Daily Archives: 22 Sep 2011

The Bishop is Wrong: The Church Has Already Lost the Culture Wars

So the Bishop may be dismayed (who isn’t?) but it’s too late.  The church lost the ‘prayer in public schools’ battle, the ‘abortion on demand’ battle, and now the ‘gay marriage’ battle.

And do you know why?  Because loads of Christians have beliefs that stop far short of implementation in behavior, in praxis.  Why? Because practical atheism is more a problem than theoretical atheism or angry atheism.

To put it bluntly, the church lost the culture wars because the church is inhabited by too few Christians and too many ‘christians’.

What’s It Take for Someone to Consider Himself or Herself a ‘Good Christian’?

…in 1500 to be Christian was relatively simple: one had to be baptized.  To be a Christian in good standing in the eyes of the Church, one was also required to confess, do penance, and take communion once a year.  Nothing more.  – Lee Palmer Wandel (The Reformation: Towards a New History).

What strikes me as remarkable is that these days people consider themselves ‘good Christians’ without even those 16th century requirements needing to be met.  Today, folk are ‘good Christians’ if they went to church when they were 5 and haven’t been back in the 60 or so intervening years.

When Christianity has lowered the bar to the meaning of the faith to the lowest possible level it’s hardly surprising that so many call themselves Christians and so few act like it.

Hendel Takes on Young, Rezetko, and Ehrensvärd

Ronald Hendel isn’t an admirer of the work of Young, Rezetko, and Ehrensvärd.  In fact, that’s an understatement.  Read his essay in Bible and Interpretation to see why.

I sure hope Y, R, and E. strike back.  They clearly need to.  And they should be able to take him- there are three of them and only one of him!

Rob Bell Should Have Been Removed From Office Long Ago

But at least for now he won’t be deceiving and misleading a congregation.

The elders of Mars Hill Bible Church (Grandville, MI) have announced that Rob Bell will be stepping down “in order to devote his full energy to sharing the message of God’s love with a broader audience.” This means he will no longer be pastoring there.

He hasn’t been pastoring for a long time.  And whatever he’s going to be devoting himself to, it won’t be the message of God’s love, it will be – if he continues to teach as he has- nothing more than indulgent people-pleasing anti-Gospel rubbish.

God help those foolish and uninformed enough to follow him.  They’ll follow a lie.

The Myth of ‘Non-Profit’ Higher Education

The local news just reported

A new survey of colleges suggest University admissions officials are – increasingly – looking at a potential student’s ability to pay as a major factor for admission. The survey found up to 10 percent of 4-year colleges are admitting full pay students with lower grades over students who require financial aid who have higher grades.

Sounds like Universities are in it for the money to me. Which is fine. But the holier than thou pretended ‘we love education for education’s sake’ malarky Universities spew in contrasting themselves with for-profit schools is just hooey.

The next time some Ivy league school or hoity toidy state university asserts that they are different from pay as you go schools, call it a liar and speak the truth.  There’s just no such thing as non-profit education in the United States.

I Guess the Christian Zionists are Liars

The heretics and misrepresenters of biblical theology known as ‘christian zionists’  keep insisting that America must support Israel if it wishes to be blessed.

America is supporting Israel (to the exclusion and harm of countless others) and yet the economy is in the toilet, fear rules Wall Street, and even the beloved far right politicos are sticking their feet under toilet stalls at airports and looking for a hook-up.

I guess the Christian Zionists are liars.  And worse, they’re misrepresenting God.

They Can’t Teach Necessary Subjects Because Idiotic Ones Consume Their Day

This is so offensively stupid:

Virginia’s Board of Education is expected today to hand off legislation to local school districts allowing them to add gun safety to elementary school curriculum.  The state’s General Assembly approved a measure last April that required the Board of Education to design course materials in line with the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program guidelines to teach elementary students about gun safety.  The curriculum includes lessons ranging from distinguishing those who use guns professionally to recognizing and catching firearms on school property, WTVR reports. Individual districts will be able to decide whether to adopt the curriculum.

I thought Virginia was better than Texas.  I was wrong.  Kids can’t learn math and english and reading and history as it is, and now, guns?  A course on guns????  Idiots.

Wow! Calvin’s 1541 French Edition of the Institutes Now Available Online

Brilliant!  Thank you E-Rara!  And thank you PRDL for mentioning it!

This edition of the Institutes is unlike any other.  It’s the only edition originally composed in French, and it’s the only edition that was never translated into English until Elsie Anne McKee did it in 2009.  Put frankly, the 1541 edition is the best of the lot.  Yes, even superior to the final 1559 edition.

If you’ve not read the 1541 publication, do so.  Either in French or English.  Just do so.  You’ve no excuse why you can’t.

Yes, He Most Certainly Should Have Been Fired

He’s got a foul mouth. He can’t sing well. He’s insulting. He’s racist. He’s nasty. And he’s miserable at English grammar. He doesn’t need to work around people, or food.

