love the morning

Today was the first real sun in a few days. I love it.
red leaves and sunstars
red leaves and sunstars
red leaves and sunstars

fight update status

For anybody interested in the status of the current internecine warfare in the SBC between Calvinists and Anti-Calvinists, Timmy has a chronological timeline with links. For those of you that don’t care, don’t click.

It is fascinating to me to see the approach to conflict on display here. It is also fascinating to me to see that the attitudes that I experienced at a local SBC church (which caused me to leave that fellowship) are apparently convention wide. The requirement that people be Baptist first completely ran me out. Anytime the fuss is over various confessions of faith; their meaning and application rather than the Bible’s meaning and application, then I believe we are wasting time.

Specifically, check out this item from Malcolm Yarnell in response to Tom Ascol. (you will recall that Malcolm and Tom interacted extensively in the comments to this blog post by Tom.)

2. As a result of his repeated unwillingness to answer a specific question regarding his church’s communion with a Presbyterian, many will be led to the unfortunate conclusion that Dr. Ascol is not willing to affirm the Baptist Faith and Message in its entirety. Let it be clearly noted that communion with Presbyterians is certainly within the prerogative of Dr. Ascol’s local church as a free church. However, communion with Presbyterians is outside Southern Baptist orthodoxy, at least according to the common confession of the Southern Baptist Convention. A reading of articles 6-7, especially the first paragraph of article 7, of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 will demonstrate how communion with Presbyterians is outside the confessional mainstream of Southern Baptist life.

Do you get that? Do you see where the emphasis is? is it on scripture? Or is it on a man made document?

Now check out this paragraph from James White in response to Dr. Yarnell.

I note also a very fascinating exchange taking place in the comments on Tom Ascol’s last blog entry, found here. Malcom [sic] Yarnell scares me. Evidently, if I find my Presbyeterian brothers to be co-laborers in the kingdom, firm believers in the gospel of grace, compatriots in the battle against the powers of darkness and brothers in their passion for the freedom of God in salvation and the glory of Christ as Savior and Mediator, I’m just not quite “Baptist” enough for him. Of course, I also ran across this comment from him that made my head spin: “In response, please note that I consider the Roman Catholic church in the same way I do Lutheran and Presbyterian churches, although I do prefer the latter’s doctrines in some ways: the churches hold to innovations that countermand the New Testament, and thus may be classified as sub-New Testament.” – Malcolm.” “Prefer the latter’s doctrines in some ways”???? I am simply left without words at such a statement. Amazing, just amazing.

emphasis added

Now, James White might be a little too disputatious and pugnacious for some, but doesn’t he have a point here? shouldn’t we be keeping our eye on a little larger ball than staying within “the confessional mainstream of Southern Baptist life” or “Southern Baptist orthodoxy”? Shouldn’t we be a bit more focused on the Kingdom of Heaven? Shouldn’t we be more focused on the core issues that unite us rather than secondary issues upon which we have differences?

mark dever on the Gospel

here is Mark Dever on the good news of the Gospel.

hat tip to Ramblin’ Pastor Man

what she said

I was disgusted to hear on the news yesterday that a 34 year old man died in a Black Friday rush at a Wal Mart in New York. What a spectacle. What an illustration of this country’s complete decadence.

Here are Julie Neidlinger’s thoughts on the matter. I really like the way she puts it. If you aren’t reading her blog, you should be.

To live a life — parents who raised you, all your friends, family and experiences and heartaches and joys and sadness — and to take a job just for the Christmas season only to have people break down the doors of a discount store selling cheap crap and crush you underfoot while the stampede of greedy human beings pressed onward to buy stuff they do not need.

That people would break down the doors to get in.
That people would push on over another person.
That people who may have been caught up in the crowd and unable to stop the press then continued on to shop and not stop and do something.

For cheap electronics.
For toys that will be broken in a few months.
For clothes to be crammed in already-full closets.
For DVDs that will be watched once or twice.
For this, a man died.

ouch, from the Onion

ouch! go take a look at this from the Onion and wince. It is satire, so maybe a little over the top, but too close to home on too many fronts.

What I’m trying to say is, don’t let the actions of a vocal few color your perceptions about what the majority of us are like.

Like me. I may be a Christian, but it’s not like I’m one of those wacko “love your neighbor as yourself ” types.

God forbid!

I’m here to tell you there are lots of Christians who aren’t anything like the preconceived notions you may have. We’re not all into “turning the other cheek.” We don’t spend our days committing random acts of kindness for no credit. And although we believe that the moral precepts in the Book of Leviticus are the infallible word of God, it doesn’t mean we’re all obsessed with extremist notions like “righteousness” and “justice.”

My faith in the Lord is about the pure, simple values: raising children right, saying grace at the table, strictly forbidding those who are Methodists or Presbyterians from receiving communion because their beliefs are heresies, and curing homosexuals. That’s all. Just the core beliefs. You won’t see me going on some frothy-mouthed tirade about being a comfort to the downtrodden.

there is much more at the link above.

Hat tip to catablog.

by the way, check out the comments on this post by Tom Ascol to see some of the thinking lampooned above. Look closely at the comments by Baptist Theology (Dr. Malcom Yarnell). very eye opening point of view. Starting with his “handle”. “Baptist theology”?

church tradition metaphor?

how about old couch? was great when it was new 20 years ago, but now it isn’t. can’t get rid of it because of all the wonderful memories associated with it.

metaphor courtesy of Andy Stanley, via CataBlog

Happy Thanksgiving

happy Thanksgiving to everyone. In spite of the recent economic crisis, we continue to live in one of the most blessed nations in the history of the world.

God, in his sovereignty and to praise of his glorious grace, has allowed this nation to prosper in a material way far beyond any previous nation’s prosperity. Let’s not be ungrateful. Let’s not take for granted the manifest blessings of cutting edge health care, public safety, comfort, and so much available food that we suffer from an obesity epidemic.

Most of all, let us be grateful for the freedom to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ whenever, however and in whatever venue we are led to do so.

At the same time, let us take seriously the threat to the Gospel that comes from the very blessings and prosperity mentioned above. People who are surrounded by such bountiful blessings and comfort are easily distracted from the Gospel. It is easy to equate our material prosperity with God’s favor and miss the equally likely possibility that it is the enemy’s attempt to distract us and to lull us into complacency.

we should take this day set aside for thanksgiving and we should be grateful to God that we live in this country at this time. Then let us encourage one another daily as long as it is called today so that none of us is hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

saturday morning
another sunday morning at 105mm