November 2003 Blog Archives
Saturday, November 29
11:30 AM Ruby Walsh and Strong Flow after winning the Hennessy Cup in Newbury, England. Now that looks like fun!
10:30 AM The "best book on the will of God that I have seen." Read a review of Bruce Waltke's Finding the Will of God.
8:30 AM The international horse show of Spain got underway this week in Seville. Here's a fantastic photo from the event. In case you haven't guessed it, yes, I love my horses!
8:00 AM Suggested readings for your weekend:
Friday, November 28
3:30 PM Remember the guy in Texas who organized a boycott of contractors in an effort to block the building of a Planned Parenthood center? The Austin Chronicle ain’t very happy about it, noting:
Well, I just received an email pointing me to a petition online. If you’ve always considered PP an innocuous non-profit, remember that one in seven abortions in America are done by them and that they receive tens of millions of tax dollars. If you are a resident of central Texas, I urge you to take a moment and sign the petition.
2:45 PM Read what Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) has to say about the feds' plans to raise a slave army. And while you're at it, Mark Dankof has a good recommendation for the 2004 elections. (The Ron Paul connection will be obvious if you read both links.)
10:40 AM Gary North has some astute comments about Gibson's "Passion" and make-believe authenticity that are well worth reading:
9:30 AM In a day in which our government subsidizes farmers to destroy thousands of acres of crops comes this confused piece from the Acton Institute about the Catholic Church and family farming. The author notes: "Government’s role is indispensable; it provides the juridical framework for the market." Hardly. I prefer to stick with the U.S. Constitution and liberty (including the free market system) for which so many patriots fought but which so many of us rural dwellers seem eager to surrender to Big Brother.
8:50 AM We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at our country home in North Carolina after a fairly busy (but thoroughly enjoyable) week. Last Saturday and Sunday were spent at a farm in western Virginia with a homeschooling family we met while reenacting. They've got nine (or was it ten?) children, a beautifully restored farmhouse, and a home church that meets in their barn. I was privileged to give the message and spoke on Jesus and the age thirty transition from my book The Myth of Adolescence. During the sharing time I received one of the biggest surprises and delights of my life. A mother said that she had been given a copy of the book six years ago, then gave it to her husband to read, and from that point on they began homeschooling their children. And here we were, together in the upstairs of a barn in rural Virginia! What a tremendous encouragement to hear that testimony and to meet that family. This Sunday I'll be preaching at another family-friendly church in the Wake Forest area on the subject "No King But Jesus!" in light of the courageous stand taken by (former) Judge Roy Moore. By the way, this church has no Sunday School or Youth Ministry. "But we do have Monday school, Tuesday school, Wednesday school, Thursday school, Friday school, and Saturday school," says the pastor, "taught by our youth pastors called dads." I'll take a dozen churches like that one!
Meanwhile I'm busy putting the final touches on my book Why I Stopped Listening to Rush and will send it off to the publisher very shortly. Hopefully copies will be available next spring. My prayer is that God might use what is between the covers of this book to help believers reject government "solutions" (whether from so-called "conservatives" or liberals) to our societal ills and stand up for the primacy of the Gospel, the truths of historic Christianity, and the proper role of civil government. Your prayers for this project will be greatly appreciated.
Wednesday, November 26
1:20 PM Säen, ernten, danken, feiern! For those of us exurbanites who are crazy enough to actually love farm life, this is a very special season indeed. So, as we used to say in Switzerland, have a great Erntedankfest praising the Lord of the Harvest!
12:50 PM Last week I spent a few days in Atlanta. Being there reminded me of the enormous tragedy that befell that city under the total war policy of Sherman. (The immoral strategy of annihilation used by the U.S. government is a topic for another day. Anyone interested in exploring this matter must, however, at least read this.) Just thirty-four years after the U.S. army burned Atlanta to the ground, a Union veteran visited the city and addressed the Georgia legislature, praising the valor of the Confederate dead and offering aid in the care of their graves. Georgia rose up to welcome him and with Georgia the whole South. It was a magnificent gesture by President William McKinley, who had been a teenager at Antietam (Sharpsburg). The scene has been recreated by biographer Margaret Leech in her book In the Days of McKinley:
Similarly (and characteristically of him), Pat Buchanan has had the courage to stand up for the South in an age of cowardly neo-conservative compromise. Pat, you've certainly earned my respect. Meanwhile, despite its consistent stand against racism, Christ Church of Moscow, Idaho, is now on the defensive and has had to issue several public statements explaining its upcoming history conference, one of which says:
Go figure. Meum cerebrum nocet!
