Monday, June 28, 2010

Calvinism That Tickles The Ears

...For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4

Okay, disclaimer up front. This post is not about whether Calvinism is true or not. I'll just assume for the sake of argument and all Calvinists out there that it is. Now, what if the above passage of Scripture could apply to the system known as Calvinism?

Notice something about the passage. It never says that the desires they satisfy are false desires. It never says that the myths they turn aside to are false beliefs. The myths could be false ideas about truth. The desires they have may just be the act of hearing the truth. Part of the truth.

What if the above passage were fleshed out like this: "We're getting tired of hearing about things like resurrection to newness of life, visiting the orphan and widow in their distress, etc. Instead, we want to hear all about the five points, every week, in church, in bible study, in our chatting on the church steps. Our sermon recordings, our books, our YouTube videos will be from all the best Calvinist pastors and speakers out there. Nothing else will matter except the best of the best. That's what will ensure our salvation."

I know from personal experience how easy it is to rely upon feeling good about what we hear, and how easy it is to rely upon our desires to have certain things preached to us. May we listen to all of the important things and not just the choice pieces (read: our choice pieces), over and over.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Night Potpourri

A week of sun, cars, sand and finding sand everywhere:
  • We started out our trip south last week with loading the car with the kids and stuff. When we got in, I turned the key and click, click, click. The battery was dead and the battery terminal was corroded to beyond use. We had a three hour delay getting on the road.
  • Note to the Outback Steakhouse next to McDonald's off the interstate: You need a drive-thru.
  • Last Saturday night we were at Petco Park in San Diego to watch the Padres lose to the Orioles, which helped out our Giants in their race with the Padres. For more info, and pictures, see my baseball blog here.
  • A 500 mile drive back on Sunday with three kids in the car wasn't as bad as it might seem. Portable DVD players make the day, and week.
  • Unpacking from a beach trip? Need I say more?
  • Traffic out in the middle of nowhere on the interstate can be really challenging, especially with two different speed limits, one for autos at 70, the other for trucks and trailers at 55. With several times as many vehicles in the fast lane doing 75+, trucks driving 56 would pull out into the fast lane and slow everybody down for miles, taking minutes to pass other trucks doing 55, then pulling back into the right lane. Irritated drivers in the left lane would use the huge gaps between vehicles in the right lane to sling-shot past everybody, then cutting back in line when blocked by a truck, making things worse. There were many stretches for miles where driving at any speed was futility.
  • It's totally unbelievable that the maximun speed limit used to be 55, even on highways out in the middle of nowhere. I wonder what people were thinking back then.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How Friends Slip Away

Julie Neidlinger has a way with putting words together so that they result in good writing. On her blog Lone Prairie, she often shows how life really works in the real world, really. It can be painful. She writes from the human side of theology. And when she writes one like her very recent How friends slip away, I advise you - if you're human and alive - to read it. Then, read this next.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Night Potpourri in San Diego

From my laptop in the sand:

  • San Diego is one of our favorite places on earth. Mrs. Scott and I each loved it so much separately before getting married that we didn't even discuss where to go on our honeymoon.
  • We're on a budget few-days-away with the kids. Sand and boogie boards. Experts advise against mentioning vacations on social media sites, but when you've got somebody from a law enforcement family with numerous hours in at the shooting range house sitting for you, it makes it a bit easier.
  • I'm not much of a basketball fan, and a Lakers-Celtics final is a yawner for me. As I was walking out last night to pick up something on the beach bum main drag, I noticed a dozen or so bars and restaurants that had game 7 on within a few blocks. I could tell which venues had cable or satellite setups with that dreadful 7 second delay. A big cheer behind me was echoed by a big cheer around the corner a bit too late. Live? Huh!
  • Cheap, hole-in-the-wall Mexican joints have the best food, either side of any border.
  • We were in the flight path of the San Diego airport. Scores of 737's went straight over head the last couple of days. A number of them ran their shadows right through us. It tailed off as the night got later.
  • I've noticed the night life is over here at about 3am.
  • Okay, so it just goes with the territory.

Problems With Asking Questions

Alan Knox at The Assembling of the Church asks good questions about asking questions, and wonders why some people who hear your questions create false dichotomies out of them. Quoting:

When I ask if the church should meet for worship or for edification, it’s sometimes assumed that I don’t think Christians should worship. Why is that?

When I question the validity of the modern day office of pastor, people often ask me why I don’t like leaders. Why?

