Reformation Improv II

  07/17/14 , by Dissidens, Categories: Evangelical culture

…he do write things that make me think…


Leon Brown wraps up his racist thoughts here, completing his two-part series on minorities and liturgy. You might want to archive this bit of nonsense and produce copies of it should you be asked to explain why you think Evangelicals cannot be trusted to make sense.

This opinion was published by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals which, apparently in a fit of irony, claims:

Reformation 21 is an online magazine (ezine) created to serve, edify, and educate Christians by presenting an authoritative reformed perspective, while embracing various denominational positions, on a variety of relevant historic matters, current issues, and thoughtful positions that inform, inspire, and challenge Christians to think and grow biblically. It is a ministry of The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (www., an organization established in order to call the church to a reformation that recovers clarity and conviction about the great evangelical truths of the gospel and to encourage their proclamation in our contemporary context.


I wrote to this Association of Short Bus Evangelicals asking if Brown’s work comported in any way with their site’s “About” statement, and I received this response from its executive director:

Thank you for your message.

The Alliance is an association, a collection of men teaching from a traditionally Reformed perspective. So there are many views of liturgy and ministry. Pastor Brown’s is not my view but he do write things that make me think and cause folks to talk about what they believe and why they believe it.

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only thanks to your faithful support. Thank you again

Robert Brady * Executive Director


I can but pray that this Alliance does indeed survive “only thanks to my faithful support”.

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Shopping: A Think They Do

  07/11/14 , by Dissidens, Categories: Evangelical culture

CaPCMag has issued another call for articles.


I have not seen any of the articles on vacations yet. I’ve been watching for them and I’ve scanned the blog, but maybe I didn’t search every square inch. I hope something hits the presses before I head out on my vacation, and I certainly hope it appears before my wife heads out on hers.


So while we sit around waiting anxiously for those trenchant insights and helpful guidelines, another call has been issued, this time on shopping: “Call for Feature Articles on Shopping for CaPCMag!”


I don’t know how many people do any shopping for CaPCMag, but I’m pretty sure there must be enough excitement involved for a whole series of articles which would take us right up to the Christian Shopping Extravaganza, Christmas.


Theme: Try imagining our culture without the experience of shopping. Even though we may think of it as merely a think [sic] we do in order to get culture, shopping is actually fairly central to our experience of the world. In this issue, we’ll feature articles that thoughtfully consider an aspect of shopping.


You might approach this from several angles:


How did the Apostles feel about coupons? What do store loyalty coupons say about your Christian testimony? How important is longsuffering when you get a wobbly shopping cart? Should we take a strict, literalist interpretation of the 15-Items-or-Less checkout counter sign?


And how many people do you know who shop “in order to get culture”?


Is shopping actually central to your experience of the world or just actually fairly central to your experience of the world?


Give this all the serious thought it deserves and drop a line to Alan Noble.


The Evangelical Laugh Factory

  07/07/14 , by Dissidens, Categories: Evangelical culture

The astute observer of human affairs will be forced to admit that “culture” and “the engagement of culture” is about as rich a vein for comedy as there is. Next to observations about sex, nothing is more conducive to brutish laughter than a layman's observations of culture.

(And should you ever find yourself in front of a group of people with absolutely nothing at all to say, tell them you would like to share with them your thoughts on culture. All will be well.)

Over at Reformation Improv there is the first of two routines dealing with liturgy and “minorities”. The article is extremely entertaining if a) you don’t know anything about liturgy, b) you don’t know anything about American Evangelicalism, c) you know nothing at all about Black folk, and d) you know nothing about allergies.

I personally can’t wait for Part 2.

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A Problem and a Thing

  06/25/14 , by Dissidens, Categories: Evangelical culture


If it is true that a prophet faces severe consequences should the things he tells us not come to pass, it only stands to reason that your clever false prophet will foretell past events. It’s like a health plan. A good diet, plenty of exercise, and predict events already verified as having happened.

And thus it was that the Prophet Jamie Brown went out unto the people of Evangelicalism and prophesied unto them, saying, “Hearken unto my words, oh ye people of Evangelicalism, lest a huge crash shall come upon you and your sons and your daughters.”

What happened was this: the Prophet Jamie journeyed to a nearby land to hear a lot of producers and celebrities at a conference for worship leaders. There he—and as incredible as this sounds, I’m not making it up—“met some new people, heard some thought-provoking teaching, enjoyed some good meals and conversations with worship leader friends, and experienced in person some of the modern worship trends that are becoming the norm in evangelicalism.”

This is what your worship leaders do these days: they experience the trends that are becoming the norm in Evangelicalism. Anyway, the Prophet Jamie’s heart was troubled by what he had heard, and it cried aloud. It spoke of a great wickedness in the land, the theme of “performancism”.

I’m sure there is much than can be said for and against performancism, and I’m also sure if you are a performancer (as I am) you will want to hear more about it should the Lord tarry. The essentials, though, are these:

The worship leader as the performer.
The congregation as the audience.
The sanctuary as the concert hall.

“It really is a problem. It really is a thing. And we really can’t allow it to become the norm.”

Thus spake the prophet Jamie Brown.

And many other things did he speak. You should read them:

"Even I didn’t know most of the songs that we were supposed to be singing along to at the conference. I tuned out. I sat down. I tweeted. I texted my wife. I gave up."

Behold the modern worship leader.


The Calculating Exegete

  06/21/14 , by Dissidens, Categories: Evangelical culture


Is this a sustainable religion? I ask you:

 “All of us have presuppositions and they can affect ones interpretation. However the one biblical hermeneutic is mathematical in structure so that if the rules are followed they erase most presuppositions. Other hermeneutical systems are open to, or encourage, the use of presuppositions and that is what creates theological error. I have pointed several of these out in past articles of the SS.”

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