Dluxe's World

Tuesday, November 20


Reason #314 why we're a Huckabee House.


Thursday, November 15

Driscoll on Humility

Mark Driscoll has some rough edges... But it takes something to stand up in front of your congregation and say this stuff.


Some people on "teh interwebs" question whether humility or pride wrapped in humility's clothing is at the root of these comments. I suppose time will tell. In the meantime, good words to take to heart on a Thursday.

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Tuesday, November 13

when speaking of the 'e.c.' ....

... you must use only lowercase letters and occasional punctuation

Well, I promised some actual content would start appearing on this blog again. And I am at least someone who (tries) to keep my promises (as often as I can). In this case, the topic kinda fell into my lap though it is a rehash of a lot of old stuff.

I posted a set of videos a few days ago in which WOTM radio's Todd Friel interviewed emergent church 'leader' Doug Padgitt. If you haven't watched them, you might want to before reading the rest of this post.

Let me start by saying that I specifically refrained from commenting on the original videos because I wanted them to speak for themselves. I am not a huge WOTM fan and never have been. Moreover, Friel still has too much of the edgy-comedian edge to him to be a great interviewer.

Additionally, it's worth noting that I would affirm, in agreement with the 'emergers', that there have been some pretty significant errors in the traditional church and evangelical mindset that needed correction. The increased emphasis on missional living, cultural engagement/contextualization, removal of artificial legalism, and default patterns for 'doing church' are all things I find myself applauding.

Ok. In the comment thread to the Friel/Padgitt videos, our friend Mary had some things to say. I want to respond to several things she raised here in the main... Mary's comments are in italics.

An odd and rather unfortunate interview... It seems to polarize the two men onto extreme sides without searching for common ground between them. This happens all the time in the political realm and I wish it wouldn't happen in the church so much.

I agree the tone of the interview is not spectacular.... However, I understand the reason it might've been that way.

Some of us are theological neatniks and would hold that there are clearly areas of theological disagreement that no amount of common ground can repair. For many on the outside of the e.c. stream, the perception is that there are fundamental areas of orthodoxy which the e.c. is content to be 'vague' on. At best, that fuzziness is rooted in a desire to engage saint and seeker alike in a process of real, vital discovery rather than simply 'preaching'.

While there is clearly merit to that approach in certain circumstances, there are also times where there is black-and-white truth that needs to be dealt with. The public faces (more on this later) of the e.c. don't seem to draw the lines the same place I do. For example, a lot of tension in the interview could've been diffused had Padgitt simply said something like "Well, there will be a new heavens and a new earth and we will be in the presence of God for eternity." However, he chose to take the postmodern "What's in a word?" route... I can't help but wonder where else the fuzziness comes in...

Like or not, the so-called "emerging church" is here and will have a major effect on American theology for years to come, so it seems that a better approach would have been oriented more towards reconciling and understanding rather than nasty polemics.

Again, agreed assuming that we can find the common ground. If we're talking about methodology and style, ok. But if we're talking about doctrine, there are areas that I think we rightly need to challenge. I think that we fail to recognize how incredibly easy it is for us to pervert the Gospel of grace into something far dif'rent.

Anyway, I think I would like to have heard more from Pagitt about what it means to be "at work in the world." While not fond of the evasive speech that has come to define the e.c. movement, I really think their missional life has a lot to offer and inspire.

I think the emphasis on missional living is a vital and valid corrective that the e.c. community has brought to the fore... It is important to mention here, however, that the emergers hardly have a copyright on this. Find me a person interested in missional living who hasn't found themselves nodding along with Tim Keller, Ed Stetzer, or Newbigin. Yet those three balance an almost-emergent committment to living the Christian life with both a strong ecclesiology and traditional, orthodox doctrine.

The "at work in world" philosophy of ministry and life is a prophetic call to many American Christians to stop hibernating in the cave of evangelical subculture.

YES! Agreed and affirmed.

I just wish that e.c. leaders were more plain-spoken. I think the idea is to be more "user-friendly," but one must be careful not to engage in deception. From experience, I know that many emerging churches are actually still very conservative in doctrine... they just won't admit it outright.

