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Tuesday, November 01, 2011 

Closing & Moving

After many years of enjoying What the Thunder Said... we're closing up shop. The site will stay open, but none of the posts or links will be curated.

And also, we're moving to

See you over at the new site!

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Monday, April 28, 2008 

The Security of the Shepherd and the Sheep

Reading: Murray, John Redemption Accomplished and Applied
Enjoying: poptarts with the wife (nutritious!)
Listening: The Killers

For an upcoming sermon on the I Am saying from John 10, Calvin draws an interesting application that illuminates some of the struggles the Reformer may have keenly felt. From his commentary on John 10:4, 9: "When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice... I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture:"
This passage should make us deeply ashamed. First, because we are so unused to the voice of our Shepherd that hardly anyone listens to it without indifference. And then because we are so slow and lazy to follow him. I am speaking of the good, or at least of the passable, for most of those who claim to be Christ’s disciples openly rebel against him. Lastly as soon as we hear the voice of any stranger, we are carried unstably here and there, and this unsteadiness and levity shows just how little we have advanced in the faith so far. But although the number of believers is less than we would want, and many of this small number continually fall away, faithful teachers have the consolation of knowing that they are heard by God’s elect, who are Christ’s “sheep.” It is our job to work hard and to strive in every way to bring, if possible, the whole world to agreement in the unity of the faith. Meanwhile, we must be content with our number.
The pressures of reforming the Church and the seeming apathy and disobedience of Europe must have been taxing on the consciences of the Reformers. However, it is especially comforting to know that, despite the shortcomings and weaknesses of this preacher, "God's true sheep will hear God's pure word" (emphasis mine).

[Calvin] | [exegesis]

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008 

Diakonia, Ecclesia, and Two Kingdoms

Reading: Ordained Servant
Enjoying: ice cream and chocolate
Listening: The New *Stenographers "Twin Cinema"

Does one's view of church and state affect their ecclesiology, or (for that matter) vice versa? Some Reformational groups apparently viewed the state and the church as coterminous (though not equally elect), and this affected their view of the diaconate. Ms. McKee notes,
In this view, Christian rulers are the leading laity and thus the natural church members to hold the public offices of moral oversight, education, and relief for the poor. For example, among Lutherans and the Zwingli Reformed, the ministry of Word and sacraments was the only clearly ecclesiastical office. Oversight of Christians' morals and care for their daily lives were happily left to the Christian prince or explicitly assigned to the Christian magistrate. Neither tradition made conscious provision for a situation in which the civil ruler was not Christian, an important factor for the development of diakonia in the post-Reformation age.[1]

I wonder if this has any relation to what I posted here, in the third section regarding how the Church should spend her resources in relief.

If we are serious about what the biblical texts have to say about the two offices of the church and their nature, will this begin to affect our politics and how we give philanthropically?


[1]McKee, Elsie Anne. Diakonia in the Classical Reformed Tradition and Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Press, 1989) p. 38.Back

[theology] | [diakonia]

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008 

(Mostly) Ecclesial Links

Reading: Kromminga, Man Before God's Face in Calvin's Preaching
Enjoying: Cody is out visiting
Listening: Anberlin

We've got a real ticket for you tonight. A little music, a little culture, and lot o' ecclesiology: prayer, theology, church discipline, church calling, church planting... its all in the works. Enjoy!

K. Cawley's 2007 Music Round Up
This is great if you're looking for top quality un-pop music. Cawley rounds out his top 30, with a few (fair) honorable mentions. I especially agree with #1, 5, 10, 12, 13, and 24. Honestly, I'm not sure that Neon Bible is top dog, but its his list, right? My take away: get to know Aqualung. Middle-Earth or Narnia?
Challies explains that the difference between Tolkien and Lewis is the difference between Second Life and an average RPG. For Lewis, the story is the universe; for Tolkien, his universe is telling a story. Agree?

How the Godfather Got His Groove Back
Apparently James B. Jordan, patriarch of the FV, has a new blog at Biblical Horizons.

