Frenetic Friday: Reformation Day


Reformation Day

Thanks to Adam4d

Speaking of the state of theology Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway did a survey of theology and here is the infographic.

State of Theology

Don’t know about you but I think we need another Reformation to get us back to good theology and understanding of the scripture.

I’d like to direct you over to Fred Butler’s blog for an excellent post regarding Martin Luther:

On the Eve of all Saints Day.

So do you know this man?

Jan Huss

The term your “goose is cooked” came into being because of this man.  He is Jan Huss (Huss means goose in Czech) he is a pre-reformer a man who was burned at the stake for defying the Roman Catholic Church.  It was his writings that inspired Martin Luther.  Read more about this great man here:  John (Jan) Huss pre-Reformation Reformer.

Thanks for stopping by this is it for Frenetic Friday ; SEMPER REFORMANDA!!

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Frenetic Friday


So here’s the scoop I have to be at a church function tonight so there will be a Frenetic Friday by it will be late.

Earworm Wednesday: Burnwylde – “Nights In White Satin”


So two conversations this week.  One was where someone asked me why do I post covers instead of the original?  I pointed out that if there was no “good” cover that I would post the original.  Which prompted again the same question: so why covers at all?  And here is the why: because some time the band who is covering the song puts their own unique twist that is as good or sometimes better than the original.

So, second conversation a friend of mine on a social site posted these lines:

Breathe deep the gathering gloom,
Watch lights fade from every room.
Bedsitter people look back and lament,
Another day’s useless energy spent.

Now anyone who has listened to Nights in White Satin has heard those lines.  However, those lyrics aren’t from Nights in White Satin, no they are from Late Lament which occurs at the end of Nights in White Satin on some recordings.  And I pointed that out which resulted in a fifteen minute discussion that led to nowhere other than having that song stuck in my head.  Enjoy.

Catechism


Q . 115. What do we pray for in the fourth petition?

A. In the fourth petition, which is, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we pray that of God’s free gift, we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life and enjoy His blessing with them.

Give us this day our daily bread,
Matthew 6:11

Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.
Proverbs 30:8,9

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
1Timothy 6:6-8

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
1Timothy 4:4,5

Frenetic Friday


“Last night, I dreamt I went to Frenetic Friday again.”

And in the tradition of Whose Line is it Anyway a thousand bonus points if you can recognize the movie quote sans search engine.

Houston we have a problem:

So Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker signed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) into law.  This is the ordinance as taken from snopes.com

The measure bans discrimination based not just on sexual orientation and gender identity but also, as federal laws do, sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy and genetic information, as well as family, marital or military status.The ordinance applies to businesses that serve the public, private employers, housing, city employment and city contracting. Religious institutions would be exempt. Violators could be fined up to $5,000.
Opponents of this ordinance gathered together a petition that had 50,000 signatures on it to place a repeal measure on the ballot
which was given to the city of Houston only to have the petition rejected after a month by the city saying that they were short 2000 signature of the 17,269 needed.  Evidently according to the city “most of the pages contained mistakes that invalidated the entire page of signatures.”
The opponents then filed suit against the city which placed the HERO on hold.  This was followed by the attorneys of the city subpoenaing the sermons of the pastors that had opposed the ordinance.  And then everyone lost their minds.
Russell Moore at Moore to the Point blog wrote:  Houston We Have a Constitution  saying that the city of Houston has no right to the sermons.
The firestorm caused by this and other pastors regarding the subpoenaing of sermons caused the attorneys with the city to remove the section calling for the sermons to be turned in but left in the parts that order the pastors to produce ” emails, texts and other communications with church members and others that pertain to not only the signature-gathering effort but such topics as the mayor, homosexuality and gender identity.” (source: Washington Times) The attorneys for the pastors have challenged the subpoenas in court. Personally I think that R.C. Sproul Jr. has the best answer listen here:  Houston, What’s the Problem?

Update

Seems Mike Huckabee has called for all pastors across the country to send sermons and bibles to the Houston mayor as a show of support for religious freedom and to support the five Houston pastors.
Mike Huckabee asks pastors across america to send sermons and bible to Houston mayor.

