The Weekly Town Crier

May 20, 2011 at 8:33 am

Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. The Weekly Town Crier . Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Lots of interesting (some more than others) links. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah.

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Read the Washington Post’s list of five myths about suburbia.

Read as N.T. Wright interacts with Stephen Hawking.

Transform your photos into Hockneys.

Read about Gregg Allison’s new Historical Theology.

Listen to Josh T. Pearson’s Daytrotter session.

Listen/watch as Ed Stetzer and Alan Hirsch discuss the Missional Manifesto.

Read and wonder: is Apple preparing for a cloud music service?

Hear new Bon Iver.

Read about the new gadget that allows you to log into Facebook and other sites using your eye.

Read about new alternatives to Facebook.

Is lo-fi-noise-pop the new autotune?

Read as NPR considers the great flood of 1927.

Read about Dogfish Head’s record-swap/music festival/beer-drinking gathering.

Read as Emmylou Harris talks baseball with ESPN.

Read as the Charleston City Paper profiles Neko Case.

Read about Philip Roth winning the Man Booker Prize.

Listen as Stereogum shares Bon Iver’s 10 best cover songs.

See the “Inception Chair.”

See what some NPR hosts make annually.

See how to trap a hipster.

Read this post claiming that Insane Clown Posse claim to be evangelical Christians? (warning: offensive language).

R.I.P. Randy “Macho Man” Savage.

The Emir Caner Kerfuffle Shuffle:

  • The original tweet has since been deleted.
  • Read Justin Taylor’s thoughts on slander here.
  • Read my thoughts here.
  • The “apology.”
  • My thoughts on said “apology” here.

Emir Caner’s “Apology”

May 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm

So now, Emir Caner has issued an “apology” regarding his last tweet accusing the Acts 29 Network (in full disclosure, I am a member of Acts 29) of not only tolerating but advocating pornography (see my thoughts here).

The “apology reads:

I have come to realize over the past few days that Driscoll’s vulgarity is far too serious an issue to simply put out a satirical tweet. While it is easy to find Driscoll crossing the line (see articles by John MacArthur and Cathy Mickels) it should not be likewise with me, and for that I apologize.

I remember once, when my brother and I were younger and I called him dumb. My Mom told me to apologize so I said: “I’m sorry you’re dumb.” Somehow, Caner’s apology feels sort of like that. It is a shame to see Caner eschew wisdom and love in order to play the fool and gain cheap publicity for himself. This is the sort of thing that will get his followers rallied around him for “standing up for what’s right” while bringing attention to himself. I mean, come on, before this, who had even heard of Truett-McConnell College?

Is this a case of answering a fool or not? What do you think? Is this really an apology or something along the lines of “I’m sorry Mark Driscoll is so vulgar?” How should situations like this (in the public realm) be handled? Should we in Acts 29 choose to be wronged (1 Corinthians 6:7, Matthew 5:39) or should Caner be pressed further because of his position (James 3:1-12) and inability to tame his tongue?

  • Read Justin Taylor’s post calling Caner out here.

Tim Keller: “Jesus Is The True And Better”

May 18, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Emir Caner, Acts 29, And How To Disagree Without Sinning . . .

May 17, 2011 at 10:18 pm

So, yesterday, Emir Caner, President of Truett-McConnell College, in Georgia, brother of Ergun Caner, posted an unfortunate “tweet” on Twitter.

In case you didn’t see it or look at the picture at the top of this blog post, Emir’s tweet read: “The military discovered a large stash of pornography in bin Laden’s compound. I was unaware that Islam had its own Acts 29 Network.”

Later in the evening, I posted the following to Facebook:

“Is this Tweet real? Is Emir Caner really this idiotic or is someone setting him up?”

A little while later, I was “de-friended” by Caner on Facebook (yes, I was “friends” with him on Facebook, but I primarily use Facebook for networking rather than actual friendships, but I don’t see how that’s really the point here at all . . . ).

Anyway, the whole incident got me to thinking about how to biblically disagree with people. I could be wrong here, and I’m sure that some of you are more than willing to let me know that you think so, but it seems to me that Caner’s thoughts fall more along the lines of slander than they do genuine, biblical disagreement.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am in the Acts 29 Network. I know lots of Acts 29 pastors, candidates and applicants and I don’t know a single one of them who would advocate the use or promotion of pornography. Now, it could be that my exposure to the Acts 29 Network is limited. But, then again, it could be that Caner’s assertions are not factual. And, if they are not factual (which I argue they are not), then we must conclude that, either: 1) he knowingly promoted falsehoods about Christian brothers or 2) he unknowingly promoted falsehoods about Christian brothers.

Let’s start with the latter. Let’s say that, for some reason, Caner has a different perspective on the Acts 29 Network than I do, which is fair enough. But, his perspective isn’t just that we are wrong doctrinally or methodologically but that, somehow, we use, advocate and possibly even promote pornography.

I don’t know Caner personally, but, for a president of a college, I would imagine that it would be easy enough to contact people within the Acts 29 Network ala Matthew 18:15-20. But, regardless of whether or not Caner has been in touch with any of the Acts 29 people, it seems to me that something like Ephesians 4:29 (“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear”) or 1 Corinthians 13:7 (‘Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”) should come into play.

