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86 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    We like beards in Ortholandia:

  2. Xenia says:

    19 outta 20 on the Bible quiz!

  3. Xenia says:

    The article on small churches is very good. I especially like the point that they subvert consumerism. I would not call it a movement, though, as small churches have been the norm for most of Christian history. It’s the mega church movement that was the temporary aberration. Our parish has 60 people on a Sunday. The building is small so it is pretty full. It’s within walking distance, a great plus!

  4. Xenia says:

    Here’s the thing about a small neighborhood parish. We have all kinds of people, from conspiracy theorist gun enthusiasts to people who are socially quite liberal (in some things, not all things.) We have people from many different countries (Russia, Mexico, Jordan, etc.) We all like to talk, we all have opinions and we all sit down together every Sunday after liturgy for a potluck. We have to learn to talk to each other without hysterics, we can’t dismiss the lovely sister who holds an odd view because she is our sister and we are all being saved together and need each other. We are Orthodox, we have to attend an Orthodox parish. We don’t have the freedom (is it really a freedom?) to find a church that holds our own political viewpoint, we are “stuck” with the local Orthodox population, which is quite diverse. I think this is a good thing.

  5. Michael says:

    Good stuff, Xenia!

  6. erunner says:

    It’s heart wrenching seeing events unfold in Iraq. I’ve never seen so much graphic stuff posted on FB as people are posting pictures of bodies and videos that show the actual murdering of innocent civilians. Not sure how I feel about that as some think we need to see these pictures of corpses piled up to grasp the situation.

    At the same time it seems as if some think this is the only evil going on in the world. I say that without trying to minimize what the reality is in Iraq but it’s as if some are unaware of the state of the rest of the world.

    There’s been evil taking place on massive scales for many years. I can’t even keep track of it as I see it every day on our local news, national news and international news. The world isn’t getting better and better and I don’t think it will until Jesus sets up His kingdom.

    It seems to me the great tribulation must seem in full swing to so many throughout the world as I can’t imagine things getting any worse. I take a lot for granted…

  7. Dude says:

    18 out of 20 on the bible quiz … says I’m rare……..I guess it was all those years in Calvary Chap………

  8. Steve Wright says:

    I got 19 also. I though the first 3 kings of a UNITED Israel was maybe a trick question of sorts so I went with the answer that had David first instead of Saul. 🙁

  9. victorious says:

    Ha! Driscoll, the social media entrepreneur who built his false missional reputation and earned his true reputation through this venue now implements his Tiananmen mandate.

  10. Ryan Ashton says:

    20 out of 20 on the quiz. Crazy.

    Steve Brown is amazing, but “grace” has too many connotations lately for me to trust it without being suspicious of any who use the term.

  11. Rob Murphy says:

    Jack Hyles once called my Dad out in a huge crowd at a Sunday School convention because my Dad had (has) a beard. “You need to get right with Gaawwwwwd and shave your face and get a haircut.” That was in 1979.

    Nothing else of note in Christianity, so we should probably work on that Gillette sponsorship.

    “This week, feel the anointing fall with a smoothness only Gillette and the Holy Spirit can provide.”

    “Gillette: The best a godly man can get!”‘

    “The New Bic ‘Trinity’ Razor: Holiness, Smoothness and Comfort, all in one Razor!”

    “Remington’s ‘Dunamis’ Electric Shaver: Feel the power, works in wet or dry – for those last minute baptismal tune – ups that bring us closer to God.”

  12. Jim says:

    So, people like the beard guy exist…. The other day, my 2 yo granddaughter was running through her house yelling ” pop-pop!”. My daughter thought she wanted a popscicle, until she saw what Ella was holding, and remembered that my name (this week) is pop-pop.

    She was playing with her brothers stuff, and found some Viking king or something, with a big ole white beard. So yeah, I’m an action figure, who is wrapped around a two old’s finger.

    I’m keeping the beard….

  13. Jim says:

    3 grand kids, same parents, same house, same grandfather. 7 yo calls me granddaddy, 5 yo calls me grandpa, 2 yo calls me pop-pop. Parents are confused, but granddad will answer to anything.

