January 19, 2021

The IM Weekend Report: 06:27:09

beluHaven’t done a weekend report in a while.

Piper talks about what you have to believe about creation to be an elder at Bethlehem. If I hear this right, you can believe in evolution (most versions) and an old earth. You must believe in a “recent” redemption history. My follow up would be on the mechanism for arriving at Adam and Eve. Could you believe in previous, non-human, ancestors or must you believe that Gen 1-2 is literal in describing that Adam was made from dust and Eve from a rib? Seems that the door is wide open in this statement to affirming Genesis 1-2 as compeltely true without tying it to a particular scientific theory of origins. God made them from pre-existing matter as a miracle of creation. Wouldn’t that solve a lot of issues? Not all, I know, but many. For example, what about the 35,000 year old flute? Not made by a human? (HT to HA at BHT)

-How many of us ever thought we would hear the following preached at an SBC national meeting?

“God will make his glory known, whether we risk it all or not. God doesn’t need us. God never needed us. We need him. We desperately need him and because we need him so much we should be willing to risk everything for his glory. One Purpose. The truth is, the entire Southern Baptist Convention could drop dead and turn to dust and God will still make his name rise about every other name and his glory will be shown.”

David Platt, one of the young lions in the SBC who are changing the face of a denomination by dealing with the denominational idolatry that is our greatest problem.

-SBC News: Danny Akin and Marv Knox see it: Morris Chapman lost and humiliated himself. My advice stands: do the honorable thing. Resign.

-Do you know of a blog that has a “look” you’d recommend for a future version of InternetMonk.com? Send along the URL and tell me what you like. I am looking at a wider page. Two parallel columns on the side, one for links and one for ads. More contact info at the bottom (Twitter, iTunes subscription), larger rotating banner and more prominent tabs.

Timmy Brister recently found that this blogger plagarized this post almost word for word. This goes back to something I see more and more of every day: don’t mistake the loud, noisemaker internet theologians for people who actually have a connection to how Jesus lived and acted. I stole this good theology. Good grief. I’m not shocked as much as just wondering how you don’t see the ironies of your own sinfulness. If you are going to have something to say, then become a person who has something to say. Or say nothing and be thought MUCH wiser.

The Holy Post is the religion blog of the National Post. They have an impressive article on what you need to know about the Dead Sea Scrolls. Good RSS fodder.

The single best source of religious oriented news I’ve found is Religious Intelligence. Their Twitter feed is very generous and they cover the gamut of important stories. No Jesus on a tortilla type stories. Serious journalism. I highly recommend this for bloggers who want religion stories for citation and commentary. Also has digests, country profiles, etc. Very impressive site.

-For instance, did you know that the cross in the Red Cross emblem is under attack in the UK?

-If you’ve sent me books to review….I’ve got them, and I will get to them, but you are now dealing with a guy who has to deliver a book by October 20. First things first, but I won’t forget you. Even if I’ve had your stuff for a long time.

The Fearsome Comrade has a very Lutheran take on miracles. Highly recommended.

7. Finally, and this is probably the most “Lutheran” of all reasons–God generally uses miracles to either establish or confirm the publicly preached word, not to change it. Moses’ miracles were confirmation of the promise to Abraham. The prophetic miracles were to turn Israel back to their long-standing covenant. The miracles of Jesus confirmed that he was the one the prophets spoke of, and the miracles of the apostles continued to attest to this and Jesus’ own teaching. But the revelations of ghosts? The speculations of philosophers? The accretions of folk tradition? The inventions of men? These simply are not the objects of miraculous attestation in Scripture. And, more often and not, the forms of worship and doctrines taught by these sources frequently appear to blatantly contradict what was given in the beginning–which is why the miracles are supposed to be so necessary. Sure, of course an early Christian would be reluctant to add a pantheon of demigods to the divine liturgy! That’s why God had to send all the ghosts to convince everyone! But in the Bible, when God had an important revelation to confirm, he didn’t just send a ghost–he sent a prophet and ultimately his Son. Something as critical as a change in the liturgy needs more than a ghost story to back it up.

You might be surprised to know that I am substantially less skeptical about stories that fit the pattern we see in Scripture. Mostly, this is limited to healings and exorcisms done by missionaries. But God sending a ghost to tell you to build a shrine to her? Not likely. At least, not the God I’ve read about in the Bible.

-Speaking of interesting blogs, you aren’t going to find a more interesting, provocative, observant and fun blog anywhere than the Mockingbird blog. It’s excellence can hardly be described. Read it everyday and be incredibly envious. But don’t steal their stuff. Steal Timmy’s stuff.

-If a real WordPress geek can tell me why I can’t upload pics to this site, I’d appreciate it.


  1. My favorite site design:


    Notice total absence of browns, btw. LOL.

  2. Hi Michael,

    I use wordpress on my blog–are you updated to the most recent version (2.8)? What precipitated this problem occurring (did you recently upgrade to a new version of WP for instance?)

    Do you get the Flash Uploader “dialog box” when you click on the “Add an image” button when creating a new blog post? If it comes up and you click the Select Files button, what does it do? If it doesn’t work, are you able to click the “Browser uploader” link?

    It might be that your theme has some issues where it doesn’t play nicely with the newest version of WordPress. My experience using WordPress themes over the past 4 years is that you want to get a theme that has been updated recently, since older themes are not always 100% compatible with the new versions. I understand you are trying to get a new theme now–that might help but it is just a guess.

  3. Michael –

    I would appreciate reading your thoughts on the recent SBC conference. Did you not attend?

    Also, Tim Challies seems to have one of the more innovative blog sites – http://www.challies.com

  4. Oh sorry. I haven’t been able to read regularly the last month – my wife has been pregnant and just had our son this past Sunday. So missed that article. Will catch up on it.


