September 25, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 6.16.12

Greetings, iMonks! Happy day before Father’s Day. Before you begin cleaning the grill, putting up the croquet set, and stringing the hammock between trees for dear old dad, why don’t we whip up a tasty batch of Saturday Ramblings?

If you are new here, this is Dot Com. If Craig Groeschel and have their way, they will own the doman .church. So anyone who wants to append their website to dot-church will have to go through LifeChurch. But you may get to speak to their “innovation leader.” What? Your church doesn’t have an innovation leader?

And the Vatican wants dot-Catholic. What kind of mash-ups can you envision with this?

There really is a Hopewell Baptist Church in Lake City, Florida. Just a local Baptist church, but one that now is affecting movie lovers everywhere. Rodney Baker, pastor of Hopewell, petitioned the Southern Baptist Convention to have The Blind Side removed from all LifeWay stores because it—gasp!—contains some profanities. Imagine that. A movie about college football that contains cuss words. Glad we are still fulfilling the Great Commission—to clean up the world to our standards.

It’s not like the SBC has anything better to do. No reason to be concerned just because membership in Southern Baptist congregations has declined for the fifth year in a row. Those leaving the church are probably potty-mouths anyway.

The Synonymous Rambler shared with me this story of one Baptist who gets it. He gets it very much indeed.

The National Association of Evangelicals has developed a “Code of Ethics for Pastors,” and they are asking those who lead evangelical churches to sign it. The Code deals with issues such as use of time, family matters, plagiarism and pornography. Should pastors really have to sign such a statement? And will it really do any good?

Has it been ten years already? Rick Warren and Zondervan are releasing an updated version of The Purpose Driven Life for this generation. Now called What On Earth Am I Here For?, the redesigned book will still feature a tree on the front, but now the leaves will be in color. There will be dancing and shouting in the streets for sure now.

Are you ready for Dinosaur Wars? Ken Ham’s Creation Museum in Kentucky is advertising their new dino exhibit with billboards all across the country. Yet it seems there are some doubters out there who think this just might be the ol’ bait-‘n-switch going on. I would be shocked—shocked!—if that were true.

This is the summer for superhero movies. The Avengers. Spiderman. Batman. So why shouldn’t we have super-saints? How could I have missed the striking likeness of the Holy Family with that of the Incredibles?

One saint who is not feeling so super these days is Steve Saint. He was injured testing a flying car. No, this is not a lame attempt at a joke. Saint is always looking for new technology to take the Gospel to hard-to-reach people groups. Please pray for our brother.

Now, here is my attempt at a lame joke. Do you know your blues name? No? Now you can. (I kinda dig my blues name: Boney Harp Dupree.)

Happy birthday wishes are sung to Cole Porter; Les Paul; Donald Duck; Dick Vitale; Michael J. Fox; Johnny Depp; Natalie Portman; Saul Bellow; Ruth Graham; Maurice Sendak; Jacques Cousteau; Vince Lombardi; Frank Beard (the only member of ZZ Top who does not sport a beard); George H.W. Bush; Chick Corea; Marv Albert; Junior Brown; Red Grange; and Steffi Graff.

This guy is insane. A great guitar player, a great entertainer. Oh, he made this guitar himself. Junior Brown does not do things in a normal way. Good for him. Yer wanted by the police, and my wife thinks yer dead. Enjoy.

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  1. Richard McNeeley says

    In-A Gadda-Da-Vida Baby, Iron Butterfly’s Lee Dorman celebrated number 70 this week.
    Perhaps Pastor Baker should petition to have Bibles removed due to the contents found in the Song of Solomon.
    Just call me Skinny Legs Lee

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought most Evangelical Bibles don’t contain any of the Apocrypha and therefore no mention of all that luvin’ going’ on.

    • LA, the Song of Solomon is part of the OT Cannon, not the Apocrypha.

      • But it’s not in many Bibles I see in other churches… So I figured it was the part that got chopped along with the Book of Wisdom etc.

  3. I want to register for

  4. Not to get too serious on a Saturday morning, but…

    In light of the Code of Ethics and the call for pastors to sign it, does anyone have any insight on the 9marks statement of faith? This is promoted by pastor Mark Dever, part of which is an effort to get churches to sign it and follow certain codes or practices.

    Are there any opinions,
    a) on this effort specifically, and
    b) on signing pledges in general.

    Thanks. This has come up in my church recently. The link to Dever’s organization is and the statement of faith can be found somewhere there with a little digging. I may have the direct link later.

    • As for pledges in general, that’s a big question, and I’m sure you’ve thought about it a lot more than I have. I suppose it all depends upon the scope of the pledge.

      A non-religious example that’s become a real problem is that of GOPers having to sign a Norquistian no-new-taxes pledge of some sort. A better conservative principle would surely be to pursue lower taxes as a general goal, but not at the expense of running the country off a cliff just because you kissed Grover’s…ring. There are no doubt parallel examples on the left side of the equation, though none spring to mind right now. So it’s largely about the scope of the pledge.

