Announcements and Stuff

I thought I would toss up this brief announcement for any long-time blogging readers who still stop by here on occasion.

I am not quitting.

Thought I would start out with declaring that first, knowing how announcements appearing on a blog that has long spaces of inaction between posts typically indicate the blog has reached the death throws of extinction.

No, that isn’t happening. What has happened is that I have been occupied with raising kids and doing family stuff. Yep. Amazing how school, ball games, play practice, and the like sucks the time out of your life.

Additionally, two wonderful privileges have entered my writing life.

First, I help teach third graders at my church. I rotate the teaching with two other fellows; but still, the message prep for a 25 to 30 minute lesson can be grueling. If you aren’t sufficiently prepared to teach 50 third graders, you’ll be killed. That includes learning to master powerpoint so I can illustrate lessons. Powerpoint is the new flannel board.

Secondly, and this is new for me, the fine folks over at the Bible Thumping Wingnut Network, asked me to contribute articles to their blog section. BTWN gets thousands of viewers a week, dwarfing the traffic I get here at my blog which exists at the outer fringes of the internet. I was thrilled for the opportunity and jumped immediately on the invite. Granted, a lot of what I have posted so far are older articles I have written for my blog that I have dusted off and retooled for the BTWN readership, but I hope to produce some original content in the future.

Meanwhile, my personal blog, though slowing down a bit, will still keep on chugging along. I plan to return to my review of Hugh Ross’s book, Navigating Genesis, and I have plans for another book review in the future, hopefully sometime later this year.

In the meantime, take a look over at the BTWN site. I will try to post something at least once a week when I am able. Posts can be found HERE.

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My 2015 Blogging Year in Review

baby new yearAh. 2016 arrived, and the day before, I received WordPress’s annual review of my blogging the past year of 2015. Here are the results:

5. Interpreting Ezekiel’s Temple Vision. I originally posted this article back in January 2013, approximately 2 years ago to the month. It is still one of my most searched articles/series.

4. Perry Noble’s Apology. Last Christmas, mega-church goofball, Perry Noble, the grown man who dresses like he is 14, preached a sermon in which he claimed God “spoke to his heart, telling him that the word “command” does not exist in the Hebrew and so the idea of 10 Commandments was wrong. He issued a letter of apology to his mega-congregation explaining how it is God’s fault that he is an idiot.

3. Does the Bible Teach that a Woman has to Marry Her Rapist? I wrote this article a long time ago; like maybe back in 2009 or 2010. I reworked it a bit and updated it to look nicer since my move from my old Blogger site and reposted it in 2014. It is still frequently visited due primarily to atheist wackos putting it on lists and websites called things like, “Crazy Fundy Teaching” or “**** Fundy Christians Believe,” or some such nonsense.

2. The Real Reasons Why Youth Are Leaving Church. I wrote this in response to a number of alarmist, hand-wringing posts I see popping up on popular apologetic blogs and ministry websites. Generally, those articles insist that the reason why youth are leaving churches and abandoning their Christian upbringing is because they graduate from the safe confines of their high school youth group bubble, encounter the real world at their local community college or state university, and are unprepared to answer all those smart thinking atheists when they challenge them with their withering criticisms of the Christian faith. The authors insist that if churches would regularly invite apologetic speakers to teach their youth about intelligent design theory, or evidentialist apologetics, as well as Thomist philosophy, those kids will be prepared to intellectually Kung Fu kick the daylights out of those Youtube atheists at college.

I believe that is nonsense as I outline in the article. It somehow came across the radar of Todd Friel and he read it on his Wretched radio show.

And the number one, most visited and read article on my blog for the year 2015 was,

1. About that Lying “Prophet” that Rebuked John MacArthur

Back in August of 2015, John MacArthur had returned from an extended summer hiatus. During the second AM service, he was recapping his summer and sharing with the congregation what he had done. All of the sudden, a scruffy looking goofball walked up onto the platform where John was talking, whistled real loud, and then proceeded to yell at John for his anti-Charismatic beliefs. Security escorted him out of the service as he continued to shout at John to repent of his cessationism. That event got spread far and wide on social media, and Charismatic wackos wondered if this was really a prophet sent from God to rebuke John MacArthur and those haters at Grace Church. We also saw it as a godsend, because in light of the shooting at San Bernardino, his disruption also revealed holes in our church security that have since been patched. I explained why that guy was really a false prophet and a liar.

