Shouldn't You Let Others Say This?

While Detroit burns, it’s heady times in the Big Apple (even though the editors at New Yorker and New York Review of Books haven’t received the press release):

A good friend of mine, Greg Thornbury, says we need to learn how to change culture from the CENTER of culture—not just from the margins. And where do we find the center of culture? Places like Hollywood and New York City, where I live.

Greg, to my great delight, was recently appointed president of The King’s College, an evangelical school located in the heart of New York City. It’s a small college—just 500 or so students—but its new president may be onto something big.

And King’s is important to the spread and influence of Christianity. Why? Because, as Thornbury explains, “Movements do not typically progress beyond or rise above the defining academic institutions of their cause.” And “the most important and strategic [colleges] in this country are located in or near major urban centers. But for some reason, Christian higher education does not seem to have gotten this message.”

Many Christian schools are, instead, tucked away in small towns away from centers of influence—that’s not a criticism, just an observation.
Thornbury echoes the teaching of sociologist James Davison Hunter, who writes that real cultural change won’t happen without strong links between networks of top-drawer intellectuals and leaders. Astonishingly, in the last decade or so, these links have begun to form among evangelicals right here in New York City—a place not exactly known for being a hotbed of evangelical fervor. Greg calls the formation of these links “a remarkable and unprecedented renaissance of Christian life and thought.”

As an example, we see Tim Keller’s hugely popular Redeemer Church—the kind of evangelical church that nobody thought could flourish in the Big Apple. It’s attended by many of the city’s movers and shakers; and then there’s Socrates in the City, a forum for busy professionals to help them examine life’s big questions, founded by yours truly.

Greg also reminds us of the importance of Christians in the arts. “At the level of high culture,” Greg notes, “the people that shape the ideas that wind up becoming a worldview are people in the arts, [as well as] people in the university.” It may surprise you to learn that New York has its share of Christian artists—there’s my friend Mako Fujimura, and my friend, the writer Sally Lloyd-Jones. There’s also Carolyn Copeland, producer of the off-Broadway hit “Freud’s Last Session,” and who is now working on a Broadway show about John Newton, the former slave-trader and author of “Amazing Grace.” Oh yes, she’s also a friend!

Even if (BIG I BIG F) it were true, this is unbecoming. But who will intervene when the New Yorkers are so high on themselves?

89 thoughts on “Shouldn't You Let Others Say This?

  1. “Many Christian schools are, instead, tucked away in small towns away from centers of influence—that’s not a criticism, just an observation.”

    Maybe because sending future pastors to pay absurd tuition costs is not cost effective for future pastors or their congregations. At least some old fuddie-duddies know how to do economics.

    My alma matter costs (unsubsidized) a guy $40k a year, and it’s no Harvard degree…

    And not a criticism? Right on the heels of ““the most important and strategic [colleges] in this country are located in or near major urban centers”?

    I tried that one with my wife once: “You know babe, this isn’t a criticism, more of an observation…”

    Like

  2. The constant refrain of large cities being the key to everything has grown more than a little wearisome. Such rhetoric is also blinding its promoters to the actual facts on the ground. How hard is it to identify some “important” colleges not located in major cities? We could start with Dartmouth, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, West Point, Annapolis, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Brown University. Then let’s throw in Duke, Cornell, and Yale (do any of the Big Apple’s culture warriors want to argue that New Haven is a big city?).

    One could argue that some of these schools are “near” to major cities – but it would really be a stretch.

    More importantly, those who think that cultural transformation must come from a large city would do well to remember that Jesus wasn’t born in Rome, Alexandria, or even Jerusalem – but in the “Little Town of Bethlehem”. Then again, perhaps Jesus’ central mission was not to transform the culture.

    Like

  3. I’m not going to comment on the substance of this, but what’s really unbecoming is the constant refrain of “my friend,” “my friend,” “my friend.” I really like Metaxas, and this tic is not unique to him. But seriously, guys. You can talk about other people without endlessly noting how chummy you are with them.