When I ask why we put so much emphasis on the sermon (i.e., a unidirectional monologue), I’m occasionally asked why I don’t appreciate Scripture. Are they the same?

So, I think asking questions is very good. But, when you’re asking questions, sometimes your questions are misunderstood.

Sometimes much explanation doesn't do any good either. Now, why is that?

Mere Churchianity Shipped

I received notice that my new copy of "Mere Churchianity" by Michael Spencer, aka the Internet Monk, has been shipped. I can't wait to read this one, and I emailed Michael before his death that I would review it here on From the Pew. As soon as I read it, I will commence the review.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Friday Night Potpourri

A week of gittin' 'er done:

  • Hanging most of our pictures up - a big honey do - makes the house feel much more like home.
  • Why is it that plants look so much better when you water them? Especially in hot weather? I'll have to remember that.
  • Took our eight year old to the open space again. We saw two king snakes within a couple minutes of each other. What a treat. Then with the other kids we saw a turtle crossing the road. I had to go slow to miss it. Kids just love nature and its critters.
  • Our garden hose exploded so I needed a duct tape fix. Late at night it was good to find that the drug store (open til midnight) carried it. Of course, it happened while watering the plants.
  • Our five year old made the pee-wee all-star team and plays a couple of games this week. All the other kids are older and bigger, but we'll see if that makes a difference.
  • As I type this, I'm listening to an entire LP in original song order using eight Windows tabs, each linked to the YouTube clip for each song. Am I some kind of geek? Maybe I'll reveal which album another time.
  • This song was played over the PA system at Oakland A's games back in the early 80's when the visiting manager took the pitcher out. No other reason than I remember it.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Beerean Spirit Still Here

Greg Qualls at is posting again after a year and a half "pause." He has tens of Christian readers who like beer. Maybe if you are a Christian who likes beer, you can read him so that he has elevens of readers.

Adding Progress

I'm adding Eric Carpenter's A Pilgrim's Progress to my blogroll. Eric is the pastor of a small church and asks many good questions about the church and how we relate to it. Give him a read.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Rotated Subtitle

From the Pew:
Because "From the Row of Interlocking Chairs" wouldn't make any sense to anybody.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Solomon The People Watcher

For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice, and I saw among the naive, and discerned among the youths a young man lacking sense, passing through the street near her corner; and he takes the way to her house... Proverbs 7:6-8

One of the things I have taken great affection to over the years is the realization that Solomon was a people watcher. When the Lord asked him what he would receive, Solomon replied with wisdom as his choice over wealth and fame. Wisdom does not come without the ability to understand both other people and human nature. And understanding others does not come without watching them, taking note of how they live and act. Wisdom also does not come instantaneously, as can knowledge, but is the ability to apply knowledge to life. It is an acquired trait that takes much experience.

Wisdom is knowing the difference between answering a fool according to his folly and not answering a fool according to his folly (Prov. 26:4-5), because wisdom knows both what kind of fool is acting and with what kind of folly. Wisdom is the epitome of anti-one-size-fits-all. Without it, we should die.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Friday Night Potpourri

Uhhhh... yeah.

  • I found a number of sites showing dimensions for an official baseball diamond. They were far from unanimous in all the dimensions, and most all sites contained at least one error. So much for standards, eh?
  • I remember hearing a few years back that the internet was going to run out of the ability to handle all of its activity in the year 2010. Has that happened yet?
  • June is here, and we're finally getting some pseudo summer weather.
  • Have you checked out Freecycle on Yahoo Groups? It's like Craigslist, but everything is recycled and free. Er, um, Freecycle. Get it? Mrs. Scott picked up some pretty nice chairs, and we're thinking of putting some old kids' toys up.
  • Some BP Logo redesigns over at Grain Edit. Actually, amidst its oily reputation, I'm hoping to go into the same industry. Oil, that is, not graphic design. I appreciate much of both.
  • My folks are taking a bunch of 30+ foot Italian Cypress trees out of their back yard. I climbed up and hacked a number of the 17' branches down. Tim-ber! Well, all but one fell into the yard. The odd one out fell into the neighbor's yard in the opposite direction that I prophesied, but was caught by their redwood and lemon trees before doing any damage. Whew!
  • Way groovy hair metal feedback version of a classic, man. Far out.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Search For God and Guinness

Jason at Pilgrims Pub embeds a fascinating YouTube clip about author Stephen Mansfield's new book The Search For God and Guinness. I'm thinking this would be a good read, and the time to read it would be even better if that were possible. I'll keep an eye on being able to get a copy. While drinking a Guinness, of course.