In the Same Boat?

Do Jason and the Callers concede what George Weigel admits, namely, that despite all the authority that they boast for their communion it turns out they have no episcopal oversight unless they are ordained. In comments about the media’s coverage of the sex abuse scandal, Weigel says:

Another fact that was missed is that reducing a man, an abuser, to the lay state persistently and, if you will permit me, mindlessly dubbed “defrocking,” a word which has absolutely no meaning in any known Catholic vocabulary, is often worse for both the Church and society. It’s worse for the Church because the Church has no way to control the man who has been laicized or reduced to the lay state, and it’s worse for society because that man cut loose from any possibility of institutional control by the institution in which he had spent some considerable part of his life might, therefore, pose a future risk because of what we know to be a high rate of recidivism in some of these cases.

How is this any different from a Protestant denomination or congregation except that Protestant apologists don’t go around boasting about the authority of their pastors and bishops?

In the same setting, Weigel raised yet another question about the gap between Jason and the Callers theory and Roman Catholic practice — in this case, whether the charism of apostolic succession can make up for ineptitude:

The second point that I would make is that if you are interested in doing real reporting among serious Catholics throughout the world, I think you will find something quite striking, and that is while there remains enormous, strong, emotional, and affective and personal support for priests, there are real questions about the competence of bishops throughout the Church.

No matter where I go in the world Church, North America, Europe, Latin America, the single biggest complaint I hear from engaged and intelligent Catholics is about the competence of the local bishop. Some of that is unfair, but a lot of it isn’t, and it speaks to a serious problem that the abuse crisis has brought to the fore.

Let me put that problem in historical terms. In the early 19th Century when the first Catholic bishops were being appointed in the then nascent United States of America, Pope Pius VII had a free right of appointment in perhaps 50 of the then some 600 dioceses in the world. The rest were controlled by governments, by cathedral chapters or other ecclesiastical organizations, but the Church did not have — the Church as embodied by its leadership in Rome — simply did not have control over the most crucial appointments in its ordained leadership.

One of the great untold stories of the success of Vatican diplomacy over the past 200 years has been to change that situation such that now with what is it, more than 5,000 bishops in the world —

. . . Five thousand and twelve bishops in the world, and with the sole exceptions of Vietnam and China, the Church has essentially a free right of appointment. So the Church has gathered back to itself after what some of us would consider this period of Babylonian captivity to state power in the appointment of bishops. It has regained the capacity to order its own house according to its own criteria.

And, in fact, this has been imbedded in the new code of cannon law, which says that no rights of appointment are to be given in the future to state authorities.

However, if you were going to claim the right to appoint, then you must also in my view own the right to dismiss, and this is perhaps the single biggest management problem in the Catholic Church today, is that we do not have a mechanism in place for dealing with instances of manifest incompetence or worse in the exercise of the local Episcopal office, and that problem in turn explains a large amount, I think, of the dissatisfaction of not marginal Catholics, but serious Catholics, regular Church-going Catholics, major donor Catholics, with local bishops, with the quality of the Episcopate throughout the world Church.

So here is another huge problem that has got to be addressed presumably in the next pontificate. How does the Church get the quality of leadership that the people of the Church deserve, and how does the Church deal with the problem of, frankly, failed appointments? When we get it wrong, how do we deal with this?

This has got to be addressed. I addressed it actually a bit in The Courage to be Catholic, and it’s perhaps a shining example of how little influence I have over things that none of this has had the slightest dent that I can tell on the way things are done.

But it’s a big, big problem, and it’s perhaps in the abuse crisis, if one is thinking about this over the long term, it’s the biggest problem that has come to the surface that will have real effect on the life of the Church and the life of the people of the Church for the next 50 to 100 years.

Do Jason and the Callers listen to other voices in their own communion — “we do not have a mechanism in place for dealing with instances of manifest incompetence or worse in the exercise of the local Episcopal office, and that problem in turn explains a large amount, I think, of the dissatisfaction of not marginal Catholics, but serious Catholics, regular Church-going Catholics, major donor Catholics, with local bishops, with the quality of the Episcopate throughout the world Church.”

They keep telling us they have a mechanism in place and regular Roman Catholics like Weigel say the mechanism doesn’t exist.

The fine print of Jason and the Callers’ call is that they raise the stakes of conversion. If you convert to mother church, they argue, you get so much more than a possibly subjectivized relationship with Jesus. But what happens if you don’t get all that? What happens if the church isn’t all that your theory says it is? What happens if the church isn’t the mechanism you say it is? Doesn’t that make conversion to Jesus in a setting where the church tells you that having Jesus is all you need — not worrying about whether the church’s claims for itself are audaciously true — a call that is much more compelling?

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415 thoughts on “In the Same Boat?

  1. On the most recent podcast Christian & Jason are mocking the idea that “God provides”. Christian chides God for not providing for Jesus when he was being put to death. Jason chuckles and does not disagree. This is heresy territory. May need to contact Bryan to reconsider Jason’s poster-boy status at Called to Communion.

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  2. Erik, probably just the booze talking. Something tells me the treadmill is all that’s needed in this case.

    I listened, I think, to all of 21, and pieces of 20 and 22. I can’t do anymore. Learned Christian works at an accounting firm though, brings back my EY days 2004-2007. Anyhoo..toodles.

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  3. Erik,

    Speaking of The Wire, how do any of us have time to be online today when HBO is doing an all day screening of The Wire. McNulty (sp?) and Omar are so much better in HiDef. Later suckaz, I am un-pausing now.

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  4. DGH,

    Yes to all this. Conversion to RCism especially not needed given the ramifications of Vat2. Waiting for a Roman Catholic of the CtC stripe to explain how this position, as I understand we feel around here, is off. I’ll ve reading. Thanks as always, it’s been a great help to me.

    Regards,
    Andrew

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  5. Erik,

    Jason is loaded with that kind of stuff now. On one podcast he declared that he “didn’t even care if somone believed in jesus” so long as they love God and neighbor….. Wtf….

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  6. Talk about white privilege:

    It’s now all but official. Pope Francis and certain members of the Roman Curia’s old guard are openly at battle for the soul and future of the Catholic church. And their clash is over a sense of entitlement and privilege traditionally tied to a clericalist ethos and court mentality that has long held sway at the Vatican. . . .

    The officials, all wearing black cassocks with their red and violet skullcaps and sashes, sat stony-faced throughout the stinging address, which went on for slightly more than 30 minutes. Uncharacteristically, the pope hardly looked up from his written text and made only a couple, very minor unscripted remarks. His delivery was slow and deliberate. The prelates politely, but unenthusiastically applauded at the end.

    This was their annual “Christmas party” with the Successor of Peter, but not many of these men looked too jolly or cheerful. Nonetheless, they were all smiles afterward as Francis walked around the room and greeted each of them individually.

    In his first pre-Christmas address to the Roman Curia last year, he was similarly critical of clericalism and careerism among Vatican officials. And in this sense, his two meetings up to now have been very different from those held by his most recent predecessors. Previous popes would use the occasion to reflect on events and issues of the last 12 months, delivering what many considered a “State of the Church” address.

    But this year, Francis distinguished himself from them even further by doing what none had done before.

    After addressing the Curia chieftains in the richly frescoed Clementine Hall inside the Apostolic Palace, he moved over to the much larger and modernly designed Paul VI Hall near his Santa Marta residence. There, he had another pre-Christmas gathering, this time with the rest of the Vatican’s workforce and their families. These are the hundreds of mostly laypeople. In the majority of cases, they work as subordinates to the priests, bishops and cardinals that hold the managerial posts.

    The pope told them two things in particular that might be viewed as his attempt to bypass a clericalist apparatus, which appears increasingly out of sync with his style and focus, and gain the lay employees’ trust and cooperation in his efforts to reform the church’s central offices.

    First, he made a specific point of praising the Italians who work in the Vatican. This was nothing less than a rebuke to those who have blamed the Italians for the financial and organizational mess that has crippled the Roman Curia for many years. Most recently, the head of the Secretariat of the Economy, Cardinal George Pell, angered Italian workers and officials at the Vatican by bluntly insinuating that they lacked transparency and were oblivious to modern accounting methods.

    “It is a fact that the great majority of you are of Italian nationality,” the pope told the Vatican employees. “So let me express a particular and, I would say, a necessary thanks to the Italians who, throughout the history of the church and the Roman Curia, have always worked with a generous and faithful spirit.”

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  7. Ken,

    Try this on netflick, if you like DEP:

    Drunk History is an American television comedy series produced by Comedy Central, based on the Funny or Die web series created by Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner in 2007.[1] In each episode, an inebriated narrator struggles to recount an event from American history, while actors enact the narrator’s anecdote and lip sync the dialog.

    It’s just the booze talking for JJS. S’all good, right?

    Belated Merry Xmas, yo.

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  8. If Jason has become a universalist, or is well I his way to becoming one, who is surprised? The entire trajectory of modern Rome, especially since V2 has been toward full-on universalism. It’s one of the reasons the Callers are an aberration. Not even Rome buys that it is necessary for salvation anymore. I’ve had Romaniats tell me that orthodoxy is essentially irrelevant to personal salvation. It is orthopraxy that is important. The funny thing is that I was a religion major at a secular university, and those non-Christians said more than once that one of the chief differences between Christianity and other religions is that Christianity is a religion of orthodoxy and other religions are religions of orthopraxy. I don’t even know what the point of Rome is anymore. We’re all apparently guaranteed a spot in heaven now. That view is a complete denial of all Christian traditions, even Rome. The Romanists here don’t realize how there church is a completely new entity where everything goes. Believe whatever you want, it doesn’t matter.

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  9. Kenneth,

    You’re the only Catholic that I see reaching out to him at this point — at least publicly. Who knows what’s going on behind the scenes.

    I’m no pietist, but I’m not too excited about anyone who claims to be a Christian (of any stripe) routinely dropping f-bombs in public.

    If you’re Reformed (or even an evangelical) and you do that you generally have some people holding you accountable. Is Rome such a big tent with such a high clergy to laity ratio that Jason has no concern for this? If so, that’s a problem in the RCC. There needs to be more lay leadership/mutual accountability or something. As far afield as I go from time to time I am always aware that there are people around to keep me in line if I go too far. Jason appears to be going too far and no one in his Church seems to care, except you.

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  10. ec, did you miss this in the post?

    the Church because the Church has no way to control the man who has been laicized or reduced to the lay state, and it’s worse for society because that man cut loose from any possibility of institutional control by the institution in which he had spent some considerable part of his life might, therefore, pose a future risk because of what we know to be a high rate of recidivism in some of these cases.

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  11. Erik,

    One would think that a superior paradigm would include some way to control and discipline the wayward. Lack of control is a mark of liberalism. Welcome to liberalism.

    The thing that continues to befuddle me about Roman Catholicism is this very thing. You have an institution that claims to be the visible Christ on earth, to be the very incarnation of God, but it doesn’t go around doing anything about sinners. They seem content just to let people self-excommunicate themselves. I’m not sure how that is a superior pastoral paradigm, especially when bishops give the Eucharist to people who on any honest reading of the sources would have seemed to have excommunicated themselves.

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  12. Robert,

    Do you even write your own comments anymore? 20 bucks and i will write you a computer program that delivers your usual reaponses for you….. There are only like 3 or 4 so it shouldnt be too difficult.

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  13. Erik,

    Ill bet you anything people are reaching out to Jason behind the scenes. I think that this conversion has screwed with his head. He has never gone through a time where so many people dislike him and i think he just wants to embrace the darkside and play the villain. Whatever.

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  14. There’s a lot in the post that got missed, DGH.
    How about this:

    The way the Vatican works, this is a clue, an insider clue. When they want to distance themselves from something, okay, they don’t publicly deny it. What they do is they don’t repeat it.

    Okay. So what will happen is if you go to Lombardi and say, “Well, did Sodano’s thing about or did Cantalamessa’s thing about anti-Semitism, does that reflect what the Pope thinks?” what Lombardi is simply going to say is, “Father Cantalamessa was speaking for himself.”

    You know, he’s not going to do what, you know, you and I would wish he would do, which is, “Of course that doesn’t represent what the Pope thinks!” you know, and he’s going to be apologizing, and the Pope is going to be making a public — you know what I mean. In other words, he doesn’t do the things that, you know, ordinary secular reporters would look for in an institution that truly wants to disown something. Okay?

    But I’m telling you in terms of the internal logic of the Vatican, that business about not repeating it is the way they signal that this doesn’t reflect what we think, you know. I mean, in other words, insiders get it, you know, but the vast majority of the rest of the world never does.

    Ummm, the rest of the world? Does that mean us or CtC or both?

    As for “Of course that doesn’t represent what the infallible perspicuous Pope thinks!” does this falsify or contradict anything Bryan has said or thinks? Before now, now or later? How do we know that? Just when is this ecclesiastical epistemological confusion going to get cleared up?

    Wait, according to Allen, the truth is what they don’t repeat.
    (Boy, somebody has got that right.)

    Even worse what happens when a disgruntled ex Sony employee the Norks decide to take out the Internet CtC megaphone site?

    Weigl and Allen answered a lot of questions that Bryan Francis hasn’t, but not that one. But maybe before the lights go out for the last time, the used car salesman will drive up with a spare generator to keep the show on the air road.

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  15. Kenneth, it’s one of the things you get with an education. The ability to combox like the best of them.

    Hope finals treated you well. Adios.

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  16. Kenneth,

    Of course you’d have to offer a Bryan Cross doll as well to be fair.

    (Pull string)

    “You’ve committed a logical fallacy.”

    (Pull string)

    “That’s your paradigm.”

    (Pull string)

    “That’s nothing we haven’t said”

    (Pull string)…

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  17. “Here’s a link to the article (or comment) where we addressed that.”

    (Pull string)

    “Vatican 2 changed nothing, it’s only pastoral”

    (Pull string)

    “That’s an ad-hominem, and not very charitable”

    (Pull string)…

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  18. Kenneth,

    Don’t blame me that you and Jason have embraced a church that thinks nineteenth-century Protestant liberalism is a viable theological option.

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  19. On the most recent podcast Christian & Jason are mocking the idea that “God provides”. Christian chides God for not providing for Jesus when he was being put to death. Jason chuckles and does not disagree. This is heresy territory.

    Erik, this is a pretty big misrepresentation of what we were saying. We were mocking Calvary Chapel’s motto that “Where God guides, God provides.” They use that to look at a worker’s material income or situation to determine if God has really guided them to where they are, and in that case, even what Jesus did could be judged as God not “providing” in the way that they define it. They use it as an excuse to not pay their workers anything.

    Hardly anything “heretical” in that conversation. Come on, man, you’re smarter than that. This is not what we send you commission checks for!

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  20. Christian,

    First off, I don’t fault you (the agnostic) in this scenario. Jason is a professing Roman Catholic, however, and should know better.

    Using the atonement as an example of God not coming through and providing is just bad theology. It’s not something a professing Christian should mess around with or make light of in any way.

    You set out to make Jason and his Catholicism look bad and sometimes you succeed wildly. I think your friend Jason is really hurting, though, and you’re not helping him.

    It’s not up to you to help him, though. Where are his Catholic brothers and sisters?

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  21. Erik

    I’m not worrying if you’re faulting me, as you probably know. 🙂

    What you’re missing, however, is that we were not saying what you’re saying we’re saying. We were judging by the standards that Calvary Chapel puts forward, in which case, they would have to say that (by their standards) Jesus was not “provided for” so he must not have been called to do what he did. Pretty sure I can speak for Jason that he would never say that Jesus wasn’t provided for or wasn’t called to do what he did. We agree</strong with you that that's bad theology!

    As far as Jason and myself personally, our interactions, as I'm sure you know, go far beyond DXP.

    From my own experience, if they're going to help anyone, Christians generally only help those they agree with.

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  22. AB, thanks for giving DXP a try. It’s certainly not going to appeal to everyone, nor do we expect it to. We didn’t expect it to appeal to as many people as it has.

    I do know how to close a strong tag.

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  23. Thanks for the response, Christian. I like web development too. The Jason Stellman saga, even though there are those of us who know nothing of him away from our computer screens, still kinda hurts. We like our religion, but understand when people want to leave, as sad as that is.

    Nor does it really bug me that you guys pick on the fundies. I was raised fundamentalist baptist, but my religiosity ran a lot deeper than my baptist church could handle. Refomed faith was the answer for me at age 19, still is.