  14. Michael says:


    Ironic, isn’t it…

  15. Michael says:


    I just think it’s cool your Dad got called out by Jack Hyles…

  16. Michael says:


    I bet you’re a great gramp…keep the beard. 🙂

  17. Jim says:

    SGM’s blog-ban was a gift. These guys should compare notes….

  18. Michael says:


    Twice that I can remember CC instructed it’s pastors to stay of the PhxP.
    The first time they took our server down. 🙂
    Driscoll knows he’s lost control…and this is grasping at straws.

  19. Jim says:

    Michael-they think so, so I’m running with it. Dad spends days with the oldest, shooting his pellet gun in the back yard. I work with him for 15 minutes on sight alignment, and it’s announced at the Thanksgiving table that ” granddaddy taught me how to shoot”.

    I’ll stop now before I start posting pics….

  20. Michael says:


    Your obvious joy lightened a dark day…thank you, my friend.

  21. Rob Murphy says:

    I’ve got to dig out the ‘gift Bible’ my Dad received from that conference. It is HUGE. It’s a coffee table Bible, meaning that it can sit on or BE the coffee table. In the back of the gilded edged Bible is a series of presidential portraits, the last of course being Jimmy Carter… and then a portrait of the Rev Jack Hyles hisself.
    It’s one of my favorite stories.

  22. Michael says:


    Sounds like my ESV Study Bible…I bring it to church on a hand truck.
    Encounters with Hyles get triple points here… 🙂

  23. Nonnie says:

    The Ed Young, Jr. article about the tithe challenge is disturbing. It reminds me of my daughter’s former church that conducted a year long “Mortgage Monkey” theme. During this year long “event,” they actually decorated the foyer of the church with dozens of stuffed monkeys hanging from the ceiling. Even worse, they had 2 huge, screen size photos of “King Kong” look alike gorillas on either side of the “sanctuary.” (Imagine walking into the sanctuary of your church with King Kong glaring at you throughout the service.) They had a guy dressed up like a gorilla at some services doing skits about chasing away the mortgage monkey.
    Yep, they raised enough money to pay off their mortgage in one year. It was during that year my daughter and her family left the church, disgusted by all the monkey business.

  24. Nonnie says:

    Jim, you need a new photo! 😀

  25. Xenia says:

    This doesn’t have anything to do with anything but it is just so wonderful and spooky and amazing:

    This is a 100 year old recording of a choir in Russia singing the hymn “Now Let Your Servant Depart in Peace.” This was recorded before the Revolution. Just think, most of those soaring voices you hear in the choir are now singing in the heavenly choir.

  26. EricL says:

    Beards are for guys like make-up is for a woman. Good old McGee once said, “If the barn needs painting, paint it.” Well, consider my beard a way to gussy up an otherwise ugly mug. Trust me, you don’t want to see this face naked.

  27. Those Independent Baptist Churches can get real weird about some things.
    A couple of months back I had some drop by to try to get me to go to their church.
    But, the beard was a distraction to them.

    Accidentally, messed it up on the day before the New Years and had to shave it off.
    Been growing it non-stop since then. I have a good two and a half inches of facial hair now.

    So far, I have only read the beard article and that was just…well it was something.
    Rob’s #11 was hilarious!

  28. Jim says:

    “Jim, you need a new photo!”

    The avatar was summer 2008. I did it for my blog, so everyone would know who was who 🙂

    Just add about 15 years….

  29. You know just taking some of those questions in the beard article and turning them around is revealing.

    I am already planning a Halloween costume this year.
    With this massive beard what else should I go as but a Viking.
    My wife already has some patterns for some clothing and I am planning the chain mail.

  30. Jean says:

    “Arguments for infant baptism…”

    Horton argues that “[c]ircumcision has been replaced by baptism.” That it is “God’s sign and seal of convenant ownership.”

    I wonder if Horton has misapplied the text and misinterpreted the meaning of baptism.

