Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tall Skinny Suffering of Children

Andrew Jones, aka the Tall Skinny Kiwi, types a few short paragraphs about allowing children to be children in and about the church, including when it meets.  It's very short so giving it a read will be easy as well as thought provoking.  Many of us have learned to be family oriented in many ways, but not so much when the church joins together.

Monday, September 26, 2011

But The Midweek Group Is My Church

Every church I've attended that claims to be Reformed has taught that the Sunday church meeting (aka worship service) is the central and most important event of the week for Christians.  If somebody had to decide to attend only one church activity during the week, the worship service should be it.  It contains the central focus of worship - the preaching of, and thus the listening to - the sermon, and singing and praying to the Lord.
Some people have neglected to attend on Sunday, but make other meetings during the week their main focus.  Inquiring leaders might get the reply, "But the midweek group is my church," and use the reply to warn against doing this.

But I'm wondering if those people aren't on to something.  Maybe they sense that those other weekly gatherings have more fellowship, more one-anothers, more stimulating one another to love and good deeds, more encouraging of one another (Heb 10:23-25) that is supposed to go along with not neglecting to assemble together.  And as Eric Carpenter writes at A Pilgrim's Progress, a former church of his had a built-in fellowship time that was very much enjoyed.  Arthur Sido, in the comments, notes that a former church his family attended had a difficult time getting people to stop fellowshipping during a built-in time so they could attend the formal teaching.  If more of the one-anothers that are listed in the New Testament occur in settings other than the Sunday meeting, why not allow somebody who realized this the benefit of the doubt in meeting during those other times?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday Night Potpourri

After a swing shift, Friday night at 11pm is my 5pm:
  • I've been thinking lately about switching Friday Night Potpourri to Saturday Night.  I'm working swings on Fridays and I usually crash immediately on Friday night after I get home.  Like last night.  I woke up on the couch in the wee hours with my blog editor still open and too tired to do anything other than go to bed.
  • I've encountered so many black widow spiders in the back yard it's hard to count.  I'm wondering why they only appear in the back yard.  It's been that way the last several houses I've lived in.
  • Leaves are beginning to drop in the back yard.  That means getting out the rusty leaf rake and putting it to use in the next few months.  Nothing like getting the rust worked out of a tool by using it.
  • I love a good cup of coffee every afternoon.  I'm not a morning coffee person, but usually have one after those post-lunch sleepy sessions kick in.  Makes the afternoon go faster and more efficient.
  • What is up with laptops and their bizarre keyboard mishaps?  I type and right in the middle of what I'm doing, large chunks of text are cut and pasted to other parts of the document and the vertical scroll bar goes wildly up and down.  I mentioned this to a co-worker the other day and he experiences the same things.  Then Mrs. Scott agreed.  Anybody have these woes and know what they are?
  • Popcorn ceilings. Or what everybody used to call "cottage cheese" ceilings. The inventor never took into consideration that kids and popcorn ceilings don't mix. Or... Must have been invented by the devil himself.  You've got to pick up all the little pieces...
  • song.

Friday, September 23, 2011

What Would Jesus Drive?

Occasionally I hear or read the question, "What would Jesus drive?" as if there were a certain type of car he would drive if he were living in our society today.  I think the answer is fairly simple.  Jesus said, "Lo, I will be with you, even to the end of the age."  He also said he would send us his spirit.  He also said that those who did/didn't do things to the least of his were doing it to him.  He told Saul of Tarsus that he was persecuting him.

So with all this, and the freedom we have in Christ, plus using wisdom in how we live, wouldn't it stand to reason that Jesus would drive whatever any of his followers would drive?  Except for an SUV, that is.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Can You Reform Yourself Out of Being Reformed?

