September 2011 Archives

There was no introduction/preaching schedule for this unit of preaching, and the tape library began after this series was completed. None of these sermons were recorded, but I am putting a post up for it for the sake of having as much information as I can gather about sermons preached.

I Thessalonians 1-2 Receptivity (Jeremy Jackson) 4-2-78
I Thessalonians 1-2 Leaders in the Church (Jeremy Jackson) 4-9-78
I Thessalonians 2:17-3:13 Preaching Affliction (Jeremy Jackson) 4-16-78
I Thessalonians 1 Characteristics of a ? Church (Doug Weeks) 4-23-78
I Thessalonians 4 Walk, Love, Work, Be Ready (Al Gurley) 4-30-78
I Thessalonians 5 How to live during last days (Doug Weeks) 5-7-78

Jeremy Jackson preached on I Thessalonians 1:9-2:4 in 1992. See the topical sermons here.
Doug Weeks preached two sermons on I Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 in 2001 during the II Thessalonians series.
Stefan Matzal preached a topical sermon that included I Thessalonians 2:3-12 in 2010. See the topical sermons here.

For more sermons, see here.

Acts 13-14 sermons (1978)

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There was no introduction/preaching schedule for this unit of preaching, and the tape library began after this series was completed. None of these sermons were recorded, but I am putting a post up for it for the sake of having as much information as I can gather about sermons preached.

1. Acts 13:1-4 The Spirit of Witness (Jeremy Jackson) 5-14-78
2. Acts 13:1-12 Spiritual Strategy (Jeremy Jackson) 5-21-78
3. Acts 13:13-43 Continuing in the Grace of God (Jeremy Jackson) 5-28-78
4. Acts 13:42-52 Results of Continuing (Al Gurley) 6-4-78
5. Acts 14:1-18 Witnessing in pagan culture (Doug Weeks) 6-11-78
6. Acts 14:19-28 Establishing new believers (Doug Weeks) 6-18-78

Acts 13-14 were preached on again in 1988 by Doug Weeks, Rick Wellman, and Jeremy Jackson. See the Acts 13-19 series.

For more sermons, see here.

I Timothy sermons

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Hebrews sermons

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There was no introduction/preaching schedule for this series.


Al Gurley preached a sermon that included Hebrews 11:32-40 in 1979. See the topical sermons here.
Al Gurley preached a sermon that included Hebrews 11 in 1981. See the topical sermons here.
Jeremy Jackson preached a sermon that included Hebrews 11:1-2 in 1986. See the topical series here.

For more sermons, see here.

Trinity Fellowship sermons typically work through books or sections of books at a time. Occasionally there will be a topical series, which I am listing as separate series. But individual sermons do occur, usually between series or on special days (most frequently Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, Reformation Sunday, Christmas, and New Years).

This list consists of topical sermons delivered between the 1978 formation of Trinity Fellowship and the 1981 series on eschatology.

1. II Corinthians 8-9 Grace & Giving (Jeremy Jackson) 9-17-78
2. Growth through friendships (Doug Weeks) 9-24-78
3. Colossians 2:6-3:10 Being truly spiritual (Jeremy Jackson) 12-31-78 [tape missing]
4. Revelation 2:1-7 First love (Bill Edgar) 1-7-79
5. II Peter 1:3-11 Becoming partakers of the divine nature (Doug Weeks) 4-29-79
6. Ephesians [passim]: One Another: The Body of Christ & Corporate Christian Living (Al Gurley) 6-24-79
7. John 15 Priorities in Christ's life (Doug Weeks) 7-1-79
8. Isaiah 54:2 Lengthening the Cords (Jim Doupé) 7-22-79
9. Lamentations 3:1-38; Hebrews 11:32-40 Affliction (Al Gurley) 9-23-79
10. I Corinthians 12 On Becoming a Congregation (Doug Weeks) 9-30-79
11. Hebrews 3:7-11 Grace & Faith (Dwight Craver) 10-28-79
12. I Peter 4:12-19 Choice by Fire (Jeremy Jackson) 12-30-79
13. Malachi 3:1-10 Giving: Blessing for God's People (Al Gurley) 1-6-80
14. Psalm 22 The Cross: God's love & separation (Jeremy Jackson) 4-13-80
15. Isaiah 9:1-7 Wonderful Counselor (Al Gurley) 4-20-80
16. Four Kinds of Giving (Doug Weeks) 7-20-80
17 Christian Action Council (Jeremy Jackson & Ted Mehalic) 8-24-80
18. I Corinthians 3:1-4:2 The Church and Its Elders (Jeremy Jackson) 9-21-80
19. Ephesians 4:1-18 Gifts to the Church (Al Gurley) 9-28-80
20. Meditation & Testimony (Dave Shetland, Steve George, Ed Van Cott, Jeremy Jackson) 12-28-80
21. I Corinthians 12:12-27 One another (Al Gurley) 4-26-81 [tape missing?]
22. Matthew 6:14 Forgiveness (Jim Pitcher) 7-5-81
23. II Corinthians 9:8 Accepting forgiveness (Doug Weeks) 7-12-81