I have deep reservations about the Caner brothers, but I don’t publicly accuse them of pornography. And this seems to be the issue. For some reason, Caner has come to the conclusion that the Acts 29 Network allows and perhaps even advocates the use of pornography and then decided that this was an appropriate thing to “tweet” to his 2,000 something followers. This doesn’t seem to me to be either edifying or believing the best about those with whom he might otherwise disagree.

If, indeed, he has differences with those of us in Acts 29, that’s not only fine, it’s probably good for the larger Body of Christ that everyone does not think or act the same way. Caner will likely reach people for Christ that I will not. But, I don’t publicly accuse him of sin simply because we differ on theology or practice.

Which leads us to the first possiblity: Caner knowingly promoted falsehoods about Christians brothers. I don’t even want to think that this is true, so I’ll allow an out – perhaps he thinks it’s true, when in fact, it’s not. But doesn’t that lead us once again back to Matthew 18, Ephesians 4:29 and 1 Corinthians 13:7? If he indeed thinks that this is true, should he approach Mark Driscoll, Scott Thomas, Jeff Vandersteldt or others on the board of Acts 29? Or at least believe the best?

I personally can’t see any way in which Caner’s tweet is helpful or edifying, which leads me to wonder aloud how to publicly disagree with someone. If there are specific issues, we should address them in light of Scripture. If there is not sufficient Scripture, then we should openly state that the difference is a matter of opinion. But, we should always err on the side of love (Matthew 5:44Phillipians 2:3, 1 John 3:14, etc.).

What troubles me the most about Caner’s comment is that I see so much of my own tendency to villify those with whom I disagree in it. I rarely think the best about those with whom I disagree. So, if for anything, I want to thank Caner for the push to examine my own heart and attitude in public disagreements. I have a tendency to speak before I think and I am thankful for this opportunity to think out loud about how things ought to be handled.

No, I didn’t personally go to Caner before posting this. He “de-friended” me on Facebook, remember? I took that as a sign that he didn’t want my input.

  • Read Justin Taylor’s input here.

Seryn, Coming to Phoenix

May 13, 2011 at 10:29 am

I am so excited to be a part of hosting Denton’s Seryn in late June for two shows hosted by The Habañero Hour (the occasional music/interview podcast and house show hostings I do with my good friend Eldon). Seryn’s album This Is Where We Are is currently one of my top two favorite albums of the year.

Seryn will play two shows for us in late June. They will play Friday, June 24 at New Hope Covenant Church with Sjögren and Delilah (RSVP here) and then Saturday June 25 at the Thomas Listening Room (my living room) (RSVP here). They will also be playing here in Phoenix at the Lost Leaf on June 8 (RSVP here). Please come out and support great music.

Here is the band performing “Towering:”

Here is “Our Love” from the same session:

And, last, “This Is Where We Are,”


May 13, 2011 at 9:40 am

Here’s a bit of fun music for your Friday. Just because we all like fun music on Fridays, right? Right. Katzenjammer
is from Oslo and they made this song, “A Bar In Amsterdam” and then someone made a video for it:

Blessed To Be A Blessing, Even At Your Coffee-Shop Bible-Study

May 12, 2011 at 10:07 am

So I had an early morning meeting at my local “safe third place.” There is a little conference room off to the side that you can rent for meetings and such. This morning, it was occupied by a bunch of Christians. You ask how I know? They had their study bibles that were as big as their heads, which doubled as weight-lifting, and they brought their own food and coffee. To a coffee shop. And this really bothered me. Enough that I wanted to ramble to the world-wide-interwebs.

I don’t know these particular men but I have known men like them and I have tried to think about what could justify someone bringing their own coffee and food to a coffee shop that serves breakfast food. Frugality is the first thing that comes to mind: “Well, I can get my food and coffee cheaper somewhere else, or even moreso if I bring it from home and it glorifies God when I’m wise about my finances . . . I just can’t see paying two-dollars for a cup of coffee . . . Dave Ramsey said . . .

But, as some of these men walked in with their own coffee and food, you could see them give sneaky looks over to the register wondering if they had been seen. I don’t want to read too much into things, but it sure seemed like they were aware of the impropriety of what they were doing, coming in the side door, going straight to the conference room, shutting the door immediately behind them (even though it’s a glass wall and we could still all see them).

This seems to fit well with stereotypes about Christians. We are generally known as the worst tippers. We buy as little as possible, stay as long as possible and tip as little as possible. Oh, and we make sure not to buy alcohol because we don’t want to cause anyone to stumble and then we’ll leave a tract as part of the tip because, after all, eternity with Jesus is more valuable than a couple of dollars, right?!

But, we seem to forget that we have been blessed, not to be frugal, but to be a blessing to others. Now, I recognize that some of you are going to read that comment and say that I’m advocating being unwise with your money, but that’s not at all what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that if you are going to have your bible study at a local establishment, then spend your money there or have it at your home. We have a tendency to take from our local establishments rather than seeking their well-being. No, a few cups of coffee and a breakfast burrito or two are not going to shut this place down, but what if everyone decided to act this way?

I think it’s great that we want to discuss G0d in public, but let’s put this into practice as well. We must think missionally about how we conduct ourselves in public. Are we the people that our local establishments long for or are we the ones that get a grimace when we walk in the door?