June 03, 2005

Friday in the wild: June 3, 2005

Welcome to the first instalment of "Friday in the Wild" for June.

This edition also represents my first stab at a real post with client blogging software instead of Blogger's Web client. I'm typing this up in w.bloggar and putting it through its paces. So far, so good.

Brian at The Dawn Treader recently had an opportunity to ask Christian astrophysicist Hugh Ross a question at a church lecture:

After a short lecture, Hugh opened it up for questions. Several got up and asked questions. I began fidgeting in my seat. I have always wanted to ask Hugh a question. This guy answers questions for a living -- hard questions. What should I ask, I thought.

I rose out of my chair and approached the microphone. . . .

What I really wanted to know ... was if Hugh Ross ever got stumped by a question ... or, what question does Hugh Ross dread getting from an audience ... or, what makes this man with ice water in his veins get truly nervous ... or, how does Hugh Ross stay so calm when he gets viciously attacked and called names by young earth creationists. These were the things I really wanted to know.

However, when I stepped up to the microphone, I chickened out and went with a safe question.

[Read What I Asked Hugh Ross for the question!]

Then, go and read the answer. Good stuff, and it looks like there's more to come.

In a whoosh of mixed metaphors, Phil Johnson hits the ground running and comes out swinging against Internet Calvinists, who seem perpetually locked in the "cage stage" and seem far more interested in scholasticism and polemics than real evangelism:

I have to say with all candor that I can somewhat understand the feelings expressed by some of Calvinism's recent critics. Sniff around some of the Calvinist forums on the Internet and it won't be long before you begin to think something is rotten in Geneva.

But I hasten to add that I don't think the problem really lies in Geneva, or in historic Calvinism, or in any of the classic Reformed creeds. I especially don't think the stench arises from any problem with Calvinism per se. In my judgment, the problem is a fairly recent down n' dirty version of callow Calvinism that has flourished chiefly on the Internet and has been made possible only by the new media.

[Read Quick-and-Dirty Calvinism]

My friend James Spurgeon of The Howling Coyote responds, calling for a somewhat more temperate approach to the issue:

1. The Great Commission is about more than just evangelism. It is about making disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them. So polemics has its place in the execution of the Great Commission. In our a-theological age the need has never been greater to equip the saints by grounding them in sound theology. So let's not throw polemics out.

2. Good Calvinism is evangelistic. What greater motivation is there than the glory of God? What greater promise is there than that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation? What greater encouragement is there than to know that God has fore-ordained and guaranteed results?

[Read Predestination and Evangelism]

Meanwhile, Google and lesser search engines continue to do the task they were predestined for: bringing readers to my site in interesting ways. Here is a sampling of the more unusual combinations that land people on the Crusty Curmudgeon.

One thing I haven't noted recently is how this blog rates when someone googles a word in the title. For the record, as of right now, I'm #2 for crusty, #17 for curmudgeon, and (naturally!) #1 for crusty curmudgeon. (The poor guy who actually went out and bought crustycurmudgeon.com is #2. Heh. Actually, it's a fairly well-designed personal site about libertarianism. But I was here first.)