October 29, 2003

Take 9 preteens and have them play late 70s and 80s vidgames. Hilarity ensues

Instapundit reports that Naomi Wolf's recent article on the paradoxical effects of porn is getting attacked by people who like porn (duh).

This attack just misses the mark utterly. Reading comprehension: D-

October 28, 2003

Books not by Vern Poythress:

Mushy Theology: the Validity of Contradictory Interpretations in Theology

Zen Theology: the Denial of truth in Theology

True for you: The Perspective of Multiple Validity in Theology

I'm a Lutheran: The Whole Bible can be Viewed from the Perspective of Law or the Perspective of Gospel

October 27, 2003

Ligon Duncan
No, Wright would say Christís righteousness is non-transferable. The righteousness of God is Godís righteousness. It canít be transferred to anyone else. He says it would be ridiculous to talk about the judge transferring his righteousness to the defendant in a courtroom. He says that never happens in a courtroom, and thatís not what the New Testament is talking about. Nobody can receive Godís righteousness. Nobody can receive Christís righteousness. Godís righteousness is undelegatably His own.
NO! NO no no no no no no no no no no no no no no


October 25, 2003

Then there is the conflict between my second and third Google matches.

See if you can spot it.

So I listened to this dreck tonight. In addition to humorous the misrepresentation of John bararch as saying something that actually Zwingli said, I was intrigued by how the speaker keeps trying to claim that Shepherd is setting up a straw man Reformed faith to knock down. (since all he really does is quote the AAPC speakers instead of make a case against them from exegesis or theology, its hard to see why I'm supposed to be so sure that Shepherd's "problematizing" is illegitimate.

The most important area for Shepherd seems to be in that of evangelism. Maybe the speaker has never heard the "third person" sermon, but I have. Maybe he's never heard the standard Reformed criticism of the Four Spiritual laws which hacks on the First law since we can't be suuuuuure that God loves the listener. I've heard a whole sermon on why John Murray's "Free Offer of the Gospel" booklet was just a sop to Arminians to do some missions work with them. Maybe we need to remind people that the straw man is real.

My fist google search on "Christ Died for You" and "Calvinism" came up with this Calvinism Honors Christ's Death. I think the preacher is actually pretty clever here: I almost missed the third-personizing until I read it again.
"The Bible teaches that Christ actually died in the sinner's place as the sinner's Substitute. Listen, awakened sinner, Christ died for you! Yes, He did; He died for you just as much as He died for me"[emphasis added]

My wife is in Minniapolis for a week as she helps her mom while her dad is hospitalized. He's had some surgery and is not doing well in his recovery, still in the ICU and on a ventilator.

So I'm home with the kids all week. I'm rather enjoying that aspect of it so farm though I'd rather it be under better circumstances.

In a trial, a prosecutor presents evidence pointing to guilt, and a defender presents evidence pointing to innocense. A judge will look at evidence, and pronounce a verdict as to the status of the defendent.

Then we talk about how good works are "merely" the evidence of lively faith, but not grounds for justification. Who is the evidence shown to though? May not God the Judge also look upon this evidence in making his determination?

We seem to always assume that since God CAN look on the heart that he only will.

This gets tangentially with something I asked elsewhere about taking assurance from our baptism itself. If batism is a sign, it means it DOES communicate something.

If fruits are evidence, then what's to keep them from being brought up at the trial?

October 14, 2003

Is Kucinich our first goddess-worshipping presidential candidate?
I am running for president of the United States to enable the goddess of peace to encircle within her arms all the children of this country and all the children of the world,'

October 09, 2003

Nazis and Muslims at U Penn

And what's with muslim groups getting $5000 to promote their religion. IV never got any money for "Jesus week"

Putting my 2 1/2 year old to bed tonight he was goofing around as usual.

Then he says (being goofy) "I think this house is an evil church"

Barlow's kid says much more fuzzy warm things.

I have the paint for the porch trim, but it may rain Saturday.

I couldn't find 2x3x12 stud, so I may have to try Lowes saturday if it rains.

