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Funny ribbon...

Radio in bathtub sighted by the Ummel family out last night for a birthday dinner for Josiah...

A sign of the times...


(TB, w/thanks to John W.)

That's Califorya...

PomoCampground Ben, Michal, and chilluns are vacationing in northern California for a week and passed on this pic of their campground with the comment, "Don't fight it, embrace it!" (TB)


The salvage yard church...

Salvage-yard-church ClearNote Church has gotten by without a sign ever since we moved into our new church-house. Why?

Don't ask. But if we were ever to get a sign, I'd like to copy this one. It's about as comissional as can be.

And here at ClearNote Church of Bloomington, it has the added benefit of accurately describing the origin of many cars in our parking lot...

Rebellion is of a fabric...

The seers will be ashamed And the diviners will be embarrassed. Indeed, they will all cover their mouths Because there is no answer from God. (Micah 3:7)

We keep saying rebellion is of a fabric. Rebellion against God's Order of Creation is inextricably bound, as apples to the apple tree, to rebellion against God the Father Almighty. For different reasons, egalitarians and complementarians alike deny it, but time is exposing their shared deception.

The man who rebels against God's creation of Adam first, then Eve, is defying God just as the man who denies God made Eve, not Steve, for Adam is defying God. Which is to say this has never been a collegial debate over kephale or authentein...

He who has eyes to see...

Knowing many readers think I've lost my mind posting this video, please read my apology, such as it is, in the next to last comment, below. And those who read it earlier, I've added some text just now, late Tuesday afternoon.

(Tim) The wonder of this world is that in His wrath against sin God doesn't consume every last one of us. Not your neighbor, but you. Not the Roman Catholic priest or Mormon elder, but me. By all rights, each and every day should end with a universal flood that consumes us all.

But God Who is rich in mercy has promised He will never do it again and the rainbow is His covenant sign that this promise of mercy will stand until the end of time.

That is what this means. And our friend is right to be overwhelmed and cry. Our Heavenly Father made a sign of terrible beauty and splendor to point to a covenant of unbelievable mercy and love.

It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.(Genesis 9:14-16)

An act of Nature...

SolidRockChurch:2 (Tim, w/thanks to Michael) If John wasn't allowed to speak of the hand of God that honed in on Lutheran sodomy politics, I wonder what we're allowed to say about lightning striking this graven image that has long been a fixture visible to I-75 commuters passing Cincy's Solid Rock Church?

Well, by an act of Nature, it burned last night. But not to worry: church officials told the press the graven image will be rebuilt.

SolidRockChurch If judgment is no act of God, but only an act of Nature, it's quite a relief since Nature never calls us to repentance. Or, should I say, Nature only calls us to repent of things like a carbon footprint that's bigger than it ought to be.

Fin-de-siècle at Wheaton College...

(Tim) Last week, Wheaton College's Teacher

Education Program Conceptual Framework was big news. A radio

commentator named Sandy Rios did a short

commentary on the document and it was hurting the college's

reputation enough that their provost, Stan Jones, was assigned the task

of responding.

Jones made a valiant

effort, but was doomed to failure. These ordering principles

written and adopted by Wheaton's Education Department are indefensible,

particularly for a school claiming to be under the authority of the Word

of God. There's barely a hint of that commitment in this piece of

educational propaganda.

Yet this is not just propaganda. Here we

have the document used to vet Wheaton faculty hires as well as Education

majors seeking teacher certification. The Conceptual Framework

has teeth. The last third of the document is titled "Performance

Expectations and Assessment of Candidates" and includes statements like


(We have) instituted a referral process for

identifying and assisting candidates who do not exhibit appropriate

dispositions to teach. This process is described in detail in the Unit

Assessment Plan. In essence, any professor may complete a referral on

any candidate who, in the professor’s judgment, does not exhibit the

appropriate dispositions to teach. The ramifications of such a referral

include both remedial and punitive aspects.


course, no one wants Wheaton's Ed. Department to pass on for

certification men and women lacking the knowledge or gifts to teach. But

read the earlier two-thirds of the document and it's apparent Wheaton

defines "appropriate dispositions" by a student's ability to silence his

biblical conscience in the context of the toxic, anti-biblical

multiculturalism pervasive throughout our public schools. The entire

document is an exercise in teaching Christians how to go along to get


Endlessly interesting...

