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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Iconoclast

Last week, John MacArthur crashed the kegger party of the young, restless, and reformed with this post:

Beer, Bohemianism, and True Christian Liberty

Making sure to let everyone think he still has a relevant opinion on these matters, Steve Camp tweeted,


I love and respect John Mac very much, but IMHO this article was a legalistic over-the-top driveby. Spurgeon smoked cigars, Luther drank beer, the Lord drank wine. We can enjoy those things to God and His glory. The only prohibition is drunkenness Eph. 4:18f [sic] not consumption.
I believe he means Ephesians 5:18ff, but none the less...

In a response to a commenter to that statement, Steve followed up by writing,
This was an ad hominem drive-by. He's arguing against YRR pastors using beer, cigars, wine, tattoos as a point of focus in ministry. But offers no specific examples to prove his concerns. Thus is old school Bob Jones coming to the surface, not careful exegesis from the text of Scripture.
The terrible thing about our twitter age is that it has taken a devastating toll upon reading comprehension.

If Steve had carefully read John's article, rather than the opening few paragraphs, he would have seen that John said nothing about the consumption of alcohol being a "sin."

Do it yourself: Go to the article, hit CTRL + F and do a search on "sin." John uses the word maybe 6 times in his article. Once referring to an idiot book by Mark Driscoll in which he seriously suggests that Europe has more biblical beer than America, a second time to chide the knee-jerk reaction by the YRR who immediately shout like Steve Camp that "THE PROHIBITION IS ABOUT DRUNKENNESS, NOT CONSUMPTION! and drag out the "Martin Luther drank beer" argument, and a few other times to address the sin that does arise from consuming too much alcohol.

Nothing in the article has John stating he is against the consumption of alcohol.

Steve's next tweet suggests he read a little deeper into the article. The point John was making is as Steve reports: John is troubled by the YRR using beer, wine, and liquor, or other similar vice, as a point of focus in ministry, especially the "Christian liberty" angle.

A couple of thoughts here:

First, John did provide specific examples of his concerns. There's no ad hominem going on. I count at least 10 links taking us to the websites of young reformed guys who make beer and wine, if not the focal point of their ministry, at least a major part of it.

Second, does John really need to have his "exegesis" in order to have this concern? Steve doesn't recognize this concern? I recognize it. Young people who feel it is their "Reformed" duty to stick in the eye of the old-time American fundamentalism they so disdain now by imbibing alcohol certainly troubles me. Especially when they make lame appeals to Martin Luther who lived what? 500 YEARS AGO! And Puritan breweries: you know, the Puritans. The folks who outlawed wedding rings and Christmas trees. Something tells me the YRR aren't jumping on board with the Puritans with those items.

Steve is much like many of the folks who left comments under that blog. They focus on what John has taught about the use of NT wine in previous sermons and claim it is untenable. It doesn't matter if it is. That's a separate discussion.

What does matter is that wine and beer drinking has become the idol of the YRR. There is just no arguing against this fact. Everyone is upset at John because he came in and kicked them over.

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Monday, August 08, 2011

Three Reasons the Earth is Young

I'm still on my own "Sabbath rest."

I was alerted to an article by Jim Hamilton, who continues to personally encourage me with his blogging.

Three Reasons to Think the Earth is Young


His reasons are text based, starting with what the exegesis of Genesis tells us about what God is revealing, and developing our interpretation of the world based upon that revelation. I would imagine a recent excursion with Tom Vail down the Colorado river in the Grand Canyon got him to think about this.


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Thursday, August 04, 2011

A Couple of Items

No. I am not rescinding my commitment to my "sabbatical." Remember, I said my blogging would be "virtually nil," which means "mostly nil." When I have a moment, I can still throw up some brief posts.

A couple of items may be of use to my readers.

First, is Phil Johnson's interview regarding the series Grace to You has been running on our blog concerning the YRR (That's Young, Restless, and Reformed for you all not in the know). John MacArthur has been penning his thoughts of encouragement to the YRR, exhorting them to essentially grow-up, be sober-minded, and yet still reforming. The reaction, to say the least, has irritated many of them. The comments under the various posts may clarify what I mean.

None the less, Phil went on a Detroit talk show to speak on the subject of these posts. It made for a good interview worth your time: Paul Edwards Interviews Phil Johnson

Next, Kress Publications will be releasing Dan Phillips' book on Proverbs in September and there is currently a pre-pub price you may wish to take advantage of. Additionally, you get a nice coupon to purchase some of the other titles published by Kress.

I had the honor of reading Dan's work in draft form and I can testify that the book was an absolute delight for me to read. Of course, when I read it, I had to skim more than sit and ponder and digest what he was writing because I had to submit my "critical" remarks for publication purposes. I am looking forward to having a nice book copy in my hand, not loose paper, and reading this marvelous treasure once more. If you like Proverbs and you want to read an unique work that goes beyond the standard commentary on Proverbs, you will thoroughly enjoy getting this for your library.

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Monday, August 01, 2011

Sabbatical Rest

Since I began blogging on May 31st, 2005, I have pretty much posted something a few times a week for over six years. According to my dashboard counter I have 1387 posts. Excluding the many simple links to off-site resources in print, audio, or video, those 1387 posts still represent a good number of articles on theological, pastoral, apologetic, and exegetical subjects.

When I write my more detailed articles and essays - the stuff I pray has way more lasting value - I do my best to put thought into what I am presenting. When I am writing against a particular theological position, I try to make a solid effort to frame the arguments of my detractors fairly and with accuracy. I take blogging seriously in this manner because I wish to honor the Lord first and foremost, and then I want to minister to the Body of Christ at large.

It's that second point which truly motivates me. My heart is blessed when I check my sitemeter page and I discover someone in Akron, Ohio has spent 43 minutes looking over my articles on eschatology. I am also encouraged by commenters, both friendly and hostile, because their input helps to focus my thinking and sharpen my arguments. Plus I will say I deeply appreciate the grammar nit-pickers who lovingly email me to point out my split infinitives or whatever.

Except for the occasional vacation when I was away from a computer, and one week in 2009 when I moved to a new house, my blogging has remained uninterrupted. That's rather impressive, even for me, seeing that most blogs maintained by a single person rarely make it two years. I can't tell you how many times I clicked the profile page of some commenter, clicked over to his blog, and discover the last post he made was sometime in August of 2007.

With that being said, I am taking a month long break. I think I have earned it. So, from August 1 to after Labor Day, my blogging will be virtually nil. I have been revamping articles at my other website, Fred's Bible Talk, so when I get them on-line, I can post a link. If something earth shattering comes along, I will blog it, but I don't anticipate that happening.

This doesn't mean I am quitting, or slowing down, or that I have come to the pious conviction that blogging is beneath a genuinely, spiritual Christian. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am just wanting some R&R. Plus, I will be around on other blogs commenting here and there.

So, until after Labor Day, I am going French.

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