30 September 2005

Turns out I missed some yesterday, so here's more...

Note: For the few who are still unclear on the concept, these BlogSpotting posts are where I link to people who have linked to me. I do realize there are many fine blogs out there besides the ones that link to PyroManiac. But you gotta draw the line somewhere. And this is the best way I know to keep the most up-to-date links to people who are interacting with me out in the blogosphere. See my June 26 post on the subject.

If I linked everything I find interesting, my blog would look like a bad imitation of The Drudge Report. Instead, once a week or so I link to blogposts that have linked to me. (Blogrolls that include permanent links to PyroManiac are greatly appreciated, but except on rare occasions, I don't generally include them in the BlogSpotting lists.)

I do not limit these links to people who have positive things to say about PyroManiac. Lately there have been fewer critics linking here, but I don't deliberately exclude any critics. I actually look for them and use the link as an opportunity for brief interaction with their criticisms. There's only one exception to that rule: I do refuse to link to blogs with morally objectionable material or inappropriate links.

Most people appreciate the linkage, whether they are friends or critics. A few shy homeschool moms have said they aren't comfortable with the publicity and try (sometimes in vain) to disguise any reference they make to my blog. I usually link to them anyway. One guy whom I BlogSpotted wrote to say he wished he had left me alone and asked me to remove my link back to him. I did. If you feel that strongly about it, let me know. Despite what it may look like at times, it's not a goal of mine to upset as many people as possible.

So without further ado...


  • Dan Burrell gives me a thumbs up on Tuesday's post.
  • Daniel J. Phillips does some careful thinking about the disemvoweling of God's names and adds several good arguments I hadn't even thought of for why this practice makes no sense. He calls the practice "ostentatious," and after reading all the comments here, as well as Dani-l's post, I agree with him completely. In my opinion, the practice ought to be discontinued, relegated to the dustbin of forgotten evangelical fads, along with the PBPGINFWMY pins and "I Found It!" bumper stickers.
  • Jeremy Moore can hardly contain himself. He wants to be like me when he grows up. (My mom would say that's oxymoronic. Anyone who's grown up is nothing at all like me.)
  • Ian Clary links to a Christian festival where he thinks "The New Testament for Goth Girls" might seriously be a hit. He says he's not linking to me in order to be BlogSpotted, but I'm going to mention him anyway.
  • Ray at "Observations and Opinions" does some serious thinking and has some edifying thoughts about the limits of our duty to be all things to all men.
  • Jason Clark can appreciate the humor in some of my comic-book parodies. But he thinks too many of you people who comment here seem to enjoy being "rude, denigrating, biting, [and] cutting." (You were talking about the people who are critical of me—right, Jason?)
  • William Dicks unleashes his blog readers on PyroManiac.
  • Jeff Jones thinks I'm "redoubtable." I think that means "capable of provoking repeated doubts"—as in, "I keep getting the feeling I'm not too sure about this guy."
  • Pedantic Protestant (who is that guy?) figures he's ok if I don't BlogSpot him. Busted.
  • Matt Gumm has a brilliant post today dealing with the disastrous dumbing down of Bible translations. He's done some careful work to document two different approaches to translating Romans 3:23 and 1 John 2:2 and 4:10, where the concept is plainly that of "propitiation"—a very specific and important idea—but some translators have deemed the expression "too technical to communicate to many modern readers."
  • Michael Spencer does a riff on the tattoo-and-piercing issue and adds a helpful addendum: "What Phil Johnson is describing—the confrontation of culture—is exactly right....IF by that we mean the culture is confronted with Christ and the Gospel, and not simply another culture." I'll add an amen to that—and a big hands-in-the-air charismatic-style salute to the example he gives.
         In fact, here's the kind of "Christian culture" he rightly execrates: "Visit TBN and look at the hairstyles on everyone from Benny Hinn to
    Laverne Tripp
    Laverne Tripp
    Laverne Tripp to Jan Crouch. How is this different from the hair styles you would see on kids with piercings and tattoos? (It's, frankly, considerably weirder.)" Yeah, I've often wondered if Laverne Tripp really goes to Costco with his hair like that. He must get stared at and pointed at a lot, even by people who haven't a clue who he is. The rest of Michael's article is worthy of sober consideration, too.
         In fact, Michael's post prompted some thoughts I'll probably eventually blog about: historically, Christianity has elevated every culture it has penetrated. Beginning sometime in the past 150 years or so, however, the visible church (and I'm speaking very broadly here) has seemed to act as an incubator to some amazingly lowbrow and even circus-style subcultures. Shouldn't that clue us that something is seriously wrong, and shouldn't the mainstream be more wary of embracing the fringe, rather than more and more willing to accept aberrant theologies, aberrant cultures, aberrant styles, aberrant worship, and aberrant philosophies into our mainstream?
  • Confession time: I realize folks occasionally complain that my humor is too caustic or insufficiently considerate of the feelings of people who bear the brunt of my satire. My dear mom tells me that all the time, and she has borne the brunt of my satire more times than all my readers combined. For the record, I'm not insensitive to those concerns. I do not countenance name-calling, angry insults, or deliberate ill manners and bad behavior. And I do try to shut off the humor chip in my brain when I feel the sarcasm circuitry starting to overload. As Spurgeon once said, if you knew all the mischievous things I think about but never actually say, you would offer me hearty congratulations for my restraint.
         Nonetheless, I include this next BlogSpot as a cautionary tale for all of us. Here's something that puts the dangers of careless stridency in proper perspective:
         Darth Gill (aka Brandan Kraft) has some less-than-cogent and not-exactly-self-deprecating thoughts about arrogance, offensive language, pride, serious error, and theological discourse. He's "amazed at the number of people that routinely refer to [him] as mean, harsh, or arrogant." He'd really appreciate it if people would simply ignore his arrogance and listen to his opinions anyway. He does not and will not apologize "for calling others names and using derogatory terms such as stupid, idiot, ignorant fools." This memorable quip stood out especially: "Yes, I am mean harsh and arrogant. . . . If you dismiss or ignore me because of this, then it is nothing more than a pathetic exuse [sic] not to deal with the topics that I bring to you in this blog."
         Unfortunately, the "topics" Brandan brings to his blog, and his web page, and his discussion forum are all part of Brandan's relentless advocacy of the most radical hyper-Calvinist opinions. And since all who offer biblical arguments against his views automatically incur name-calling and denunciation from Brandan and many others in his crew, his blog is frankly a little hard to take except in small doses. In celebration of his defense of nasty arrogance, I've given Brandan's blog a place in my blogroll under "Appalling." Hopefully, its presence there will remind me to let my own speech (and writing) be seasoned with a little more grace.
  • Frank Martens tells a very poignant tale about his experience as the eldest son in a large family. Both Frank's and his sister's blogs speak well of their father's influence and the goodness of divine Providence.
  • Brian Colmery found Wednesday's post enjoyable.
  • Kevin Pierpont Notices the link to the "Grace to You" podcast over there in the Right-hand column.
  • Pierre Benz at "Bowl of Musing" enjoyed my correspondence with "Savage Countenance."
  • Jared at "The Thinklings" has been eavesdropping. De over there spotted the Biblezine parody. Here's another one:
    Product: New Testament for Fancy-oys
    HT: Pecadillo