    And anyway, it’s monotonous. Decorum starts with epithets. There’s a movement I could get behind.

    Like

  4. Too bad we don’t have an evangelical school in LA churning out philosophy M.A.s or an evangelical liberal arts college in a Chicago suburb churning out deep thinkers concerned with scandalous minds. Maybe we could be more like England whose most prestigious schools are right in the heart of London. When I cite papers the first thing I check is the population of the city the school is in.

    Like

  5. Mark Nation: There are some things that Meetaxis gets wrong in his biography of Bonhoffer.. There are places where he misleads. There is at least one point where he seems to be deceptive. On pages 123-4 he quotes almost the whole of an extensive excerpt from a letter Bonhoeffer wrote to Elizabeth Zinn, his fiance, on Jan. 1, 1936. This is the letter in which Bonhoeffer speaks of his “great liberation,” or conversion. As I say, Metaxis quotes almost the whole of the excerpt. There is one substantive, short paragraph he leaves out. This is where Bonhoeffer says, “I suddenly saw as self-evident the Christian pacifism that I had recently passionately opposed–a disputation at which Gerhard was also present. And so it went on step by step. I no longer saw or thought anything else. . . .” Why does he leave this out? (The excerpt in Metaxis is taken from the collection of excerpts from Bonhoeffer’s writings entitled, A Testament of Freedom, edited by Geffrey B. Kelly and Burton Nelson, pp. 424-5; this is the same version I am referencing.) – See more at: http://emu.edu/now/podcast/2011/02/23/dietrich-bonhoeffer-the-assassin-challenging-a-myth-recovering-costly-grace-mark-thiessen-nation-2/#sthash.AHWfcN3U.dpuf

    Like

  6. http://www.readperiodicals.com/201010/2172849781.html#ixzz1nF0i8HM4

    Bonhoeffer was a “theologically conservative evangelical,” Metaxas told Christianity Today.
    Metaxas states that Bonhoeffer has “staggering” relevance today: “Just as the Third Reich was bullying the German church, so the American government is today trying to bully the church on certain issues of sexuality” and on “abortion and euthanasia and stem-cell research .We would do well to take our lead from him in our own battle on that front.”

    Lauren Green of Fox News.—- Metaxas shows how Bonhoeffer’s legacy was “the untold dangers of idolizing politicians as messianic figures . . . today as well.”, Read Metaxas’s comments last December on Fox Forum discussing White House Christmas celebrations, in which Obama is
    connected (indirectly of course) to Herod.

    Clifford Green: The most descriptive and honest title for Metaxas’s book would perhaps be Bonhoeffer Co-opted. Or better: Bonhoeffer Hijacked.

    Like

  7. Mark,
    Hermann Sasse is a much better (and more orthodox) “conservative evangelical” (I suppose Metaxes and I might differ on what that means) than Bonhoeffer. They were contemporaries whose paths crossed, but I remember reading Barth (!) being gravely concerned over Bonhoeffer’s statements and writings while the latter was imprisoned (doubting/denying the virgin birth, etc.). Can’t remember where I read that.

    Lutheran pastors only read at sem his little book on practical advice for pastors living out their vocation in the parish, “Life Together.”

    Like

  8. “Many Christian schools are, instead, tucked away in small towns away from centers of influence—that’s not a criticism, just an observation.”

    Funny how our Lord didn’t get the message that if you want your movement to be “influential” and “popular” you need to target “centers of influence.” I guess it was rather strategically foolish for Christ to spend the bulk of His earthly ministry wandering about in Galilee, often in the outskirts where people had to make a significant effort to travel in order to hear Him. As for His students (i.e., His disciples), His admissions policy seemed to be a bit lax. Instead of surrounding Himself with the best and brightest (the “creme of the crop”), He chose some rather ordinary, mostly “blue collar” folk (fishermen, a tax collector, etc.). Was there nowhere to be found a first century Eric Metaxis to set Him straight?

