01 September 2005

A Thursday contribution to the week's theme

No elaboration necessary.



Phil's signature

111 comments:

Fred Butler said...

I can barely type through the tears of laughter...
Phil,
When you get back to the office, please, you have to show me how you put together these graphics. I want to watch from start to finish. Give me a call.

Fred
Hip and Thigh

burttd said...

First, he uses racial stereotypes. NOW, he advocates violence against women. I think *somebody* is looking for attention. I may just have to take your link off my blogpage for this... ;-}

BTW, aren't you supposed to be on vacation? When *I* was on vacation last month, I didn't blog. You should try it. ;-}

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Call me stupid, but . . .
Im guessing this is hinting at those Boarshead Tavern guys, right? Unwrap the mystery Phil . . . oh what does it mean???

Bret Capranica said...

Let the squealing begin.

Scott Hill said...

Phil you are a brave man. I can give you some information on how they trap hogs in the South if you need them.

Daniel said...

The "Hissy Fit" edition for only 10 cents - priceless!

Sled Dog said...

Phil can sure dish it out. But can he and his tribe take it? I'm curious...what kind of hissy fit would ensue if someone came up with a comic book cover satirizing the idiosyncracies of GCC and Masters? I imagine it would be worse than any outcry from the Tavernites.

Paul Schafer said...

How much would these comic books be worth in 10 years?

tommy said...

Very distasteful Phil.

MTG said...

As a woman who was beaten more than once by an abusive husband...all I can say is....eeeccch. Brings back more than one awful memory.

I know you have not intentionally meant to offend anyone

bethy31 said...

I seriously do not get what is funny about this...something is wrong with this...

Mikey C said...

Is it wrong to find these childish antics incredibly amusing?

It'll all end in tears, though...

Daniel said...

Hyperbole: "extravagant exaggeration"

The impishly doctored cover of "Crime Does not Pay" (Issue N0. 58 - see the undoctored coverhere) is no doubt poking fun of the way some people defend their theological positions. I can only assume the humor rises from the accuracy with which the parallel is drawn.

Correct me if I am wrong Phil.

Steve Gentry said...

Wow Phil, What a great cover. I'd love to be able to buy a copy and add to my memorabilia collection. It would be perfect right between the "Sword of the Lord" and "The Biblical Evangelist". And Tennessee Temple thought they didn't teach you anything!

Michael Spencer said...

Daniel:

Why don't you write me and explain to me how the cover art of striking a woman explains how I defend my theological positions?

michael@internetmonk.com

anoninva said...

Phil

Put down the comic books. Step away slowly.....

steve said...

Yes, Phil, this was in very poor taste. You have now affronted the Marie Antoinette crowd!

How could you stoop so low and be oh-so gauche? Clearly you need to spend some quality time in Paris, France, and learn how truly civilized people comport themselves in polite society!

Speaking for myself, I find your spoof so distastefully tasteless that it has whetted my terribly uncouth tastebuds for the main course.

jeff2 said...

Notice that Mr. Spencer can never smile when the humor is regarding his antics but will roar and make fun of others when he makes snide remarks about others. Get over it Michael. The truth is the truth, even when it hurts.

Michael Spencer said...

Jeff,

Where are my snide remarks? Where am I making fun of someone?

MSpencer

SarahR said...

Phil,
Probably the best post yet. This was great. I can't stop laughing. I can just hear the squealing and crying of the hogs now.

Steve said...

I've long appreciated Phil's wry sense of humor and exceptional wordsmithing abilities. But I have to admit that this latest comic cover, while surely intended in good-natured fun, seems to take theological disagreement down a rabbit trail that's all too likely to provoke further innuendos, name-calling, and other jabs that have nothing to do with the legitimate issues over which the parties are in disagreement.

Second Timothy 2:23-25 urges us to "avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth."

First, let me point out I'm NOT saying it's wrong to dispute the fellows at BHT. I'm all for an uncompromising earnestness in contending for the truth. To challenge theological murkiness or error is not "generating strife."

What I AM questioning is this: Does the altered comic book cover generate an unnecessary form of strife that is going to make it harder, in the future, for the opposing side to want to listen to anything Phil says?

And more importantly, going back to 2 Timothy 2:24-25, is it gentle, patient, and done in humility? That's where I'm having trouble. If we're going to alienate someone with whom we disagree, is this the way we want to do it?

I don't think there are easy answers here. After all, we've all laughed over jokes about Tammy Faye's eyelashes...Benny Hinn's hairdo...CentriOn's halo, etc. What's hard about humor is knowing where to stop. It's obvious from the preceding commenters we have different thresholds of acceptance. As for Phil being willing to dish it out, I can't help but think in all fairness, he ought to be willing to take equal rubbing back.

I have to admit that for some reason, the subtle dig at BHT in yesterday's blog didn't bother me. But today...it just seems too deliberate, too in-your-face. No matter what angle I take as I ponder the comic cover, I'm having a rather hard time reconciling it with 2 Timothy 2:23-25.

Those are my observations, for whatever it's worth. if nothing else, it's more fuel for today's fire.

Michael Spencer said...

As I said this morning...ONE BHT fellow commented over here. Within 5 comments it was "The BHT is in a hissy fit."

When yesterday's comic was mentioned by the same commenter at the BHT, I said "Let's drink to them."

And now- without any responses, rants, snide remarks, etc- we're here discussing why my blog is like a man hitting a woman. A post by a BHT fellow = a "hissy fit."

I mean, if the BHT, which contains a bunch of people who agree with 95% of what Phil posts, is the best way to rally the troops over here, what can I say. It's a mystery to me.

What is going on here? I really want to know.

I have said it to Phil privately and I'll say it here: If there is a way to make peace, I'll certainly do so.

Student of History said...

Theological discussions/arguments aside, I do not see how striking a woman can really ever be portrayed as comical.

I am honestly disappointed.

Kate

thedodester said...

