Monday, January 30, 2006
I realised that it has been a while since I noted what I've been watching in the blog world and passed commentary on it - this was mainly due to my fevour in the last few months to get more of Ern Baxter into print (this website is devoted to him after all) and less of Dan Bowen. Like most bloggers I do have an exhaustive list of the sites I like to follow and read them each day to see if anything new has been put forward - by the way, if you're an IT illiterate like me, the Blue Fish has got a nifty thing on his links that tells you when a particular blog has been updated. Very handy! Saves minutes of loading up a blog - only to be disappointed.
1. Bob Kauflin of SGM has been wondering whether there is a place for announcements in the church. He accepts that long dull notices (or confused badly organised notices I would add) can be one of the most effective ways quench the Spirit. A useful post. We at Full Faith Church however would be horrified at the thought of "email notices, internet notices, announcements on a screen or newsletters" as his pastor Josh Harris suggests. You will find a sample of our notices here which will demonstrate how seriously we take this integral part of the worship. (*For the more serious blogger - this is tongue in cheek*).
2. Two of my close friends, Jonathan Skipper and Luke Wood rejoice that "they are not dead yet". Mind you - that was the last post we heard from them, so I hope that they are not praying the one prayer that Elijah didn't get answered ... guys - you need to hear Terry Virgo on this! Seriously though ... hope you guys are okay and look forward to reading your blogs when life gets a little less manic!
3. Reconstructionist and Gary North-fan Dave Skipper has birthed a new blog that we are looking forward to following. He promises he is not a "crack-pot revolutionary" ... but rather a believer in the guaranteed victory of Jesus Christ over all His foes. A promising stimulating read.
4. Pyromaniac has shut himself down but re-birthed himself in a group blog, following recent popular trends. His reasons? Cessationism just doesn't seem fun anymore.
5. Together for the Gospel continue to be ... together. I've been doing an audit since they began on their most popular and over-used words.
"Excellent" - 4
"Serve you" - 4
"C.J" - 9
"Sports" - 7
Do I have too much time on my hands or just a psychological interest in the words men use?
6. The Charismatic (or Continuationist) versus Cessationist war seems to have either reached an uneasy detente. Was it because continuationist after continuationist said they didn't want to play anymore or Pyro was to blame for keeping the whole thing stirred up. Either way it's been carefully and amazingly documented here by an SGM-er. In the silence, I do wonder what each side had in mind as to the specifics of victory ... did the continuationists think that victory would be Pyro or John MacArthur suddenly breaking out into tongues? Or, God forbid, a subjective prophetic word? Did the cessationists think that victory would be a uniform call for gifts to stop being manifested? Not that there's anything wrong in a debate - I've loved it! But I guess we all now go on doing, what we've been doing and believing what we've been believing. Unless our scribe has found someone who has walked over to the 'other side' and has actually been persuaded by the arguments? I think the most helpful observation in the debate came from Sven who pointed out that we've all missed the place of eschatology in our disagreements.
7. In light of the release of blockbuster "Brokeback Mountain" blogger Scott has some very helpful remarks to make on that hot potatoe of all hot potatoes - homosexuality. He notes:
"The hideous treatment that many Christians inflict upon those who openly express their homosexuality — which I simply cannot understand and which I cannot tolerate as Christian behavior".
I would attest to this. Yet he notes very wisely that this subject must be seen in it's context, namely that: "until we embrace sex as something for marriage designed by God for childbearing and childrearing, which is accompanied by pleasure but not designed solely for pleasure, there is simply no rationale for a traditional Christian belief". Let us hope that other influential Christians hold to this sensible calm view in arguing - not reverting to the kind of hysteria that I have been familiar with.
By the way - Al Mohlers debate is worth reading on this - here's the transcript. He took part in a debate on the "Larry King" show around the time that "Brokeback Mountain" was released. There were openly gay participants in the debate, and Mohler's graciousness in dealing with them was commendable, while holding to truth.
And finally ... Emerging Church leader Brian McLaren leaves his church and takes on an itinerate role. This will enable him (I'm sure to many orthodox evangelicals dread) to write more books.