    Like

  9. That’s super that someone taking over a new job thinks his work will change the world.

    Hopefully he first will be able to handle the challenge of the immediate sphere of his job, then worry about showing the world a thing or two.

    Like

  10. Katy, Of course I do like some of what Bonhoffer says, not only in “Life Together” but also his pacifism. I really like his idea that those in a church need to “secretly” get our act together before marching out to attempt to change the world.

    But I agree with you. Bonhoffer (like Barth) is no “conservative”.

    http://www.csustan.edu/history/faculty/weikart/Scripture-and-Myth-in-Dietrich-Bonhoeffer.pdf

    At least, that means he doesn’t assimilate into being some kind of “evangelical”! And that’s a good thing.

    Like

  11. It’s usually about donations. Announce we will purpose to be the best school we can be – yawns. Announce we will be the center for world change – get me my checkbook. Conservatives can be suckered as easily as anyone.

    Like

  12. Todd, if that’s true then could it also follow that conservatives have versions of political correctness (i.e. group think)?

    Like

  13. “Todd, if that’s true then could it also follow that conservatives have versions of political correctness (i.e. group think)?”

    Inconceivable

    Like

  14. “Greg, to my great delight, was recently appointed president of The King’s College, an evangelical school located in the heart of New York City. It’s a small college—just 500 or so students—but its new president may be onto something big.”

    Fast forward 10 years into the future. Another guy gets hired to lead The King’s College and I realize I’ve heard absolutely nothing about it since what’s-his-name was hired as President 10 years ago…

    Like

  15. Todd, you mean incontheivable? You know, as in a word or phrase someone keeps using but doesn’t understand its meaning, sort of like conservatives and politically correct.

    Like

  16. Eric, you may or may not hear anything from Mither Thornbury, but you can bet his goals include being regularly interviewed by news networks/talk programs, sharing podiums with the stars (Metaxas, Keller, et al), and blessing high-brow think tanks with his estimable presence. You don’t dress like him unless you’re an attention junkie. Or worse.

    Like

  17. “… Curious how cultural transformation and humility never seem to coincide …”

    Ain’t dat da truth! In fact, this might wind up being one of the most significant observations of the decade.

    We attended a memorial service for a well known Brit theologian who died a few years ago. Featured homilist was none other than TKNY. The sanctuary was filled with evangelical types who seemed to go out of their way to acknowledge only those in their little circles, nodded heads and cheered ‘amens’ when the speaker mentioned the deceased’s admonition for world transformation, and not much else of any significance. Not very impressive.

    Like

  18. Metaxas – and then there’s Socrates in the City, a forum for busy professionals to help them examine life’s big questions, founded by yours truly.

    Erik – (Ka-Ching) can you hold for a second? (Ka-Ching) I’m (Ka-Ching) examining life’s big (Ka-Ching) questions in the midst of being a busy New York professional and making all this (Ka-Ching) dough…

    Like

  19. Republican politicians have been playing religious conservatives for years. They know that no matter how they actually believe or vote later on, they can secure the religious right’s support by saying just the right things they want to hear. And how many who even know reformed theology are suckered by the “support us as we renew Christian culture and turn America back to God” schtick? These men play upon hatred for liberals and sexual deviants, as well as the genuine fear of parents worried about their children. But Money, Power and Attention – it always comes back to these three.

    Like

  20. Surely you can name drop some celebrities from Philly, Baltimore, or LA for us, D.G.? Hillsdale, maybe? I seem to remember you at least hanging out with Machen’s niece one day? If you say you’ve met Larry Arnn I’ll bet Old Bob will be impressed.

    These men have to have some of the smallest p**i**s on the planet. They are trying so hard to compensate.

    Newsflash: It is not cool to be a Christian and when it is we all need to worry.