I wanted to send a post that would express the hope that Phil got over his brain cramp real soon. (I guess I have now)

I was thinking that, though I find Steve Hays too lofty and relentlessly logical for my own poor mind to follow (let alone dare to comment upon) I at least see that he engages opponents on the specifics of their theology almost all the time. He does ridicule other people's views but I hope never the people themselves. (though I wonder a bit in Steve Camp's case)

Now Mr. Hayes has has weighed in with some very wise words that I hope Phil will heed.

Confrontation of error - yes. Destruction of every lofty argument that is against Christ - yes. Ridiclue and insult - definately not.

Comments like "They started it first" and "They can dish it out but they can't take it" from either side may be true or not in either case. But such thoughts strike a very immature and unbibical tone that, upon reflection, Phil might not want be encouraging by his posts.

Blessing

Tony

Sled Dog said...

Well, I don't have a side. When I questioned whether Phil was able to take what he dished out, it was simply an observation. After reading this blog for a while, I've noticed that Phil likes to swing, poke and jab at a lot of targets, and it seems (to me) that sometimes there is a bit of swagger in his posts, but he also seems to get bent out of shape when someone swings back. Also, anyone who desires to use hyperbole and satire to make their points will always run the risk of offending.

Phil has referred to himself in his blog profile as a gadfly and a provocateur. My dictionary defines a gadfly as a cattle biting fly, but also as a tormentor. Gad derives from the word "goad". So methinks he likes provoking others...but then gets upset when they finally have had enough and poke back.

nelmezzo said...

I've been watching this unfold since the original "Pyromaniac and Pecadillo vs. the Tavern-Monkey" post. I found that funny, just because of the sound of it and because I took it as a bit of fun rough-housing.

However, what I don't find funny is how everyone responding assumes that the BHT then had some sort of fit, a fit which Phil is supposedly now skewering because of the BHT's supposed lack of humor.

Michael Spencer's account of things is correct. Exactly one person from the BHT complained about the original cover. No fit was thrown.

I think it's a bit dubious to poke fun at a group of people, evoke a response (doesn't poking fun usually evoke a response--and isn't it intended to?) from just one person and then have a whole bunch of other people pile in and say: "see, they really do not have a sense of humor."

If I were in the BHT, at this point I would feel a sting of unfairness to all of this. If I were in the BHT, I would also have laughed at the original cover as an example of amusing banter. Now, IMO, it's becoming less funny.

centuri0n said...

Think about this: I didn't see this post before I had lunch with Phil, and he warned me that it was high-octane.

So I clink the link and load the page, and I start crying I'm laughing so hard.

iMonk:

It explains your boar's head tavern in way that you cannot even perceive -- which is why it is so funny. If you actually got the joke -- that is, if you and the tavern-monkeys (ht: Phil) were self-aware enough to get the joke -- then it wouldn't be so close to the truth. I doubt girl-slapping "Frankie" gets the joke, either.

Michael Spencer said...

Centurion:

Whatever you are talking about- specifically- if you will write me and tell me what I've done, I'll be happy to discuss it.

Jeremy said...

Folks... I think Centuri0n is right on this - major, major over reaction. Maybe many of you need to stop taking things so personally and seeing the humor in what Phil is doing, or just quit reading his blog. Sure Phil is pushing buttons, but only if you let him.

Let me illustrate. I had a buddy at college who knew exactly what buttons to push with me just to see me get flustered, upset and indignet. When I did get that way it was great entertainment for him and other friends of mine. After I had acted like a complete fool, and they had a great laugh, we cooled off and things were good. Over the long haul however I realized that my friend was pushing those buttons with me because they were areas in my life in which I was weak (and frankly wrong in). He really wanted to demonstrate his love for me and help me grow in Christ-likeness.

I think it is amazing (and quite frankly hilarious) that Phil has the guy(s) at BHT nailed down so specifically that he can push a button, and get a reation like he has. It's apparent he doesn't just have BHT down either, he has many of you too.

So take his joke for what it is, a laugh. And if you are easily offended or upset about these comic book covers then maybe you need to see if there is an area of weakness in your life and allow God to use the button-pushing to mold you more into Christlikeness.

Michael Spencer said...

>maybe you need to see if there is an area of weakness in your life and allow God to use the button-pushing to mold you more into Christlikeness.

Just so I get this right....the most recent post is an instrument of sanctification if I will just get right with God?

*Twilight zone theme*

jeff2 said...

Centurion and Jeremy have it right on. I am sure that Phil knew that this would cause a little uproar amongst the natives however Mr. Spencer is very good at doing the same thing and then declaring, "who me?" Go back through his archives and look at the nastiness of Spencer and the BHT crew towards James White and what they describe as the "TR" or "Truly Reformed". Anyone who chooses to hold fast to historic Christianity and a Reformed viewpoint is painted as "TR". I don't see Spencer calling on the chimps to back off when they are ridiculing others. They commonly make reference to James White because there is no doubt that they do not like him and what he strives to stand for. When comments are made about Mr. Spencer here and across the blogosphere (believe me I have read many), Spencer quickly goes into "let's play the victim" mode. Further, I notice a couple of you who are quick to chastise Phil over the comic book cover are regular commenters at the iMonk site and seem to be standing by your man. It is ridiculous to think that Phil advocates assaulting a women or assaulting anyone else for that matter. Quit using that as your soap box to defend Michael Spencer who just may be "chief amongst sinners" who is reaping a little of what he has sown.

tommy said...

It isn't "PC" to be offended by a picture of a man hitting a woman and calling her a wench. If the faux magazine cover had a man hitting another man it wouldn't bother me at all. I wish I was as enlightened as the sheep in the comment room to see the humor.

I have a couple of thoughts:
1) the BHT is a collection of individuals from many backgrounds, we don't sign a creed or confession to join. And when we post on the Phil's website it is as an individual, not representing the BHT or Michael.

2) Most of the BHT members are more reformed than Phil.

Ransom said...

The "hissy fit" is more in the category of "self-fulfilling prophecy," methinks.

Steve said...

Jeremey said:

"And if you are easily offended or upset about these comic book covers then maybe you need to see if there is an area of weakness in your life and allow God to use the button-pushing to mold you more into Christlikeness."