Three things to say here:

1. One of the main challenges the e.c. has with people on the Reformed side of the fence is that the leaders are plenty plain-spoken. If you haven't read McLaren's new book, you should. It's an eye opener and quite plain about the need to "question and reinvent" just about everything traditionally held as orthodoxy or praxy.

A Josh Harris quote always rings in my brain in this discussion: "It is not humble to be uncertain about those things that God has made plain [in the Bible]." Such 'uncertainty' is, at its core, pride-saturated elevation of human intellect and 'logic' above the disclosed word of God. Worse yet, it only takes a couple small compromises before I think we're "preaching a Gospel different to the one [Paul & the apostles] preached".

2. The e.c. is a ridiculously slippery entity... To call McLaren, Padgitt, Tony Jones, and others the 'leaders' of the e.c. is admittedly problematic. "After all," an emerger might say, "We're not a church with a statement of faith like everyone else. We're a conversation."

So, I recognize that the so-called leaders of the e.c. hardly speak for everyone inside the conversation on every issue of doctrine or practice.


3. The problem with Mary's statement is that there is little or no outcry from within emergent streams poo-pooing the more outrageous statements by the proposed 'leaders'. The silence, in this case, is truly deafening.

Obviously, many people may be unaware of McLaren, Padgitt, and others. "If I don't know what they're saying, I can't speak out in for/against them..." However, as Mary noted, the e.c. stream is a force within the evangelical world today. For pastors to not be engaged with the pertinent ideological issues is irresponsible, I think. Mind you, that engagement looks very different for a pastor in Windsor, VT than it does for the guy in NYC.

So, they are actually less an enemy to traditionalists than is currently perceived. Pagitt's soteriology is not really representative of the emerging church movement, but he sure does make a good whipping boy.

I agree that the e.c. as a movement is not an enemy to the cause of Christ. I think the supposed leaders are real problems, however. The ideas being touted by these men/women are impacting an entire generation of new believers and future leaders. That's a big deal. And when McLaren can be completely passive re: the questioning of the doctrine of penal substitution, I get worried. And when no one else in the stream speaks up, I get extra worried.

If Padgitt's view of salvation is not representative of the movement, then where is the outcry? Of all the issues we might want to get loud about, I'd think salvation specifics is one of them.


Closing comments... I would call myself a closet-emerger. I love the personal connectedness in how the emergers 'do church'. I think the challenge of how to better handle cultural engagement is long overdue - and I thank the e.c. for spurring the discussion. I listen to some 'emergent type' preachers (Darrin Patrick, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler) and like them a lot.

But, I have been concerned from the start regarding he increasing 'epistemological humility' that is continuing to grow in the movement. There are things that we must know and communicate clearly - like the Gospel. If we're not doing that, all the good, God-centered thoughts, works of community outreach, or compelling discussions will save our hearers from sin or make us a true church.

I hope this will continue in the meta....

//rant off.
/// re: The TeamPyro Po-Motivators - I just think they're hilarious! So there.
//// If you're interested in getting some helpful info re: the emerging church, hurry and check out Darrin Patrick's excellent lectures at Covenant Theological seminary (which Steve McCoy is tracking on his blog) . Really helpful on the history and some help with classifications....

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Thursday, November 8

Not-so-black-and-white Sabbath

Our church is in the middle of a series on worship. This coming week, we'll be discussing the implications of the Sabbath on us as New Testament believers.

Last year, out ABF went through a series on the Ten Commandments and I had the opportunity to teach two weeks on the "Sabbath" command. In many ways, that time of preparation was one of the most challenging and rewarding times I've had in the Word. The command itself is straightforward, but it's implications are massive and rarely discussed in contemporary evangelicalism.

It is true that our righteousness was completed in the work of Christ on the Cross... Our standing before God is not based on our rigid adherence to the particulars of the Sabbath law. I want to make these points up front lest the ugly accusation of legalism come up. We are, quite literally, freed from strict obedience to the Law.


