internet imponderables

If someone puts up a post in the blogosphere and no one responds for days, does it make a sound?

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one problem in our endless debates

I’d like to mention a problem I’ve observed in the endless debates we have online on a whole host of subjects. I am sure I am as guilty as anyone, so don’t think that I am throwing out some kind of blanket condemnation of everyone who is not me.

So here is what I am seeing… Someone makes an argument based on history, but what he says isn’t exactly what happened. It is how he remembered (perhaps) or how he wants to remember it or how someone taught it to him, or whatever, but it isn’t quite right. Nevertheless, he bases a strong argument for a particular view on a weak foundation. Someone with knowledge (or the time to look it up) can easily dismiss what he says. Yet even when corrected, some stubbornly persist in their view of reality… The mind boggles.

What is worse is when we do this with arguments based on the Bible. Someone makes a statement based on a half-remembered verse and fulminates away without so much as looking the verse up so as to speak authoritatively and certainly doesn’t quote the verse. But because he remembers it a certain way, he is making a ‘biblical’ argument.

As I said, I think I am guilty of this as well, I am sure. If our online discussions are important (perhaps they are in some ways), don’t they deserve accuracy? Or should our arguments be just what I feel about something because of the way I seem to remember something (or want to remember something)? Perhaps if we really did take time to be scripturally and historically accurate in what we say, we would say it better and actually persuade someone once in a while. And perhaps we would post less but with more quality.

Now, let’s see if I can find a verse for this…

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a new blog worth reading

I just came across a blog that I think will be well worth reading. It is written by none other than Jay Adams, the man who invented nouthetic counselling (or re-discovered it, maybe). He was my sister’s pastor for a number of years. I met him once. I disagree with him on some things … he’s a Presbyterian, I’m a Baptist, so…

But I have to say I have immensely profited from his writing and teaching, even if I disagree with him! He is a thinking man who loves the Bible and the Lord.

Here is a little bit of a recent blog on Elijah:

Elijah was too hard a worker to become depressed, and those who attempt to excuse their depression on the basis that even a mighty man of God like him got depressed, are missing the point. It wasn’t depression, but disappointment that you see haunting this man. Things didn’t go as he had expected—as he had planned—and he didn’t like it. That’s the problem with many of us as well. When God doesn’t do things our way, we quit, give up, or try to go our own way.

That’s good. Bracing, but good.

Anyway, add Dr. Adams to your blog reader. You won’t be disappointed.  (And you will probably disagree with him from time to time.)

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PS: This is post # 500! Will he ever shut up?

calvinistic secret society? UPDATE: nope

I got three hits on my blog today from a discussion forum called “Spurgeon Underground“.

One of them is from Anniston, Alabama, who viewed, according to Sitemeter, my main page, my about page, and then went over to my church site. This visitor spent 3:31 on oxgoad.

Another, briefer visit was from Mobile, Alabama, just a quick hit and gone.

The first visit was from the UK, 1:56, with an “out-click” on my link to the Pulpit Magazine article concerning Piper, Driscoll, and harsh language.

This group is a private forum for members only. From their about page:

The Spurgeon Underground Fellowship is a small group of like-minded, committed Christians who strongly hold to the doctrine of sola scriptura. We believe that the Bible is our sole authority for all doctrine and practice. We do not reject biblical commentaries and other writings by committed believers, but we hold them accountable to the “whole counsel of God” as found in the Scriptures. Because we believe in the doctrine of salvation as taught by the Scripture, we are also strongly committed to what is commonly called the Doctrines of Grace or Reformed Theology.

This group was created for fellowship, prayer, and interaction for those who hold these doctrines. These doctrines are not politically correct, nor are they readily accepted in the majority of the Christian churches in our day. This fellowship is a haven in the midst of a stormy sea. As such, membership is by invitation only and only extended to like-minded, like-spirited men. If you would like to know more about the fellowship, you can read our fellowship guildelines posted below in Adobe Acrobat format. You may also email the Forum Administrator.

What gives with this? Why the secrecy, fellows? How does clandestine spirituality promote the body of Christ?