(Tim; this just in from Son Joseph, the analytical one) He writes: You've got to check this out.

Don't miss the slider at the bottom. Life expectancy shows countries being decimated at particular times. Go back to 1992 and you will see the effects of the Rwandan genocide. 1977 shows Cambodia.

Also, don't miss the fact that you can change the data you are looking at. Click on the blue triangle at the end of one of the axis. You can compare anything you want, and track it over time.

Here's one I just created that compares fertility rate to infant mortality rate, grouped (with color) by income level.

For scholars and their kingdom...

At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. (Matthew 11:25, 26).

(Tim, w/thanks to The Story Behind the Story) Several have pointed me to news items about Wheaton College, recently. The school's about to get a new president. And when a college changes presidents, it's big news. The occasion provides wonderful opportunities for journalists to sell words and profs needing to get it off their chests to pontificate on how indispensable they are and how stupid the trustees are for not consulting them and doing what they want. So with a bunch of Wheaton profs huffing and puffing, it's clear the future of everything most precious is at stake.

During the lead-up to the trustees' announcement of the next Wheaton president, a recent grad wrote a piece that was purchased by Christianity Today's Books and Culture. The piece whined about the previous president's "magisterial" leadership (not a compliment) and ran comments by dyspeptic faculty members licking their wounds over the long years of horrible authoritarianism they've suffered under the current president, Duane Litfin, and his storm-trooper henchman, Stan Jones.

Trace it all back to seventeen years ago when Wheaton's trustees broke the heart of evangelicalism's uber-intellectual, Mark Noll, by choosing a Memphis pastor as their president when Noll had been lobbying for his dear friend and fellow historian, Nathan Hatch. This dust-up had the not-altogether negative result of Noll issuing his very personal payback, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind; which in turn had the not-altogether negative result of making Noll rich off royalties and helping him with the price of a ticket out of Wheaton to that distinctly non-magisterial Roman Catholic school in northern Indiana called Notre Dame. Some may remember that in The Scandal..., Noll complained evangelical schools work their profs so hard, teaching, they don't have time to do research. Now though, on his profile page at Notre Dame, Noll is happy to inform us he "looks forward to concentrating on fewer subjects." So all's well that ends well.

Back then to the present where, almost two decades after their last hire, Wheaton's trustees were poised to celebrate 150 years with their announcment.

But what about this article about to appear in Books and Culture? Could they allow CTi to run it? Was it really helpful?

Actually not. It was hurtful. It would rein in their parade.

Let us pray for Haiti, and give...

(Tim, w/thanks to David D.) Let us pray for Haiti, and give. Here's a prayer circulated within our presbytery. I don't know its origin.

Holy Father,

We are able to see a small glimpse of the devastation and human tragedy that has been visited upon this desperately poor nation of Haiti. The anguish on the faces of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and neighbors speaks volumes. O Lord, you alone know how many lie dead in the streets and under the rubble...

Idolatry of the state: the thunderheads gather...

(Tim, w/thanks to David L.) On the occasion of another thematic Bible, this one titled The American Patriot's Bible...

Recently, I've been explaining to younger believers that we must beware the idolatry of the state--particularly now when so many are crying out for Washington D.C. to heal them. We're well on our way to granting the civil magistrate unlimited authority and the consequences for followers of Jesus Christ will be catastrophic.

Thunderheads are gathering on the horizon and those who don't see them must not want to.

Here's a sampling of current cases where religious liberty is under attack. And note, these stories are all from this past week. 

First, the Roman Catholic church is threatening to pull out of diaconal work in the District of Columbia rather than submit to the District of Columbia requiring them...

Why God's blessings but not His judgments?

