This three-and-a-half minute I, Smartphone video is compelling for at least three reasons. 1) The kids are so darn cute. 2) It’s very well produced, so it looks cool. 3) It illustrates the wonders of economic freedom from the perspective that biblical Christians should see things (because it highlights how economic freedom helps bring about human flourishing – in the best sense of that word.)
Timothy Keller (2010): “Here is my main problem with the book. Anyone who is strongly influenced by the imaginative world of The Shack will be totally unprepared for the far more multi-dimensional and complex God that you actually meet when you read the Bible.” Yes, Keller got this one right. I’d link to the article from which this quote was culled, but it appears to have been removed by The Gospel Coalition.
Back in the day I was very open to listening to those who chose to agree or disagree with the writer’s point of view. This Washington Post article about Russell Moore by Jonathan Merritt on is still worth the read, as it will likely spark dialogue (even if only inner dialogue) and help illuminate how to spot disastrous wolves more quickly.
Looking back, this is when everything REALLY started going downhill. Dr. Frame is a giant in his thinking and a gentle soul in his teaching. It’s sad that all good things must come to an end… except Heaven, of course. A 2017 news release from RTS said:
Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, DC — Professor John Frame of Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando) will be teaching his last course in May of this year, followed by his retirement. Professor Frame will be greatly missed by those who’ve been served by him inside and outside the classroom through his lectures and vast number of books and other brilliant contributions to the Reformed faith. Thank you for your service, Professor Frame!
We end this blog post where we began (sort of). This I, Pencil story by Leonard E. Read never gets old.
The blog above was first published on the original version of this website. Since then the site has been completely reformatted and upgraded. With this change, the blogs needed to be re-uploaded to correct corruptions that occurred with the transition in 2023. While doing this, some additional information was added at the conclusion of many of the older blogs in a “postscript” section that might not have appeared in the first draft that was published on the first website. Think of this new content as “bonus material”.
The Faith Debate
Since 2004 “The Faith Debate” has aired weekly on 930 WFMD. It used to be that all of the past shows were available online. Over time, unfortunately, this has changed. However, a large number of these shows are still available as podcasts. These archives are accessible through a variety of means, but the best places to go are SermonAudio and Odysee. Not everything is uploaded to these sites yet, but we’re tracking down all of the shows that can be located. So, within relatively short order, all podcasts that exist somewhere will be collated and placed on these two hubs in an orderly manner. It’ll be fun hearing again some of the “classic” shows (which feature the show’s co-founder and my original co-host Jonathan Switzer).
From Back When I Cared About Pro Sports
A friend posted on social media that the career of OJ Simpson is a great sports story because he was the greatest back in NFL league history, but then the PR machine ran away from OJ. (He added that he was making a football comment ONLY – nothing to do with the murders, to be clear). It was added that OJ was better than Barry Sander because of both greater size and breakaway speed. I couldn’t resist the temptation to quickly chime in, writing: “OJ was bigger and faster than Barry, but so what? Jeff George was big and had a rocket arm, so does that make him better than Russell Wilson? (By the way, I’d take Sweetness as #1 over all the other RB’s).”
Here’s a interesting link that has nothing at all to do with sports. It’s an article by Michael J. Kruger titled, Five “Fake News” Stories That People Believe about Early Christianity.
A friend shared this story about a group of youths watching a man die as they mocked him. My friend asked, “How is anyone raising children capable of this? Don’t blame the pot smoking, that’s a cop out. How is it possible to not even care enough to dial 911, let alone mock him as he was dying? Horrifying!”
Many responded by saying that the story was so disturbing they couldn’t bring themselves to read it or watch the video. One added: “No God, no virtues. End of story. Why should anyone care about anything when there is no promise of eternal life? Remember Adam and Eve messed up heaven, right out of the gate. That’s how it happened. And yet we refuse to accept our nature and the nature of God.” Others complained about a news blackout regarding aspects of the story.
These are my thoughts from that time: “These teens will not go to court because they broke no statute. However, the court of public opinion should be allowed to weigh in. Who are these teens? If we can’t see them or hear from them because they are minors, then we should see their parents explain the behavior of their children. Totally pathetic. The next time someone says to me, ‘People are basically good’, I will have this video begin playing in my mind as a reminder that evil lurks in the hearts of men.”
It Might Have All Begun a Dozen Years Ago
Back around 2010 a son said: Mom, I need to tell you something – I am a potato. And you can’t stop me. (Walks away)
The mother asked: What does that mean?
The son: It means I am a potato. And you can’t stop me. (Heads downstairs, pauses, then…) And I killed Chuck Norris. (Pause.)
This is a true story. What can be said other than, if he identifies as a potato then he is a potato. Just accept it and love him anyway. We need to be more accepting of potatoes in society. I mean, this is the 21st century after all.
Reunion Planning Gone Awry
Witnessing a series of arguments surrounding dueling plans for a school reunion, I decided to share some calming words in an effort to bring down the temperature. I share them here with the hope that they might help you navigate emotionally charged situations. These are the words that I wrote then:
Perhaps it would be helpful to attempt clarifying some of the things going on with regard to reunion planning. I can only do this from my perspective because I do not have all of the facts, so please bear with me. Yet, I’m guessing that my perspective and experience are not completely unique, so at some level the seven points below could possibly speak for others, not only me.
1) There is a plan afoot to organize a class reunion. I cannot attend, as I already have prior commitments for that weekend. However, the effort to plan this event is much appreciated and long overdue. I wish nothing but the best for this event, its organizers, and its attendees.
2) I have received the much debated invite post card and I have visited every page of the event website. At first I assumed that this all had some connection to the event planned for the upcoming reunion, but it clearly does not, which caused some initial confusion in my mind. This confusion has dissipated as I’ve read the comments on this social media page, but I have true empathy for those asking questions and raising concerns.
3) One would assume that the email our class president received from the event planning company was not intended to offend. Unfortunately, the tone of the email does leave open the possibility that offense was intended. Even if accidental, this has proven to be very unhelpful. It is a missed opportunity to bring everyone together working toward common goals.
4) Like several others on this social media page, one of my first questions about the event website was, “Who is behind this?” It seems that the answer to this is, “A committee of four classmates who wish to remain anonymous.” It also seems that the motive for anonymity is humility. Humility is a good thing, indeed. However, based upon the dialog we see on this social media page, the goal of humility is coming at the expense of peace and love.
5) If possible, the four committee members should be alerted to what’s now being said by people voicing their concerns so that they might be persuaded to step forward with their identities. Doing so on this social media page might be ideal. This would do much to ramp down negative emotions and rekindle old friendships. This would also allow everyone to work together in support of a reunion event this year and then again future years.
6) Miscommunication and/or lack of communication can cause tensions to rise. When tensions rise people are prone to getting a little emotional and therefore take a defensive posture. When this happens it is not unusual for people to say things they don’t really mean, or to say things in a way that they later regret. So, an attitude of forgiveness and patience with one another will go a long way. I encourage us all to take deep breaths, swallow our pride, and be generous in the way we interpret what is written on these social media posts.
7) The good news is that there are a lot of people wishing to organize and attend class reunions. Perhaps too many! Let’s not allow too much of a good thing to spoil everything. That would be particularly sad.
Many blessings to you,
Pastor Troy Skinner