Monthly Archives: April 2013

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I'm reading "Cold Case Christianity" and this paragraph stuck out.

In those days, as I was evaluating the claims of Christianity, I demanded a form of evidence (direct evidence) that simply isn’t available to anyone who is studying historical events. I failed to see that rejecting (or devaluing) circumstantial evidence would prevent me from understanding anything about history (when eyewitnesses of a particular event are unavailable for an interview). If I continued to reject (or devalue) circumstantial evidence, I would never have been able to successfully prosecute a single cold-case killer. All of us need to respect the power and nature of circumstantial evidence plays in making the case for Christianity.

The author had explained how circumstantial evidence compares to direct evidence, and how a solid case can be built on circumstantial evidence alone.

We don't have direct evidence today for Christianity - it is all historical, circumstantial, or subjective. But if a criminal case can be built on circumstantial evidence to convict the criminal, a circumstantial case can also be built to free the slave.

The atheist will claim that we cannot prove that God exists. True, we don't have direct evidence...but what does the circumstantial evidence point to?


My friend, Phil and I were talking about the article on Christianity Today - John Piper, Is My Femininity Showing. I kept asking, why can't they get that Piper made it clear that he wasn't talking about the female body - he was saying that, as a Complementarian, he believes that a woman should not have spiritual authority over a woman.

(run down...see my post from yesterday)

Phil didn't use these words, but we have used these terms before. It's the narrative.

The author of the article made a (false) assumption that Piper's concern was about the female body...and ran with that assumption...ran fast and hard.

Once the narrative was set, no amount of reasoning was going to shift the conversation to where PIPER had his concerns...women in authoritative teaching positions over men.

It's the narrative. And we hear the familiar refrain: words like evil, bigoted, hateful, comparisons to Islam...even the theory that he's not comfortable with the menstrual cycle (???) or that he cannot get beyond the "allure" of the female body...

Unable to discern between reading a book and sitting under authoritative teaching in person...I seriously don't get that. Example: I've read several of Rob Bell's books. I've gotten some good information...but I refused to even visit his church, with was only around 10 miles away from me (he recently left) - reading his book, I can put it his church, with him in the pulpit, he become my teacher. But (you know...) it's the narrative.

I'm sure that these are not unintelligent people, but they are unwilling, or unable to veer from the narrative. It is not for me to judge whether unwilling or unable, but veering they will not or cannot do.

Thoughts on "Hey John, Is My Femininity Showing?"

The offending podcast is here.

The way I'm reading it goes like this.

The basics

  1. John Piper is a Complementarian
  2. He believes that men should be the leaders in the home and church and further...
  3. women should not be in spiritual leadership positions over men.

The question the podcast answers the question: Can men use commentaries written by women?

The logic:

  1. Piper doesn't have a problem reading spiritual material written by women
  2. Piper does have a problem with a woman sitting in spiritual authority over a man, whether in a church, or seminary class.
  3. Therefore: the mere presence of a female body (in general) is offensive to John Piper.

Apparently, most egalitarians don't see the distinction between reading a book (sitting and gathering information) and sitting under teaching authority.

You don't submit to a book, you do submit to a teacher.

You can put a book down, you can give it away, throw it away, burn can't do those things to a teaching authority. You can get yourself out from under the authority, but as long as you're in that class, you're under authority.

I understand that it's not the body parts, it's the authority. Piper makes that clear when he says, "whereas if she were standing right in front of me and teaching me as my shepherd< /strong>…I couldn’t make that separation"

This is not the voice of "femininity" - it's the voice of worldly feminism (which is antithetical to femininity.) It's the brand of feminism that cannot tolerate dissension, cannot respect differing viewpoints and must tear down those who disagree.

So Rachel, don't's not your femininity that's showing.


Wayne Grudem's article is no longer on CBMW.

I'm putting it here as a reference for myself...if Grudem doesn't approve, I'd love for him to contact me and see if he can get it back on CBMW as a reference (and to let him know that I now work with one of his former students 😉

But What Should Women Do In The Church?

Wayne Grudem

...continue reading


So....shall we talk about expanding definitions?

Our definition of sexual assault is any type of sexual behavior or contact where consent is not freely given or obtained and is accomplished through force, intimidation, violence, coercion, manipulation, threat, deception, or abuse of authority. This definition gets beyond our society’s narrow understanding of the issue and expands the spectrum of actions to be considered sexual assault.

("Rid Of My Disgrace" by Lindsey and Justin Holcomb)

What is the problem with this definition?