MagnaliaChristi (Tim, w/thanks to Mark K.) John Piper has put just the right point on the presence of God's holiness and wrath in this present world. Here's his blog post on the rogue tornado that struck the Lutherans meeting in Minneapolis at the very hour they were to undertake the legitimization of sodomy.

Read the comments and you'll find John excoriated for making such a boringly Biblical point. Why are insurance companies permitted to call earthquakes and floods "acts of God" while pastors are denied this privilege? No pastor dare open the mind of God in notorious judgments, and yet he is expected to open the mind of God in blessings and may lose his job if he refuses.

"God has blessed America with peace within our borders, and the greatest prosperity the world has ever seen; God bless America, now and always. Amen."

We've all heard a superabundance of such statements made by believers and pastors without a single protest that "this or that pastor claims to know the mind of God in speaking of God's blessings."

Who would ever object to the specific declaration of God's blessing? I've never heard anyone claim God's blessings are inscrutable.

But His judgments? Oh my, yes.

When it comes to blessings and grace and mercy, men speak with omniscience concerning God's will and agency, but when it comes to God's judgments, somehow everything becomes inscrutable and the man who dares to interpret those "acts of God' is a monster.

We all need to read Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi Americana, or The Great Works of Christ in America, Book VI, titled, "A Faithful Record of Many Illustrious, Wonderful, Providences, Both of Mercies and Judgments on Divers Persons in New England--In Eight Chapters."

Oh Lord, won't you buy me...

(Tim) What's the connection between denominations, denominationally-affiliated Christian liberal arts colleges, a denomination's church planting demographics, and Mammon?

When Mary Lee and I were first married, we joined a church newly
planted by the Reformed Church in America (RCA) in Madison, Wisconsin. Soon after arriving there, I
saw a denominational flier thumb tacked to the church bulletin board
that explained the denomination's church planting demographic vision. It said
something like, "We have done studies of our denomination's
constituency and find that RCA church plants do best in upper middle
class, highly educated neighborhoods and communities."

Our small congregation of 75 or so was filled with souls who fit the RCA church-planting mold much better than Mary Lee and I. Three who stand out were Del Smith, Senior Telecommunications Counsel at Jones Day; the philosopher Keith Yandell; and the historian of science, David Lindberg. Of course, our church building was on Madison's far west side and included several who lived in Shorewood Hills.

Do you ever find yourself wondering if what Jesus said is still true today--that those who would follow Him must deny ourselves and take up our crosses?

Years ago I saw a cartoon that pictured...

Pirates at Wheaton...


Speaking of Wheaton, a nameless friend of mine just hoisted the skull and crossbones over Wheaton College's venerable Blanchard Hall. Thought you all might like to take a gander.


Heather, Heidi, Michal, and Hannah--don't get any ideas...

You're working hard to build up your vocabulary but you find USA Today a disappointment in that regard? Well, a trip across the pond might be just what the doctor ordered. For instance here's a piece from the London Telegraph that will allow you to see the use of the word 'salubrious' in context. And while you hunt for it and ponder its meaning, you may also grimace your way through an account of that flame-throwing, no-holds-barred, Northern Ireland, presbyterian preacher/politician, Ian Paisley, being sued for sex discrimination by his own daughter.

"You gotta believe me, sweetheart. It wasn't that you were a girl--Daddy loves girls. In fact, some of his best friends are girls. But bottom line, the man was more qualified than you were."

"Here, wait. Just a minute--where are you going? Your mother told you to do WHAAAT?!?"


Near Winchester Cathedral...


Ain't it sweet?


Sign, sign, everywhere a sign...


This sign from Scotland, the land that recently banned the fox hunt. It's our son, Taylor's, favorite sign from our trip.

We are assured by our OM missionary friends on the border of Scotland (in Carlisle) that Christians in the UK are quite supportive of the ban.


And now, for something completely different...

While overseas, we took a few pictures of street signs and this one from the UK was one of our favorites. Say a big 'yes' to public works departments with a penchant for pedantry.