Wow, Jeremey. That's an incredibly self-confident declaration. Thanks for enlightening us poor souls who have been honest enough to question whether Phil's blogpost descended to ridicule or unnecessarily provocative behavior.

Here's what I find ironic. I APPRECIATE more than you know the stand Phil Johnson takes for God's truth. Theologically, I'm in wholehearted agreement with him. I appreciate his wisdom, candor, and yes, humor. And yet when it comes to a matter such as this--an overt jab via a comic book cover that doesn't even deal with a theological issue per se but takes direct aim at people--it seems Michael Spencer of BHT has taken the high road. Michael certainly hasn't responded to Phil in kind (thank goodness the food fight hasn't escalated). Maybe Michael doesn't get the joke, but that's beside the point. Phil HAS exaggerated the BHT response. And enough commenters HAVE already expressed disappointment over the blogpost that it's clear this is NOT just a matter of Michael Spencer "not getting it."

With your remark about some of us being easily offended, you've somehow prophetically typecast us as maybe having "an area of weakness" in our lives. Could you at least consider the possibility that we as fellow Christians might have some modicum of concern related to discernment and good taste? Is such a concern a "weakness"?

Sorry, Jeremey, but your analogy crumbles pretty easily. We've all experienced exactly what you explained regarding your good friend who pushed your buttons in various ways. We all know what a good thing it can be to have close friends who helps sharpen and mold us. But your analogy doesn't work because we're talking about a significantly different environment here. This is an extremely public forum comprised not of an inner circle of friends, but literally anyone in the world who has access to the Internet.

We as Christians, when we take a stand against evolutionists, homosexuals, abortionists, etc. get frustrated when, in the course of dialogue or debate, our opponents respond to us NOT with well-reasoned arguments, but ridicule and insults. And while I myself have qualms about some of what shows up on BHT, I cannot blame Spencer for feeling he's just gotten some of the same treatment that a secular world all too often dishes out to us Christians.

Shouldn't theological entanglement in such a public forum be handled with at least some measure of respect and not descend to pure ridicule, as today's post did?

Again, a circle of friends who "get the joke" because they're insiders is quite different from a global electronic audience that forms its impressions of Christ based upon the words and actions of His followers.

And when not just one, but several people raise questions about what happened, I think there's reason to think hard and see if we can learn from the matter before us, and not merely dismiss it as the mere ramblings of some brethren who have a weakness in their life.

Jeremy said...

Steve...

Thanks for the response, and it is spelled J-E-R-E-M-Y (only two "e"s)... Now on to my response...

Could you at least consider the possibility that we as fellow Christians might have some modicum of concern related to discernment and good taste? Is such a concern a "weakness"?

Absolutely! Yes, let's have lots of discernment and concern related to good taste - are those concerns "weakness?" - Not at all.

Shouldn't theological entanglement in such a public forum be handled with at least some measure of respect and not descend to pure ridicule, as today's post did?

First of all I didn't realize that this post was a "theological entanglement" and secondly I didn't take it to be pure ridicule. I found today's post to be something called "parody" which my dictonary (Oxford American to be exact) states is "an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect." Was it an imitation of how TBH folks blog with deliberate exaggeration to be funny... I happen to think so.

I don't think Phil was trying to be blately rude, or hostile, or even non-Christian. He was trying merely to be funny via the medium of parody. Which for some people, they got the joke. Others who didn't get the parody and just took it at face value were offended. It is an exageration, yes. Does it highlight a hint of truth about BHT... I think so.

What I was trying to highlight was the fact that many people just couldn't let a funny post be a funny post, and missed the whole point of the parody and made a big fuss about Phil not being "PC" or as the comments came, even "civil" towards other Christians.

I think we are far too sensitive (or at least pretend to be) to see humor and parody for what it is worth, and I think that is a product of everyone trying to be as politically correct as possible.... which Phil certainly isn't.

I don't think the post was wrong, and yes maybe it was an inside joke that Phil had, but then again... it is his blog.

Steve said...

Jeremy, my apologies for misspelling your name.

And yes, it's definitely Phil's blog. He's free to do with it what he wants.

But I'll graciously and firmly disagree with your assesment that "I think we are far too sensitive (or at least pretend to be) to see humor and parody for what it is worth."

That implies humor and parody in and of themselves are always fine and don't necessarily reach a point where they become more than just that. Given your statement, you must be one who absolutely never takes offense when an unbelieving political cartoonist pokes ill humor at Christians. I contend humor and parody ought to be used with care because they CAN cross the threshold of reasonable taste, and given Scripture's frequent reminders that we as Christians have a high calling, it's wise to use care and discretion when we resort to humor and parody.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Phil,
It appears that elaboration may have been needed.:-)

jthomas899 said...

I have follow the "monk" for years. Phil, you have hit a grandslam homerun. When the dog gets hit, he barks!

Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

OUCH!

Photon McJehu said...

Somebody's got a point, Phil should written a disclaimer that there were no real women harmed in the making of this comic cover.

jthomas899 said...

Would the disclaimer exclude the monk or not?

Char said...

I love you guys.

mensa reject said...

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives." -Hedley Lamarr

The most irascible and pugnacious people are not always the instigators. Some behave in such a profoundly obnoxious manner that their every word or gesture provokes an argument. They have such a bent towards disagreement that everything they do is peppered with contrarianism.

What's truly amazing about these people is that, often times, the fights that they so fervently seek come to them, usually in the form of some kind of relatively innocuous poke at their overbearing personas. Seizing the opportunity, they lash out at their opponent, screeching like a stuck pig (whoops) that their feelings were hurt and that injustice was done. Suddenly, they are in the right, because they were not the ones who drew first blood.

The Boar's Headers often manage to make themselves out to be self-important dullards. They sit in their ivory tower (where the beer flows like wine), and cast holier-than-thou dispersions on those who they deem to be of a lesser theological stripe.

And they have received these latest postings with the kind of high-minded moral outrage that most people reserve for Nazis or cannibals.

I love the repeated use of the old motherly stand by: you wouldn't like that if someone did that to you. That argument never worked for my mom, and somehow, I don't think it'll work on Phil.

