Jan 222015

imagesIn a gift to prophecy wonks, the “Doomsday Clock” has been set ahead two minutes.

This will undoubtedly elate Rapture enthusiasts, even though they tend to disbelieve the reasons why these scientists feel we’re getting closer to the end.


Expect to see a lot of clock faces on Facebook for the next few days…

Last week I put a link up in the weekly “Linkathon” that was a little historical snapshot about John Wesley that painted a less holy picture of the man than we normally read in Wesleyan hagiography. In the very same article was a link defending Arminianism, written by (shudder) a Calvinist. I thought it was a good balance. As a result, I’ve been “unfriended”, called a drunk, a heathen, and some other things I can’t print. Had the article been critical of Calvin or Luther, the same folks would still be applauding…so my counsel to them is “don’t let the door hit you where the dog bit you”…

In a rare trifecta, Miss Kitty managed to dump a cup of coffee on my keyboard, phone and iPad in one move. So far, all have survived except my shift key…try typing without one.

My favorite observation from N.T. Wright is actually quite classically Reformed in character…and quite radical when you really think about it.

The born again believer is “in Christ”…and thus, what is true about Him is true about them.

This is where all the debates about justification and sanctification should both begin and end…in my opinion of course.

“In Romans 6.11, the result of being baptized “into Christ”… is that one is now “in Christ,” so that what is true of him is true of the one baptized–here, death and resurrection. This occurs within the overall context of the Adam-Christ argument of chapter 5, with its two family solidarities; the Christian has now left the old solidarity (Romans 6.6) and entered the new one. 6.23 may be read by analogy with 6.11; whose who are “in Christ” receive the gift of the life of the new age, which is already Christ’s in virtue of his resurrection–that is, which belongs to Israel’s representative, the Messiah in virtue of his having drawn Israel’s climactic destiny on to himself. Similarly, in Romans 8.1, 2 the point of the expression “in Christ” is that what is true of Christ is true of his people: Christ has come through the judgment of death and out into the new life which death can no longer touch (8.3-4; 8.10-11), and that is now predicated of those who are “in him.” In Galatians 3.26 the ex-pagan Christians are told that they are all sons of God (a regular term for Israel…) in Christ, through faith. It is because of who the Messiah is–the true seed of Abraham, and so on–that Christians are this too, since they are “in” him. Thus in v. 27, explaining this point, Paul speaks of being baptized “into” Christ and so “putting on Christ,” with the result that (3.28) [translating Wright’s reproduction of Paul’s Greek here:] you are all one in Christ Jesus. It is this firm conclusion, with all its overtones of membership in the true people of God, the real people of Abraham, that is then expressed concisely in 3.29 with the genitive [again translating]: and if you are of Christ… When we consider Galatians 3 as a whole, with its essentially historical argument from Abraham through Moses to the fulfillment of God’s promises in the coming of Christ, a strong presupposition is surely created in favor both of reading Xpistos as “Messiah,” Israel’s representative, and of understanding the incorporative phrases at the end of the chapter as gaining their meaning from this sense. Because Jesus is the Messiah, he sums up his people in himself, so that what is true of him is true of them.”

N.T. Wright: Climax of the Covenant: Christ and the Law in Pauline Theology [Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993]

Jan 212015

tony-jonesEmergent leader Tony Jones had a problem.

He had a girlfriend…but he also had a wife.

What is a holy man to do with such a conundrum?

His solution was genius….and wicked as hell.


While he was in the process of divorcing his wife he would get “sacramentally” or spiritually married to his girlfriend.

Tony Jones divorced his wife in 2009.

His wife discovered the affair in 2008

He claimed to be “spiritually” married to the new woman.

Problem solved!

He even wrote a short book on the subject cloaking his theory as a way for churches to deal with same sex marriage.

“There Are Two Marriages: A Manifesto On Marriage” defines a “sacramental marriage” as different from a “legal marriage”.

It’s genius indeed…and not the first time I’ve heard a religious adulterer say something similar when they abandon their wives and children.

The script usually goes something like this…

First, complain bitterly to all in your inner circle that your wife is not “spiritual” enough for a man of God like yourself.

Second, assert that because she’s not “spiritual” enough, she can’t possibly be “supportive” of you and of the wonderful ministry God gave you.

Third, start telling people that she’s mentally and emotionally unstable…”crazy” if you will.

It’s very important to put the emphasis on “crazy”…

Certainly, no one expects a man of God to bear up under such strain and certainly no one will blame him for finding a proper “help mate”.

The wife is slimed, smeared, and abandoned, while the “man of God” enjoys his new toy.

I’ve seen this scenario repeat itself a couple dozen times if I’ve seen it once.

Let’s call it what it really is…a lie, and common, garden variety, adultery.

It’s abuse.

When there are children involved the sin is even greater and more wicked.

Hypothetically, if a wife is suffering from mental illness, it increases a mans responsibility to his wife and children.

It does not provide a “get out of marriage free” card.

Whether it’s in the “emergent” church or Calvary Chapel it’s adultery, a disqualifying sin, and a stench in the nostrils of God.

Those who affirm such actions, share in the sin.


Update: There were factual errors in the original story that have been corrected.

My apologies for the errors.

The Wartburg Watch has an excellent review of the situation.

Jan 212015

1426163_10152538970789156_1955504315_aNaghmeh Abedini will be meeting with President Obama today.

“I was overjoyed when I heard that president Obama wanted to meet with the kids and I during his short visit here in Boise. I have tried over the last 2 years to meet with the president or even get a phone call from him without success. It is truly an answer to prayer that he is coming to Boise and it is a miracle that he is meeting with us. I see God’s Hand in arranging this crucial meeting.”

