It is not the end of the world, it just looks like it. It is monsoon season here in the Valley of the Sun, and with it comes very spectacular thunderstorms, as this photo shows, from Tempe, Arizona.
(1) A Cage Stage Calvinist’s Dream! In the sixth chapter of my new book “Twelve What Abouts” I write:
Why are you reading this? Yes, this particular sentence. There are billions of sentences out there just waiting to be read, in many different languages. But right now, you are reading this one. Why?
Well, it could be that some Reformed and crazed individual has put a gun to your head and told you that if you did not read these words he would shoot you. He would definitely be what some refer to as a caged stage reformer: after coming to understand the doctrines of grace, for a period of a couple of years or so, he needs to be locked up in a cage. His zeal for Reformation truth needs to be augmented with sanity in human relations! He sends books, tapes, CD’s, mp3’s, DVD’s, and e-mails to all unsuspecting victims, regardless of whether or not they have ever shown an interest in these things. Christmas is his favorite time of the year, for he’s been eagerly waiting for this opportunity to send R. C. Sproul’s book Chosen by God to everyone he knows. He’s on a mission alright, but the best thing would be for him to cool down for a couple of years in a cage!
However, even with the crazed reformed nut with a gun scenario, you are still making the choice to read these words rather than face the contents of the gun. You prefer to read this rather than to feel the impact of the bullet. Even now, you are reading this because you want to––right now you do, anyway. In fact, because this is your strongest inclination, there is no possible way for you to be reading anything else at this moment. It is impossible that you would be reading something other than this right now, and this will continue to be the case until you have a stronger desire to do or to read something else.
Why do I mention this? Well, starting now and for the next 24 hours (or until stocks run out), Dr. R. C. Sproul’s CD series Chosen by God, regularly $24, is just $5 in the Friday sale at Ligonier. Yes! This means you can get all your Christmas gifts on the first day of June. 🙂
In all seriousness though – this is a masterful series and one I have enjoyed hearing several times over. It is well worth ordering a few of these series to pass on to people who struggle with this important doctrine. Check out the $5 Ligonier sale here.
(2) Should be a good Dividing Line Broadcast later today at www.aomin.org. Dr. James White writes:
Smell that smoke? It’s coming from the theological straw men lit up by the likes of Emir Caner, Jerry Vines, Paige Patterson, Malcolm Yarnell, and David Allen. The smoke is thick, but the fire is hardly hot. I refer to a newly released statement titled “A Statement of Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.” I began seeing reference to it yesterday, and today I took a few moments to look it over. The sheer number of category errors, misrepresentations, and, at times, complete face-palming theological mistakes is mind-boggling. It seems the entire doctrine of original sin has been jettisoned as well, given language such as this: “We deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will or rendered any person guilty before he has personally sinned.” Seems like Pelagius has returned from the dead! So why do infants die again? Well, anyway. Here is another example: “We deny that only a select few are capable of responding to the Gospel while the rest are predestined to an eternity in hell.” These are theologians, yet, they are theologians of tradition, for they clearly continue to refuse to even hear what the other side has said for, well, all of church history. No one has ever argued, to my knowledge, that the elect have a capacity in and of themselves that the non-elect do not. We are all children of wrath outside of grace. The elect are no more “capable” of responding to the Gospel than anyone else. Dead men lack the capacity to respond to anything. Hence the necessity of saving grace. And on it goes.
So Friday afternoon, starting at 5pm EDT, we will do a Radio Free Geneva examining this new “statement” and exposing its contradictions, category errors, and simple false teachings. Join us, and invite any confused Southern Baptists to listen in as well!
(3) But it’s a dry heat. The expected high here today in my part of the world is 117º F (42.7º C). Yes, you read that right!
This diary of moving to Arizona has made it’s way around emails and the Internet thousands of times. I have seen so many versions for so many cities (even a snowy version for Wisconsin) that I’m sure it can no longer be attributed to any author. I certainly didn’t write it!
People who move to Arizona, though, can easily identify with it. You’d better read this–this could be your diary! (quite funny, with most of the bad words removed)
May 15th: Now this is a state that knows how to live! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. Mountains and deserts blended together. What a place! Watched the sunset from a park lying on a blanket. It was beautiful. I’ve finally found my home. I love it here.
June 14th: Really heating up. Got to 108 today. Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car, work in an air-conditioned office. What a pleasure to see the sun every day like this. I’m turning into a real sun worshipper.
June 30th: Had the backyard landscaped with western plants today. Lots of cactus and rocks. What a breeze to maintain! No more mowing for me. Another scorcher today, but I love it here.
July 10th: The temperature hasn’t been below 100 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least it’s a dry heat. Getting used to it is taking longer than I expected.
July 15th: Fell asleep by the pool. Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body. Missed two days of work; what a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though: got to respect the ol’ sun in a climate like this.
July 25th: Dry heat, my posterior!!* Hot is hot! The home air-conditioner is on the fritz and the A/C repairman charged $250 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts.
July 30th: Been sleeping outside by the pool for three nights now. $1,600 in blinkin’* house payments and we can’t even go inside. Why did I ever come here?
August 4th: 115 degrees! Finally got the air-conditioner fixed today. It cost $1,200 and gets the temperature down to about 90. I hate this [expletive deleted] state.
August 8th: If another wise person* cracks, “Hot enough for you today?” I’m going to tear his [expletive deleted] throat out. Darn* heat. By the time I get to work the radiator is boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and no deodorant works well enough!
August 10th: The weather report might as well be a [expletive deleted] recording: Hot and Sunny. It’s been too hot to sleep for two [expletive deleted] months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn’t it ever rain in this barren [expletive deleted] desert? $1,700 worth of cactus just dried up and blew into the [expletive deleted] pool. Even a cactus can’t live in this heat.
August 14th: Welcome to Hell! Temperature got to 120 today. Forgot to crack the window and blew the [expletive deleted] windshield out of the BMW. The installer came to fix it and said, “Hot enough for you today?” My wife had to spend the $1,600 house payment to bail me out of jail.
August 30th: Worst day of the [expletive deleted] summer. I’m not leaving the house. The [expletive deleted] monsoon rains finally came and all they did is to make it muggier than hell. The BMW is now floating somewhere in Mexico with its new $500 windshield. nobody told me about staying out of the washes during a “flash flood” warning. That does it. We’re moving back to California and buying a house next to the freeway for some peace and quiet.