11:35 AM My essay on Just War Theory has elicited several responses, including this one from a reader who makes an interesting point about our post-WW II conflicts:
10:15 AM Although it is unrealistic to expect biblical archaeology to back up every event and place in the New Testament, archaeology has played an important role (though never a determinative one) in determining the trustworthiness of the Bible. A new discovery in Jerusalem has archeologists and New Testament scholars talking, while the "Jesus box" receives renewed support in Atlanta.
10:00 AM We are fast approaching December’s orgy of materialism, a celebration dating not from an unbroken tradition about Jesus’ birth—which would make it reliable—but from a festival of sun worship that a seeker-sensitive church took over in order to “win pagans” in a compromised form of evangelism. Jesus constantly spoke out against the Pharisees for adding their own traditions to God’s Law, and ecclesiastical traditions are no less susceptible to curb Christian freedom in the same way. Perhaps that's why Paul referred to “special days and months and seasons and years” without specifically calling them Jewish observances as a general warning, in which case we have largely ignored it today. So before falling for the commercialization of Christmas, which (if we're honest) can only be described as a crassly selfish holiday, please consider the wisdom of Charles Haddon Spurgeon on this subject:
9:00 AM Here's what happens when you forget the past. Meanwhile, the president's latest faux pas has people scratching their heads in amazement. Thankfully, at least one commentator prefers God's Word over Bush's.
Monday, November 24
4:45 PM The latest from Clay Bennett:
4:20 PM "... it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor." Thus reads George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation. It goes on to state:
If only Alabama AG Bill Pryor were listening.
3:30 PM Get ready for some inspiring music at Southeastern Seminary on Saturday, December 6, at 7:30 PM in Binkley Chapel. Please join yours truly and the Northeast Piedmont Chorale in a program of sacred music. Directing will be our own Dr. John Boozer accompanied by a 20-piece orchestra. The program includes John Rutter's Gloria and Randall Stroupe's Hodie. Free admission.
2:40 PM Today in history: "I didn't want to be a hero. I did it for Jacqueline Kennedy" (Jack Ruby to police).
Was Oswald the lone killer? Eighty percent of the American public says No. Notes one report:
11:20 AM There is now a flux—a battle, even—in biblical scholarship concerning the doctrine of inerrancy, greater perhaps than at any time since the dawn of the critical era. This battle is not just limited to a conflict between non-conservatives who deny inerrancy and conservatives who espouse it. Even those who teach in conservative seminaries and who sign the Evangelical Theological Society’s doctrinal statement are subject to the insidious temptation to rationalize away or redefine the term “inerrancy” until it has no meaning whatsoever. The biblical writings are authoritative and inerrant, not because of their human authors, but because God is the ultimate author. Luther once said, “When the Scripture speaks, God speaks.” I therefore put my entire confidence in the veracity of God’s written Word, even as Jesus did. At the same time, I am greatly concerned about attempts by critics to infiltrate evangelicalism with views that subordinate the inerrancy of Scripture to the judgments of mere men. In my opinion this latter approach was evident at last week’s ETS meeting in Atlanta, which I attended. I realize that some of the confusion pertains to the meaning of “inerrancy.” The ETS itself does not define the term. At the same time, I think it accurate to say that the ETS has long embraced membership that spans strict inerrantist views to infallibilist views and even to views bordering on neo-orthodox. If you’ve read Clark Pinnock’s The Scripture Principle, for example, you know he’s not a strict inerrantist in the Geisler/Archer sense. As Randy Maddox has written,
Meanwhile, an attempt is underway in the ETS to define the term “inerrancy.” This is much to be desired, and will be a Herculean task. Let us fervently pray that it succeeds.
Willow-creekers need not contemplate this.
Allah and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are one and the same after all, says the prez. Not to worry. After all, Bush ain't no theologian.
Tuesday, November 18
5:10 PM Ouch!
the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." God is the Creator
and absolute Ruler of the universe, bringing all things to pass in
accordance with His will. Need a reminder?
sunlit cliffs and sand dunes on Mars, captured by NASA:
12:35 PM Ted Lang is one of the most perceptive writers over at Ether Zone. His latest column is dead on the money: BUSH & CLINTON: PARTNERS IN UNCONSTITUTIONALITY. While you're at it, check out the latest from Harry Browne.
