He missed methods and research

Famous Blogger Adrian Warnock has apparently found the elusive historical proof that the gifts didn't cease after the apostolic age. Now, since Dr. Warnock has disabled comments on his blog, let me comment on his citation and his link here.

20 years ago, I took a class in college called "Methods and Research" (501), and I am certain that Dr. Warnock took a similar class after he completed his undergrad equivalent. In that class, you learn really two things: [1] How to find facts, or substantiate them, and [2] how to cite your sources so that others can track them down and you can legitimize your findings.

I say that to draw attention to Dr. Warnock's citation:
(Quoted in Eusebius pages 209-210)
Now, technically, Dr. Link Troll Warnock linked his source for that quote, so technically Dr. Warnock has not mis-cited his source. But his source has completely botched the citation.

Eusebius, I am sure you know, was a 3rd century Bishop who didn't write any books -- at least, not as we count them as books. So Eusebius didn't publish anything with page numbers. And there is no extant work named "Eusebius" which yields us the quote Dr. Warnock has posted.

The correct citation of this quote, FWIW, is The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine, which is actually written by Eusebius, and the on-line edition is found at Google Books, edited by G.A. Williamson, pg 153, and it is Eusebius citing Irenaeus on the continuation of the gifts in a work we know as Against Heresies. And sadly, for Eusebius, Dr. Warnock's source, and Dr. Warnock, this passage does not appear in Irenaeus at all.

I'd be glad for Dr. Warnock or his source to prove for us otherwise.

Carry on.

morning human interest story

Video of Sarah Palin has surfaced in which a Kenyan bishop blesses her with a protection from Witchcraft.

Now, here's why I bring it up:

[1] I wonder why a blessing of this sort is such an issue? Does the Obama campaign have something against the religion of witchcraft, or does it endorse the idea that witchcraft is a legitimate religious practice which, often, stands opposed to some Christian beliefs?

[2] I wonder if there is any footage of Joe Biden at the Catholic Easter service renouncing "Satan" and "All his evil works", thereafter to be sprinkled by the priest at-hand? And would this public renunciation cause a stir among the secularists? Prolly no video there as pulling out a camera during the mass is a frowned upon, but it's a question that people who hate religionists should ask.

[3] I wonder if any of the so-called "God-bloggers" (Malkin, Hewitt, their ilk) have an ability to respond to the charge that this video is somehow incriminating toward Governor Palin? Check back on this post, and as necessary I'll link back to their responses.

drive-by Q 'n' a

Questions from another blog:
Do complementarians who restrict the pastoral office to men and Roman Catholics who say only men can be priests do so for the same reasons?
No. The RCC restricts women from the priesthood as a matter of church discipline and Papal authority, as declared by JPII at least twice during his time in Rome.

We Prots do it because that's what Paul instructed Timothy and Titus to do.
Do protestants also believe the pastor is an alter Christus?
No. The pastor does not offer a sacrifice for the people.
Can women who are not pastors be ordained?
That's a more complicated question than it looks like. Can they be endorsed into some kind of ministry? I think so. Can they be ordained into leading and teaching the church? Nope.

Short, sharp shock

OK -- somehow the question of whether or not Clay Aiken is a sinner has come up in the blogosphere.

Let me put it to you this way: if he's not a sinner, he's only the second one ever born. So quibbling over whether some confession or label or practice "makes him a sinner" is stupid: he was a sinner yesterday before you read the headlines, and he's a sinner now after you have read the headlines.

Just like you. Just like me.

Your vote counts

Vote for the PyroManiacs for best religion blog, 2008.

good stuff

Usually, when I link you to something, deep down inside I am thinking either "I wish I had written that" or "I could have written that -- but I'm glad someone else did." read this by D.A. Carson and think about this: this is way better than I could have written on the subject of Gospel and good works.

Die to defeat death

JT posted a link to Phil Johnson's comments on Erwin McManus at TeamPyro, and the comment thread (of course) became a referendum on what a hater Phil is. In the course of that, I said this:
also for the record, I think [another commenter] [doesn't] really understand the Gospel. Whether that's a log or a spec or a problem with what's in my eye and not yours remains to be seen.