    Like

  21. A former E-Free Calvinist-Charismatic pastor in a neighboring city retired to a) write books b) life coach the rich and powerful of the city…for a small fee (personal priest?) and c) help plant a downtown (really) emergent/R******r-type church. Sound like a familiar formula?

    Like

  22. Would it be too much to ask Eric to present some pieces of art that have been made by his friends? Or some earth shattering essays that justify why a New York mayor needs to meddle with a soda tax?

    With all these unknown and eager C.S. Lewis’, a few shots of espresso and an iPad should take care of this request.

    Like

  23. Ten days worth of tweets from Mither Thornbury yields 84 exclamation points. That’s more than DGH’s quarterly all-media ration.

    Like

  24. Speaking of evangelical hipsters, I streamed the film version of Donald Miller’s “Blue Like Jazz” on Netflix the other day. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. Quite fitting for a movie based on a book by an evangelical hipster.

    Like

  25. C-Dubs, that’s just awful. Shiny, Happy People is over 20 years old by now. I thought being hip was being tuned in to the culture? What the he*# is a cosmic high five? Haven’t the evangelicals turned out enough disaffected children? Oh well, SNL will have enough material for another decade, so that’s something.

    Like

  26. “Union in Christ (and in God the Father) means suffering for now, all the way up until Christ comes back to earth with heaven:

    Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

    25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

    Like

  27. Dan, stop depressing me. On one hand I almost feel compelled to return to RC to save it from the fundamentalist’s turned RC over at CtC, and now the Evangelicals, who I didn’t think could get any worse, have become toolish hipsters who apparently think dressing like Harry Potter and giving ‘Cosmic High Fives’ is avant garde. Oh yeah, and then sometime in the past twenty years TBN became mainstream. What the %@#$. How is anyone over the age of 12 in that world not just a raging alcoholic and nihilist.

    Like

  28. Sean,

    Remember that the Church that Christ Founded (TM) does not subsist on the Intranets.

    NYC is less than 10% Evangelical

    TBN is less popular than A-Team reruns on FX

    Like

  29. Dan H.,

    I’ve read some of your stuff on CTC and you are the kind of Roman Catholic I could sit around drinking beer and listening to Steely Dan with. Well done, my friend.

    Like

  30. Dan: “Remember that the Church that Christ Founded (TM) does not subsist on the Intranets.”

    Sean: That’s what I keep telling everyone who will listen. All practicing RCs do go to mass however. The prot-catholics across the way keep trying to do the coherence dance on doctrine. Which even the Pope gives a wide birth to, except for ‘rupture’ – cue parade wave to the CDF.

    Like

  31. These people talk about changing culture for Christ like it needs no explanation. I recently listened to Thornbury’s inaugural speech at King’s and his “vision” for the school wasn’t much more specific than a political presidential campaign. What are we trying to do to/for the culture exactly? Maybe if they had been called “disciple-makers” instead of “evangelicals” more people would be concerned with making churches rich with gospel and less with changing culture in the name of Christ, whatever that means.

    Like

  32. Jessica – These people talk about changing culture for Christ like it needs no explanation

    Erik – I’m getting to the age that I’m happy if I can remember to change my underwear. Changing culture is way down the list. It’s somewhere below changing the channel.

    Like

  33. Erik,

    Thanks!

    When I comment on CtC I always listen to ELO:

    And I don’t usually drink with Protestants (Except the fiancee, who’s Lutheran, Shazookum!) as my babysitting skills are rusty😉

    I might make an exception for Old Lifers however…

    Like

  34. D. G. Hart
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink
    Erik, hows this for name dropping? I’ve had TVD be a regular commenter at Oldlife (and he knows Dick Allen).

    Just stopped by to observe your latest. I’m still in your head. Good.

    Wish you read me gently, though–I see you did read me on the subject of Dick Allen afterall, though you made out like you missed it—I recognized him in your obscure 1×1 inch avatar, I turned out to be a fellow Phillies fan, not an LA Dodgers or Angels fan, as you so unkindly speculated. Now THAT hurt, Darryl. Clippers yes, certainly, but Lakers or Dodgers, never ever never.