We'd agree that how we spend our money as believers reflects something of our values. "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Similarly, the Sabbath command challenges us to examine the priorities we set on our time. If we value Christ, how does our life reflect that?

If I had a chance to take a day off and go watch a Delaware football game (Go Hens!), I would look forward to it with eager (indeed, rabid) anticipation. I'd work hard to clear my calendar of any potential distractions. Other appointments with family or friends would have to wait. I love the Hens, and so I wouldn't let anything get in the way of getting a chance to see a game.

Well, what about our time with God? And I don't mean to focus narrowly on Sunday mornings here... Do I keep portions of my day free from intrusion so I can devote the time to prayer and study? Do I grow impatient on Sunday because I need to get home for the game? From a strictly numerical angle, how much of my time per week is devoted to communion with my Savior versus work and play?

The quote that stuck with me last year is this from Piper:
"The reason that so many people feel it as a burden is partly that we have so much leisure, we don't feel the need for the sabbath… [B]ut more important, I think, is the fact that not many people really enjoy what God intended us to enjoy on the sabbath, namely, himself. Many professing Christians enjoy sports and television and secular books and magazines and recreation and hobbies and games far more than they enjoy direct interaction with God in his Word or in worship or in reading Christian books or in meditative strolls.

Therefore, inevitably people whose hearts are set more on the pleasures of the world than on the enjoyment of God will feel the sabbath command as a burden not a blessing… The measure of your love for God is the measure of the joy you get in focusing on him on the day of rest. For most people the sabbath command is really a demand to repent. It invites us to enjoy what we don't enjoy and therefore shows us the evil of hearts, and our need to repent and be changed."

May we be challenged by God's Word to make our practice line up with the words of devotion that easily slip from our lips. More than that, may God give us hearts that are awakened to who He is and that joyfully seek to draw closer to Christ...


Wednesday, November 7

From here on

Well, this blog has been pretty pathetic of late. Astute readers will point out that it was fairly pathetic in the first place, but it has certainly declined.

So, what can be done about that?

Well, I'm going to try to bring the content up (both in nature and quality) a little over the coming weeks. My goal is to post something substantive on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The WWWednesday posts will keep coming, I suppose, though I have been chastized (rightly) for the content a bit. We'll clean that up a bit.

Anyway, if you're still here, I'll hope you'll stay tuned.


Tuesday, November 6

How to beat a Grandmaster (or two)

Your WWWednesday post, a day early:

Gannon has taken an interest in chess, and we play at home almost every evening. As a result, I've been reading chess stuff on the net. Thought this video was interesting. See if you can figure out "how he does it" before he tells us at the end.

One note: There is one 'swear word' early in the video, so preview this sans children.


Under Attack - Redux

I have need of some old, previously unindexed posts... So, I'm pulling them together here. If you've been a reader here for a while, just move along... Nothing new to see.

For others, here ya go:
Under Attack - Prologue
Under Attack - Deuteronomy 22:13-21
Under Attack - Deuteronomy 22:22-30
Under Attack - Judges 19:22-30
Under Attack - 2 Samuel 6:1-15

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Friday, November 2

Hee Hee! Classic.

DENVER—Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez found a way to inject some excitement into baseball and make the slow month of October interesting last Sunday when he announced that he would opt out of his quarter-of-a-billion dollar contract with New York in order to become a free agent this offseason.

The unusually slow month, the only interesting point of which was a seemingly unending array of baseball games—some of which even went past their usual nine-inning limit—was very nearly a complete disappointment for the league. Now, however, the clutch statement by Rodriguez has inspired fan interest once again and has many fans and members of the baseball media calling Rodriguez "a contemporary Mr. October."

"Thank you, A-Rod," said ESPN's Peter Gammons, who left a baseball game in Denver between the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies immediately after hearing the news Sunday and flew to Legends Field in Tampa to get comments from Yankees front man Hank Steinbrenner. "We desperately needed something to get us out of the never-ending drudgery that is fall baseball. This is a real treat. "

Read the rest of the hilarious article here.