For more sermons, see here.

Eschatology sermons

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Trinity Fellowship sermons typically work through books or sections of books at a time. Occasionally there will be a topical series during a break between books. This particular topical series covered eschatology, the doctrine of the end times. There is no outline/introduction to this series.

1. II Peter 1:16-21 I Kings 16:29-17.24 The Prophetic Word Made More Sure (Jeremy Jackson) 7-19-81
2. Matthew 24:32-25:13 Readiness: Eagerly Awaiting (Al Gurley) 7-26-81
3. Romans 5:1-11 How to Endure Tribulation (Doug Weeks) 8-2-81
4 Revelation 18 Babylon: the Marks of Unbelief (Jeremy Jackson) 8-9-81
5. Matthew 24 Signs of the Endtime (Jim Pitcher) 8-16-81
6. Revelation 13 Counterfeit Trinity: Satan's Substitute (Al Gurley) 8-23-81
7. Matthew 24:32-44 Last Days' Time (Jeremy Jackson) 8-30-81
8. Revelation 21 The Bride of Christ (Bill Finch) 9-6-81

 For more sermons, see here.

Philosophers' Carnival CXI

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The 131st Philosophers' Carnival is up at Minds and Brains: Musings from a Neurophilosophical Perspective.

Romans 9-16 sermons

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There was no preaching schedule/introduction for this unit.

1. Romans 9:1-29 The Will and Character of God (Jeremy Jackson) 4-24-83
2. Romans 9:30-10:21 Two Ways of Righteousness (Al Gurley) 5-1-83
3. Romans 11 God's Severity and God's Kindness (Doug Weeks) 5-8-83
4. Romans 12 Holiness and the Wholeness of Love (Jeremy Jackson) 5-15-83
5. Romans 13 The Christian and the State (Al Gurley) 5-29-83
7. Romans 14:1-15:6 Receiving and Accepting Christians with Different Convictions (Doug Weeks) 6-5-83
8. Romans 15:7-33 The Priestly Service of the Gospel (Jeremy Jackson) 6-12-83
9. Romans 16 The Christian Hall of 'Unfame' (Al Gurley) 6-19-83

Jeremy Jackson taught through the entire book of Romans in Bible studies in 1987-1989. See here
John Mickelsen preached on Romans 11:32-12:2 in 1992. See the topical sermons here.
Doug Weeks preached on Romans 15:18-24 in 1994. See the topical series here.

For more sermons, see here.

The Philosophical Gourmet Report, which ranks philosophy programs and gives specific listings of which departments are strongest in which areas of philosophy, will be adding the category of philosophy of race in its upcoming revision, which will take place this fall. Brian Leiter, who organizes the Gourmet Report, posted a quote from philosopher Tommy Curry about this long-overdue change:

Black philosophy continues to be lured toward the approval of whites as if their standards and acceptance can/do accurately describe the merit of our work. We have seen this in the work of whites like Sullivan and Bernansconi [sic], and now have it yet again regarding Leiter. They take Black conversations, market them as "legitimate" and benefit from them by controlling the academic "rigor" of the discourse.

Shannon Sullivan writes about race as it has affected her as a white woman and reflects on the nature of whiteness as she's come to understand it through dialoguing with non-whites and through applying philosophical skills she's learned by practicing philosophy. The idea that this must be seen as an attempt to control blacks is ludicrous. Bernasconi's work, from what I've seen, also seems motivated by wanting to understand a legitimate philosophical topic of inquiry rather than any sense of whipping those black philosophers into conformity.

Philosophers working in the area of race have complained to Brian Leiter that he's ignored an important area of philosophy where much good work has been done, and so he's finally (years later than I would have liked) added it to his surveys of which departments are seen by those in the loop of philosophy of race to be good programs for that area of study. Surely many of the people who will be commenting on this will be non-white, even if there are some people working in the area who are white.