And why the mis-spelling of “guidelines”? It occurs twice on the about page, both in the comment above and in the link to the “guildelines” document. Is this just an accident or is it somehow a subliminal play on the word “guild”?

Count me mystified.

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UPDATE: One of the members of this group enlightens me in the comments. I meant my comments to be taken lightly after a rather tense week, so I hope our brethren who are involved in this group aren’t offended. I wish them all well in their various ministries. By the way, you might want to check out their group blog, linked in the comments below.

is the bloom off the rose?

In the fundamentalist blogging world, enthusiasm for the medium appears to be flagging. I follow over a dozen fundamentalist blogs. Most of them are being very sporadically updated these days.

We’ll give our friend Greg, an excuse, but he’s the only one we’ll let off the hook. Chris A. also posts regularly, as do the fellows at TheoSource and Brian at Exegesis and Theology. And the intrepid Scott Aniol. But where is Jon & Champ, Frank, even PaleoBen, with whom I am wont to tangle? Even the vaunted SI, the 800 lb gorilla of the fundamentalist blogosphere seems to be falling off in the volume of its discussion. When most [hyperbole!!] of the current conversations are in-house between the admins and moderators, it does seem that the former furious interest has waned.

One can think of several reasons why this might be so.

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a cool little blogging tool from Logos

I just discovered RefTagger, a plugin for WordPress available free from Logos. You can find it here. The plugin recognizes Bible references in your posts and creates a little popup that shows the verse you referenced and a link to the reference at biblegateway.com. Here are a few samples:

Jn 3.16

John 3.16

Jer 33.3

Amos 1:1f

Isa 6:1ff

Rom 3.21-26

Maybe you knew about this already, but having just found it, I had to play with it a little and see how it works.

Right now, it only links to NLT, ESV, and KJV, although many other versions are planned (and are listed on the options page for setting the plugin up).

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UPDATE: It appears that the ‘ff’ tag isn’t working, even though the Logos site says it does. Still, a nice little addition.

interesting…

The Leading Fundamentalist Blog … is still behind the times? We are now close to 48 hours from the first notice of the Dever-Minnick interview and still nothing. Only three hits come up in Google with the terms “Dever Minnick” and all of them are old news. So are they really “number one”?

Just wondering

UPDATE: I guess there is one link. Greg Linscott posted a forum note on it. Zero discussion so far. I realize that it was Memorial Day yesterday, but it is interesting that there has been no commentary. Perhaps the leading fundamentalist blog is not what it once was… or perhaps the blogosphere itself is old news. Have the yfs moved on?

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uh oh . . . blogging kills

Some of us may need to ease off a bit….

They work long hours, often to exhaustion. Many are paid by the piece — not garments, but blog posts. This is the digital-era sweatshop. You may know it by a different name: home.

This from the New York Times. It must be true, then. Here’s the link: In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop.

PC World is also reporting on this. Blogging to an Early Grave?

Be warned!

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vocab of compromise in use

In light of my post ‘the vocabulary of compromise’, it was interesting to see one of the words show up on a fundamentalist blog recently.

This is the post, the word shows up in the comments. I will tell you which word it is after the ‘more’ tag … can you pick it up before you look?

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a conversation on fundamentalism, Presbyterians, and other stuff

The Bayly brothers, David and Tim, are long-time ‘on-line friends’ of mine. I have been corresponding with them for so many years I can’t remember how long its been. Though we have some theological differences (of course) and some philosophical differences, I find their courage and straight talk to be very refreshing in our mealy mouthed age.

Over the last few days, an interesting discussion has been going on in response to a post of Tim’s regarding the question: Is the PCA fundamentalist? I have had a couple of comments in the thread, but much more prominent names have also. The comments are drifting in a couple of different directions, as comments are wont to do, but I think the thread is worth reading for a number of reasons.

One of the comments comes from Rick Philips, a PCA pastor in Greenville who blogs over at a site called Reformation 21. Don’t miss his analysis of fundamentalism at about comment 35 or 36.

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