Echo Zoe Interview

I recently had the wonderful privilege of being interviewed once again by Andy Olson of Echo Zoe radio. The last time I visited with Andy, we discussed King James Onlyism. This time around, we discussed my articles I recently remastered and reposted interacting with Chaz Bufe, the blues guitar playing, anarchist atheist.

Check it out: 20 Ways to Answer the Fool

 

About Those Video Ads on My Blog

adsI moved from Blogger to WordPress back around September, 2012. The move was a semi-painless one and I have really grown to love the new platform.

One of the new feature that I have had to deal with is the presence of video ads occasionally popping up at the bottom of my various posts.

They are part of the WP blogging complex and are meant to help defray the cost of offering a free blogging platform to users. I make no money off of them, nor do I have any say as to which kind of ads will run with my posts. As far as I know they are random, though I can see them being sophisticated enough that the WP bot generating them keys specific ads to play as they relate to the subject of my posts or the use of particular words.

As the administrator, I don’t see those ads, but I know they are there. My regular readers and visitors are the ones who see them. I don’t even know if they automatically play or how they work specifically, but obviously I know they show up at the bottom of the posts because WP tells me that “An advertisement may appear here” when I am compiling and editing a post.

Every once in a while, I may have a concerned reader drop me a friendly note alerting me that an inappropriate ad was playing at the bottom of a post he was reading. I thank the reader for his concern and basically lay out the explanation I noted above: WP chooses the ads, I don’t, and there is nothing I can do about it really. I have only had maybe one or two vicious hater trolls go to twitter telling everyone what a hypocrite I am for being a finger-wagging moralist do-gooder working for John MacArthur and Grace to You making money off sexually explicit video ads. I ignore those individuals because I know sensible people are more discerning than that.

At any rate, the only thing I can do to get rid of the ads is pay a yearly fee of 100 bucks that would have them removed. I also get an improved post editor and some other perks, but as a father taking care of 6 other folks and a spoiled rotten cockapoo, laying down a 100 dollar yearly fee for a webpage is a difficult thing to do. I’d have to deal with the silent glares of my wife who considers my blogging to be a quaint hobby like stamp collecting and would bluntly remind me that clothes don’t grow on trees.

However. Having said all of that, there is one thing you readers can do. It just takes a moment of your time. If you happen to see an inappropriate or risque video ad at the bottom of a post, you can click a little link that says something like “report this ad.” Go to the link HERE and read the instructions, particularly the bottom paragraph that explains how reporting ads works.

– You’ll need to send an email to the support@wordpress.com people.

– copy the link of my article where you saw the ad.

– And create a screen cap of the actual ad. (I’m assuming you all know how to do that).

Place the copied link and the screen cap of the ad into the email and hopefully that will help in cutting them down a bit.

It would be much appreciated.

A Decade of Hits

decadeYesterday, May 31st, was my 10th year of blogging. Golly, how the time as flown.

On May 31st, 2005, I published my first ever blog post that introduced who I was and what I planned at the time to do with my blog. Looking back over the last decade, I think I stuck pretty close to my stated purpose.

As I was contemplating the acknowledgement of my 10th year of blogging, I thought I should share my reflections on what I have learned and experienced those past years since 2005. But, honestly, as I racked my brain to recall those reflections, I couldn’t really think of any. A better thing to do is link back to the post that I wrote highlighting my 5th year of blogging and that I reposted on my 7th year of blogging. (BTW, I lot of those links in the article take you back to the old Blogger edition of this blog, so be alert). Other than the stats being greater, what I wrote about then still applies to this day five years later. One particular paragraph I wrote about blog etiquette still amuses me,

A few months or so after had started blogging, I received an email with a link taking me to some fancy-pants website where writers pontificate on how a person or business can improve on-line etiquette. The article in question was exploring the then “blogger” phenomena and spelled out the rules on how to be a successful blogger by generating traffic to your site. The writer exhorted bloggers to do such things as write short posts, link to as many other websites as you can, keep your blog articles organized around just one or two themes, don’t plagiarize, etc.

I read those suggestions and realized my blog pretty much did the opposite of everything mentioned in the article. On my blog, I jumped from topic to topic, sometimes talked a lot about myself, and some of my articles were like 2,000 words or more. According to the logic of this article, my blog should have failed six and half years ago. But here I am seven years later and I have no thought of losing interest or slowing down in any fashion.