    Later.

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  24. Christian, not quite. Instead of religion more like sin as the culprit (which is what makes religion in the hands of sinners so frightening). But that may be like saying, “I think you’re right, but probably only because I agree with you.”

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  25. Christian,

    I see your point, but the Jonah example and the Jesus example were not parallels. Jesus came to do what He did and He was in accord with the Father in doing it.

    I would imagine that Calvary Chapel could see martyrdom as God providing. I don’t think they were/are health & wealth gospel preachers.

    It’s an interesting debate, though. Fortunately people can listen for themselves.

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  26. Christian, I would recommend you wrestle with Keller. He wrote Reason for God when New Atheism was more poop-ular than it is now.

    Sorry, NOW I’m done. Try watching 5 min or so of that link. You came to an Xtian blog, what did you expect, yo. Go in peace.

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  27. Erik,

    “I’m no pietist, but I’m not too excited about anyone who claims to be a Christian (of any stripe) routinely dropping f-bombs in public.”

    It’s hard water for me to navigate too, that is, the piety aspect of faith especially since my Reformed roots didn’t think it worthwhile, but piety is nothing more than a desire to do what is pleasing to God. Anyways, if swearing is a sin, does it matter that it is said in public rather than in private? Maybe for Jason it is purely habit, so again, if it condemnable, on what scriptural ground, and is it worse than watching flicks that have sex scenes?

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  28. It’s worse for the Church because the Church has no way to control the man who has been laicized or reduced to the lay state, and it’s worse for society because that man cut loose from any possibility of institutional control by the institution in which he had spent some considerable part of his life might, therefore, pose a future risk because of what we know to be a high rate of recidivism in some of these cases.

    Huh/duh. My very bad. Missed this big time. Weigl, our reasonable romanist – as compared to our favorite inhumane academic phd. – doesn’t think that sexual predators in the Roman church should be handed over to the civil magistrate? That if Rome cuts them loose, they just get to float around and do their thing? So it’s best if Rome controls them by not controlling them? As before? Perish the thought of any real discipline with teeth in the one true holy apostolic church. (But Grandmother, what a nice fulsome smile you have. It must have something to do with the Petrine toothpaste chrism.)

    Oh. The one evil kingdom, Rome rules over/is the be all.
    Outside of Rome there is no genuine civil society or world to substantively speak of.
    Got it.

    And ahem, while we’re on the topic,

    and is it worse than watching flicks that have sex scenes?

    Hilarious. A romanist who usually makes the daffiest of comments, finally nails one to the wall. (Which is why hanging around even sites like OLTS improves the average romanist dialectic. You’re welcome/Bryan, you watching and learning? Anything?)

    Careful now, Susan. The knives will come out and you WILL be called a pietist, which is the prot version of a Holy Water Joe, as well as a reformed mortal sin.

    Just so you know in the future, “Entertainment” like Sin Movies “Art” is a sore spot round here and the ad homs just might redline. Tread carefully, speak snarkily softly and prepare to get blasted.
    IOW jus sayin’.

    ciao

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  29. “Just so you know in the future, “Entertainment” like Sin Movies “Art” is a sore spot round here…”

    Yes, I know, and that is the reason I brought it up.

    “Tread carefully, speak snarkily softly and prepare to get blasted.
    IOW jus sayin’.”

    I’m only interested in thoughtful dialogue, so if the ad homs and snark come out, I’ll be on my way.

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  30. Susan – It’s hard water for me to navigate too, that is, the piety aspect of faith especially since my Reformed roots didn’t think it worthwhile, but piety is nothing more than a desire to do what is pleasing to God.

    Erik – You didn’t read your Confessions & Catechisms.

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  31. Susan – Anyways, if swearing is a sin, does it matter that it is said in public rather than in private? Maybe for Jason it is purely habit, so again, if it condemnable, on what scriptural ground, and is it worse than watching flicks that have sex scenes?

    Erik – Both public & private are bad, but private doesn’t impact anyone but you.

    Watching flicks that have sex scenes is also bad.

    If you have no problem with a high-profile Catholic convert regularly saying” fuck” in a public forum I guess you can take it up with your bishop. You are more tolerant than I thought. Bryan could probably cite several passages from the RCC Catechism that would show that to be objectionable but I’ll let you Catholics sort it out.

    Since when do Catholics care about “Scriptural grounds”?

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  32. Erik, the glory days of CalledtoCommunion are over. The vatican elves (Spock ears) are leaving this world. The time for men to rule has come.

    Have some music in these, the final days. Goodbye Frodo.

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  33. Erik,

    What is “impure speech?” Is it certain letters in certain combinations, or is it intending to harm someone. I’d argue the latter, but I know how Christians like to have hard and defined rules telling them what they cannot say or cannot watch or cannot hear.

    Christian rejoices in the peace that agnosticism has given him and Jason gives him reinforcement

    Jason admits that I’m happier and seem more at peace. I’m not sure that’s akin to Universalism, but the Catholic Church seems to be moving in that direction anyway. I mean, they let your Reformed folk go to heaven now, don’t they? 😉

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  34. Erik – You didn’t read your Confessions & Catechisms.”

    Susan- Yes I did, and for a time they were helpful,but after a while I began to notice discrepacies. But then they were fitted together by a men of a new instituition that claimed to know the scriptures and tradition better than their forefathers, and so the question of whether or not they are a reliable gloss of what the scriptures principally teach was a legitimate nagging question. Not to say they were wrong on everything( how could they be, they were gleaning from a long tradtion?), but when a new way to *formally* confess the faith appears, it’s hard not to ask how one knows that it wasn’t fitted to support a new schema.

    Erik – Both public & private are bad, but private doesn’t impact anyone but you.

    Watching flicks that have sex scenes is also bad.

    If you have no problem with a high-profile Catholic convert regularly saying” fuck” in a public forum I guess you can take it up with your bishop. You are more tolerant than I thought. Bryan could probably cite several passages from the RCC Catechism that would show that to be objectionable but I’ll let you Catholics sort it out.

    Susan- I’m happy that you don’t approve of watching sex scenes. And no, I don’t like it that Jason says f*** in a public forum. I can objectively say that it isn’t becoming language, but it’s a hard thing because I sometimes wish I could let loose and use it myself to blow off some steam. It’s not a habit for me, so I think I would be more culpable if I said it in a moment of anger then the twenty-somethings who walk around using it every other word.
    I had a pastor who I appreciated for being less saccharine than Mr. Rogers, and he advised me not to read the puritans. He wanted to stear us away from trying to be fervency for that could be attempted *works*. “Piety” in that community was a dirty word because it could be perceived as self-righteousness.

    Erik- Since when do Catholics care about “Scriptural grounds”?

    Susan- My mistake. I thought you disapproved of the use of the f-word, but didn’t mind steamy “art”, so I was wondering on what grounds you could condemn the former while not minding the latter. I apologize.
    I was reading The Wisdom of Solomon yesterday, and interestingly I noticed that Chapter 2 is all about The Christ.

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  35. Also, for the record, I like DXP’s; they are funny and I wish them success, however I think they should call the podcast Four Martini Lunch, it sounds more classy and it fits the cartoon of the two men in ties with cocktail glasses in hand.
    Of course, that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.

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  36. Susan, then we are agreed (emoticon). I like it too. However, if you read this thread, you have your co-religionist Kenneth raising serious concerns about the theology expressed there. Maybe Token Women is lurking and can clear this up ( i know you are a fan of hers too). Anyway, Christian and Jason do a great show, but at least personally, what some of us reformed see happening there doesn’t sit well with us.

    Did you enjoy the hobbit movie like I did?

    Peace.

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  37. I’m really not supposed to be seeing anyone naked but myself and my wife, other than if I’m doing a work of mercy or necessity – giving my kid a bath, giving a nursing home resident a shower like I did when I was a nurses’ aide. This is pretty clear throughout Scripture from beginning to end — avoiding sexual immorality is an ongoing emphasis. Naked women in film are real naked women. When we had that epic debate I dug in because of the methods of some of my opponents, but upon further reflection I had to admit their message was right.

    Do I still watch some R rated movies? I do, but fewer than I used to. And when I do see nudity I don’t say that it is right.

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  38. BE is disturbing in the mixture of hardcore violence and hardcore sex. The sex is raunchy and the violence is brutal and graphic. The writing is solid and Buscemi is good as always. Terence Winter is one of the best guys on TV.

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  39. Erik,
    I’m with ya. Sometimes it’s a hard call though when you want to avoid anything that makes your conscience uncomfortable, but you also don’t want to be a complete prud. I want to avoid the scene but I also really enjoy the story, so what do I do. Take Peaky Blinders for example; I love the story, but I get uncomfortable during the intimacy and violent scenes. Guess, I will just have to buy the soundtrack.
    Merry Christmas to you.

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  40. Susan,

    Yes. R-rated is real world and real world is interesting. Some aspects of the real world are to be avoided, though, if we belong to Jesus. He bought and paid for us. It’s tough to accept sometimes, though. Believe me, I know.

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  41. Christian,

    What is “impure speech?” Is it certain letters in certain combinations, or is it intending to harm someone. I’d argue the latter, but I know how Christians like to have hard and defined rules telling them what they cannot say or cannot watch or cannot hear.

    All language can be reduced to certain letter or syllable combinations, including words intending to harm someone. So, in a sense, yes, impure speech can be reduced to the same.

    I agree that slanderous language is impure. However, certain words can also be impure in that they are intended to be crass, vulgar, or offensive.

    Such language does not suit a child of God. Because the children of God are not post modern relativists, and hold to objective moral standards, we often have defined rules as to what such people should allow themselves to be exposed to. We also usually strive not to be stumbling blocks and attempt to avoid the label of “hypocrite” as much as is possible. We believe that we are called to be holy or set apart from the world. Thus, impure language is frowned upon.

    Hope that helps.

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  42. Susan,

    I think I have the site set up to not allow them on a post after a certain amount of time.

    Fagen & Becker are artistic geniuses. Like most pop/rock acts their lyrics vary from the inoffensive to the highly offensive (see also: “Godwhackers”). A “Steely Dan” is also a dildo (courtesy of William S. Burroughs’ “Naked Lunch”).

    So, as with so many other things, I compromise. (Sigh…)

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  43. D.G.,

    It doesn’t rule it out, it just acknowledges that it involves moral compromise. Welcome to the Christian life on planet earth, in other words.

    Imagine being a Christian professor of literature or film and navigating this stuff for a living. It’s just recreation for me.

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  44. When I was a freshman at Northwestern College I had a literature professor who took a lot of crap. He was a first year teacher, probably on a temporary appointment with the possibility of a more permanent appointment. I can’t remember everything he assigned, but I do recall he tried to include some “Christian” works – the film “Chariots of Fire”, C.S. Lewis’s “Till We Have Faces”, John Donne’s poetry – but also works like Sherwood Anderson’s “Winesburg, Ohio”. At the end of the semester he asked me to make sure I wrote him a good recommendation because he knew he wouldn’t be getting a lot of them. He had heard that he “talked about sex too much”. He was also divorced which probably didn’t help his standing. He was a decent guy and I felt bad for him. What was he supposed to do, spend the whole semester on “Pilgrim’s Progress”? If anyone was going to come out of that undergraduate English program and do serious graduate study there were a lot of works that they were going to have to be familiar with that were not distinctly Christian works. So does he punt and teach like he would teach in a Bible College or does he take the concept of “Christian Liberal Arts” seriously? Anyway, he only lasted that one year and I don’t know where he went from there. I transferred out of English, but I enjoyed his class.

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  45. ec, so when I teach Thomas Hobbes, am I involved in moral compromise?

    If something causes you to sin 7th or 1st commandment, then we’ve got a problem. But how does watching or reading something cause you to sin? Does letting your unmarried neighbors live together cause you to sin?

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  46. Oh, and Susan, JRR and TKNY appear to be buddy buddy, despite the cath/prot divide. Woohoo!

    I own Every Good Endeavor by Keller, which is what is referenced if you dig into that tweet, about the short story Leaf by Niggle by Tolkien. Anyway, happy reading, yo!

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  47. I’m moving around a bit in talking about my English prof, but I am focusing primarily on 7th commandment violations (adultery). Greg the Terrible’s arguments, as big as an oaf as he was making them, were pretty persuasive once they sunk in.

    Real women, who am not married to, naked, before my eyes, and they’re not ugly. That’s a real problem, especially in a day where we have Reformed ministers being hauled before the Civil Magistrate and being thrown into jail for having sex with four members of his congregation.

    Now can men fall into those sins who never see these images? Certainly. Is it probably helpful to show restraint in how often I expose myself to them? It probably is.Think about how freaking easy it is for us to see porn — it’s ridiculous. R-rated sexuality may not be hardcore porn, but a lot of it is certainly softcore porn. I know it is because they get “actresses” who are porn stars or exotic dancers to shoot it — real actresses won’t do it.

    The trick is, it’s a gateway to harder stuff and serious, real life sins — sins that can destroy the relationships that are dearest to us — with our wives, with our churches, and with God. I’m sure we have Church officers who are porn addicts, and that’s very unfortunate. It’s so much easier to slip into than it was in our grandparents’ generation. Even our parents had to go out and find a magazine.

    Once again, I’m not saying never watch this stuff, just be aware of the danger that’s involved in doing it.

    And you can teach Hobbes as long as he’s not naked.

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  48. More For you, Susan:

    The Infallibility of the Church? Dec
    27
    by Reformed Reader
    Systematic Theology, 3 Volumes The Roman Catholic Church teaches that “the infallibility of the Magisterium of the Pastors extends to all the elements of doctrine, including moral doctrine, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, expounded, or observed” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, III.1.3.3.1). In short, Rome teaches the infallibility of the Magisterial Church.

    Charles Hodge (d. 1878), in Systematic Theology, gives five arguments against the infallibility of the Church of Rome: 1) it is founded on a wrong theory of the church, 2) it is founded on the false assumption of the perpetuity of the Apostleship, 3) it is founded on a false interpretation of Christ’s promise, 4) it is contradicted by facts, and 5) it is contradicted by the present doctrinal errors in the Church of Rome. Though Hodge’s arguments are all solid, I appreciate his third one:

    The third decisive argument against the infallibility of the Church is, that Christ never promised to preserve it from all error. What is here meant is that Christ never promised the true Church, that is, “the company of true believers,” that they should not err in doctrine. He did promise that they should not fatally apostatize from the truth. He did promise that He would grant his true disciples such a measure of divine guidance by his Spirit, that they should know enough to be saved. He, moreover, promised that He would call men into the ministry, and give them the qualifications of faithful teachers, such as were the presbyters whom the Apostles ordained in every city.

    But there is no promise of infallibility either to the Church as a whole, or to any class of men in the Church. Christ promised to sanctify his people; but this was not a promise to make them perfectly holy in this life. He promised to give them joy and peace in believing; but this is not a promise to make them perfectly happy in this life —that they should have no trials or sorrows. Then, why should the promise to teach be a promise to render infallible. As the Church has gone through the world bathed in tears and blood, so has she gone soiled with sin and error. It is just as manifest (obvious) that she has never been infallible, as that she has never been perfectly holy. Christ no more promised the one than the other.

    H/T: RSC

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  49. Hi AB,

    I really loved the LOTR’s trilogy and I didn’t mind the Hobbit films( 1st two, haven’t seen the 3rd), but I understand what the purist’s are bothered by. And no, I haven’t finished the Hobbit yet ;/ because I got an intriguing book from one of my older daughters. I gravitate towards non-fiction, but really need to read more fiction.

    Did you get any new golf clubs for Christmas?

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  50. Little trivia question just to demonstrate how this stuff gets into our heads:

    Tommy Carcetti has a one night stand with a woman. What color is her hair?

    Forever etched on the brain.

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  51. Erik Charter
    Posted December 29, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink
    Susan,

    A “Steely Dan” is also a dildo

    I’m going to name my next band “Erik Charter.”

    Couldn’t resist, you had it coming. And on a more serious note, talking filth like that to Susan was way out of line, man.

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  52. Bob,

    No one here gets down on you because you’re a pietist.

    We get down on you because you’re a horse’s ass.

    Yo, Chitter, it’s Bub to you.
    Doan ferget it neither.
    chears

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  53. ec, thanks. But it seems to me you have isolated the 7th commandment (6th for the Protestant challenged). If you engaged in a similar reading of the other 9 — welcome to the world of Obedience Boys — you’re restrictions escalate. That doesn’t mean I advocate looking at naked women. It does mean with Paul in Rom 14 that some consciences are more sensitive than others. Do you avoid nude paintings or sculpture?

