December 1, 2020

The Hyles-Anderson-Rice-Jones Worldview Institute

*Music Up….swells….Voice Over*

vantil2.jpgIt’s VAN TIL LIVE! The Internet Monk Radio Network Presents The BHT’s Magic Tail-Chasing Dog, Van Til, in Hippy-Emergent Christianity’s Favorite Interview and Entertainment program…..VAN TIL LIVE! And now, broadcasting live from the Boar’s Head Tavern in downtown St. Sadies, Maryland, it’s Vaaaaaaaaan Til!!

*Music Swells….Applause….more Applause…more….shouts from crowd when Van Til appears…..goes to his desk. Hops up in chair… up and fade to out*

VT: Hello America. I’m your host, Van Til, the BHT’s Magic Tail Chasing Dog, and you know what we love to say at the beginning of this program…”


VT: That’s right. The Bible is true. That’s where we start this show, and really…what else can you say? Just a word about some of this week’s guests. Tomorrow night is big. Brian Mclaren is coming on the show and I can’t tell you how excited we are. Already, the security is everywhere. The police have been checking houses and cars in the neighborhood. We’ve all got these little security badges. It’s nuts, but we’re talking about MR. EMERGENT here. I mean, here is a guy, with a few- I mean, let’s face it- rather mediocre books, the guy has got a whole stadium full of people about to soil themselves. So we want to see what the fuss is all about. Bring him on. We want the whole story, and we’re going to get it. The man will be “on the hydrant,” so to speak. *laughter*

Wednesday, we’re looking at some music from Tom Waits. *Applause* I love that guy, too. Then Thursday, we’ll have the iMonk in here to talk about his new book, “I’m Not Like You,” which isn’t exactly burning up the charts, so maybe go out there and buy a few copies- maybe a dozen- and hand them out around the neighborhood. Get some to people displaced by the hurricanes. Get that pyromarketing thing going. Then Friday, it’s Harold Merkel, the guy who makes those Hawaiian shirts for Rick Warren. So it’s a great week.

I wanted to apologize for the brawl last week between Tim Challies and David Wayne. We’ve tried it with those two in here before, and it just doesn’t work. Oil and water. WWE type personalities. And when Wayne took the chair to Challies over something about cheating him in a book giveaway, I told Kurt, my producer, we have to simply stop this. It’s not good for the family audience. So David…Tim….two words guys: Anger management.

Let’s talk about tonight’s guest. His name is Brad Brazelton, and he’s the director of something I think is going to be really important. It’s called The Hyles-Anderson-Rice-Jones Worldview Institute and it’s on the campus of Pensacola Bible College. Let’s give a big hand for Brad.

*Music Up. Brad enters. Goes to chair. Music fades.*

VT: Hey, Brad. The Bible is true. Welcome to the program.

BB: Thanks, Van Til. What an honor to meet you in person. Wow. I’m star struck.

VT: Don’t drool, kid. I’m just a dog, though a darned sexy one. *laughter* Tell us about the Hyles-Anderson-Rice-Jones Institute. What’s down with those homies?

BB: The Institute is a thinktank on the campus of Pensacola Bible College, and our purpose is to promote old style Fundamentalism as an extension of the Christian worldview.

VT: *yawn* Wow. How interesting. You better explain where the action is on that, Brad, or we’ll have to get some praise choruses going here. *laughter*

BB: Basically, we represent a lot of Christians who were labelled fundamentalists for years, and who, frankly, have been something of a dying segment of the church. A lot of what fundamentalists thought was important just seems to be ignored in most churches.

VT: Examples?

BB: Dress codes. Hair. Rules about music. Book banning. Rules against dancing. Extreme kinds of guilt producing control behaviors, like forbidding anyone to go to a movie or to read secular novels. The kind of thing that SUPPOSEDLY screwed millions of people up and turned them off to the Gospel entirely.

VT: And you are bringing all this back?

BB: We’re not so much bringing it back as we’ve learned that we simply made a mistake. We didn’t know about the whole “Christian Worldview” movement, and how helpful it could be to promoting fundamentalism. There’s a right and a wrong way to do legalism, and we’re going to do it the right way this time.

VT: Now how does that work?

