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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 

Around the Blogosphere

You know those blog posts that are just links, and unless you run Firefox and have an hour of time, they are a real pain? You spend your whole time reading a teaser just to get you to click to a link to a story you only perchance want to actually read, and it ends up just wasting more of your blogging time? Well, I hate those too. Hopefully what follows is not the above. Nevertheless, while I have included a King Kong portion of links, hopefully there is enough story and content here to keep you content even if you never click away. And if you have the time and tabs for the browsing, there is enough linkto: to fry your new Intel Mac that just came shiny in the mail.

In this virtual surf: Driscoll begins a resurgence; while Charles Simeon may or may not have been theologically The RPW flames the Pyromaniac, and the Sled Dog pulls the argument surrounding hiring homosexuals. We press the disciplined antithesis with Paul Manata and bewail the current 50 influential "Christians." There is even some tech links to add pep. Enjoy!

Pastor Mark Driscoll - pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, leader of Acts 29 Ministries and all things reformissional - began blogging at Resurgence. He is a welcome addition, in our humble opinion, to the blogosphere. My chief question has a minor premise - what kind of blogger will Pastor Driscoll turn out to be, that is, will he be aggressive, periodic, and thought out?; and the major premise is: will Pastor Driscoll come to be viewed as one of the T(ruly)R(eformed)? My own guess is no to both. From the posts thus far, Pastor Driscoll seems to have a low key, dare I say "conversational"(?!) tone to his posts. Coupled with his reformissional/emerging tendencies, and his hesitantcy to speak as forthrightly on more controversial aspects of monergism (such as the scope of the atonement) will probably not a TR of him make. Nevertheless, that is probably not a bad thing, and perhaps puts Pastor Driscoll in an enviable position of being respected for his theological views without being lambasted at the same time.

Mr. Kerry Gilliard of posts on God's sovereignty, and includes an important historical conversation between Charles Simeon, an Anglican Calvinist,* and John Wesley, the Anglican-turned-Methodist Arminian. These sort of conversations are needed in stemming centuries long disagreements. Far too much of the Calvinist - Arminian debate has been perpetuated by miseducation and ignorance, as well as pride, hard hearts, and poor communication. As Mr. Gilliard notes, "all true Christians are Calvinists at heart." We also all still have an old sin nature, and its our job to help them into Reformed soteriology gently and biblically. Far more people would realize the biblical veracity of historic Reformed soteriology if they were driven to their bibles more often. Our zeitgeist and synagogues of Satan aren't helping that. We need to bridge the gap and get people the spiritual counsel they need.

* Charles Simeon, though a thorough-going Calvinist, was beholden to a more literal reading of texts of Scripture, and could, at times, sound quite to the contrary in his homilies. I also think Wesley was confused, inconsistent, and at times wrong about the Scriptures.

Mr. Phil Johnson of Pyromaniac fame weighs in on worship

As usual, it becomes increasingly difficult to parody and ridicule when the truth itself is so strange. Mr. Johnson notes, "I once remarked that if the trends in 'contemporary worship' were carried to their logical conclusion, church services would soon feature karaoke contests." To this, some T(ruly)E(nlightened) individual responded with, "What verse of scripture forbids the use of karaoke in worship?" In another blog post, we noted that in light of post-conservative, post-Christian, post-calvinist, post-everything, that, "Frankly, I think all this post-everything is post-ridiculous." Unfortunately, I find myself desiring to say similar things more and more often: this is post-ridiculous.

Nevertheless, in true Pyromaniac style, Mr. Johnson bites his dismissive tongue and compassionately interacts with man's question. Everything Mr. Johnson employs by means of argument is good and biblical. He starts off against entertainment (check), he hints at the Regulative Principle of Worship in the Westminster standards (blithely) and offers (a smattering of) Scripture to support it (big time check). He follows up with some weighty Spurgeon quotes (check), and then dives back in to the problems with entertainment for men instead of God (half-check; you already played the entertainment angle, but I'll give credit for centering on the telos of the worship).

Now, Mr. Johnson, everything you said is correct and true. But these evangellyfish are slipperly lil' eels, and it doesn't take them long to wiggle "karaoke" down to "sing a new song." Consider from your comment section on this post:
...Second, David dancing semi-nude infront of the Arc coming into Jerusalem didn't have a whole lotta fans in his family. Yet he was dancing unto the Lord.
If it is possible to make a fool of yourself dancing, then it may be possible to be a fool in karaoke, and still do it 'unto the Lord'.
(I'm beginning to think some people need to worry about making a fool of themselves in the comments section.)

The thrust of the original antagonist (and here I use this term with an emphasis on antagonizing) was, "What verse says I can't? Where is the limit you are going to lay down a hard and fast rule on me?" Here is the brilliance of the Regulative Principle of Worship (which I agree, you started into). The RPW states that God is not worshipped by man by any other means that what God perscribes. This is the combination of (man is totally depraved [Romans 3:9 - 23]) + (God is sovereign in bringing Himself glory [Isaiah 49:9 - 11]) = RPW [Leviticus 10:3]. We are not to follow our own devices in worshipping God. Rather, in the second commandment God tells us He will be worshipped in ways He chooses.

I do not think the RPW is something to be legalistic about. I like to hold it loosely, especially concerning historic liturgies (the Apostles' Creed, frequency of Eucharist, etc.). However, God has been explicit in that He commands His people to sing as with one voice, and that He inhabits the praises of His people. Solos should be kept to a minimum in corporate worship. And karaoke, no matter how you twist or squirm on your definition, has not been commanded by God.

The Sled Dog has an insightful, and I think on-track, post concerning missionary Mr. Steve Saint and ETE's hiring policies for the movie End of the Spear. While I'm not sure I agree with every conclusion, I do think he may have hit close to Mr. Saint's heart on the issue. I hope to get to the movie shortly. Coincidently, What the Thunder Said... uses the same music on its podcast that the movie does on its soundtrack.

Mr. Paul Manata records the silliness and embarassment that is the "Top 50 Most Influential Christian Leaders." It is so sad that he is so adept. He also notes that those against God-ordained discipline, specifically parents on their children, are not doing what Christ has explicitly commanded. Pray for change in our covenant families across the nation, and across the world.

Blog of Interest: The New College Conventicle

Tech Blogosphere:
Just in case you are looking to broaden your horizons, take a gander at some of these.
jkontherun notes that Opera Beta for Windows Mobile 5.o is out
mobilitytoday reminds us that Boston, among other metros, are going free WiFi
iPaqHQ highlights an upcoming hp XDA Atom and gives us more on the hw 6900
Pocket PC Gems keeps us up to date on mobile gaming

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Thanks for sharing that. It was fun reading it. :-)

That was a VERY interesting one! Seriously interesting.

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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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