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  54. And susan, to back up a bit and talk LOTR, i was raised fundy, and my parents were very much against books with goblins, wizards, and the like. one of my first acts of rebellion as a freshman at UCSB was to read the lord of the rings trilogy, and then after, i read the hobbit. i immediately fell in love with the stories, putting it mildly. I had a really good public high school that opened the world of reading fiction to me. one of my absolute favs was east of eden by john steinbeck (jason likes it too). there’s even a discussion of the translation of a bible verse and that opened the my thinking up, as a high school junior. senior year, i was exposed to protestant liberalism in my philosophy class, which was led by our calculus teacher, who was a leader in his episcopal church. it wasn’t until my wife invited me to the opc did i really start working out my erroneous theology (that was around the time i appeared on the price is right (hello tom)). i could keep going, but yes, keep reading fiction. the really imaginative works are the ones worth pursuing, if you ever get into sci-fi, ping me here or on twitter. i like the big three (heinlein, clarke, asimov) from what i’ve read, but i have much more to do. lately, i just listen to npr podcasts on my commute. there, i’ve said too much. toodles, peace to you on your journey, yo yo

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  55. AB – ever read any of Clifford Simak’s SF works? Very mild, laid back, cozy approach to the genre, but not without making the typical social commentary that is characteristic of almost all SF (was was during the golden era, anyway). Good place to start would be “The Way Station,” if you’re not familiar with him.

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  56. george, indeed i have not. a few years back at (cpcmb(dot)org) church, there was a physicist researcher working for the naval post graduate school, and we talked all things sci-fi for a while after church. i had recently bought this, but decided instead to make it a gift to him, so i haven’t got back into reading classic SF since about that time. I will remember the recommendation. the reason i bring up the hall of fame is because searching around the interwebs about your suggestion, i find out simak is included in that hall of fame. soo many good books, so little time. my previous op pastor says we must be wise stewards of our time. like susan, maybe i always want to get more into fiction, but somehow, horton, hart, and others keep drawing me in. it’s not easy…

    thanks george! happy new year.

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  57. kW of course we guard. Garbage in garbage out it’s called. (All about) I remember being at camp in third grade or so when the leaders explained.

    Also, I think there are two R’s..

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  58. loser ken, and I thought you were young. That’s exactly what my parents and pastors said. And if I took that advice/instruction, my life would be impoverished because I’d never know about Jimmy, Bunk, Bubbs, Rawls, Kima, Freaman, or Ziggy.

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  59. Kenner, surely you should newly resolve to abstain from OL since who knows what kind of foothold is being gained due to the voices you’re being subjected to here. You may say you are doing the Lord’s Pope Francis’ssome theoretical good pope’s work here, but is that really a good enough reason to expose yourself to such infidelity, slander, and willful rejection of the CCF?

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  60. D.G. – Do you avoid nude paintings or sculpture?

    Erik – I have less concern about that than I do with depictions of intercourse and more sexualized nudity. Even in the genre of nude paintings there is Manet and there is Boris Vallejo so that too is a slippery slope.

    I’m by no means planning to be a crusader on this, a la Greg The Terrible. Bob brought It up as an objection to my pointing out how much Jason was saying “fuck” on his podcast.

    And in my mind it’s not even a question of restrictions — it’s a question of integrity. I want to acknowledge that I live life on a continuum when it comes to sin. Some things I do are flat out more inherently sinful than others. I’d rather admit it than have to perform contortions to explain why what appears to be sin is not really sin. That’s where we kid ourselves and end up with our pants around our ankles while the cop comes in during the prostitution sting. No thanks.

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  61. So with something like “The Wire” I would say, man, there is a lot of stuff in that that is sinful, but there is also a lot of stuff that is lights out good and enriching. I make a judgment that the good is good enough that I am going to tolerate the bad and I live with that choice.

    Meanwhile, I watch “Sex & The City” (I have) and conclude that the good, while creative and entertaining, was, in retrospect, probably not good enough to outweigh the bad I subjected myself to. Would maybe have to say the same thing with a show like “Entourage” — although when it was good it was really good. Other shows like “The L Word” I was wise enough to quit. “Girls” is probably one I should be wise enough to quit. I don’t regret watching “The Sopranos” because it was seminal (no pun intended), but there was a lot of bad stuff there.

    This is where developing some maturity and judgment comes in.

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  62. Ken, just make sure you aren’t pointing fingers on here when about 15 minutes review of your life would show you are watching bad stuff as well.

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  63. Here’s a hypothetical:

    You’re a church officer and it has come to your attention that a member is an aficionado of 1970s softcore pornography. They watch a lot of it and even contribute regularly to an online blog. You talk to the member and they say that it’s none of your business, they consider this to be art and their conscience is clear. Besides, you yourself watch R rated movies and is 70s x-rated porn really much different? The stories are corny, but hey, to each his own. “Deep Throat” was a cultural watershed, after all.

    How do you and the Consistory respond?

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  64. ec, at the risk of trying your patience, why so particular about the 7th commandment? It’s hard to leave the house (if the radio isn’t on) and avoid disobedience to the 3rd commandment.

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  65. ec, porn is designed to arouse and some non-pornographic expressions do the same. But while sex in The Wire may be designed to improve ratings and even depict “real” life, its arousal quotient is virtually non-existent (in part because in the age of The Wire you have so many more places to go for a wee peak).

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  66. The smart vs. stupid distinction is somewhat tricky. Is “Blow Up” smart or stupid? Is Warhol smart or stupid? Is 70s vintage porn smart or stupid? Not all TV, I realize. Highbrows might say “Lebowski” is stupid but “Fargo” is not. Is that correct?

    Taking the Lord’s name in vain is sinful, but is me hearing the Lord’s name taken in vain akin to me seeing someone’s fornication (or faux fornication)? In the first instance the speaker is sinning, but am I as the hearer? As a willing, voluntary hearer? In the second instance, the fornicators are sinning, but am I as the watcher? As a willing, voluntary watcher?

    Maybe a parallel question is, Is reading a sexual passage in D.H. Lawrence the same as watching a sexual passage in a filmed version of D.H. Lawrence?

    I have more questions than answers, I admit.

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  67. And on porn vs. non-porn, my ongoing contention is that porn has been imported into R-rated film. I could give about 25 examples if given a few minutes, but I’ll spare everyone.

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  68. O.K. – Just one. The opening of “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.” Virtually identical to the look of 70s softcore porn – with Philip freaking Seymour Hoffman, of all people — basically the best actor of his generation — and Marisa Tomei — a woman who revived her career by doing on-screen nudity in her 40s. Directed by the late Sidney Lumet. Mainstream, longstanding Hollywood director.

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  69. ec, if you pay attention to speech-act theory (not that I do), or if you’re John McWhorter and study language, you may find yourself assaulted by blasphemous words more than sexually charged images.

    It’s a mine field out there.

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  70. The subject of much of this particular blog thread is a difficult one to unravel. On the one side there is pietism (or legalism) and at the other extreme lies antinomanism. Either of these two is problematic for reasons frequently discussed here, but Is it our goal to try to stay on track by simply landing somewhere in the middle? I’m not sure myself and often struggle with the answer to that as well.

    As Dr. Clark covered once-upon-a-blog over at his website, we live in a coarse (crude) society nowadays. [http://heidelblog.net/2014/04/of-coarse-jesting-wisdom-and-christian-liberty/] And it seems to be getting worse. One could blame the Supreme Court, I suppose, for opening Pandora’s Box in the mid-60’s with rulings on so-called 1st Amendment “rights” that opened the door wide to pornographers (Memiors v. Massachusetts) – and I do – because things have been on a steady down hill decline ever since. But beyond just sex, violence, and vulgarity, our culture has been exposed to the kind of obstinate, in-your-face kind of crude comedy like episodes The Simpsons and Seinfeld ever since along with crude (and I hesitate to ever use this word) “music” like punk, rap, and hip-hop, coupled with garish tattoos and body piercings.

    There was a time, and I recall it well, when pornographers used fakey scenarios to accommodate what the FCC and courts required in the way of “socially redeemable value” to get by with their rude material. Now even that is long gone. It’s hard to see how any of this has been beneficial to the culture at large and increasing incidents of road rage, school shootings, flash mob incidents, etc. should come as no surprise to us.

    So where does this leave us as Christians? Just go along with the flow because everyone else is doing it? It’s “just something you get used to living in a large metropolitan area” (wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that one)? Just exactly what is this salt and light business anyway and how does it require us to live among all this chaos? I have to confess that I don’t have the answer, either but it does make me think and, quite frankly, bothers me…

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  71. I remember playing basketball with a kid a decade ago. He reveled in saying “Jesus f***ing Christ” repeatedly, for no apparent reason. I think I told him, in a nice way, that he shouldn’t be doing that. He was nice about it and stopped saying it, if I remember right. Many people don’t give these sins a second thought.

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  72. Good thoughts, George. As always.

    I think about the things I tolerate that there is no way my grandpa – a man who became a serious Christian relatively late in life – never would have tolerated – even before he became a serious Christian.

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  73. Thoughts keep coming to me on this – On the “why focus on sex”? question, there is something that is quite distinctive about the Christian sexual ethic. Take CD-Host & Christian (Jason’s friend & podcast partner) as two examples. Former Christians, now atheist/agnostic. Both would probably still say that stealing & murdering are wrong. Both would probably disagree with Christian sexual ethics (that sex should be confined to marriage). Christian for one, appears to revel in his newfound sexual freedom. The more we compromise in that area, the more we become like the world. Could make the same case for the first table, I suppose. People who are not Christians have little to no regard for those, either.

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  74. Daryl and chortles,

    I was not claiming to be a pure innocent little lamb. I am just saying that it is rather obvious that one should mind what you allow yourself to be exposed to. I honestly wasnt expecting anyone to disagree with me. I didnt know that Presbyterians were neutral on porn and foul language.

    Learn something new everyday. (Part of the reason why im on OL)

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  75. there is something that is quite distinctive about the Christian sexual ethic

    As followers of Jesus, we agree with him. He spoke on the things that we seem to focus on. Money..Sex..

    Smart guy, that JC…

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  76. What presbys believe:

    Q. 111. Which is the third commandment?
    A. The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    Q. 112. What is required in the third commandment?
    A. The third commandment requires, that the name of God, his titles, attributes, ordinances, the word, sacraments, prayer, oaths, vows, lots, his works, and whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known, be holily and reverently used in thought, meditation, word, and writing; by an holy profession, and answerable conversation, to the glory of God, and the good of ourselves, and others.

    Q. 113. What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?
    A. The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God’s name as is required; and the abuse of it in an ignorant, vain, irreverent, profane, superstitious, or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes, ordinances, or works, by blasphemy, perjury; all sinful cursings, oaths, vows, and lots; violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful; and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful; murmuring and quarreling at, curious prying into, and misapplying of God’s decrees and providences; misinterpreting, misapplying, or any way perverting the word, or any part of it, to profane jests, curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines; abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms, or sinful lusts and practices; the maligning, scorning, reviling, or any wise opposing of God’s truth, grace, and ways; making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends; being ashamed of it, or a shame to it, by unconformable, unwise, unfruitful, and offensive walking, or backsliding from it.

    Q. 114. What reasons are annexed to the third commandment?
    A. The reasons annexed to the third commandment, in these words, The LORD thy God, and, For the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain, are, because he is the Lord and our God, therefore his name is not to be profaned, or any way abused by us; especially because he will be so far from acquitting and sparing the transgressors of this commandment, as that he will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgment, albeit many such escape the censures and punishments of men.
    Q. 137. Which is the seventh commandment?
    A. The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.

    Q. 138. What are the duties required in the seventh commandment?
    A. The duties required in the seventh commandment are, chastity in body, mind, affections, words, and behavior; and the preservation of it in ourselves and others; watchfulness over the eyes and all the senses; temperance, keeping of chaste company, modesty in apparel; marriage by those that have not the gift of continency, conjugal love, and cohabitation; diligent labor in our callings; shunning all occasions of uncleanness, and resisting temptations thereunto.

    Q. 139. What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?
    A. The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are, adultery, fornication, rape, incest, sodomy, and all unnatural lusts; all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections; all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto; wanton looks, impudent or light behavior, immodest apparel; prohibiting of lawful, and dispensing with unlawful marriages; allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them; entangling vows of single life, undue delay of marriage; having more wives or husbands than one at the same time; unjust divorce, or desertion; idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, unchaste company; lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays; and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.

    http://www.opc.org/lc.html

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  77. Kenneth,

    Would you admit, though, that there is a certain “earthiness” that we seem to find in many lifelong Catholics — think of Italian Catholics as depicted by Martin Scorsese, for instance. What do you make of this? Are you importing some things from your fundamentalist background?

    Jason certainly appears to believe he has been “liberated” from certain moral strictures since becoming Catholic, no?

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  78. @EC I think you are onto something there. Paul alludes to this as well when he writes about the distinctiveness of sexual sin,

    “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

    Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

    I’m not sure how exactly, but sexual sin really does seem to be in a different class. Maybe the reason this second table law gets such short shrift from non-believers is that the justification for the Christian sexual ethic isn’t so much about avoiding unintended pregnancy, VD, or unhappy partners but about respecting the temple of the Lord. If one doesn’t believe that one’s body is a temple for the Holy Spirit (to adopt Paul’s language), then why would porn be problematic (in moderation, with consensual actors, etc…)?

    In my experience, visual depictions of sex are more arousing than literary ones, and realistic depictions more arousing (i.e. movies>photos>paintings). On the other hand, not all depictions are arousing and what is arousing is culturally dependent (i.e. what was hot in 1950 may be a joke today). From my perspective, it is wise to stay away and err on the side of caution (and I think the porn stats for christians back me up on this). But I wouldn’t condemn a Christian who was into artsy NC-17 movies either. DGH’s smart/dumb guide seems pretty helpful. I would be much more worried about a fellow Christian who didn’t attend church regularly where he heard the gospel faithfully proclaimed and the sacraments administered than one who did and was into edgy movies.

    Fortunately for all concerned, I’m not an officer. I clearly have a lot more thinking to do on this…

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  79. sdb, but the question isn’t doing these things in the body–wouldn’t all agree that sexual sin, violence, profane speech, etc. in one’s body is categorically out? The question is in voluntarily watching others depict things in one medium or another. In which case, I’ve yet to be persuaded in this theory that things of a sexual nature are really any more distinctive than those of a violent or profane nature. If the litmus test is in wanting to imitate what is observed (consumed?), how is it any less plausible for violence and profanity?

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  80. @Zrim I’m not so sure it is about “wanting” to imitate what is observed… I’m not so sure that the biggest problem with watching porn is guys going out to hire hookers to reenact what they saw. It is the masturbating over what they saw. What is the analogy to something of a profane or violent nature? Watch a violent movie and going at it on a punching bag? It seems different to me… I’m obviously not articulating this very well, so like I said, I need to think about it more carefully.

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  81. Jesus didn’t cut us any slack when he said that merely looking at a woman lustfully is akin to committing adultery with her in our hearts. Ouch.

    Coincidentally (if Calvinists believe in coincidence) the book I am just starting to read is on the sexual revolution. How fitting that this “revolution” was a 20th century event, largely reaching its apex in the 60s & 70s. Sexual revolution as a consequence of the decline of the Christian church in the West – Biblical higher criticism, Protestant liberalism and Vatican II Catholicism. The revolution was a revolt against biblical norms for sexuality – men marrying woman, having sex with them only, and children being the logical fruit of those unions. In essence the sexual revolution was a key part of a larger revolt against God.

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  82. I’m sorry, what’s happening? I was busy masturbating to porn on the web, again.

    Erik, I think it’s great that you’re right in the middle of this one, again. I’m almost inspired to share stories of dorm life at seminary, almost. “What’s that smell? Whif, whif, it’s like a smoky vaseline”. Salas! Dude!”

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  83. Bob brought It up as an objection to my pointing out how much Jason was saying “fuck” on his podcast.

    Yo, from one equine posterior to another, get your lame and self serving excuses straight.
    Susan brought it up. I merely remarked that the hypocrisy of it all was hilarious and that Susan might catch an earful. And we have, more pontificating than polemical, but whatever.