I also love how they keep trying to convince us all that they actually agree with Phil, and that they're normally friends, and that Phil just took this one too far. I guess Phil saves the "Irritating" slot on his blogroll for those he's really close to.

Yes, that is a picture of a woman getting slapped by a man, and the real life act is a horrible injustice that too often goes unnoticed and unpunished. But to even entertain the thought that it in any way implicates that Phil has some sort of tolerance for abuse, or that his previous posting betrays some kind of latent racism, is definitively ludicrous.

One last thing: The remark has been repeatedly made in defense of the BHers that they made only one or two comments about yesterday's post. I counted a total of four different posts, including one by Tom Hinkle that drew some not-so-indirect comparisons between the "Ambiguously Gay Duo" and Phil and his sidekick.

Classy, Tom, real classy. Clearly, that was well within the boundaries of good taste and Christian brotherly love.

Keep takin’ it to ‘em, Phil.

XOXO
Mensa Reject

Michael Spencer said...

I stand corrected on the number of posts.

Doug mentioned it.
Kurt wished he hadn't.
I toasted it.
And Tom said whatever Tom says.

Andrew Thornley said...

Now that's funny--I don't care who you are!

Josh S said...

Hey, maybe the real woman in question deserved it. Like maybe she questioned Limited Atonement or suggested that baptism is a non-negotiable part of Calvinism. Or maybe she asked her husband an impertinent question about why a good God created people with the sole intent of damning them. A woman's gotta be put in her place. Biblical headship and all.

Michael Spencer said...

>What's truly amazing about these people is that, often times, the fights that they so fervently seek come to them, usually in the form of some kind of relatively innocuous poke at their overbearing personas. Seizing the opportunity, they lash out at their opponent, screeching like a stuck pig (whoops) that their feelings were hurt and that injustice was done. Suddenly, they are in the right, because they were not the ones who drew first blood.

So a question.

Let's say someone didn't like the comic that was posted today. I know that's kind of a silly thought, but let's just assume.

Would there be any way to, let's say, communicate that disagreement, that would NOT qualify as a stuck pig claiming victim status? Or is any comment at all enough to qualify?

Jason E. Robertson said...

For this issue I would pay fitty cent!

Terry Lange said...

I really don't have an opinion on the post today, but I have noticed that it has caused some polarization, some for it, some against it...

SoccerReformer said...

Give the man a break - he had to spend a day in BRANSON!

Phil Johnson said...

You can all stop crying; I wasn't trying to be mean.

In case the satirical use of 60-year-old comic-book art really, truly translates into advocacy of physical abuse or racial bigotry in someone's mind, let me state for the record that I abhor every kind of real-world violence that stems from the wrath of men (James 1:20).

For the very same reason, if there had been an iota of actual wrath or hostility in my heart toward the parishioners of the Boar's Head cathedral, I would never have defiled the hallowed halls of that sacred speakeasy with such a lowbrow joke.

A few private e-mails have begged me through tear-filled eyes to plead for forgiveness, remove the evidence of my impertinence from my blog, crawl on my knees through the shards of broken bottles on the Boar's Head floor, penitently confess that my heart has secretly been filled with deep personal hatred towards the Tavernistas, tell them that everything they have ever published is fine with me, release them from the stigma of my "irritating" label—and thus restore equilibrium to the blogosphere and perfect harmony among all the saints.

I'd rather be honest: I really wasn't trying to be mean, and I really don't have any personal animosity towards anyone at the BHT. That's the truth.

I realize that in Tavernspeak, one is expected to append a "(jn)" to any offensive remark. That makes virtually anything OK. I neglected the protocol, and for that, I do apologize. Next time, I'll put a big (jn) where the comic-book price tag goes.

All right? Group hug.

BTW, someone raised the question of how tolerant I would be if someone made sport of my church or another ministry my pastor is affiliated with. There are two equally important parts to my answer on that:

1. I made no reference to anyone's church, pastor, employer, boss, wife, kids, or dog. I poked fun at a BLOG! And it's a blog that regularly pokes fun at me, a fact which has never once elicited a hissy or even a tone of outrage from me.

A little perspective here, people.

2. I gave a full answer to the commenter's query when the blog was barely two weeks old. Here it is again:

BTW: for future reference: Deliberate personal disparagement of my pastor, my church, my wife, my dog, my children, or the ministry I work for will be deemed outside the parameters of Christian civility and therefore a violation of Rule 2. Say whatever you like about me (as long as you keep your language clean), and I'll let you post it. Take a cheap shot at someone with whom I have a personal relationship of love and respect—whether it be John MacArthur, my dog Wrigley, or anyone in between—and I'll delete it.

I've held to that principle all along, and I defy those who claim I am intolerant of others' personal jabs at me on my blog to produce a single scrap of evidence that proves such a charge.

To sum up:

This post was a joke. I thought that was clear. I did everything possible to make it clear. Some didn't see the humor. Sorry. I suppose that's the nature of humor. But (to adapt a line from Spurgeon) those who insist that they are certain my motives must have been evil shall have no answer from me but my forgiveness.

_________________________________

Finally, here's a special note to Michael Spencer: I'm sorry you took this post personally. Nothing I said made any personal reference to you. Nothing I wrote was said with you personally in mind. I've mentioned several times before that I think you're too thin-skinned to be posting the kind of sarcasm and over-the-top mockery that regularly gets posted at the BHT. yes, I realize that "Tom said whatever Tom says," and I didn't complain. (Neither did any of the BHT regulars who were so outraged at my satire, BTW.) I assumed from your remarks yesterday that you understood the difference between a good-natured, albeit exaggerated, ribbing and a truly personal attack.

The listing of the Tavern in my "annoying" category is likewise not meant as a personal slap at you or any individual at the BHT. What's annoying to me about the Tavern is the attitude frequently conveyed by most of the regulars there—who have frequently seemed to argue that you should be able to mock whatever you want to mock, question any doctrine you want to question, challenge any convention you want to challenge, or use practically any language you want to use, because, after all, "it's a tavern," not a pulpit.

