Daily Archives: 15 Dec 2013




Karl Barth Was Right On ‘Apologetics’: An Observation

‎Karl Barth‬ may have gotten lots wrong but he was right about‪ apologetics‬: they are absurd unnecessary arrogance. The lesser does not ‘defend’ the greater.

The Carnival (Re)Call for Submissions

People are as good at sending along recommendations as Mark Driscoll is at telling the truth- but I remain an eternal optimist and so I once more remind you that if you see something really noteworthy this month, pass along word so that it can be included in the next Carnival.

Why, you ask.  So that someone will see it (since, if it’s good, it deserves to be read).

What makes me think that people will see it if it’s mentioned here, you inquire.  This (visits from Monday the 9th through this point today)-

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 31,259
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 4,296
Canada FlagCanada 3,503
Australia FlagAustralia 1,737
Germany FlagGermany 1,730
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 1,171
Israel FlagIsrael 1,080
Denmark FlagDenmark 1,036
Switzerland FlagSwitzerland 722
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 615
Argentina FlagArgentina 472
Korea, Republic of FlagRepublic of Korea 443
Russian Federation FlagRussian Federation 424
Italy FlagItaly 415
Brazil FlagBrazil 365
France FlagFrance 299
South Africa FlagSouth Africa 291
Hong Kong FlagHong Kong 291
Belgium FlagBelgium 248
Ireland FlagIreland 202
Finland FlagFinland 200
Thailand FlagThailand 156
India FlagIndia 154
Philippines FlagPhilippines 141
Japan FlagJapan 140
Egypt FlagEgypt 131
Portugal FlagPortugal 129
Slovakia FlagSlovakia 105
Norway FlagNorway 99
Sweden FlagSweden 91
Spain FlagSpain 89
Singapore FlagSingapore 84
Mexico FlagMexico 64
Bermuda FlagBermuda 56
Hungary FlagHungary 56
Austria FlagAustria 54
Turkey FlagTurkey 47
Romania FlagRomania 47
Malaysia FlagMalaysia 44
Indonesia FlagIndonesia 41
Greece FlagGreece 34
Poland FlagPoland 31
United Arab Emirates FlagUnited Arab Emirates 31
Iraq FlagIraq 31
Colombia FlagColombia 28
Czech Republic FlagCzech Republic 27
Croatia FlagCroatia 25
Taiwan, Province of China FlagTaiwan 24
Ukraine FlagUkraine 20
Rwanda FlagRwanda 20
Serbia FlagSerbia 20
Trinidad and Tobago FlagTrinidad and Tobago 20
Ethiopia FlagEthiopia 18
Chile FlagChile 18
Viet Nam FlagViet Nam 18
Bulgaria FlagBulgaria 18
Costa Rica FlagCosta Rica 15
Nigeria FlagNigeria 15
Slovenia FlagSlovenia 14
Pakistan FlagPakistan 14
Algeria FlagAlgeria 13
Saudi Arabia FlagSaudi Arabia 13
Georgia FlagGeorgia 12
Peru FlagPeru 12
Morocco FlagMorocco 11
El Salvador FlagEl Salvador 11
Puerto Rico FlagPuerto Rico 11
Ghana FlagGhana 10
Kenya FlagKenya 10
Panama FlagPanama 10
Latvia FlagLatvia 9
Lebanon FlagLebanon 9
Sri Lanka FlagSri Lanka 9
Jamaica FlagJamaica 9
Malta FlagMalta 9
Venezuela FlagVenezuela 8
Ecuador FlagEcuador 8
Estonia FlagEstonia 7
Bangladesh FlagBangladesh 7
Kuwait FlagKuwait 6
Isle of Man FlagIsle of Man 6
Jersey FlagJersey 6
Bosnia and Herzegovina FlagBosnia and Herzegovina 6
Tanzania, United Republic of FlagUnited Republic of Tanzania 5
Zambia FlagZambia 5
Faroe Islands FlagFaroe Islands 5
Paraguay FlagParaguay 5
Albania FlagAlbania 5
Jordan FlagJordan 5
Guatemala FlagGuatemala 4
Uruguay FlagUruguay 4
American Samoa FlagAmerican Samoa 4
Barbados FlagBarbados 4
Honduras FlagHonduras 4
Aruba FlagAruba 4
Uganda FlagUganda 4
Nicaragua FlagNicaragua 4
Cambodia FlagCambodia 4
Bolivia FlagBolivia 4
Dominican Republic FlagDominican Republic 4
Bahrain FlagBahrain 4
Palestinian Territory, Occupied FlagPalestinian Territory, Occupied 4
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of FlagMacedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic 3
Lithuania FlagLithuania 3
Zimbabwe FlagZimbabwe 3
Bahamas FlagBahamas 3
Malawi FlagMalawi 3
Oman FlagOman 3
Mozambique FlagMozambique 3
Belarus FlagBelarus 2
Virgin Islands, British FlagBritish Virgin Islands 2
Papua New Guinea FlagPapua New Guinea 2
Luxembourg FlagLuxembourg 2
Tunisia FlagTunisia 2
Burundi FlagBurundi 2
Moldova, Republic of FlagMoldova 2
Namibia FlagNamibia 2
Congo FlagCongo 2
Cameroon FlagCameroon 2
Sudan FlagSudan 2
Kazakhstan FlagKazakhstan 2
Iceland FlagIceland 2
Saint Kitts and Nevis FlagSaint Kitts and Nevis 2
Anguilla FlagAnguilla 1
Nepal FlagNepal 1
Fiji FlagFiji 1
Virgin Islands, U.S. FlagVirgin Islands 1
Haiti FlagHaiti 1
Turks and Caicos Islands FlagTurks and Caicos Islands 1
Guam FlagGuam 1
Cayman Islands FlagCayman Islands 1
Swaziland FlagSwaziland 1
China FlagChina 1
New Caledonia FlagNew Caledonia 1
Tajikistan FlagTajikistan 1
Cyprus FlagCyprus 1
Mongolia FlagMongolia 1
Madagascar FlagMadagascar 1
French Guiana FlagFrench Guiana 1
Azerbaijan FlagAzerbaijan 1
Qatar FlagQatar 1
Myanmar FlagMyanmar 1
Libya FlagLibya 1
Montenegro FlagMontenegro 1

