Questions and Answers

One of my dear friends has been asking some amazing questions lately about church history, the canon of the Scriptures, the Lord's Supper, God's sovereignty... you know, little insignificant details like that. Some of our email discussions have been really helpful to me, since I am so prone to forget the great truths of our precious faith, so I asked her if I could re-word some of the questions and answers for brevity and clarity's sake and post them on my blog. Since I've gotten her gracious permission, I'll start posting her emails to me and my responses to her beginning this week.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!


"That is election: the Father in love pursues foolish, obstinate, disobedient children who have chosen death, and he decrees that more important than their will is His love. And anyone who is a Christian should thank God that not only did he call out to them, but he pursued them! And that in Jesus Christ he extended a hand, and he grabbed them, and he yanked them to himself. [...] If you are a Christian, you should praise God; you have a loving father who has grabbed you by the neck and spared you from Satan, sin, death, wrath, judgment, and conscious, eternal torment in Hell. He owes you nothing! But he has given you all things."

-- Mark Driscoll


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The typical parent, when whacking a misbehaving child, doesn't pause to wonder: "What does science have to say about the efficacy of corporal punishment?" If they are thinking anything at all, it's: "Here comes justice!" And while the typical parent may not know or care, the science on corporal punishment of kids is pretty clear. Despite the rise of the timeout and other nonphysical forms of punishment, most American parents hit, pinch, shake, or otherwise lay violent hands on their youngsters: 63 percent of parents physically discipline their 1- to 2-year-olds, and 85 percent of adolescents have been physically punished by their parents. Parents cite children's aggression and failure to comply with a request as the most common reasons for hitting them.

--Alan E. Kazdin, "Spare the Rod," Slate.com

OK, maybe ONE comment.




I ran across an interesting "combating doubt" post/link on JT's blog, and it reminded me of something Chandi Plummer encouraged me to do whenever I struggled with fear or false thinking. I found it to be a very helpful exercise in those areas and I'm sure it would be for times of doubt as well! I adapted the original using Chandi's suggestions.

(1) Identify the source of the doubt (fear, false thought) -- not just the immediate source but the ultimate source! Who is the father of lies? And what does the Scripture say about the deceitfulness of sin and the wickedness of our hearts?

(2) Identify the underlying assumptions about God's goodness, myself, the sufficiency of Christ, etc.

(3) Raise doubts about the doubt (fear, false thought). Challenge it. Say NO to it!

(4) Replace the assumption with a more biblical one. Remind your mind and heart of God's truth.


I'm Starting the Countdown Today

It's official. Only 59 days until Davidson basketball.

I've written about Davidson before, first here, and then after their quarterfinal slaughter of Wisconsin, and then in response to an ESPN.com article about them... and then again after their soul-crushing defeat by those Kansas jerks whom I've sworn to hate until my dying day...

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Ugh. That put me in a bad mood. Let's try something more cheerful, shall we?

AP Photo/Chuck Burton

Ahh. Much better.

Does this mean I have to get cable?



It's a blog roundup!

Of sorts.

Christine linked over to the Most Excellent "Making Home" blog not too long ago, and I've become addicted. Ladies, it's highly recommended whether you're married or single. Yes, as a married woman and one with a teaching ministry she does discuss marital intimacy with some frankness, but -- I have literally never come across someone who does so with so much tact, nor with so much joy. Her blog is neither preachy, nor clinical, nor wishy-washy, nor lewd. It's a realistic, encouraging picture of the life of an ordinary Christian wife and mother. (Oh, and gents, I'd recommend reading all the articles but the comments sections frequently contain some very honest woman-to-woman discussions that you might not find edifying.)

Please, if you haven't done so already, head over to Last Night's Dinner and check out Jenn's gorgeous photos and inspiration. While you're at it, swing by Cook Eat Fret and take a gander at Claudia's salivary-action-inducing caramel cake.

Tonight's dinner for me?

An Ommegang Hennepin that took me hours to drink
a dozen or so Sicilian olives (might go down and get some more, actually...)
a wedge of this award-winning, smelly, gorgeous goat cheese
a handful of "everything" cracker-bread
a scoop of Huber Farms peach butter

And a very satisfying dinner it was, I must say. Delish.

We were out of school Monday and Tuesday because of Hurricane Ike, which was still (strong) Tropical Depression Ike when it knocked out power for around 300,000 people in the Louisville-metro area Sunday. I was blessed to have electricity back by Sunday night (apparently our development is on the Valhalla circuits...), but many folks in the city will continue to live a compulsory Amish life for another week or more!

Go check out Mikey's blog. He's one of the elders of Crossroads, the church Mike and Christine are a part of, and where I attended while I was in Hobart. It's an amazing church and Mikey is a pretty awesome dude with some unique and interesting theological insights.

That's all I got.



I saw a funny YouTube video by a Christian comedian about people who are "oversaved" -- folks you can't even have a normal conversation with without them spouting some pious-sounding platitude. (Example from the video: "It's hot out here, man. You thirsty?" "Yeah, thirsty for the LORD!!")

It got me thinking of a Jeff Foxworthy-esque "You might be oversaved..." kind of thing, which reminded me of Purgatorio's old "Help! I'm Going Hyper!" post, which was totally priceless and which STILL makes me laugh after nearly three years. Probably more now than when I first read it, since I now get all the references that I missed when I first read it as a Seminary virgin and raging Arminian. Sample:

23. You’re looking under your big kid’s bed and find

and you are way more upset then the time you found

If you've never seen it... well, what's the matter with you?


Ah, Douglas Wilson, how do I love thee?

Douglas Wilson, for those of you unfortunate enough to be unfamiliar with him, is a great man. Not just as in a "great guy" but as in a Great Man. With capitals. Listing all of his many accomplishments here would be too much for my lazy brain and those of my lazy (and sparse) readership, undoubtedly. Highlights, in my opinion, are his work promoting classical education, his annihilation of oft-fawned-over atheist Chris Hitchens in a series of debates in Christianity Today, and now, his increasingly sharp and merciless satirical novel, Evangellyfish, the tagline of which ought to be, "Hahaha... Ouch."

Here's a brief excerpt from Chapter 1. Read the rest, as they say, at your own risk.

[Pastor Mitchell] surprised, and was in turn surprised by, Chad Lester, who was there with Cherie trying to . . . well, it was not at all clear now what he had been trying to do. But Mitchell had thought at the time he knew what Lester was trying to do. Words had been exchanged, including some bits of high volume exegesis and penetrating theological insight. Chad had stumbled on his way to the door, lurching into Mitchell, and Mitchell had taken that opportunity to unload a punch which connected with a less than perfect tenderness. But as punches go, analyzed merely in the interests of dispassionate science and apart from any ethical considerations, it had been exquisite.

Now. Boys and girls, that is what we call vivid writing -- vivid to the point of being actually painful.


Bloggy bloggy blog blog

Well, a few things have been checked off my list of Things Which Must Be Done In The Next Two Months:

Start new job... check.
Survive first week of new job... check.
Move into James and Terra's spare room... check.
Make an offer on a condo... check.

The rest of my list looks increasingly manageable but still pretty hectic:

Continue new job
Read absolutely stacks of books for new job
Accept counter-offer on condo
Do innumerable closing-related condo tasks
Have nervous breakdown
Find time to go to Indianapolis and retrieve dining set and hutch of my Grandma's that now belongs to me and has home in condo

After that... well, I'm sure life in the asylum will be very peaceful. I wonder if they'll let me out every afternoon to teach my 8th graders?