Mark Dever on Current Theological Dangers

During an interview with Mark Dever, pastor of Capital Hill Baptist Church, he was asked his view of the main theological dangers confronting us today. His answer was:

The main theological dangers I see confronting us today are a practical rejection of the authority of God’s word even by those who theoretically submit to it; a rejection of the sovereignty of God in favor of the putative sovereignty of man; a caricature, misunderstanding, or rejection of the penal substitution of Christ for sinners; a shallow understanding of conversion as a mere shift of opinions; a worldliness in our evangelism which deceives people about the very nature of the gospel we are hoping to win them to; an individualism that de-centers the congregation from the life of a Christian; and a carelessness of churches in addressing members in unrepentant sin, which causes untold confusion about what it means to be a Christian. I think that we deal with these dangers by understanding and teaching what God has called the local church to be and, by his Spirit’s power, working to be that.

Mark Dever

Amen, brother.

Godly State Constitutions…

WorldNetDaily has an interesting article showing how all 50 states include a reference to God in their consitutions

California 1879, Preamble. We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom …

Tennessee 1796, Art. XI.III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience …

That does do something for the argument that the Founding Fathers had no intention of a God-less state…

The Pope is hacked off

Jollyblogger has a good article reviewing a recent article in Sports Illustrated by Rick Reilly. Here’s an excerpt:

Also, we often treat the Lord’s day as if it is an imposition, when in fact it is a blessing, it is a gift to us. It is no imposition to me when I take my wife out on a date – it is a delight to spend that one on one time with her. Yes, I have to cease my regular activities and arrange for childcare and do a whole host of other things that mess my schedule up. But I delight to do those things because I get that one one one time with my wife. The Lord’s Day is meant to be a delight for us – it is a gift to us where we can rest our tired bodies, put away our worldly cares and worship and commune with our heavenly Father.

It’s a really good little article. I, too, have noticed that more and more activites are getting scheduled for Sundays, it’s not just youth sports. My sister at USC was just barely able to get to church before coming back for Stunt & Cheer club practice. They met early on Sunday afternoons because that was an easy time to get everyone together as few were church-goers. When I play with LAOUT, summer league finals can be on Sundays. The first day of the week is merely one-half of the weekend, equal to the other half.

Youth sports are a more worrying shift, though, to be sure. Not only is it not giving the kids the rest they need, it’s teaching them that organized sports can carry a higher priority than church. What kind of example is that?

Life's Highest Ideal

After discovering Miss O’Hara, I’ve been gradually reading through the back issues in her blog. The one I came across today during my lunch break is titled More Dating Fun and is a real gem.

In it, she points to an article by Shmuley Boteach that makes the romantic in me leap up and turn flips.

The effect of women being placed on a pedestal was that men had to work hard to be thought worthy of a woman. Winning a damsel was a lifelong pursuit and a man would spend a lifetime in refinement of his character in order to win a woman. Even after marriage, a wife maintained her status as a lofty honor. Outside of worshipping God, honoring women was life’s highest ideal. A man devoted his existence to protecting and cherishing the woman he was lucky enough to have as his wife. Like a man who is taken aback by the sight of a majestic mountain peak, he complimented her because he was in awe of her.

And Miss O’Hara doesn’t pull any punches in her writing. Heck, just the word emasculated makes me nervous. She echoes a lot of things I remember reading in Wendy Shalit’s A Return to Modesty, which I highly recommend.

Speaking as a male, it’s rather tough to be a knight, albeit a modern modest one. Which is why when I find other guys who aim for the same ideal, they are a great treasure. It’s much easier to be a Tender Warrior when you’re Locking Arms. (I really like Stu Weber, if that’s not obvious.)

And no, Miss O’Hara, you’re not hideous. 🙂

I have a John Wayne pastor

Where Are God’s Warriors and Wild Men?

Put an end to preaching by cheesy, whiny, quiche eating, preening Nancy Boys … right now! It freaks us meat eaters out. Get it? Hire a pastor who throws off a good John Wayne vibe instead of that Boy George feeling. Know what I mean? And cheer on ‘Pastor Wayne’ to serve up the solid meat of the scripture – the stuff that prods the congregation to biblical maturity rather than prolonging their infancy.

Doug Giles makes some good points about the church losing some of its masculine character. I know that’s a conversation I’ve had with several friends over the past few years of searching for church homes.

For the record, my pastor throws off a great John Wayne vibe. Just yesterday, he informed the congregation about tying fishing ties, and the joys of catch-and-throw-back fishing.