Archives for October 2011

hear, hear!

Dave is absolutely right on this one. I commend it to you.

From my perspective, it is less selfish to plant churches in America than it is too pride ourselves about a well-lit missionary board that is conveniently dark in the area right around our church.

In addition to his call for church planters, we need young families to go with them and give themselves to the task of fulfilling Christ’s commands.


here she is!

To quote that noted theologian, Sissy Seagull, I’m a “grandfeather”!


Our grand-daughter arrived last night, about a month early. Some circumstances made the docs concerned that the baby needed to come early, so here she is. From what we can tell, everything is fine!

And we’re kind of tickled!

Of course, Grandma jumped on the first plane she could, leaving me and Susan to finish packing for our move on Friday.

Not that I am complaining though – just wish I could have gone with her and left the whole job to Susan!!! (heh, heh)


one year


We miss him. Mom talks about him all the time. I think about him every day.

For him, though, things are better than they ever were among us.

One day we, too, will know what he now knows.


just a dog

Today we lost our dog after a long life for his breed… normal life expectancy about 9, he made it to 14. The last few months he turned very frail, eating sporadically, the last day or so not at all. Last night and today he was so weak he could barely stand – and he struggled to stand because he had to cough, fighting against fluid building up in his longs. It was obvious to us all that things would not get better so today we made a visit to the vet – the little guy’s final visit.


We know that a dog is just a dog, but we can’t help but think this end is not the way God intended things to be.

NAU  Romans 8:20-22 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

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if the shoe fits…

Dave Doran has a post on the subject of missionary pastors. Here is his description:

One major concern I have is regarding the too common practice of missionaries serving as the long-term pastor of a mission church. I’m not speaking about the short-term practice of planting a church and serving it until it can call a pastor. I’m concerned about the practical reality that some men are essentially serving as a pastor on the mission field while remaining supported by churches back in their sending country. I’ve seen cases where the same man has served as the pastor of a mission church for decades—so long, in fact, that the church itself would no longer really consider itself a mission church. The congregation looks and acts mainly like an independent congregation, but its pastor is actually supported by other churches, not them.

In principle, I think I agree with Dave on this concern. His point resonates with me, because in many ways, “I resemble that remark.” I am a missionary pastor. I am (in part) supported as a missionary. I have served at our mission church now for literally decades (25 years this last August).

I say that I agree with Dave’s concerns ‘in principle’, but I would like to point out some factors that in my mind must be taken into consideration on this question. This isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ question.

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young? conservative? Hold on!

My on-line friend, Jon Gleason, wrote me in response to the current controversy. I thought it would be worth reposting here with his kind consent. His embrace of separatistic principles is not unlike mine. Both of us came out of evangelical backgrounds. Those who are moving leftward are perhaps naïve about the problems they will encounter as they join up with evangelicals. May this current controversy be a “Hold on!” moment for them as Jon describes below:

Dear Don,

I am glad you commented on your blog on Thabiti Anyabwile’s recent article. I’ve been watching events with great interest, because Pastor Anyabwile is saying many things I was saying and thinking some 22 years ago. While some may think nothing is going to come of this, I’m not so certain.

As a student at Biola University and then at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, I held a position which is virtually identical to many who would today be called “conservative evangelicals”. If I could sum up what I believed back then, it would be thus: “I’ll hold to the truth of God’s Word; I’m absolutely committed to it. I oppose apostasy – but I’m not one of those wacky second degree separatists.”

God’s Word is powerful, and so is obedience. If you obey, you occasionally have those “paradigm shifts” as new areas of obedience open up to you. We might call them the “Hold ON!” moments. That can happen when you realise, “I’m in fellowship with those who are dabbling with heretics!” My “hold ON!” moment came when Biola invited a music minister from the Crystal Cathedral to speak at a music seminar. I couldn’t overlook the fact that he was aiding the propagation of Robert Schuller’s heresy, and Biola thought it was acceptable to bring him in.

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the Jakes-shakes continue

Another blog reacting to the TD Jakes invitation and defense by James MacDonald.

What makes this one interesting is…

  • That the author is a pastor in the Harvest Bible Fellowship, James MacDonald’s organization.
  • That the author is a graduate of Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary
  • That some of the author’s co-bloggers are also graduates of Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. (One is the son of a very close friend from ‘back in the day’.)

Given those connections, the separatistic bent of the blog post makes a bit more sense. (Although it remains to be seen if actual separation will take place.)

Along with making the post make a bit more sense, these facts raise some interesting questions:

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elephantine update

Thabiti Anyabwile comments on the Mark Driscoll / James MacDonald / T. D. Jakes love-in. You need to read it.

Money quote:

 And we kid ourselves if we think the Elephant Room invitation itself isn’t an endorsement of sorts.  We can’t downplay the associations by calling for people to suspend judgment and responding ad hominem against “discernment bloggers.”  We certainly can’t do that while simultaneously pointing to our association at The Gospel Coalition as a happy certification of orthodoxy and good practice, as Driscoll seems to do here with MacDonald. [emphasis added]

What a blessing it would be if men like Thabiti and the more conservative evangelicals would finally see that this is the crux of the fundamentalist-evangelical divide, and then get on the right side of it.