    As it turns out I do know someone who has been a great friend to Dick Allen through the personal pain and indignity he’s suffered, and if I asked for a favor as a friend [me] of a friend [you], you would have already met. Should you ever choose to treat me like a friend not act like a total prick, I might still get you that meeting.

    In fact, I’d have set you up anyway if you’d only asked, you prick. Still will. Dunno about you but that’s how I was taught to bowl.

    In the peace of

    Like

  35. Sean – Dan H listens to ELO. He’s officially a separated brother of Old Life.

    Erik – [guffaws heartily]

    I didn’t understand ELO until I saw a VH1 program on Jeff Lynne. Then it made sense. When Paul McCartney and Tom Petty are saying complimentary things about you, you’re pretty good.

    Like

  36. Speaking of an Old Life get together, everything isn’t written in stone yet, but here is what we are thinking about for our Presbyterian & Reformed history conference in Des Moines on November 1-2 (Friday evening & all day Saturday) with D.G. Hart & Alan Strange . We’ll get some nice flyers made up soon, but I’ll give you the sneak preview. No cost for the conference. If you want to come but the cost of a hotel would prevent you, let me know and I will try to come up with some housing for you (it may be my couch). If we got several regulars I might get us a condo at my boss’s golf course. Offer is not valid for Old Life resident ball-busters (you pay full freight):

    Friday evening

    7:00 pm The Tumultuous Beginnings of American Presbyterianism – Strange. The beginnings of American Presbyterianism, with a focus on the First Great Awakening and the Old Side/New Side controversy. We’ll also briefly reflect on the Reformed in America and the phenomenon of “becoming American.”

    8:15 pm The Challenge of Americanism – Hart The talk will cover the problems posed by new ways of recruiting and sustaining Christians (through the Second Great Awakening). It will cover Reformed responses to the predicament from German Reformed, Dutch Reformed, and Presbyterians.

    Saturday

    9:30 am Politics and the Pulpit – Strange. Charles Hodge developed his doctrine of the spirituality of the church in a subtle and nuanced fashion that permitted him to distinguish the church from the state and its political concerns while allowing the church to retain a prophetic voice to society. We’ll examine Old School Presbyterianism with respect to the spirituality of the church and the place of the doctrine among the Reformed.

    10:45 am Kuyper & Machen – Models of Reformed Witness – Hart. This talk will examine the differences between Machen and Kuyper’s attempts to recover a consistent Reformed witness, especially those that stem from the differences between church life in the United States and Netherlands.

    1:00pm Unity without Union – Beyond the Acronyms – Strange. Strange—The CRC recognized and congratulated the OPC on its formation and the OPC did the same with the URC on its formation. We’ll look at OPC/CRC union talks, the formation of the URC and OPC/URC relations.

    2:15 pm Anti-Modernism – Hart. This presentation will examine the efforts of conservative Presbyterians in the United States and Reformed Protestants in the Netherlands to combat theological liberalism and indifference in the dominant churches. It will also discuss the need for secession or separation when those efforts were no longer viable.

    3:30-4:00pm – Q&A with both speakers

    Like

  37. Erik, that looks great. If I could make it, I would need a place to park my RV. I’m thinking MM’s driveway, that way I have a place for my hookups(sewer, electric, etc.). I’ll bring him a nice pair of shoes and some ‘udder cream’ for compensation, maybe a little androgel, to help him out with those 4 block rides.

    Like

  38. Sean,

    I can embrace the title of separated Old Life brother just don’t tell me I’m a member of an Ecclesial Community!

    Like

  39. I don’t know Dan. Unbeknownst to you, you may already be a super secret member. We don’t quite use the category of invincibly ignorant the way Rome does, but the way we do use it wouldn’t apply to you anyway.

    Like

  40. Tom Van Dyke
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    D. G. Hart
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink
    Erik, hows this for name dropping? I’ve had TVD be a regular commenter at Oldlife (and he knows Dick Allen).

