Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wisdom, Fools and Gold

How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!  And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.  Proverbs 16:16

I count 49 times that the word wisdom is used in the book of Proverbs.  It is used many more times in the bible.  Wisdom is so much more important than mere knowledge - or gold and silver.  Wisdom is the ability to take knowledge and apply it to a given situation or to many different situations.  It is essential for life, and it is essential for eternal life.  Fools despise wisdom (Prov. 1:7).
Wisdom does not see the world in black and white.  It doesn't see Scripture in black and white.  It realizes nuance.  It takes differences into account.  It treats similar situations differently.  It requires constant thinking and judging of circumstances.  It treats fools in different ways:
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him.  Answer a fool as his folly deserves, that he not be wise in his own eyes.  Proverbs 26:4-5
Wisdom does not buy into a one-size-fits-all mentality.  It does not reduce life to formulas.  It results in different strategies and ministries.  Those results can even appear to be polar opposites:
For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, "He has a demon!"  The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, "Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!"  Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.  Luke 7:33-35
One of the reasons I have such a problem with fundamentalist type of thinking is that it often sets wisdom aside for a broad brush stroke in black and white.  Nuance is ignored and is often accused of being an excuse for not doing things "the biblical way," whatever way they think that happens to be.
Solomon forsook gold to gain wisdom, and God gave him both.  May God's people pursue wisdom.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Night Potpourri


  • Juxtaposition:  Bob at Wilderness Fandango posted a Facebook update showing a photo of fresh snowfall in Maine.  Nobody else but me could see, but on my Facebook page the post directly above it (SF Giants fan page) showed Tim Lincecum throwing the first pitch of the first spring training game in Arizona.  Snow in Maine vs. heat in Arizona.
  • Childhood:  Earlier today, I attended the memorial service of the next door lady from my childhood.  They moved away when I was a teenager, so most of my memories of here were from childhood.  Most of the dozen or so kids on the street lived there for many years.  A good number were at the service.  I got to see many old neighborhood friends.  I can still remember Mrs. M's laugh, calling her kids in for dinner and their front door sound when it shut.  But what I remember most is the way she called the cat in when she put the cat dish on the porch.  In a high falsetto voice, she called, "heeeeeere, kitty-kitty-kitty-kitty!"  She did it better than anyone ever.
  • Speaking of snow, it's supposed to snow here tonight in just a few hours.  Snow in the San Francisco area at sea level comes once every decade or two.  If it does snow tonight, it will be several times in the last five years.
  • A couple of weeks ago, I drove almost ten miles with the parking brake on.  I realized my mistake, and disengaged the brake.  When I arrived home and opened the door, I got a strong sense of that smell where brakes are too hot or burning.  Yeah, I guess so.
  • Big little day tomorrow.  Get to pick up the pee-wee uniforms.  What number is he gonna be this year?
  • I've been leaving my jacket in the car so I have it with me when it gets really cold.  It doesn't take long for my heater to warm up.
  • I've long held this to be my favorite on the album.  In an interview, Carlos had the same view.  Not sure what's up with the imagery in this one, but it's the only clip I could find of the studio version.

Job Did Not Sin

Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God...In all this Job did not sin with his lips...Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.  Job 1:22, 2:10, 2:13

I'm guessing that when most of us experience great tragedy or trouble, we all sin in some way.  But, here's an account of a man who did not sin, either in action or word.  But Job was extremely undone.  He sat in a pile of ashes at least a week.  I'm guessing he didn't to much of anything productive sitting there.  He was in great pain and it was great enough for everybody to notice.

But he did not sin.  Isn't it interesting that a picture of somebody paralyzed by life's tragedies is said to have not sinned?  I'm wondering what kind of counseling Job would have received if he lived today.  Would it have been the same?  Would he have been rebuked?  Maybe this story would have been the same no matter when in history it occurred.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Church Terminology and Definitions

Here are some common Christian terms and their definitions:

  • Denominational:  The showing of unity in dividing from others.
  • Non-denominational:  (1) Being so opposed to denominational division that one is willing to divide from all other churches over the issue (2) A handy misleading label that can be used when being so denominational that there are no other churches that agree with you (3) A denomination consisting of only one church
  • Narthex:  Something everybody knows what it is but can't give a definition for
  • Fellowship Hall:  Room where cookies and punch are served
  • Sermon Length:  (historical) The length in time of one side of a blank cassette tape
  • Pot Luck:  A large meal shared by Arminians where each participant brings a dish, the contents being unknown to others until the time of the meal
  • Pot Providence:  A large meal shared by Calvinists where each participant brings a dish, the contents being unknown to others until the time of the meal
  • Benediction:  Lunch time
  • Bible Belt:  The area of the US where people are most likely to carry a bible and demand that the rest of society obey it while simultaneously least likely to follow what is written therein
  • Supralapsarianism:  Us
  • Infralapsarianism:  Them
  • Pew:  Medieval torture device from which Steve Scott writes

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blog Spotlight Monday - Internet Monk

I am starting off this weekly series with a big name and one of my special and most influential blogs.  The late Michael Spencer's blog, Internet Monk, or iMonk as it's known.  Michael's subtitle captures a dominant flavor of what iMonk is all about: Dispatches from the Post-Evangelical Wilderness.  You see, Michael came to see over time that mainstream American evangelicalism had abandoned its roots, forsaken its essential doctrines and practices, and put anything and everything in its place - from wacky fads to aberrant teachings - to the detriment of its adherents.  More importantly, Michael noticed over time that the crisis within evangelicalism wreaked havoc with the faiths of professing Christians.  Many of these Christians reluctantly lived with their resulting stunted growth, left evangelicalism for other Christian traditions, left the church altogether, or even left the faith entirely.  His experience with teaching and pastoring helped him see these problems in a clear way, and saw himself as a "post-evangelical" who was living in a wilderness.  His was always a call to point out evangelicalism's problems and to give some measure of comfort to those who knew what the problems were but had no way to solve or act against them. 

Michael started his blog in the early days of internet technology which probably helped lead to its success.  His is one of the top Christian blogs on the net.  Michael enjoyed one of the most diverse audiences on the web, and the legions of commenters over the years bear that out.  He constantly looked to those who held other views and traditions to write for him at iMonk.  Many of evangelicalism's problems could be more easily seen from those outside the circles.  A few years ago, Michael announced that he had a book deal going and that he was going to write about his experiences with the church in a book to be titled Mere Churchianity, a takeoff of CS Lewis' book title Mere Christianity.  Late in 2009, he told his readers that something wasn't right with his health and later revealed that he had terminal cancer.  He passed in April of 2010, after completing his book but before its release.  He left the keeping of his website to several trusted friends, who have continued his legacy for almost a year now.  Although now most of the writing is done by Chaplain Mike Mercer, Jeff Dunn and others, plenty of classic Michael Spencer posts are re-posted to keep his spirit present.

I started reading iMonk after noticing many other blogs that referenced that site.  I admit that often I didn't know what the fuss was about.  I had trouble figuring him and his site out.  But over time, I began to see.  I started commenting occasionally, tossing myself into the huge conversations that erupted after each post.  It was frustrating for a long time and it seemed that I had little to contribute, and received few replies, even from Michael.  But I kept commenting.  Then one day in 2009, I received a personal email from some dude named Michael Spencer.  Well, whaddya know?  I know a guy named Michael Spencer, over at the Internet Monk blog!  What a coincidence.  Then I read the email.  It was from him.  True to the way he was, he made me an offer I couldn't refuse.  For the first time, I am posting his short email in its entirety here:


I've been reading your work for a while and I'm a fan. I want you to know that if you ever have anything you'd like to occasionally submit at Internet Monk [dot] com, I'd like to publish it. I'd like to see you have a wider audience. You're a good writer and we're on the same page about a lot of evangelicalism.

If interested, let's talk.


Michael Spencer
It was an opportunity I felt I simply could not pass up.  I managed to get only an introductory guest post to him, which he published in May of 2009, as personal and family problems related to the economy prevented me from putting the time and heart necessary to continue writing occasionally for him before his untimely death.  As I re-read my intro piece, I am struck that my views on certain things have changed or mellowed over even such a short period of time.  All in all, I am greatly thankful for his ministry and wholly endorse Michael Spencer's blog, Internet Monk.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What Beliefs Are the Result of Faith?