Whose Kingdom? The Far Limits of Anti-Empirism

I have often linked favorably to Peter Leithart, but here's an example where I disagree. Oh its about an empire/kingdom to be sure, but I don't think Rome is anywhere in the picture here.

WSJ on Excommunication: "Help, my pastor just called the cops on me!"
Sure it seems insensitive to them, but that's because they get the whole thing wrong. Quote: "pastors in large and small churches across the country are expelling members for offenses ranging from adultery and theft to gossiping, skipping service and criticizing church leaders." Ok, lets be clear: there has always been and only can be one sin for which one can be excommunicated - being unrepentant. But aside from that, does this article catch your ear eye?

Of Prayer
Faith and Prayer
Lee Irons shows the inherent connectedness of faith and prayer.

Praying without Ceasing
John MacArthur's take.

Gospel Driven Prayer

Calvin on Imputed Righteousness

Is there a Ministerial Glut (in the PCA)?
(HT: Dr. Clark)

Is there a Ministerial Need (in the OPC)?
Perhaps there's a solution somewhere in there...

[links] | [blogging]

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Monday, January 14, 2008 


Is covenant close to the center of theology for Barth? “...God's Word spoken both in the relation of the history of Israel to the history of Jesus Christ and the relation of the history of Jesus Christ to the history of Israel..."

Francis R. Beattie Gives an Exposition of the Westminster Standards: Online Edition

What is Trent's only comfort in life and death? The Heidelberg Q.1 according to Rome.

Dr. Estelle on the Exodus Motif in Isaiah. Thank you, New Horizons.

John Piper on why children should pray to their heavenly Father. Sean Michael Lewis on why this makes Piper sound covenantal.

"The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church" - mp3 of Rod Rosenbladt (White Horse Inn)

In picking up WTJ Fall 2007 to browse Tim Witmer's ("Seminary: A Place to Prepare Pastors?") and Paul Kjoss Helseth's ("Christ-Centered, Bible-Based, and Second-Rate? 'Right Reason' as the Aesthetic Foundation of Christian Education") articles on education, Dr. R. Scott Clark reminds us that Voetius is excellent in attacking middle knowledge. What else is in WTJ Fall 2007? Terrence L. Tiessen's "Why Calvinists Should Believe in Divine Middle Knowledge, Even Though They Reject Molinism." I only had a chance to thumb through the article, but Tiessen is aware of Voetius' and Richard Muller's concerns, but I think Tiessen thinks his thrust is different from what the Divines were dealing with in the 17th century and following. I'll try to report back. Anyone can feel free to chime in, by the way.

[theology] | [links]

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I AM Sardis

Reading: Waltke's new OT Theology
Enjoying: rolo's
Listening: muse

So, normally when I haven't posted for ages I go into this long apology/excuse as to why I haven't posted more, but for cryin' out loud... I'm under grace, baby. Now to pick up where I left off.

You’re St. Melito of Sardis!

You have a great love of history and liturgy. You’re attached to the traditions of the ancients, yet you recognize that the old world — great as it was — is passing away. You are loyal to the customs of your family, though you do not hesitate to call family members to account for their sins.

But for real, you basically copied and pasted the entire OT canon (minus Esther; bling!), and you may or may not be responsible for early anti-semitism. Also, you are probably amillenial.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

I think this may disqualify me for my licensure...


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Thursday, November 15, 2007 

Free Download: EverNote

EverNote is available free for download for today (Thursday, 11/15) only! Reaching near cult status in some circles, this app is note taker, project manager, and more all wrapped into one. From the Give Away of the Day site, this is perhaps one of their best offers yet.

Download EverNote

[EverNote] | [download]

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 

Links: In Other News

In other news on culture, evangelicals, politics, theology, movies, and other news...