    Isn’t it the Holy Spirit (and not baptism) which is God’s sign and seal of covenant ownership? “And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who as also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Cor 1:21-22) “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Eph 4:30)

    And is Horton selling the meaning of baptism short? “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in the newness of life.” (Rom 6:3-4)

    It seems to me that baptism is much more than a seal or sign.

  31. Shaun Sells says:

    The most depressing jobs article made me think of this:

    “and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you,” 1Thessalonians 4:11 (NASB)

  32. Jean,
    You are right to the extent that the reformed do not understand baptism or the Lord’s Supper properly. Horton (whom I really admire and read much of his stuff) ties baptism to covenant and not salvation as described in scripture.

    The Lord’s Supper, they also want to hang onto “real presence” but they don’t really believe Jesus is really present in the supper.

  33. Jean says:

    MLD, and maybe this relates to bible illiteracy, it is especially disappointing when some of the very same Christians who profess sola scriptura and bible inerrancy turn out to ignore scriptures that don’t support their doctrines. At the very least, they should identify the “troubling” or “misunderstood” texts and explain where the opposing view got it wrong, not sweep it under the rug. If you don’t do this, then your readers (or church members) aren’t equipped to explain or defend their position in the face of opposition; and worse, their faith could be confused or weakened when they find out they were not given the whole picture.

  34. Michael says:


    First of all, that is not the complete teaching of the Reformed on baptism.
    It was a defense of one aspect of the doctrine.
    The Reformed view of the Lords Supper is that of the spiritual presence of Christ which we believe to be as real as if there were some miraculous transformation of the elements.

  35. Michael says:

    Furthermore, if all one reads when investigating the doctrines of the faith is a blog article, that’s rather sad.
    I assure that Reformed scholars do far fuller treatments of both doctrines in their churches, books, and systematic theologies.
    It’s kind of beneath you to make some of those assumptions from a single blog article.

  36. Jean,
    Your UMC baptizes babies – correct?

  37. Jean says:

    Michael, my #34 is not a critique of Horton in particular or Reformed theologians in general, and I should have made that clear; I apologize for that. My lament was more of a general observation, which I see causing all kinds of doctrinal divisions.

    Regarding your #36, I thought you placed the links in your blog to generate discussion. With all the informed readers on this blog, I thought I could do some investigation by presenting some concerns with the hope of generating some comments. What are the rules regarding questioning linked articles?

  38. Michael says:


    I read your #34 as assertions, not questions.
    That is what I objected to.
    Questions are welcome…as are objections.

  39. Jean says:

    MLD, the UMC baptizes babies, however, I haven’t personally decided whether I see that as biblical. I am undecided on that issue.

    I thought Horton made some good points for infant baptism, but since he “may” have gotten the meaning of baptism wrong, that calls into question in my mind what else he might have gotten wrong.

  40. Jean says:

    Michael, yes, my #31 were questions, my #34 were assertions (but those were not on any particular topic). Sorry again.

  41. Whether baptism is for covenant reasons or salvation – my point and Horton’s also is the same … it is for all people. I don’t remember where in the article, but Horton makes the important point – baptism is from God, to bestow on people a purpose that God has for man.

    Not the typical evangelical baptism where man is doing his first work of obedience for God through baptism.

  42. Jean says:

    MLD, #42, in all honesty, I am undecided because I respect the tradition of the church. I tend to find great value in the so-called Wesley quadrilateral for theological reasoning, and one of the quadrants is tradition. That being said, I have some serious concerns with infant baptism, and if I was forced to choose, I would probably not agree with infant baptism. On the other hand, no one has forced me to choose, so I will continue to listen and learn.

  43. Jean,
    Look at it this way – no where in the scriptures does it leave out anyone from baptism or prohibit baptism for some.

    Infants can understand and trust in God just like adults – they have a little trouble expressing it.

    You know it’s in the Bible so it goes without Bible quotes.

  44. Jean says:

    Thanks MLD. I get your 1st sentence, am sceptical of your 2nd sentence (I’ve never heard that before).