I'm not exactly Brian Leiter's biggest fan. We've each criticized the other both publicly and privately. But I can't fathom the claim that he's motivated by wanting to exert power over black philosophers in particular. Even if you thought he was using the Philosophy Gourmet Report to control the discipline or to promote himself (rather than the more charitable interpretation that he does it to help students find the programs best suited to them, which I think is his actual motivation), his goals wouldn't be to have white people controlling black people. They would be to have an in-group of philosophers controlling which departments get seen as the best. It is true that his advisory board, whose rankings determine the report's rankings, is a pretty white group, but philosophers as a whole are a pretty white group. At worst, you might accuse him of not being concerned enough to include non-white philosophers in his advisory board.

Now there's a claim in the general vicinity of what Curry is saying that I think is not so removed from reality, although I think it's also wrong if applied to undermine the work of whites on race issues or to claim that it's illegitimate for white philosophers to evaluate the work of black philosophers. That claim is that black philosophers can have conversations about issues affecting them that white people won't understand as well. This is true. There's a kind of epistemic privilege that comes from having experienced certain things, and being black in America does bring with it some experiences that white people don't understand as well. So some conversations among black philosophers will be harder for white philosophers to step into and participate in the same way or to evaluate as good or bad philosophy. Sure.

However, there are also experiences white people have in America that involved race that also bring something to the table that black philosophers have less ccess to. I'm not claiming this is symmetrical in terms of an equal number of experiences or similar kinds of experiences, but I am pointing out that any social location can involve experiences that only people in that social location can understand. Some of the experiences whites have blind them to certain racial issues, but some of the experiences blacks have can make them less sensitive to certain race issues as well. There are experiences that someone who is white who is heavily interwoven with black Americans will have that most blacks and whites will not have. (See here for much more argumentation in this direction.)

Despite all this, it simply isn't impossible for white philosophers to do good work contributing to discussions of race, and just about all non-white philosophers have recognized this. It simply isn't impossible for white philosophers to look at these discussions and form reasoned opinions about whose arguments are better than whose. It simply isn't impossible for white philosophers to get a sense from these discussions whose work is having the most influence and therefore whose work is seen by the participants in these discussions as the best work.

So the idea that a white or nearly-white advisory board can't evaluate the work of non-white philosophers or the work of philosophers on issues that have come out of black discussions is not, because of the facts about epistemic privilege, a complete non-starter. There may be additional difficulties in it than what you already have in evaluating the work of philosophy of religion when most of the reviewers pay no attention to that subject (as is certainly the case with the Gourmet Report advisory board in general). But they have ways of dealing with this. A good advisory board member who doesn't know philosophy of religion will presumably ask people they know who do it which philosophers or which departments are strongest in that area. So in the end I don't think even the more reasonable claim in the area of Curry's criticism can justify his resistance to this or to the work of white philosophers on issues related to race.

Romans 1-8 sermons

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There was no preaching schedule/introduction for this unit.

1. Romans 1:1-17 The Just Shall Live by Faith (Jeremy Jackson) 4-25-82
2. Romans 1:18-2:16 The depravity of man (Al Gurley) 5-2-82
3. Romans 2:17-3:8 The Jew's need of the Gospel (Jeremy Jackson) 5-9-82
4. Romans 3:9-31 (Bill Finch) 5-16-82
5. Romans 4 Justification by Faith (Al Gurley) 5-23-82
6. Romans 5 Amazing Love -- God died for me (Jeremy Jackson) 5-30-82
7. Romans 6 Freedom from sin (Al Gurley) 6-6-82
8. Romans 7 The Weakness of the flesh (Jeremy Jackson) 6-13-82
9. Romans 8:1-17 (Bill Finch) 6-20-82
10. Romans 8:18-39 Weak Sons, but Conquerors (Doug Weeks) 6-27-82

Jeremy Jackson taught through the entire book of Romans in Bible studies in 1987-1989. See here.
Stefan Matzal preached on Romans 8:18-22 in 2006. See the topical sermons here.
Jeremy Jackson preached on Romans 1:16-17 in 2010. See the topical sermons here.
Nathaniel Jackson preached on Romans 1:8-17 in 2011. See the topical sermons here.

For more sermons, see here.