  5. I tend to be a old universe, young earth creationist. The only locality time as we know it is wholly relevant is on our actual planet anyhow- Einstein’s theory of relativity and all. I’m not one to accept the presuppositions of secular scientists concerning the method of carbon dating and placing artifacts and fossils in the time frames that they do. I find that Chesteron’s logic concerning cave drawings in The Everlasting Man, convincingly undercuts the wild assertions made by scientists when they find a bone flute in a cave.

    But I do think that there are perfectly reasonable people who hold rationalizations to accept modern archeology and anthropology at face value, and are still orthodox theologically and shouldn’t be excluded from eldership. I think Piper’s delineation makes sense on those grounds.

  6. John Inman says

    Check out chrisbrogan.com. He’s got a lot of what you mentioned.

  7. Adulteress says

    Regarding the ancient flute article, apparently the archaeologist who led the excavation believed the flute in question was made by Homo sapiens sapiens (quoting from the article linked to):
    “Neanderthals also lived in Europe around the time the flute and sculpture were made, and frequented the Hohle Fels cave. Both Conard and Roebroeks believe, however, that layered deposits left by both species over thousands of years suggest the artifacts were crafted by early modern humans.”

    Happy to see that Piper is allowing for a wide range of creationist views for elders at his church. Also thrilled with the turns taken at the SBC this year – thanks for keeping us posted!

  8. “Denominational idolatry.” I’ve been aware of such a thing for some years, but didn’t have such an excellent descriptor for it. I like the Platt quote, thanks.

    I’ve been very happy since switching to a 3 columnn theme. The particular one I have (Digg 3) wouldn’t suit your particular needs; no bottom info at all. Stil, I recommend 3 columns to anyone that has a lot to put on a sidebar.

  9. PatrickW says

    Fearsome Comrade mayis closer to the Catholic view than he might think. Private revelation is not a matter of dogma. If whatever happened at Fatima and Lourdes helps your devotional life and brings you closer to Jesus, then the Church says to have at it. If you have no use for such things, that’s fine too.

    Now in practice some people do go overboard, which is why the Vatican demands a lot of proof before approving miracles and apparitions. The current controversy over Medjugorje is a good example.

  10. ConstanceB says

    Regarding your Q on WP themes, take a look at the list of churches using WP on Tim Hyne’s blog “Living Open Source” http://livingos.com/wp/churches/

    I found your blog through his site 🙂

    Thanks for posting about the recent events at the SBC convention, I’ll be reading those reports. As one of many “recovering” Southern Baptists who was inspired by the pre-takeover SBTS faculty, it’s wonderful to see healing coming to the SBC.

  11. On the Adam and Eve thing, whatever “science”-compatible theory you come up with has to account for the fact that at no time in the history of our species was there a breeding population of only two individuals. Or one individual, with the other taken from his rib somehow. And then there’s the Nephilim in Genesis 6–what are you going to do with THAT?

    “The truth is, the entire Southern Baptist Convention could drop dead and turn to dust and God will still make his name rise about every other name and his glory will be shown.”

    In fact, this feat would be a pretty good demonstration his glory! Shhh, you’ll give him ideas.

    Have you seen the website for the PBS show “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly”? They’re pretty good. All different kinds of religion, though.

    “Beliefnet.com” tilts towards angels, aliens, and dieting, but once you get past their opening page they’ve got a lot of good articles.

  12. About the SBC and Calvinism thing…it’s easy to make theology a product or strategy and thus an idol. Funny thing about baptists is that once they become Calvinists (a baptism inferiority complex, if you will), they tend to try to out-Calvin each other. And that produces unfortunate results.

  13. On the Red Cross thing, I would say that if they feel they need to use a “crystal” symbol (looks like the diamond from a deck of cards), governments and the general public should go along with whatever they want to do.

  14. Phil Roberts says

    Uh…the old earth, young creation thing would make perfect sense were it not for the claim of scripture (pesky book anyway) that there was no death prior to Adam’s sin. This claim puts rather a damper on the “survival of the fittest” thing and the billions and billions of years it requires that Darwin and his devotees espouse. Just something to consider.

  15. Phil Roberts:

    I recently wrote down a few thoughts about “death before the fall.”


    The young-Earth interpretation that there was no animal death before the fall doesn’t flow from the text, but is something they read into it.

  16. Oh dear, Michael. I love the look here and change is bad. Now I have to find a different Christian blog that only wants to make me go all qwerty once in every 10 posts. Do you know what a challenge that is?

  17. Michael,

    I like the wide format used by one of your readers, Irreligious Canuck.

    It might suit your purposes.

  18. Link didn’t work. Here it is hardcoded.


  19. Big ups to Religious Intelligence. That blog is great.

  20. Carol Kankelborg says

    I came here through The GeoChristian. I have a custom WordPress installation (My web host installed it so I’m not an expert). I notice that media files that are too large are rejected. If I use the Flash-based uploader it just hangs. I get an error message only when I use the web-based uploader. I haven’t experimented enough to find the maximum size. Perhaps that is the problem you are having.

  21. <>

    One often finds such statements in apologetical works that don’t tell you what the differences are or why they do or don’t matter. (You’re just supposed to take them at their word.) While the Isaiah scroll is more or less verbatim, there are actually a surprising number of difference between the DSS and the Massoretic Text. And Weston Fields is certainly no DSS scholar I’ve ever heard of.

    And why all the sarcasm about Palestinian claims to the scrolls? Several of the scrolls were seized by the Israelis in 1948.

  22. Here was the statement I was referring to:

    Weston W. Fields wrote: “The differences are neither theologically nor historically important. In general the scrolls testify to the amazing accuracy and great care with which ancient scribes passed along the biblical text.”

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