  45. EricL says:

    On the “it’s abuse, not adultery” article. The Wartburg Watch offers a thorough analysis of Leadership Journal’s grave error in giving a child abusing youth pastor an article. The article is sobering and shows the seriousness of the problem in evangelism:

  46. Jean,
    John the Baptist while still in his mother’s womb was able to respond to the presence of God.

    OK, you lured me in to quoting scripture.
    Psalm 22:9-10 – David speaking “Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.10 On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

    God, even at our mother’s breast can make us trust him.

    God is the actor on the baptism stage – not the person.

  47. randallslack says:

    Beards? Really? Really?

  48. randallslack says:

    Michael, you are correct, Ed Young is an ass; and a thief. Does he really believe that God can support His program? If so, why is he begging for money? If he really believed what he is saying, he wouldn’t say a word about money. Truth is, God can be trusted to support His program. The others are on their own.

  49. randallslack says:

    Seems my job is not on the list…

  50. Bob says:


    Don’t get MLD going on baptism.


  51. Dan from Georgia says:

    I have no dogs in this battle, but has Driscoll officially Jumped The Shark?

  52. Bob, it’s not a matter of getting me going.
    I lay out irrefutable examples of God dealing with infants in the exact manner that he deals with adults to show that infants “get it” and folks like you deny the clear word and deny and withhold from individuals.

    I just have trouble understanding the motive.

    Now Jean on the other hand comes from a denomination that has denied a lot over the past 40 yrs … but they do not deny that baptism is for all, because they do not deny that baptism is from God.

  53. Jean says:

    MLD, specifically what do you mean by the UMC “has denied a lot over the past 40 years”?

  54. Jean,
    I think I was speaking in the same area you did when you said that the UMC had lost it’s prophetic voice – but let’s face it, the UMC is just one General Conference away from being like the ELCA and you must give up and deny a lot to take a pro choice / pro homosexual denominational position.

    But my point was that through all of that, they still stay the course on baptism.

  55. Last week my daughter graduated from her nursing program as a Registered Nurse.

    Today, my granddaughter graduates from elementary school.

    Let the good times roll!! 🙂

  56. Jean says:

    MLD, thanks for confirming that you really are a jerk. I’m done with you. I’m not going to waste my time with people who are ignorant, put other people down, misrepresent other views and put out dubious beliefs as though they’re truth. Enjoy your would and your god,

  57. Jean – I got that info off of the UMC website – it clearly states that they are Pro Choice (they believe in the sanctity of life, both the unborn and the mother and have come down on the pro choice side) and it also speaks to past conferences about the homosexual controversy and what is coming up.

    Perhaps I misstated the UMC position on baptism – perhaps they are not as steadfast as I indicated and that is what is troubling you.

    If you want to point me to a more obvious error , feel free..

  58. David John says:

    Michael, you are correct, Ed Young is an ass; and a thief. Does he really believe that God can support His program? If so, why is he begging for money?

    It is because Robert Morris Gateway is getting all the people. Gateway is only 5 miles from Fellowship. Many mega churches around Dallas/Fort Worth area. 300 to 500 people church is considered small around here and going the way of the dinosaurs.

  59. Ricky Bobby says:

    Ed Young is simply a con-man paired up with a gullible and very willing audience who rewards his behavior.

    There’s seems to be a link between the Charismatic sect of Christianity and a direct correlation to Gullibility and the ability to being conned.

    Those who want to see “the devil!” and “demons!” and “miracles!” and the supernatural in everything seem to have the highest percentage of folks who are easily conned into giving their money to earn blessings from God.

    The only human getting the “blessing” in that transaction is Ed Young and the Benny Hinn’s and TBN’s of the world.

  60. Ricky Bobby says:

    There seems to be a strong correlation between MLM and Network Marketing and Pyramid Schemes and the Charismatic sect of Christianity as well.

    Gullible folks, in general, tend to flock to the Charismatic wing of the Tent.

    I admire guys like Dread who don’t take advantage of the Charismatic Crowd…with Dread’s brains he certainly could, but he doesn’t.

  61. I don’t know – Ed Young Jr may be taking a bad wrap. The Bible is clear that God’s people are a stiff necked people, and this is what EYJ has to deal with everyday – stiff necked people that will only come to church to hear God’s word if you offer them money, sex and party … call it niche church.