Phil's signature


marc said...


Seeing as how you graciously Blogrolled PURGATORIO, I have reciprocated by linking to you at PURGATORIO. Of course I'm much too humble to worry about PURGATORIO being mentioned or missed in your blogspotting and hesitate to even mention PURGATORIO or post this comment about PURGATORIO. Keep up the good work.



Chris Meirose said...

Your dearest Pecadillo claims Wrigley as HIS pup in a recient post. Say it aint so!

Big Chris
Because I said so blog

Paul said...

By the way, was that supposed to be Sgt. Shultz doing the blogspotting yesterday?

Kim said...

Oh, I like the magazine cover you have here!

A shy home school mom

Jeff Jones said...

Phil, I'll admit that you are one who is good at "provoking doubts," although I wouldn't mean that about you personally (there are likely those who would, but we'll leave the Darth Gills of the world...) More like encouraging doubts about trends and the things of this world...

Actually, I got a little concerned that I might have my definition of "redoubtable" wrong, and so I went to the dictionary. Here it is (from the Concise Oxford Dictionary - The Queen's English, which Spurgeon would have used):

REDOUBTABLE a. (Of opponent, warrior, controversialist, etc.) formidable.

Now, the next term in the dictionary really puts an interesting light on the word, as applied to you:

REDOUBTED a. (arch.) Dreaded.

In short, I'm glad you're on our side. I stand by my comment.

Matthew said...

Heh, heh. "Your a testimony"

Carla Rolfe said...

Just for fun, I attempted the whole blogspotting concept a few weeks back, and what I came up with was a list of links that had your blog in every other link. I thought "hmmm.. if I post this, Phil will think I'm vainly attempting a blogspotting lure!" I posted it anyway, I thought it was funny, the most blogspotting links I had, were from here.

Oh well, it could be worse, the majority of links could have been coming from the Saddleback fan club or something.

Michael Spencer said...