I guess if I were pressed to mention one reflection I have learned the last 10 years, it would be that I have greatly improved my discernment with picking the social media hills to die on. When I started, I would scour the internet searching high and low for controversial subjects to address. I intentionally wanted to write about subjects I believed would generate push back from commenters.  As I grew in my notoriety and influence, I began to see what a waste of time that can be because it becomes distracting. Besides, trolls get attracted and before I knew it, I’d be arguing over stupid triviality with some idiot who goes by the name “KingsSaint1” who believes the moon landings were hoaxed. Is it the least bit profitable to spend a Thursday afternoon wrestling with that oversize tar baby?

In fact, I am actually contemplating turning the comments off on my posts, a practice I would previously ridicule others who did. The main reason is simply because I just do not have the time anymore of responding; and honestly, I’m getting to the point where I don’t care what other’s opinions on a matter may be, especially some hardheaded troll.

tenyearsComments can be helpful and encouraging in that if a person takes time to thoroughly debunk a particularly nasty troll, others with lesser abilities can learn from the encounter. However, that person, unless he is especially gifted, still has to take the time to write a response. For me, I have 6 people and a dog, not to mention a job, who are demanding on my time, and they are much more important than a conspiracy troll who lives in Ohio. Compiling a thoughtful rebuttal to a troll can become wearisome, and 10 times out of 10 engagement is pointless, because the troll remains lodged in his hole.

If I were to offer a second reflection regarding my blogging from the last decade, I’d say I have come to value quality over quantity. When I began back in 2005, I would strive to have at least 3 posts up a week. Many times, in order to maintain that personal goal, I’d toss up half-baked posts, or link an article I found amusing and offer my witty remarks, or embed a funny video. The last couple of years in particular, I have cut back my posting to maybe one, or perhaps two articles a week at the most.  I want to spend a bit more time writing and rewriting to provide a quality product rather than just posting filler to get me to a particular target number.

There are many subjects I’ve addressed over the last 10 years, as well. Those posts I consider to be evergreens. People are always finding them with internet searches and utilizing them in their personal growth and interactions with others. I have been returning to those posts slowly over the months, reformatting them and updating them to keep them accessible to those who will be helped by them. I can’t tell you how it warms my heart to have total strangers visiting my church or touring our ministry who ask specifically if I am around so they can thank me for blogging on such and such a subject. That makes it all worth it.

I have also thought of giving up blogging altogether. But when I seriously begin contemplating that course of action, something pops up that animates me and I find myself writing up a response of some sort. But I do confess that desire to leave off blogging has been more prevalent in my thinking the last year. Again, that has more to do with the time factor than losing interest in writing and commenting.

However, I am not quite ready to hang it up. I look forward to at the least, one more year. I may be slowing down but I am yet to call it quits.

Of course, I’ll see how I feel about that next May!

Inerrancy Summit Sessions and Seminars

All of the main sessions and breakout seminars from the Shepherd’s Conference 2015 summit on biblical inerrancy  are now available online.

All of them can be found at the Master’s Seminary media hub located HERE.

The Domain of Truth blog has done us a favor and have linked each audio download at one place,

Inerrancy Summit Main Sessions

Inerrancy Summit Breakout Seminars

By the way, the main session linked at the Domain of Truth blog go immediately to the Vimeo videos of the sessions. If you want the MP3 audio, find the download at the TMS media hub.

I hope to be blogging a little bit on the doctrine of inerrancy here soon when I get caught up on other important and immediate chores. In the meantime, check out Michael Vlach’s message on presuppositionalism and inerrancy and Steve Lawson’s biographical sermon on the life of Tyndale. His message was absolutely enthralling for me.

And then David Farnell’s presentation on the dangers within evangelicalism against the doctrine of inerrancy is prophetic, as lobs hand grenades against well-known Christian apologists that we all respect who have severely compromised on these key doctrines to save face among academics. The audio of William Lane Craig denying key portions of Matthew’s account of the Resurrection narrative is staggering.

David gave the same presentation at a different apologetic conference in 2014, and the youtube version of that presentation is found HERE if you wish to see the pictures and quotes he mentioned.

My 2014 Blogging Year in Review

new yearEvery year WordPress sends out these little stat presentations telling me how my blog did in the grand scheme of things.

Overall, I did fairly well. Notoriety with the Strange Fire conference and co-blogging with Lyndon as we reviewed Michael Brown’s Authentic Fire and cross-posting them over to the Cripplegate definitely picked up the new followers. I think my presence on Twitter also attributed to that as well.

My top post for 2014 wasn’t even written in 2014. I think I posted it in 2013. In fact, three of the posts in my top five were written in 2013. I am actually glad to see that, because as the WP stats review email cheerfully exclaimed, “Your posts have staying power! Keep writing posts like that one!” Sure.

