Monday, February 27, 2006

The Three Billy Goat Gruffs

Once upon a time three billy goats lived together in a field on a hillside. They were the three Billy Goats Gruff. There was a Big Billy Goat Gruff, a Middle Billy Goat Gruff and a Little Billy Goat Gruff.

Beside the billy goats' field ran a river. One day they decided to cross it and eat the grass on the other side. But first they had to go over the bridge. Under the bridge lived a big ugly troll.

First Little Billy Goat Gruff stepped onto the bridge. TRIP TRAP went his hooves.

"Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the Troll.

"It is only I, Little Billy Goat Gruff, going across the river to make myself fat," said Little Billy Goat Gruff in such a small voice.

"Now I'm coming to gobble you up," said the Troll.

"Oh, please don't eat me, I'm so small," said Little Billy Goat Gruff. "Wait for the next billy goat. He's much bigger."

"Well, be off with you," said the Troll.

A little while later, Middle Billy Goat Gruff stepped on to the bridge. TRIP TRAP, TRIP TRAP went his hooves. "Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the Troll.

"It is only I, Middle Billy Goat Gruff, going across the river to make myself fat," said Middle Billy Goat Gruff, whose voice was not so small.

"Now I'm coming to gobble you up," said the Troll.

"Oh, no, don't eat me," said Middle Billy Goat Gruff. "Wait for the next billy goat. He's the biggest of all."

"Very well, be off with you," said the Troll.

It wasn't long before Big Billy Goat Gruff stepped onto the bridge. TRIP TRAP, TRIP TRAP, TRIP TRAP went his hooves, and the bridge groaned under his weight.

"Who's that tramping over my bridge?" roared the Troll.

"It is I, Big Billy Goat Gruff," said Big Billy Goat Gruff, who had a rough, roaring voice of his own.

"Now I'm coming to gobble you up," said the Troll, and at once he jumped onto the bridge, very mean and hungry.

But Big Billy Goat Gruff was very tough and strong. He put down his head and charged the Troll and butted him so hard he flew high into the air and then fell down and splashed into the middle of the river.

And the great ugly troll was never seen again.

Then Big Billy Goat Gruff joined Middle Billy Goat Gruff and Little Billy Goat Gruff in the field on the far side of the river. There they got so fat that they could hardly walk home again.

I was tempted to try to rewrite this "family" story in parabolic form, but have decided to let the story stand as is without comment. You are free to draw your own conclusions and make your own applications. ~ The Billy Goat ~

February 2009: Addendum from a recently discoverd manuscript fragment.

The goat stared coldly at the troll as it vaunted itself in its own pomposity astride the bridge. The cold stare reflected the steel resolve, determination and hatred the goat had towards the troll and all the troll stood for and all the evil the troll had done. The goat did not wait for the troll to advance. Head lowered, he launched into a deliberate and ferocious charge. The troll roared in anger. The goat paused not a whit, and in the force of the charge hit the troll square in the gut and with a up thrust of the head tossed the vile beast of a bully over the side of the bridge into the deep, swiftly flowing current below.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Some Thoughts on Preaching, Systematic Theology, & Biblical Theology
posted by "Paulos"

"If we teach and preach the Scriptures in the categories of the Scriptures, I find that people are much more ready to embrace and to believe things than if we teach and preach the Scriptures in the categories of systematic theology...

Much offense that many ministers attribute to the nature of the teaching actually is due to the way we teach rather than the thing we teach. If we wrap our teachings in the categories of Scripture rather than in the worn categories of systematic theology, we run the risk of having our preaching and teaching being received. I think this risk is worth taking..."

I would encourage you to click through the link above, and read all of Paulos' post on the relation of Biblical theology and systematic theology to preaching. This post articulates a number of issues and concerns I've pondered on over the years, and I give this article a hearty "AMEN!!!"

By grace alone,

~ The Billy Goat ~

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Seasons: The days ARE getting longer. And we've had some really "nice" ones for this time of the year in West Michigan. Not warm, but sunny!!! Clear skies!!! Sky blue skies!!! The past few days the temperature has got up to the low to mid 30's, a heat wave after last weeks near zero wind factor...

Speaking of seasons, at work today we received word of the death of one of our colleagues who for the past several years has been battling cancer. He was a "young" guy with kids in high school. Life is short, and for some it is shorter then for others. RIP...