I've said from our first correspondence that I don't buy that argument. Thousands of people read what you post, and impressionable minds are influenced by it. It's legitimate for readers, even critical ones, to hold you accountable for what ytou write. And if you're going to post such things as have been posted there this week (I think you know what I'm referring to), you need to be able to handle criticism better.

One Salient Oversight said...

I posted this at imonk:

Sheesh, I take a break from IM and BHT for a few months, come back and find the whole thing blowing up again.

Like Stan and Kyle, I think I've learned something today. I'm actually wondering how much the medium contributes to this - ie: is there something inherent in the blogosphere that encourages these sorts of "forthright discussions"?

It would be wonderful if Phil and Michael could sit down and work things out. But they can't.

I think that the sort of relationships that develop between bloggers are probably geared towards the negative. We are attracted to blogging because of our ability to write and think and express it in a written form. But writing can only communicate so much. We don't get clues from body-language, vocal intonation and so on.

I have to admit that I felt quite isolated the last time I came along and engaged in discussions here. I had spent quite a few months defending Michael against lots of critics, but found that this did not mean anything when I started to disagree with him myself.

So I've decided that politeness and niceness and humility need to be overcommunicated whenever I engage in online discussion. I'd like to think that every potential person I disagree with is actually important and should be treated well.

Student of History said...

"I abhor every kind of real-world violence that stems from the wrath of men."

There was *no question* in my mind that this was true. Hitting a woman at any time just isn't humor to me - comic book or not. Since your cover was supposed to be a joke towards BHT, a group of men, why not knock one of them out? I am all for male to male violence. (That was a JOKE, folks!)

Respectfully offering my own personal brand of comic book equality,
Kate

PS: This homeschool mom thinks Pecadillo is a riot.

Michael Spencer said...

"It's a joke, so I can say what I want," is apparently a much more profound answer than "It's a tavern, we can say what we want."

The problem is obviously my IQ.

Pyromaniac can publish anything for the masses, and the masses are edified. BHT has discussions this week on ID and a dozen other things, and the masses are mislead.

Again, I just don't have the IQ.

The BHT seeks to excuse itself by indicating sarcasm. According to this blog, the humor here is different. It's actually a tool of sanctification, as Jeremy shared.

I'm just not getting it.

I'm thin skinned when I react. When you react, you're what?

I need a cookie.

Michael Spencer said...

BTW- I have never asked for the editing or removal of your post, nor would I. I have never asked for an apology, though I have offered several.

But CT is in your corner. So that's good. She regularly explains to me what's going on.

Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

The Wisdom of the King

Gavin said...

I think one of my recent Spurgeon quotes may be applicable here.

Sayings from “Salt Cellars”

"If a donkey brays at you, don’t bray at him.

Which you will do if you answer railing by railing. Take as a specimen and a warning the following: An American editor speaks of his rival as “mean enough to steal the swill from a blind hog!” That rival retorts by saying, “He knows he lies: I never stole his swill.” Do not fall into the style (we had almost said sty) of these editors."

Christopher said...

Phil,

You are hilarious! These comic book covers have been too funny!

:-)

Fred Butler said...

Hey Phil,
Just for your edification, I showed my wife the comic and she thought it was hilarious.

Fred

Hip and Thigh

C.H.H. said...

I'll add my voice to the chorus of people who took the joke for what it was and thought it was funny.

If anything is disturbing, it's the BHT quote Phil linked to in his last post.

Jeri said...

I find this entire spectacle boring. I even visited the Boar's head tavern to see what the hissy fit was, but as a veteran of the Fighting Fundamentalist Forum, I didn't see *anything* yesterday afternoon that get anywhere close to being a hissy fit.

As a woman, I'd say Phil's choice of comic book covers didn't bother me because I could see that he is playing off an outdated, outmoded, and crass art style that nobody finds acceptable any more. I think that is part of the humor.

However, I can see that some people would be offended by it, and I always feel better when some evangelical somewhere says he doesn't think men should hit women. They don't say it enough, in my opinion.

If it will make Boar's Head men feel better, here is a picture of Phil Johnson in a tutu. Maybe that will balance the scales of women being degraded vs. men being degraded. I realize that tranvestitism has probably been brought under control in GRACE TO YOU, but remember, it's just a joke. So laugh. Hahahah. You do rememebr how to laugh, right?

Habitans in Sicco said...

Michael wrote:

"It's a joke, so I can say what I want," is apparently a
much more profound answer than "It's a tavern, we can
say what we want."


Perhaps not, but he wasn't joking about anything sacred, and he wasn't muddying doctrine, was he?

I'm still waiting for some rational, reasonable person to explain what Phil said that was actually hurtful to anyone.

I'm thin skinned when I react. When you react, you're
what?


When did Phil ever pretend to be personally hurt or outraged? You guys make snide remarks about him and James White every week at the BHT. When did either of them get all weepy act personally hurt?

You guys keep proving the point he made.

I need a cookie.

Good idea. Why don't you lay off the beer for a few days?

DMD said...

Funny how not two weeks ago, Evangelical Outpost's Joe Carter wrote an essay on Christians to see fit to bash the snot out of each other over the slightest of theological points, and how we should all just knock it off. The title of that post? The Wife Beaters. I hope the irony is not lost on this crowd.

jthomas899 said...

Jeri, No one has to degrade Phil, He is a Cubs fan.

Jeri said...

Well then, as long as nobody thinks he looks good in a tutu, I'm content. Except, I say again, this whole broo-ha-ha is boring. And Boar's Head Tavern is boring. In my opinion, ya'll need to learn how to throw proper hissy fits by visiting the Fundamentalist Forums.

Michael Spencer said...

Habitans:

Whose doctrine am I muddying?

The Lutherans?
The PCUSA?
The PCA?
The SBC?
The ECUSA?
The Emergent?
The guy without a Church?

I keep waiting for one of you guys to go ahead and tell us that the Reformation belongs to you, and then direct us from there.

Be sure and include your rejection of infant baptism, your inclusion of dispensationalism and other unique features of your "unmuddied" reformed theology.

Eric said...

Like DavidD alluded to, we Christians tend to eat our own over the smallest things.

