Skip to main content

Joe Fleener

Joe Fleener's Public Library

  • To this we might also add such things as a preoccupation with trivia, a need for constant entertainment and an ethic built upon personal pleasure and convenience. These are hallmarks of childishness, too.
  • Are these really signs of maturity? I hate to sound as though I have surrendered my faculty of reason, as Tayler would say, but Palestrina, Bach’s sacred oratorios, and the poems of John Donne and Gerard Manley Hopkins strike me as somewhat more adult than America’s Got Talent, Taylor Swift’s latest lyrics, or the wit and wisdom of Jon Stewart.  And one need only think of the media's reaction to Bruce Jenner and to the rise of transhumanism to see that religion has no monopoly on wishful thinking. In fact, the only way in which this emerging culture is obviously more adult than its predecessors is in the Hugh Hefner sense of the word.  Far from representing maturity, one might characterize modern Western culture as a sustained campaign designed to annihilate the difference between adulthood and childishness, to the detriment of both.
  • Perhaps the choice is rather that between the historic, traditional—and thus childlike—faith of Christianity (as a famous religious man once said, Unless you become like little children….) and the childish faith of the coming barbarism.  Of course, Tayler has the right to prefer the latter.  But he should not flatter himself that in doing so he has made the more adult choice.

  • As I was reading Virgin Nation, I realized how many evangelicals have moved from discussing sexual behavior as a fruit and outworking of being made in the image of God and Christian holiness, to focusing on sexual purity commitments as the core of our identity, our own sexual orientation that dictates how we walk the dog in the morning, stir our pots of soup for lunch, and take out the garbage at night. We have moved sexuality from verb to noun as well, from practice to people. And this decision-based, revolutionary orientation for the contemporary evangelical adolescent is couched in a soup of spiritual and psychological language that has become a church of its own. The ministry of Word and sacrament seems to be replaced with powerful personal testimonies, elaborate media productions, and silver rings. They even have their own Bibles. Meslener rightly concludes, “For evangelicals who focus more on personal spirituality than theological tradition for the formation of Christian spiritual life, private, sexual acts, rather than doctrinal statements, are sites for reinforcing orthodoxy, especially during the formal years of adolescence” (124).

  • ‘We haven’t had any moral revolution on this scale in human history.’
  • ‘An evangelical faith that is not passionate about truth and righteousness is a faith which is a lost cause.’
  • Our society prides itself in being liberal, multi-cultural, inclusive and tolerant but it is a society that is empty and has in it the seeds of its own destruction.

2 more annotations...

  • Advice to young scholars and, especially, to aspiring public intellectuals: Although it is natural and, in itself, good to desire and even seek affirmation, do not fall in love with applause. It is a drug. When you get some of it, you crave more. It can easily deflect you from your mission and vocation. In the end, what matters is not winning approval or gaining celebrity. Your mission and vocation is to seek the truth and to speak the truth as God gives you to grasp it.
  • In fact, in our self-flattery we are, perhaps, among the most vulnerable. It is so easy to think of oneself as Socrates—until the hemlock is served.

  • I think the main reason we fail is that we make it too hard.
  • Another reason we fail at family devotions is that we give up too quickly. We measure short instead of long
  • We do family devotions out of guilt, not conviction

1 more annotation...

  • So, we have use for babies’ organs but not the babies themselves. And now the Department of Justice under the direction of President Obama has just opened an investigation, not into the organization aborting babies and selling their organs, but into the organization that exposed the practice. Francis Schaeffer may have been hard pressed to imagine such a scenario as this. 
  • For my more progressive fellow pastors, now is not the time for missional quietude over abortion. Now is the time for outrage. Now is the time for public disgust. Slavery would never have been abolished through missional conversations. Public outrage was necessary to bring the whole sinful enterprise crashing down. The same public outrage must be brought to bear on abortion. If it will help, perhaps you can imagine that Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, is a fan of Dukes of Hazzard and refuses to drink fair trade coffee. You have spoken out on the Confederate flag. Now is the time for abortion to capture your outrage. Get your back into it and help out with the heavy lifting. 

  • This video above is an ad that is a punch in the mouth. It is poignant and sad. I don’t have to explain the loss that it represents.

  • The brokenness of creation does not point to how God wants things to be but to how sin and the curse have distorted the world.

  • Preachers who make appeals to “the original” may in some cases help their readers obtain a better insight into Scripture. More often than not, however such appeals serve one of two functions: (1) they merely furnish illustrations to heighten interest to that hearers think they have a better understanding of the passage (cf. the comment on embark above); (2) they provide the occasion to make a point that has little do to with the passage (cf. the comment on patient).