My top five posts,

1. Interpreting Ezekiel’s Temple Vision with 5,100 views. That post begins a series of studies I did on the topic of Ezekiel 40-48.

2. Christmas in the Hands of Reconstructionists. I’d though it would be number one with all the attention I got from it. Even Brannon Howse read from it on one of his radio programs back in November sometime.

3. So You Don’t Like John MacArthur’s Views of the Mark of the Beast. I received a lot of hate comments with this one condemning both John for believing people can be saved if they repent from taking the mark of the beast, and for myself for defending him.

4. Muslim Dreams and Visions of Jesus. I’d encourage folks to click over just to read the last comment under this post. It  is interesting. I am actually thinking about pulling it out and interacting with it on the main page.

5. The Kirk Cameron-Catholic Interview. This post got me in trouble with both Brannon Howse and Justin Peters and other folks who I otherwise pal around with on social media. Then I got back into their good graces by writing the follow up about Kirk’s Christmas movie.

My writing has waned the last few months due to various responsibilities increasing. I hope that can change a bit in the next year. I do plan to continue remastering old articles that, as WP says, “has staying power,” to touch them up from my Blogger to WP transfer a couple of years ago, as well as expose them to a newer audience.

MacArthur’s Millennial Manifesto Revisited

The recent dust up among Reformed acquaintances on social media reminded me of a series of posts I wrote up nearly 6 or 7 years ago interacting with Sam Waldron’s little book, MacArthur’s Millennial Manifesto. It was a short review and critique of John’s 2007 Shepherd’s Conference keynote address, Why Every Self-Respecting Calvinist Should Be a Premillennialist.

I thought it was a fabulous message because it irritated the folks who needed to be irritated, particularly the  young Reformed bloggers.

Sam Waldron initially went to his blog to offer his rebukes, and then those articles were turned into the book. Somehow a copy found its way to the radio ministry of Grace to You and I snagged it, read it, and wrote up a review and then five rejoinders to one of the key points found in the book.

So going back to the reaction on social media to the terribly made documentary called Let the Lion Roar, my thoughts were steered back to those posts, as well as a number of ones I wrote up on the subject of eschatology. I also plan to remaster them as well, and reformat their appearance for my WordPress blog (I never really did that when I moved from Blogger a couple of years ago) after the new year.

In the meantime, I had a few moments recently and I updated the Sam Waldron rejoinders. I didn’t want to repost them to the front page, but if anyone is interested who began following me in the recent months, here they are in order:

A Review of MacArthur’s Millennial Manifesto

Replacement Theology

Sam is a Dispensational Man

Peace and Mercy …. Upon the Israel of God

For They Are Not All Israel Who are Israel

The Commonwealth of Israel

RefMont 2014

I will be leaving for the Reformation Montana 2014 conference this week, so apart from one planned post going up sometime on Wednesday, there will be no blogging until I get back next week. If I can find internet access, I’ll try to moderate any comments that may come in. If not, the haters should not automatically assume I am dodging their withering questions.

In the meantime, if there any readers heading to the conference, please shoot me an email and we can try to hook up. Would love to meet you, put a real face to your commenting nick, maybe eat an elk burger together.

Celebrating 9 Years of Blogging!

bloggingSo tomorrow, May 31st, I’ll be celebrating my 9th year of blogging. I guess the real milestone will be next year when it’s a decade.

My blogging hasn’t changed too much over the last 9 years. The only big change is that I have just slowed down a bit. I used to have sometimes up to four posts a week, but they were often goofy things, like links to amusing videos or other viral items on the internet that weren’t really that theological. Twitter now provides me an outlet for those things.

Now I concentrate my writing efforts on important, relevant topics and overall content. That of course limits my posting to maybe once a week.

I recently have begun work remastering and retooling my archived catalog of articles. When I moved from Blogger to Word Press a couple of years ago, a lot of my articles were reformatted and looked ugly.  I have started with the timely ones, or maybe I could say the ones I think are evergreens and provide folks with information on unaddressed subjects.

I don’t have a ton of followers, nor do I get a lot of hits, though visitor traffic has increased much over the last year or so. I think because I am becoming more notorious online. Anyways, one of my main objectives has been to provide at least some material for that person who may have a question about an out-of-the-ordinary subject that none of the other big time bloggers are necessarily addressing, like Muslims seeing Jesus in dreams or reviews of odd books like The Harbinger.

For those interested, here’s the very first post I ever posted, and here is a more detailed post about my blogging history from my seventh anniversary. I lay out my philosophy and sophisticated opinions about blogging with that one.