That said, having read both Pyro and BHT, Phil's response smacks of the one my 12-year-old son gives me when I find him teasing his 10-year-old sister..."I was just joking!"

Isn't there a Proverb or something that calls on who says, "I was just joking", a fool?? I'll have to look it up later but I do recall my Youth Pastor chastising us rambunctious Baptist yutes over that very same issue.

The Blogosphere, Christian or otherwise, seems to have allowed us to hide behind the "I didn't mean it that way" billboard as we take potshots at our fellow man.

Eric

Eric said...

BTW...one more thing...

Some people have attached an almost prophet-like importance to people like the IMonk and the Pyro.

They are men. Read the rules at BHT. Read what IMonk says about himself. If you are reading IMonk and Pyro and developing your theology from them I'd say beware. True, they offer insight, but then again, so did Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Rogers. ;)

IMonk (as well as others at BHT, especially Bill M.) have put into words what I had a hard time articulating. Pyro has offered insights that I have appreciated as well. And John MacArthur's commentaries helped me develop the HS Sunday School curriculum I was using.

If you're willing to die on the hill labeled Pyromaniac or Internet Monk, think again...

My 2 cents...

Eric

Michael Spencer said...

I'm leaving for several days, and I've enjoyed this comment thread. I appreciate those who have at least considered that a blog is a blog and not a church, that I am not under the supervision of several random Calvinistic-Dispensational-Indy Baptist bloggers and that I'm a human being.

All the work on these comic posts is for one purpose: Phil wants someone at the BHT to say something. Over there, then over here, and then the fun begins.

I've never protested that, but that's what it is. I don't troll the net for mentions of my blogs, and I don't troll your comment threads correcting what you say about me. I invite you to the IM comment threads and I invite you to write me.

I'm a voice, a pirate radio station, in a big ocean. I post on a lot of things: Osteen, Wright, ID, the Bible, evangelical nonsense, Warren, my life, my ministry, humor, current events, etc.

I've been doing it for 5 years and so a lot of "me" is out there to like or to hate. I am not "thin skinned" about anyone reading or writing about my work. Before James White, I never devoted a page to answering critics. Go read the IM archives and see.

I provide a blog for my critical emailers to have their mail posted. (Read the Osteen threads at IM Underground.)

I'm committed to a conversation. I am not confessionally tied to the Reformed Baptist Fundamental community. If that is a problem for you, I have no plans to correct it.

Most of you agree with much of what I write. No one you preach to knows me or cares that I exist. There are bigger fish in the sea. Why not go after them? Why does the BHT, a non-reformed, non-church group need to be "unmuddied" so that you approve of it?

Until the next comic book cover, I say good day and God's peace.

Steve said...

In a nutshell, BHT has been aiming beer-soaked spitwads at PyroManiac for quite some time, and PyroManiac has chosen to respond in kind by aiming kerosene-soaked spitwads back.

I'm looking forward to when the discussions turn back to some real substance...like the kind found at Reformation 21, Between Two Worlds, Triablogue...

Chris Caldwell said...

I find this entire spectacle boring

Except, I say again, this whole broo-ha-ha is boring. And Boar's Head Tavern is boring

Alright, jeri, we got it. Thanks :)

jthomas899 said...

I am posting this so that we can get a 100 comments on this. My is the 72nd, only 18 more to go.

Jeremy Weaver said...

I'm the 74th post. Only 42 more.

Phil Johnson said...

For those with tender psyches who apparently have been left permanently traumatized by the vivid cruelty of my satire and are dead certain that they will never, ever get over it—I sincerely hope that the horrible shock of it all will subside real soon, and you will be able to learn to live with the pain.

My advice: turn on Fox News for a half hour or so today, and pray for a sense of perspective.

Meanwhile, here's my peace offering to Mr. Spencer: a more respectful tribute to the denizens of the BHT.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Hey Phil,
You were number 75!

OOPS! There's number 76! 36 to go!

bethy31 said...

I don't necessarily think people who questioned your post are saying their psyches have forever been marred by a visual joke posted in poor taste. They are simply questioning how a comic book depicting something you abhor is supporting your critique of someone...unless you are saying you abhor the people you are critiquing...and that would just be unfortunate.

Sled Dog said...

Phil wrote:I made no reference to anyone's church, pastor, employer, boss, wife, kids, or dog. I poked fun at a BLOG! And it's a blog that regularly pokes fun at me, a fact which has never once elicited a hissy or even a tone of outrage from me.

Sled Dog replies: And a blog is created by a person or people. So when a person attacks, satirizes, parodies or pokes fun at a blog, it goes without saying that whatever is written is intended to impact the person or people behind the blog. Yes, perspective is good, but so is some acceptance of personal responsibility.

I have to agree with the one commenter who questioned the value of this kind of guerilla blogging in the (supposed) name of Christ. Is it really glorifying to God?

Steve Gentry said...

Phil,

First of all, let me say that I’m a BHT fan and lurk there regularly, but I did find your comic book cover to be pretty funny. I thought it was just a satire on the discussion going on regarding God’s sovereignty over the weather. But then, maybe I’m just not a deep enough thinker and I missed something.

I do take issue with you on one of your comments to Michael where you state the attitude of the tavern regulars annoys you. You don’t like the mockery, questioning doctrine, challenging conventions, or the language. Now, if read between the lines here, I think what you really mean is that you don’t want ideas, beliefs and doctrines that you hold dear and have settled to your satisfaction to be mocked, questioned or challenged. I grew up in Fundamentalism where this attitude was the party line. Don’t question, don’t mock, don’t challenge – we’re in the position of authority; these things have been settled and you just need to accept what we tell you. I came closer than I like to think to just flushing it all. I'm still shedding some of the baggage from that experience and I've found Michaels site to be more helpful than detrimental. I think the BHT provides a good forum where issues can be discussed, affirmed and rejected. I wish it had been around 30 years ago when I was looking for direction. A lot of the issues discussed have been argued for centuries and will be argued for centuries more. Still, each generation has to reaffirm what they believe. I haven’t heard anyone at the BHT denying any cardinal doctrines like the deity of Christ, etc.