    FTM in the big picture, there’s no question we are all sinners. It’s just when some people tell us that sin isn’t sin, that it gets a little much.
    Further sdb’s quote of 1 Cor. 6:18 pretty much nails it, but again, whatever. Frankly I am surprised all this has entailed so much headscratching and hmmming.

    Moreover Veith’s comment again for those who have ears, might be of interest. In Greek drama the violence and sex always took place offstage, because it was “obscene”, i.e. the tendency of graphic portrayals of V&S is to arouse the audience and not in an aesthetic way.
    Duh.

    cheers

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  84. Mr. Kenneth says, “…Is the topic really that confusing, or is the path just that difficult?…”

    I would say that the topic is not confusing at all. Nor is the path that difficult. Just ask any Medieval monk – wrap yourself up in an isolated environment and flog yourself repeatedly whenever your mind drifts off into forbidden things.

    However, if you want to live and work in this world where you are surrounded by sin and evil you’ll have to discern between black and white in such a way that still lets you make a living and raise a family. Things are much more complicated nowadays then they used to be. Veer off into antinomanism and no one will think any more or less of you than they do any other citizen walking the street; buckle yourself up under a pietistic, legalistic shroud and you’ll wind up being isolated from everyone else, except those who act the same way… and even those people will come to regard you with suspicion… as will you come to regard them.

    But if you want to live according to the guidelines Paul lays out in 1 Corinthians you always have to be wary of the the things you do on a daily basis, giving offense to no one and TAKING offense FROM no one, bearing with everyone in love and understanding. And yet still live and work in the world (contemporary culture, modern Babylon as described in Revelation). THAT, me boy, is difficult living!!!

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  85. Oh, and Susan, since you mention golf, my story is there is that the patent attorney at work, (who i work with really closely now, as i deal with such issues for my work) encouraged me to try golf in our company tournament in 2010. I hesistated, but he pushed me along. It became my obsession (ya think?) from summer 2010 well into 2012 and 2013. I have 3 small children, so it’s a hard thing to keep up, but maybe when I retire (probably in another 35 years) I’ll pick it up again. But if you or anyone are in the neighborhood looking for someone to golf with, hit me up on twitter,yo. The receptionist caught the action shots of my very first time up to the tee at santa clara muni. How cool is that?

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  86. The Reformed understand whst is being said here by like minds. And the Pharisees and Fundamentalists, who often don’t know that they one, are able to feel self-righteous pointing their finger of judgment at those people who sin.

    Win-win

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  87. I actually still like my ping G2’s I got on ebay in early 2011 or 2012 if I recall, and my taylormade burner superfast 2.0 was also a good used pickup on ebay, it has a real loud aluminum can sound when it makes good contact, it’s awesome. These days, it’s more about getting my kids to succeed in their sports (mostly soccer) and school than ever breaking 100, but I like finding out what people’s hobbies are (my wife writes sci-fi, even posted a book on amazon, which she later took down, she’s now on to children’s books…), my latest has been bothering our post host with wayyyy to many comments on his blog, though i’d be interested in the statistics to see if I am coming anywhere close to EC and his number of comments. not that there’s anything wrong with any of this. plus, wouldn’t we have more fun talking golf than all the nastiness in WoWS or others? but i understand people are working out their issues, like whether they should have left protism for cathism, whether Darryl is like olaf the snowman, etc etc. we all have issues, man. peace. oh, i like bowling too, like the dude, but not as much as golf, yo.

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  88. sdb, so the problem is sexual lust (finding some manifestation that’s more than mental but less than grounds for divorce). I get it, that’s not good, and it is different from punching a bag. But for most men with red blood coursing through their veins, that happens even without visual provocation on a screen. It could be from hearing the voice of the neighbor dropping off some brownies again. So the theory that the sexualized screen is somehow more powerful than the violent or profane screen still seems like something a guy would say, and not something reality tends to affirm.

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  89. But, Bumper Sticker Bob and Erik, the problem all through the OT is idolatry of God’s people, not sexual immorality, which gives pause to the popular theory that sex is our downfall. And can you really draw a straight line from the sexual revolution to biblical higher criticism? Again, maybe guys with sex on the brain can, but…

    What I do know for sure is that I’d ask for my money back if my kids were subjected to this sort of pious sex talk:

    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2014/08/masturbation-the-unforgivable.php

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  90. Don’t we know this from about adolescence, and before? And whether it’s Paul on the provoking nature of the law, to the puritans(or monastics) on indirect mortification(direct attempts at mortification leading to even worse sins), to Lewis on pursuing a thing(resolutions), we discover or find resolution through an indirect means, even the mysterious work of the spirit.

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  91. While I’m at it, no pun intended, if I remember proverbs well enough(questionable) wasn’t there a regarding of the prostitute as a ‘better’ opportunity than your neighbor’s wife? Both lay hold of sheol, undoubtedly, but, if you’re gonna pick a poison………….

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  92. While I’m at it, throw Ken And Cletus in with Susan. No more talking to these trolls, yo. I won’t anymore. You all have at it. Peace.

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  93. Zrim, I’m with you on this. The decline in the US church can be traced most easily to Finney — the problems that manifiested themselves in the 1920’s can be blamed on what happened in the 1820’s or even earlier . Prots were sorta running on fumes that took 100 years to dissipate. It’s much easier to cancel your HBO and feel smug about *not* viewing bad stuff on the internet (ever, of any type?) than it is to get worship, doctrine, and church order right (the things that guard against the ultimate idolatry).

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  94. I keep coming back to trying to make sense of Patrick Edouard in all this. Reformed minister, in good standing, chair of the URC Federal Vision response committee, leader of perhaps the largest URC church, two services on Sunday, homeschooler, classical music aficionado, upholder of the regulative principle…and now a convicted felon and self-confessed degenerate.

    So is 21st Century Reformed legalism really:

    (A) pointing to things like avoiding porn
    (B) pointing to things like keeping the Sabbath and upholding the regulative principle?

    And which is easier?

    One involves showing up at the right place at the right time

    One involves some self-denial.

    Maybe hard cases make bad law, though.

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  95. Zrim,

    But, Bumper Sticker Bob and Erik, the problem all through the OT is idolatry of God’s people, not sexual immorality, which gives pause to the popular theory that sex is our downfall. And can you really draw a straight line from the sexual revolution to biblical higher criticism? Again, maybe guys with sex on the brain can, but…

    But don’t you think that’s a little simplistic. More often than not, OT idolatry went hand in hand with sexual immorality, with cult prostitution and all that. Moreover, the prophets describe idolatry as spiritual adultery; I’m not sure that’s an accident in regards to the combo of sexual immorality and idolatry.

    I don’t think you can draw a straight line from higher criticism to the sexual revolution. It’s probably more true that higher criticism provided those who wanted to embrace the sexual revolution with the intellectual tools to help them do so and not entirely lose their religion. I’m continually amazed at the number of evangelical scholars/ministers who affirmed the sinfulness of homosexuality and other behaviors for years, had a family member come out as a homosexual, and then these scholars/ministers are “able” to embrace what is traditionally seen as sexual sin because of the work of certain higher critics.

    I guess what I’m saying on the second point is that higher criticism is a means for sinners to provide some cover for their sin—and don’t we all try to justify our sin no matter what the sin is, at least on occasion?

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  96. Daryl,

    I understand what Erik is trying to do. I was just noticing that your flippant attitude towards what you allow yourself to be exposed to does not square well with the quote AB provided from his catechism. Does the OPC have a different rule book on this? I am coming from a place of ignorance not polemics. I am curious as to the what you guys believe on the topic. There doesn’t seem to be uniformity of opinion on this one… but the catechism seemed pretty plain and straight forward

    George,

    Great response!

    Like

  97. Robert, Zrim, I don’t know about Bultmann, but Verhoeven-Director of the movie, Showgirls-did sit on the board of the Jesus Seminar and throw colored marbles. So, there’s that. Still, pretty sure Higher Criticism is more a function of modernity and trying to reconcile science with ancient texts(poorly) than just a half-hearted attempt at justifying having sex with the girl in the magazine or from the yellow pages or next door.

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  98. Darryl, and bow ties. And as every red-blooded man knows, cheerleaders are the best part of watching sports.

    Robert, ding on hand-in-hand point–it’s the straight line and peculiarity of sex I’m fuzzy on. And its priority–who gets Paul agitated more and stirred to less patience, the gospel compromising Galatians or the wild living Corinthians?

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  99. When I used “higher criticism” I probably used it sloppily. What I meant was the idea that once people can establish that Scripture is not reliable on X, they usually go on to saying that it is not necessarily reliable on Y. Witness the PCUSA that Machen left. At the time he left it was not because they had gone limp on Christian sexual ethics. 40 years later they were limp on sexual ethics, though. Name a Christian denomination that is weak on Scripture that is not also weak on sexual ethics. I double-dog dare you.

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  100. Between Verhoeven (“Basic Instinct”, “Black Book”, “Soldier of Orange”) and Schrader (“Auto Focus”, “Mishima”, “Hardcore”) you have two Dutch-(American) filmmakers of immense talent who had no issue with showing the naughty bits. Can we even name a pious Dutch-(American) filmmaker? With all the talk of cultural transformation is there not even one?

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  101. Daryl,

    This is what had caught my attention

    all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections; all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto; wanton looks, impudent or light behavior, immodest apparel; prohibiting of lawful, and dispensing with unlawful marriages; allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them; entangling vows of single life, undue delay of marriage; having more wives or husbands than one at the same time; unjust divorce, or desertion; idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, unchaste company; lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays; and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.

    Your thoughts?

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  102. @zrim

    I get it, that’s not good, and it is different from punching a bag. But for most men with red blood coursing through their veins, that happens even without visual provocation on a screen. It could be from hearing the voice of the neighbor dropping off some brownies again. So the theory that the sexualized screen is somehow more powerful than the violent or profane screen still seems like something a guy would say, and not something reality tends to affirm.

    I’m not sure I follow you here. I agree that for most men without cats and red blood coursing through their veins, even a neighbor dropping off brownies could spark an impure thought. Watching a sexually explicit movie is much more likely to do so. There is a reason women can make a lot of money taking their clothes off – no one tucks singles into the apron of a woman onstage carrying around brownies. It isn’t nearly so lucrative for men, so the fact that this is something a guy would say isn’t necessarily at odds with reality. I don’t see what the analogy is for the violent or profane screen.

    I do agree with you that idolatry is a far more serious problem, but I don’t think that is inconsistent with sexual sin being in a class all its own and a pretty big deal (following Paul in 1 Cor 6).

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  103. OK, sorry to confess my ignorance, but what does the LC mean by,

    The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are…allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them…

    .

    Does chili count as a stew? What about chowders? If I convert to Rome am I allowed to eat beef stew?

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  104. Ken, can a believer work for the police? They are often exposed directly to the evil that people do. My colleagues who do computer work in criminal investigations are exposed to child porn endlessly.

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  105. Ken, it’s a matter of the heart on how certain things influence others.

    I know I have enough to worry about with myself,

    I certainly don’t have time to flap my arms around worrying about the effect of things I consider sinful on people whom I will never meet.

    You’d be shocked to see how innocuous things, in your unasked for judgment, trigger horrible crimes. And how things that make you get all upset have no ill effect on others.

    And who are you to judge another’s servant in the first place?

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  106. sdb, not so fast. I’d pay a lot to see that (and even more if cake). Don’t tell Mrs. Z though.

    Seriously, speaking of the good Mrs. Z, she has admitted to wanting to be able to curse like James Gandolfini (or Edie Falco) and possess the prowess to kill like Joe Pesci. She may have power issues, but the analogies don’t seem hard to find for profanity and violence. And what was the first thing you wanted to do as a lad coming out of “Rocky,” or an older guy from “Fight Club,” eat ice cream? Yes, there are strip clubs, but there is also blow ’em up video gaming (where are the church petitions opposing such gaming?). Yes, sex sells and is powerful, but I remain unconvinced it’s in a class all its own with the power to entice and persuade.

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  107. Kent,

    I am not judging anyone. I am merely asking if dr hart is aware that his *position* does not allign with his catechism. It is not interesting to me if a man fails to live up to his own standards…. Such is life…. What is interesting is to see a man buck his own standards with a kind of ho hum attitude. His position on this topic is not in submission to his elders…. Maybe he should start his own denomination 🙂

    Also, notice that the catechism does not make mention of how the heart is influenced. It merely states that unclean things should not be watched or heard. Dr hart disagrees. Maybe you could be his first convert?

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  108. Is this a bad time to announce that I’m considering making my way through Bergman’s oeuvre?

    Listened to two fairly new documentaries on Altman & Milius on Netflix the past two days. Worth watching.

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  109. One thing I don’t get in these discussions is when someone says “X is a sin” and someone else says, “Oh yeah, well Y is a sin too.”

    O.K. So what? There are lots of sins.

    How does Y have any impact on the discussion of X?

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  110. SDB,

    Re: stews:

    Southwark was the red-light district, with plenty of brothels (called ‘stews’ because of their origins as houses with a heated room used for hot air or vapour baths) as well as diversions such as theatre.

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  111. Ken, you might want to be more aware of the communion in which you live. From “breaking” of celibacy vows(homosexual sex isn’t the same) to use of birth control, talk about living along a continuum. When you get that resolved among your brethren, than you can tackle higher criticism amongst the same crew.

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  112. Kent,

    Stop judging my judging!

    Kidding. I am not condemning him for his opinion. I just think its interesting. Again, its not his failure to live up to the catechism…. its his open disagreement with it.

    All of your reactions to his shocking lack of discernment is also interesting.

    All kinds of interesting stuff going on here today.

    I noticed no one is calling eric a judgmental troll…. also interesting….

    must have hit a nerve 🙂

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  113. Kenneth is not doing as well as Greg the Terrible did. Greg brought it harder, was more consistent, and was more in line with his own (African American Fundamentalist) communion.

    Ken has shared more actual porn in his video links than Greg did, though.

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  114. Kenneth,

    No one has called me a judgmental troll because I’m not overplaying my hand like you are.

    Call us when Rome actively punishes every error in judgment on what is and is not sin in its midst. We’ve read Bryan telling us Rome does not act that way because they are patient in bearing with others. I am being patient in bearing with others. You should be, too.

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  115. Ken on a journey, dissent?! From nuns on the bus to multimillion dollar diocesan pedophile settlements, to finally, the Irish catholic populace, as a whole, giving the pederast abbeting Italians the bird. Dissent?! More like a big F$%K you.

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  116. Ken,

    Your error is judging a whole series based on those admittedly sexual clips.

    Say we judged the Roman Catholic Church on the basis of video filmed in certain Catholic Parishes back in the day when priests were doing bad things.

    Would you want your church judged solely on the basis of that video?

    In this life we generally learn to take the good with the bad as the purely good is hard to come by.

    If you weren’t doing pure polemics right now you would admit that’s true.

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  117. That being said, those clips and that whole site probably do provide evidence that we should be doing more figurative gouging of our eyes out than we do.

    I’m watching “Fireproof” and Kirk Cameron has a pretty good idea at one point:

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  118. sean
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink
    Ken on a journey, dissent?! From nuns on the bus to multimillion dollar diocesan pedophile settlements, to finally, the Irish catholic populace, as a whole, giving the pederast abbeting Italians the bird. Dissent?! More like a big F$%K you.

    And the Inquisition!

    Like

  119. Erik,

    I agree with both of your above posts. However, there is not one single episode of any major hbo program that Christ would watch. Much less an entire season. If you all werent so concerned with covering for daryl, you would admit it

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  120. OT idolatry went hand in hand with sexual immorality

    Robt. nailed it Grim.
    Duh.

    Ken, what you got to understand is that while Romanism is spiritual adultery, some – not all – prots think that that excuses the sexual varieties/permutations leading up the same.
    IOW there is romanism and there is antinomianism.
    And then there’s pietism or Holywater Joeism for romanists.
    But they’re all bad/wrong regardless if everybody is calling everybody else names.

    As in just maybe the confession is honored more in its breach by the confessionalists.
    Maybe. Your mileage may vary, but the truth is no respecter of persons.

    So then we’re left with the quandary or scandal. If by their fruits you shall know them, you got idolaters living outwardly obedient lives and the orthodox at least watching the wild side live it up on the big screen.

