I thought I would take a few minutes to give a few shout-outs to a few Jolly Good bloggers.
El Guapo has returned. Let their be joy, dancing, and raucous merriment in the blogosphere. Yes, the inscrutable Discoshaman is back after a long hiatus at Le-Sabot Post Moderne, a.k.a. the Postmodern Clog. Welcome back Disco, we've missed you.
Someone give Rob Wilkerson a brownie. Aw heck, give him a whole cake. Have you seen this post and this post where he compiles lists of posts and other links of interest in this whole charismatic-cessationist debate? Amazing! I'll never get through 1/10th of them, but this is the place to go for pretty much anything you might want to find on the internet in regards to charismaticism and cessationism.
ountaaSometime this week on the Boars Head Tavern Michael Spencer made a comment something to the effect that he expects to see great things out of Travis Prinzi in the blogosphere. I couldn't agree more. I've put Travis's blog - A Resting Place - in my Bloglines subscriptions and check on him several times a week. He's got this series going called Adventures of Fred the Fundamentalist which is hilarious. And, if you aren't having enough fun with all of this charismatic-cessationist stuff he'stalking Baptism. He's got a few lines about Kurt Aland's position on baptism that are intriguing:
As far as Aland can tell, there is no decisive mention of paedo-baptism in the early church fathers until the early 3rd century. Paedo-baptism was not practiced without controversy until the late 4th century. On the second question, however, Aland concludes that paedo-baptism should indeed be practiced today.
Egads! Just when I had everyone pigeonholed and neatly tucked away into various categories he comes up with this. Anyway, that is one of the reasons I am growing to love Travis's blog - he's an original thinker and doesn't just repeat the same stuff you've heard before. I recommend him highly.
And speaking of Michael Spencer.
I've had some of my strongest disputes with him. I abhor his views on
inerrancy and can't for the life of me see what his problem is with the
Lordship salvation view. And, more often than not, I think he
overreacts to things.
But did I mention that I love this guy. He's got a post called "With Regrets, With All My Love,"
where he apologizes to his family for being a minister. And I'll admit
that I even think he overdoes it a bit here, but then again its his
experience and I won't pretend to know what it's like to walk in his
shoes. But having said that I think he says some things that others
know are true but won't admit, and that need to be heard. Ministry can
kill family, and it can kill lots of other things.
Of course I would point out to Michael and to others who relate to what he has said in his post that these are temptations that are common to man and thus not unique to Michael or ministers. Plenty of non-ministers kill their families for their careers every day. But there is something in what Michael says here that particularly needs to be heard.
Lots of ministers get the "man of God" complex where they forget they are human, created beings. There is a sinister thing that can happen in ministry where the minister has prejudices, bad attitudes, and insecurities which he comes to believe are authorized by God. In other words, he confuses his sinful proclivities with the will of God.
There is so much of Michael's story that I can relate to. Like him, when I became a Christian, being a Christian was something I could be good at when I was mediocre at so many other things. It became a point of pride for me, especially as I moved toward ministry. Like Michael, when I am around other ministers I often don't feel like I am one of them because I don't have that aura of holiness which I see others trying to cultivate. I will say this, though. I am currently a member of a presbytery where I have made a bunch of friends with ministers who struggle like me and actually act like real live human beings. It's very refreshing. But I have met too many of the other kind.
But enough personal reflections, I wanted to point these things out to say that this is what you get when you read Michael Spencer. He is provocative and that is what makes him a great writer. You may rejoice when you read him or you may get flaming mad, but you will never get sleepy.
There are three kinds of writers I like to read.
1. Those who say the same things I am saying or thinking but who say them better than I could.
2. Those who force me to think and send me down new paths I hadn't considered before.
3. Those who make me flaming mad. I'll take irritation and annoyance any day of the week over boredom.
At one time or another Michael has pushed all of those buttons and I commend his writings at the Internet Monk to you. And oh by the way - now that Michael has a pic of himself up don't he and Phil Johnson look a lot alike?
So anyway, thanks to the folks I have mentioned here for enriching my life.