The Week in Review: NQC Joins With TBN, Arminians and Calvinists Clash, I Sing a Duet With Doug Anderson, and Much More…

On the entertainment front:

*For any Beach Boys fans out there who might be reading this blog (I’m looking at you, Wes Burke), here’s a video sure to bring back memories. The now aged but still kicking California surfers recently paid a visit to Central Park and performed a couple oldies, including that immortal, nay Shakespearian classic, “Good Vibrations.” Enjoy.

On the faith and culture front:

*Here is one Christian’s open letter to Sam Harris. This particular Christian also happens to be a cancer patient. The topic: death and resurrection. Well worth reading.

*Some of you have already heard of the massive Calvinist vs. Arminian kerfuffle that’s going on, sparked by this Statement of the Traditional Baptist Understanding of Salvation. The document was designed to make explicit just what it is that the majority of non-Calvinist Southern Baptists believe about salvation. It’s sparked quite the debate. You can read a summing-up of the various responses and counter-responses here. I have nothing deep to contribute, except that it would appear I’m definitely not a Calvinist. Pass the popcorn.

*Tim Challies dared to criticize John Piper. The topic was Piper’s comments about Christianity’s having “a masculine feel.” Challies begs to differ. Of course, here I am looking at Piper’s list of “masculine virtues”  (“tender-hearted strength,” “contrite courage,” “risk-taking decisiveness,” “sacrificial leadership”) and thinking, “So what’s not to love?” But in all seriousness,  I do definitely disagree with Challies’ assertion that God is neither masculine nor feminine. His argument just fails on a number of levels. I don’t think he’s moved to the dark side, he’s just kind of uptight and confused on this point.

*I present… The Playful Puppies Bible. I sincerely wish I were joking. It got me thinking… just where would one of these adorable, full-page color photos be most appropriately placed in Scripture? The story of Jezebel comes to mind. Insert well-fed puppy portrait here. But hey, at least it’s not the Stock Car Racing edition. Lordie, that Gaither Bible is looking classier all the time.

On the Southern Gospel front:

*NQC has made a deal with TBN to let the network broadcast the show in 2012. A lot of people are furrowing their brows over this, and I admit I’m one of them. TBN just has a sleazy reputation. They’ve been involved in various scandals, and they’ve worked with heretical “prosperity gospel” preachers like Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, and Benny Hinn. I really question the wisdom of making an association like this. It will be interesting to see whether attendance is significantly affected.

*The Ball Brothers have launched a Kickstarter campaign for their new album. Get all the details here. If nothing else, watch the promo video. But you might want to donate at least a little—if the Brothers are correct, the world will end in accordance to the Mayan calendar should they fail to reach their goal. “Tell your friends… and tell your strangers.” As a matter of fact, they already have almost $11,000 of the $15,000 needed, so I have no doubt they will reach their goal. A nice thing about all this is that Daniel Ball was one of the first people to pledge to the new Union Street project, and now in return Ryan Seaton has been publicizing the Brothers’ campaign.

*The drop date for Brian Free & Assurance’s new record has been pushed down yet again to mid-July. Meanwhile, here’s the cover art. I think Shivers needs a shave. Ditch the beard dude. (Oops… accidental alliteration.)

*Doug Anderson and I sang “In the Garden” together last Saturday. He’s a master harmonizer, and I picked a key that really showcases his silky upper range. What’s impressive is that I launched into this completely cold—no preliminary “Ooooohs”—and he followed me pitch-perfectly from note one. I liked how it came out, though he does overpower me a little in places. Probably several factors at work there—for one thing, his voice just is more resonant, but I think too I had the recorder pointed towards him, and I was holding back out of nervousness/self-consciousness (although Doug is great at putting you at ease). Anyway, enjoy. :)

[Update: 4shared has changed their sharing system---apparently now I can't share files I upload with people who don't have an account. This is very frustrating. Don't worry, I'll find a way to let you hear it.]

Open thread. Now come on. You can’t NOT find something to talk about here.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “The Week in Review: NQC Joins With TBN, Arminians and Calvinists Clash, I Sing a Duet With Doug Anderson, and Much More…

  1. Lydia

    When I try to listen to the clip of you and Doug singing it says, “You should log in or sign up to download this file.” Is it supposed to do that?

    • That’s ominous, because it didn’t do that before. I’ve never had trouble embedding files I put on 4shared before. It appears they’ve changed their protocol. I’ll find some other way to share it. Thanks for the heads-up!

      • I think I’ll also have to go back and find some way to replace the other files I’ve shared via 4shared, because they’re giving me the same message now. What a pain!

  2. Riete

    So glad I already joined 4shared months ago … now I got to listen to you and Doug sing. That was awesome! You do have a beautiful, clear voice :)

    I was raised a Calvinist, now I’m a non-Calvinist evangelical and to be honest I think those theologians should use their time and talent wiser and more efficient. There’s a whole world out there in need of Jesus and in my opinion we don’t have time to argue about semi-this or whatever-that. I mean, call me simple, but who cares …

    • Awwwww, thank you, that’s so sweet of you to say. Glad somebody could listen as it was. I should get a Youtube account or something so it’s easier to share this kind of stuff.

      My instinct is similar to yours when it comes to Calvinist vs. Arminian debates, and similar areas where I think there are moral, Bible-believing Christians on both sides. I don’t know if you have ever read _The Hobbit_ or any of the _Lord of the Rings_ books, but there is a scene where the different armies of good are preparing to go to war against each other, but then they look and see the forces of the Dark Lord approaching, and they unite in a common cause against the evil goblins. Similarly, sometimes I feel like it removes the focus from the larger culture wars when conservative Christians are wrapped up in “in-squabbles,” as it were.

      Here’s the best argument I could make. Not being a Southern Baptist, I am only hearing about all this first-hand, but my impression is that Arminian Southern Baptists are concerned that the Calvinists are taking over the Church to a certain extent. They’re concerned that they will lose influence in, for example, the seminaries, as young men are coming in to be taught. Part of the problem is that the Calvinists are some of the loudest conservative voices left in the Church, which of course is a very good thing in one sense, but it does mean that the Arminians aren’t that well represented. And some of the doctrinal differences are significant enough that these Southern Baptists didn’t see it as a completely trivial area of concern.

      So my instinct would be to say, you’re right, there are more important battles to be fought, but at the same time, I can sort of understand and sympathize with an Arminian contingent that’s looking at the Calvinist takeover and thinking, “Are we completely happy with the whole Southern Baptist church just going Calvinist?”

  3. Wes Burke

    Hey, can I help it that I’m a sucker for music that’s drenched in gorgeous harmonies??? :-)

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