      But an additional problem in the above example that other pledges may share is that no one elected Norquist. The religious parallel is that a church whose pastor signs a general pledge has to feel comfortable with the body that put the pledge together. It matters almost as much as the contents: the my-pastor-signed-it-didn’t-yours? one-upmanship that one should expect reflects the fact that the pledge wasn’t something downloaded from but was carefully (one presumes) put together by some organization, in this case the NEA. So it’s consider the source too.

      • I’m not too crazy about pledges either. Our church already has a statement of faith, and much of the 9marks statement (or more correctly T4G Affirmations & Denials) is already covered there.

        The statement is a bit legalistic, but without really communicating why. For example,

        —it affirms the authority of the bible (no argument there), and that it is “verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible, and totally sufficient and trustworthy” but without explaining what inerrancy means, a hot-button issue.

        —it affirms that “the Church must resist the allure of pragmatism and postmodern conceptions of truth as substitutes for obedience to the comprehensive truth claims of Scripture” but with no explanation. What is “postmodern” to the average Christian? What do they mean by “obedience”? or “comprehensive truth claims”? Which claims are comprehensive and which are not?

        —it affirms “the centrality of expository preaching in the Church and the urgent need for a recovery of biblical exposition and the public reading of Scripture in worship.” Why is this even in there? Did Jesus preach expositorily? What, no parables allowed?

        —it affirms that “Scripture reveals a pattern of complementary order between men and women” but again, without explaining what they mean by complementary order. Is this egalitarianism? or patriarchy by another name?

        —In one of the denials, it denys that “saving faith can take any form other than conscious belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving acts.” Conscious belief: what, no babies in heaven? No mentally handicapped?

        You get the idea. Eighteen articles in all, each with an affirmation and a denial. There is much in there that is good, but also much that is quite unnecessary.

        By approving the 9marks Mission Statement and the T4G Affirmations & Denials a church may become listed on their website and search engine.

        The link to the Affirmations & Denials is:

        • The problem with lists like that is that it puts things that are truly non-essential doctrines (complementarianism, for instance) on the same plane as essentials (the Trinity, for instance). What it is saying to me is that if someone doesn’t agree with all of these things, there not a real Christian or not the right kind of Christian. That was one my problems with AoG (the denomination I grew up in). They have a list of 16 “Fundamental Truths”. Some of them are actually important, but most of them certainly aren’t “fundamental”. It just seems to be a way to control and manipulate people if you ask me.

      • Jeff, I’ve got a reply stuck in moderation.

  5. I’ve been to that 9 Marks site. Not too crazy about it.

  6. Margaret Catherine says

    From the “dotCatholic” article: “…the Vatican and other applicants for new generic top-level domains had to fill out complicated forms and must submit to background checks to ensure they are the best representative of the name they chose.” Good luck to LifeWay on managing that for ‘church’…and to whomever it was that applied for ‘Christmas’!

  7. SBC baptisms are up but membership is down? And Thom Rainer doesn’t (or won’t?) see a problem with that? He says he sees God’s word being proclaimed and people being drawn to repentance. I suspect if we looked deeper we would see repeated rebaptisms, revolving doors and a general devaluation of baptism in general.

    • Elizabeth says

      And yet if number were up we would be questioning if the church had become ‘all about numbers and nothing of substance’. I suspect both are true – more that stay and taking the ideas of the denomination to heart and folloiwng their traditions. I’m not saying I have no quams with my SBC ‘family’ but taking head counts and making ‘meaning from speculation’ out of them doesn’t fix anything.

  8. “As this exhibit conclusively shows … significant artistic license can be employed in interpreting what Lucy resembled.” Snicker. At least they are admitting them big old bones are “fossilized” “dinosaurs” and not nephilim. Watch out Ken, the camel’s nose is into the tent.

    How about that minimalist drum set? Played with brushes, yet. When there’s anointing to be got into, that man will do it from the pulpit, amen.

  9. I don’t understand why Evangelicals think that making people sign something promising a certain behavior is actually going to make that much difference in the way people actually behave. It reminds me of the whole “chastity pledge” thing. It’s been shown multiple times that it really makes no difference in determining whether a kid has premarital sex, but yet, people still try to promote these programs.

  10. The “code” sounds like morality, not ethics. Ethics deals with betrayal of trust. There is no greater betrayal of trust than teaching heresy. I doubt we will ever see a bunch of big-name pastors put their names to a document outlawing false teaching. Is there anything in the “code” about threatening to break church members noses? Doubtful.

  11. I confess!… I am not a monk … yet do allow me to ramble this … everyone is invited to visit …

    • For those too lazy to click, it seems to be a messianic Jewish site, with some talk about the Antichrist and UFO’s.

      • Too annoyed to click, but I’m lazy about a lot of other things. Not surprised by what you found there, and thanks for the warning.

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