If a man or woman has faith in Christ, what beliefs will result?  By beliefs, I mean what conclusions will that person's faith be?  Obviously - or maybe not to many people - there will be some kind of idea as to how that person became a Christian.  What kind of assurance will he have of that faith?  Will he spend his time pondering how that assurance works, or will he simply be assured and never give it much thought?  Or will he be assured at all?  What will his beliefs be concerning the church?  Of the bible?  Of stained glass windows?

How will his views of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit fit together, and in what proportions?  How about the death, burial and resurrection?  I'm sure there are some widely varying answers to these questions.  Will that make you any less of a Christian than I?  Any more a Christian?  What will I believe next year, or next decade because of belief today?  Will I be okay with it and will other people be okay with it?  Will God be okay with it?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Night Potpourri

Seven days in the rain:

  • It's been raining so much over the last few days, the driveway becomes a puddle about 15 feet by 3 inches deep.  The drain keeps clogging with leaves and other debris, and it's got to be manually cleaned several times per day.
  • I found a couple of steaks defrosting in the fridge.  I wonder when we're gonna have those?
  • Spent a lot of time recently looking for things.  Our kid's model paint.  Scissors.  Colored pens.  Clean laundry.  Hey, how did laundry get on this list?
  • I've driven my car for almost three years now, and I've just discovered the speed control for the intermittent windshield wipers.  D'oh!
  • One of our boys' pee-wee practices and events have been cancelled all week long.  The way it's raining, none of the kids will be ready for opening day.
  • Winter storms this week.  Lots and lots of garbage cans blown around the streets.  The garbage truck driver had to do a lot more on garbage day.  Picking up cans that blew over just so he could let them be dumped into the truck.
  • Brings back memories of the Red Album.  Mrs. Scott knows what I'm talking about.

Reformed Celebrities and Their Formulas for Success

Reformed rock stars.  No, I don't mean Alice Cooper.  I'm talking about the pastors, theologians and other experts that we in the Reformed world lift up to celebrity status.  And when people have celebrity status, the things they say become more important, more worthy of a listening ear, and, well, more correct.

Now, as is sometimes the case, I've been wanting to write this for quite some time, and somebody else posts something similar.  This triggers all the necessary tools into operation to create a blog post.  Much thanks to Eric Carpenter at A Pilgrim's Progress for posting The Reformed Tendency to Create Superstars.

Eric lists some names, and I'll list many of the same, plus more.  The Reformed celebrities to which I refer are John MacArthur, John Piper, RC Sproul, Michael Horton, Tim Keller, Mark Driscoll, Mark Dever.  These are general, overall celebrities.  There are other celebrities that have been given special status as experts in a specific field.  Jay Adams and Wayne Mack in the area of counseling.  Tedd Tripp is the child rearing expert.  Martha Peace on what you need to be an excellent wife.  Joshua Harris is the dating and courtship guru.  DA Carson on theology.  And all these celebrities have their groupies.  Now, I'm not necessarily blaming the celebrities here, as Jesus had plenty of groupies too.  You know, all those who followed him for the magic tricks and being fed the bread he pulled out of his hat?  He rebuked them for their idolatry.

One by-product of the celebrity hype is that their material on a subject can become a formula for godly living.  Or even the formula.  Many people, for example, hold Tedd Tripp's Shepherding A Child's Heart book to be the biblical model for child rearing.  I know this first hand.  When you've got a kid who doesn't fit the box people have made of Tripp's book, then you're the one who is failing as a parent.  Nevermind that your other kids are fine.  Nevermind the special circumstances your family has that prevents you from following his formula, his formula is the only way to achieve godly kids.  Unable to follow his formula?  Well, then just follow his formula!  You have no choice.  It doesn't matter how well you explain how your family can't fit the formula, the formula works, because it's biblical after all.  And you're not.  And you're told so every time your kid has a problem, because you didn't follow the formula.

One humorous story that should shed some light on this formula bit comes from a men's discipleship class I took at my church in the late 90's.  One of our books to read was on marriage, written by one of the Reformed celebrities.  The problem was that this book was written 25 years earlier, in the early 70's, and true to conservative tendencies, the author had a cultural view of things from several decades earlier.  So, in this book, gender roles from the 50's golden age of TV were being advocated as biblical.  Of course, the book made it home with the men, and their wives and wives-to-be read the book, too.  And there were some ticked off women.  Some of the advice to women on how to be a biblical wife were like making sure you have his pipe and slippers ready when he comes home from work to read the evening paper.  Practice putting your makeup on, because even though you're married you've got to do your best to keep your man.  And the best was advice to the young single woman.  College is a great place to meet your man, so enroll, ladies, and get your Mrs. degree!  All this gave us some big laughs, as even by conservative standards in the 90's we viewed some of the stuff in the book as patronizing or demeaning to women.