  62. Xenia says:

    Something on my mind this morning, not related to anything in particular but reminds me of the way some abusive people act and the way we often act ourselves. I think the following little scene is familiar to us all, with we ourselves playing both roles, depending on the circumstances.

    Joe, because of his carelessness, breaks a keepsake that is meaningful to Louise.

    Joes’ immediate response? “I’m sorrrrrry, but it was in the way!”

    Louise’s response: “You don’t sound very sorry to me. In fact, it sounds like you are blaming me.”

    Joe: “I SAID I was sorry.” Joe now believes he is the offended one, because his non-apology wasn’t accepted.

    Louise picks up the pieces of the broken keepsake and looks at them with a sad face. Joe gets even madder.

    Joe: “You going to hold this against me for the rest of the day?”

    Louise: “Sigh….”

    Joe: “That’s right, pout.”

    Maybe later in the day Joe says: “Hey Louise, I AM sorry about the broken keepsake….”

    Louise brightens…..

    “…. but it WAS in the way.”

    Louise figures she might as well smile because that’s the best she’s going to get out of Joe.



  63. Michael says:

    Xenia…well done. 🙂

  64. Q says:


    The non-apology apology, ugh.

    Will Joe attempt to replace the keepsake?

  65. PP Vet says:

    Nothing better than a truly humble sincere apology. I owe a few.

  66. Not related to links, I shared the following with my church’s leadership:

    “I know of nothing that has caused more trouble for the Christian church in America than our “super-Christian” mentality. Every time someone comes to me as if I were a “super-Christian,” wanting me to direct their life, I say something very pastoral, like, “Do I look like your mother?” Once that is settled, we can sit down and together go before the Father. Once that is settled, I am willing to be a pastor-not a guru. To those of you who have a Christian hero who tells you what to do and what not to do, let me give you a word of biblical advice: Don’t let them do it to you. To those of you who are Christian leaders and have found that people force you into a role that belongs only to God and your mother, let me give you a word of biblical advice: Don’t let them do it to you.”

    Brown, Steve (2011-08-23). When Being Good Isn’t Good Enough (Kindle Locations 1985-1989). Key Life Publishing. Kindle Edition.

  67. PP Vet says:

    Everything, Part I

    The unholiness of the beard …
    – Research shows that wearing a beard makes it slightly less likely for you to get sick, and slightly more likely for everyone around you to get sick. I find beards disgusting. Except for the beards, I would watch Duck Dynasty.

    What Americans believe about evolution …
    – Very misleading. Many of us believe God dropped a specially created of Adam and Eve into an old earth. Consistent with everything else we know God did (Israel, the incarnation, the church, the scriptures, etc.) Course you can say that dropping Adam and Eve souls into evolved hominids fits that, too. But no way two evolved hominids were that pretty.

    The religion of sports …
    – Amazing to me how many pro athletes are believers.

    Evidence of massive underground oceans…
    – Underground molecules, more like it.

    Five common characteristics of sex offenders…
    – What lonely people do.

    Arguments for infant baptism …
    – Nothing wrong with sprinkling infants. Hey, several have sprinkled me. But at least when it happened I did not call it a “Christian baptism”.

    Social media forces article retraction …
    – Is this moral backbone, or adjusting to whichever way the wind blows? Wimps.

  68. PP Vet says:

    Everything, Part II

    Most depressing jobs …
    – “Being my wife” not listed

    The crisis of biblical illiteracy …
    – I get the impression my kids know the Bible better than the average Mormon.

    Biblical literacy quiz …
    – A truly challenging quiz. Results, fortunately, are confidential.

    Smaller is better…the return of the local church.
    – “so much of today’s so-called communication degenerates into yelling matches” – Hey some of us enjoy that.

    Should a theologian’s life affect how we view his theology?
    – Oh my goodness yes. Learn from someone you want to be like. Period.

    Conditions in Iraq worse than they have ever been …
    – For a trillion dollars, the US was able to stamp out Christianity in the Middle East. Nice.

    It’s not adultery, it’s abuse …
    – I guess.

