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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
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The Scoop on the Poem "Footprints" and Other Stuff from Around the Web

links5.bmpIn the fundamentalist churches of my youth, so-called "blue laws" were the norm.  Since we were dispensationalists, we were taught that the law (the ten commandments)  was for a different dispensation.  Now, we were under the law of Christ.  Of course, that meant no smoking, no consuming adult beverages, etc.  While "blue laws" are often tied to American fundamentalism, seems the theological left have a few "blue laws" of their own.    For starters, how about ignoring climate change?   Click here: - U.K. Bishop Compares Those Who Ignore Climate Change to Austrian 'Horror Dad' - International News

In the "what are Muslims mad about now?" department, two American preachers are in trouble in the UK for committing a "hate crime" by daring to enter the "no-go" area in Birmingham.  Seems Muslims have set up their own "safe" areas and won't allow outsiders (i.e, Christians) in.  Why are Muslims so afraid of the gospel?  Click here: Police advise Christian preachers to leave Muslim area of Birmingham - Telegraph

This is ironic.  Back in the day when I owned a Christian bookstore, we sold a million of these (Yes, I have repented).  I'll bet every grandma and aunt in America has the poem "footprints in the sand" on something from a decoupaged wall-plaque to a coffee mug.  Seems like the poem wasn't so "anonymous" after all.   The son of the supposed author is suing for all royalties, because mom told him that she wrote it.  The reason why there is only one set of footprints?  The other person walking along the beach has been hauled off to court!  Click here: Search to Divine Authorship Leads
'Footprints' to Court -

Seems we continually reach now lows in nanny-state stupidity.  Now college graduates can't throw their mortar-boards in the air because "they might hurt somebody."   Click here: A University has asked students not to throw their graduate hats in the air in case of injury | The Sun |HomePage|

Reader Comments (32)

Wouldn't those that rush in to fill the void amongst righties be called "red laws"? At least lefties know their color schemes.
June 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
I thought blue laws are laws prohibiting commerce on the Lord's Day.

I have a friend who's eye was seriously injured by someone's mortarboard. He was planning on being a military pilot, but he had to make a career change because of that incident.
June 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterScott
Here's the real reason for one set of footprints:

One night I had a wonderous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.
But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?
Those prints are large and round and neat,
But Lord, they are too big for feet."
"My child," He said in somber tones,
"For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait.
You disobeyed; you would not grow;
The walk of faith, you would not know.
So I got tired, I got fed up,
And there I dropped you on your butt."
Because in life, there comes a time,
When one must fight, and one must climb,
When one must rise and take a stand,
Or leave their butt prints in the sand.

--- Reformed Author Unknown

June 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRobin
I like global warming since it will bring warmer days up to the Pacific Northwest.
June 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpresbyterian_keith

When I saw a comment on another US blog, I had a 'feeling' you would link to the story on the 'Christian Preachers advised to leave Muslim area of Birmingham.'

For another perspective, my wife is in that area (Alum Rock) today, teaching in a local school. It is NOT a 'no go' area for Christians. It is an inner city area with high crime, where there is a large Pakistani Muslim community. And the church has abdicated it's responsibility for years there ... the church these brothers are at looks fairly new ???

When I saw the story I thought it would be portrayed like this. And this doesn't really help those of us on the ground seeking to reach communities like this ... To be honest I do wonder the wisdom of doing street evangelism there, primarily because churches have no history of doing this there for many years and because of the potential for big arguements and crowds gathering because of the unemployment in the area. I don't know, do you go and do 'open airs' in the rougher parts of South Central, Watts etc without brothers and sisters from the locality - to my mind same situation ...

There are no 'no go' areas for Christians in the UK - we could go and do street evangelism wherever, my point is to ask is it necessarily the wisest thing to do ?


PS I enjoyed your WHI on NT Wright

June 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterColin
^ So the Bishop of Rochester is out of his mind, huh, even though he received death threats for making the "no go area" assertion?
June 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwalt
Colin asked, "There are no 'no go' areas for Christians in the UK - we could go and do street evangelism wherever, my point is to ask is it necessarily the wisest thing to do?"