>Beginning sometime in the past 150 years or so, however, the visible church (and I'm speaking very broadly here) has seemed to act as an incubator to some amazingly lowbrow and even circus-style subcultures.

I agree. I think missionary strategizing (and theologizing) became an unwitting enabler of this, and when American Evangelicals took the energy of Wesley, the appeal of Spurgeon and ran it through the Finney machine....you got something vewy vewy bad.

Now....you really do have evangelical culture running a group of strange operations.

1) About 2-3 years behind any trend, here come evangelicals, doing it for Jesus.

2) They have developed the ability to tolerate ANYTHING if done for Jesus.

3) Highly enculturated Christian SUBCULTURES- like TBN, Mountain Holiness folks, Prophecy types, etc etc.- are often really bizarre...and no one is allowed to say so. I have no problem with bizarre. Jesus loves bizarre. Some of my reaction is just my culture. But bizaare is still bizarre.

FX Turk said...

May I never cross the Johnson clan.


Jared said...

Re: "eavesdropping"

Someone has to watch the watchers, eh?

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

MTG said...

We LIKE sarcasm. I too have been the giver as well as the receiver of such. Witty cracking sarcasm is too quickly becoming a lost art. Keep up the good work.

NPE said...

I didn't make the cut this time either!

Sad. I hope that you do not find PRESBYTERIAN THOUGHTS to have offensive material!

Away From The Brink said...

I think much of this accommodating of the world in order to "reach" them is just a disingenuous attempt to justify personal choices outside of the "mainstream" of church expectations.

Years ago Mad Magazine did a feature on Protestants, and they had a funny cartoon that said "every Protestant man looks like Johnny Carson." You know, short hair, suit and tie, clean cut.

Now, I like some Christian Contemporary music, and I do not eschew those that adopt cultural idiosyncrasies in a missions environment. There is some room for legitimate application here. But I find a lot of it is just people that enjoy their earrings, or tattoos, or whatever and use the "reach them" meme as a covering for their lifestyle choices that have nothing to do with "reaching" anyone.

Even Jesus gets into the act, at least these guys are trying to portray him as such.

And then of course there is this classic.

Bewildered Berean said...

Here's a sight that takes advantage of the Evangelical need to be relevant and cool - even in dating to convert - sheer satire here.

David said...

Impacted Wisdom Truth,

Are you saying you disagree with The Church of Buddy Christ? Their creed says this:

A Buddhist or a good atheist is as acceptable to God as a good Catholic.

I can agree with that!

Ruthanne said...

Not all homeschool moms are shy. :P


Ruthanne said...

(And this is one homeschool mom who doesn't know how to post urls properly. Please forgive me!)

Love your blog.

Away From The Brink said...

David K...

Ironically, yes--even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then.

BlackCalvinist aka G.R.A.C.E. Preecha said...

Yeah Bewildered - date to save IS satire, but it's the wrong kind. Reading through it and the forum, it's done by some of the same folks who brought you LandoverBaptistChurch.com and MissPoppy.com. Another stab and 'funnymentalism' from some of the reprobate who KNOW they're reprobate and glory in it.....

Good post, Phil. As always. :) Your recent posts and your boss' recent broadcasts along with a recent experience have inspired (no, really inspired, not theopneustos) a blog entry I made recently called Discernment, Doxology, The Deity of Christ and eDating. In a nutshell, I've been floating around on eHarmony.com and it's been interesting how many of the folks on there (women) who've said that their main life influence was OPRAH. Professing evangelical women. My delete button got some exercise with their profiles in my in-box. IMO, it shows an extreme LACK of discernment if your major life influence comes from a person whose entire life philosophy is built on anti-God, anti-Christian principles which presuppose the autonomy of man. And it's these same philosophies that have lead to seeker-sensitive churches, eBiblezines for teens and other evanjellyfish fads over the years.



suzi said...

not many people still get comments when they have posted they are out of town for the weekend. Guess we must converse with ourselves until you get back! Hope it was a blessed weekend!

Aspiring Girl said...

I got blogspotted. Now my blogging career can really take off. Thanks phil for making my dreams come true. You inspire me.

CyberAnth said...

Phil, I am not kidding you. In May 1985, before TBN began its drift over the edge, I was flipping through channels. Jan Crouch's flamboyance cause med to stop.

I came to Christ about 10 days later. TBN was instrumental. HAIR and MAKEUP was instrumental.

CyberAnth said...

Phil, I am not kidding you. In May 1985, before TBN began its drift over the edge, I was flipping through channels. Jan Crouch's flamboyance cause med to stop.

I came to Christ about 10 days later. TBN was instrumental. HAIR and MAKEUP was instrumental.