Living in your own Private Idaho

 So in Coeur d’Alene Idaho there is a for profit wedding chapel called the Hitching Post.  It is run by two ministers Don and Evelyn Knapp of the Foursquare Church.  Because the Chapel isn’t registered as a religious organization it falls under the Idaho anti-discrimination law which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.  And because of that the two pastors were afraid that they would be forced to perform same-sex weddings.  Which they couldn’t do based on the biblical beliefs.  Because of this they file a lawsuit asking a federal judge to bar the city from enforcing this local ordinance.  Under the law the two pastors could face a six month jail sentence and a $1000 fine for each time they denied to do a same-sex marriage.

Send in the clowns

 You know there are certain things that just creep me out.  I’m not going to give you a list but let’s just say I’m not going to San Joaquin Valley  where an outbreak of clowns have occurred.  And I’m not talking those cutesy clowns no I’m talking about those first cousins to the nightmare clown from Stephen King or from a certain b-movie:
The horror, the horror!  So where was I? Oh yes San Joaquin Valley, seems the police have arrested a fourteen year old dressed as a clown terrorizing a child.  There have been reports of other “clowns” with baseball bats, guns, and machetes.  The police don’t consider this a laughing matter and will arrest any clown that terrorizes anyone.

A hoverboard?

  Okay admit it the coolest thing about back to the future was Marty riding on the hoverboard.  So…
 
This is a kickstarter campaign and they are promising to start shipping in 2015.  Now this “hovering” is caused by four magnets that cause it float about an inch off the ground but right now it only works on metal surfaces so this won’t be seen on the sidewalks soon.
And that is Frenetic Friday see you again next week.

Theology Thursday: Why This Former Presbyterian Became a Baptist


It’s a long story, but an important one.  From the confusion and dismay of the Charismatic movement (look for future posts on that topic coming soon), it was the doctrines of the Reformation which brought me back to peaceful relationship with God and proper fear of Him.  Just as it was in the days leading up to the Protestant Reformation, so it is today in Christendom: The simple gospel of Christ had – and has again – become obscured behind corruption and superstition.  Newly Reformed and delighted to embrace and promote my new-found faith, and without a church home at the time, I joined a Presbyterian church, brought my family in, and had my very young children baptized.

But it didn’t take long before there were issues in our denomination – issues that most “ordinary parishioners” had no knowledge of and frankly, didn’t want to know about. Being a theologian at heart, however – and by the way I think every Christian ought to be – I read Reformed journals and web sites. Then later, as an officer in my PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) church, I thought it wise to keep an eye on what the PCA was doing.  Having been led far astray once before (as a Charismatic), I maintain a particular sense of watchfulness.  No matter how noble and pure a denomination may be at first, historically it takes only about 40 years for it to abandon it’s first principles to pursue wealth, popularity, and prestige.  The PCA itself was born out of such a controversy, and we saw it happen to the now completely apostate PCUSA which – incredibly – also claims the Westminster Confession of Faith as it’s doctrinal standard!

I am one among dozens who have blogged about doctrinal disaster in the PCA, and the apathetic “leave theology to the experts” mentality that has given harmful teachings a deep foothold in the denomination.  My most recent PCA church had taken to a very formal, Anglican-style worship that borrows heavily from Eastern Orthodox forms and is very closely wedded to the “liturgical calendar.” During last year’s Advent season, the sanctuary was festooned with all the trappings of the Latin liturgy and the pastors took delight in the beauty of all the pomp and ceremony.  Asked to explain the Advent Candles (Why are there five candles? Why is one of the outside four a different color?  Why is the one in the middle called “the Christ candle?”), the pastor shrugged and simply admitted that he had no idea what the symbolism meant, but “isn’t it beautiful?”

My first thought:  Is this even a Reformed church anymore? shrug

Driven by an urgent sense that the Reformed faith has no biblical alternative, I decided from the bottom of my broken heart that it was time once again to search for a new church. My first impulse, naturally, was to look within my own denomination. But a moment’s thought changed my mind about that, since both of the PCA churches I had belonged to had either fallen prey to or completely ignored the heretical elephant in the room known as Federal Vision. Nearby is a Reformed Baptist church, though, and I thought it worth a look.  So for the next few Sundays I went there and enjoyed some of the sweetest worship among a group of simple, beautiful Berean-style scholarly folk who take the bible very seriously.  The worship liturgy was a simple, plain, joyful song service interspersed frequently with prayer and scripture readings, followed by a well-prepared exegesis of a portion of scripture.