Christopher Cristwell, a 25-year-old California man, was fired from Starbucks on Tuesday after posting the “Starbucks Rant Song” to YouTube, the Boston Herald reports. The video features the now former Starbucks employee, clad only in his underwear and the iconic standard-issue green apron, strumming his guitar and complaining about annoying customers.

But his explanation…  heavens…

“I made this video not for the customer, with whom I love deeply, and not for my managers, with whom I respect and appreciate, but for my fellow baristas,” Cristwell wrote on Starbucks Gossip in response to comments posted about the video. “If I was able to provide just a few with some comedic relief after a stressful shift, than I can accept the consequences of my actions.”

‘With whom I love deeply’? ‘… my managers, with whom I respect…’? If he hadn’t been fired for any other reason, he should be for that.

European and UK Biblical Scholars: Take Note

Our friends at Alban Books are offering various volumes at significant discounts. Here’s their flier- but do take note, these discounts only apply to folk in Europe and the UK:

‘With God on Our Side’ – A Movie I Must See

It sounds fantastic.

With God On Our Side takes a look at the theology of Christian Zionism, which teaches that because the Jews are God’s chosen people, they have a divine right to the land of Israel. Aspects of this belief system lead some Christians in the West to give uncritical support to Israeli government policies, even those that privilege Jews at the expense of Palestinians, leading to great suffering among Muslim and Christian Palestinians alike and threatening Israel’s security as a whole.

This film demonstrates that there is a biblical alternative for Christians who want to love and support the people of Israel, a theology that doesn’t favor one people group over another but instead promotes peace and reconciliation for both Jews and Palestinians.”

Exactly!  I’ve ordered a copy.  Christian Zionism is a well known heresy and any film which exposes it for what it is, is worth watching.

Really Think You’re a Christian, But You Never Attend Worship?

Well you’re wrong.  As Heinrich Bullinger insightfully shows

Truly, when the Lord says in the Gospel, ‘The one who is of God, hears God’s word’ it follows that they who love the congregation, wherein the word of God is preached, have the authentic sign of being the children of God.

Being an absentee Christian is to be no Christian at all.


A cow milking machine

A blogger named Curtis has created quite an unusual mission for himself: to see how long he can sustain a diet made up solely of his wife’s breast milk.  Curtis plans to document his experimental diet on his blog, “Don’t have a cow, man.”  On the blog, Curtis wrote that he is a first-time father to a baby girl who was born nine months ago. Katie, Curtis’ wife, has an extensive surplus of breast milk in the freezer.  Preferring the taste of breast milk over cow’s milk, Curtis said he drinks breast milk to settle digestive problems.  “And yes, I know how weird this may sound, it is kind of weird to me as well but why not?” Curtis wrote on his first post. “I mean cow milk was made for baby cows, why not drink human breast milk that was made for baby humans.”

Doesn’t sound like a ‘Curtis’ but it does sound like a John I know…  Another weirdo.

Joel Watts Visits Turkey… And Makes a Sign!

shamelessly taken from Aren’s FB page

I loved Aren’s comment:  we demand that the Turks have English lessons!

Book Recommendation of the Day

What Do You Get When You Mix a Mega Church, Meth, and Homosexuality?

Ted Haggard.  And what do you get when you mix Ted Haggard with a quest for publicity?  Ted Haggard on ABC’s ‘Wife Swap’.

[Haggard] has agreed to star in the new, celebrity version of ABC’s reality-TV series “Wife Swap.”  He’s going to swap wives with Gary Busey.  Seriously. You can’t make this stuff up.  ABC confirmed Haggard had been cast in the celebrity version of its long-running “Wife Swap” show in which people, well, swap wives, but only for a relatively short period of time. Tension and hilarity ensue, some tears are shed, and a good time is had by all.

And what’s it all mean?  It means that Ted isn’t just willing to buy meth and male escorts, he’s also willing to sell himself for fame.  He’s a publicity whore and ABC is pimping him out to a leering public happy to watch the trainwreck in action.

So all Haggard’s talk of repentance and restoration are as big a lie as his claimed heterosexuality.  Were he truly repentant humility would manifest itself and the LAST thing he would do would be to cash in on his fame for being a disgrace.

But he is a disgrace.  And that, at the end of the day, is exactly what you get when you combing meth and mega-church and homosexuality.

Clean Your Plate… Or Else

In solidarity with the world’s poor, a restaurant in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province of Damam fines customers who do not finish everything on their plates.  The fines, which will be funneled to charities, are lenient, because offending customers decide how much they should pay.  “As long as it is going to charity I am okay with the idea,” said one man after visiting the restaurant, adding, “I hope all restaurants in the province follow suit.”  Another customer said, “I was surprised that I was fined, but to be honest, this is a good step to encourage doing good deeds.”

I have to say, I think it’s a brilliant idea with a brilliant purpose.  I would patronize such an establishment.  Think of it- if you don’t eat everything you order and pay a fine, the poor and hungry are helped.  Brilliant.

On Theologians: An Observation

Theologians disengaged from society are as dangerous as governments disconnected from their people.