Let's start here: why should someone who believes in the Gospel be willing to die for the Gospel? That is to ask, if we agree that Jesus' death is the Gospel, if I trust Jesus' death as good news to all men, why would I be willing to die for it?
And the reason I asked this is that it's crucial to understanding something about Phil's comment against McManus, and about why Gospel preaching is different than motivational speaking.

Think about this with me: imagine Zig Ziglar (whom I like and respect, btw) was taken to court and was told, "Zig, your books and tapes have helped some people, but they have actually hurt a lot of people by giving them false hope. Those people have filed a class-action suit against you, and we can't calculate the damages because they run so high -- so the court is handing down this decision: either shut down your fraudulent scam company and take all your books off the market, or receive the death penalty as punishment for more than $100 trillion in damages."

You think Zig would take the death penalty? Personally, I don't think Zig would take the death penalty. I think he'd make a fine speech and then shut his company down because frankly his company is not worth dying for. There's not that much at stake.

In that, I think we have to come to grips with something in the Gospel: it is not about how we achieve anything. It's not a how-to manual -- except maybe a how-to make the world hate you and to receive persecution for loving God. If you think the Gospel is about how you get anything, I think you are overlooking what the problem is.

The problem is that your "getting" causes you to get condemnation because you inherently want the wrong things. Instead of wanting God and His blessings, for example, you want to be "like God" -- that seems like a good thing to you, to know the difference between good and evil and bee God's peer rather than His created servant -- and you then disobey God in order to somehow become "like" Him.

The Gospel is not how you "get" anything. It is how you are therefore gotten out of sin. See: it is right to say in one respect that this means we are saved out of death. But in a very real way, it also means we are saved into death.

We are saved into Christ's death, which looks pretty good, right? He died so we don't have to die in punishment for what we have done. That's the great exchange.

But here's the kicker, according to Paul:
    Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
To die is gain.

That's an interesting place for a guy who is preaching Good News to wind up, isn't it? That death is frankly something which a Christian can look forward to? Because he also says to Timothy:
    You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. ...Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.The saying is trustworthy, for:If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithfulfor he cannot deny himself.
Paul says that the Gospel is worth enduring hard things, even up to an including death -- because death is not a defeat after Christ's resurrection.

In that, it's right to die a little in order to tell people the truth. In the little part of 2 Timothy I dropped out, Paul says he does these things for the sake of the elect, which is his way of saying, who those to whom it will matter.

You know: not to make sure everyone reaches their full potential, or that they find ways to develop and unleash personal and organizational creativity, uniqueness, innovation and diversity. The Gospel is there so that death doesn't swallow us up while we are creating environments that expand imagination, unleash creativity, and maximize the creative potential in every individual and organization.

That's what Phil was talking about -- it's cruel and stupid to make people feel really good about what they are doing right now if what they are doing right now is walking very quickly and creatively into hell.

Somehow, we have to be willing to die for the Gospel.

don't hand me a calendar

Well, I was going to do other things tonight, but as God wills things one of my kids had to go (back) to the hospital (not life-threatening, but urgent and important), so I am here at home for the night with the other sleeping one and I can chat with all of you about Genesis 3, or Genesis 1, or the Lord's Supper, or all of it eventually.

So the quandry I posed to you people was this:
    Now, if all of you would put aside your well-catechized systematics for 10 minutes today, I want you to re-read Genesis 3 and tell us in 10,000 characters or less what the purpose or objective of Genesis 3 is.
and we got some answers, all of which are totally adequate. Totally orthodox and fine answers -- and I think all of them really miss the actual purpose and objective of Genesis 3.

Sorry all. You all did really fine things summarizing the narrative. Not one of you really went after why these events matter. Daniel, btw, came really, really close -- which is why he's a side-kick.

Look: in broad-brush form, Gen 3 opens with the serpent asking Eve about what God told her to do, Eve exaggerates God's command, and the serpent then tells her that God is afraid she will become like Him. So Eve eats the fruit because it seems like a good idea, and her husband takes the fruit because she handed it to him, and they both are immediately ashamed.

Now, think about this: while He isn't even really present in a stage-blocking of this scene, the main character of this exchange is God. What did God say? What did God mean? What does God intend? Can you be like God? The temptation of Eve and the fall of Adam is centered on who is God, both in the sense of identity, and in the sense of authority.