“Well, they aren’t Presbyterians but  it is nevertheless always a good thing for me to take fresh measure of my beliefs,” I told myself.  What scared me a little was that part of me that longed to bring my heart-achy search for a Reformed church to a conclusion, and so was vulnerable to seeking justification for moving over to this Reformed Baptist church. To counter that tendency I determined to do nothing until I had read, absorbed, and debated these things with both Baptist and Presbyterian brothers. The trouble was finding people from either camp who are actually willing to be challenged in that way. I had been a Presbyterian for over two decades. Both of my adult children were raised in that tradition, both baptized as infants by sprinkling. If I was to make any big changes in my theology at this point in my life, I had darn well better have good solid reasons for doing it.

So I dove into books and on-line articles, listened to audio recordings of debate between Baptist and Presbyterian theologians, looking at questions through the eyes of both sides, and re-examined my own personal hermeneutics.  After several months of study, I have concluded that the differences between Presbyterians and Baptists come down to three very important things:

Number-1ab  Different hermeneutics:

Reformed believers are guided by one of two hermeneutics. Both usually lead to similar conclusions, but an important distinction exists between the two. And the deeper I go in my studies of the scriptures, the more the distinction seems to really matter.

The Presbyterian hermeneutic is described in the Westminster Confession of Faith this way:

The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture… (WCF 1:6, emphasis mine).

The Reformed Baptist hermeneutic sounds similar but it is different because it does not include deduction or “good consequence:”

The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture (London Baptist Confession 1:6, emphasis mine).

So what’s the difference? Both often lead to the same conclusion, as they do in the doctrine of the Trinity, for example. I have a silly, simplistic way of illustrating it: If one passage explicitly states that “all normal dogs have four legs,” and another explicitly states that “Spot is a normal dog,” then it is necessarily true that Spot has four legs even though that fact is not explicitly stated. The fact is contained in the book even though not explicitly. A Presbyterian might deduce that since there are other properties of normal dogs, such as two ears, a wet nose, and a wagging tail, then Spot must also have those qualities as well, even if the book doesn’t contain those things in its description of normal dogs. A Reformed Baptist could not reach that far, since two ears, a wet nose, and a wagging tail are not contained in the book’s description. While I realize that my silly simplistic illustration likely falls short of adequately describing the difference, I’m a simple country boy and receptive to correction if I really have misstated the difference. That’s just how I understand it.

It is that difference, I think, that accounts at least in part for the differences in Covenant Theology between Baptists and Presbyterians, and in the way that the two apply the Regulative Principle of Worship to the two ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Number-2ab   Different Covenantal Views:

Presbyterians view the Old and New Testaments as containing different administrations of the same covenant, which most refer to as the Covenant of Grace. They do this to preserve the continuity of Scripture between both Testaments. But to a Reformed Baptist, it isn’t necessary to preserve the continuity of the Testaments by describing the two as being “different administrations of one covenant.” The writer of Hebrews describes the Old Covenant as “type and shadow” of the New. The New fulfills the Old. But to a Baptist, the two are separate covenants altogether and while one prefigures the other, they apply to different groups of people and different points along the continuum of unfolding eschatology and progressive revelation:

  • First, the Old covenant was limited, under it’s different administrations, to one family, one race, one nation; whereas the New removes all such distinctions.
  • Second, the Old was temporal rather than eternal as the New covenant is.
  • Thirdly the Old was physical, geographical, and political, where the New is spiritual, universal, and “not of this world.”

Yet under the Old Testament, prefiguring the New, all who were eternally saved were saved just as they are in the New: By faith in One who was to come, the Seed promised to Abraham in the Old covenant, the Second Adam, the Mediator of – as the writer of Hebrews describes it – “a better covenant based on better promises (Hebrews 8:6).”

Number-3ab  Different Applications of the Regulative Principle of Worship:

Both Reformed Baptists and Presbyterians subscribe to this principle, based on Sola Scriptura and described in the Westminster Confession of Faith in these terms:

…the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by Himself, and is so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshiped according to … any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture (WCF 21:1).