Genesis 37-50 sermons

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There were no introduction/preaching schedules for the sermons on Genesis.

1. Genesis 37 Family Disorder's Tragic Consequences (Doug Weeks) 9-25-83 
2. Genesis 38 Christ in Judah (Jeremy Jackson) 10-2-83
3. Genesis 39 The Anatomy of Seduction (Al Gurley) 10-9-83
4. Genesis 40-41 (Doug Weeks) 10-16-83 [tape missing]
5. Genesis 42 Grain in Egypt (Jeremy Jackson) 10-23-83
6. Genesis 43 Second Visit to Egypt: Problems of unconfessed sin (Al Gurley) 11-6-83
7. Genesis 44 A Time of Revelation and Rejoicing (Ed Van Cott) 11-13-83
8. Genesis 45 (Al Gurley) 11-20-83
9. Genesis 46 Be Thou My Vision (Jeremy Jackson?) 11-27-83 [tape missing]
10. Genesis 47 (Bill Finch) 12-4-83
11. Genesis 48 God's Plans for Continuity (Jeremy Jackson) 12-11-83
12. Genesis 49:1-27 Jacob's prophecies to his sons (Al Gurley) 12-18-83
13. Genesis 49:28-50:26 Provision for Posterity (Ed Van Cott) 1-1-84

For the missing sermons, I generally recommend the sermon collection at the Gospel Coalition website, which has high standards for what it includes, although for one sermon I would recommend a sermon elsewhere (from someone whose sermons the Gospel Coalition does usually include, but this one is more recent).

On chapter 40, I especially recommend Dale Ralph Davis' sermon at the Gospel Coalition site.

On chapter 41, I recommend a sermon by Iain Duguid, which can be found here (preached on 10/23/2011, in case that helps locate it more easily).

On chapter 46, I recommend the Kent Hughes sermon at the Gospel Coalition site. (The Dale Ralph Davis sermon there does not cover the entirety of ch.36, and some of the others there cover longer sections than just ch.46.)

For more sermons, see here.

Genesis 27-36 sermons

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Genesis 12-26 sermons

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There were no introduction/preaching schedules for the sermons on Genesis.

1. Genesis 12-13 Abraham: the Tent and the Altar (Jeremy Jackson) 9-20-81
2. Genesis 14 Abraham's Character (Jim Pitcher) 9-27-81
3. Genesis 15 Justification by Faith and Covenant of Grace (Al Gurley) 10-4-81
4. Genesis 16 The Barrenness of Human Schemes (Jeremy Jackson) 10-11-81
5. Genesis 17 Abraham's Obedience (Bill Finch) 10-18-81
6. Genesis 18 Reformation Sunday Pulpit Exchange (Gordon Bell) 10-25-81
7. Genesis 19 Sodom: A Parable of Judgement (Jeremy Jackson) 11-1-81
8. Genesis 20 God's Determining Grace (Jeremy Jackson) 11-8-81
9. Genesis 21 Promised Isaac and Ramification (Al Gurley) 11-15-81
10. Genesis 22 The Sacrifice of Isaac and God's Provision (Bill Finch) 11-22-81 [quality improves slightly after 15sec, then drastically about halfway through; ends with Bill Finch song "A Sacrificed Lamb"]
11. Genesis 23 The Price of a Vision (Jeremy Jackson) 11-29-81
12. Genesis 24 Isaac and Rebekah -- Type of Christ and His Church (Al Gurley) 12-6-81
13. Genesis 25 The Patriarchal Succession (Jeremy Jackson) 12-13-81
14. Genesis 26 Faith and Flesh: Patriarchal Alternatives (Jeremy Jackson) 12-20-81

For the missing sermon, I particularly recommend the Gospel Coalitions sermon collection, which generally has high standards for what it includes. I would personally recommend any sermons by Iain Duguid, Alistair Begg, or Ligon Dugan, and all three of them have sermons there on chapter 14.

Jeremy Jackson also preached a sermon on Genesis 12 entitled "A New Beginning" on New Years Eve 1989. See the topical sermons here.
Bill Merry preached a sermon on Genesis 12:1-3 entitled "The Call to Mission" in 1996. See the topicals here.
Gerry Malkus preached a Reformation Sunday sermon on Genesis 15:1-6 in 2008. See the topicals here.

For more sermons, see here.

Christian Carnival CDV

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The 405th Christian Carnival is at Thinking Christian.