How Come the Tea Party Isn’t Outraged About This Outrage?

It’s been a great week for Israel in the US Congress this week. But not for the American taxpayer.  While many Americans are gearing up for the Christmas holidays and trying to earn the money to buy their children presents, and while the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits surged, Congress voted yet more money to Israel.  It also passed two other measures pushed by the Israel lobby. Almost none of this was reported by US mainstream media.

The budget committees of both the Senate and the House released a budget on December 10th included $284 million for U.S.–Israeli “joint defense” – in fact, primarily for defense systems in Israel. These defense systems are aimed at shielding Israel from perceived threats in the region. For context, rockets from Gaza have killed some 29 Israelis in just over a decade, during which time Israeli forces killed approximately 4,000 Gazans. Congress is virtually assured to pass the budget.

This money is on top of the $3.1 billion in military aid the U.S. gives Israel every year. It is also triple the already-generous $96 million the Obama administration had requested for the programs. The additional money is specifically to fund weapons systems that in many cases compete with American-made systems, likely costing thousands of American jobs.

What’s wrong tea party, AIPAC got your tongue?  For my part it’s time to end military aid to Israel.  Completely.  $0 from American taxpayers should go to Bibi’s Lebensraum Quest.

Scary Pope Pic

Pope Francis is all the rage.  But does he harbor a dark side?  This photo may shed some light on that question

Bbd-HlhCUAAxTBCstop staring at me like that with your soul-less eyes….

A Question From Janet Mefferd to The ‘Gospel’ Coalition


I think their response is predictable: silence.  Following in their master’s (Driscoll’s) silent footsteps.  One thing one learns over years of watching insane fundamentalists at work- they never eat their own.  That’s why Mohler hasn’t said a word and it’s why TGC is silent about Driscoll’s plagiarism and it’s why Mars Hill has done nothing but pull the book and blame some putative ‘ghost writer’ and it’s why Tyndale Publishing hasn’t so much as apologized.

