Thursday, December 18, 2014

Know the Heretics, and other book reviews

The posting of book reviews does not constitute endorsement of the books or book reviews that are linked.

* Book Review: ‘American Apocalypse’ -- "Sutton, a historian at Washington State University, argues that this form of evangelicalism, a precursor to today’s religious right, did not, as most histories have maintained, isolate itself from political affairs."
* Book Review: Come Out of Her My People by C.J. Koster -- "While "Come Out of Her My People" contains some good information and great Scripture verses, it also employs fallacious reasoning, reaching and subtle twists to come to their conclusions."
* Book Review: 'Hardball Religion' by Wade Burleson -- "...readers who are unfamiliar with the events recorded do not always receive full background or sufficient context."
Book Review: Know the Heretics -- "Who was Pelagius and why should the members of my church bother to find out? Why should we be interested in Arius’s ideas about Jesus Christ..."
* Book Review of Distinctly Baptist: Proclaiming  Identity in a New Generation -- "This text is unique in that it is really a collection of sermon manuscripts."
* Book Reviews, A Distinctively Baptist Church: Renewing your Church in Practice -- "Based on the premise in these post-modern days that many Baptists have either forgotten or neglected what it means to be a Baptist..."
* Book Reviews: Heaven Is For Real -- "Embarking on a short tour of the afterlife is all the rage, it seems."
* Man Realizes Dream of Becoming a Doctor Despite Cerebral Palsy -- (As much or more bio as book review)
* Victory through the Lamb: A Guide to Revelation in Plain Language – Book Review -- "Mark Wilson has provided a readable and helpful survey of the Book of Revelation with accompanying stories of faithful saints and martyrs...My concerns about the book are based on what I view as questionable hermeneutics and eschatology."

Hawker's heart

"All my springs are in thee."—Psalm lxxxvii. 7.

"Jesus is the source, the fountain, the author, the finisher of all our mercies; for every thing of life and salvation, of grace and glory, flow from him, centre in him; and therefore in him and from him, as the source of blessedness, all our springs must flow. In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily ." 
-- Robert Hawker - 1753-1827

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Marriage, mostly

The posting of links and quotes does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked or the comments quoted.

"Marriage is not created by the state, nor is it created by the church. Marriage precedes both church and state, and both are responsible to recognize it wherever it happens." -- John Stonestreet

"It is not good to repent of a sickness and it is not good to treat a sin." -- Karl Menninger (To replace sin with pathology, and repentance with recovery, makes you unable to deal with sin as a spiritual problem.)

"You are only thankful when you realize it is all a gift." -- copied

"Marriage is but one of the channels God uses to enable us to taste how deeply satisfying His thirst-quenching grace can be." -- Sinclair B. Ferguson

"Common sense isn't common except to the believer." -- Steve Brown

"As God by creation made two of one, so again by marriage He made one of two." -- Thomas Adam

"I want my marriage to be like the Earth -- full of life and revolving around the Son." -- Jennifer Smith

* Americans share views on marriage, church and state roles -- "Six in 10 say the government should not define or regulate marriage."
* Arguing Against Gay Marriage -- "The vast majority of Americans no longer believe in the authority of Scripture. So how do we argue against gay marriage in a way that our neighbors can understand?"
* Christian With Christian Message Refused Service by 13 Pro-homosexual Bakers -- "It was the baker’s dozen of discrimination."
* Investing in Hope: Speaking of sin -- "Many of us find it difficult to talk about sin these days, even in church services. It’s just not in vogue in modern America."
* Marriage crisis predated gay marriage, ERLC speakers say -- "...Albert Mohler opened the event by saying the crisis regarding the biblical, traditional definition of marriage as a permanent union of a man and a woman began “with the heterosexual subversion of marriage.”
* The Inconsistent Stance of Christians on Marriage -- "Sexual immorality is sexual immorality. The Lord does not value one sin over the other. He literally hates divorce."
* The scandal of evangelical silence on divorce -- "If I asked you to name the “hot button” social issues of concern to Christians...what probably wouldn’t come to mind is the high incidence of divorce."
* To Go or Not to Go: Why We Shouldn't take 'The Marriage Pledge' Too Soon -- "...Ephraim Radner and Christopher Seitz have offered what they refer to as “The Marriage Pledge,” calling clergy of all stripes to no longer sign government documents of civil marriage."