James sermons

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Trinity Fellowship sermons typically work through books or sections of books at a time. Occasionally there will be a topical series, which I am listing as separate series. But individual sermons do occur, usually between series or on special days (most frequently Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, Reformation Sunday, Christmas, and New Years).

This list consists of topical sermons delivered between the 1981 eschatology series and the 1986 series Basic Overview of the Christian Life.

1. Acts 7:20-39; Heb 11; I Peter 5:1-5 Characteristics of Godly Leadership (Al Gurley) 9-13-81
2. Acts 2:14-21,36-47 I Corinthians 14 Ingredients of Godly Worship: Prophecy (Al Gurley) 12-27-81
3. I Corinthians 10-11; Matt 26 The Lord's Supper (Bill Finch) 1-3-82   
4. Psalm 127; Matthew 11:28-12:8 The Sabbath: God's Grace Gift (Jeremy Jackson) 4-18-82
5. Acts 2:36-47 The Five Means of Grace (Jeremy Jackson) 7-4-82
6. retreat talk (Bob Haskell) 9-5-82 [no tape?]
7. Hebrews 10:32-39 Endurance (Chuck Thompkins) 10-31-82
8. Isaiah 39; Matthew 2:1-12 The Glory of Gifts (Jeremy Jackson) 12-19-82
9. II Thessalonians 2:16-3:18 Diligence (Al Gurley) 12-26-82
10. Ephesians 4:1-6 Unity of the Church (Doug Weeks) 4-17-83 [bad audio for a couple min. near end of sermon]
11. Ephesians 2:10 (Bill Edgar) 5-22-83
12. II Chronicles 29 Worship (Bill Finch) 6-26-83
13. retreat (George Woodward) 9-4-83
14. I Peter 1.3-7,13-16; 2.18-25; 3.14-15; 4.1-2,12-19; 5.6-11 Money, Marriage and Maturity (Al Gurley) 9-18-83
15 John 13 Reformation Sunday Pulpit Exchange (Rick Holmlund) 10-30-83
16. Christmas [testimonies instead of sermon] 12-25-83
17. II Corinthians 5:21-7:1 Holiness: Restricted affections (Jeremy Jackson) 1-8-84
18. Romans 6 English Anglican Pastor's Perspective (Brandon Jackson) 4-29-84
19. Central America: Christian Perspective (Jeremy Jackson and Mark Meyers) 9-8-84 [retreat talk]
19. Biblical Counseling: What Is It? (Al Gurley) 9-8-84 [retreat talk]
19. Family (Doug Weeks) 9-8-84 [retreat talk]
20. Luke 17 Service (Doug Weeks) 9-16-84
21. Nehemiah 1:1-2:5 Reformation Sunday Pulpit Exchange (Paul Wagner) 10-28-84
22. Ecclesiastes 4:23 The Heart of the Matter (Al Gurley) 12-30-84 [audio improves after 7 min]
23. Luke 14:26-33 Essentials of Discipleship (Al Gurley) 4-14-85
24. Luke 15:11-32 Principles of Fatherhood (Al Gurley) 6-16-85
25. Needs & Desires: What to Do When Someone Hurts You (Doug Weeks) 9-15-85
26. Romans 5:1-5 Hold on to the Faith (Tom Gibson) 10-27-85
27. Numbers 32:1-32 The Values of the Transjordan (Jeremy Jackson) 1-5-86

For more sermons, see here.

Trinity Fellowship sermons typically work through books or sections of books at a time. Occasionally there will be a topical series. This one is unique in being the only one in the history of Trinity Fellowship that occurred instead of a series from a gospel, and for that reason the elders chose to lead up to Easter in this series with three sermons from the end of Mark's gospel, which would have come up in 1986 ordinarily. There is no outline/introduction to this series. 

