A Man With No Country: Seeking a Home in Presbyterianism (Part One)

SPJ_May_1942I’ve posted before about the state of conservative Presbyterianism in the United States, and my deep, abiding sense of being an outsider to the Presbyterian world.

Recent events have only confirmed me in my viewpoint on that subject.

But in order to understand precisely why I feel that way, you have to understand a bit of my story first. I was not born and bred a Presbyterian; far from it, in fact.

My family is all over the map, religiously speaking (and geographically speaking, too, but I digress). My paternal grandfather’s family were all Methodists. My paternal grandmother’s people were all Southern Baptists, so granddaddy “converted”, so to speak, to the Baptist church when he got married in 1936. On the maternal side of the family, we’ve got an intriguing mixture of Congregationalists and Methodists, and another long line of Mormons, including my mother’s younger brother, who is a Mormon bishop in Georgia.

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The Unwinnable Debate: World Vision and Gay Marriage

I-dont-love-gay-People-720x360World Vision has managed to stir up two hornets nests this week: first, by deciding to change their policy on hiring married homosexuals, and second, by then backing off and changing that position after the “evangelical” community became totally enraged.

While cruising around FaceBook, I saw this post from Stephanie Drury of Stuff Christian Culture Likes, and thought it deserved scrutiny:

“This World Vision thing has exposed even more of the absolute and utter darkness and ugliness of the whole Christianist empire. They have persecution complexes, but they’re really BAD at being persecuted. They don’t turn the other cheek. They don’t ‘count it all joy.’ They bitch and moan and complain and bellyache.” —Kevin Shoop of Shoopscope.

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So New School

I’ve long been mulling over the seeming connections between the “new Calvinism” of John Piper and the New School Calvinism of the 1830s. However, it seems Dale Coulter has beat me to posting on such a comparison. His article, which is much better than mine would have been, can be found here.

The Necessity of Polemics

Engaging with Keller…the degree to which people value the truth is the degree to which they are willing to engage in public debate over it. This is the way any enterprise that depends upon truth for its success and continued existence is maintained. One example would be medical science, in which fellow doctors challenge the findings and procedures of the peers in journals. Everyone understands that this public debate is not done out of idle curiosity or a vindictive spirit, but because lives depend on getting it right.”  — Campbell and Schweitzer, Engaging With Keller, 16.

If everyone understands that public debate in the medical field takes place because lives depend on it, then why don’t people understand that public theological debate is just as important because the eternal fate of men’s souls depends on it?