all. The Bible writers are not interested in the question and are not answering it.

geoffrobinson
Guest
geoffrobinson

“such as Darwin and scientism”

Loaded language. How about due to astronomy and geology? There’s no reason to bring Darwin into it or add an “ism” to “science”.

The general thing is additional information challenges our exegesis and then we question it. Who challenged “sunrise” being in support of geocentricism prior to Copernicus? I know of no one.

Tim Bushong
Guest
Tim Bushong

“There’s no reason to bring Darwin into it or add an “ism” to “science”.”

Other than the fact that all of that astronomy and geology will be interpreted in some fashion, and one’s precommitment to Darwin and/or scientism always skews the results.

geoffrobinson
Guest
geoffrobinson

And your pre-committment to a Young Earth view may prevent you from being corrected if good, accurate scientific information is presented that should give you pause.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I forget who said it, but “the history of science is the history of being wrong”. There’s no reason to assume that pre- and post-flood geology and ecology were basically the same, so I don’t think Christians have to put much credence into theories about age of the earth, etc, that assume they were. Either way, it’s an epistemological issue of fairly plain language in the Bible vs an interpretation of fairly hazy geological data.

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

See the book link below–it says the Hebrew is far from saying what we read into English translations. A lot turns on the verbs “create” and “make” and distinguishing between creation ex nihilo and rearranging preexisting material.

Michael Snow
Guest
wtrsims
Member

I always marvel at the old-school Southern Baptist exegetes who, on the one hand, will put disagreement with YEC and a 6000-y/o earth nearly on par with heresy, and then say that the wine in the Last Supper was only grape juice. Even they have problem texts, like Isaiah 5 and Ps. 104.

Sewing together exegetical fig leaves is a universal issue.

wtrsims
Member

I wonder if there’s some overarching principle or cultural artifact that connects the tee-totaler who views alcohol as sinful and the ELCA priestess that officiates a homo marriage.

No doubt, the tee-totaler is probably MUCH better on most issues than the other, but it seems there may be similar motivations.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Somebody needs to publish a modified ESV or NIV with “grape juice” instead of “wine”. I’d literally LOL in a service if I ever heard a preacher use it to read the wedding at Cana or Acts 2:13, Eph 5:18 or Rev 14:10.

JP Stewart
Member

Teetotaler-Inclusive Version (TIV)?

insanitybytes22
Member

We really miss the significance of wine. It was the substance that everyone drank because water was untreated and likely to give you
dysentery. Without refrigeration, your grape juice is soon going to become wine anyway.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

It was the substance that everyone drank because water was untreated and likely to give you
dysentery.

I’ve heard this and while I’m sure that water back then was much more dangerous than we enjoy now, I find it hard to believe that people didn’t often drink water. Weren’t there teetotalers back in Jesus’ day that gave him flak? What was Timothy drinking when he was avoiding wine?

JP Stewart
Member

Plus alcohol was simply a healthy part of the OT and NT cultures. Deut 14:6: “And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,”

Wine is a symbol of both celebration/communion and judgment in the Bible. Welsh’s isn’t.

insanitybytes22
Member

I’m pretty sure wine was a real problem back then and the bible speaks of drunkenness and not engaging in too much wine, but when the alternative was death from dehydration and dysentery, I’d say teetotalers were probably more rare. The significance, miraculousness of wine itself is really what always captures my attention. I mean, you are basically rotting fruit and you will either get wine or vinegar, both of which have health benefits. You do not catch things from wine like e coli or food poisoning. So except for the side effect of drunkenness, it’s really a remarkable substance.… Read more »

wtrsims
Member

When I learned that the yeast necessary for fermenting the grape juice naturally occurs or gathers on the skin of the grape, so that all you basically have to do is pick the grape and crush it (introducing the yeast on the skin to the juice within) and let it sit, I’ve viewed tee-totalism as moral imperative rather incredulously. Beer brewing is similar in its evidently being heaven-ordained. The beers you prefer to drink in winter (thicker and darker ales) are brewed best in the summer due to the ale yeasts preferring warmer temps, whereas your beers best served in… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

I sometimes imagine us down here bragging about the theory of relativity and how old the earth allegedly is, until one day God just says, “okay, let me remind you all how easy it is to conquer mankind using nothing but a grape.”

drewnchick
Member

Actually, I’m not at all certain that “water back then was much more dangerous than we enjoy now.” What is this presumption based upon, outside of environmentalist claptrap or modernist chronological snobbery? Why wouldn’t water drawn from a well 2000 years ago be completely and it every way free of the pollution we so readily decry today? Why wouldn’t it be exactly as God intended for us to drink, and maybe better than we enjoy today. Yes, you can get dysentery from drinking water from the Ganges River because 20 million people and innumerable cows poop in that water. But… Read more »

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

You know we’re not all that different, you and I. Neither of us has provided hard evidence, and as such we’re both speculating.

