There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

Archive for culture

Not ex nihilo, but ex meditatio

Some eschew culture as best they can.  Some adopt it wholesale.  Some seek to overhaul the culture. Some take a more considered approach to what of culture they partake in and what of culture they avoid.

What about “making culture” as a perhaps better approach for Christians in their attempt to live “in,” but not “of” the world?

Andy Crouch has a new book, just released this week, entitled, “Making Culture.”

Here’s the website.  For those of you who have grown tired either of trying to keep up with the culture, outstrip the culture, or give into the culture, making culture as Crouch defines it is perhaps in order.

God alone makes things from nothing; but He has created us with a capacity to create at least out of a meditative musing on what is good, excellent, praiseworthy, and enduring.

is marriage really being delayed, or just opted for later?

The purported reasons for the current trend to marry later than in previous generations or eras seems tokeep growing with time.  Here’s one more reasonable deduction.  Agree or disagree?

exploring Expelled

The DMN panned it (or at least the Orlando Sentinel did).  Others of you I’ve spoken with loved it.


Here’s R.C. Sproul’s interview with Stein.  

And here’s Doug Groothuis’s take on it.

Anyone want to share their opinions–positive or negative? 

church-state relationship

1Tim. 2:1   First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Paul is unequivocal in our duties as citizens of a particular polity: pray for those in high positions.  He of course lived in monarchical systems, not in those “of, for, and by the people.”  But the difference in political context notwithstanding, I don’t think he would object to a call for yet another duty of citizenry: voting.

so, if you haven’t voted yet, one of you sent us this helpful voting-precinct finder.  So click there, find out, and go vote.

Faith and art ought never be severed

Have a look at this:
Churches Urged to be More Artist-Friendly, Transform Culture | Christianpost.com

as you know, PCPC is hosting its 2nd annual Arts Festival in April. This year’s theme centers on Genesis, but the festival allows artists to select one of several dimensions of the Genesis narrative from which to derive their work.

The linked article interviews a friend of mine from college, who laments the unfortunate paucity of artists within our churches, and moreso the ostensibly inhospitable environment churches seem to be for budding or accomplished artists. His response to that reality has been to team with area churches to host a conference on art and faith. To encourage artists of every medium to see their giftedness as a form of worship and shepherding people toward truth. If any of you would like to go to the conference the first week of April down in Austin, I’ll pay your way so long as you take good notes and bring back some recommendations on how to ensure a more robust relationship between the church and artists.

Those spearheading the arts festival here at PCPC are looking for ways to sustain the interest elicited by the festival, and more specifically to identify ways to genuinely serve the greater arts community in our city. Ideas?

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counsel of a different sort

This has been making the rounds in recent weeks. Perhaps you’ve seen it. It’s a MadTV skit featuring the side-splitting dead-pan, Bob Newhart, as a counselor. In light of our previous series on biblical change and counsel, it’s an opportunity to laugh but also to consider a feature of conventional wisdom when it comes to change–albeit in a satirical, straw-man-argument fashion.

Justin Taylor even ran this little skit by none other than David Powlison, a colleague of Paul Tripp’s (the author of Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand). Here’s Powlison’s musings on what’s portrayed.

spooks, spoofs, and the Spirit

Tis the season of the spook and the spoofing of what is spiritual.  And though this will be no harangue on the domesticated celebration of  ghosts, goblins, and other things transcendent, maybe it will do to at least make reference to taking what is unseen more seriously.  Here’s what we considered about an element of spirituality around this time last year.

        There is a reason that whenever you set out to live in a holy way, you immediately encounter obstacles.  In addition to our flesh being so antagonistic to the things above, there is at work in the universe forces intent on making that pursuit of holiness difficult.  It’s because someone is watching over your heart and taking measures to keep it confused, preoccupied, and misled.

ii)      And with the passing of another Halloween we run the risk of allowing more confusion or more indifference to seep into how we thing about this thing called spiritual warfare.

b)      Two reasons why an exploration of spiritual warfare might be in order Read the rest of this entry »

Come together

Hey, three things, all mentioned last Sunday in class, but which might’ve eluded your memory due to the high volume of announcements:

and now for something completely different

ist2_189792_union_symbols_vector.jpgso we’re sitting in Panera’s recently–me and the fam, and some friends–and we’re having a nice lunch, and I can’t help overhearing a foursome (three guys and a woman–all in their 20s) talking about, I think, their time over at Cathedral of Hope, which is the de facto mothership of the Metropolitan Church, the largest homosexual church in America.

They spoke of their parents reaction to their orientation, the confusion among friends about who was dating whom, and what improvements they might make to the interior of the Cathedral.  (Since I only heard little phrases here and there, my assumptions about their topics of conversation might be skewed.)

And I couldn’t help wondering on the way home, Read the rest of this entry »

why art is important

as a follow-up to the post from a few days ago on why we read, here’s a transcript of a commencement address at Stanford University this last June given by Director of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia. (It’s a man with a name I can’t pronounce).

It’s a call to renew one’s interest in the arts, not to be confused with pure entertainment. While he isn’t dismissive of things on the boob-tube, he laments the sheer ignorance of the expressions not given to commercial interruption or season finales.

He also makes a very provocative point regarding the kinds of lives lived by two distinct groups: Read the rest of this entry »