  69. PP Vet says:

    (I don’t comment much, so I am treating myself to a triple dip, please excuse.)

    Everything, Part III

    Can Christianity kill creativity?
    – Controlling vs Enabling leadership style. Who are you enabling? What style did Jesus use? Of course, knowing you will be crucified within a couple years sure disincentivizes building an earthly kingdom. Maybe we should all think like that.

    Driscoll tells church to stay off the blogs and internet.
    – If you must get on the Internet and make a fool of yourself, be anonymous. But I love the Internet. Came across a priceless Christian urination contest the other day. Kept me amused for hours.

    The blog he wants his church to avoid …
    – Jesus said having a few enemies is a good sign.

    God is sovereign, we are responsible …
    – God’s not really sure what you’re gonna do. Please do the right thing.

    Steve Brown on suffering …
    – Most suffering is the result of being stupid or unlucky. But in the carpenter shop, several times, Jesus hit his thumb with the hammer. Get over it.

    I almost forgot… Ed Young Jr. is an ass…
    – I never insult people online (except MLD, because like bouncing a tennis ball off the Rock of Gibraltar, it’s harmless fun).

  70. Glen says:

    It may be a geographical thing, but up here in the Pacific Northwest the independent fundamental baptist church I’ve attended is very favorable to beards. I’m in a conservative semi-rural county and when hunting season is near, those of us who are beardless stand out. There are quite a few that have beards all year round. Even the song leader may have a beard – piano, organ, guitars, banjos, mandolins, fiddles and basses allowed, but not drums. Beards and bluegrass gospel………..

  71. “Isn’t it amazing how we believe in the sovereignty of God until it comes to money– then we send a newsletter.” Leonard Ravenhill

  72. Might be geographical, Glen.

    Love blugrass gospel!

  73. Beards?
    Reading that made me remember what people are RUNNING from in religion.

  74. 20/20 on the Bible Quiz what will that get me? Can I get a Ph. D. with that?

  75. FoosBall, Ben Franklin, school, little girls and now….beards.

    Everything is the devil to you, Mama!

  76. Ron says:

    Beardless men may have self-righteousness issues…


    Read down.
    Some of those non-existent WMD’s show up in Iraq…after ISIS takes the facility.
    Oh, and apparently we have known about them for a while.
    So, now the jihadists have access to mustard gas, Sarin, Tabun, and VX.

  78. Hey Michael, (and any others that may feel the need to pipe up)
    I was reading this and it has a lot of truths in it.
    What do you think about his explanation of “The Rich Man and Lazarus”?
    Just wondering.

  79. Jean says:

    Derek, I think the author makes some good points about expository preaching,but I wonder if that’s just a pretext for another motive: bashing church leaders who get wealthy off their ministry.

  80. Michael says:


    I like Wade a lot…but he did what he’s accusing others of doing.
    He put a template over the texts and scrunched them until they fit.
    It’s not an article without value, but it was a helluva stretch in my opinion.

  81. It might be Jen, but to me that was part of the point about “The Rich Man and Lazarus” that Jesus was trying to make. In Luke 16:14, we are told the Pharisees are lovers of money.
    The Jews of the day had the same mistaken notion of the current prosperity preachers, that riches equals God’s favor.
    Then starting in v.19, Jesus proceeds to tell us that riches won’t save you which seems to be aimed at the religious leaders of the day who were getting wealthy off their ministry.

    I am just wondering if he is reading a bit too much into the parable.
    You can make two mistakes with Jesus’ parables, either making them too simple and missing the point or too complex and adding a bunch of unnecessary stuff.

  82. That was my opinion too, Michael.

  83. Ricky "fear the beard" Bobby says:

    Glad I grew a beard.

  84. Ricky "fear the beard" Bobby says:

    To all the Anti-Beard pentecostals out there: Jesus, the son of God, has a beard.

    Booyah! Game over.

  85. Whether it is Westminster with its combatibalist claims or Chicago with the the 19 qualifications … conservative denials of contradictions do not make it so. Affirming opposite claims do not make those claims true. Deal with it.

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