drewnchick
Member

It might be difficult to provide hard evidence of water quality from 2000 years ago in the Middle East; however, I do like to speculate that God made water good and it’s only when we go pouring our sewage and/or chemicals into that water that it becomes bad. There’s also the problem of drinking stagnant water, but that’s a problem of stupidity, not general water quality. ;-)

wtrsims
Member

Since I brought up wine, and others brought up water, I’ll bring up Chesterton’s Wine and Water Old Noah he had an ostrich farm and fowls on the largest scale, He ate his egg with a ladle in a egg-cup big as a pail, And the soup he took was Elephant Soup and fish he took was Whale, But they all were small to the cellar he took when he set out to sail, And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine, “I don’t care where the water goes if it doesn’t get into… Read more »

Clayvessel
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Clayvessel
doug sayers
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doug sayers

Thanks for this one, Doug. If God stays patient, I think we will see that the big “E” on the eye chart will prove quite capable of defending itself. The current queer uprising will prove no match for God’s natural design. As the first responders to this post attest, there are problem passages but male / female is not one of them. I’ll bet we could even find a few places that Calvin considered “problems” or “difficult” and He thought the Bible was God’s baby talk. We need not pretend that everything in Scripture is easily understood to defend the… Read more »

Eagle_Eyed
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Eagle_Eyed

The reference to “problem passages” no doubt refers to passages that modern Christians have trouble morally defending under today’s secular Western paradigm, not passages that are inherently difficult to understand or apply.

Because we’ve been taught since pre-school that slavery in the American South is the worst atrocity ever, delicate Christians are susceptible to the secularist moralizer who condemns the Bible for its passages allowing slavery. But the problem isn’t the Bible, it’s with the rotten ethics of Western liberalism.

drewnchick
Member

Spot on with that eagle eye of yours.

Eagle_Eyed
Guest
Eagle_Eyed

[[In order to break the press, Christians must learn, from the outset, to have absolutely “no problem passages.”]] This is crucial, and it can be added that what should be our strength (God’s unchanging and inerrant Word) has turned into a hindrance for these delicate Christians. Take two issues in Christendom, the Crusades and Southern slavery. A Christianity which is grounded in God’s Word will not be persuaded by secular forces that these events were the result of unequivocal bad Christian behavior. In certain places and at certain times, God led His people to war and condoned slavery. With this… Read more »

JDLinton
Guest

The same is true on the issue of cliamte change. https://blackstoneinitiative.com/2016/08/05/the-god-of-climate-change/

insanitybytes22
Member

I really enjoyed this, so no real arguments from me.

“The issue is not insight, the issue is courage”

Forgive my cynicism, but a pastor of a church came out as a homosexual not long ago and the whole congregation has embraced him, because “he’s so courageous.”

Christopher
Member

How much courage does it take to endure a church hug fest?

Jill Smith
Member

A lot if, like me, you hate being hugged by other than one’s nearest and dearest. I am on a lonely crusade to find a spiritual home where I don’t have to endure hugs and hand-holding from strangers. Can’t we just smile and nod and wave at one another? Can’t we express our love in kind deeds and warm words? (I make an exception for children who are always welcome to hug me.) I have often wondered about the guys who come to church. In addition to being forced to sing sappy lyrics that would make John Wayne say, Nope–ain’t… Read more »

Christopher
Member

While I agree with you, I think a group hug requires much less courage than an angry mob.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Amen, sister!

This garbage of hugging virtually anyone and everyone has been out of hand for over 20 years.

It’s not how we used to do things

I hug my wife, and my children, and that’s it. Period. Full stop.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

I have often wondered about the guys who come to church…do men really like having to do all that hugging? That’s one of the main reasons so many of us don’t go to church. That, and being constantly told that that if we don’t want our grandkids to look like Leslie Jones we’re going to burn in hell. And that white cops are evil, and get their kicks by gunning down innocent black men for no reason. Evidently there’s only one thing Jesus hates more than white people, and that’s white po-leese. Evangelical and Reformed Christians are going to rue… Read more »

drewnchick
Member

You’re not being a cynic in this; you’re being a Christian. It requires absolutely NO courage to sin. That’s the default mode. It takes courage to be honest, loyal, faithful, righteous, and true. Going with one’s sinful impulses requires about as much effort as falling out of bed. So, the congregation is as foolish in its complicity as it is vacuous in its pabulum statement.
You, on the other hand, are a few steps up the courageous meter for calling them out…

insanitybytes22
Member

Thank you, Malachi. Your kindness is much appreciated.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Lots of bluster, but keep in mind, folks: The author, Doug Wilson, says he would treat a married homosexual couple who lived next door pretty much exactly how he’d treat a married man and woman. He’d go to their house for BBQs, bring in their mail for them while they’re out of town, etc. He just wouldn’t attend their 10th anniversary party. Sure, he’ll bring the potato salad for the cookout at Steve & Bill’s, and the brewskis for their Monday Night Football party, and he’ll pick up their kids from soccer practice when Dad & Dad are busy or… Read more »

Christopher
Member

“Lots of bluster”
Well it’s not up to your level, but I suppose these things are all relative.