Pay or pay

Yahoo and others are reporting this story: 21-Year-Old Sues Parents for College Tuition — and Wins.

This is a sad situation at several levels. But what are the implications of courts making the decision that parents must pay for their child's college education? Sounds positively ludicrous to me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Philpot's Portions

"The Apostle declares, "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (1 Cor. 6:17). If, then, we are joined to the Lord, in other words, have a union with him, this is the closest of all unions. A man and his wife are one flesh, but Jesus and the saint are one spirit. If possessed of this we are one spirit with him; we understand what he says; we have the mind of Christ; we love what he loves, and hate what he hates. But out of this spiritual union flows communion with him, intercourse with him, communications from him, and the whole of that divine work upon the heart whereby the two spirits become one. The Spirit of Christ in his glorious Person and the Spirit of Christ in a believing heart meet together, and meeting together as two drops of rain running down a pane of glass, or two drops of oil, kiss into each other, and are no longer two but one. Now if you have been ever blest with a manifestation of Christ, your spirit has melted into his, and you have felt that sweet union and communion with him that you saw as with his eyes, heard as with his ears, felt as with his heart, and spoke as with his tongue."
-- J. C. Philpot - 1802-1869

Fish Fry and Fasola, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

* Article on Sacred Harp Composer Raymond C. Hamrick in Georgia Music News -- "In addition to his seven songs in The Sacred Harp, 1991 Edition, one hundred of Hamrick’s shape-note compositions are collected in The Georgian Harmony (2010)."
* Fifth Sunday Singing -- "Minutes from alternative sources singing at Lin and Benny’s..."
* Fish Fry and Fasola: The Harrods Creek/Bob Meek Memorial Convention -- "The weekend started with our traditional Fish FRYday at Vine Street Baptist Church."
* Gathering Spaces: Shape Note Singing, the Tradition -- "In the early 1980s a group of people started getting together to sing shape note music in Madison."
* Music in African American Culture -- "A distinctive feature of shapenote singing is that the singers sing the note names—do-re-mi-a-sol-la-ti-do—before singing the words to the song."
* O Holy Night -- "A cappella rendition of “O Holy Night”"
* Performing Community: the Place of Music, Race and Gender in Producing Appalachian Space -- "Traditional, participatory music is a powerful medium through which people express and shape their ideas about identity, mobility, social relations, and belonging, and through which people are in turn shaped."
* Sacred Harp Singing Finds a Way Back to the Mainstream -- "He sat on the steps listening to the sounds that were so unique and so captivating, even at age 12, he knew it was his music."
* Shape Note: America’s Oldest Music Now Sung Around the World -- "Unbeknownst to many, the oldest form of written music in America is gaining international appeal."
* Singing Convention Attracts Thousands -- "The Macon County Singing Convention, five thousand strong, visited Lafayette Sunday."

Monday, December 15, 2014

Conversation, and other quotes

"Prejudice and mistreatment never moves away, but it does move around." -- Bart Barber

"We do not deliberate, for we have decided. To be for ever holding the truth of God, as though it might yet turn out to be a lie, were to lose all the comfort of it." -- Charles Spurgeon

"There are some things which do not need an “ongoing conversation” -- because God has already spoken." -- Mike Leake

"God has spoken. Therefore, every other conversation must be subservient to His conversation." -- Mike Leake

"Think as wise men do, but speak as the common people do." -- Aristotle

"Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened." – Winston Churchill

"When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear." -- Thomas Sowell

"Proud ignorance is no better than proud knowledge." -- Douglas Wilson

The New Generation (in 1929)

"The only thing recognized in matters of morals, the only standard for the definition and measure of God and things divine will be personal experience. Those who attempt to bind the conscience, direct the soul, and set before it a definite concept of God and a fixed line of conduct in respect to Him and to one another will be looked upon, not only as narrow bigots, but as intolerable tyrants, as criminal hinderers to all true knowledge. The new generation is intoxicated with the rallying cry of 'self-expression.'"