It is kind of paradoxical that in the grief that comes with the passing of someone you know, we are at that time of the year when you sense spring is out there somewhere, and creation is very slowly starting to stir from its winter slumber.

Spring gives us a reminder of the promise of resurrection. The thought of resurrection brings hope to the winter weary heart.

Come Lord Jesus!

~ The Billy Goat ~

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Somewhat Random Politically Incorrect Thoughts:

Being a white male of Western European (WMED) descent is not a moral disease. It's part of my ontological being, not my moral being. I do not have to apologize or feel guilty about that part of my ontological being. God made me that way. Neither do you have to apologize or feel guilty if you are a black male American of African descent, or if you are of any other shade of the color spectrum and of descent from any other part of the world. That's who you are ontological. God made you that way, and He doesn't make mistakes. If you want to feel guilty about something then join me in feeling guilty about real moral failings not your ontological being.

Equality doesn't mean we have to be equally miserable.

Karl Marx is a dead white European male so why don't you deconstruct Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto?

A culture that clearly by any objective observation treats women as lower then human does not have to be given equal respect to my own culture. In my culture women do not have to go around veiled. They can drive a car and they can vote. Oh! I forgot... In your culture not even the men get to vote... Women in my culture can also engage in lawful defense of their own person when bodily threatened.. My culture may not always get everything right with regard to women, but it at least recognizes their common humanity with men as being created by God, and beings who are equally objects with men of God's redeeming work through Jesus Christ.

Which brings us to the crux of the matter; a clash of world views. You presume to dictate what is moral without any reference to your Creator. You will issue your "Papel edicts" telling us what is "moral" and what we should be sensing "guilt" about. You would presume to be the anointed lawgiver... Well, who do you think you are? God? I have news for you... Your not.... Nor were you elected to be... You are not lord of my conscience, nor do you have any right or authority to be.

While a student at major public state university in the late 1960's, I had occasion from time to time to observe the Marxist mind at work. The Marxist mentality is nothing more then another variant of that Neo-Fascism that goose-stepped across the pages of 20th century history. Hitler killed his millions, Stalin his tens of millions, and Mao his hundreds of millions. A new world order will come, but it will not be yours. It will be consummated by that One who having came the first time as a servant, will come the second time as Lord and King of all.

"Why do the heathen rage, and the peoples imagine a vain thing?..." (Psalm 2)

Jesus alone is LORD!

~ The Billy Goat ~

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Multiculturalism is Cultural Marxism

Our friend Paulos has penned a series of posts on the push for "Multiculturism" as it is being advocated in our culture and society. As usual in our Post-modern mentality, the first question is, "What do you mean by multiculturalism?" Paulos has sought to set forth what its advocates mean when they use the term "multiculturalism". He finds the answer in their own writings and statements. It's not a very pretty sight, and the implications for the truths of the Gospel and the life of Christ's church are at the heart of Paulos' concern. Here is the first paragraph from his latest post. For the full article, click the link above.

"The issue at stake is not whether we should welcome diverse peoples among us and embrace them. The issue at stake is not whether but on what principles we should welcome diverse peoples among us and embrace them. No one can possibly oppose the embrace of diverse peoples and at the same time retain a credible confession of being a Christian. Likewise, to advocate any form of preferential policy for a “protected class” warrants rebuke, for such a posture is contrary to a credible Christian profession, for preferentialism is sin (James 2:9). The gospel of Jesus Christ obligates us to love and to embrace all who are Christians despite non-confessional differences, whether racial, social, or sexual. My burden, which previously I have not expressed fully or adequately, concerns the clash of orthodoxies, the conflict of visions, or worldviews in conflict. The clash of orthodoxies takes place in two realms–(1) public institutions including government, public policy, and academic; and (2) private sector institutions including the family, church, and academic."

PS: Before you start picking up stones to cast at Paulos, make sure you read the whole article and note very carefully what he does say and what he does not say. Make sure you don't put words in his mouth that are not there. That would be bearing false witness.

Sola Deo Gloria!

~ The Billy Goat ~

PSS - 02/15/06: Paulos has seen fit to delete the post referenced above. His reasons for doing so may be found here. See comments below for my on take on what has happened.