October 28, 2020

The IM Weekend File: 09:18:09

belushi19411UPDATE: Got this note about a discount on Jesus Girls.

My wife wanted to read Jesus Girls after reading the review.
Can’t get it anywhere except the publisher right now though. I emailed them asking when Amazon would have it and they said, who knows, Amazon is really slow sometimes. However, they gave me a 25% off coupon that is good until Sept. 20. That’s $5 for IM readers who might be interested. The code is: NOTESS

What I’m doing now: I’m on a men’s retreat with the men of St. Patrick’s Anglican Church. It’s a real pleasure for me to just be “one of the guys” and not in a leadership position. It’s only a little more than a day, but it’s a much needed break from preaching, teaching, talking, etc. Pray I enjoy silence, rest, friendships and good teaching before I return home to preach Sunday morning and evening. No blogging till I return.

Podcast: Sometime before Monday a.m. Most likely sometime Sunday.

Site News: We still have RSS users who are getting partial posts in Google reader. RESUBSCRIBE to the feed using the icons on this page and the problem will be solved.

Also, if comments seem to have vanished, find the “older comments” link at the bottom of the thread, and all available comments will be visible.

Stuff: I really don’t get it with the Jonathan Edwards fan club. I really don’t. Turn off the guy’s books and look at his life. Moderately interesting. Am I missing something?

Meanwhile, Phil Johnson looks at the subject of transparency and, unsurprisingly, finds it to be a sin to publish your unresolved doubts. Using Psalm 73 as an example- a Psalm with plenty of doubts resolved, but definitely published before resolution- Johnson says “In other words, Asaph confesses that if he had broadcast his doubts before resolving them, it would have been a sinful act of betrayal against God and against the children of God.”

No one will be surprised that I would say that 1) if our stories contain doubts, so be it, and 2) if we are called to proclaim the Gospel, be leaders, etc, that doesn’t mean the stories of our doubts are to be avoided until they are resolved. I’ll agree with Phil, however, to this point: If you have “Nicene” level doubts, you shouldn’t be in church leadership.

What someone says in their own writing, poetry, lyrics or prose doesn’t concern me. Art contains the whole human experience. But doubts about core Christian beliefs aren’t the Gospel, that’s for sure. But that the Gospel is for doubting people, that’s also for certain.

Friends: Thanks to those who have recently used the Amazon Wish List to send some encouragement my way. You are greatly appreciated.

Last night, Denise and I had dinner with longtime IM commenter and friend “Chaplain Mike” Mercer and his wife Gail. We had a truly wonderful time and are thankful to God for the gift of fellow travelers. It made me wish again that there could be a real world gathering of the IM community. What a wonderful opportunity that would be to know “you are not alone.”


Thanks to Todd Meadows and Sam Judd for enriching this week with their leadership of our school’s fall spiritual emphasis week. Todd is the student pastor at Grace Baptist in Somerset, Kentucky. Sam is a musician and teacher from Nashville.


  1. 1) I see you there with Mike and Gail. Just remember that anytime you meet people in the real world you’ve met online to do so in a well lit public place.

    2) You should have dinner sometime with long time commenter Clark Bunch and his wife Teresa. Just let us know what night Denise is cooking 😀

  2. It made me wish again that there could be a real world gathering of the IM community.

    So… Internet Monastery Festival in Summer 2010? I’ve never been to Kentucky. It should be good. 😀

  3. Just here to brazenly crow and brag and throw my weight around obnoxiously:

    Hey IM: Remember a few months back when I first posted on here? And there was that dope who said atheists were educational underachievers who didn’t have children and so would soon be bred and competed out of existence?

    Well, the wife–y’know, the wife with the PhD in engineering?–is pregnant.


    • I missed that piece of wisdom. Are you the atheist I wanted to get over here more often? Showed up in the Coming Evangelical Collapse discussion?