    That doesn’t make Rome right, but it doesn’t make everybody else either.
    cheers,

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  121. Kenneth, and while we speculate about Christ’s opinion, how about the point of this post, that Jesus would not be telling Christians they need to join the RCC. Heck, given your church’s current state, he nay even encourage honest questioners within her to abandon her for a more faithful and pure communion. The OPC perhaps..

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  122. TVD
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Permalink
    sean
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink
    Ken on a journey, dissent?! From nuns on the bus to multimillion dollar diocesan pedophile settlements, to finally, the Irish catholic populace, as a whole, giving the pederast abbeting Italians the bird. Dissent?! More like a big F$%K you.

    And the Inquisition

    Good post, keep it up.

    Like

  123. Tell me anything about yourself and I can attack you and call you a hypocrite and rail on about you.

    Who has the time and which honestly cares?

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  124. Kent, who has the time? Internet trolls, apparently..

    They don’t touch our questions, so they stay silent, and disrupt. Best we can do is avoid feeding them, yo. I’m out.

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  125. In 5 minutes for us on the westcoast kW (emoticon).

    You too. Hawaii has a href=”http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/usa/honolulu” title=””>2 more hrs, yo. Peace.

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  126. erik, the point of bring up y is to ask why you have zeroed in on x. It’s not a new theme here that folks like the BB’s go batty over the second table but seem to disregard the first four commandments. Maybe the point is not to go batty over any single commandment but keep them all in play.

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  127. loser ken, you are assuming your conclusion — that I openly disagree with the catechism. So far your proof is your own apparent knowledge of where people aggregate lascivious material on the interweb. You have yet to prove The Wire is indecent or immoral, nor have you addressed Paul who says all things are lawful. That would apparently including watching a television show. If you want to reclassify a television show as porn, have at it. Or if you want to disagree with Paul — well, we know where you stand there.

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  128. loser ken, by wheat and chaff principles, then your collection of sex scenes is only part of The Wire. But you can look at all the filth when the stakes are much higher — namely, in the salvation of souls. No one is claiming that for HBO.

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  129. Erik, that’s called begging the question. But, seriously, in reality (where it counts) she doesn’t take Scripture seriously. I do like how fellow opposers of female ordination draw straight lines from egalitarianism to heterodoxy when Rome sits there like a 500lb gorilla–stalwartly male in her leadership and long since gone on orthodoxy, she is exhibit number 1 on how straight lines don’t work.

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  130. However, there is not one single episode of any major hbo program that Christ would watch.

    Kenneth, how does the fact that he ate with sinners and otherwise undermined the popular religious behavioral codes lead you (and the eeeevangelicals and neo-Puritans who share such speculations) to think he’d heed today’s popular codes?

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  131. Bumper Sticker Bob, oh? Well when the good Mrs. Z who couldn’t curse with a gun to her head (and goes down swinging at my case that there is a place for vulgarity) says watching Edie Falco causes her to curse like a sailor in her head (and like it), you’ll excuse me for remaining unconvinced that sex has the monopoly on influence.

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  132. Next time we have this discussion we need to hold auditions for the role of Outraged Holy Man. There could be someone out there who is even better than Greg or Kenneth.

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  133. Anyone can be outraged, but to be good you have to sell it like you are truly that naive and burnt out like a hard scrabble ninety year old woman but you are really in your 20s or 30s and have lived a really soft life

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  134. The biggest problem I had watching The Wire was how disappointed I became afterward with television. Difficult to go anywhere but down from there. And Stringer Bell as the next James Bond – yes please!

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  135. Kent,

    You are not seeming to grasp the fact that I could care less what DG watches! I am not saying “DG is a bad person and a nasty nasty sinner for watching HBO”. That would be the most ridiculous convo of all time. Most people watch things they shouldn’t. Myself included. However, when the topic comes up, most christians shrug their shoulders and admit they could do better….. Most Christians understand that it isn’t ideal but struggle to get away from it……

    What was so interesting is that Daryl doesnt think anything is wrong with it at all. Which is just obviously out of sync with his own catechism. Everyone reading this conversation should be able to easily see as much…. the only problem is that you guys just can not handle a RC rightly calling out your hero. So everyone wants to rush in with nonsense comments about RC discipline, dogma, or whatever, to change the subject. Whatever. I get it.

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  136. Zrim,

    Do you think Jesus hung out with sinner while they were at brothels? Christ loves the sinner and hates the sin. Category mistake. This is really basic stuff…. He doesn’t love all the programming and music and trends that the sinner creates. Christ get his jollies watching the cop from the wire bang 3 hookers. This is all rather obvious, 5 year old, sunday school, kind of stuff.

    But all that is beside the point. I dont care about pursuing this argument. What I want to know is, why are you all so cool about sucking your own catechism? Are you not PCA? Do you have a different rule book?

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  137. EC,

    If he wouldn’t watch “Band of Brothers” he would really be missing something.

    I could make the same argument for him missing out on treasures strip club…. but I still wouldnt be right

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  138. loser ken, in case you didn’t notice — if this is about heroes and persons — no one is rushing to throw Erik under the bus even though he is channeling some odd pietistic notions.

    This conversation has not been (all) about me. It has been about what qualifies as sinful. You have yet to prove your premise which is that shows like The Wire are sinful because they have sex scenes. (What does that do to the Bible — think Judah and David). If you want to talk about that fine. Don’t make this personal because I’m betting you’re not walking straight when it comes to your catechism.

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  139. So in case OL readers aren’t aware, I read this blog. I think er are waiting on Kw’s response to Jeff on justification, and David R’s on republication. Me, I’ll be following on feedly.
    Who’s next?

    Like

  140. Kenneth, you’re the one who keeps saying with such condescending confidence he knows what Jesus would obviously do (or not do). I’m just wondering how you know based on what he actually did. I assume you don’t admit to a direct telephone line, so why is it so obvious that the man who poked the religious behavioralism of his time and place unto death would be so effete when it comes to our behavioralism, oh great Sunday school teacher?

    But who’s bucking the catechism? Do you really think it means no TV watching?

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  141. Daryl and Zrim,

    OK fine. Lets make like Bryan Cross and get all logical and efficient before this talk takes us into all kinds of weird places. My argument is thus:

    1. The OPC catechism forbids the viewing of unclean or sexual material

    Q. 139. What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?
    A. The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are, adultery, fornication, rape, incest, sodomy, and all unnatural lusts; all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections; all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto; wanton looks, impudent or light behavior, immodest apparel; prohibiting of lawful, and dispensing with unlawful marriages; allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them; entangling vows of single life, undue delay of marriage; having more wives or husbands than one at the same time; unjust divorce, or desertion; idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, unchaste company; lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays; and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.

    2. Therefore we should all be careful as to what we allow ourselves to be exposed to lest we should break (your) seventh commandment.

    At first, Daryl and yourself seemed to deny this. Daryl said that he would be impoverished if he hadnt been able to break the 7th and enjoy some fine western culture….The only thing that interested me, was whether or not Daryl would admit that puts him out of touch with his own catechism. It was NOT interesting that he was committing a sin, (we all do) but that he didnt even agree “in principle” with his own catechism on what breaking the (protestant) 7th would look like. Many others appeared to disagree too, such as Kent who claimed that “it would be up to your heart” and “depend on how the content affected you”. Which is not mentioned whatsoever in the OPC catechism.

    After that general discussion, Daryl randomly narrowed things down to the HBO show “the wire” and said that he didnt think this kind of show was “unclean” or “lascivious”. Which just blew my mind. Again, no argument at all if you just wanna say “its a sin, but its one of my favs, and I will have to be sanctified a little later”. OK. No biggy. I feel your pain. But that is NOT what Daryl is saying. Daryl is saying that content like “the wire” is perfectly fine christian viewing. So now the new argument goes like this

    1. The OPC catechism forbids viewing unclean and lascivious content.

    2. The Wire is both unclean and lascivious

    3. Therefore, it is a sin for any man to watch it (according to the OPC)

    Now, in the new, more specific discussion, the only premise up for dispute is number 2. Daryl said I need to prove the premise. FIne. I’ve already posted a link with just a SMALL sampling of numerous graphic sex scences. But anyone could watch any episode and hope to see such “clean” and “wholesome” things as murder, rape, sex, homosexuality, violence, and continual unrelenting curse words reigning down on all viewers. In fact, “The Wire” is the only cable show in history to use the “f-word” 38 consecutive times with nothing else at all being said….. just countless F bombs and pictures of a nude murder victim. Unclean? You be the judge…

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  142. Kenneth – FIne. I’ve already posted a link with just a SMALL sampling of numerous graphic sex scenes.

    Erik – No, that sample was more than large enough.

    If you don’t like people saying F bombs you need to ask Bryan to talk Jason off the ledge. I know you have tried.

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  143. Kenneth,

    I don’t disagree with the point you are making.

    BUT

    I don’t do this to get overly personal, I do it because it is relevant to the discussion.

    Are you not a Roman Catholic who is married to a divorced woman?

    How does that square with the stance you are taking here? Have you not willfully chosen to take up and persist in something that your church considers sin? What would be the difference between what you have done and what Darryl is doing, other than he won’t admit it? Will you admit it?

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  144. I would make the case that the Westminster Longer is way more pietistic than it needs to be, what with the laundry list of examples of sin. Somewhat ironically the OPC has never been a fan of making laundry lists of sins…yet they are stuck with the Westminster as their Confessional standard. I think they are stuck in the same way on Sabbatarianism. Damn English & Scottish Puritans.

    The Continental Standards (The Three Forms of Unity) are much more of an outline of the faith and don’t feel the need to compile near the number of laundry lists.

    The OPC membership vow, tracking the spirit of the Westminster, includes a promise to “forsake the world.” Well there’s a statement in which the devil is in the details.

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  145. Eric,

    Im getting frustrated that you all aren’t understanding my comments. I am not arguing that daryl is a bad guy and condemning him for sin. I was merely taken aback and suprised at his comments. Even more so after ab posted the section from the opc cat. I am not interested in his “willfully choosing to take up and persist in something that his church considers sin”. I was only interested in the fact that HE DIDNT THINK IT WAS WRONG AT ALL. It wasnt failing to live up to a standard….. Its the having a different standard altogether that i was curious about.

    ” What would be the difference between what you have done and what Darryl is doing, other than he won’t admit it?”

    I ackowledge and agree with my catechism even while admitting failure. Daryl appears to have a contrary opinion on the 7th commandment than that of his denomination. This was all that i was trying to clarify.

    Nothing personal

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  146. Kenneth,

    If you admit failure in your situation with respect to your catechism, I can respect that.

    That is exactly what I am arguing for. If we choose to sin, then let’s just admit we’ve chosen sin.

    In your case I imagine you weighed the fact that you loved this woman & her children more than you were concerned about your church’s dictates on your particular situation. That’s what grown men do.

    When I choose to watch something that I know contains sinful material I make the calculation that I value other attributes of that show/music/book/whatever more highly than the avoidance of sin — I’m going to see nudity and hear bad words, but I want to consumer it because it is culturally relevant, the writing is good, the story is compelling, or whatever. I make that choice as a grown man and acknowledge that there may be consequences — in this life or the next. It’s what grown men do.

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  147. And to take sex out of it, as men we make these calculations each day. I know what the Bible says about anger, yet I make it clear to a co-worker or a vendor that I’m not at all happy with them. Jesus might tell me to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, give my cloak as well as my tunic, etc. but in my mind I need to lean on this person because I have bills to pay and responsibilities to live up to. I substitute a “real world” ethic for a “sermon on the mount” ethic, because well, I choose to. And my choice may actually be a prudent one. As men we make judgments and they are not always the Christian ideal.

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  148. loser ken, you left out this:

    Loser Ken is a fundamentalist.

    Fundamentalists think the Wire is unclean and lascivious.

    The Bible has unclean and lascivious parts.

    Loser Ken doesn’t read the Bible.

    Like

  149. Kenneth, so no attempt to answer why you think you know so well what Jesus would or wouldn’t do in relation to modern media? Sigh. You want to say you’re not gonging for consuming allegedly sinful material, yet you persist in claiming Jesus (obviously!) wouldn’t consume what some of us do, which is clearly a way to indict said consumption.

    Still, your point is understood well enough. As a subscriber of the latter, I think Erik’s point about Westminster’s tendency at laundry lists as opposed to the Continental Reformed is apt. Those of us who don’t subscribe the laundry list aren’t particularly moved by your conundrum.

    Like

  150. loser ken, why would I do something and defend it so openly if I thought it was sort of wrong but not entirely wrong. Is that like the difference between mortal and venial sins?

    Like

  151. Darryl, jerks don’t engage:

    Have you ever attempted a pleasant and mutually enriching conversation about “religion” or “spirituality” only to find yourself trapped, with your feet to the fire, getting interrogated by that jerk who had done his homework? Well, I’m that guy and this is my blog.

    They are just jerks.

    Like

  152. The question for D.G., Zrim, etc. is, if watching those scenes that Kenneth shared is not sinful, what kind of scenes would be sinful and why? Or is nothing we watch sinful because we’re not the ones actually participating?

    If that’s the standard, is window peeping not sinful?

    Do we count on the MPAA or HBO’s censors to determine what is over the line for us? As long as it passes muster with them we’re good to go and our conscience should be clear?

    Like

  153. One thing that changed my mind on this was looking at the Hollywood actors and actresses that make this stuff. Not the most functional of people. Not the best marriages. Not the most biblical view of sexuality. Hard for me to say the whole enterprise is just o.k. for Christians with no caveats.

    Now there are plenty of other things that are screwed up in the world, too, but this whole area of visual media is relatively new on the horizon in the history of Christianity. Where would you go to see it 100 years ago if you wanted to? Now it’s right in front of us 24/7/365.

    Like

  154. Andrew,

    It’s not a horrible idea, but remember Adam and Eve.

    They fall prey to temptation too and its easy for us to let it happen if we frankly want to give in to the same temptation ourselves. Now we have an excuse.

    My wife has watched some stuff I maybe wouldn’t watch and the justification is “well, I’m a woman so it’s different.”

    Every case of adultery involves a man AND a woman.

    Like

  155. Erik, as a raiser of daughters in a fleshy culture, I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel the weight of these concerns. But if we want to avoid laundry lists (and as I say, I think we do for good reason) do we really want to start asking those kinds of questions? I’m more inclined to leave it to free consciences to slog through the difficulties of sorting out it for themselves instead of looking to pious babysitting.

    Like

  156. It is interesting that the Westminster included “stage plays” or some such phrasing. Oops – maybe need an update to keep up with advancing technology.

    Admitting that you share “the weight of these concerns” is all I was looking for,

    I watch things and think “I wouldn’t want my dad seeing this” and “I wouldn’t want my son seeing this.” Well, dummy, maybe it’s not good for me either!

    Like

  157. Darryl,

    This goes to your dumb/smart distinction – are *all* the sex scenes in the wire necessary or artistic or are some merely gratuitous? I’ve watched the wire – it’s fine (i don’t want to marry it like you do) – but even if the writers are making story or character development points with certain sexual encounters, I do not think the show would suffer at all if certain scenes were merely implied rather than lingered on explicitly. Similarly, Game of Thrones is a fantastic show – but it is obvious many of the sex scenes are largely gratuitous and unnecessarily explicit. You keep complaining people are just assuming The Wire is comparable to porn. Perhaps it isn’t – so I’d like an example from you of an “officially non-pornographic” film or tv show you consider to actually approach the level of porn or other sinful exposure – can you name some? That might help clarify where you are coming from.

    Related to that, you’re an elder – I am curious if you would ever counsel someone to avoid certain shows/film if they kept responding to anything you said with “Paul says all things are lawful – it’s fine”.

    Like

  158. The Bible has unclean and lascivious parts.

    Res ipsa loquitur.
    Much more the OPC needs to revamp their LC so it doesn’t contradict the unclean and lascivious parts of the Bible.
    Let me know when that happens.
    cordially

    Like

  159. then how do you explain David or Judah or Solomon?

    Huh? I don’t explain nuthin.

    Seriously, the previous comments by Veith apply. God gave us a revelation via the word, not pictures.
    We’re told what the sins of the patriarchs were; they are not acted out for us nor is there any call to do so, the Roman Church genre of Passion plays etc. notwithstanding.

    If not what exactly is your point, D?

    Like

  160. Erik, maybe, but there’s good reason some films are described as “for mature audiences”–there are different standards for adolescents than there are for adults. Is it really helpful to blur that kind of distinction, eliminate the category of maturity and treat adults like children?