"assault" is an ugly word, and it should be. But (for the sake of the victim and the aggressor) it needs to be defined objectively.

For instance, define "freely given" - does that mean that a partner needs to explicitly give consent each and every time an encounter happens? Does it mean that a consent that was granted when a wife accepts her husband's advances because he wanted her, even though she wasn't in that perfect "mood," that consent was not "freely" given?

Who gets to decide when "manipulation" happened?

The big one is "abuse of authority" - I'm firmly in the complementarian camp and I believe that the husband is an authority over his wife. If there is a pattern of him denied access to the blessings of the marriage covenant, and presses the issue, is that an "abuse of authority?"

These are subjective definitions.

If a girl or woman was treated inappropriately, does that rise to the level of "assault"?

For instance...when I was a teen, one of the fashions of the day was a button up shirt...not buttoned, but tied in a knot right at the bridge of the bra. Lots of cleavage there. (this, by the way, is something that I may have told one or two people...ever) A friend and I had been baby-sitting and when the man in the home came to pay us and send us on our way, he got real close to me, put the backs of his fingers inside my shirt and stroked my breast.

It was sexual behavior, consent was not give, and I felt intimidated. Inappropriate, certainly. Absolutely - and I was very uncomfortable with it. But, Inever ratcheted up to the level of "assault."

I rarely think about the incident, only when I hear similar stories, only the "victim" is so wound up about her "assault" that she cannot function. I end up thinking..."really?"

I have a friend who was brutally raped by multiple young men. The wounds went deep, and they should.

I have a problem when the distinction between my incident and gang rape is blurred. There should be "levels of guilt" (for lack of a better term) in this area. If we bring everything to the level of "assault" - then everything is assault and everybody is a victim. I'm not prepared to live life as a victim.

Women are strong (or should be) and resilient (or should be) - instead of being told that we are all victims of assault, we should be taught to distinguish between those levels and deal with the behavior at that level.

My friend, Jan, has what her husband calls the "awfulizer" - she can take a fairly mundane thing and "awfulize" it (but can't we all?")

By taking an inappropriate act and "awfulizing" into "assault" we are running the risk of taking an objective definition, leaving it at the mercy of subjective feelings, then having a few women "awfulize" it, leaving men to wonder if they're going to be forever branded as sex criminals on Megan's List.

That could be a very bad thing.

When I was in California, I shopped a couple of local yarn shops.

One was Purlescence. They had spinning wheels on the floor! and full size floor looms! And great drop spindles! I was looking for local yarn (another story about that later) and they have their own line of yarn, that they process and dye on site. It's called "Purl up and Dye" - a great name. I got a couple of skeins in bright pink - enough to make a pair of socks - PLUS. I also got a pretty heave drop spindle. The down side of the store is that there are "New Age" signals (but I've shopped such stores that have been fine) and the biggest detractor to the experience was that the operator/manager was not all that friendly. Phil wanted to see a spinning wheel in action and they were having a spinning class in the back. They were taking a break, and rather than just letting us know that it was a private area, she was pretty rude, and physically put her body in between us and the class. It would have been easy to let us watch the instructor for a minute. What was interesting was that when I as there by myself earlier, I didn't have that experience. Perhaps I was there on a mission (shopping for yarn, not wheels) or maybe the presence of an alpha male upset the balance of their universe.

The other store was Green Planet Yarn. I pre-judge the store by the name, thinking that this one would be the "New Age" store. Wrong! They had a wonderful selection of non-animal, sustainable and third world yarn. I picked up a couple of different yarns, one made out of sugar cane, the other out of cotton and wood fiber, in beautiful, soft color. The sales women went out of their way to talk about how to care for the yarn, how to combine skeins to get a consistent color (the yarns were make suing local and ancient dying techniques) - which is not a big deal when making socks.

Short story, if I'm in CA and want a spinning wheel, spindle or class, Purlescence is the only party in town. For local and specialty yarn, Green Planet is the planet I'll be choosing.

They got a brand new dance (come on), you gotta move your muscle
Brand new dance, it's called the Cupid Shuffle
It don't matter if you're young or you're old (here we go)
We gone show you how it go (hey hey)
to the left, to the left, to the left....

("Cupid Shuffle" - Cupid)

politics, theology, life...many things can be aligned into liberal/conservative categories.

In my experienced, every single time (seriously, no exceptions) that I've encountered a person who says that they're neither liberal or conservative, they think like a liberal, vote like a liberal, talk like a liberal.

When I run across a person who says that in some ways they lean liberal, in other ways, conservative, they can point to some of those ways.