I had only been a Christian for several years, and it taught a good lesson in discernment.  Don't swallow things whole.  Chew them up first.  Pick and choose between what is actually from Scripture and what is a cultural norm, especially if it's somebody else's cultural norm.  A formula for success is usually a recipe for disaster for people who don't fit.  It's a good thing to question the ideas of the celebrities, even if it makes you less popular.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blog Spotlight Monday - Introduction

I'm introducing a new blog feature here at From the Pew.  It's called Blog Spotlight Monday.  Each Monday I'll be focusing on a different blog or other link in my blogroll or site on my favorites list.  Who hosts the blog; what it's about; key features of the blog; why I read it; all these things and more.  I'll link to the blog and give other necessary information.  Stay tuned and learn a bit more about my world on the other side of the clickthrough.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Monologue, Dialog, Preaching, Listening, Anyabwile, Carpenter, Sido and Christendom

For those of you not familiar with the dialog that's been going on, I'll keep that part brief.  For those of you who do know, you already know it.  What I have to say about it I think can benefit those not involved in the dialog, so please stay tuned beyond this paragraph.  So, a quick summary first.  Eric Carpenter at A Pilgrim's Progress critiqued a section of Thabiti Anyabwile's book on Expositional listening, which I briefly touched on here.  Anyabwile responded to somebody's critique of it at the Gospel Coalition, and many are assuming it was Carpenter's critique.  Anyabwile's post generated some big exchanges in the comments, and others I know like Arthur Sido jumped in, and then blogged on his own about another GC post on preaching as an ordinary means of grace.  Whew.

So, the ideas in question are 1) what is the role of preaching, 2) should it be done in church to believers or outside to the unbelievers, and 3) what should actually be done in the Sunday meeting.  Many of Anyabwile's critics point to their observation that there isn't a single example of a monologue sermon preached to believers in church anywhere in the NT, and all preaching is done outside of church to unbelievers.  Our Sunday church meetings should be dialog in nature, with all belivers participating in edifying one another.  Okay, I get their drift, and I also understand Anyabwile's viewpoint.  So what I have to say here is that I see people talking past one another in Anyabwile's comments section, and I think I know why.  It's partly a matter of historical and cultural contexts of both the apostles going out into the Gentile world in Acts, and the Protestant Reformation in medieval Roman Catholic Europe.  I'd like to beg everybody's pardon in advance, as I'm not a historian, and would invite correction and comment here.

The Apostles' Method

I actually see two methods the apostles used in Scripture to reach the Gentile world.  One, they went into the synagogues of the minority Jewish communities.  Their religion was already shaped by the Scriptures, they knew the Scriptures, and they were waiting for the messiah.  The message to them was, "Hey, you're God's people, but your man-made traditions have prevented you from seeing Yeshua as messiah.  Ditch your traditions and the evil deeds that come from them, and embrace Jesus."  Two, they went into the culture of the ignorant Greeks.  Their method was different.  "Your system of polytheism is death.  There's only one God, the one you missed.  He is Yahweh, and his Son is the Jewish messiah, Jesus the Lord.  Caesar isn't Lord, Jesus is.  Good news here folks, you're included in on the deal.  So repent of your sins and evil deeds you've done in ignorance, and believe in him and you'll receive eternal life."  Those "out there" that received the word were included in the church, made up of believers.

