Those who peddle fear would have us believe that it is on some particular point that the foundation is still teetering. To not follow the party line on this issue will be to surrender every foundation and if this one falls then to the mountains we must go. And so if we desire to protect the foundations then we must hold our nose and vote for immoral men. We must overlook sexual immorality and accept pride and narcissism as a necessary evil to maintaining our foundations.
The cliche “larger than life” could have been invented for R.C. Sproul. And he seemed that way not simply for his towering intellect, his far-reaching influence, and his incredible preaching gift, but also for the way he talked about the holiness of God as a man who had been taken apart and put back together by it. And yet one thing I have learned that the holiness of God does to Spiritually in-step souls is that it makes them simultaneously heaven-minded and of earthly good. Has any pastor-theologian of his stature seemed so at once erudite and . . . well, normal? One can just as easily see oneself discussing Cartesian philosophy with R.C. as watching the Steelers game with him. Who else is both a towering intellect and entirely amiable? I can think of no one. (Don’t name any names, because I’ll tell you how socially awkward they actually are.) This is an effect of the holiness of God also.
The similarities were unmissable: the destruction of a massive spherical weapon through the exploitation of a weak point vulnerable only to X-wings—this time the planet Starkiller Base instead of the moon-sized Death Star; the presence of cute droids who provide whimsical comic relief—this time BB-8 instead of R2-D2; and so forth. Even many of the shots felt like replicas, as demonstrated in this side-by-side video comparison.
But is this a problem?
I called the university president’s office and asked to meet with him. I ended up sitting down with a dean and telling the story. I do not remember much about the meeting with the dean. I felt he was kind, and I felt he wanted me to transfer, but I didn’t want to. I hadn’t done anything wrong.
Bookshelves should in a certain sense be monuments of your ignorance. I pointed to them and called them that once during a Bible study. When people come over for the first time they will often ask if I’ve read “all those books.” The short is of course no, and I probably never will. I’ve read a good bit of them, but just for realism sake, in the picture above, there are just over 100 books that I haven’t read. And that’s one of 6 bookshelves I have (not all that big). And that’s not counting the thousands of books in my Logos library that I’ll never touch.
The thinking behind Jefferson’s Bible is popular because it invites us to learn from Jesus and not bow before Him. Learning from Jesus’ example is very different from surrendering to Him as King. Because of our sin and our inability to rescue ourselves, we do not need a moral example nearly as much as we need a Savior. And only when we have been rescued by Him can we truly follow His example.
A favorite from the archives:
Christmas traditions are strange animals. I know some people who do things like spend Halloween night getting their Christmas on, decorating up a storm, baking cookies, and putting trees up in almost every room. Some go to special church services on Christmas Eve. Some like to watch specific Christmas specials or movies every year, like Miracle on 34th Street, Elf, or Die Hard.
Bruce Willis taking back Nakatomi Plaza aside, there aren’t a lot of Christmas traditions in the Armstrong house. Up until recently, our church hasn’t had a permanent facility, so we’ve not had Christmas Eve services (at least, not that I can recall). In order to best meet the needs of our extended family, we allow the kids to open gifts on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas day. But there isn’t really a ton beyond that.