Quote of the Day

047067055XThe demand for rational proof of revelation is thus a disguised demand to concede the hegemony of the rationalism of the Enlightenment, or contemporary cultural norms – two theological trends which Brunner had criticized earlier, particularly in his Philosophy of Religion from the Standpoint of Protestant Theology. — Alister McGrath

The ‘Affluenza’ Judge Jean Boyd is a Racist

Judge Jean Boyd has been in the media lately for letting 16-year old Ethan Couch off the hook after he killed four people.  Couch was on a drunken joyride with his friends when he hit four people, causing them to lose their lives.  He also paralyzed one of his friends. …  

But the judge has a history that some are considering to be racist.  There was a 14-year old boy that Boyd sent to prison for over a decade after he punched another child who fell, hit his head and died.  So, even though he didn’t intend to kill anyone, this youth will now suffer for life after experiencing the torture, rape, isolation and abuse that occurs in the state prison system.   This doesn’t count the fact that he will be labeled a felon for the rest of his life, devoid of job and educational opportunities.

So, even though Boyd didn’t give the young man life in prison, she may as well have.

She sent him to prison whilst she let the white kid off scot free.  She is a racist.  And a joke.  And she clearly applies justice through a racist lens.   And she needs to be removed from the bench.  [HT Andrew Tatusko].

Hans Küng, Your Books are Too Long, But You’re My Favorite Catholic Systematic Theologian

And I enjoyed this interview with in Der Spiegel (and pointed out by Antonio Lombatti and Tom Bolin)-

Swiss theologian Hans Küng has been a voice for reform in the Catholic Church for decades on issues such as papal infallibility, the celibacy of priests and euthanasia. His advocacy cost him his license to teach Catholic theology and has led many to brand him a heretic. As the 85-year-old suffers from Parkinson’s disease and other ailments, he watches the church under Pope Francis contemplate many of the reforms he has long championed. He recently sat down with SPIEGEL for a wide-ranging conversation about his life and hopes for the future of the church.

Here’s my favorite- it’s my fear too-

SPIEGEL: You are an elderly, sick man. You have acute hearing loss, osteoarthritis and macular degeneration, which will destroy your ability to read.

Küng: That would be the worst thing, no longer being able to read.

Wouldn’t it?

Fun Facts from Church History: Church Discipline in Geneva and Calvin

calvin2It’s often imagined that Calvin was some sort of dictator in Geneva and that he ruled the town with an iron thumb. That notion is, however, false. He was simply the most forceful voice among many:

The Consistoire, … composed of the twelve elders, and members of the regular ministry of Geneva, four to twelve in number, is to be seen the heart of Calvin’s disciplinary system. As provided in the Ordonnances, it met every Thursday, under the presidency of one of the syndics. Calvin was not its president,—though he presided a few times, and may possibly have been regarded as an informal, non-elected vice-president.

Of the preponderance of his influence in this body, the first session of which was held, apparently, on December 15, 1541, there can be no question.

As defined in the Ordonnances, the Consistory could summon for examination, censure, and ultimate excommunication any who opposed “received doctrine,” neglected Church attendance, rebelled against ecclesiastical good order, or were of evil life; but all was so to be done “that the corrections should be naught but medicines to bring back sinners to our Lord.”*

Discipline was real- and its purpose was clear- to win back the wayward.

*W. Walker, John Calvin: The Organiser of Reformed Protestantism (pp. 271–272).

For James McGrath

And the other Trek geeks out there.

And Now for Something Completely Different…

What are the most popular sports, by locale?

click to enlarge

click to enlarge


On Study, Struggle, And Plagiarism

Oswald Chambers wrote, in his Devotional for 15 December, quoting 2 Timothy 2:15– “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. ”

If you cannot express yourself on any subject, struggle until you can. If you do not, someone will be the poorer all the days of his life. Struggle to re-express some truth of God to yourself, and God will use that expression to someone else. Go through the winepress of God where the grapes are crushed.

You must struggle to get expression experimentally, then there will come a time when that expression will become the very wine of strengthening to someone else; but if you say lazily—‘I am not going to struggle to express this thing for myself, I will borrow what I say,’ the expression will not only be of no use to you, but of no use to anyone.

Try to re-state to yourself what you implicitly feel to be God’s truth, and you give God a chance to pass it on to someone else through you.

Every preacher needs to take to heart the truth Chambers states: study is hard work.  Don’t be lazy and take the work of others as your own (I would add, from sermon books or outlines)- instead, study the Scriptures, make them your own, and explain them to others.  THAT is your calling as a Pastor.  Anything else is plagiarism.

And, tragically, Mark Driscoll isn’t the only plagiarist that will be occupying a pulpit this day…