Gotta insulate too.

October 08, 2003

Sullivan:: "If two lesbian women want to share financial responsibility for each other for life, why is it a conservative notion to prevent this?"

The problem conservatives find themselves is that they have already lost. So all we can do is hold on to the few remaining ways that we haven't yet publicly capitualted to the gay agenda.

Yes, in one sense, we should be glad the lesbians take care of each others finances and be happy to encourage it socially.

I'd also be glad if a Soviet Collective Farm makes money and feeds some people. And if I was dragged onto one, I'd try to make it work. But I wouldn't be happy.

The other problem conservatives have is that we haven't had a "revolution" imposing all this gay crap on us from above at once, but incrementally have succumed. So the most they can do is whimper "at least no gay marriage please" while the moral and legal issues that got us here go unchallenged.

If we try to say no to the whole collective farming project, we'll get branded as troublemakers. We can try to argue that every person on the collective farm be given his own plot and exchange products using a free market, but since we gradually collectivized, nobody will comprehend what we're talking about, or will just reject it as being what it is, a free market overlaying the collective. Troublemakers again.

The "answer" is to hold on, outbreed, and wait for things to get worse, and then better.

When someone says "let us take assurance of salvation from our baptism" I think we need to expand that a bit.

I doubt the person is trying to say "take assurance from the water you have had contact you".

But rather, because they believe that in baptism, the baptized person is claimed by Christ on the grounds of his atoning death on behalf of the baptized person, that therefore when the person receives assurance from baptism, they don't receive it from "mere water" but from the work of Christ applied by the water.

I have the feeling that advocates of a weak baptismal theology think that statements about being "assured by baptism" is about being "assured by water rituals", and will lead to a person with assurance of salvation, but no "real faith" and no fruit that accompanies the faith.

To be "assured by baptism" is to be assured by the whole complex of things in which baptism is situated: the body of Christ, the name of Christ, his atoning death on our behalf, etc. If we don't regard where baptism is situated, we'll find such statements troubling.

I think this is in keeping with Luther's small catechism which says "Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God's command and combined with God's word". Nobody should have a problem with that as a source of assurance.

(this is my attempt to be Poythressian)

Let's give him one more "better" reading:

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me [only externally] that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. [Be internally] in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must be truly in the vine, not externally. Neither can you bear fruit unless you [are internally] in me."

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man is internally in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone [is not in me internally], he is like a branch that [was only in me externally and then] is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned."

The best that can be said about this is that its internally more consistent. It still doesn't make sense as something for Jesus to say, since we can't be told to "be internally in Christ" since that's not something we can do.

The problem with it is ITS NOT WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS!

Critique of the Teachings of Barach, Schlissel, Wilkins, and Wilson - Rev. Michael J. Ericson:
"First, as to who participates in vital union with Christ, they often appeal to John 15 with the analogy of the vine and the branches, but they go too far in teaching that all are in the vine the same way, and that all share in that vital union with Christ. A careful look at John 15, however, will show that all that are truly in Christ will bear fruit. Verse 5 makes this clear: ¬“He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.¬” The branch cannot do so ¬“except it abide in the vine¬” (v. 4). Those branches that bear no fruit are cut out. They are said not to abide in Christ, ¬“for without me ye can do nothing¬” (v. 5); ¬“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch¬” (v. 6). So, in one sense they are in the vine, and in another they are not. Here we have the relation of the internal and the external, or the visible and invisible aspects of the church. Those fruitless branches are in the visible body, the external covenant, but are not really united to Christ, drawing that life-giving, fruit-bearing sap."
There are two problems here:

1. He's denying any kind of temporeality exegesis of the passage. Its as if a boss says "if you don't show up for work tomorrow, you're fired". If you don't show up you don't "have a job in one sense, but not in another" Rather, you had a job, and now you don't

2. It makes a hash of the passage to put "visible and invisble church" as the referents of "being the branches" and "abiding in the vine"

In fact, lets "translate" John 15 and see the problem

"I am the true vine (invisible church), and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every member of the visible church that bears no fruit, while every member of the visible church that does bear fruit he cleanses so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Be in the invisible church, and I will be in you. No member of the visible church can bear fruit by itself; it must be in the invisible church. Neither can you bear fruit unless you are in the invisible church. "

"I am the vine (invisible church); you are the members of it. If a man remains in the invisible church and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone is not in the invisible church, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you."