And as God then enters, stage left, He asks all the questions and then He hands down all the final answers. That is, Adam and Eve have done something and God does something greater. God doesn't ask, "So what should I do with you now? Let's figure out something equitable because I need a gardener, and you people sometimes do good work."

God hands down both judgment and mercy, and what He says -- that's what goes. The snake crawls on his belly, the woman has pain and a striving for her husband, and the man is cursed to toil rather than to have free dominion over the world. God says it, and there you go: it's done.

So then consider it with me: while it is true then that man is a fallen thing, and God promises to provide a savior, the purpose of Genesis 3 is to point out that God is fully in charge of the events. That is, while man can disobey God, God is still able to provide justice to disobedience, and what He says, goes.

This is important for many reasons, but one reason stands out way head-and-shoulders above the rest: the credibility of the Christian faith.

Some people will make this story out to be about whether or not a snake can talk. Some will make it out to be about anthropology in the genealogical or archeological sense. But this story is not about the scientific origins of mankind: it is about God reigning over the universe which He made out of nothing.

The story at the beginning of Genesis, frankly, is not told to be something like a court reporter's transcript of things -- and we can admit this without forfeiting our claims of inerrancy. What inerrancy does not mean is that Scripture can only be one kind of method of communication -- such as a transcript. You know: if Scripture can only be read as a transcript of events, it leaves a lot of stuff out. If it's a transcript, it seems to be a sort of excessively-edited transcript which in the end has omitted details we could have used.

So when we say that the purpose of Genesis 3 (for example) is to show that God is in charge of the universe, we can say that because Genesis 1 is about the fact that the universe itself relies on God for everything, top to bottom. That's why Genesis 1 is written the way it is, why Genesis 2 is written the way it is, and why these come before Genesis 3 -- why Genesis 3, clearly, doesn't lead off the narrative.

Now, in that, it's interesting that Genesis 3 doesn't rely in the least on how many days transpired in Genesis 1. So when we want to talk about how all this stuff began, and how we got to today from there, it seems a little, um, ignorant of our own story to try to beat people into submission over 7 literal days when the number of days is not the point of the story.

And before we go forward one more word, I have to also say this so that the whole internets doesn't implode: nobody who knows me thinks I deny a literal 7-day creation. Most people who know me are somewhat blinkered by my obstinance regarding what I consider the undeniable fact that God created the universe in 6 days, and on the 7th day, He rested. I believe it.

The problem is that the fight for such a thing doesn't really begin in Genesis. Genesis doesn't hand you a calendar and ask you to memorize it before it will tell you any more about God: it simply lists an ordinal creation (that is, a series of events), and reiterates creation as a network of cardinal relationships, and then goes on to make the point that God controls it all in spite of man's disobedience.

You don't have to believe that Gen 1-2 started on a Sunday and ended on a Saturday to get that Gen 1 is talking about the fact that God created all things, and placed man at the top of creation as His chief minister to creation.

And let me say this: you don't win any apologetic merit badges by demanding a 7-day creation when the point of that story has nothing to do with a calendar week. You in fact should take at least one demerit for doing so -- and you will, from those you are seeking to evangelize.

"yeah, but!" comes the response for many, if not all, of you loyal readers. "Yeah but what about the word 'day'? Don't we need to get very interested in how the word 'yom' is used in Genesis 1 so we can finally put to bed how old the universe is?"

Aha, says I. How old the universe is? Where in Genesis do we find the intent of the author to express how old the universe is?

You can sleep on that this weekend while I go about the business of tending to sick family and my poor bookstore. And since you're right now so calendar-obsessed, figure out which day is the Lord's day, and get with His people in His house this weekend so you can prove -- at least to yourself -- that the objective of Genesis 3 means something to you other than the means to win an argument.

passing the hat

First of all, those hats:

This is a guy who is a world-class apologist and a brilliant thinker, and he's wearing these hats. On YouTube. I just can't think of anything quite edifying to say about that.

But I can say this: my friend johnMark has started an auction for a big stack of great books, the proceeds of which will got to AOMin.org, and I think it's a worthy cause. Go bid, pay if you win, and help support the ministry of James White proclaim the offense of the Gospel to the ends of the Earth.

And by "offense of the Gospel", I don't mean "teaching people to wear those hats".