I. M. Haldeman, in Why I Am Opposed To Modernism, 1929

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Not just gay issues, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

* CDC: Circumcision benefits outweigh risks -- "The thinking on circumcision has swung wildly over the years...By one estimate, only 25 percent of U.S. male newborns were circumcised in 1900."
* Dear Evangelicals: You’re Being Had -- "The trouble is, you’re trying to solve cultural problems with political solutions—because politicians have convinced you to do so."
* Ethiopia Destroys Evangelical Church Building; 100 Christians Forced Underground -- "The Y Semay Birihan Church, or Heaven’s Light Church, was demolished last week by Shenkore district police in the heavily Islamic city of Harar..."
* How To Stock A Probiotic Pantry -- "Your gut is teeming with trillions of bacteria that help you digest food as well as thwart intruders — and it turns out, you can give those friendly bacteria a boost by adding probiotics to your body."
* Michael Brown's stepdad investigated for comments -- "...police are trying to determine whether Brown's stepfather, Louis Head, was attempting to incite a riot on Nov. 24 when he screamed "Burn this ---- down" to a crowd of protesters..."
* Not just gay issues: Why hundreds of congregations made final break with mainline denominations -- "Departing Presbyterian leaders...concerns included claims that the denomination was overly politicized and weakening biblical authority and traditional teaching on the divinity of Jesus."
* Shocking Footage: Rick Warren Embraces Roman Catholicism -- "Rick Warren...did this truly astounding promotional video for the Vatican, discussing what Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church had in common and how we could participate in shared causes."

Dangers of the Internet

In "Computers: Their Use and Abuse," Shaun Willcock points out some of the dangers the internet* poses:
* Firstly, it is a threat to your time.  How easily, how quickly, it can become all-absorbing, and before you know it you have idled away hours of precious time.
* Secondly, it is a place of great temptation. Well over half the world’s internet use is for accessing pornography. The devastating effects of porn are wreaking havoc across all societies.
* Thirdly, it is riddled with false doctrine and false religion...Not every website is sound. Not every “fact” is truly a fact.  It is astounding how gullible people are.
* Fourthly, can so easily cause an absolute information overload...They are constantly taking in information. Their heads swirl with information. They never relax. 
* which he also points out can be an amazing and wonderful tool

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Backwards towns

People not from East Texas often think that our people and our places are backwards. Sometimes our towns are too! In the county where I work and just to the south of where I live -- Nacogdoches County -- we have three towns whose names were created by spelling a name backwards -- Mahl, Reklaw, and Sacul. 

Reklaw and Sacul are results of changing the names to suit the postal service. Reklaw was intended to be Walker, for Margaret Walker. She donated the land for the town site. But there was a Walker, Texas elsewhere (where, I don't know), and they resubmitted the name, simply spelling it backwards. The same with Sacul. The town site was laid out on land that was owned by the Lucas family. But there was already a Lucas in Collin County, Texas. The application for a post office was accepted when resubmitted as Sacul.

Mahl (rhymes with "ball") was founded circa 1902 when the Texas & New Orleans Railroad was brought through this area. This name looks funny forwards or backwards! It is supposed to be the reversal of the last name of a T &NO railroad official -- Lham. Though Mahl once had a school, two stores, a church, a blacksmith shop, and a cotton gin, only the church and (very small) cemetery remain. 

These are the "backwards towns" I know of. I searched online and found a few more:

* Byspot, Texas. According to Bob Bowman, Byspot (in San Jacinto County) was a community named by J. O. H. Bennett for his wife Topsy. Topsy B. (first name and initial from last name) was spelled backward. Probably never much more than a logging and farming community, Byspot nevertheless had a post office until 1921. 
* Notla, Texas in Ochiltree County began as Half-Way "in 1906, when Bud Westerfield and Frank L. Hamilton purchased land in that vicinity." A few years after Hamilton moved to his land in 1916, a post office was obtained under the name Notla. That was a backward spelling of Alton -- for the Alton Grocery Company of Enid, Oklahoma, of which Hamilton was a part owner. (from
* Remlig, Texas in Jasper County in now considered a "ghost town". A mill town was established here by Alexander Gilmer in 1905. A post office was established that year with the reversed spelling of Gilmer's name -- since there was already a Gilmer, Texas in Upshur County. (from
* Saxet, Texas. Yes, there was once a Texas town that was Texas spelled backwards. Saxet, in Shelby County, developed around a spur of the Santa Fe railroad line. After the spur was removed the community eventually died out.
Semordnilap (palindromes spelled backward) was coined by Martin Gardner to name/stand for words that spell a different word backwards (e.g. stressed/desserts). Some have used this term to refer to town names developed by spelling a word in reverse -- though there is some difference between the two ideas. Others call such words "reversible anagrams." Regardless, the development of town names by spelling other words backwards has a unique and interesting history.