This is impossible, frankly. Its impossible to sort out. Half the time Jesus is talking about branches "in me" he's talking about merely visible church members, and the other half of the time, he's talking about those with real union.

The key is that Jesus is givign the disciples instructions on how they should "abide" or "remain" with him. If this is all a mater of telling them to "be elect" or "be in the invisible church" then there is NO logic to Jesus' words and no instruction to follow.

October 07, 2003

Ah, the burning questions that have plagued mankind...

Like these, from my interview by the Lone Xylophone:

1. You just won a contest sponsored by Miramax. They offered to make any book of your choosing into a film. What book do you choose? What casting suggestions do you give?

I suppose I should say Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, one of my favorite books. But that's four books and isn't filmable in a single movie.

I'm going to come back to this (yay! Its a blog post I can edit it later)

2. If you could have any of the following services free for the next year, which would you choose? Explain your choice.
a. a live-in housekeeper
b. a minivan chauffeur service for your family
c. a chef service that drops off hot meals to your door
d. a personal trainer and dietician to help your family be fit and healthy
e. a life coach to help you with your career, parenting, marriage relationship and any other emotional issues in your life

Hmm. Well Jesus is already doing e) for free, and my wife is doing a)...

I don't see a big need for a chef service, though that would free up time for other things. A personal trainer probably wouldn't get far with me either, so by process of elimination, we get b) a minivan chauffer service for my family, which would be helpful when I'm not home to drive places.

3. If you were offered a generous stipend to pursue an advanced degree, what would you study?

Another tough one. I'd like to get some time to study hot new computer technologies and play around with them, but I'm not sure if that falls under "advanced degree". Since I'm pretty sure I'm not called to pastor a church, seminary doesn't come into view.

Can I go to filmschool, and have a guarantee of a productive life as a filmmaker thereafter?

4. A wealthy relative offers to send you and Sylvia on a three-week all-expenses-paid dream vacation to celebrate your 10th anniversary (without the kids!). Where do you go?

As I think and keep trying to answer this question I keep thinking how much I'd miss my kids.

An African safari would be fun, but then so would a European tour. The trip would have to involve exploring alot of natural environments, which could certainly fit into a European trip, but wouldn't be as exotic.

5. If you had free rein to change the worship services at Tenth Presbyterian, what alterations would you make?

Years ago I started writing a 20 point document on this very topic, but abandoned it for prudential reasons.

I guess here's my biggies
1. weekly communion with wine
2. a "covenant renewal" order of worship with more congregational participation in prayers. This includes dropping the NT bible exposition, and reading the text preached. This is shorthand for alot of minute changes in a way.
3. preponderant psalmody with gradual training in chanting.

I mean I could push for robes and ripping out pews to make room for a gathered communion particiaption and canting, but I also like Tenth for the people in it now and I wouldn't want to freak them all out too rapidly.

Here's how the interview chain works:
If you would like to participate too, here are your instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions (not the same as you see here).
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

October 04, 2003

I caught the tail end of a comment about a gospel-preaching parrot on NPR this moring, but I'm not sure if this is the same story. The story there looks like a total joke to me.

Oh, and the site linked gets listed as "intolerance" by Norton Internet Security

[UPDATE] As mentioned in the comments, landoverbaptist.org is a parody site (a somewhat crude one as well), which is obvious if you look at the home page.

But there was a story on NPR [audio] about a missing allegedly gospel-preaching parrot named Solomon. A google cache of the story is availble. I think its all a put-on by the parrot's owner.

October 02, 2003

Here's a reason to avoid wearing natural hair wigs

De script shun




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