Seriously now -- the auction is real. Only my jokes are fiction.

what's the point?

Because I don't really have time today to post what I intended to post over at TeamPyro today, I'm going to post this here as a prelude to a new topic for this blog, which is the Lord's Supper. And it's a long prelude to that topic, but today's post is relatively short.

I want everyone to think for a few minutes today about Genesis 1. But in order to think about Genesis 1, we need to start in Genesis 3.

Now, here's the topic for you to hash out in the meta while I attend to the business of life: Genesis 3 is about something, right? Now, if all of you would put aside your well-catechized systematics for 10 minutes today, I want you to re-read Genesis 3 and tell us in 10,000 characters or less what the purpose or objective of Genesis 3 is.

Re-read it, think about it, and post your thinkings in the meta.

the 27 hour work week

I'm not advocating this, but it gave me a good laugh today -- because I think the writer is serious.

The Right Way to Slack Off at work.

you may have noticed...

... lurkers no longer get the generic gravatar in the comments.

"Why?" you may ask.

Indeed. Why, indeed.

your comments counted

The meta is again fixed so as to count your characters, and the Scripturizer that links to the ESV on the front page is also driving the meta now as well.

I am sure you are all greatly relieved.

photoshop madness

HT: Dan "SuperCon" Phillips

HT: Pecadillo

No matter who you are, this will make you wonder which was most damaged by this video: the Christian faith, pop reggae, or leisure suits?

New Rumors have emerged

Guns don't kill people. [Chuck? or Sarah?] kills people.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] created the Bermuda Triangle.

When [Chuck? or Sarah?] does division, there are no remainders.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] can count to infinity, twice.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] can sneeze with her eyes open.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] invades Freddy Kruger's nightmares.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] is ten feet tall, weighs two tons, breathes fire, and could eat a hammer and take a shotgun blast standing.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] doesn't read books. She stares at them until she gets the information that she wants.

There are no bunnies in Alaska because [Chuck? or Sarah?] boiled them

[Chuck? or Sarah?] is the reason why Waldo is hiding.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] can slam a revolving door.

We have nothing to fear but fear itself... and [Chuck? or Sarah?]

Crop circles are [Chuck? or Sarah?]'s way of telling the world that sometimes corn needs to lie down.

The leading causes of death in the United States are: 1. Heart Disease 2. [Chuck? or Sarah?] 3. Cancer.

The Great Wall of China was originally built to keep out [Chuck? or Sarah?] .

Someone once videotaped [Chuck? or Sarah?] getting angry. It was called Alaska Chainsaw Massacre.

The quickest way to a man's heart is with [Chuck? or Sarah?]'s fist.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] uses pepper spray to spice up her steaks.

The wheelchair parking sign does not signify that the spot is for handicapped people. It warns you that the spot belongs to [Chuck? or Sarah?] and that you will be handicapped if you park there.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] has two speeds. Walk, and Kill.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] drives an ice cream truck covered in human skulls.

Time waits for no man. Unless that man is [Chuck? or Sarah?].

[Chuck? or Sarah?] doesn't shower; she only takes blood baths.

Contrary to popular belief, [Chuck? or Sarah?], not the box jellyfish of northern Australia, is the most venomous creature on earth.

Most people have 23 pairs of chromosomes. [Chuck? or Sarah?] has 72... all poisonous.

Every April 15th, [Chuck? or Sarah?] sends the IRS a picture of herself, crouched and ready to attack. She has not had to pay taxes, ever.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] invented KFC's eleven herbs and spices, but nobody ever mentions the twelfth ingredient: Fear.

What was going through the minds of all of [Chuck? or Sarah?]'s victims before they died? Her shoe.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] is the only person to ever defeat a brick wall in a game of tennis.

Police label anyone attacking [Chuck? or Sarah?] as a Code 45-11: a suicide.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] doesn't churn butter. She roundhouse kicks the cows and the butter comes straight out.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] doesn’t wash her clothes; she disembowels them.

The opening scene of "Saving Private Ryan" is loosely based on a game of dodgeball [Chuck? or Sarah?] played in second grade.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] once shot down a German fighter plane with her finger, yelling, "Bang!"

Wikipedia now defines the "Trail of Tears" as anywhere that [Chuck? or Sarah?] walks.