If Martin Luther were alive today, I believe he would find a welcome home at the BHT. I think, however, he might be banned from the Pyromaniac for foul language and inflammatory rhetoric. Oh, well, to each his own.

Keep up the good work – while I was writing this you posted the second “tribute” cover. I do enjoy your blog although I find some members of your fan club a little sanctimonious. Be very, very careful when you sit down – or you’ll give a couple of them bad headaches.

Scott Hill said...

For all of you who were offended by the art in Phil's comic I highly recommend watching the John Wayne movie
"McClintock" I think it will help put things into perspective.

steve said...

Just as many Kerry voters were suffering from PEST (Post-election selection trauma), it appears that Grace Church will have to allocate crisis counselors to cope with survivors of PCST (Post-comic strip trauma).

Jeri said...

I still say it's as boring as dried sticks.

And Scott Hill, your nekked Hank Hill offends me.

Michael Spencer, your wordiness offends me.

gavin, the nekked budgy offends me.

chris caldwell, your cluelessness offends me (go rebuke michael spencer. He's repeating his sentiments all over the screen.)

burttd, your cluelessness offends me even more. Yours is the one non-boring post on this comment list, but only because it's so clueless.

Every person who said "tears of laughter" or "laugh until I cried" offends me.

People who used the word "start" offended me. I'm not sure why; they just did.

Everybody who has a pocket on his or her shirt while reading this offends me.

Any person who started a blog because they didn't want to be taken as seriously as if they were a church but now is mad because somebody took them even less seriously than they take themselves offends me. (And no, I cannot say that twice)

And that makes 81!

Habitans in Sicco said...

Sled Dog:

I have to agree with the one commenter who questioned the value of this kind of guerilla blogging in the (supposed) name of Christ. Is it really glorifying to God?

I think that kind of depends. If the target of the sarcasm frequently features this sort of stuff, combined with the type of unbridled outrageousness that daily appears at the BHT, the kind of mockery Phil has aimed at them might indeed have a sanctified purpose. Sarcasm itself is not unspiritual or unglorifying to Christ. See The Serrated Edge by Doug Wilson.

Phil's lighthearted jab certainly seems fairly harmless by comparison to the regular spew from the BHT, despite all the anger and sanctimonious indignation Phil has stirred up.

The BHT doesn't entertain comments, because, frankly, they can't deal very well with the sort of negative feedback Phil has received from a few persistent souls in this comment thread. Phil has tried to be gracious, and yet I think he is right to stand his ground.

I'm amazed people STILL are insistent on taking this so seriously, while pretending to be outraged at the Christians who refuse to get along with one another.

I SERIOUSLY doubt Phil's aim was to start anything. It would be nice if the folks who think every kind of disharmony among religious bloggers is inherently evil would have enough grace to let the matter drop now. Is any good or edifying purpose going to be served by continually complaining about it?

Chris Caldwell said...

Phil,

For those with tender psyches who apparently have been left permanently traumatized by the vivid cruelty of my satire and are dead certain that they will never, ever get over it—I sincerely hope that the horrible shock of it all will subside real soon, and you will be able to learn to live with the pain.

Blech. I think I am about to loose my shrimp gumbo I had for lunch.

Please, dispense with the sarcasm - just for just a moment. You obviously will not (or cannot) bring yourself to admit that this might of been a little contentious and inappropriate.

Sled Dog said...

Two to chew on...

Colossians 4:5-6
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Philippians 4:8-9
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

jthomas899 said...

Jeri, I know people who just post to get number 82 don't offend you. :)

Jeff

Jeri said...

jthomas899, people who think they are posting the 82nd post but actually posted the 86th post offend me. That's it. You're cut.

Phil Johnson, people who behave in a light hearted way and then plead the situation in New Orleans when things blow up offend me. You're cut.

Sled Dog, people who eat gumbo offend me. People who refer to gumbo and the act of vomiting inthe same sentence offend me even more. You're cut.

steve said...

bethy31 said...

I don't necessarily think people who questioned your post are saying their psyches have forever been marred by a visual joke posted in poor taste. They are simply questioning how a comic book depicting something you abhor is supporting your critique of someone...unless you are saying you abhor the people you are critiquing...and that would just be unfortunate.

*************

Phil is waxing hyperbolic here. Hyperbole and satire go together. MacBeth isn't Hitchhikker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Satire often makes use of behavior it disapproves of. That's the raw material of political cartooning.

C. S. Lewis uses technocracy to satirize technocracy in That Hideous Strength.

Phil could just as well use a poster of a shootout at O.K. Corral to make his point. Doesn't mean he approves of gun-slingers.

In addition, what Phil is doing is all-American male humor.

Phil is not some air-brushed, PC-sensitized male. This is standard-issue guy stuff.

If it doesn't click with you, fine. Men are men and women are women.

Habitans in Sicco said...

Steve:

"Phil is not some air-brushed, PC-sensitized male. This is standard-issue guy stuff.

"If it doesn't click with you, fine. Men are men and women are women."


Dude, that is SO insensitive and demeaning to women! I hope you choke on a cherry tomato.

Dave said...

I thought I would look up the word Derring-do here is what I found


: : : 1. Deeds of deeding-do
: : : 2. A tour de force
: : : 3. An idee fixe

: : 1. deeds of daring-do -- I couldn't find this one so I'm guessing on the spelling, etc. I think it means brave deeds -- as in "tales of daring-do."
: : 2. tour de force -- pronounced TOUR-de-FORCE, French phrase for "display of technical virtuosity; powerful exhibition of skill." (From "Le Mot Juste" edited by John Buchanon-Brown, 1980, 81, Vintage Books).
: : 3. idee fixe (with one of those little marks over the first "e" in idee) pronounced EE-day FEEX, literally French for "fixed idea; obsession, preoccupation." From "Le Mot Juste."

"Derring-do" turns out to have an interesting history. It was a challenge to find, but the OED lists it as a "pseudo archaism" which originated with Chaucer, was misunderstood by Lydgate, picked up but misprinted by Spenser, and then taken up by Sir Walter Scott, and it's been "derring-do" ever since. The series of errors and misunderstandings have created a word meaning "reckless courage." If you have an OED, it's interesting reading.