And for a report on the new Afghan "constitution," go here and click on "They the People."
Meanwhile, the evangelical movement is now in a "free fall" and continues to be deceived by so-called openness theology and its proponents. Please read this essay by David Wells, who rightly notes:
9:30 AM From David Brainerd's Journal: "It is good to follow the path of duty, though in the midst of darkness and discouragement."
Monday, November 17
2:20 PM Now we know: Mary Magdalene was the first female apostle.
11:45 AM Proof that America is in big trouble: Americans are backing Rush to the hilt.
11:35 AM Senator Ernest Hollings now openly admits he was misled on Iraq, believing the president's fabrications. He writes:
Besser spät als niemals.
popularity of rugby eclipsed David Frost's interview with George Bush
In the interview Bush commiserated with Tony Blair, whom he described as having to attend funerals for slain British servicemen. Odd, seeing that Bush himself has shown no interest in doing the same for his own KIA, like Specialist Darryl Dent, the 21-year-old National Guardsman from Washington who died outside Baghdad in August when a bomb struck his truck while he was delivering mail to troops. His funeral was held only three miles from the White House. The president distances himself from the messy problems of real soldiers with real names and real families who are getting whacked over there nearly every day, and somehow he is still considered a war hero. Ciò è la vita!
9:30 AM Can a town have too many Baptists?
9:00 AM Roy Moore is a man of courage, conviction, and Christian principle who has stood faithfully in a world of cowardice and compromise. He has reminded us that it is time we rethink our understanding of what it means to be the church. The third thesis of the Barmen Declaration reads as follows:
This thesis was a response to the attempt by the champions of the Third Reich to introduce nationalism into the Christian creed and restructure the church according to the "Leader-principle." It insisted that the message of the Gospel was not to be confused or bounded by the neo-pagan state. This issue has, indeed, become a major bone of contention in the present search for a true confessing church within American Christendom, a quest made all the more pressing by the claims and conflicts of the modern state-church in America. The emphasis upon Christus solus at Barmen was not just an article of faith but a matter of practical consequence requiring implementation. The same applies today. I am therefore much in prayer about drafting a new "Barmen" and would implore my fellow pilgrims to pray about whether the evangelical church needs a new council to consider just such a declaration.
8:45 AM GOP complaints that filibusters are "unconstitutional" are a bit hypocritical, don't you think? This is the same GOP that is more concerned about offending sex perverts than offending God. Although originally agreeing with Roy Moore that his Ten Commandments monument could legally remain in the state judicial building, Bill Pryor ordered it removed from public view and launched an inquisition against the Chief Justice. Seems to me the wrong guy was suspended from office.
Friday, November 14
9:30 AM Throughout the years I have compiled a list of my favorite books and commentaries on the New Testament. I call it "The Black List." If anyone would like a copy, just drop me an email and I will send it right out. By the way, I notice with pleasure that one of my favorite bloggers is due to return from a hiatus today. Welcome back, Pieter!
8:00 AM This morning's reading included Gary North on the establishment's hatred of gold, R.C. Sproul Jr's review of Luther, Buried Treasure's weblog, Izzy Lyman's thoughts on homeschooling, and Harry Seabrook's lengthy response to my essay, "Prophetic Resistance as the Calling of the Church," in which he rightly points out one of our greatest weaknesses as Baptists, namely, our emphasis on decision-making over discipleship (even the secular press mocks our inflated membership statistics). Those of us who are committed to biblical reformation confront many external enemies, but we also have disagreements (severe, at times) among ourselves. I hope my readers will take a look at Mark Coppenger's penetrating essay "The Ascent of Lost Man in Southern Baptist Preaching." Among others things, he notes "Unlike the founders of the Southern Baptist Convention, some have come to view lost people as discriminating shoppers, whose failure to buy is due to our failure at marketing."