BB: That’s the job of the Institute, Van Til. We relate fundamentalism to the current way of talking about the “Christian Worldview.” Much more appealling to the conservative evangelical, who likes to think that fundamentalism was daddy’s Oldsmobile, so to speak. The key thing is to be able to draw a connection- a line- between the behavior you want to promote and something that tells people the behavior is required by the Christian worldview. You have to be creative, but we have the best minds in fundamentalism working on it.

VT: Is that hard?

BB: This is where we’ve made a breakthrough. Fundamentalists in the past relied on methods that don’t work today. We’ve taken a lesson from the “Christian Worldview” movement, and we believe that fundamentalism is going to be making a big comeback by being less strident and obnoxious, and more like James Dobson.

VT: I’m intrigued. Can you give me an example?

BB: Sure. Let’s take facial hair. Fundamentalists have always been against it.

VT: True. Then hippy Christianity got that beard on Jesus, and it was over. Now you can’t tell the difference between Jesus and the lead singers in half the worship bands in Seattle.

BB: Exactly. But we’ve found you can promote legalism like “Christians shouldn’t have facial hair,” by connecting it to a famous apologist. In this case, Francis Schaefer.

VT: I’m a little lost.

BB: Worldviewists relate everything they can to Schaefer. He’s gold when it comes to this Christian worldview angle, so we simply point out that Schaefer didn’t have a mustache.

VT: Didn’t he have a gotee? Like chin whiskers?

BB: We would dispute that. In fact, we have a book of essays about to be published on that very subject. Francis Schaefer: The Gotee Conspiracy. It’s a complex myth, and it is the Vatican. No doubt. But the key point here is that Schaefer didn’t have hair above his lip, and that really means that the fundamentalist insistence on no facial hair on a real Christian has a second chance to gain acceptance.

VT: That seems, I guess….a little tangential. Do you have a better example?

BB: I think we’re going to bring out some work against interracial dating that is going to be interesting. As you know, Bob Jones University has taken a lot of bad press over their former policy prohibiting dating between persons of different races. We’ve found several ways to relate that subject to the Christian worldview, so we’re going to ask fundamentalist pastors to take a second look at that subject.

VT: Seems controversial. My parents were different breeds, so you’d have a lot of convincing to do here, Brad.

BB: Our approach is to stress that interracial dating is offensive to Christian unity. If you force that sort of controversial behavior on the local church, you’re going to cause division, and the Christian worldview is all about seeing that the Bible teaches one thing for all Christians. This business of “we’re free in this area” is bad news. The Bible has something to say on everything, and Ezra was pretty clear: Date in your tribe, bucko. Plus, interracial dating is a stumbling block for new believers, and it really demonstrates immaturity. There’s a sense of “I don’t have to follow the rules of my home church,” so people get involved in interracial dating in a kind of rebellious way.

VT: Sounds familiar. Didn’t John Piper preach an entire sermon against the old fundamentalist idea that interracial dating was wrong?

BB: Yes. Piper was working out really well when he gave up TV. We thought he was going to help us, but what a disappointment. You can’t trust Baptists these days, Van Til. They’ve gone to the….whoops! Almost said a bad thing!

VT: Watch that language there, Brad. Any other fundamentalist legalisms we can expect to see make a return?

BB: I think we’ve got a lot of work to do with movies. The old fundamentalist guilt-trip over going to movies seems to be almost entirely gone, and a lot of it has to do with liberals saying movies provide opportunities to discuss the Christian worldview. We want to change that, so we’ve come out with a “Stay Home From The Movies” campaign, where we ask Christian families to skip the movies and watch a specially-produced video dramatization of a selected chapter from Total Truth.

VT: Really? That sounds interesting.

BB: We’ve got the same company that is turning The Purpose Driven Life into a video series to turn Total Truth into a series of stories. We might have room for a dog in one of those films, Van Til. *laughter*

VT: If you could hook me up with Lassie, I might give it a try. So…what about drinking? Fundamentalists have been railing against alcohol for years, and now, it appears that Christians everywhere are starting to question the entire teetotal/abstinence business. How are you going to address that?

BB: A great question, and that is a real challenge. One thing we’ve considered doing is to just run pictures of Christians who drink side by side with pictures of teetotalers, and ask, “Which One Is The Godless Drunk?” So we have some ads with John Macarthur and Pope Boniface…

VT: That’s Benedict.

