When This and That Comes Home


The best college basketball coach in the United States works in Philadelphia and no one knows about him. Congratulations to Herb Magee for winning his 903rd game at Philadelphia University. His closest competitor is Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski with 856 wins. But does Herb get to do ads for American Express? I don’t think so.

Rabbi Bret almost makes up with the Bayly Bros. when he writes the following against 2k (amazing how unifying 2k thinking is):

. . . there are other preachers out there who do raise their voices against R2Kt. Doug Wilson does a fine job revealing its weaknesses. Also, the Bayly Brothers came out with guns blazing against it in the past week. A gentleman named Rev. Ken Pierce also spoke out strongly against it. Now, at least as concerns the Bayly’s and Rev. Pierce they are not as consistent as they might be on the subject given their disavowal of theonomy, theocracy and a bold optimistic eschatology, but still in many respects, they acquitted themselves well in speaking out against R2Kt. I think more and more people are slowly awakening to the danger that R2Kt represents and I fully expect, in the near future, that you’ll hear more Reformed ministers raising their voices against it.

But then Rabbi Bret blows it when he takes on the experimental Calvinism in ways that make the Bayly Bros. wild about the evils of 2k (isn’t this the point of Scott Clark’s Recovering the Reformed Confession?):

There is a strain in Reformed theology that emphasizes the kind of subjectivism that Alexander warns against. This kind of subjectivism would have us find assurance of faith by examining our faith, or our repentance, or our love for God, or our performance in order to discern whether or not our faith, repentance, love or performance are genuine and not spurious. The problem with this is that when scrupulously honest regenerated people dwell in a concentrated way in examining these realities the more likely they are to conclude that they are unconverted. When we seek to anchor our faith in the quality of our faith, repentance, love, or performance we are sure to be ruined from one of two directions.

If we examine ourselves and find assurance because of the quality of our spiritual virtues we run the danger of being ruined from the sense of a self-satisfaction that may easily give way to self righteousness. We also run the danger of developing a spiritual inertia that does not allow us the capacity to see our real sin since our assurance becomes wrapped up in our ability to convince ourselves of the thorough genuineness of our spiritual virtues.

On the other hand if we examine ourselves and don’t find assurance because of the real lack of quality of our spiritual virtues – thus becoming convinced that our faith, repentance, love, works, etc. are spurious – we run the danger of concluding that God’s genuine work in our lives is false. When sinners such as ourselves turn our gaze inward in order to examine our spiritual virtues what else should we expect to find except the reality that our spiritual virtues are not so virtuous?

Here are a couple of thoughts for the front porch republican heart that beats within the average Old Lifer.

Thanks to John Fea I have new reasons for thinking myself superior. It’s because Ann and I live with Cordelia and Isabelle.

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