    Like

  161. Ken, your type of argument only works in you can haul off and punch the other person in the face who disagrees with you. Or you can fail a student who disagrees with your propaganda.

    Us Old Lifers grew up detecting at least a dozen clowns like you during our horrible baptist/fundy childhoods.

    Like

  162. Erik, if those scenes are sinful, welcome to my parents’ arguments for not seeing any movies and turning off the television when Johnny Carson went blue. And if those scenes are sinful, then bring back Calvin and the Puritans’ arguments against theater ENTIRELY.

    They are sinful if I use them to sin. Gen 38 could be used the same way.

    Like

  163. lame fox, “perhaps” The Wire isn’t porn? PERHAPS!!! Have we lost all ability to tell the difference between something that is designed only for arousal and more, and something that uses sex in a different way?

    I’m not going to take any bait about what I consider porn. Sort of like answering whether I’ve stopped beating my wife.

    But let’s just say that Log Jammin’ by Jackie Treehorn in the Big Lebowski is different from The Big Lebowski. How friggin’ hard is that? You know porn when you see it.

    Does that mean, as an elder, I recommend Lebowski to church members or even use it as an illustration in a Sunday school class? Hades no.

    But when did fundamentalism come back? When we all obeyed the state and stopped smoking?

    Like

  164. Bob S., the Bible is not rated PG. I’ve had to teach the OT in a public university. It’s hard selling it as holy and full of sanctity.

    But let middle-class law abiding folk get a hold of it and becomes Dr. Seuss.

    Like

  165. Well, looks like it’s all been said. Do keep in mind the false asceticism Paul speaks of in Col., it’s real and parades around as Xian piety. Let’s see, we’ve covered the sanctity of conscience, the idea of maturity and honoring that distinction even in a NL, temporal way. The ability to distinguish gratuitous ‘anything’ from details or particulars inherent to storytelling and maybe throw in the dichotomy that Paul highlights in 1 Cor 5 about who you can hang out with under which circumstances. Sure does seem like the expectation is to be able to exercise judgement, distinguish between profitable and helpful and not and NOT short circuit that developement with a list of rules(Col) that is really no piety at all. I know, more tension and risk and possibility of failure and getting it wrong. Oh well, thank God for Jesus Christ’s perfect law-keeping. Sometimes, wisdom evades quantification. Tension.

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  166. D.G.,

    Many of us spend our adult years overcoming our Baptists mommas, but in doing so we often times find that they were right about a lot of things. We can’t give into the less-valid forms of their fundamentalism, but we can’t go too far the other way in search of liberation, either. Your parents were good folks and if you look back on their lives they didn’t suffer the loss of much that is important for the choices they made. They were certainly a good example to you and your brother. You’re both still in the faith.

    My mom pretty much only watches “Hallmark Hall of Fame” shows at this point. She learned what serious sin is fairly early on in life and it lost its allure for her. I respect her for that.

    Like

  167. The reason this topic always strikes such a nerve is it gets at the heart of many of the claims that our critics (critics of 2K) level against us. That we’re antinomian and that we don’t embrace “all of life” Christianity. Just because I don’t mention something when I’m teaching Sunday School does that mean it’s o.k. for me to do it in my free time? Now we might respond that there are a lot of pietists who are “clean” in their personal lives who make a hash of Sunday morning by ignoring the regulative principle. There has to be a way we can get it all right, though — some degree of holy living Monday-Saturday and some degree of right worship on Sunday. These shouldn’t be either/or propositions.

    I would argue that if it’s OK to read or watch X, then its OK to recommend it to others (with the proper caveats) and to talk about it in Sunday School. We can’t bifurcate our lives and maintain credibility with people.

    Like

  168. A true definition of antinomian would never lead to condemnation.

    It’s a Caramel Test for those who play children’s games with the word.

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  169. Erik, particularly after this week, I’m thoroughly convinced there is appropriate adult entertainment that I wouldn’t recommend to just anybody. Why can’t we make distinctions appropriate to the company we keep and at the same time work on other people’s false-fundy boundaries while staying aware of our own frailties? I mean, there are certain conversations or activities I won’t tackle past a certain time at night but I’ll get after it after a good night’s sleep. Isn’t that maturity? And a distinguishing and practice that defies universal application?

    Interlocutor: “So, you’ll do ‘it’ here but not there, and with those but not these?”

    Me: “Yep”

    Interlocutor: “What about being consistent?”

    Me: “you mean being flat and regarding one thing or person as another?”

    Interlocutor: “Yes”

    Me:” Umm, that’s not a very insightful understanding of people or actions or opportunities”

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  170. Erik, I once referenced “O Brother, Where Art Thou” in a sixth grade catechism class. Only one student got it, but she was my daughter.

    Like

  171. Sean – Erik, particularly after this week, I’m thoroughly convinced there is appropriate adult entertainment that I wouldn’t recommend to just anybody

    Erik – It wasn’t off that frontage road on the edge of town, was it?

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  172. The older I get the more I’m into being the same around everybody. Some will think I’m a freak, some will think I’m a libertine, some with think I’m cool, some will think I’m pious. Basically something to offend everyone.

    It’s a good way to find out who your real friends are.

    Like

  173. PART THREE
    LIFE IN CHRIST

    SECTION TWO
    THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

    CHAPTER TWO
    “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF”

    ARTICLE 9
    THE NINTH COMMANDMENT

    You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s.299

    Every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.300

    2514 St. John distinguishes three kinds of covetousness or concupiscence: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life.301 In the Catholic catechetical tradition, the ninth commandment forbids carnal concupiscence; the tenth forbids coveting another’s goods.

    2515 Etymologically, “concupiscence” can refer to any intense form of human desire. Christian theology has given it a particular meaning: the movement of the sensitive appetite contrary to the operation of the human reason. The apostle St. Paul identifies it with the rebellion of the “flesh” against the “spirit.”302 Concupiscence stems from the disobedience of the first sin. It unsettles man’s moral faculties and, without being in itself an offense, inclines man to commit sins.303

    2516 Because man is a composite being, spirit and body, there already exists a certain tension in him; a certain struggle of tendencies between “spirit” and “flesh” develops. But in fact this struggle belongs to the heritage of sin. It is a consequence of sin and at the same time a confirmation of it. It is part of the daily experience of the spiritual battle:

    For the Apostle it is not a matter of despising and condemning the body which with the spiritual soul constitutes man’s nature and personal subjectivity. Rather, he is concerned with the morally good or bad works, or better, the permanent dispositions – virtues and vices – which are the fruit of submission (in the first case) or of resistance (in the second case) to the saving action of the Holy Spirit. For this reason the Apostle writes: “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”304

    I. PURIFICATION OF THE HEART

    2517 The heart is the seat of moral personality: “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication. . . . “305 The struggle against carnal covetousness entails purifying the heart and practicing temperance:

    Remain simple and innocent, and you will be like little children who do not know the evil that destroys man’s life.306

    2518 The sixth beatitude proclaims, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”307 “Pure in heart” refers to those who have attuned their intellects and wills to the demands of God’s holiness, chiefly in three areas: charity;308 chastity or sexual rectitude;309 love of truth and orthodoxy of faith.310 There is a connection between purity of heart, of body, and of faith:

    The faithful must believe the articles of the Creed “so that by believing they may obey God, by obeying may live well, by living well may purify their hearts, and with pure hearts may understand what they believe.”311

    2519 The “pure in heart” are promised that they will see God face to face and be like him.312 Purity of heart is the precondition of the vision of God. Even now it enables us to see according to God, to accept others as “neighbors”; it lets us perceive the human body – ours and our neighbor’s – as a temple of the Holy Spirit, a manifestation of divine beauty.

    II. THE BATTLE FOR PURITY

    2520 Baptism confers on its recipient the grace of purification from all sins. But the baptized must continue to struggle against concupiscence of the flesh and disordered desires. With God’s grace he will prevail

    – by the virtue and gift of chastity, for chastity lets us love with upright and undivided heart;

    – by purity of intention which consists in seeking the true end of man: with simplicity of vision, the baptized person seeks to find and to fulfill God’s will in everything;313

    – by purity of vision, external and internal; by discipline of feelings and imagination; by refusing all complicity in impure thoughts that incline us to turn aside from the path of God’s commandments: “Appearance arouses yearning in fools”;314

    – by prayer:

    I thought that continence arose from one’s own powers, which I did not recognize in myself. I was foolish enough not to know . . . that no one can be continent unless you grant it. For you would surely have granted it if my inner groaning had reached your ears and I with firm faith had cast my cares on you.315

    2521 Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.

    2522 Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet.

    2523 There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.

    2524 The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another. Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of being a subject. Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.

    2525 Christian purity requires a purification of the social climate. It requires of the communications media that their presentations show concern for respect and restraint. Purity of heart brings freedom from widespread eroticism and avoids entertainment inclined to voyeurism and illusion.

    2526 So called moral permissiveness rests on an erroneous conception of human freedom; the necessary precondition for the development of true freedom is to let oneself be educated in the moral law. Those in charge of education can reasonably be expected to give young people instruction respectful of the truth, the qualities of the heart, and the moral and spiritual dignity of man.

    2527 “The Good News of Christ continually renews the life and culture of fallen man; it combats and removes the error and evil which flow from the ever-present attraction of sin. It never ceases to purify and elevate the morality of peoples. It takes the spiritual qualities and endowments of every age and nation, and with supernatural riches it causes them to blossom, as it were, from within; it fortifies, completes, and restores them in Christ.”316

    IN BRIEF

    2528 “Everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mt 5:28).

    2529 The ninth commandment warns against lust or carnal concupiscence.

    2530 The struggle against carnal lust involves purifying the heart and practicing temperance.

    2531 Purity of heart will enable us to see God: it enables us even now to see things according to God.

    2532 Purification of the heart demands prayer, the practice of chastity, purity of intention and of vision.

    2533 Purity of heart requires the modesty which is patience, decency, and discretion. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person.

    299 Ex 20:17.
    300 Mt 5:28.
    301 Cf. 1 Jn 2:16.
    302 Cf. Gal 5:16,17,24; Eph 2:3.
    303 Cf. Gen 3:11; Council of Trent: DS 1515.
    304 John Paul II, DeV 55; cf. Gal 5:25.
    305 Mt 15:19.
    306 Pastor Hermae, Mandate 2,1:PG 2,916.
    307 Mt 5:8.
    308 Cf. 1 Tim 4:3-9; 2 Tim 2:22.
    309 Cf. 1 Thess 4:7; Col 3:5; Eph 4:19.
    310 Cf. Titus 1:15; 1 Tim 1:3-4; 2 Tim 2:23-26.
    311 St. Augustine, Defide et symbolo 10,25:PL 40,196.
    312 Cf. 1 Cor 13:12; 1 Jn 3:2.
    313 Cf. Rom 12:2; Col 1:10.
    314 Wis 15:5.
    315 St. Augustine, Conf. 6,11,20:PL 32,729-730.
    316 GS 58 § 4.

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  174. CHAPTER 25
    Of the Church

    1. The catholic or universal church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.

    2. The visible church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; and of their children: and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.

    3. Unto this catholic visible church Christ hath given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world: and doth, by his own presence and Spirit, according to his promise, make them effectual thereunto.

    4. This catholic church hath been sometimes more, sometimes less visible. And particular churches, which are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them.

    5. The purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated, as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan. Nevertheless, there shall be always a church on earth, to worship God according to his will.

    6. There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof.

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  175. the Bible is not rated PG. I’ve had to teach the OT in a public university. It’s hard selling it as holy and full of sanctity.

    I am well aware of that, Darryl, but ultimately that is immaterial. My point is that the Bible is text, not drama.
    The Wire/HBO is drama, not text.

    Can text be lascivious and lewd? Yes.
    Is the Bible lascivious and lewd? Nope/not a chance.

    To possibly insinuate that the Bible’s mentioning of the sins of David, Judah and Solomon are on par with an HBO production giving us the prurient details in live and living color . . . umm, duh.

    Unless you are trying to make some other point.

    Again, I find the discussion amusing.

    Our erstwhile romanist loser worshipping at the foot of his popish idol, understandably wants to protect the territory, because lo and behold, out of the corner of his eye, he spys some prots, (kicking back of course after a hard day abusing the Vatican), who appear to be offering drink offerings – whether cocktails, Jim Bourbon or craft beer – to that bastard step daughter of Recreation, Vain Entertainment, even of the unclean and lascivious sort. Can you blame him? I can’t.

    cheers

    But let middle-class law abiding folk get a hold of it and becomes Dr. Seuss.

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  176. But let middle-class law abiding folk get a hold of it and becomes Dr. Seuss.

    Which is why when I taught SSchool, we threw away the curriculum and had the kids read the lesson out of the Bible.

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  177. Erik, but my parents could not have made it as academics. When you start looking at the faith critically, you also begin to notice that the faith once delivered is not the same as the faith delivered to you.

    I have great respect and love for my parents’ efforts to rear children in the faith. But they were clueless about “the world.”

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  178. Erik, sorry but I disagree big time on bifurcation. I tell my wife some things. I tell my best friend some things. I tell Jesus a lot of things (like he doesn’t already know). And most of what I tell my wife and my best friend I don’t bring up in Sunday school.

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  179. When you start looking at the faith critically, you also begin to notice that the faith once delivered is not the same as the faith delivered to you.

    Now that is interesting. As a RC looking at your situstion, i couldnt agree more.

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  180. loser ken, you think you’re immune from this because you’re RC? Have you not heard of Notre Dame, Boston College, or Georgetown? I get it that you love your church on paper. But that’s a Protestant way of looking at Christianity — all doctrine (which can’t change of course). You don’t have any sense of the Vatican and all the stuff that has grown up around the successor to Peter. You act like that stuff is unimportant. That’s not what anyone who reads New Advent or National Catholic Reporter thinks.

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  181. interesting, indeed

    What sites link to coffeehouseinquisition.com?

    Total Sites Linking In 8

    Site Page
    1. oldlife.org oldlife.org
    2. theprinciplemovie.com theprinciplemovie.com/blog/principle-r…
    3. calledtocommunion.com calledtocommunion.com/2009/11/was-the-…
    4. drunkexpastors.com drunkexpastors.com/podcast-11-we-addre…
    5. greenbaggins.wordpress.com greenbaggins.wordpress.com/2008/06/23/..

    Principlemovie? Hmm

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  182. D.G.,

    Would have been fascinating to know:

    (A) What Machen read & watched
    (B) What Machen would read & watch today
    (C) What a sustained conversation between Machen & Mencken on this topic would have looked like.

    I would also be interested to hear what Alan Strange, David Van Drunen, Michael Horton, Scott Clark and some other Christian academics that I respect would say on this topic if they were being candid.

    Not so interested in hearing what Dr. K thinks.

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  183. I do highly respect you for being as open as you are in discussing this topic.

    Many Christian scholar/pastor/officers probably would not be due to their fear of men.

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  184. Someone I know, who also knows about our bloody head butting battle here early last year, alerted me to this conversation. Kind of a “look what’s come up over at Hart’s place again” sort of thing.

    This is as good a time as any to do this and there probably won’t ever be a perfect way. I came after you back then Dr. Hart in a failed attempt to use your ego to lure you into a debate. That is the one and only time I have used that kind of personal vitriol as a tactic against anybody.

    I won’t relive the details which are still in the sweetbreads thread here for all to see, but suffice it to say that even after I sensed that Erik’s conscience was cracking on this (I actually did and said so which is still also in that thread), I still attacked him with a fierceness that was utterly selfish and unwise in relation to my goals for being here. It was also personally hurtful and yes sinful. I do hereby repent and apologize to him for the unproductive and hurtful way I handled our conversation back then. I was literally stunned and grievously humbled, as in jaw hanging open, to read him publicly credit me for changing his mind on this topic.

    You all can laugh all you want. As I read through his comments here this morning I am actually choked up. The HOLY Spirit is at work in this man’s heart. I rejoice in that with everything I am. It is not “pietism” to refuse to pay sinners to do and say what we would not want ourselves or our loved ones to themselves do and say and that as an occupation before a watching public. That is not legalism. It is the avoidance of hypocrisy and loving your neighbor as yourself.

    Dr. Hart alleges to Erik: “Greg is inside you’re head.”
    No sir. You do very much credit me far beyond my worth. As noted above, this is the progress of a conscience enlivened by the convicting power of the holy Spirit of the living God. A thing of which I am wholly incapable.