BB: Right..right. Pope Benedict. Beverly Lahaye and Amy Grant. Bobby Welch and Os Guinness. (Great last names, huh?) And my favorite: Bill Mackinnon and Josh Strodtbeck.

VT: You’re scoring points right there with me. I’m thinking of giving up the stuff on the spot. Scary.

BB: I think we’re going to sign a deal with Holman to put out a special “Fundamentalist Worldview Bible” and one of the things we’ll have there is notes explaining passages that seem to endorse the moderate use of alcohol. They seem to have several million Holman Christian Standard Bibles they need to get rid of.

VT: Let’s hit some quick ones. Dancing.

BB: We’re going to say that dancing doesn’t appear in Genesis 1-2. Jesus doesn’t dance. Paul doesn’t dance. The Christian worldview is against dancing.

VT: Music.

BB: That’s a hard one. Finding Gospel quartets in the Bible was a dead end, and the Christian Worldview movement has a lot of highbrow music types, so we’re going to have to dig deep on this one. Francis Schaefer may be our boy again. He think he was in a quartet back in the 40’s. John Ashcroft loved quartet singing, but he’s not really the image we want right now.

VT: Dressing up for church. Things have gotten incredibly casual.

BB: Right. I think we’ve made some progress connecting suits, ties and dresses to the various Levitical garments and the phrase “clothe yourselves with Christ Jesus.” Still working on it.

VT: How about the name “Fundamentalist?”

BB: We’re just asking people to wear it proudly. “Fightin’ Fundies” was always a better name than it got credit for.

VT: Time’s up. What a cool idea. Brad Brazelton from The Hyles-Anderson-Rice-Jones Institute. Fundamentalism for a new millenium. Catching the worldview wave with a whole lot of things you thought you’d never hear from again.

BB: One last thing. We’re working on some edgy new things, especially the “Get Married Now, Have Fundamentalist Babies Now” campaign that’s aimed at 16-18 year olds. We’re hoping we can get Lauren Winner to add a chapter to the next edition of Real Sex saying that Fundamentalist sex is great, and you need to get into it as soon as possible. We’re also casting “Real World: Greenville” and we hope that the whole cast will get married and pregnant before the end of the season.

VT: This is great stuff. Brad Brazelton. Fundamentalists are back in your face. We’ll be right back after a word from Alpo with the stand up comedy stylings of Carolyn Trace. Turn on those language filters people!


  1. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Simply must print this out and distribute at church tomorrow 😀

  2. awe.

  3. While pointing out and ridiculing the weaker brothers and sisters faith, I was at a loss to find the antidote or the love. Maybe Paul would call that bearing up one another.

    All this does is piss people off and make others who love their freedom think down upon these others who maybe, just maybe have stricken consciences which cannot do what you do and do it in faith and thus would do it in sin.

    I’ll probably sound very fundamentalistic in saying this, but I don’t find in the Bible anything near the spirit or temper of this posting.

    If someone can only only drink Welches rather than have their consciences destroyed then fine, they have only one Master to answer to. But it is not necessary to castigate your brothers and sisters faith this way.

    I’ll grant that there are very many articulate spokesman advocating the reasonableness of their own leanings regarding alchohol, media, luxury and money, and it is good to hear them, both liberal and fundamentalistic, strong and weak, but ultimately each is of us answerable to our Master, and as Paul tells us,
    “Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”
    (Rom 14:3-4 ESV)

    grace and peace,

  4. I’m not despising anyone. Good grief. Don’t go near or

    When I teach literature, we spend a week on the literature of humor. The focus is on why humor is an effective medium. As many writers have aptly demonstrated, humor allows humans to see SYMPATHETICALLY truth they may refuse to see otherwise.

    Humor can be gentle, or it can be mean spirited. If you find this mean spirited, I’m sorry. It isn’t.

    I am not the one to make a case for the good or bad in my writing, but I certainly could have written a much different Direct Hit on the foibles of fundamentalism.

    And if you think Jesus never used this method- and with much more bluntness- read Matthew 23.

    Thanks for reading and responding.

  5. “There’s a right and a wrong way to do legalism, and we’re going to do it the right way this time.”