1) I've found that "evasion = liberal"

I've also found that only the liberal cause is helped by changing the center.

Pick a marriage. The political gay lobby pick a point somewhat left of center and begin calling it "center." As the leftist continue their march to the left, that "left of center" point seems more reasonable, and it becomes accepted as "center."

At which point the leftists move further left, and those on the right, **WHO HAVE NOT CHANGED THEIR POSITIONS** are now labeled "far rights" and "fringe."

"Conservatives" now become "center," in order to be avoid being viewed as "extremists" but that "center" is where the left used to be.

I've been called some pretty foul names. Why? Because I dare to suggest that people of faith should not be forced by law to participate in ceremonies that violate their conscience.

If one thinks that a Christian should be able to opt out of catering a gay commitment ceremony, they are now "bigots"


2) Leftists don't want the right to compromise. They want capitulation.

I recently read a post about "New Wave Complementarianism" - looks like "old wave egalitarianism" to me. The author had made a move (and a good one, from one other of her posts I read) and adjusted her stand accordingly. But adjusting your position should mean adjusting the description you take. For instance, if a conservative begins leaning to the liberal, they should call themselves "liberal" and not try to call themselves "new wave conservative". Okay, this is a rehash of #2, only from an ethical viewpoint.


3) if you call yourself "new" anything, you're probably not. Check the "old" definitions and see which one fits.

I'm not going to play "Leftist says" and move "to the left, to the left"


Even infants, who have no personal sin of their own, suffer pain and death. Now the Scriptures uniformly represent suffering and death as the wages of sin. It would be unjust for God to execute the penalty on those who are not guilty. Since the penalty falls on infants, they must be guilty; and since they have not personally committed sin, they must be guilty of Adam's sin.

("Reformed Doctrine of Predistination" by Lorraine Boettner)

I've never seen "imputed sin" in Scripture, but I'm starting to see how they get there.

The "wages of sin is death" - did that mean spiritual death, or temporal death? (Note: there is a whole different topic of whether or not physical death was on earth before the fall)

anyway, if human beings did not die on earth before the fall, and the wages of sin is (including) temporal death, we are suffering the wages of Adam's sin.

If a Just God would not punish a person (save Jesus, who voluntarily stood in our place) for the sin of another, does this logic place the guilt of Adam's sin on us, since we are paying the penalty?

From the beginning...

I was born into a Christian family. My earliest years were in a very small house close to my mother's parents. I remember very little, but remember the wallpaper in my bedroom (?)

My parents were married in a church down the street from my grandparent's house and that is the house I remember best.

When I was a year and a half old, my Grandpa Brown (my dad's dad) talked my parents into moving to the farm - where I grew up. We went to a church that my dad and grandpa helped to build. Our house was built on part of the family farm only a few hundred feet from my grandparent's house. I remember the farm animals, cats galore and always a dog or two.

I remember the best of my grandparents - Grandpa was quiet and content, Grandma was sad, but always took care of us. We were in a rural farming community in the Thumb of Michigan, which meant that we frequently lost power in the winter and we were the last to get plowed out. When the power went out, sometime we went to stay with Grandma and Grandpa (the gravity feed furnace didn't need electricity so they stayed warm) and I had my favorite place to sleep on the floor Eventually we figured out that "my spot" was right on top of the gravity feed furnace. Grandma had a chair next to the dining room table...we figured out that it was right next to the chimney, so she had the warmest chair in the house.

Upstairs at my grandma's house was "the porch" - built on a roof, unheated...there was even a space between the floor and the wall where you could see outdoors. But there were a couple of beds for summer sleepover and the walls were lined with bookcases. Lots of books, so I grew up reading. There were lost of cousins around, but no girls my age. My best friends were the Bobsey twins, Trixie Beldon, and Anne of Greene Gables.

My church memories are vague. I have glimpses of VBS, little memories of Wednesday evening prayer meetings. As a child, my dad prayed for me before an oral surgery to take a tumor off of my gum line. When we went to the hospital the next day, the tumor was gone. I sat next to him while he prayed for my mom when she was in the hospital.

My dad was a deacon in that small church for most of my years at home and it never grew beyond under 100 in number (not surprising in a very small town.) The pastors came and went, another came and went.

I never knew a time when my life wasn't grounded in family Christianity, but I don't think the faith was MINE until later on. My parents gave me the foundation, but it had to be the Holy Spirit who built it.

My pastor said this morning..."A church believes what it sings." And I grew up on "Amazing Grace,"