My Favorite Pick (Apparently)

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, appointed by
G.W. Bush, 50 years old
Filibustered by Senate Democrats when nominated to
the federal bench, Owen is a former Texas
Supreme Court judge regarded as “far right
wing” by liberals. But who isn’t! A
member of the Federalist Society. (Psycho
music) Sen. Reid has already said he would
filibuster her nomination to SCOTUS.

New World Man presents: My favorite candidate for the Supreme Court
brought to you by Quizilla [seen on Bunnie’s blog]

On the other hand, I like this: JUDGE EDITH HOLLAN JONES U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, appointed by Reagan, born 1949 A Texan! Nearly nominated to Souter’s seat by G.H.W. Bush. You’re hoping the son follows through! Jones is considered radioactive by Democrats, which you (and the administration) might consider a plus!


Keeping Up With the Times (or: More Irony)

From this article:

When some college students think of church, they think of endless sermons, ancient hymns and weekly recitation of creeds and prayers. To them, the environment is too formal, too traditional and does not keep up with the times. Those opinions are what drive 57-year-old University alumnus Happy Leman to make his church as contemporary as possible.

Actually, ironically, “keeping up with the times” will guarantee that you will not keep up with the times. Songs, readings, congregational speaking–all of those things, if attuned to rapidly changing feelings and the cultural zeitgeist, will be quickly headed the way of all flesh. The only things that last–beyond generations, trends, fads, likes and dislikes–are the very things that have lasted. What things are those? Ancient hymns, creeds, prayers, and sermons grounded in the “antique” teaching of the Prophets and Apostles of Jesus Christ. It is not automatically true that just because someone sees something as useless, that it is useless. I refer you here.

It is only the timeless things that are able to adapt to changing times.


More on Missions, etc.

William Willimon, in a book called The Intrusive Word, wrote the following:

Desiring too desperately to communicate, at any cost, can lead us into apostasy.
Can we preachers respect the gospel enough to allow people not to understand it? We are not responsible for all failures of communication. The gospel itself, in collision with the corruptions engendered by life in a democratic, capitalist society, bears some of the responsibility for people not hearing. …
Atheism is the conviction that the presence and power of God are unessential to the work of ministry, that we can find the right technique, the proper approach, and the appropriate attitude and therefore will not need God to validate our ministry. If Jesus was the “communications specialist” that [George] Barna claims him to be, why in the world did he waste so much time teaching “in parables,” which very few understood? Above all, if he was so good at communication, why on earth was he crucified? …
Our preaching ought to be so confrontive, so in violation of all that contemporary Americans think they know, that it requires no less than a miracle to be heard. We preach best with a reckless confidence in the power of the gospel to evoke the audience it deserves.


One of the dangers of emphasizing the concept of mission as a mandate given to the Church is that it tempts us to do what we are always tempted to do, namely to see the work of mission as a good work and to seek to justify ourselves by our works. On this view it is we who must save the unbelievers from perishing. … It is the Spirit who will give [the disciples] power and the Spirit who will bear witness. It is not that they must speak and act, asking the help of the Spirit to do so. It is rather that in their faithfulness to Jesus they become the place where the Spirit speaks and acts. …
The world’s questions are not the questions which lead to life. What really needs to be said is that where the Church is faithful to its Lord, there the powers of the kingdom are present and people begin to ask the question to which the gospel is the answer. [As a professor of mine–Tim’s–likes to say, “The only good questions are the ones to which the Lord has given us answers.”] And that, I suppose, is why the letters of St. Paul contain so many exhortations to faithfulness but no exhortations to be active in mission. –Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society


The Focus of Works

This post serves to supplement Timotheos’s thread down below, “Should Christians Look Different(So Others Will Believe?).”

“When one presents works before God in the kingdom of heaven, God’s order is disrupted in both realms. Since the reign of Christ is in giving, and in grace and the gospel, to proffer gifts here is an attempt to depose Christ from his throne. A human being lets his works compete with the King of heaven. At the same time, his neighbor on earth is neglected since his good works have clearly been done, not for the sake of his neighbor, but to parade before God. Faith is revoked in heaven, and love on earth. Neither God nor one’s neighbor receives that which is properly his” (Gustav Wingren, Luther on Vocation trans. Carl C. Rasmussen (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2004), 13).

Flag Football

Without scheming or cajoling, Timotheos and I somehow made our way onto the same intramural team. Our flag football team remains undefeated at 2-0. So far, the Balaam’s Ass boys are key players in a staunch defense. They don’t know whom they are messing with. It should be a fun year.

Do you have any memorable intramural experiences?

The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel: Thesis XVIII

“In the fourteenth place, the Word of God is not rightly divided when the universal corruption of mankind is described in such a manner as to create the impression that even true believers are still under the spell of ruling sins and are sinning purposely” (C.F.W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel reproduced from the German edition of 1897 by W.H.T. Dau (St. Louis: Concordia, 1986), 3).

A Little Bit of O Kingly Love

O kingly Love, that faithfully
didst keep thine ancient promises,
didst bid the bidden come to thee,
the people thou didst choose to bless,

This day we raise our song of praise,
adoring thee,
that in the days when alien sound had all but
drowned thine ancient, true and constant
Thy mighty hand did make a trumpet none
could silence or mistake;
thy living breath did blow for all the world to
hear, living and clear: *

(To be Continued)
(I love that line about the trumpet. Wherever “worship” is going these days, God won’t let his trumpet be silent.)

*Text: Martin H. Franzman, 1907-76
*Tune: Richard Hillert