    I guess I’m not as fundamentalist as I thought since that line gave me a good laugh!

  6. Great article.

    Though I find it darkly hillarious that the word “fundamentalism” was originally coined in order to describe a movement towards a clear definition of the minimal fundamentals of the faith in the interests of inclusivity. I guess we can chalk that one up to Lewis’ Invernal Linguistic Department (from The Screwtape Letters).

  7. I meant “Infernal”

  8. Kelty: “I don’t find in the Bible anything near the spirit or temper of this posting.”

    Read it again, then. The Lord Himself uses derision against His enemies (Psalm 2:4). Read the part about Elijah on Mt. Carmel, too.

    People who love truth aren’t wimps. If the targets of Michael’s humor can’t take _this_ much needling, they need to turn in their credentials as fundamentalists.

  9. side hurts!!!

    can we have a Van Til interview once a month?

    but up paypal…i’m donating 🙂

  10. I’m a recovering fundy. This interview distresses me. I may relapse. It’s time to reactivate the 12 step program. Fortunately, the first six steps all involve beer. I’ll be better in a few minutes.


  11. ohmygoshhowfunny!

    I love the idea of a dog named Van Til doing the interviews – and the ribbing of McLaren for writing a couple of mediocre books – when I was as Westminster we used to joke that Van Til really only wrote one book – he just kept rearranging the chapters and changing the name!

    And the fundamentalist think-tank – you are one who truly knows what satire is!

  12. Just last week Douglas Wilson had a great post (out of his book “The Serrated Edge”) on the use of satire in polemics. Heres a quote:

    “In polemical exchanges, good humor trumps pursed lips. The dour countenence gives way before the gut chuckle. Cavalier Puritans gallop in circles around the prissy puritans, falsely so-called, along with their stick horses of legalism. Whenever these two approaches clash, the contest is unequal. And that is a central reason that objections are raised to a weapon that one side knows how to use and the other doesn’t. There is a mystery here. The reason good satire works is that it is driven by affection and love. The reason that bad-humored-eat-your-spinach admonitions are no fun is that they are driven by bitterness, envy, and a gnawing fear that somebody out there might have discovered that Jesus Christ was not a schoolmarm.

    Read the whole essay – its great.


  13. imonk,

    I appreciate humor. I have nothing against it. My concern is that some of these people who are supposedly damaged by their own legalism really are not.

    I am just thinking about Romans 14 and can’t help but think that women who don’t wear make-up because they love Jesus really do love Jesus. And some of them make a good case for it and if their scriptural reasoning is sufficient then they either stand or fall by the Lord. But, it is their own consciense before the Lord that determines this.

    Criticizing among brothers for freedom vs. legalism seems to be what Paul is addressing. And so, I think it seems right to love these guys and forget about our own irritation with them. Or course only tests our metal to either join the mudball game or not.

    It burdens me to think of real people I know who sincerely love the Lord and fit the fundamentalist stereotype well and the fact that they are the butt of an online joke. The responses of “hahahahaha” that is sooo funny seems to miss the point I think you genuinely wanted to get across. And I take that point to mean that it is wrong for fundy’s to jump on other Christians chests and demand acceptance of their christian standards. I agree.

    As far as Matthew 23, I am wondering if you are thinking about another portion of Scripture. Jesus is definitely giving a “direct hit” and I am not sure I hear humor in his words. Perhaps you are thinking of another portion, maybe the plank and speck in the eye thing, that some see as humourous.

    Hyperbole does not equal humor, I am not convinced Jesus displays humor in His discourses, especially the “woes” of ch.23 in Matthew. But, we may be both guilty of hearing him according to our own temperment.

    I don’t think He is joking in Mt. 23. Nor is Elijah on Mt. Carmel (Br1an). These are severe condemnations.

    Anyway, I just want us all to get along and be broken with each other.

    by the way, imonk, I like your writing and your willingness to engage.

    grace and peace,


  14. Great, I move from MD after almost 40 years and now I miss the radio show …

    … oh wait, this is a parody?

    That does it, I’m stealing your exceprt and posting it on blogs4God … doggy pix and all.

    Hope your server can handle the ‘slashdot effect’ I’m sure blogs4God will generate.