  • Washington, now thoroughly adept at causing and celebrating the destruction of a nation, will not solve the problems of folly that it has sanctioned. Instead, it will continue to feed itself by stoking its perpetual survival with whatever fuel is in vogue on a given day. The only solution in the midst of our inevitable decline is the gospel.
  • The way forward for the protection of human life is to significantly decrease the demand for Planned Parenthood and other abortionists. That can only happen when the church, in earnest and en masse, determines to spend the time and the money to minister to women who, for a variety of reasons, have been convinced that the destruction of their children is the best, or only, path for them. It's a slow process. It won't grab headlines. It takes a substantial amount of time and money. It takes organization and perseverance. It is a commitment for the long haul. But it is a commitment to the reality that the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, is the only, and glorious, solution to the carnage of 1.5 million babies a year.

  • I thought of this when I saw the footage of Jimmy Kimmel tearing up on his late night chat show as he told the audience of the shooting of Cecil the Lion.  I wonder - did Kimmel tear up when he saw the video of the Planned Parenthood doctor talking about crushing infants as so many organ factories?  Does he tear up when he reads accounts of late term abortions?  Does he tear up when he hears of famine and disease?  Does he tear up when he hears of Christians facing death for their faith in other parts of the world?  
  • But in the grand scheme of wickedness, the death of a lion - even a lion called Cecil -- barely registers on the most sensitive Richter scale

  • This should be clear in the mind of the Christian but in today's church, it's vogue to be vague.

  • Lying on these beds for an hour or more were the shocked victims of their sex life, their full wombs now stripped clean, their futures less encumbered.

  • Many celebrity Christians have laid down their cards: they reject biblical inerrancy (and really always have) and embrace gay-affirming theology, keeping in step with seeker-friendly visions.
  • We seem to have entered some Orwellian nightmare, where the wages of sin is no longer death, but a false and misleading travesty of grace. This might even make one long for the good old days when worldview conflicts involved atheists.
  • And like others of my ilk, I know that sexual orientation is an invented category of personhood. Indeed, even from the old feminist perspective that I sported back in the day, I knew that sexual orientation as an identity was a category mistake.

3 more annotations...

  • Theology on the Go Podcast: Historical Adam
  • Belief in a Historical Adam: A Call to Courage
  • The Historical Adam and Jesus' Resurrection

  • The Quest for the Historical Adam: Genesis, Hermeneutics, and Human OriginsOn this installment of Theology on the Go, Dr. VanDoodewaard stops by to talk with Jonathan about the historical Adam. Listen in as Jonathan and Bill discuss this very important and weighty topic!

  • But the biblical testimony that all men descend from one man of special divine creation begins in Genesis.
  • This means man was not a “living creature” of any kind – hominid or ape – prior to this special creative act singled out for us in the text by the Spirit. God did not take a “living creature” to make a “living creature.” The Lord would not have us believe He did.
  • Paul ascribes a real transgression to one real man just as he ascribes a real act of righteousness to one real Savior, Jesus (Rom 5:18). Adam is no a mytho-poetic literary construct. If he is then his trespass was not that of a real man and our need for the real obedience of the one man, Jesus, is really unnecessary. Even more, Christ’s resurrection would need no basis in historic fact. A real victory is not needed for an unreal fall.  Our theological beliefs are grounded in historical events. If those events did not happen, our faith is false.  

  • In other words, you can form an opinion in a bubble, and for the first couple of decades of our lives we all do. However, eventually you are going to venture out into the world and find that what you thought was an informed opinion was actually just a tiny thought based on little data and your feelings. Many, many, many of your opinions will turn out to be uninformed or just flat out wrong. No, the fact that you believed it doesn’t make it any more valid or worthwhile, and nobody owes your viewpoint any respect simply because it is yours. 

  • I am not sure what is more depressing/amusing: That the editor felt it necessary to add this platitudinous preface; Or that we live in a world where such nonsense now passes for a coherent comment. Some white people now identify as African Americans. Somewhere out there someone who did not die on St. Helena in 1821 might nevertheless still identify as Napoleon. Is it now the case that we will not be able to talk about race or about the history of nineteenth century France without some equivalent caveat? One might translate what the editor is really saying as ‘the concept of being a woman is now utterly meaningless but we have decided to preserve the fiction at those points where it is politically convenient for us to do so.' Notice the editor's use of the vague term feel and the slippery adjective appropriate. As ever, in our aesthetic age, it is impossible to argue against a feeling.
  • Strange to tell, such gibberish may give some hope for the future, for this is where the New Left looks set to undo itself.  The very language upon which it depends for articulating its moral and political ambition—e.g., equality, gender, humanity, rights, etc.—was predicated upon reality being more than a linguistic construct or the creation of individual egos.  The editorial note indicates that such language is now about to evaporate or itself become susceptible to accusations of hatred and bigotry unless qualified as it is above. And when it is thus qualified, it loses all of its rhetorical power and simply looks . . . well, ridiculous. So perhaps there is hope. In the meantime, welcome to the Age of Gibberish.
1 - 20 of 7872 Next › Last »
20 items/page

Diigo is about better ways to research, share and collaborate on information. Learn more »

Join Diigo