Monday, April 21, 2014

Indictment filed against Vision Forum founder Doug Phillips

Earlier today the Aquila Report posted a brief article noting that Doug Phillips, formerly of Vision Forum, has been indicted.  That story is a reprint of an article that has been published in the latest edition of WORLD magazine.  Phillips is the founder of Vision Forum though he was forced to resign last year following allegations of sexual misconduct.  WORLD provides a good summary of the facts but omits a lot of information that is both damaging and embarrassing.

Last week a friend (someone partial to Phillips) sent the following story to me.  He was devastated by what he read.  He contacted the Aquila report requesting that it be posted.  It never ran.  WARNING: The story contains graphic information.  

Christian giant sued for using 'Nanny as a sex object'

Today I came across this story which includes a link to the full indictment which details nine specific charges against Mr. Phillips: Warning: The indictment contains very graphic information.

Patriarchy Indicted 

There is nothing in this story that makes me happy.  But I must say that I'm a little troubled that The Aquila Report and WORLD are not informing the broader church about what allegedly went on.   

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Helpful comments about Lent and Holy Week

In the latest edition of The Mortification of Spin , Dr. Carl Trueman makes a very important point about the growing fad among evangelicals of observing Lent.  The first part of the broadcast features some inside humor but around the 13:10 mark it gets serious when Trueman says the following:

"We're at a season of the year when there is all this hoo-hah about Lent...I'm not a Lent person.  I am suspicious of the reasons why it has popped up in evangelical culture.  But the thing that really bugs me is we've got all of this passionate, evangelical, trendy discussion about Lent at the same time as the Lord's Day and observance of the Lord's Day is vanishing... in American church culture.
The idea of making the Lord's Day special has disappeared.  So we've got all of these people telling how you need to do Lent because it is, hip and counter-cultural.  Well, I want to tell you, the most counter-cultural thing you can do these days is start observing the Lord's Day as in a relatively traditional manner.  Be in church morning and evening.  Don't spend your day watching the television or kicking a ball around.  Spend your day with your family.  Spend your day having good conversations.  Spend the day fellowshiping with your brothers and sisters.
If you want to talk about Lent, I'll talk to you about Lent after, I'm convinced, that you have spent enough time reflecting on the importance of the Lord's Day."  

And, not to be outdone, D.G. Hart has a little reflection on "Holy Week."  Click  At Least Jesus Gets A Week  to read further.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Mortification of Spin: Being Human

Dr.Carl Trueman and co-host Aimee Byrd discuss human sexuality in light of the recent Duck Dynasty flap.  I found it to be an enlightening discussion that I wished were much longer.  I say this because they touched on the limits of natural law in our interactions with non-Christians while affirming the Bible's view of sexuality as more than a recreational act.  They view natural law as having a place in our dialog with non-Christians but to leave the discussion there comes far short of what Scripture teaches.  

Click here for the podcast. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty, Natural Law and Handel's Messiah

I am a hunter.  I am a member of Ducks Unlimited and enjoy hunting ducks and geese.  I know who Phil Robertson is but don't pay much attention to Duck Dynasty.  Of late I've been a little busy and not too involved with the Phil Robertson story.  I first heard his comments on the drive home and they kind of took my breath away, especially the comment about human anatomy.  But as I have mulled them over I don't sense hatred or disdain for homosexuals as much as a degree of confusion and being puzzled about same-sex attraction.

Regarding anatomy, what did he say? 

It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man's anus. That's just me. I'm just thinking: There's more there! She's got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I'm saying? But hey, sin: It's not logical, my man. It's just not logical.
Apart from the word "sin" there isn't a reference to the Bible.  Though he may not know it this is an observation rooted in natural law.  Lest you think he is out in left field consider these words of J. Budziszewski who has taught at the University of Texas - Austin since 1981.  He is the author of the book, Written on the Heart: The Case for Natural Law

Deception #3: Homosexual intercourse is equivalent to heterosexual intercourse; "long-term committed homosexual relationship" is equivalent to marriage. What we do with our bodies has meaning. The message of anal intercourse, for example-an act which puts the organ that represents the generation of life into the place of decay and expulsion-is "Life, be engulfed in Death."

Again, no Scripture was quoted to make this point.  This isn't hate speech as much as it is an observation, rooted in natural law, about the purposes of various anatomical structures.

This leads me to my final point.  As I was listening to Handel's Messiah this morning I was stricken by the nature of human rebellion as recorded in the words "All we like sheep have gone astray" (see Isaiah 53:6).  That is the sad truth about all humanity: Phil Robertson, his detractors, his defenders, you and me.  In a clumsy way I think that was the message Robertson was trying to convey.

It seems to me that there are many who deny this very fact and they don't want anyone to remind them that they are in open rebellion toward God.  In the case of Phil Robertson they shut down discussion by shouting "Intolerance", "hate speech", and "homophobia".  But the message of Christmas is that God sent His Son into the world to save sheep that have gone astray.  Phil Robertson understands this perfectly well but that seems to have been drowned out in the by those who want him punished.

The Apostle Paul understood human rebellion and God's work to bring about reconciliation in these terms:

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, the Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.  But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.  I Timothy 1:15-16. 

So to those offended by Phil Robertson's comments, look beyond that self-acknowledged sinner to the one he is trusting for his salvation, Jesus Christ.  Consider the one who took on human flesh to keep the moral law perfectly and to bear the penalty for sin.  That's what Christmas is all about - the wonder that God became man to save sinners from what they truly deserve.  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The PCA and Federal Vision Theology, Part II of the Jeff Meyers' Case

R. Scott Clark has posted Part II of his interview with M. Jay Bennett, one of the prosecutors in the Jeff Meyers' case.  The interview can be heard here. 

Like the first interview, this one will provide insight into how the case developed.  Of course it also touches on some of the politics in the PCA.

Ruling Elder Bob Mattes has posted his thoughts here.  He was called as a witness for the prosecution and has a lot of insight into this case.

For those who want to study this case more the entire record is available here.