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Archive for August, 2008

You know, if Dave Barry was a TV commentator at the Democratic convention, I might watch.

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Come on down

Just a quick note to call your attention to our 2008-9 Bucer Institute schedule and activities. On Friday night, September 12 at 7:00, we’ll be having our annual convocation banquet with Jim Jordan as our speaker (great food, stimulating fellowship, and all for only $10 per plate!). Then on Saturday morning at 9:00, we begin the semester with the first class of Jim’s Old Testament Survey Course (he will give four lectures on the book of Genesis). It’s going to be just fine in every way and everyone who would like to come is welcome.

(If you go to the Bucer Institute site, you can see the rest of the schedule for this semester . . . Jeff Meyers is coming, as is Ralph Smith, along with our regulars, Duane Garner and George Thompson — wondermous in excelsis).

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I didn’t know that seminaries that hold to the Westminster Confession and the Three Forms of Unity tolerated professors who engage in slander. Did you?

Well, live and learn as they say.

Seems like he’d have better things to do though.

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It’s amazing how free some people are to pass along false charges. I was just sent a link to this page which is supposed to tell us about Reformed denominations. It’s supposed to be a “primer” so what’s the harm, right?

But as we go down the page, we find this statement next to the CREC entry: “Composed of Presbyterian, and Reformed Baptist churches, but more congregational in church order. They allow believers and infant baptism and communion, depending on what the local church says, Many advocates of the Federal Vision heresy,which denies justification by faith alone, have come here (e.g. Steve Wilkins), but thankfully there are also members who do not follow this movement (e.g., RC Sproul, Jr).”

(the red ink is the author’s, not mine — and so is the mysterious comma after “the local church says”).

Aside from the unsubstantiated charge of “heresy” there’s the statement identifying the “Federal Vision” with a position that “denies justification by faith alone.” This in spite of the fact that everyone I know who would be identified as a “Federal Visionist” affirms “justification by faith alone.” Speaking for AAPC, here’s point #1 of the statement we adopted in 2006 in an attempt to put some slanders to rest:

1. We affirm that justification is received by faith alone and is not grounded in any sense upon man’s works.

We further affirm the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the sinner. We have never viewed human works as the ground (either partial or total) of justification before God. We have never taken any exception to the statement of this truth found in the Westminster Confession of Faith and catechisms. We unanimously adopted our summary statement on “Covenant, Baptism, and Salvation” which included this affirmation in the first point:

“Salvation is by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and not of works. It is founded upon the obedience, death, and resurrection of the faithful Second Adam, Jesus Christ. Justification is an act of God’s free grace wherein sinners are accepted as righteous in God’s sight by virtue of the righteousness of Christ imputed to them and received by faith alone (WSC Q. 33). This justifying faith is always accompanied by all other saving graces and virtues (WCF 11.2). Justifying faith, therefore, is never vain but one that works by love (Gal. 5:6).”

This is the position we have always held, never denied, and, God willing, a position from which we will never depart.

is this really unclear? Or do we have another case of a Christian who has no regard for truth while he supposedly defends the truth (and, yes, in case you’re wondering, I tried to deal with this privately, but the email address provided by the author [like his moral compass] was not in working order).

Having now seen all the denunciations, refutations, accusations, and rebukitations from individuals and respected denominations against the “Federal Vision” I am forced to conclude that what has now come to be identified as the “Federal Vision” is not a position I hold or have ever held — and I happily join with the PCA, OPC, RPCNA, RCUS, RPCUS, UCRC, ARP, GMAC, AARP, UAR, RCA, ESPN, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, NPR, UAW, and Wikipedia, in denouncing this position and whoever in the world might possibly hold it (though I have no idea who they might be). I say with a clear and, please note, courageous voice, “If you’re out there, you are walking around under my official CENSURE!” And I hope you feel guilty and repent!

(And don’t look at me like that, you know who you are)

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Well waddaya know

Did you ever hear this about Andy Warhol?

“Though he was surrounded by hard-partying rock stars and artists, he lived with his mother, and he went to a Catholic church almost every Sunday. His friends said that he never took drugs and only drank occasionally.”
interesting.

(I love The Writers Almanac)

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Braves win

I grew up during a time when major league baseball was played completely in the North. The closest team (and the only one I could listen to on a semi-regular basis) was the St. Louis Cardinals (with announcer Harry Carey). I listened over KMOX and grew to love Harry and his wheezy play-by-play. But the Cardinals were not my team. My team was the Milwaukee Braves. Why? I never got to see them on TV. I never got to listen to their games (until they came to St. Louis to play). But they were my team because I lived in Mobile, Alabama, and that was the home of Hank Aaron, Tommy Aaron, and Frank Bolling (all Mobilians) and for that reason (and their incredibly beautiful uniforms), the Braves were my team.

In 1965, my team miraculously moved to Atlanta, Georgia. I couldn’t believe it. Not only a real major league team was playing in the South, but MY TEAM was playing in the South! Dad took me over to see a game in the first season and it was unbelievable (I have a copy of the 8mm film of our visit to Fulton County Stadium and still get the chills when I watch it).

Now, with the Braves in Atlanta, I got to listen to MY TEAM every night. Glorious. And, of course, we had the greatest announcers ever. I loved Milo Hamilton but when Milo left, my favorite announcer of all time became the Braves’ announcer, Skip Carey (Harry’s son). Skip was incredible. A truly great announcer and hilariously funny (which was very important during the late 60s and 70s when the Braves were so terrible — Skip’s quips were about the only reason to listen, since we usually lost). But Skip always kept us hopeful and entertained.

Then finally, after one of their worst seasons ever (1990), the Braves began an incredible run. They won the divisional title for 14 straight years and Skip Carey was in top form and Braves’ fans enjoyed every minute of it. Perhaps no game exemplified these years more than the 7th game of the 1992 divisional playoff series against Pittsburgh.

The Braves were behind 2-0 to the Pirates in the bottom of the 9th. The Pirates brought in their closer Doug Drabek. Drabek gave up a double (to Terry Pendleton), then second baseman, Jose Lind, made an error allowing David Justice to reach. Then Sid Bream walked. Drabek was replaced by the other Pirate ace, Stan Belinda. Belinda gave up a sac fly (to make the score 2-1). There were 2 outs and men on 2nd and 3rd (Bream at second Justice on 3rd) when Francisco Cabrera (the Braves’ 3rd string catcher/utility man came up).

Every Braves’ fan can tell you what happened next. It was unforgetable. Listen to “the call” made by Skip Carey. Listen to it and tell me if it’s not one of the greatest calls ever made. Most of us never heard it live . . . we were screaming and going nuts over what we were watching on the TV screen as Sid Bream (one of the slowest players in baseball) came huffing and puffing around third with the throw from Barry Bonds coming in. It was an incredible moment and probably the happiest of my “baseball fan life.”

Now, what brought all this on???

This morning I heard the news that Skip Carey died in his sleep yesterday afternoon in his home in Atlanta. I never got to meet him but still, he was one of my ole friends and I’m going to miss him.

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