Jill Smith
Member

Some of the things you mention are acts of charity that a Christian would perform for anyone no matter how sinful. And some do, as you point out, amount to social recognition of a couple living in an irregular situation. If you were a Christian pastor living next door to a married gay couple, where would you draw the line?

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

I’d tell them once that what they’re doing is an abomination, and they need to repent.

After that, I’d have nothing to do with them. I wouldn’t even speak to them.

If they tried to engage me, I’d tell ’em to go to hell.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Ideally, the church would teach its congregants to act in such a way that people living in open rebellion against God and nature feel shamed and excluded from society.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Looks like Marco Rubio is “refusing to budge” on sodomy the same way Doug Wilson is.

He’s now lecturing Christians on “homophobia” and “hate.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/13/us/politics/marco-rubio-christian-conservatives-gays.html?src=recg&_r=0

bethyada
Member

I don’t think that creationism is the big E, I think that Doug is saying that boys and girls are the big E. But that we need courage to defend all of Scripture, even the unpopular bits.

My biggest problem with this passage is describing a bunch of theology—that I agree with—CalvinistBall.

As to Flood, there is plenty of evidence if we stop listening to the fictions of Lyell. The story is pretty universal, albeit corrupted, throughout all cultures. And we see fossillised animals laid down in sedimentary rocks all over the world. Not really subtle.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Uh oh. ashv changed his avatar from the Confederate flag to something else. He’s about to learn from 40 ACRES that he’s now a bona fide fist-in-the-air, card-carrying member of all the miltant black supremacy groups.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I’m actually a black nationalist that supports political self-determination for African-Americans. I thought this was obvious.

drewnchick
Member

I liked the flag much better. In fact, I just liked the flag.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I’m sure it’ll come back.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

No. You’re just an idiot.

wtrsims
Member

Has anyone else seen this?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/08/11/god-called-my-bluff-a-christian-blogger-faces-fury-over-a-post-about-her-white-daughters-marriage-to-a-black-man/?postshare=4601471015416066&tid=ss_tw#comments

White woman writes post for TGC on her daughter’s marriage to a black guy and her acceptance of it, the post is edited by a black guy, screened by other black people, and they still get shouted down as racists. And TGC just rolls over.

The interracial marriage is neither here nor there. Groups like TGC have made a practice of handing the enemies of the Church sticks and clubs and Molotov cocktails, and now TGC coincidentally has some broken bones, a black eye, and a fire to put out. Jenkies… A mystery indeed…

Jill Smith
Member

I just read it now. Note that she also got hate mail from white supremacists! I think this poor woman was ill used by her editor who should have caught problem statements like ““Glenn moved from being a black man to beloved son when I saw his true identity as an image bearer of God, a brother in Christ, and a fellow heir to God’s promises.” We know what she meant, but it sounds awful.

wtrsims
Member

The white supremacist hate mail is unfortunate (though I do wonder what they’re considering “white supremacist” and “hate mail”), but that’s hardly unexpected or noteworthy.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Ha! That was great! The woman wrote an article about how wonderful, spiritual, and enlightened she is because she had no problem with her daughter marrying a black guy. She also talked about the thrill she gets at putting down people at church or in public who express anything but enthusiasm at seeing her daughter throw her genetic heritage away. She obviously thought she was really something, and clearly expected TGC readers to fawn over her. Imagine her shock when the comment section began filling up with comments along the lines of, “How dare TGC publish this racist garbage?! This… Read more »

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Jill Smith
Member

Totally off topic, but for the first time I was in a Target yesterday and there was an unmistakably member of the masculine sex in the ladies’ try-on rooms. I learned this when I emerged wearing a slip. A slip that could have been designed by an order of nuns, thank goodness.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Where’s the selfie?

Scott Jacobsen
Guest
Scott Jacobsen

Thank you for this. For years now I’ve seen this to be the problem–control of definitions. I am, by definition, a racist, hater, homophobe (everything-phobe) because I am a Christian. Time to challenge this nonsense, and call it what it is–another fine word–stupid.

Michael Snow
Guest

Alas, I am always late to the party, finding such needed articles by way of happenstance.

“The culture of unbelief that surrounds us is demanding that we cede control of definitions.” And it is much worse than the re-definition of ‘boy’ and ‘girl.’ Many Christians have accepted the re-definition of basic words. They will accept the re-definition of ‘boy’ in the name of ‘love.’ And, in my very limited experience, missing the parties and all, I have heard few Christian ‘pastors and teachers’ speaking to those basic definitions.
https://textsincontext.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/love-basics-heresies-divorce-homosexuality-church/