    • J, congrats on the baby. I pray that he/she becomes a radical evangelical and changes the world for the better.

    • FollowerOfHim says


      I have to say I also recall your posts and your paternal intentions. Congratulations! I’m dying to know if you’ve got an appropriately non-theistic baby name picked out (like Christopher?) Keep us posted!

      On that same theme, I was reading an article in Ha’Aretz yesterday about the average Orthodox Jewish woman in Israel having….SEVEN children. So you might be able to outproduce the
      average American evangelical (“Quiverfulls” excepted, of course), but you’d better get really busy if you’re wanting to keep up with the Israeli Hasidim!


      • Back in my student days, I participated in an Urban Semester program where I lived in NYC for 6 months. There were 2 themes to the program: one, “New Americans”, where we ‘surveyed’ various communities, old (i.e. Little Italy) and new (i.e. Lefferts-Liberty in Queens where huge numbers of Caribbeans are settling) and two, “Health Systems” where we did all kinds of shadowing in NYC hospitals, clinics, mobile health units treating the homeless, etc.

        We did a “survey” of the Satmar Hasidim neighborhood in Williamsburg (on Purim eve, no less, so the place was wild–it’s like Jewish Halloween, for those unfamiliar). Then, we went to a lecture by the Orthodox director of a secret psychiatric unit at Bellevue Hospital for Hasidic women who are either A.) infertile or B.) *worn out* by having 5, 7 or more children. Both are equally verboten conditions among the Hasidim (btw, Hasidic *not the same* as ultra Orthodox), but this clinic secretly treats these women for the mental trauma of either of these 2 conditions.

        Anyway, I’m not trying “out breed” anyone. Either from the left or the right, the religious or the secular, it seems particularly criminal to bring children into the world as “soldiers” in a cultural war. It’s an act of abuse. My child will be himself or herself: He/she will not be me or my wife or some pseudopodic extension of our ideals. Yeah, I suppose I’d like it if they did believe in the same things we do, but I won’t get angry or depressed if they don’t.

      • Oh and personally I’m just filing my nails, humming quietly to myself, waiting for the Duggars to either A.) utterly implode, a la Jon and Kate or B.) discover they’ve given birth to a whole bunch of atheists. Or that 6-7 of their kids are interested in converting to Islam. Or are elected Democratic congressmen. Or, y’know, just want to form normal, non-televised families with 2.4 children and have nothing to do with the whole Vaginal Clown Car scene.

        In short, I’ve tried really hard but am not capable of summoning up any fear of big families from other streams of culture.

    • Yet more evidence of the baleful influence Christianity has had upon the masses! Merely by posting upon the same forum as Christians, you too have been sucked in by the odious demands of the church to propagate in order to fill the pews with subjects of the Pope and the pockets of the clergy with all your earnings!

      Oh, wait – that’s only us Catholics, isn’t it? 🙂

      Congratulations on the happy event!

  4. Steve in Toronto says

    Hello Michael

    Could you elaborate a bit on why we should feel that Edwards’s personal life should cause us to question his use a role model? I know that his relationship with his congregation was very flawed towards the end of his life, but on the other hand he seemed to have a wonderful marriage and his many children and grandchildren have blessed the United States to a remarkable extent.

    God Bless
    Steve in Toronto

  5. Haven’t been on here in months! I came across your Jesus Girls review and it really piqued my interest.

    I pray you’ll be relaxed at the retreat.

    About Jonathan Edwards…I have my reservations.

    Sub cruce veritas. 😀

    And J, congrats on the kiddo. My agnostic dad has 5 – 4 of us are Catholic, one Episcopalian (moi!)

  6. Aw, man, NOW he tells us about the discount on the book (ordered right away, had it shipped prioroty mail, already about 40 pages into it)! But we’re cool, and it’s all good. So far I’m enjoying it, if that’s the right word for a book that continues in the tone of much of my recent reading, dissecting Evangelicalism and the sins and foibles thereof.