This principle has been reduced by many people to simply, “When it comes to the worship of God, whatever is not commanded is forbidden.” This is quite unlike the Lutheran and Anglican principle which is, to reduce it to it’s simplest form, “whatever is not forbidden is permitted in the worship of God.” This leads them to all sorts of human inventions that “help the people worship,” from drama and dance to more superstitious stuff like making the sign of the cross and assigning mystical properties to the elements in the Lord’s Supper and observing a liturgical calender. Superstition, by the way, I take to mean trying to please, appease, delight, or “reach” God by any means other than revealed in His written word.

Because the Old Testament is to be interpreted through the lens of the New Testament, and because of the difference in the two views of covenant theology, the Reformed Baptist does not see baptism as a New covenant “replacement” of Old covenant circumcision. And as there is no explicit command in the New Testament to baptize any but confessed believers, Baptists reject what Presbyterians call “covenant baptism” (or “infant baptism”). To a Presbyterian, the command to baptize the infant children of believers is “necessarily deduced ” by the examples of Old covenant circumcision and “household baptisms” in the New Testament.

These three differences combine to form the theological basis for both credobaptism (believer’s baptism) and paedobaptism (infant baptism). They also represent what my search “boiled down to.” To most people I know, none of this matters. One just goes to “whatever church makes them happy” as long as it adheres to “the essentials.” That can’t be enough for me. In fact it hasn’t been enough for me ever. Not because I’m “too nitpicky,” but because love demands the pursuit of the truest possible knowledge of God.

What these differences mean to me in particular:

The Baptist position seems more consistent (Presbyterians baptize babies yet keep them from the Supper until they can articulate their faith in an adult manner), and closer to Sola Scriptura because it insists upon not exceeding what is written no matter how flawlessly logical and reasonable it may seem to do so. And equally important, the Baptist view of the covenants, which preserves the continuity of Scripture without the confusing of merger of Old and New signs, shadows, and types, quite literally makes it impossible for the deadly toxic weeds of Federal Vision theology to grow in Baptist soil. Perhaps I wasn’t really a very good Presbyterian all those years. It is too easy for even their own theologians to become bewildered and confused by their hermeneutics, getting lost in the details. I tend to run in favor of those things which “are so clearly propounded and opened in Scripture that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of ordinary means, may attain unto an sufficient understanding of them (WCF 1:7).”

Movie Review: The Judge



Director: David Do kin
Writers: Nick Schenk, Bill Dubuque, and others
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thorton, and Vincent D’Onofrio
The movie opens with Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) urinating into a urinal and on another person. Yes, the power games of lawyers they are so fun to watch.  Hank Palmer has it all a thriving law business, a young wife, and a darling daughter.  Until he gets a call in the middle of court.  His mother has died and he must go home to be at the funeral.  But that isn’t all the facade of his marriage has reached a crescendo and his wife has cheated on him with another man and posted it on Facebook.  Now he must go home and face his father the man that is known as the Judge.

When I went to this movie I had thought it was going to be mainly about the courtroom drama I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was more of a family drama movie.  Duvall plays Judge Joesph Palmer a man to whom the law appears to be more important than family.  In fact all three of his sons refer to their father by Judge, not dad, not father, and certainly not pop.  Downey’s character is the kid who left the hick town he grew up in and the father that could never seem to love him.  In fact the Judge put him into juvenile detention when he caused an accident that ruined his older brother’s baseball career.  The older brother is played beautifully by Vincent D’Onofrio who puts up with Henry (Downey) because he knows as the eldest the job will fall to him because Henry won’t be there.

In this family Henry (Downey) is the cause of all misfortune at least in the Judge’s mind, mainly because Henry refused to come home, instead went to the big city and in the Judge’s mind left behind everything important.

But there is something going on and it comes to a head when the Judge’s car is found damaged with blood on it.  The blood of a man that the Judge was lenient with who later killed a woman because of his leniency.  Now Henry has to be the one to save the Judge who doesn’t seem to want to be saved.

A friend of mine told me to see this movie and I did enjoy it but it is rated R for a reason.  There are crude references, no nudity but there are scenes where the making out scenes are almost there.  Plus an incestuous make out scene, although Downey’s character was ignorant of the relationship and it didn’t get clarified until later in the movie.  But still I could have done with out it.  But these are incidentals and the interactions with brothers and the Judge is really what makes this movie good.

I will give this movie 4 stars out of 5 adults only.