    I am also hereby removing, finally and forever, any justification you may ever again have for enforcing the “Doug Sowers” rule upon me here. If you continue to forbid your readers from interacting me, it will be all on you and will be quickly apparent that you just don’t want me around here and it has nothing whatever to do with my manner.

    Now. I am asking you, hat in hand, with all due respect for your immense gifts and learning, as well as your position of elder, that you write an article biblically defending the consumption of real people in scenes of onscreen cinematic nudity, sexual contact and overtly blasphemous language as a Christian liberty. From the text sir. I will take the opposing view. I argue, the historically reformed view, that no such liberty does now nor has it ever existed. From the text.

    No sarcasm here at all Dr. Hart. You have my word before the Lord our God.
    Are you afraid of that? What if you’re wrong and you’ve been financing and facilitating the damnation of Hollywood pagans you are commanded to be salt and light to? While encouraging others to do the same? Mostly younger mostly men over whom you wield considerable influence. What if that’s true? Do you really want to stand before the God who is a consuming fire and explain this to Him? I say it IS true and I can prove it. If it is not true, you should make short work of a laymen with none of your education or qualifications.

    You also have my word that my actual goal is not to embarrass or discredit you. It’s not. It is to see a man of your wide renown and stature begin to steward his influence in a much more godly and Christ honoring manner. I cannot but be honest about that. There would be NO gloating either. That is not what this about at all.

    This is not just me and a couple other “pietists” now either. Erik loves you and has long held you in the very highest regard. NObody has been a more faithful supporter and contributor here. What possible ill could come from this conversation if yours is indeed the biblical and historically orthodox view? With outstretched hand I do pray that you accept this invitation and may the spotlessly pure and holy Lamb of God be exclusively glorified thereby.

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  185. For Ken and his earlier questions on wcf

    Overstrictness demands and begets laxity in performance ;
    while a truly liberal but conservative formula binds all es-
    sentially sound men together against laxity. In pleading
    for a liberal formula, therefore, we wish it distinctly un-
    derstood that we do not plead either for a lax formula, or
    much less for a lax administration of any formula — within
    which an essential dishonesty seems to lurk.
    https://andrewbuckingham2.wordpress.com/140-2/comment-page-1/#comment-31

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  186. Erik, Machen did not like jazz which might imply how would have felt about the Weimar period. He did climb in the Alps into the early 30’s so he might have gotten a taste of it. DG may know of something from the letters.

    Some of this (reflections from the Matterhorn) concerned the coming war and facism, but there is a culural element, too:

    “Then there is something else about that view from the Matterhorn. I felt it partly at least as I stood there, and I wonder whether you can feel it with me. It is this. You are standing there not in any ordinary country, but in the very midst of Europe, looking out from its very centre. Germany just beyond where you can see to the northeast, Italy to the south, France beyond those snows of Mont Blanc. There, in that glorious round spread out before you, that land of Europe, humanity has put forth its best. There it has struggled; there it has fallen; there it has looked upward to God. The history of the race seems to pass before you in an instant of time, concentrated in that fairest of all the lands of the earth. You think of the great men whose memories you love, the men who have struggled there in those countries below you, who have struggled for light and freedom, struggled for beauty, struggled above all for God’s Word. And then you think of the present and its decadence and its slavery, and you desire to weep. It is a pathetic thing to contemplate the history of mankind.”

    http://www.opc.org/machen/mountains.html

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  187. Daryl,

    I understand that there is wacky stuff everywhere…. My own church not excluded…. Still, to admit that yours is not the faith once and for all delivered is quite amazing to read.

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  188. Andrew syas:
    Greg,
    Maybe just let’s see if he deletes, and we go from there. It’s his playground.
    https://oldlife.org/2014/12/in-the-same-boat/comment-page-4/#comment-265506
    I’ll be reading.

    I appreciate that sir, but I really want to have this conversation with Dr. Hart. To be perfectly honest, and at the risk of REALLY sounding the wrong way, though I certainly don’t mean to. Also not to slight anybody else, but all fruit on this site and most others as well, hangs lower than him. I feel that a good showing with him would be priceless. Primarily for the reason I gave above and not simply to win a debate or discredit the man. God knows my heart.

    I believe from the core of my being that the permissive libertine embrace of media entertainment is the most pervasive, beguiling, crippling and corrosive influence on the church in the history of God’s people on this planet. I will get into why if Dr, Hart will accept my invitation to explore the scriptures as touches this set of topics. He won’t delete my post. Not if he didn’t delete some of my others in the past.

    Like

  189. Kenneth – Still, to admit that yours is not the faith once and for all delivered is quite amazing to read.

    Erik – If you’re amazed by that you don’t understand Protestantism very well.

    What’s amazing are Catholics who admit that Mother Church may not have it all figured out.

    Like

  190. Darryl,

    We discussed this earlier, but I think you missed the boat on Breaking Bad. The Wire was intense, humane social commentary on the decay of America’s inner cities, and BB was a morality tale, a fantasy, on the inward decay of a tempted soul, and it was brilliant. Yet for some reason I miss The Wire more. Oh well, TV is not a complete wasteland, at least they are showing The Simpson’s reruns from the 1990’s.

    Like

  191. “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!”

    If you cant square your faith with the faith once delivered maybe its time to find yourself “on a journey”…. Just sayin…

    Like

  192. Kent says: “The explicit discussion of the turn-ons of the sisters in Ezekiel is beyond NC17”
    Yes, that would be chapter 23. I would encourage Dr. Hart’s crew to encourage him to write that article and ALL of this will be dealt with once and for all.

    Andrew I also understand your point. Which his why I am asking Dr. Hart to write a dedicated defense of the consumption of real living people in scenes of onscreen cinematic nudity, sexual contact and overtly blasphemous language as a Christian liberty. From the scriptures (and historic reformed orthodoxy). If he will do that and lend his most impressive capabilities to advancing this view, it is not possible that much good would not come from that discussion.

    There would be a place for this recurring topic to be pursued in earnest.. If there is a man alive today more capable of making this case, I am not aware of who it would be. He is also the most fervent otherwise conservative Presbyterian champion of this new brand of freedom of conscience that I have ever encountered.

    There is no valid reason why he should be averse to accepting my respectful and sincere invitation to talk. Unless he does not actually believe this case can be made. I only repeat my “no sarcasm” clause because of our past Dr. Hart. I continue to intend none at all when I say that silence IS concession. You have no problem speaking up when confident in a conflict or position.

    Like

  193. Andrew says: ” if I remember, you are OPC.”
    I am actually not OPC. I am former RPCNA and am now in a non confessional, non denominational, generally Calvinistic inner city Detroit church. How I got there and why I’m still there are a long story.

    I must respectfully stand by my reasons for very much desiring this dialog with Dr. Hart though. I intend to be politely persistent, knowing that this is his house and I am his guest.

    Like

  194. Look at the keyword searches that send the most traffic to Old Life:

    Top Keywords from Search Engines

    Which search keywords send traffic to this site?

    Keyword

    Percent of Search Traffic

    1. erik charter 16.97%
    2. tkny 13.53%
    3. anachronistic 11.18%
    4. erik charter iowa 9.59%
    5. dreamweaver gary wright 7.20%

    Where’s my freaking royalty check?

    Like

  195. Erik, Machen loved the Greek classics and we know from which side of the plate the Greeks swung.

    Seriously, his tastes were eclectic. Machen read and watched a lot — novels, theater, Charlie Chaplin. Not sure he would have cared for The Wire, though.

    Like

  196. loser ken, it’s not as big a deal as you think, unless you also think that 16th c. Christians — Protestant and Roman Catholic — approved of theater. I imagine there are lots of things you do now and consider to be unsinful that folks even in the 19th c. would judge to be wicked.

    This isn’t Christianity. It’s historical awareness.

    Like

  197. Percent of Search Traffic
    1. Erik Charter 16.97%
    .
    .
    4. erik charter iowa 9.59%

    See what I mean? Erik lands 2 of the top five spots for search terms leading to this site. I say, forgo the royalty check and write that article Dr. Hart. I bet it would be one the meatiest and thought provoking comment threads ever to happen here.

    Like

  198. That’s hilarious that “tkny” is number 2.

    What the heck does “dreamweaver gary wright” have to do with anything?

    Jeff Lebowski may have written that algorithm.

    Like

  199. Erik says: “That’s hilarious that “tkny” is number 2.”

    What is not hilarious is that despite my gracious and sincere intentions, Dr. Hart has deleted everybody’s comments to me. 😦 With all due respect Brother Darryl. The conclusion that you are unable to advance a sound biblical case for this radical departure from the moral standards of historic reformed orthodoxy, is becoming nearly inescapable.

    This would mean that you are willing to hold positions of moral practice regardless of their condemnation in scripture or your own denominations historical standards. You do realize that this would make the Catholics in this discussion absolutely correct? You would then have disqualified yourself from chiding THEM for the abandonment of their authority, when you have in fact done exactly the same thing. Arguing that their authority is different than yours further makes their case that that kind of authority is no authority at all.
    It would be more credible to simply state plainly that you are going to do what you want to do, scriptures and tradition be damned. This would be very disappointing for me as I do very sincerely want to think better of you than that.

    I’m not giving up. One way or another I wind up back over here. Even without trying.

    Like

  200. No one here really chides Catholics for “the abandonment of their authority.” We chide Catholics who think that the content of their authority can be determined unambiguously.

    Like

  201. Erik says: “No one here really chides Catholics for “the abandonment of their authority.” We chide Catholics who think that the content of their authority can be determined unambiguously.”
    Fair enough. It certainly is the case that for being the one true holy and apostolic mother church, it sure is tough to pin down what that toothless waddling leviathan actually enforces as universally binding on anybody. Well, it doesn’t actually enforce literally ANYthing, so forget about that, but even determining principle on paper is a real chore.

    She sounds pretty tough on matters of marriage, sex and family, especially abortion, but alas ol Teddy Kennedy can spend a 40 year legislative career championing everything Rome claims to abhor, while at the same living a life of unrestrained, unrepentant debauchery and drunkenness and still get a 5 star Catholic funeral. So if the magesterium has a spine somewhere since Vat II, they sure are keeping it hidden.

    We protestants, and especially reformed ones, do however have a fairly unambiguous moral tradition which has been progressively pushed out the door the last few decades until now, we pretty need binoculars to spot what’s left of it behind us.

    We have less excuse than they do. Anybody who thinks even one of the Westminster divines would have tolerated ten seconds of the flagrantly blasphemous, bloody, pornographic carnality fed to us by the God hating pagans in Sodomite Hollywood is either tragically ill informed or practicing self deception on the grandest scale ever.

    Dr. Hart is a towering scholar of especially Christian history. He knows this all too well. He also knows the obsessive commitment to biblical accuracy that was practiced by those godly giants. One would assume that he is a Presbyterian because he finds that tradition the most scripturally compelling. I agree.

    Until Dr. Hart demonstrates otherwise, the evidence before us is that he simply will not allow his own unambiguous biblical moral tradition to step on his toes when he doesn’t like it. As I said above. This is an extraordinarily capable man, who, as anyone who’s spent more than 5 minutes here can attest, has no problem whatsoever speaking his mind. He routinely calls people “loser” and bludgeons them with usually sound irrefutable thought.

    Why then, after all the time I’ve spent here challenging him, can I not get one single syllable of engagement on this topic? He goes after everybody else doesn’t he? I’m inviting that. With a pledge of civility and substantive dialog. In the genuine hope that we might even wind up friends. I told him that yesterday and I meant it.

    The funny thing is, with the possible exception of, of all people Erik, (God bless him), I don’t think any of the other regulars here want to see that discussion either. And for the same reason.

    Like

  202. more thoughts here re: called to communion

    the whole blog phenomenon is inherently ridiculous; that the more serious it tries to be, the more absurd and pompous it becomes; and that I believe that if you can’t beat the inevitable blogological deconstruction, you might as well join it, and that with relish. As the old Buddhist proverb says, `When faced with the inevitable, one must merely accept the inevitable.’

    Like

  203. Percent of Search Traffic

    1. erik charter 16.97%
    2. tkny 13.53%
    3. anachronistic 11.18%
    4. erik charter iowa 9.59%

    Erik: “listen you brats, if you want anything for Christmas this year you’ll stop complaining and google my name until your mother gets home.”

    Like

  204. Top Keywords from Search Engines
    Which search keywords send traffic to this site?

    Keyword Percent of Search Traffic
    1. reformed witness reformed believers united 62.14%
    2. brian hertzog 23.72%
    3. mctell i got two women 12.94%
    4. god foundation of natural law 0.85%
    5. consistory theory 0.35%

    The fun never stops at oldlife

    Blind Willie McTell – Searching the Desert for the Blues
    Chords by: Brian Waldron

    This is the way I play the chords for this song, I think it works better.

    Intro/Verses:
    C G7 F C
    C G7 C F7 C
    C G7 F C
    You may search the ocean, you might go across the deep blue sea,
    C G7 C F7 C
    But mama you’ll never find another hot shot like me.
    [ Tab from: http://www.guitaretab.com/b/blind-willie-mctell/338487.html ]
    C G7 F C
    I followed my baby, from the station to the train,
    C G7 C F7 C
    and the blues came down like dark night and showered me.

    I left her at the station, wringing her hands and cryin’.
    I told her she had a home just as long as I had mine.

    I’ve got two women, and you can’t tell ’em apart.
    I got one in my bosom, the other one in my heart.

    The one in my bosom, she’s in Tennessee,
    And the one in my heart don’t even give a darn for me.

    I used to say a married woman, were the sweetest woman ever born,
    But I’ve changed that thing, you better let married women alone.

    Take my advice, let these married women be,
    ‘Cause their husbands will grab ya and beat ya ragged as a cedar tree.

    Like

  205. Erik says: “Rumor has it D.G. even water skis without skis…or a boat…or water.”
    I honestly don’t understand what this means. I have read and thought about it for about 2 straight minutes. I don’t know what you intended by this. 🙂

    Like

  206. We have ongoing discussions about all kinds of topics here all the time.

    Coming here loaded for bear for the Battle of Armageddon is not the way to enter into them.

    Just chill out and converse.

    Like

  207. Greg opines, hopefully rhetorically….”She [the RCC] sounds pretty tough on matters of marriage, sex and family, especially abortion, but alas ol Teddy Kennedy can spend a 40 year legislative career championing everything Rome claims to abhor, while at the same living a life of unrestrained, unrepentant debauchery and drunkenness and still get a 5 star Catholic funeral. So if the magesterium has a spine somewhere since Vat II, they sure are keeping it hidden…”

    No mystery here. It is, and always has been, all about money. What else instigated the Reformation but the quest by Rome to fleece it’s congregants for the dough to build St. Peter’s basilica – and he wasn’t the only one objecting. Down through the centuries this scenario has been repeated by everyone from politicians to mobsters. The worst example might have to do with relationships to the Third Reich.

    This in not to say that big money doesn’t talk within the realm of Protestantism. It does. Look at the rise and fall of megachurches. The nice thing about most Reformed (and some Lutherans), though, is that that they exist in smaller congregations where the almighty dollar has a bit less impact (but it does still talk!). But nothing like it does among the papists.

    Like

  208. and since i quoted one of my personal favorites warfield, i’ll park this link, with its image on the right of the page, and the quote.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/Protestantism

    Once turn away from revelation and little choice remains to you but the choice between Mysticism and Rationalism. There is not so much choice between these things, it is true, as enthusiasts on either side are apt to imagine. The difference between them is very much a matter of temperament, or perhaps we may even say of temperature. The Mystic blows hot, the Rationalist cold. Warm up a Rationalist and you inevitably get a Mystic; chill down a Mystic and you find yourself with a Rationalist on your hands. The history of thought illustrates repeatedly the easy passage from one to the other. Each centers himself in himself, and the human self is not so big that it makes any large difference where within yourself you take your center. Nevertheless just because Mysticism blows hot, its “eccentricity” is the more attractive to men of lively religious feeling. But it is just as scornful as Rationalism of the supernatural, of “external revelation”, of historical foundations for religion. Face to face with the supernatural revelations recorded in the Christian Scriptures, it reduces them to “mystical phenomena”, and assimilates them to the experiences of a Plotinus, or of a Sadi. Face to face with the historical foundations of Christianity, it treats them as symbols of transactions which take place within the souls of men.

    i’m out

    Like

  209. Andrew asks: “wonder what mr. terrible thinks about how talking about sex increases olts web traffic

    This guy talking to the bishop of NY seems to get it.”
    If, as a close associate, I might speak for “Mr. Terrible” momentarily. I have known him all his Christian life and can say on good authority that he does NOT view sex as dirty or taboo or even as something to shield children from until a certain age as if it WERE dirty or taboo. Of all the ways the loving creator God could have devised for us to reproduce ourselves, He gives us an intoxicating experience that is not only among the most intensely pleasurable of all, but also mirrors the covenant bond of His only begotten Son with His church bride.

