Saturday, May 31, 2008

No words suffice . . .

Except those of our Lord:
28 But turning to them Jesus said, Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!
Luke 23:28,29 ESV

Friday, May 30, 2008

Freudian slip?

In reading through a discussion of male/female differences on CBE's blog, The Scroll, I came across this:

on another thought…I think it interesting that plato and aristotle saw men as of the mind, rational and thinking and women of the flesh, emotional and seductive - only above the animals. That is substance duelism.

I know religious feminists deny that they are opposing men, but I can't help wondering if this isn't something of a freudian slip after all.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Asking the wrong questions

If we ask the wrong questions we are bound to end up with the wrong answers. I think this is one of the reasons religious feminists have such difficulty seeing beyond the straitjacket into which their dependence upon logic forces them.

They look at abilities in isolation from the Big Story and ask, "Why not women?". When the question has never been what women can do, the proper question is what women should do. For God is often seen to turn things around, he turns our great human wisdom upside down. He chose the stutterer Moses to speak for His people in the face of the great ruler of Egypt. He chose his greatest persecutor, Saul, to be the great apologist Paul. He chose the murdering adulterer, David, to pen some of the greatest poetry in existence.

The question is not what a woman can do, it is what a woman should do. The mere possession of an ability, even a spiritual gift, and a personal and subjective sense of calling does not qualify one to lead a hike in the woods, much less a church. The Mormons have their "burning in the bosom" to testify to the "truth" of LDS teaching as well. But that doesn't make them right about it. Not hardly.

I've included the first question and answer, with Scripture proofs, from the Westminster Catechism because it asks the right question, so it comes up with the correct answer. Our purpose in life is not to "serve" God in the way we believe He has equipped and called us. Our purpose is to bring glory to his name. Only when we have answered that question correctly, can we ask the "how?" question. And there, I am afraid, we must part company with the religious feminists and those more comfortable with the label "Egalitarian", for they have asked the wrong question first.


From the Westminster Catechism:

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God,[1] and to enjoy him forever.[2]


[1] Psalm 86. Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. Show me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me. Isaiah 60:21. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. Romans 11:36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. 1 Corinthians 6:20, 31. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.... Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Revelation 4:11. Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

[2] Psalm 16:5-11. The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 144:15. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD. Isaiah 12:2. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Luke 2:10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Philippians 4:4. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Revelation 21:3-4. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

I think she's got that on backwards. . .

Kristen Bell, wife of Emergent leader Rob Bell has this to say about church and why they sought something different:

"Life in the church had become so small," Kristen says. "It had worked for me for a long time. Then it stopped working."

Don't you find that just a little bit disturbing? Funny, but I always thought it was the other way around. Since when is church supposed to "work" for us?


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Those girls in the city

Most of you probably at least know about the show - it chronicles the, ahem, exploits of 4 women in NYC. Catchy theme, right?

Tonight I saw most of an episode in which Carrie gets a new pair of shoes stolen from a party after the hostess made everyone take their shoes off at the door. When the hostess balks at the price of the shoes, she tells Carrie she has a real life and real responsibilities. Carrie then "registers" to "marry" herself. She registers at the shoe store - for, your guessed it, that one pair of shoes.

Point made, point taken.

We love the wedding showers and weddings and baby showers. We singles are glad to see our friends so happy. We're usually not jealous and most of the time we enjoy being generous. But, just sometimes, we wish the generosity was returned. Because we are friends.


Another shameless plug

The first link is to a talk Pastor Tim Bayly gave about ten years ago. It is still fresh and convicting today. The second link is to the homepage for Baylyblog, the blog run by David and Tim Bayly, Presbyterian pastors both (and good friends, I hope!).

"Struggle for Justice" and likely everyone else who reads this blog will benefit greatly by reading Baylyblog.


Public versus Private

Liberals and Progressives have been known to use the mantra, "the personal *is* political", thereby obliterating the distinction between what is public and what is private.

Are religious feminists guilty of this same error when they hold out Priscilla and Huldah as examples of women who taught men?

Think about it,


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Revolt against nature? (edited)

"Women are another recently discovered 'oppressed class'. . ."

"Of course, one neglected reply is that if, indeed, men have succeeded in dominating every culture, then this in itself is a demonstration of male 'superiority'; for if all genders are equal, how is it that male domination emerged in every case?"

- Murray N. Rothbard, Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature

"As in the case of Jesus setting one right act, ‘keeping the Sabbath’, over another right act, ‘doing good on the Sabbath’, the good won out. It seems to me that it is good to honour redeemed women fully, recognising their intrinsic value, equality and giftedness to share with men all the responsibilities of both the church and the home. Men should not be able to lead simply because they are men, they must demonstrate a calling and giftedness. On the other hand, women who are obviously gifted should not be denied opportunity to express and use their gifts in ministry, or the home, because of their gender. People are chosen by God to serve Him on the basis of their heart motivation and Spiritual giftedness, not by sexual preference. I do not see gender distinction in the teaching or actions of Jesus therefore I cannot see it in the heart or mind of God."

- Trevor, The Value of Reason, CBE Scroll

Is Philosophy the handmaid of Theology, or have we gotten it the wrong way around when we depend upon logic to tell us what nature seems to contradict?

If we look at the Big Story throughout Scripture, we see God acting through fallible humans, but always choosing the men for leadership, authority and representation. He made the man first, he made the woman from the man and for the man - he brought the woman to the man, not the other way around, nor did he bring them to each other (as one might expect in a paradise of equal authority).

After rebellion entered the world, he chose the man Noah to lead his family safely through the flood.

