O Baseball, Late have I loved thee.

Tony DeMarco has a good article on why he will not be casting his Hall of Fame ballot for known or assumed steroid users. I know that football has conquered all sports and dominates America like none other. But baseball remains. (Go ahead and Google James Earl Jones and Field of Dreams now, I’ll wait.)

DeMarco’s article once again shows why baseball is a good lover but a poor wife: it often typifies what is worst in American society while simultaneously displaying the highest ideals of what a successful society should be like. The steroid era wasn’t just in baseball, it was America. Baseball just had its meltdown a little sooner than Wall Street.

It is a great paradox, but for the game of baseball to endure  it needs to constantly remind us that there are things more important than the game. We need Joe Jackson, Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens et al. We need them excluded from the pinnacle of the sport to remind us that doing something well cannot be done without also doing it virtuously.

Thank you for the reminder Mr. DeMarco.

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Tertullian: What is the fear of God? How do I know the fear of the Lord?

They say that God is not to be feared; therefore all things are in their view free and unchecked. Where, however is God not feared, except where He is not? Where God is not, there truth also is not. Where there is no truth, then, naturally enough, there is also such a discipline as theirs. But where God is, there exists “the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom.” (Psalm 111:10; Prov. 1:7) Where the fear of God is, there is seriousness, an honorable and yet thoughtful diligence, as well as an anxious carefulness and a well-considered admission (to the sacred ministry) and a safely-guarded communion, and promotion after good service, and a scrupulous submission (to authority), and a devout attendance, and a modest gait, and a united church, and God in all things.

(Tertullian, The Prescription Against Heretics, 43)

 

I’ve struggled for quite some time with the explanation I often hear evangelical-types give about the phrase “the fear of the Lord.” “Of course,” we are told, “we do not really fear God, we just have a reverence, or respect for God.” Charmed, I am sure. I always got the feeling that whatever “fear of God” meant, I wasn’t being given a straight answer.

We are proficient at “interpreting” Scripture when it suits us. Rather, when Scripture is against us. Don’t feel like supporting your needy parents? Just say your goods are devoted to the Lord! Who can argue with that? It is not a new problem.

What Tertullian says about the fear of God certainly rings authentic to me. How do I know if a place, a people, is filled with the fear of God?

Is there seriousness?

Is there honorable, thoughtful diligence?

Is there safely guarded communion?

Is there submission?

Devout attention?

Modesty?

Unity?

How would these questions be answered at churches across the land? I fear to even contemplate. What if the answer to these questions is “no”? Then God is not there. Truth is not there.

No fear, no God.

Thank you for good medicine father Tertullian. O for more doctors so careful in their cures.

Hey Christian, stop trying to be popular, accepted, relevant, etc. etc.

Carl Trueman:

Christianity is doomed to be a sect because not only do we refuse to give the answers to life’s questions in terms the world finds comfortable; we also refuse to allow the world to set the terms of the questions.    The sooner we grasp that, the better it will be for all of us.  Our ministers might then spend more time on theology (perhaps even do a bit of reading ‘within the tradition’ before finding it helpful to ‘read outside the tradition’), more time being different to the leaders in the surrounding culture, and much less time worrying about how the world sees us.  Trust me on this: it sees us as a cranky sect. Now keep calm and carry on.

Biblical Thoughts on the Election

Come now, let us reason together…

In polls that I have seen, just under 60% of people agreed the country was on the wrong track. And yet there were no real changes in any direction. The White House, Senate, House, and Governorships remain unchanged. How can 60% of the people say the nation is on the wrong track and then vote to keep it on that track? Are we a nation of masochists?

A similar percentage (+/- 60) said the economy was the most important issue. Yet we voted for a man with a track record of economic futility over a man with a record of economic success. Do we like struggling to make ends meet?

Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female…

Prior to last night, biblical Christians could somewhat comfort themselves in the knowledge that in the 30+ times homosexual marriage had been put on ballots it had failed. All the advances came from legislatures and the judiciary. Now the people of  2 States, and possibly 4 have “officially” embraced the homosexual agenda.

There is now no  fundamental reason why polygamy, incestuous marriages, or even bestiality should be outlawed. The only legitimate argument against such practices is now, “It grosses me out.” As a nation we have thrown of God’s natural and revealed law. There is no reason to believe the rebellion will not stop at homosexuality.

Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city…

According to Al Mohler, the single most telling demographic statistic was not race, gender, or income: it was regular church attendance. The more faithfully a person attended church, the more likely they were to vote for Mitt Romney.

Overlay that fact over the county-by-county election results. What was the largest urban area to vote for Mitt Romney?

The church has failed the city.

Suppose ten are found there…

President Obama received 9 million fewer votes in 2012 than he did on 2008 (59.9 million vs. 69.4 million). But Romney received 2 million votes fewer than John McCain (57.3 million vs. 59.9). This election was not won because the Left was too strong. It was lost because the Right was too weak.

 I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

Amen.

I performed a miracle today!

Okay. Maybe just participated in one.

Shortly after 6 a.m. I scraped the frost off the minivan windows, drove down the road, and stood in line to vote.

For over two hundred years we have been doing this. Has it been perfect? No. For some time it was only white, male, property owners. For a time it was only white males. For a time it was only white people. It’s been a struggle to get it right. But it has been, for the most part, a peaceful struggle.

There was no echo of artillery fire this morning. No enforcers making sure you voted for the “right” man. No “ballots” with only one candidate. No riots. The only thing mumbled against was the lack of coffee. (And come on, we’re standing in line at 6 in the morning!)

No this nation and its history is not by any means perfect. As a nation it shares the fate of all other kingdoms not Christ’s: utter destruction. But I think history, whatever may be left of it, will judge that we gave it a valiant effort. It was fun while it lasted.