Keep this in your prayers…


Jan 202015

timthumb.php10 things Protestants need to know about Mary…

Naghmeh wants to meet with Obama…

Luke 19 and the segregation of the church…

Hope for dirtbags…

God’s super apostles…

Cultural capitulation is not courageous…

Brilliant Trueman piece on how biblical views on morality are becoming unutterable…

The malarkey runs deep in the “Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” mess…

The politics of poverty and race…

Caner resigns…

Very early fragment of Mark affirmed…

Confusing equality with sameness…the Junia Project.

Oversharing online…

Tim Keller on idols of the heart…

Reconciling faith and science…

Religion of peace burns more churches, homes…

What God hates…

What does it mean to love your neighbor?

Jan 192015

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. Today the nation honors the memory of Martin Luther King Jr….well, some of the country. I think that if it were not a federal and state mandated ‘holiday” it would get little notice in the current political climate…



2. I see some parts of the church gearing up for a fight for traditional marriage in light of the Supreme Courts decision to rule on same sex marriage. All the fighters have to do is convince the majority of Americans that the Bible is authoritative on matters of sexual morality. Good luck with that…

3. The real fight worth fighting culturally isn’t to convince people that we’re right, it’s to fight to have the legal right to be wrong in their eyes…

4. The internet has given everyone a voice and some people the inability to shut the hell up.

5. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” MLK

6. The more I study history the more those who are always looking for the “signs of the times” seem silly to me. Someone who was transported through time from the plague ridden Middle Ages to today would think they had arrived in the millennial kingdom…if they weren’t all amillennial. 🙂

7. The “Boy Who Came Back from Heaven” didn’t go there in the first place...but I knew that before he admitted it…

8. I’m picking Seattle by four…

9. The less I say the wiser I sound…the objective is to not let my mouth outstrip the the limits of my wisdom. It happens too often and too easily…

10. The emergent community is going through a scandal that simply proves that when book deals and conferences are on the line progressives are as repressive as they claim fundamentalists are…

Jan 192015

Calvin's Corner headerPastor Michael Newnham and Phil Naessens discuss this past Monday night’s NCAA National Championship Game between Oregon and Ohio State, answer questions from the listening audience about the Eastern Orthodox Church being “Christian”, why giving to the likes of TBN and their TV shows might not be the best way to spend your money and whether Christians should seek out a Christian counselor or see a licensed psychiatrist.

Jan 172015

thumbnail.aspxLord, it’s too late for you to be quiet, you have spoken too much; you have fought too much.

You were not sensible, you know; you exaggerated, it was bound to happen.

You called the better people a breed of vipers.

You told them that their hearts were black sepulchres with fine exteriors.

You kissed the decaying lepers.


You spoke fearlessly with unacceptable strangers.

You ate with notorious sinners and you said that street-walkers would be the first in Paradise.

You got on well with the poor, the tramps, the crippled.

You belittled the religious regulations.

Your interpretation of the law reduced it to one little commandment: to love.

Now they are avenging themselves.

They have taken steps against you: they have approached the authorities and action will follow.

Lord, I know that if I try to live a little like you, I shall be condemned.

I am afraid.

They are already singling me out.

Some smile at me, others laugh, some are shocked and several of my friends are about to drop me.

I am afraid to stop.

I am afraid to listen to men’s wisdom.

It whispers: you must go forward little by little, everything can’t be taken literally, it’s better to come to terms with the adversary… And yet, Lord, I know that you are right.

Help me to fight.

Help me to speak.

Help me to live your Gospel to the end, to the folly of the Cross.

Quoist, Michel (2014-09-05). Keeping Hope – Favourite Prayers for Modern Living: Selected Inspirational Prayers from World-Renowned Theologian Michel Quoist (Kindle Locations 985-995). Gill & Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

Jan 162015

IMG_0027It was a difficult conversation.

Researchers in the U.K. had “proven” that cats have no real attachment to or affection for their owners.

Indeed, their research has concluded that cats believe humans to be insipid, ignorant, tools whose only worth is in what they can feed them.

Cats do not like us and could care less whether we live or die.

When we clean up after them when they use our house as a bathroom, they believe it a sign of conquest over us.

All signs of feline affection are merely ruses carefully thought out by the beasts to deceive us so we will keep feeding them.

If we were smaller, they would slay and devour us as well.

Dogs, however, (according the the scientists) truly love and appreciate their human masters.

The gig is up, Miss Kitty… science has revealed your true motives.

I read the article to Miss Kitty as she laid on my lap, purring and feigning affection and contentment.

She, of course, denied the allegations.

She also directed my attention to another “scientific” study that showed that cats actually believe people to be kin…larger versions of themselves.

Thus, the need to groom us when we haven’t done so properly and the donation of fresh kill to us in case the Whiska’s run out and we all starve together.

This, she purred, is the true belief of cats and one that she holds to personally.

It saddened her to think that we would believe that cats would despise humans when humans are made in the image of cat.

She also noted the folly of someone spending research money to prove what can’t be proven.

Some things can’t be proven…they can only be experienced.

She then groomed my eyebrows and went back to sleep.

Despite what the scientists believe, I believe my cat.

The point is irrelevant…because I love my cat despite it’s faults and mixed motives.

I’ve experienced the love of cat.

Man wasn’t made in the image of cat, but in the image of God…who we love imperfectly with mixed motives.

He loves us even when we feign affection for Him.

He loves us even when we try to manipulate Him for our own ends.

He even loves us when we metaphorically use His house as a bathroom.

We did slay Him…

He loves us anyway.

We love Him because He first loved us.

Just like me and Miss Kitty…

Go ahead and purr…

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