NT Wright on gay marriage.

“In the same way, there was a letter in the Times Literary Supplement just a few weeks ago saying that when we’re talking about assisted suicide, we shouldn’t actually use words like “suicide,” “killing,” and those sort of words because those imply that you shouldn’t do it. Whereas now our civilization is saying that maybe there are reasons for that. I find that sort of stuff chilling, the attempt to change an ideology within a culture by changing the language. 

Now, the word “marriage,” for thousands of years and cross-culturally has meant man and woman. Sometimes it’s been one man and more than one woman. Occasionally it’s been one woman and more than one man. There is polyandry as well as polygamy in some societies in some parts of history, but it’s always been male plus female. Simply to say that you can have a woman-plus-woman marriage or a man-plus-man marriage is radically to change that because of the givenness of maleness and femaleness. I would say that without any particular Christian presuppositions at all, just cross-culturally, that’s so.

First Things; emphasis mine

How Soccer is Ruining America

A great troll, soccer fan though I am.  Perfectly sums up shoot-outs, which should be taken out back and shot along with the term “golden goal” (which replaced “sudden death”):

Shootouts are such an anticlimax to the game and are so unpredictable that the teams might as well flip a coin to see who wins indeed, they might as well flip the coin before the game, and not play at all.

– Stephen Webb; How Soccer is Ruining America

In which Princeton is referred to as conservative.

3) The Media Just Don’t Get Religion

It’s hard to pick a favorite example from various other temper tantrum throwers but I’m going to go with Charles Pierce of Esquire. Take it away, Charles (emphasis mine):
As for the winner, Brat seems a very bad combination of serious religious quester and devout Randian economist, a combination that would have had Ms. Rand herself reaching for the opium pipe. He got his undergraduate degree at Hope College in Michigan, which is run by the Reformed Church in the United States, a conservative evangelical wing of the United Church Of Christ. He then got a Masters in Divinity at Princeton, which is a very conservative seminary and now, according to his website,Dave attends St. Mary’s Catholic Church with his wife Laura and their two children: Jonathan, 15 and Sophia, 11. So either he’s a Douthatian convert, god help us, or his faith is all over the lot, which may account for his rather startling announcement last night that he won because God was speaking through the voters of the Seventh Congressional District of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
2) They’re not conservative.
3) They’re not the evangelical wing of the United Church of Christ. I mean, what does that even mean, in terms of church polity? They are in fellowship with various mainline church bodies such as the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Church of Christ.
4) You couldn’t call Princeton Theological Seminary, which is associated with the aforementioned PCUSA, conservative and you really couldn’t call it very conservative. You couldn’t even call it these things before the 1920s or 1930s, during the Modernist controversy that led to J. Gresham Machen’s departure. Are you insane?
But really, Charles, I’m sure the rest of the article is totally worth paying attention to.

The mighty river of scrutiny, may it ever flow.

I think the Middle Ground Fallacy is just that. On disputed matters we all can’t be right and our unity can’t be based on simply agreeing to hold positions somewhere in the middle. I believe with what we have and who we are we pray, work and as best we can minister faithfully as those entrusted with the gospel. When we disagree we should do it with full throat (easy for me) but with integrity, humility and respect (not so easy for me). And then we see what happens. It may end well. It may not. I’m completely OK with that. 

I put this on public display for a reason. There may come a time when I completely ignore all of this. In that case I may need to be tied to a chair and have this read to me for a few days. That’s another way of saying what I’m aspiring to should involve scrutiny. Lot’s of it. And if I devolve into a denominational apparatchik that scrutiny should be high, hot and relentless. It should wash over me like a mighty river. As I glibly mix metaphors. 

See you in Houston. 

Tom CannonBirmingham, AL 

June 9, 2014

– Vintage 73; The PCA — Telling Secrets and Picking Teams

Mollie goes Lebowski

Quote of the year candidate:

In any case, what the White House is probably realizing, in hindsight, is that painting Bergdahl as a hero and the swap as unbridled good news were horrible errors. If President Obama had said that sometimes you need to do awful things — like give up five really bad terrorists in exchange for one deserter — because we never leave even our weakest man behind, he would have probably been fine. If he could have further explained why he needed to break the law requiring him to notify Congress of such deals, even better. 

But what Americans instead got was someone micturating in their mouth and telling them it was raining.

– Mollie Hemingway; The Left is Terrified Right Now About the Bowe Bergdahl Story

Mis-guided mis-understandings

I am dismayed that we even need to have this debate and discussion within the PCA. The fact that our cutting-edge missiologists have led so many so far astray so easily is shocking to me. I would think that the Scriptures, the Confession, the church and the history of persecution would have strengthened us against such poisonous nonsense. We cheapen the sacrifice of bold martyrs and we mock their testimony before a hostile world when we embrace such a diluted, compromised, non-Christian “gospel” for the mission field. We take a Biblical theology of the church militant and flush it away flippantly and irresponsibly with such mis-guided mis-understandings.   

– Jason A. Van Bemmel; 

Insider Movements: Making a Mockery of Martyrs and Missions

HT: Aquila Report