By the way, the organ concert last night was phenomenal. Not only did Mr. Curley have his entire repertory memorized, his performance was nearly flawless. In addition to playing my favorite Bach fugue he performed Erbarm Dich, o Herre Gott, one of my all-time favorite German hymns that we used to sing in our church in Basel, the first verse of which is (oh, that everyone could read German!):
Meanwhile, this morning is my final prep time for the series of lectures on the Gospels and Acts I am giving in Norfolk at our seminary extension. The topics have been challenging, to say the least, including proofs for the Deity of Christ, the synoptic problem, New Testament textual criticism, and types of Christ in the Old Testament. I have just revised my three hour lecture on Acts entitled "The History and Theology of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement," in which I attempt to help students deal with the issue of sign gifts, going practically verse by verse through the book of Acts as well as the explicitly didactic portions of the epistles, especially 1 Corinthians 12-14.
Thursday, November 13
12:50 PM The verdict is in. Judge Roy Moore has been expelled from office. We should all mourn for this decision and beg God to have mercy on our nation for what we have allowed to happen. I don't know about you, but I stand by the Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" (First Amendment). The U.S. Constitution specifically protects the displaying of documents or monuments like the Ten Commandments. I say shame on those "conservatives" like Bill Pryor who have slandered Roy Moore's good name by referring to his "utterly unrepentant behavior."
12:35 PM For those of you kind souls who have inquired about my forthcoming book Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon, here's the table of contents:
Meanwhile, I am currently laboring to complete a 600-page work on the authorship of Hebrews (comparing Hebrews with the Pauline epistles) and have begun revising my Why Four Gospels? It's enough to keep my pooter pretty busy for some time to come.
12:15 PM I just ran across this excellent piece by Rodney Decker on how to do a New Testament word study legitimately. If you're one of those preachers who likes to "etymologize" and look for "root" meanings in words (e.g., ekklesia means "called out," or dunamis refers to "dynamite"), you'll want to steer clear of this convicting essay!
9:30 AM Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, who is currently prosecuting (persecuting) Judge Roy Moore, contradicts his own statement on the propriety and legality of displaying the Ten Commandments in the public square. Why, then, isn't he prosecuting Judge Thompson instead? Good question.... The verdict is to be announced at 11:00 this morning. If you're waiting for the Republican leadership to support Moore, don't hold your breath.
If you haven't seen the new forum at Little Geneva, you should. Harry Seabrook leaves nary a base uncovered.
8:30 AM Lee Shelton has just published a block-buster piece on the Bush administration's illegal assault on the Second Amendment. Thanks, Lee, for being "ever vigilant."
7:45 AM The tragic death of a teenager due to complications from taking the so-called abortion pill is drawing renewed attention to the dangers of aborticide. It gives the cartoon below special significance, although "Fetal Death Approved" should now also include "Mother."
7:15 AM I've sent a thank-you note to Dr. Siegfried Schatzmann, Professor of New Testament at my sister institution, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, for his kind review of the book I edited entitled Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism. He thought it would be very useful for courses in the subject. His review appeared in the latest issue of his institutional mouthpiece, Southwestern Journal of Theology (unfortunately it is not online), an excellent resource for all pastors. If you're interested in pursuing textual criticism in greater detail, especially the so-called "King James Version Debate," I encourage you to visit Rodney Decker's outstanding links page on the subject.
On another matter, if you haven't checked out the new website of the National Coalition to Restore the Constitution, please go here. Debbie Hopper has put together an excellent site, and I'm especially pleased to see the announcement of an upcoming "Constitution in Crisis" summit in January 2004. I'm not sure where or when it will be exactly, but I hope to attend if my schedule permits.
7:00 AM Robert Lloyd responds to my essay, "Bush Is No Hero of the Pro-Life Movement":
6:30 AM Ever since I first heard Toccata and Fugue in D Minor as a child I have been a huge fan of J. S. Bach. Tonight there will be an organ concert in one of the oldest churches in Roxboro, North Carolina, the Long Memorial Methodist Church. Performing will be the world-renowned organist Carlo Curley. I've never heard Mr. Curley before, so I am really looking forward to his concert and to meeting him during the reception afterwards.
6:00 AM Introducing the DBO blog: news, commentary, musings, and miscellaneous blatherings from your web host. I begin with a quotation from one of my all-time favorite authors, Malcolm Muggeridge, from his book Confessions of a Twentieth Century Pilgrim:
Being a de novo web journalist, in addition to passing myself off as a teacher, I find quite an interesting (and often challenging) combination. The sincere prayer of my heart is that of an ancient saint:
Do stop by often, as these ruminations will be coming to you at any time of day or night.