The Reformation

The context of the Reformation was different than the context of the Greek world and Roman Empire of the first century.  By the time of the Reformation, Christianity had already "conquered" Europe.  It had reached it's cultural conclusion in one sense.  The church was a dominant force in all of culture.  It affected all of life.  If you were born, you were baptized into the church.  This was the result of the apostles going out into the Roman Empire to begin with.  For the Reformers, reaching the lost wasn't a matter of going out into a strange world to preach Jesus to a lost people.  It more closely resembled my first apostolic method above, going to the Jews who had already had the foundations of religion laid down.  The lost masses were already in church.  The Reformers believed that a corrupt and wayward church had prevented the truth from making its way to the masses.  It had prevented the truth from being known even to the church leaders.  So, for the Reformers, the logical strategy would be preaching the word to those in church.  That the church was everywhere, and everybody was already connected to the church in some way.  The cultural context was one of Christendom

Now, seeing their context, it would be easy for the Reformers to see a positive effect preaching would have on uneducated church attenders.  They were hearing truths they never heard before.  They were being greatly affected by the application of God's word directly to them and in their own language for the first time.  And this great affect spread out over large parts of Europe.  It would be easy for the Reformers to conclude that preaching to people in church was a means of grace.  It would be easy for them to turn this into a doctrine. It would be easy to see that since this was a widespread phenomenon, that it should be something that everybody should do at all times.  It would be easy to teach this down through their own generations, and it would be easy for those who were taught it to hand it down.  It would be easy to see the same affect in other situations with a similar historical/cultural context.  It would be easy to see all this as a timeless, eternal truth rather than a contextual strategy. may be easy to see this method not working as well with a church of already more mature believers.  It would be easy to recall the tradition and its most early effects without realizing the context from which it came, and apply the doctrine to this group of more mature believers.  It might be easy to see the lack of the same kind of response as a deficiency on the part of the listeners as opposed to the deficiency of the strategy.  This could easily lead to a doctrine or teaching of expositional listening and expositional note taking.

Now, please understand, I'm not against preaching in the church, or against good listening.  My concern is that we in the Reformed world don't see our own contextual history and have a tendency to view things as applicable to all cultures at all times, simply because we're Reformed.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Night Potpourri

A lovely week for just about anything:

  • A strong wind this week took all those brown spikey ball things off the maple trees and littered the street.  The kids got the bright idea to collect as many as possible in the ice chest, then deposit them in our front planter.  It was fun to see them with sand pails and shovels collecting their toy treasures.
  • Warm temps in the day and freezing ones at night make for a good extra deal of laundry.  Don't know what to wear.  Rain's coming next week, they say.  I was just getting used to watering the lawn again.
  • Remember pigs in a blanket?  Well, that's what we had for lunch today.  Mustard and ketchup.
  • Those ball point pens sure do come in various colors.
  • Had a date night tonight and we were seated at the restaurant.  Somebody called to Mrs. Scott, and it was her best friend from high school sitting in the booth across from us.  A friend of mine from high school was doing the music in the bar, guitar and vocals.
  • Last, but certainly not least, is nodding off at the keyboard while typing this post.
  • Happy V-Day weekend with some love frum the pew.

Half-Cussin' Has Its Own Theology

Fresh off the fun with linking to Dan Allen's The Christian Cuss Word Flowchart a few days ago, I'm piggybacking here with another concept.  Dan's post pulled the trigger, but what loaded the gun was a comedy clip I heard not long ago on a radio station.  You know, those "five o'clock funnies" kind of deals.  The comedian was talking about how we use substitute words to half-cuss.  You know, like using "freaking" or "friggin'" when we really could use the other word.  He added a few religious half-cuss words to spice up the routine, like when people use "Jeez" for Jesus, "Gosh" for God, and the like.  "Jeez Louise" would mean a half-invocation of Mother Mary of course.

This got me to a thinkin'.  Our culture uses several more half-cussin' religious words, like "darn" and "heck."  Then it came together.  I found that if I strung some of those half-cuss words together, I could create a half-cussin' theology.  I was looking for the right context to air this, and Dan's post was it.  The half-cusser has his own theology.  And when these words are strung together, albeit humorous for me, it really does seem to capture the weak theology of mainstream American evangelicalism.  So without further delay, I present to you the freaking theology of the half-cussin' man:

Unless you believe in Jeez, the Son of Gosh, you'll be darned to heck.  - Hezekiah 3:16

Thursday, February 10, 2011

John MacArthur on Public Criticism

Blogger Tim Challies conducted a ten question interview - on various topics - with evangelical pastor John MacArthur, and has split the interview into two parts on his blog,  In part 2 of this interview, Challies asks MacArthur the following question:

How can we best critique people who are “in our camp” and yet believe things different from us? Or behave in ways we do not appreciate? How can we know where to draw those lines?
In his response, which touches several aspects of criticism, MacArthur gives his own interpretation of people "in our camp," which he "understand[s] to mean those who affirm a biblical gospel but differ with us on secondary issues."  A final thought MacArthur gives on this subject is the following:

One final thought to add is this: I believe that it is appropriate to respond publicly to that which has been taught publicly. If someone has published something in a book or on a blog or preached it in a sermon (which has then been made available online), it is now subject to public critique. I certainly believe this is true with regard to my own teachings. Anything I have preached or published (and therefore made public) is consequently subject to public criticism. And I don’t consider my critics to necessarily be unloving just because they disagree with me. In fact, I welcome their feedback, because it is part of the sharpening process.

Very interesting.  Very interesting, indeed.  I think I'm going to hold on to this quote for those people who have been critical of the times other people have been critical of MacArthur and other public figures.  How do you criticize a critic for being critical?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Blog Spotlight?

I thought of an idea for a regular feature at From the Pew.  I might call it "Blog Spotlight."  There's a small play of words in there, seeing that one of the major blog hosts, Blogger, uses "blogspot" in its domain name.  Anywho, this feature would be a highliting of one blog per week that I read regularly.  I would include blogs I agree with, some I disagree with on some larger issues, some that don't have much to do with theology, blogs that stretch my thinking, or that have influenced my beliefs to a good degree, etc.  I have a wide variety of stuff I read from many different viewpoints, and I thought it might be good for the small number of readers I have to check those sites out.  Hopefully this will commence in a few weeks.  As always, stay tuned.

Monday, February 07, 2011

The Christian Cuss Word Flowchart

Courtesy of Dan from the Ekklesia in Southern Maine comes The Christian Cuss Word Flowchart.  If you've ever wondered just which semi-, quasi- or pseudo-cuss word to use in the presence of another Christian, this chart is for you.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Friday Night Potpourri - Another Late Edition

Crashing on Friday evening makes for a late potpourri.  Anyway, here goes:

  • The Stupor Bowl is tomorrow.  Should be a good game, but nobody really knows.  I think I'll cheer for the Pack because Raider fans hate the Steelers and so that they'll prevent them from winning their 7th Superbowl.
  • I almost ran over a couple of raccoons this week before sunrise.  They look a lot like cats until you see their stripes.
  • Our pee-wee baseball son has just been drafted by a team called the "A's."  I think I have an A's cap around here somewhere...
  • I'm waiting right now on a possible job to come through.  The wait will be killing me this next week or so.
  • Our fridge door doesn't close very well, so I fished out the 'structions to find out how to raise the front wheels so the door will gravity close.  You gotta have a gravity close capability with kids.
  • I'm wondering why they haven't applied smart technology to signal lights.  It seems that with all those cars sitting idle at lights when no other cars are going the other direction, ruining the environment, that somebody would want to make traffic flow more efficiently.  I guess not, though.
  • Another 70's radio staple.  Or maybe less than a staple and more of a song I remember well from junior high.  Love the slide guitar.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Active Worship: Reduced To Taking Sermon Notes?

Eric Carpenter at A Pilgrim's Progress posts Expositional Listeners? in questioning a concept Thabiti Anyabwile writes about in a book of his, What Is A Healthy Church Member.  He quotes Anyabwile's and comments:

"The first and most important mark of a healthy church is expositional preaching."  Anyabwile goes on to say that in response to this a healthy church member should be what he refers to as an "Expositional Listener."
Now, my purpose here is not to criticize Anyabwile.  I don't need to.  The concept of an expositional listener has been widely taught throughout my church experience.  What has also been frequently taught, as an extension of listening, is active note-taking of the sermon.  I agree with Carpenter that a church building full of passive listeners is not the model given to us in the bible, and that the model given to us of active participation from all the members for mutual edification is not often practiced.  In fact, I've only experienced such a thing twice in my life.

But why not extend it just one step further and claim that "expositional listening" of "expositional sermons" is best achieved through "expositional note-taking?"  Note-taking is an extension of listening, as I've been taught, so the note-taking would be expositional, right?  Is that the high point of our week?  Where does the bible admonish us to take good notes to glorify God?