Slate: Not All Its Cracked Up to Be
David Sessions, a self-described politically interested evangelical from Patrick Henry College, writes on evangelical presence in politics, a united front in the primaries, and whether the evangelical impetus is waning.
(HT: Cranach)

WSJ Articles for Free Online

In other written media news, the WSJ is offering material free online. With the help of social networking client digg, formerly reserved articles are now available to the public.
(HT: Lifehacker)

Olasky Manifesto, Gay Marriage & State Sovereignty
In other Cranach news, there is a post pointing out a section of the recent Olasky manifesto, specific to same-sex unions. There is some helpful discussion (I recommend reading into the comments) regarding the roles of state and family.

Americanitis: Wilson on Hart
In other news on culture, these are some of the posts Doug Wilson has posted in reading through D.G. Hart's A Secular Faith.

Transforming Culture with a Messiah Complex
(In other theology news...) Everyone's already linked to it, but this article by Dr. Michael Horton is so helpful, I think. Not only dealing with culture and the church, but also read it for fine theology on the ascension and eschatology.

Out of Ur: Willow Creek Repents
In other church news, awhile ago Bill Hybels "repented" and "had the wake up call of his adult life." A church poll of Willow Creek reported that while the church was meeting the needs of those new to the faith ("kicking the tires of Christianity," as my pastor likes to say), older Christians were not being fed.

While I'm glad that Willow Creed is recognizing that they need a more biblical program in place, is this not the same old methodology? Willow Creek is, it seems, still being "seeker sensitive," its just that for once, the felt needs of the demographic really are the needs that need to be met. But what happens when this group tires of biblical teaching? Is it on to whatever they ask for next? My prayer is that during this season when they ratchet up their bible teaching, they'll realize whole new paradigms - biblical ones - for doing church. Perhaps something along the lines of gospel, water, bread & wine, and applying these in discipleship/discipline.

The Logical Fall Out of the 7 Deadly Sins
When theology and geometry meet, watch out. I think this just proves that total depravity extends even to the laws of mathematics.

His Dark Materials vs. Christianity

Philip Pullman's trilogy is about to gain a wider audience when the first episode, The Golden Compass, hits the silver screen this winter. An important part of Pullman's project is to undermine the Christian world-and-life-view by offering a new mythology. Hanna Rosin in the latest issue of the Atlantic:
In the books, Lyra is the new Eve, but an Eve who brings humanity to its full realization by eating the fruit. The climax of the trilogy comes when Lyra, the 12-year-old heroine, shares a red fruit with her friend Will. They kiss and Pullman draws a discrete curtain over the rest: "Around them there was nothing but silence, as if all the world were holding its breath" is as explicit as he gets.

Pullman told Rosin that this Eden-reversal scene is crucial to his effort to unravel Christian mythology: "They become aware of sexuality, of the power the body has to attract attention from someone else. This is not only natural, but a wonderful thing! To be celebrated! Why the Christian Church has spent 2,000 years condemning this glorious moment, well, that's a mystery. I want to confront that, I suppose, by telling a story that this so-called original sin is anything but. It's the thing that makes us fully human."
No doubt Dr. Peter Jones would have a field day with this, but the ironies abound. Pullman, like so much of the hedonism characterizing the current culture, is vainly struggling to realize human sexuality. In the Christian "mythos," however, Adam and Eve are created naked, are told to fruitfully procreate - i.e., they are given divine fiat to engage in sexual intercourse - and all of this nudity and sex is "very good" in the eyes of God. Contra Pullman, humanity doesn't become aware of sexuality at the Fall, rather their once beautiful nudity becomes shame to them. Where Pullman wants his prototypical Adam and Eve to attract attention with their bodies, our first parents were created to serve one another and, ultimately, their Overlord, Elohim. Pullman, like all of us sinners, would sooner get what he wanted if he would quit kicking against the goads and find his hopes already graciously promised and answered in biblical witness to Jesus Christ, who has come to restore and redeem all the problems already in this world, problems created by visions of humanity and reality like that of Pullman's.

[links] | [blogging]

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Transplanted from the artic blight of Minnesota to the sunny paradise of SoCal, I am attending school and learning to say "dude." I like to think of myself as equal parts surf rash, Batman, heavy metal, Levinas, poetic license, and reformational. Other than creating blund blogs, I enjoy reading, sporting, and socializing with serious and funny people.
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