I'm sure it has something to do with olive trees budding and blooming, because whenever I am in the vicinity of them, it's noticeably worse. I feel the effects of my allergies ten times more in the San Fernando Valley (where Grace Church is) than I do here in the Santa Clarita Valley (where I live and work).
Anyway, this year my very own personal allergy season has been especially bad already, and that is not a good sign. Last week's trip to Mt. Hermon did not help; on the contrary, it made my eyes dryer, my nose itchier, and my sinuses more congested than before. There was an olive tree in the backyard of the place we stayed.
Today Darlene had to attend a meeting after church (dealing with the nursery volunteer staffing system), so I had to stay in the San Fernando Valley a couple of hours extra after church, and I felt so miserable when I got home that I had no choice but to take two Benadryl. That means I'll be lethargic and unfocused for the next 3 days.
Have I ever mentioned that I don't do well with drugs? Especially allergy tablets (which make me want to sleep); sleep aids (which usually keep me from sleeping at all); and pain killers (which tend to irritate my stomach and esophagus). If I mixed all three, they would basically cancel each other's side-effects but leave me either hyperactive or totally unconscious. I prefer the allergy symptoms, and when that gets to be too much, I choose the lethargy I get from Benadryl.
Anyway, I've got a few little things I want to blog about, but no one thing significant enough to devote a whole Sunday afternoon post to. So quick, before the Benadryl kicks in and leaves me unable to do anything productive but watch reruns of "The Rockford Files," I'm going to try to make a list:
- Despite all the militant language flying around the blogosphere suggesting you're about to witness a bloody cage match over the issue of cessationism, I personally don't expect anything rancorous.
In the first place, cessationism was not even an issue I planned to raise in my current series of posts on false prophecy. I'm still hoping to finish what I originally intended to say before seriously taking up the cudgels against the non-cessationists. In the second place, I recognize this issue is an extremely difficult one in the minds of many people (including some dear friends of mine). So I intend to be uncharacteristically patient.
While I'm at it, let me say that if all charismatics were of the Mahaney/Piper/Grudem variety, I probably wouldn't pick a fight over our differences on the charismata. That's not to say I approve of any kind of charismatic mysticism, but if no one ever went any further than, say, the typical guy from Sovereign Grace Ministries, I don't think I would spend much energy arguing against them.
I grew up in Tulsa, however, and the true roots of the charismatic movement are there, not in Geneva. Despite what they want you to think, "Reformed" charismatics are a fairly new kind of hybrid, and they do not represent the mainstream of either the Reformed or charismatic movements. I like their zeal. I appreciate (and share) their desire for passionate (rather than cold and dry) orthodoxy. There's a lot about them I esteem highly, and I am certainly not merely looking for another group of people to make angry.
But in the context of what is going on today, there are so many dangers associated with "new revelation" that it's not an issue I'm willing to ignore. And if cessationism is the main issue in the minds of people who are undecided about whether or not to listen to voices in their heads, I'm willing to argue the point. But not in an acrimonious way, and not until I've finished what I was going to say. So if you're looking for me to verbally bust some charismatic heads this week, you may be bitterly disappointed.
- If you just can't wait to get into the cessationism issue, at least three guys have already posted some pretty decent stuff. One is Daniel J. Phillips ("'Cessationism': ragged dress for a rich lady"); a second is Dave Ulrick, "The Inscrutable Observer" ("Two tiers of inspiration?"); and the third one is William Dicks ("Hearing God and Moving in the Prophetic: A critique").
- If you're looking for something like my old "Monday Menagerie" posts, Andrew Lindsey, newlywed, has something I think you will like.
- Here's a guy I seem to have a few things in common with.
- Here's I guy I seem to have almost nothing in common with.
- The Benadryl is having the expected effect. Look for Monday's regular Spurgeon post around midday Pacific time tomorrow.