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Why "A minor"?
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A minor


Friday, December 30, 2005

First Emerging, Now Calvinism!
Just saw this via the Rev Dr David Field's blog. Hilarious. (I assume you've already seen "You Might Be Emerging If...")

jon :: link :: comment ::

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Self-Deception & the Martyr Complex
One of the many things my pastors and teachers in Moscow taught me, following the late Rev Dr Greg Bahnsen, is that self-deception is powerful and dangerous. And it seems plain to me that when one begins to view every criticism or attack as a mark of being slandered for Christ's sake, one should beware of self-deception. The deceiving mind quickly says to itself, "I'm not being criticized for any mistakes or wrongdoing on my part; I'm being persecuted like Jesus was, and I count it all joy."

jon :: link :: comment ::

Friday, December 23, 2005

Holiday Shipping Tip
If you're trying to track your ExFed package, please use exfed.com or call 1-800-GO-EXFED. Don't call ExFed Kikno's. Believe it or not, we don't have operators standing by. And calling us won't save you any time - it will only waste both yours and mine. Now if only we can spread the word, maybe we'll be able to focus on our job for five minutes without having to answer fifty package tracking phone calls. Yes, I know ExFed Kikno's may be the only local ExFed number listed in your phonebook, but that's a sore subject and better left alone. Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from the evil of being driven nuts by the phone ringing off the wall.

(Names have been changed to protect the innocent and oppressed.)

jon :: link :: comment ::

Dear Santa
All I want for Christmas are sweet fat cheeks to kiss. Well, a sparkly necklace or earrings wouldn't hurt either.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Monday, December 19, 2005

Priesthood & Worship
Prompted by a discussion I've been participating in at The Cedar Room, I finally got around to reading all of Jeff Meyers' series of posts on "The Priesthood of All Believers" (4 Parts) and "All of Life Is Worship?" (so far, Parts 1 & 2). Definitely worth reading.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Friday, December 16, 2005

Welcome Home
Baby Evelyn was discharged from NICU this week - home just in time for Christmas!

jon :: link :: comment ::

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Narnian Ecclesiology
As I watched The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I had a thought that had never occurred to me before when reading the story - I wondered if perhaps Lewis was allegorizing his view of the future of the reunited church(es). At the end, we see four thrones: two kings and two queens. They're all equal, but Peter is the oldest and has primacy. Tradition says that Peter was the first bishop of Rome, the first pope. Edmund was a forgiven traitor, so perhaps he represents the American churches. Lucy seems to have a special place in Lewis's heart, and of course the head of the Church of England is the Queen. That leaves Susan. She is less developed and could perhaps represent the Eastern or Southern hemisphere churches (with their array of Orthodox, Anabaptist and charismatic Christians), with which Lewis would've been less familiar.

Now, even if I'm drawing the allegory too tightly, which I'm sure I am, consider the fact that there is unity and multiplicity. Peter has primacy, but he is primus inter pares, first among equals. There is but one Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, and while the pope is rightly honored by all, he is but one of many rulers.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"A Visionary Liturgy"
In the course of the discussion in the comments below, I was reminded of "A Visionary Liturgy" (Parts 1 and 2) by Jim Jordan. Fantasticly refreshing, this gives me something to hope for, to work toward and look forward to.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Monday, December 12, 2005

Obeisance & Charity
I posted this yesterday on a Reformed catholic discussion forum and thought I'd post it here, too, for further interaction:

When I was confirmed, I assumed there were Anglican churches where bowing and genuflecting weren't done. I'm still sure there are - the fact that a borderline Zwinglian like Zahl is dean of Trinity must mean he has supporters - but I have yet to see them. The conservative parishes in the local Episcopal diocese all have some Anglo-Catholic liturgical trappings, even if they're not terribly high church, and I'm starting to think that the Oxford Movement won out in ECUSA (wore out ECUSA?), as its influence is seen in all quarters - liberal, evangelical, and charismatic.

I even naively hoped there were (rare) Anglican churches where the Eucharist was received sitting, but I'm now sure I'll probably never see that (unless I make it happen one day).

[I now have it on good authority - from a transitional deacon in the Church of England - that bowing to the altar/table is far less common in England and perhaps the worldwide Anglican Communion, which only confirms my suspicions that the Oxford Movement won here but lost at home and in the British Empire as a whole. This deacon even serves a congregation that receives the Supper seated in their chairs!]

That said, call me a courtly Romantic, but I've always been compelled by throne-room imagery, bowing the knee before the king, etc. Even this afternoon as we watched Narnia, I almost wanted to bow the knee at one point in the theater. (How dumb is that? I should really stop using this as a confessional.)

So, to play devil's advocate, if we can bow to men, and if we can bow before the Lord in prayer (with the saints in His heavenly throne-room), then how do we know that bowing before bread & wine or the cross is bowing to man-made objects? What if it's just coincidental? What if the worshiper is really bending the knee before the Lord (who happens to be a man, the God-man Himself)? What if the objects just inspire the person to remember the Lord, and the person is kneeling before the Lord, not to the objects at all? Now, perhaps this is sophistry that leads down a dangerous path. On the other hand, perhaps we're being Pharisaical and judgmental toward others' expressions of piety if we say their worship is idolatrous or gives the appearance of idolatry. How do we know they're engaging in idolatry? What if God's gifts of bread & wine or memorial objects such as crosses just make them want to bow down and worship their liege Lord?

jon :: link :: comment ::

Friday, December 9, 2005

Advent Calendars
We'd been looking for an Advent calendar for a couple weeks. Then we went into Toys"R"Us one day and saw the Playmobil Animal Christmas Advent calendar (which sets up like this) on sale for $15. Now, I'm probably one of the few Southern American guys my age who played with Playmobil as a child (all because my mom once found a police set on sale at K-Mart or somewhere...Kmart Manager 1: "Who the hell ordered these weird German toys?" Kmart Manager 2: "Beats me." Kmart Manager 1: "Clearance those ugly things."), and I really enjoyed it. However, this eventually led to my brothers' having so much Playmobil that, with all their cops, robbers, coyboys, Indians, pirates, warriors, etc, they could probably end the war in Iraq tomorrow if they really wanted. So I was reluctant to buy another Playmobil set for our Advent calendar, and we kept shopping. But seeing as there's not much of a retail Advent calendar market, we didn't find much. (We did, however, find some fun online calendars, one for kids, one for adults, one for the not-necessarily-Christian - even one for mainline Presbyterians!) In the end, though, we bought the Playmobil one, and I'm glad we did. Our boys have been enjoying it so much that I'm sure they'll remember it for years to come. And so the tradition endures....

jon :: link :: comment ::

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

PoohsThink & Evantine
Michael Metzler's now blogging at PoohsThink instead of at Blog and Mablog. Sorry, Mike...couldn't resist! Despite our excessive conflict and good times, the (fall '95) semester that Michael and Matthew Greydanus and (practically) Aaron Booth and I roomed together was, in retrospect, one of the richest, most memorable seasons of my life thus far. Among the best times were the regular meals, smokes, and conversations Michael and I enjoyed with the Oracle at the Big Haus (where Aaron really lived), just a block from our apartment. In other news, Evan Wilson is now blogging!

jon :: link :: comment ::

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