Chris Freeland said...

Good grief. Some of you guys seriously don't have anything better to do all day than refresh a blog comment page to see if someone has replied to your hate-induced post? I'd like to have your job.

Unless your browser is somehow permanently stuck on this page, there's an easy solution to the obsession some of you seem to have with bickering over a comic book picture. It's real easy: Type something else in the address bar of your browser and take a deep breath.

Oliver said...

Hi Chris,

Welcome to the homepage of idle nerds.

Oliver said...

Uh...I fergot to number my comment...this is number 93!

JRODFOSS said...

Reaching 100 Posts must be a glass Ceiling. You just cant seem to get there.

Phil,

The Comics great. After reading a bit on the BHT I have come to the conclusion that the poking fun is mutual. Ther are no Victims here.

JROD

Sled Dog said...

Tres mas...

I really think one of Phil's regulars should be the one to push it over the top...Jeremy, Fred Butler, Scott Hill...can you resist the will of the mighty pyromaniac????

Oh, yeah better keep things on topic...hmmm...Hey, you Tavern dudes...knock it off and fly right!

Sled Dog said...

Well, due to a few deletions I appear to be somewhat of a lunatic and also a bit inept at mathmatics...

DOGpreacher said...

that's another can of worms you've opened up Phil. Hey guys, lighten up. If you've read Phil much at all, you know the framework within which this was presented.

Char said...

I have not yet offended Jeri! Well let's wait and see how long that lasts....

This is comment 98!

oh yeah and on topic, um you guys are all like mean and stuff and you should be nice to everyone and pet kittens. That's what all the good christians like me do.

Did that sound adequately whingey?

Gavin said...

Comment 99

Great picture - Did you use Paintshop pro for this one?

Gavin said...

Comment #100. Congratulations Phil

Next time - No slapping ladies ;)

Someone wrote above - Don't we have something better to do than refreshing this page? Answer - Not really - I have been doing tax returns today.

mensa reject said...

Sorry I've been gone for most of the day; it looks like it was a profitable one for many of you.

The tavern monkeys make me sick.

I can say this, not because I'm joking, but because I am not a church, and I have not affiliated myself with a church. Furthermore, I have not taken up the yoke of any particular theological system, so I am not bound by the restrictions that so may of you others are.

As such, I expect I will soon be receiving my invitation to join the BHT any day now.

XOXO
Mensa Reject

Pecadillo said...

After seeing how a bunch of up-tight bht's react to an innocent attempt at humor, I'm sure glad they haven't seen my blog.

The Fantastic Daughter-In-Law's Spouse said...

"Jeremy...unusual name...is that one E or two?"
"One, J-E-R-E-M-Y."
"That's two!"
"Yeah, but not..right..together..I thought that's what you meant."

Dad, unbelievable, this is a whole new world of weird people you've attracted. I thought you didn't like the security guys following you around on Sunday morning? Does Mom know about these guys? I doubt she'd approve.

Jeri said...

Freeland, sanctimonious laments went out with 24 k modems. I am really offended with you. You are cut.

Derring-do Dave, looking up words in the OED is NOT interesting. You are cut, but you are allowed to swing out of here through the rigging with a cutlass in your teeth.

char, you don't seem to realize that pretending to be annoying is nowhere nearly as annoying as really being annoying. Sorry. For satirizing the sanctimonious, you have been moved to assistant captain and will not be cut.

Mensa reject, for making predictable satirical remarks about other boring evangelicals who make satirical remarks about other boring evangelicals who make satirical remarks, etc., and thus continuing the lame but infinite circle of boring evangelicals and their snide remarks, you are cut.

Pecadillo said...

jeri
For your repeated attempts at starting your own catch-phrase, you are cut.

Jeri said...

pecadillo, for failing to recognize a really obvious allusion to a famous episode of the SIMPSONS, you are not cut, but everybody is allowed to feel sorry for you and recommend that you join the real world. Or at least watch more TV.

And stop stealing my allusions! Go steal your own.

KyleDavidson said...

Michael Spencer said:
"I am sorry for the occasional discomfort, Bill, but remember that all of us, from you years ago to the Crawfords recently, needed the BHT to say the Pharisees weren't the only party in the Church. And I say we remember all those people and keep up the imperfect, but significant work."

did he just call us the "P" word??

Char said...

Haha. I've said it before: the "P-word's" use in an argument should mean an automatic forfeit for the one who uses it. It doesn't seem to have any other meaning anyway(besides "you're a big meanie" of course).

thedodester said...

Jeremy said: Let me illustrate. I had a buddy at college who knew exactly what buttons to push with me just to see me get flustered, upset and indignet.(sic) .... He really wanted to demonstrate his love for me and help me grow in Christ-likeness.

I live with a man who has exactly the same philosophy and I can tell you that such reasoning is flawed. We are commanded to uplift and to love each other - not to push each other's buttons in a feeble attempt at playing God.

To offend because we don't yet know better, or because we are careless is one thing - but to offend because we think we know how to make someone else more fit for the kingdom is rank arrogance.

The fact that God uses for good our own means of provoking others to sin in no way justifies the means used in the first place.

Demonstrating love includes putting to death our own instinctive lust to be cruel at some one else's expense, no matter which side of an argument we reside on and no matter what end-result we have in mind.

Blessings,

Will said...

-Comment 110-
This post was funny. It takes on political correctness (of all sorts gender, racial etc) in such an outrageous way it leaves the BHT reeling. Perfect.

(It reminds me of when you are in an argument with someone and they take it to the next level - i.e. "yeah well you're ugly" - and that is funny)

2Tal said...

I tend to side with those to teach to turn the other cheek, avoid foolish jesting, bless and curse not, love in deed and not mere pretence, avoid strife, seek edification, reconciliation, and not to offend. etc. etc. etc. et.c Do I do this? No. Did PHil say he stands guiltess before Christ here. I don't think so...

marc said...

just wanted to be able to say someday

"yeah, I was there, it wasn't pretty, not everyone made it out... but I posted"