    As it turns out I do know someone who has been a great friend to Dick Allen through the personal pain and indignity he’s suffered, and if I asked for a favor as a friend [me] of a friend [you], you would have already met. Should you ever choose to treat me like a friend not act like a total prick, I might still get you that meeting.

    Aw, don’t be mutating my copy, D. The original

    Should you ever choose to treat me like a friend not act like a total prick, I might still get you that meeting.

    was witty, a more true reflection of my feelings, and far less demanding of you, warrior child. Having now come to know you and your approach to wit and friendship, I shall never ask much of either, thus never be disappointed again.

    We have come to an understanding.

    Like

  41. Erik, keep us posted on your get together. I’d definitely like to attend. MM knows how to get in touch with me.

    Like

  42. That clip works for Thornbury and Metaxas as well. Or Tim and Lig. Or John Piper and practically everyone, present company excluded.

    Like

  43. Well, you’re high-strung, probably can turn your whole body into a weapon, and probably have a loose scalp so I’d say you qualify.

    Like

  44. And I’ll bet you subscribe to Barney’s favorite magazine — “Interesting Facts Known by Few.”

    Like

  45. D. G. Hart
    Posted August 15, 2013 at 6:27 am | Permalink
    Tom, I never understood you wanted to be friends. You haven’t been clear.

    Gentle Reader, read gently. There’s always been a rose in the fisted glove, say in the case of Brother Dick. That would be a favor I would or could not ask lightly.

    Will monitor your progress from time to time and catch you down the line should you ever choose to ever stop battling with the Gorn.

    Although I’m not a universalist, my sentiments lean toward it. Mercy does not offend my sense of justice.

    Like

  46. DW, as any theonomist, soft or hard, either explicitly or implicitly makes mince meat of common grace and natural law. And whether it’s Jason misusing Rom 2 to find a renovated justification in the gentile or theonomists forgetting it’s even there, some folks need to spend some more time in Rom 1-4. I thought protestant arguments were ones that made the most sense of scripture? I’m pretty sure I can live without the attempts to reconstruct philosophy,culture,politics and education.

    Like

  47. Trueman: “Surely it is time to become realistic. It is time to drop the cultural elitism that poses as significant Christian transformation of culture but only really panders to nothing more than middle class tastes and hobbies. It is time to look again at the New Testament’s teaching on the church as a sojourning people where here we have no lasting home. The psalms of lament teach us that it is only when we have realistic horizons of expectation will we be able to stand firm against what is coming. If we do not understand that now, we are going to be sorely disappointed in the near future.

    mark: Instead of a book about the global expansion of the “baptist” brand, I would recommend another reading of the Martyrs Mirror. Whether those who were killed (and who killed) were people who believed the gospel or not, the witness of history tells us something about our common need to repent of that which comes about with the passing of time.

    When Truman warns about dark times soon to come, he might be thinking about “the world” but a better site on which to meditate is our churches. When the Holy Spirit seems to withdraw (so that professing Christians kill and are killed by each other), that is still the witness of the Holy Spirit, and not simply a denominational memory.

    Bob Dylan, “I Feel a Change Comin’ On”:
    “Well now what’s the use in dreaming?/You got better things to do/Dreams never did work for me anyway/Even when they did come true.”