Do you know other town names that were created by spelling another name in reverse?

Note 1: In searching the total of Find-A-Grave (all countries) I did not find the last name "Lham" listed.
Note 2: Of these towns, Notla in not in East Texas. Ochiltree County is in the Panhandle, bordering...wait for it...Texas County, Oklahoma.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Pulpit silence, and other quotes

"This silence from the pulpit has surely contributed to the sexual chaos we are in (as well as our capitulation to pervasive behaviors). The Church’s influence over sexual norms has waned greatly in the past thirty years. Our views on everything from masturbation to premarital sex to homosexuality have radically changed. Exhorting people to experience and enjoy a sexual union only in the confines of a permanent union between a man and a woman is viewed as archaic; it is generally maligned today." -- John Johnson in The Golden Rule and Hookup Culture

"The reason we [Christians] have lost the culture war is that we set out to win it." -- Bob Browning

"A desperate man is that one who has been stripped of all optimism and has one last hope. Those who are brought to such a place seek help in none other and shall surely find that for which they seek." -- Mike McInnis

“I got my heart's desire, and there my troubles began.” -- Lev Grossman

"Jesus did not become God. God became Jesus." -- copied

"There are just some ways of doing things that are not suitable for godly worship." -- Wayne Walker

"The only thing I can't resist is temptation." -- Oscar Wilde

"Forgiveness is never free." -- copied

"Why buy the cow if you get the milk for free?" -- copied

"In biblical studies you have to recognize that the Holy Spirit just might have led other believers to see a few things too." -- David Lutzweiler

"Enough water eventually wears down the rock." -- copied

"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn." -- John Cotton Dana

"Rare indeed are men whose mirrors reflect no flaws." -- copied

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed.” -- Francis Bacon

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christian Kids Beheaded, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

* Catholic Bishops: Obama's 'Gender Identity' Order Is Anti-Church -- "At least one strictly Orthodox Jewish group, Agudath Israel of America, has also lobbied against the order..."
* Christian farm owners will no longer host wedding ceremonies after gay couple's lawsuit -- "'They have chosen to stay true to their religious convictions,' says attorney."
* Christian Kids Beheaded By ISIS Monsters -- "The brutality isn’t limited to children under 15. Islamic terrorists also cut the throats of Yazidi babies. In one village, they killed more than 100 children and have sold girls as sex slaves for $172."
* FBC Decatur, Ga., elects openly gay deacon -- "A flagship Cooperative Baptist Fellowship congregation in Atlanta voted Nov. 23 to approve a slate of deacons including an openly gay man in a committed, same-sex relationship."
* Five items Congress deleted from Madison’s original Bill of Rights -- "There were some very significant deletions as his proposed list went through the House and Senate, and Madison himself took part in the decisions to edit out some of his own ideas."
* Is It Time to Write the Eulogy?: The Future of Seminary Education -- "There are countless reasons for the crisis, some of them as old as the professional preparation of clergy itself."
* LGBT Strikes Again: Comply or Die -- "...the LGBT leadership insists the world embrace their chosen sexual paths, or face hostile intimidation and expensive legal battles."
* Plano Passes Radical LGBT Anti-Religious Freedom Ordinance -- "Late last night, the Plano City Council held its first and only public hearing and voted, 5-3, to pass a new controversial non-discrimination ordinance."
* Triple slaying touches three Florida Baptist churches -- "One lost its pastor, another is consoling a pastor whose daughter is now a widow and a third has family connections to the murder suspect."
* What If Atheists Were Defined By Their Actions? -- "Neil deGrasse Tyson...has as much interest in meeting with other people to discuss their absence of belief in God as in meeting with non-golfers to talk about their absence of a passion for watching golf."
* When Congress last used its powers to declare war -- " total, war declarations were declared by Congress in the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II."