    If any here believe that my problem with nudity and sexual content and contact in media entertainment is because of some prurient hang up, it is because they themselves have no concept of what marriage, sex and family mean to God. They are precious and at least since Genesis 3, private. Who knows how it would have played out in the absence of sin. Yes, I am fully aware of the monstrous hit these took and especially women, between the entrance of sin and redemption in Christ, so please don’t anybody bother with that impotent (no pun) line of dead end Old Testament argumentation.

    I’m gonna bare a little of my soul here. Last August was 30 years I’ve been a Christian and I’ve been married the last almost 24 of them. It’s only been since the Lord showed me my chauvinistic utter failure to lead and love and value and cherish my own covenant wife as Christ does His church, that this has become the burning set of issues with me that they have. As I’ve grown in grace the last several years, it has become increasingly apparent that, while telling stories with visual electronic recording technology is not in itself sinful, MOST of the modern church has rationalized worldliness and carnality at the hands of the moral cesspool that IS Hollywood, on levels entirely without precedent in the history of God’s world.

    Movies and TV are not necessarily sin. Secular movies and TV are not necessarily sin. Discussing and or depicting sex and or sin in movies and TV is also not necessarily sinful. COMMITTING sin while doing so IS and the church’s participation in any way and on any level is an abomination in the sight of the thrice holy God. That this must be pointed out is itself astonishing evidence of just how broken the modern church’s moral compass has become.

    Erik I see you up there and I’m working on a response. 🙂 Considering our history, you are most gracious sir.

    Like

  210. George says: “I[The RCC] s, and always has been, all about money.”
    Of course there’s a ton of truth there, but just for kicks. What do we with Francis, who clearly is not about money, but yet he is elected Pope? He certainly is a priceless theological amusement, but I’m not gonna be the one to accuse him of being greedy.

    Like

  211. Greg opines, apparently not rhetorically….”What do we with Francis, who clearly is not about money, but yet he is elected Pope? He certainly is a priceless theological amusement, but I’m not gonna be the one to accuse him of being greedy…”

    Of course it’s still all about money! Unlike those in the 16th Century, however, who may or may not been acting out of greed – or down through the centuries, for that matter, where they may have been acting out of attempt to control or maybe even out of concern for self-preservation, the current pope is acting out a philosophy, not unlike that of the current U.S. president, whereby he wants to “spread the wealth.” That may seem like warm and fuzzy philanthropy to some, but redistribution is about materialism, not ecclesiology. Why else do you think he is so championed by those in 3rd World countries and greatly enamored by Obama?

    Like

  212. Jason – “I think the whole concept of a bad word is kind of silly.”

    Paul – “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” (Ephesians 5.4)

    Like

  213. The problem they are going to run into is, if you are going to do a successful podcast on X, you really need to know X. If it devolves into kind of soft left agnostic shooting the shite with a soft left Catholic, that’s going to get old. I don’t know if either of them is going to bring the hard work and preparation to the endeavor to really make it good. They criticize capitalism but really don’t put much thought into it — just weak stereotypes about capitalists being polluters and defensiveness — “where did you get the idea we’re anticapitalist?”. Maybe because Jason refers to Noam Chomsky & Howard Zinn?

    If they’re going to take a stance they need to bring some rigor into the equation — and some work and preparation. They’re not bad at this, but they don’t have the life experience or learning to just go off the cuff forever and keep people listening long-term. The mushy middle does not have much of a following when the rubber meets the road — either in politics, economics, or religion. It’s been tried and has failed multiple times in multiple formats.

    Like

  214. there’s simply plenty of good podcasts out there (WHI, MOS, WSCAL, Reformed Forum, to say nothing of the ones my work-mates suggest to me (i wouldn’t dare name them here)). Just like the world doesn’t need another blog, nor did it need another podcast. but it sounds like J and C are having fun, so whatev. Good for them, yo. I’m still waiting for Jason to talk surfing, he told me back when we started talking out here how much he liked that. the only surfer i know is NP..

    Like

  215. All the white evangelicals who I know who have adopted black kids — from the U.S. and from Africa — would be hard pressed to recognize Jason’s stereotypes of evangelicals regarding poor black kids. Come on guys.

    Like

  216. I think it was in 21 around the 10 minute mark, he said he doesn’t believe in birth control, because that’s what it means to be a catholic. I’m botching it, i know (sorry Jason!), but unless i dreamed it, i think i could find it, if i had the time and energy.

    i had heard a variant of that before..

    Like

  217. Jason is really talking about Catholics more & more in the third person, as if he’s not one of them. It’s really quite odd. He’s owning Catholic doctrine less and less.

    Like

  218. I almost posted a comment about Paul Tillich:

    Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German American Christian existentialist philosopher and theologian who is widely regarded as one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century.[1]

    Some conservative strains of Evangelical Christianity belieive Tillich’s thought is too unorthodox to qualify as Christianity at all, but rather as a form of pantheism or atheism.[58] The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology states, “At best Tillich was a pantheist, but his thought borders on atheism.”[59]

    For Christian’s sake, but I know he reads this blog (Hi Christian! Hope you’re getting good material!!). That’s my tactic with CDH anyway, but all he wants to talk is Bultmann and John 1. Sigh…

    Like

  219. He’s Channeling Oldlife!!

    Jason J. Stellman January 5, 2015 at 1:00 PM
    Erik,

    I think you’ve forgotten what kind of podcast this is, which is ironic. Think of it as less in the style of Called to Communion (which is all about proving everything with airtight arguments) and more like your own stomping grounds of Old Life (which is more about how its host feels about the various topics he addresses).

    When CTC does what you’re doing, namely, demand proof, you criticize them for a robotic devotion to demonstration and logic. So let’s all hold hands and be happy that neither of us is erring on the side of the detached and non-human.

    We are the world. We are the children.

    Truly Awesome!

    Like

  220. that’s it, i’ve seen enough, erik, jason, christian, and one more (doesn’t need to be me) need to get set up to go play some golf. I’ll foot the bill. Throw Bryan maybe into that mix, or even Darryl, if we can get him out to washington. Something, this is getting too good. I’m out.

    Like

  221. THIS long Facebook discussion a few months ago about “bad words” might be interesting to somebody. I see that came up between Erik and Jason. I believe I made a bibically sound case in that discussion and one which comports perfectly with the standards also. I had to lift it from the person’s page because you wouldn’t be able to see it otherwise. She won’t mind in this case, in spite of being aggravated with me there. Have work Erik. Haven’t forgotten you.

    Like

  222. I can’t tell if you’re being censored, haven’t seen or just aren’t answering Erik. My comments are also disappearing using the creds I’ve been using for the past couple days. That might be a wordpress or Akisment glitch. I’m not accusing Dr. Hart of banning me.

    I left you a response in the “Sweetbreads” thread. Man that discussion seems like a long time ago now.

    Like

  223. Back to Jason.

    Upon further reflection it has occurred to me that his Catholicism is much more akin to that of Tom Van Dyke than that of Bryan Cross.

    It appears to be quite cafeteria style in practice. Jason likes the church’s stance on the poor, but dislikes its rigidity on sex. He’ll defend what he likes, but will speak in the third person about what other Catholics believe about the things he doesn’t. Mostly he’ll use Catholicism as a cudgel against the people he now dislikes — Reformed Christians, Evangelical Christians, Republicans. The Church is a weapon to use in order to feel virtuous & above those ordinary American religious slobs he detests. It breaks down when it comes to sex, though, because the Roman Catholic Church is seen as the oppressor on that subject.

    In other words, Bryan has bowed the knee, Jason & Tom haven’t. Jason will at least go to Mass, though. For now.

    Like

  224. Erik, you and me vs. Tvd and J.Stellman in a foursome? I think we could take him. How come I picutre Bryan Cross out there too, saying, Gambling is illegal at bushwood sir and I never slice..

    fore

    Like

  225. “Any opportunity to revisit the “Sweetbreads” thread is certainly one that I will savor.”

    Not me. I feel kinda dirty just looking at sweetbreads. You know, since then.

    Like

  226. CW, it’s only a problem if the food is fun. Or if, like sweetbread, it brings make memories. I may have Post Traumatic Sweetbread Disorder.

    Like

  227. Lamb fries, mountain oysters, whatever you want to call them they’re still not a rose by any other name. Don’t forget, though, that they’re considered a delicacy in certain parts of the country…

    Like

  228. AB
    Posted January 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I’d ask Greg if he’s ever golfed, but then my comment would be sent to a dark place where only Gandalf should be.
    I haven’t swung a golf club since I was about 10 years old Andrew. Sorry. The only sports I do now is lift weights

    Like

  229. M.G. says: “CW, it’s only a problem if the food is fun.”
    Nonsense man!!! 😀 There is nothing at all sinful about enjoying every pleasure of life (most definitely including sex) as provided and prescribed by our loving creator. You do grievously err if you mistake me for an ascetic. I am actually a fine cook and those who know me will tell you that I am fun loving goofball comedian who himself also loves righteous laughter. At least some part of your misconception is my own fault. I do recognize the impression I left here last year. As I say. It was largely an intentional attempt at luring Dr. Hart into a debate.

    M.G. says: “I may have Post Traumatic Sweetbread Disorder.”
    LOL!! I am certainly not trying to resurrect that conversation. If someone knows a better place I should have addressed Erik’s comments, Id happy to know where. Seriously.

    Like

  230. Erik Charter says” After seeing that video I will only be addressing Greg as “sir” from this point forward…”
    LOL!! No need for all that formality. That was 500 pounds. Not so bad for a soon to be old man. I respect anybody who excels at anything. Including golf. I might actually like playing it, but I don’t see it in my future. Too expensive and time consuming. The owner of that POWERHOUSE GYM in Detroit barters membership time to me for computer work. A perfectly splendid arrangement indeed. I’m also in the gym less than 3 hours a week. It doesn’t a LOT of work. It takes HARD work. (and smart work)

    Like

  231. Meanwhile, Katniss poops on OLTS:

    KENNETH WINSMANN January 6, 2015 at 12:07 pm
    Jonathan,
    Oh i know Jason doesnt want to post anymore. Thats cool. I was under the impression that he had passed authorship on to you three and thats why I was asking. I didnt realize that you all had to ask permission to post.
    I dont think that the conversations at Old Life should be the litmus test for the blogosheres “general environment”. That place is uniquely nasty on the comment boards and only appeals to certain personality types. Jason has no problem talking about religion over a cold brew…. I dont see why he would be against letting you all exegete scripture.

    plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

    Like

  232. Drunk Ex-Pastors listener doesn’t want facts, just Jason & Christian’s opinions, which usually involve them slamming conservatives & protestants:

    Brian
    January 6, 2015 at 2:01 PM

    Wow – I am exhausted reading the above comments. I’ve never been accused of being Einstein like and maybe that is the reason these posts’ almost put me to sleep. In any event, I listen to DXP’s to escape from this world that has become so uptight about everything. We expect from this world what it cannot deliver – absolute accuracy. Sure it’s a grand idea and perhaps it would be nice but no one has attained it. Every human has hills and valleys of intelligence.
    So to my point, Please keep DXP’s real and continue with following your gut. I would tune right out if it became some quest for reporting facts. Your opinions are what make it real. Your opinions challenge us to do our own homework and to be open enough to examine ourselves where we could be wrong. I’m not afraid of being wrong but more importantly, I want to have a drink and make the heart a bit merry in this seriously manic world.( Yes I know I can’t write so don’t bother to comment on that )

    Like

  233. In case you couldn’t tell, my honeymoon phase/sympathy period for Jason appears to be coming to a close.

    He wants sympathy, but turns around and sloppily insults good people persistently, all the while claiming that he’s just sharing his opinions off the cuff (and maybe while under the influence). And then he acts offended that anyone dares call him on it.

    Either be a controversial public figure and be able to take a punch or be a private person who minds his own business and is respectful of others. You can’t have it both ways.

    Like

  234. The big question that Jason has to ask himself is:

    In light of the fact that:

    (A) His partner is an agnostic

    (B) His audience is going to be largely hostile to religion (that’s who a show named “Drunk Ex Pastors” will primarily appeal to)

    Is his approach going to be to throw religious people other than liberal Catholics (of the sort that he appears to be becoming) under the bus?

    If so, that’s a good life plan for the next 40 years? That was worth converting for?

    Good grief.

    Like

  235. I am totally uninformed as to what’s going on here. Is there a reasonably abbreviated way I could find out? I don’t know who any of these people are or what gives them significance to you guys. If not, I’ll just have to catch up.

    AB
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink
    at least that’s how he describes such things.
    we need greg to start posting at ctc, yo.
    i’m out. fore.

    Remind me what CTC is again please?
    You are killin me with THIS. That is my thang. 😀

    Like

  236. CtC is a Roman Catholic group blog of former reformed protestants seeking to dialogue about how they founs the fullness of the Xtian faith in the Catholic religion. It’s a topic covered in every thread tagged Are the CTCers paying attention? Their primary protagonist is Bryan Cross, a philosophy professor in the Midwest. Darryl started this theme around the time Jason Stellman converted to Roman Catholicism. Since then, Darryl has had a very positive effect in helping preface what would other wise be a sales pitch unchallenged by the likes if Bryan Cross, Kenneth Winsmann, James Young, Susan Vader, to name a few. In other words, that’s the real battle at this blog. Can you dig it?

    Like

  237. Erik Charter
    Posted January 6, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink
    Back to Jason.

    Upon further reflection it has occurred to me that his Catholicism is much more akin to that of Tom Van Dyke than that of Bryan Cross.

    AB
    Posted January 6, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink
    Erik, you and me vs. Tvd and J.Stellman in a foursome? I think we could take him. How come I picutre Bryan Cross out there too, saying, Gambling is illegal at bushwood sir and I never slice..

    fore

    I’m here even when I’m not here. I’m flattered, fellas.

    And thx for the link to “Drunk ex-Pastors,” although Erik seems to hog and disrupt the comments section there too.

    Jason Stellman January 5, 2015 at 2:04 PM
    Erik,

    “Shameful, really.”

    Your mom’s shameful, really.

    PS – See? Now you know what it’s like when someone like me tries to interact with you and the co-inhabitants of your echo chamber!

    Dude. You Calvinists can’t even hack it at the kiddie table.

    Like

  238. Tom,

    Even If I wanted to read your posts I would have a hard time because you stuff so much crap into them. Can you drop the cutting, pasting, inconsistent use of italics, etc. and just make your statement?

    People can figure out context on their own by reading the posts above yours.

    Did you flunk 2nd grade?

    Like

  239. From day one here Tom’s biggest problem has been a consistent inability to form his own thoughts.

    It’s a real problem when there’s just no “there” there.

    Like

  240. “… CtC is a Roman Catholic group blog of former reformed protestants seeking to dialogue about how they founs the fullness of the Xtian faith in the Catholic religion. It’s a topic covered in every thread tagged Are the CTCers paying attention? Their primary protagonist is Bryan Cross, a philosophy professor in the Midwest …”

    So…he teaches philosophy, eh? Figures. I have a relative who was always a pain in the neck to talk to and then he went off to college where, among other subjects, he studied philosophy. After that there was simply no talking to him, period – everything you said was countered in some manner like it was some kind of chess game, arguing like the proverbial man with a papyrus rectum. So I just stopped corresponding with him in any manner and haven’t talked to him in years.

    I wonder what these philosophy types, who seem to borrow the lion’s share of what say and think from the 19th Century “masters,” think about 1 Corinthians 1:20…

    Like

  241. Just what power do popes have?

    In truth, it’s not clear that the pope’s views on spanking are really any of this commission’s business. In any event, most moms and dads around the world probably aren’t waiting for the pope to tell them if corporal punishment is okay.

    For better or worse, popes simply don’t have much control over how most parents raise their children.

    Like

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