Well, to rip the gospel from its churchly contours sure did a number on churchly piety here in the states ever since Whitefield landed. Many of our problems seem to find their roots in low-churchliness such as those embraced by Whitefield (Calvinism should be learned from, not used as an excuse to straddle up with Revivalists). To my mind, it has little to do with anything to do with contemporary ethno-socio-political relations and a lot more to do with, well, true religion.

So, no, not wise.
June 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
So what would a high church approach be Steve?
June 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwalt

A couple of things. Yes, in a confessional Reformed church, the preached word is the primary means of evangelism--but the preached word is not the only means of evangelism.

The church order of the URCNA (article 14) includes this line in regards to the duties of elders: "actively promote the work of evangelism and missions." This implies much more than waiting for non-Christian visitors to show up at church and then preaching to them.

I agree with you that there were huge problems with the First Great Awakening, namely the stress on a conversion "experience" and a depreciation of the ordinary means of grace and Lord's Day assembly of God's people.

But, of all people, confessional Reformed Christians ought to be thinking about creative ways to reach non-Christians so as to tell them the truth about the human condition, and so as to tell them about the saving work of Jesus Christ (what you call "true religion"). Of course, all of this should culminate in an invitation to a true church, where the "ordinary" means of grace will do the "extraordinary."

There was nothing wrong with Van Til's "street witnessing" (not street preaching) as you implied in an earlier post. Van Til wasn't handing out the "Four Spiritual Laws" and no doubt, he invited those he talked to (and who responded favorably) to church.

So, if sent by the church, and if telling the truth in love, there's no reason on earth, for Reformed Christians not to be doing everything in their power to proclaim to gospel to everyone within their sphere of influence.

Just because evangelicals are often not clear about the "evangel" and have no viable doctrine of the church, doesn't mean that efforts by confessional Reformed Christians to reach those outside of the primary means (preaching) are invalid. It means that we should be the ones doing it right (trusting in the power of God, not our cleverness) and often!
June 4, 2008 | Registered CommenterKim Riddlebarger

The Bishop of Rochester (which incidentally is no where near any of the areas to which he refers), was unwise to raise 'no go areas' as an issue.

The issue he should of raised was that of conversion and the violence and threats of violence which can come as a result.

Kim, amen to your last point.


PS my wife had her phone stolen today - her coat pocket sadly wasn't a 'no go area.'
June 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterColin

All fair enough.

I would certainly agree that we should be thinking about ways to reach out. I go for my gun, though, when I hear adverbs like “creatively.” And who could really have anything against the idea that we need “to proclaim to gospel to everyone within their sphere of influence”? Not me.
But, as in many things, it isn’t so much the “that” but the “how” and “why” sorts of questions that need to be asked. I think we still need to be careful about reacting to Revivalist charges that we aren’t “evangelistic” enough and start behaving like Reformed Revivalists. I think we need to be much more cognizant of the best of our tradition and let it speak to us about the “how’s” and “why’s” of evangelism. We need to better understand our own tradition and not flagellate ourselves for it or be somehow ashamed. Revivalists do and don’t do what they do and don’t for their own reasons. My concern is not so much blaming Revivalists for being Revivalists and not confessionalists (that would be silly), but when confessionalists take cues outside their tradition. It may a long shot illustration to make the point, but consider the fact that nobody blames a Baptist pastor for refusing to baptize a covenant child—all he has to say is, “We don’t do that, we’re Baptists”; but the Reformed pastor seems to have to justify his tradition, be exceedingly patient with those parents who are reluctant…sometimes to the point of letting “Bapterianism” thrive.

Maybe some of what I am saying can be to over react. But my concern is how we seem to under-react to the best of our tradition.
June 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim

Good question. The fact that it needs to be asked should tell us something.