Bobby Grow at the newer version of The Evangelical Calvinist asks, "Who's Reformed, And Who Cares?"  and discusses how we should define what it means to be included within the Reformed Faith of Protestant Christianity.  A clip:

[T]here are many classically Reformed proponents today who collapse what it means to be ‘Reformed’ into a fixed set of agreed upon Reformed Confessions (the so called Three Forms of Unity — viz. The Heidelberg Catechism, The Belgic Confession, and The Canons of Dort); if someone cannot sign off on even one of these ‘forms’ in toto, then their “Reformedness” is probably non-existent.
He quotes a commenter on an old post of his that answers this idea:

What are the core principles of Reformed orthodoxy? Are these primarily doctrines (e.g. election and divine sovereignty construed in a particular way), or are they primarily ethics of the way in which theology is to be carried out (e.g. semper reformanda)?... [M]y sense of the tradition and its founding is that the latter ethics are decisive.  That’s why there is no single confessional statement of Reformed orthodoxy (as with the Lutheran Formula of Concord), but rather a broad tradition of regional confessions that share a great deal of doctrinal similitude. Even where we would specify some doctrines as necessary to what it means to be in the Reformed tradition — such as election and the sovereignty of God — the ethic requires that these allow for a range of interpretive positions and not a fixed doctrinal expression. This gives Reformed thinkers the freedom to continually re-examine and re-express the truths that are encountered in Scripture.
And in his commenter's conclusion:

The greatest value of classic Reformed orthodoxy, in my view, is that classic Reformed orthodoxy does not have the last word.

I'm in agreement with Bobby and his commenter.  There seems to be a gatekeeper mentality within those who claim the Reformed tradition that includes a position as minister of definition.  It's clear to me, and I've written about it numorous times over the blogging years, that semper reformanda is the forgotten sola of the Reformation.  Maybe it's because it never was a sola to begin with.  The word reformed is in the past tense, as in already figured out.  If seeking to be reforming rather than already reformed means that some will strip a definition from you, then I'm fine with that.  The ethic really is more important than the label.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday Night Potpourri

A week is a week is a week:
  • Even if you don't write Friday Night Potpourri until Saturday afternoon.
  • Even if the Beatles wrote a song titled, "Eight Days A Week."
  • Especially when you think this FNP theme is cute then "This Week In Baseball" comes on.
  • One of the things about my temp job that I haven't experienced in several decades is that I get paid once a week.  This is so unusual that I don't quite know how to process it.  But a paycheck shows up every seven days instead of twice per month, and we're all thankful for that.
  • I've run out of "week" theme items so I'll switch to something random like breakfast cereals.  So there's a cereal called Reece's Puffs, a take off of Cocoa Puffs.  I guess some goof accidentally spilled some peanut butter in the Cocoa Puff recipe while in the General Mills laboratory.  Accidents happen.  Not that I would eat such a concoction.  I grew up on Wheaties, Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Shredded Wheat, Cinnamon Life and a half dozen other lessers.
  • The kids were bored late in the summer.  I can tell by all the stuff accumulated on the roof.  Cups, balls, newspapers, toys, rocks.  Time to get the ladder out and do some fall cleaning.
  • This last item has nothing whatsoever to do with a week.  Or so I've heard.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Still Yet Another Additional Anniversary of the World Not Ending

It's almost getting boring writing about this every September 6th, but today is the 17th anniversary of the sun not ceasing to shine, the moon not turning to blood and the stars not falling from the sky.  It is the 17th anniversary of Harold Camping's first of many, many failed eschatological predictions.  Having established a perfect record in his predictions, many of his followers ignore his prediction outcomes and believe in them anyway.  Even after every calendar in the world proves him wrong.

In one way, I wish his 1994 prediction had come true.  You see, Major League Baseball was in the middle of a player's strike, and the last game played before the strike was on a Thursday night, the only night game in the majors that night.  It was in Oakland and I was there sitting in the bleachers!  Had the world ended in September like Camping predicted, I would have had a ticket stub to the last game ever played in all of history!  Now how much would that ticket stub be worth today?  But as it was, the world didn't end and baseball played again in 1995.  Darn!  Or, should I say "damn!"?