    Like

  48. Simon Heffer (for old people like Carl Trueman), Strictly English, p. 154

    “Deceased is a pompous term for dead, often misappropriated as a genteel euphemism”
    .
    “Death is the best example. The lower classes have all sorts of euphemisms for this inevitable event. A loved one (a term that seems only to be used posthumously, or when the reaper is heaving into view or into one’s consciousness) may pass away, or pass on, his bereaved family and friends may lose him, he may lose his life, or if they are feeling especially Bunyanesque he may even pass over to the other side, where he becomes deceased or departed. (The last two terms are reminders of how the aspiring, under-educated person passes through a phase in which he feels it is right to imitate the language of bureaucrats, few of whom know how to speak or write English properly.) Joining the heavenly choir is simply Monty Python

    Like

  49. one more

    In my experience, cats instinctively know when someone can’t stand them. They rub themselves up against their enemy, doubtless in the interests of leaving as much of their toxic dandruff on them as possible I know this will outrage the nation’s millions of cat lovers, but I felt that by prompting an allergic reaction in me, cats were doing me a favour.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2380529/Why-I-hate-cats–Almost-arrogant-selfish-brutes-loathe-.html#ixzz2cAzaxZay
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    Like

  50. (I got here via Doug Wilson and Carl Trueman).

    Trueman and Hart seem to say we (Christians) are losing in the culture war. So? By the same kind of argument, from newspapers, Hal Lindsey has been proving for 40 years that the rapture is about to happen soon. Read the Bible, you worldly saints. Say, Judges. If the Israelites were losing, it wasn’t because God couldn’t give them leaders or make them winners. Read Job, or the crucifixion narratives. If the saints are suffering, it may be God is up to something. Pray the prayer Jesus taught us. It starts with “Hallowed be Thy Name”–consider God’s infinite glory–not with “we’re outnumbered.”

    Like

  51. After reading Wilson’s article it would appear that he buries his poop in the dirt… Gotta stay consistent with the worldview and all!

    Like

  52. If there is declension in the (visible) churches, is that not ultimately God’s doing? I suppose the question becomes—and is that God’s withdrawing of the Holy Spirit and truth as punishment/discipline for what we have done? So that our sin is punished by more sin? (Romans 1)

    Of course Doug Wilson does not believe in declension. Things must be better now than ever before, since we have NT Wright to explain to us what Paul was really saying.

    Calvin, commentary on 1 Timothy 4:5:,
    And which of us would venture to claim for himself a single grain of wheat, if he were not taught by the word of God that he is the heir of the world? Dominion over the world was taken from us in Adam, and everything that we touch of the gifts of God is defiled by our pollution…untill God graciously come to our aid, and by ingrafting us into his Son, constitutes us anew to be lords of the world….

    Like

  53. Andrew – If the Israelites were losing, it wasn’t because God couldn’t give them leaders or make them winners.

    Erik – Who knew I was supposed to be trying to be a winner in this world that Jesus said His Kingdom was not of? I’d better get on that…

    Like

  54. In a free box at an old lady’s garage sale this morning:

    “The Book of Isaiah, Volume III, Chapters XL-LXVI, by Edward J. Young, Late Professor of Old Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary, 1972, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company”

    Young served as the General Editor of “The New International Commentary of the Old Testament” series (of which this volume is a part) until his death in 1968.

    The inside flap of the rear of the dustjacket mentions the New Testament portion of the series edited by F.F. Bruce. Among the volumes:

    “Commentary on Romans” by John Murray

    “Commentary on Galatians” by Herman Ridderbos

    A commentary on Matthew by Ridderbos was also in preparation at the time.

    Also some volumes by some Calvin men and some Reformed men in South Africa & Scotland.

    I need to read up on the history of Eerdmans in Grand Rapids. Maybe James Bratt talks about it in his history of the Reformed in America.

    Like

  55. Bonhoeffer: “The claim of the congregation to build the world on Christian principles ends only with the total capitulation of the Church to the world, as can be seen clearly enough by a glance at the New York church registers. If this does not involve a radical hostility to the Church that is only because no real distinction has ever been drawn here (in America) between the offices of Church and state. Godlessness remains more covert. And indeed in this way it deprives the Church even of the blessing of suffering and of the possible rebirth which suffering may engender.” Ethics, p 41

    Like

  56. Kings don’t have to pretend to be Christians.

    Christians don’t have a duty to try to be kings.

    Relax. When Christ Comes Again, the discontinuity will be great.

    More than a simple reformation.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s