But it seems to me that some of it may be found in Kim's comment above: "Proclaim to gospel to everyone within their sphere of influence." Call it what you will, but I am persuaded that evangelism can be most effective when done more organically than mechanically. Scott Clark has written about this posture in Revivalism that relies on inauthentic relationships in which one is simply manipulating another. People have caught on to the methodologies of the salesman that Revivalism leans on.

The question seems to be, "Does confessionalism really find its adherents out on the streets or somewhere else?" Again, it's not THAT evangelism is important but HOW and WHY.

June 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim

Can you provide a link for those RSC posts. I think you might be thinking of J.J. Stellman saying something like that. Then we can compare KR's statements with RSC.


I'm not quite sure what you mean.

Since you and Bishop Nazir Ali are making opposite claims, I'm going to have to pick who to believe.
June 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwalt
I invite people, customers and clients all the time to church.

There is a massage place next door to the store that I manage. The other day a lady came in that works there (what type of a massage place it is, the salesmen have speculated), I don't know.

I witnessed to her for a full 30 min. She came out of Mormonism and she is now in a church that is mind science stuff.

I gave her apologetics to start, then I went into full law and Gospel.

I'm an elder in St Thomas Lutheran Church in Goodyear and Phoenix, Arizona. (WELS)

I don't worry about the techniques that I use. I just give the law and the Gospel to everyone that I can.

When Mormons knock on our door, my wife grins, rolls her eyes, and she'll head upstairs, while I invite them in and gently give them the law and the Gospel, while demonstrating to them that they don't have the God and Christ and the H.S. out of the Bible. (I'll plant the seed, someone else waters, and we'll see some of the folks in heaven.)

That's what we are here for!!!!!!

June 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd

Sorry for not being clearer..

My point is what the bishop said about the 'no go areas' is wrong. I am a Christian, I work in 'one' of them. My wife working in Alum Rock yesterday, she is a Christian. They are not 'no go areas.' I would not be concerned about it being known I was a Christian there, I would be more worried late at night about being robbed.

If the bishop was going to raise an issue about Christian - Muslim relations in the media, he should of raised the issue of Muslims converting to Christianity - for the reasons I outlined above.

On this blog I know people read lots of books - I have recommended this before and encourage it again - Muslim Britain - Communities under pressure edited by Tahir Abbas - on Zed Books.


June 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterColin

For whatever it's worth, I am not much for comparing/constrasting two good men like Clark and Riddlebarger. I am just trying to make some points about traditions and why certain traditions do what they do, emphasize what they emphasize, etc.
June 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
Lloyd - What church in Phoenix? Thanx!
June 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPB
Llyod said, "I don't worry about the techniques that I use. I just give the law and the Gospel to everyone that I can."

This is part of what I mean. If we take our arguments about form and content (i.e. law and gospel) seriously, shouldn't we worry about the techniques we use? Or do we talk about "form" with our fingers crossed?
June 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
"This is part of what I mean. If we take our arguments about form and content (i.e. law and gospel) seriously, shouldn't we worry about the techniques we use? Or do we talk about "form" with our fingers crossed?"

The evangelicals I talked to are all wrapped up in the idea of charity or good works before presenting the Gospel. My one friend told me about a one group who went to New Orleans to evangelize post Katrina and were rejected. Another group went just to do charity, and suddenly the unbelievers wanted to know why they were here. Something tells me the latter group didn't proceed to use the "Law/Gospel" paradigm in response. This same guy also recently bought the movie "God, Save Us from your followers" or something like that.

In reality, unbelievers will find any excuse not to believe aside from the Spirit causing them to believe, whether you give them money or lead an ostensibly unhypocritical life or not. I'm thinking that just sticking to the plain, unvarnished gospel is the way to go, along with answering any cultural presuppositions.
June 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwalt

Good point about finding excuses not to embrace the gospel. In the end no excuse will suffice. I just don't think that is itself an excuse to lower the bar on our part. Then again, I get accused of having too high of standards.

Sticking to the unfettered gospel is easier said than done. May who agree to that also seem to think we should do or say something about abortion or some other such immediate cultural concern. More crossed fingers.
June 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim

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