God established his chosen people through a patriarch, the man Abraham and then through the patriarchs of the twelve tribes. God saved his people from starvation through the man Joseph. God brought his people out of the slavery of Egypt through a man, Moses. God chose a man, Solomon, to build his Temple.

God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, as a human man, our Saviour. God the Son, Jesus Christ chose twelve men as his apostles.

Remember the Big Story - it can be found in the Holy Scriptures, and in God's creation.


Friday, May 23, 2008

The Domestice Violence Industry

Dr. Mohler interviewed Dr. Stephen Baskerville tonight on his radio program. Dr. Baskerville is a Professor of Political Science at Patrick Henry College and a Fellow of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society. If you have read much of anything on divorce, the bias against fathers in the "family" court system or fatherhood in the last few years, you are probably familiar with his work.

Baskerville documents the intrusion of the court system, via no-fault (read: unilateral) divorce into families and the effect of legally enforced separation of fathers from their children and the home. As Jennifer Roback-Morse points out in her endorsement of Baskerville's second book, the effect of this system is to obliterate the distinction between public and private.

During the program, Mohler and Baskerville also discussed the documentation and admissions in law review articles that attorneys who recognize and publicly admit that false claims of domestic violence and child abuse are encouraged by the system have been disbarred - and judges have been removed from the bench for speaking out on these abuses of the system.

Listen to the program, visit Dr. Baskerville's website for fee articles and information about the book, Taken into Custody.


Cord of three strands

Ecclesiastes 4:12

"And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."

The cord of three strands - husband, wife, Christ - is one of my favorite images for marriage. It came to mind again tonight as I ran across a quote attributed to Elisabeth Eliot, "marriage is the abandonment of self." In marriage, as in our devotion to Christ, we abandon the self to something larger, more beautiful and so much stronger than our ugly little selves. In the process of giving ourselves to this greater thing, we become stronger, more beautiful, we become all those things we try to hold onto for ourselves but never can.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Shameless plug

Since I mentioned Chesterton in my last post, I am going to plug the American Chesterton Society's website. Please, if you are not familiar with Chesterton, I urge you to begin making his acquaintance by visiting the website:

One of the high points of my year so far has been renewing an old friendship with Dale Ahlquist of the American Chesterton Society. The added bonus is that I am also reading more Chesterton as a result. I hope you will enjoy and learn much from GKC's wisdom and good humour.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

on historical arrogance

I went to a party today. The hostess told me, "We LOVE Rob Bell!" I haven't read enough of Bell to make an extended critique - nor do I intend to as he makes my teeth hurt. What I have read is all sentiment and little content, sort of like cotton candy. This whole Emergent thingy strikes me as being one more neoEvangelical fad - and we'll find its effectiveness in making genuine disciples rather than mere sycophants is on a par with Willow Creek's (per their recent admission). The problem is, it takes us far too long to admit these failures. Do you really think there are enough Purpose-driven lives out there to justify Warren's sales figures? Remember the Prayer of Jabez?

And now we'll have to endure endless genuflections at the altar of emergence - until the next fad comes along.

To quote a wise man who lived not so very long ago, "I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid."

He also said this, "Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around."

We really ought to read more Chesterton and less Bell.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Damnably ironic

Upon learning that the "Nation Abortion Rights Action League" has endorsed Senator Obama, the chair of the "League of Women Voters" nominating committee (and apparent Clinton supporter) is reported to have said, "I want to crawl up in the fetal position . . ."


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The hardest thing

It's not giving love. The hardest thing in the world is to accept God's grace.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reasons to get married

I was looking at my forearms today. OK, so I really am not that vain. I just get a bit tired of my left arm being darker than my right. It's a consequence of driving with the windows down about 8 months out of the year. And when you're single, you know it's always going to be the left arm darker than the right.

So I figured, if I could get married, then I could even out my tan. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it'd still be a "farmer's tan" because I don't go sleeveless. But, since I really don't go sleeveless or wear a swimsuit in public - who is ever gonna know?

Oh, right. So, one person would know, but by the time he found out it would be a done deal and too late to back out, see?


P.S. I got asked if I was in a "rapunzel" contest today - guess my hair really is getting long!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ain't life grand?

I just love God's sense of humour - or convicting timing if you will.

I used to be a vocal Egalitarian - obnoxiously so, if I know myself at all. But, over time, I came to see the cracks in the case. The few prooftexts/proofwords can't stand up to the Big Story. You will read more about this eventually, if you stick with me. For now it's enough to know I dwelt in that dark valley for a number of years.

I no longer dwell there. Because of that and because I seem to have had an unfortunate sense of timing in pressing the issue of our disagreement with a former (Egalitarian) friend - we seem to have had a break in that relationship, which is why I say, "former". It's a bit difficult to put any other spin on things when you receive an email entitled, "Last Word", isn't it?

I only have two things to say in response. The first is - a mere fact of disagreement is no sure indication that someone hasn't listened to or understood your arguments. Sometimes they have understood, apprehended, comprehended, taken them as their own and run with them so enthusiastically they considered moving halfway across the country and taking up full time work for The Cause (it can be any cause, really). But then you see a tear here, a rip there and then the curtain falls away entirely and you see that you have deceived yourself all along. Oh, you understood all right, but you wouldn't let yourself see the little man behind the curtain, working the levers so feverishly every time a new objection popped up. So, old friend, your criticism fails to find a mark because it is possible to understand something and still reject it.

The second thing is far more important because it is wiser than anything I have said here. This is a post by Steve Hutchens over at MereComments. Read it, think about it, let it soak in. For me it was a timely reminder not to blame or wallow over past errors. I pray it finds you *before* it becomes all too necessary.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hello blog-reading world!

Well, here I am at last. Look for the first real post on Monday (I hope!).