Around the Horn: 1.19.12

January 19, 2012

How to Be A Miserable Comforter
Apart from the suffering of Jesus on the cross of Calvary the book of Job is the best biblical illustration of human suffering. In a few moments’ time Job, a great man of the east, lost all of his wealth (which was massive), his physical property, and his ten children. Though imperfect (he was a sinner) Job’s response of persevering faith in the God who is sovereign—while in the midst of his suffering, not just afterward—is exemplary.

Hey Football Fans, the Big Day is Nearly Here
From Michael Horton: God and football (baseball has fallen a bit) block and tackle for each other in American civil religion these days. Typically, in the reports I scanned, pastors were justifying their decision by appealing to the mission opportunity. Somehow, having the building full with people who want to be there for a game, but not for God’s saving service to sinners, is “missional.” In any case, the evening service has fallen by the wayside in many churches anyway—no conflict there. Yet even where there are such services, many sympathize with one pastor who said that it’s “a bit of a luxury,” especially “when it falls on a legal holy day [you read that right: holy day] like Super Bowl Sunday.”

On Media and Messages
From Carl Trueman: A few years ago, I was on a panel discussing the Puritans.  A member of the audience asked if I could provide `a few bullet points’ to summarise Puritan theology.  My mind immediately went to those passages of John Owen and Richard Baxter where they give the reader the fifteenth point of the seventeenth qualification of the twentieth application of a doctrine or passage.  `No, I’m afraid I can’t.’ I replied, `The Puritans were not bullet point people in the modern sense.’  As if to underline the point, the recording manager, now a respected RCA pastor in California, added a backtrack of a tommy-gun firing to the mp3 recording.

Owned by Ownership; The Need to Simplify
I have a cousin who moved to a new location and found that some boxes remained in her basement long after her new digs were fully established. One trash day, she brought a box to the curb, “I didn’t even open it. I figured if I hadn’t needed anything in that box for the last five years, I did not want to open it and talk myself into suddenly ‘needing’ to keep whatever was in there. It seemed healthier to just let it go.”  Over the course of a few months, she eventually got rid of all of her stored up boxes, and now she uses the basement for creative projects.

Is Hollywood Out of Touch with Middle America?
From Phil Cooke: Recently, the Christian Post interviewed me about Hollywood. It was a good article, but as most publications do, they only used a few short quotes. I thought I’d post the entire interview in case you might be interested in my comments.  Let me know what you think…

Christianity Today Goes on the Record Against Spanking
From Denny Burke:  There are a number of problems with this editorial, not the least of which is its unsatisfying interaction with the biblical issues at stake in this debate. The CT editorial relies almost entirely on William Webb’s trajectory hermeneutic—a way of interpreting the Bible that says modern readers sometimes need to move beyond the ethical instruction of scripture to an ethic that supercedes it.

Up In The Air
What should you avoid touching on an airplane? Pretty much everything.