When [Chuck? or Sarah?] donate bloods, she declines the syringe and requests a hand gun and a bucket.

There are no steroids in baseball, just players [Chuck? or Sarah?] has breathed on.

[Chuck? or Sarah?] sheds her skin twice a year.

There is no "ctrl" button on [Chuck? or Sarah?]' computer. [Chuck? or Sarah?] is always in control.

When the Bogeyman goes to sleep at night he always checks the closet for [Chuck? or Sarah?].

HT: Chris Stamper, via the almighty Facebook.

notes from Hollywood

Matt Damon is apparently making a movie sourced from a book that can't stay in print. Southie notwithstanding, let me suggest that the book in question leaves a lot to be desired. When Wikipedia can label a source "a synthesis of ... radical and revisionist historiography", you know it has to be at least a little lopsided.

Piper on Driscoll

Instructive. cf. Driscoll on his point of view:

Old Farmers

Man, Al Gore is gonna hate that.

Read it, and you decide

If you can read this and not do anything, you're dead inside. (UPDATED: try again; link fixed)

HT: Dennis Blackmon

I hate it when they're right

HT: Bob @ BHT

One good sign that you're not actually an extremist is that you realize that even your enemies sometimes make a good point. Even though they are actually responsible for all the evil in the world, and you are justified in using all manner of methods in vilifying them further.

Honest: my last post on this subject

It's just been that kind of week, so this is my last post until after October 31 on the Republican nominees.

I just wanted to point out that, two decades ago, I was an atheist who drank too much and did much worse. I was 24, just like Todd Palin was. Stupid kids.

If that's the worst the DNC and MSM can do against the Palins, Obama's campaign is doomed.

UPDATED: From the National Review --
We can only hope those involved have begun to come to their senses, and that they recognize the magnitude of their failure this week. That doesn’t mean they should go easy on Palin: it makes sense to look into her past (as it would make sense to look into Obama’s past at some point before November too), and she certainly needs to prove herself tonight and beyond, as any vice presidential candidate has to. But the treatment she has received is not what just any VP candidate would get, and the attitude and assumptions underlying this week’s amazing assault raise very troubling questions about the cream of the crop of political reporters. They have shown themselves to be too insulated and too solipsistic to help the public better understand our politics, and too self-important to report on events as they happen. This is far more than media bias. Let us hope it is a passing episode.

UPDATE: There is a vernacular phrase for the summary of this speech, but we don't talk like that here.

UPDATED: Dan Phillips -- you may have heard of him -- has a few things to say to and about Governor Palin.

Overheard on MSN LiveMessenger:

Frank says:
> Controversial world view: God is sovereign.
Frank says:
> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/02/palins-church-may-have-sh_n_123205.html
Frank says:
> As opposed to Obama's pastor's view about race relations.
[Yukon_Jack] says:
> if i find out that palin plays fantasy ball i may just break down and cry
[Yukon_Jack] says:
> this is all too much

And this is how we know we're beyond the pale: "If only he had taken in Hillary as his VP!" Newsflash for the mad masses: Hillary doesn't want to be VP as it would be beneath her to top out in the second-to-last seat.

Krauthammer hammers Charlie Gibson.

I'm wondering

I read this op-ed in the Baltimore Sun and was trying to figure out why a this columnist would have so much venom toward Sarah Palin.

Susan Reimer

Sarah Palin
You can find Ms. Reimer's bio here, courtesy of the Baltimore Sun. You can find Gov. Palin's bio here, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Ms. Reimer doesn't have a wikipedia entry.

Any thoughts as to why Ms. Reimer would make a beauty pagent joke about Gov. Palin?

bigger than yours

I was reading this link, and I thought to myself, "dude: you're on the top of your ticket. I hope to whatever is right and just that you're right. The question is if you have more experience than the other presidential candidate."

You see? The McCain camp has put the DNC in the unenviable position of having to make the wrong comparison in order avert the "experience" question. For the DNC candidate to say, "I'm better than the RNC vice president, with more experience," is to say, "I am trying not to compare myself to the RNC presidential candidate."

Honestly: I hate it that I'm going to vote for McCain in about 60 days, but if he shows half the savvy in runnning this country as he did in the last 7 days in trumping the DNC convention, he'll make a passible president.