1. Doctrine of the Christian Life (Al Gurley) 1-12-86
2. Ephesians 5:15-6:4 The Christian Family (Doug Weeks) 1-19-86 [had three short drop-outs; one is now audible but noisy]
3. I Samuel 1 Children (Jeremy Jackson) 1-26-86 [Sanctity of Human Life Sunday]
4. II Corinthians 8 Possessions & Stewardship (Bill Finch) 2-2-86
5. Corporate Worship (Doug Weeks) 2-9-86
6. Exodus 33:12-16 Corporate Leadership (Jeremy Jackson) 2-16-86
7. John 15:1-12 Corporate Action (Al Gurley) 2-23-86
8. Hebrews 11:1-2; I Thessalonians 5:1ff. Living by Faith (Jeremy Jackson) 3-2-86
9. John 8:31-38 Living in Freedom (Jeremy Jackson) 3-9-86
10. Mark 14:26-42 Accepting the cost: Gethsemane (Al Gurley) 3-16-86
11. Mark 15 Paying the price: Calvary (Doug Weeks) 3-23-86
12. Mark 16 Receiving the reward: Resurrection (Jeremy Jackson) 3-30-86
13. Acts 1:3-11 Life to come: ascension (Rick Wellman) 4-6-86
14. I Corinthians 15 Mission (Gary Pasquarell) 4-13-86
15. Mark 6:30-44 (Lionel Avila) 4-20-86

 For more sermons, see here.

Stolers

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Henry Neufeld has a nice analysis of the Dominionismism stuff. See my comments for an analysis of Chip Berlet's weird view of what Dominionism is.

In reading Berlet's article, it occurred to me that we need a term for the conspiracy theory that George W. Bush stole the presidency in 2000 and again in 2004. Just about no one seriously entertains the idea that 2004 should have gone to Kerry if the process had been followed legally but that Bush's cronies in Ohio stole it for him. Apparently Berlet is one of those "just about no one". I say that's grounds for calling him a conspiracy theorist even apart from his Dominionismism.

I would contend, further, that thinking Bush stole the election in 2000 is even a conspiracy theory, given that the recounts done by the Florida newspapers ended up concluding that Gore could have won only if they had done a recount using the most liberal standard available, one many Democrats had been opposing.

(Not to mention that I think Bush v. Gore, while not the best opinion the Supreme Court could have produced, was generally rightly-decided. That the crucial premise of their decision was supported 7-2 indicates that there probably really is something to their concern. I'd call that bi-partisan. That the solution of the 2 who didn't join the majority but accepted that point would have violated federal law suggests that the majority were probably in the right direction, even if they weren't right on all the details. But I need not rely on that to claim that it's a conspiracy theory to think that Gore would have won but for some manipulation on the part of the Bush team. All it requires is that Gore would almost certainly not have won no matter how the Supreme Court had decided, unless they had just declared him the winner and done what the left has consistency pretended they did with Bush.)

In any case, I'm proposing a name for this conspiracy theory in the spirit of Birthers and Truthers. I call these people Stolers. It's just as bad a term as the others, and it perverts the language just as mightily, so I think it will do nicely. Besides, it's the right number of syllables. With 'Dominionismists' I failed at achieving that parallel. But if Henry is right on the different kind of mechanism producing Dominionismism, then maybe it shouldn't be parallel. (See his response to my comment on his post.)

Rowling's Ethics of Magic

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I was involved in a conversation several weeks ago about the fiction of Tolkien, Lewis, and Rowling and the theological-ethical frameworks that those authors apply to their characters' use of magic. One viewpoint among the participants was that Tolkien and Lewis have clear criteria for when the use of magic is evil, and Lewis has a complete theological framework. Tolkien argues that magic is perfectly appropriate for beings created with it as part of their natural abilities. In their case, it's not actually supernatural, because it's part of their innate capacities. As long as they keep the use of such abilities within their proper limits and in the appropriate circumstances for the right motivations (as with any natural ability or function), there's nothing wrong with it. Lewis clearly disapproves of Lucy's use of magic to overhear what her friends are saying about her and her desire to change her looks with magic. (This was one of the most disappointing things about the third Narnia film, which completely misunderstood that scene and left out both in exchange for a different misuse of magic.)

I didn't agree with all the details of how this was presented, but the basic thesis struck me as correct. But then came the claims that J.K. Rowling's treatment of magic is very different. There are some differences in the magic of her world, but they are incidental to this issue. The claim that struck me as most difficult to support was that she treats magic as casual, ordinary, and mundane, and there's no sense of the serious import of magic with dire consequences if it's misused. In responding to that, I realized that it was probably worth writing up a more careful presentation of why her treatment of magic is nothing like that.

First of all, one of the early distinctions we learn in the Potter books is between curses and charms. Curses are never intrinsically good, and when she presents them as morally permissible it's only because a greater good is at stake. They aren't intrinsically good, just like violence, but some of them can be used in certain contexts, perhaps, to achieve a good purpose. The same restrictions would apply as with violence in the real world, and any arguments against the of use of curses would parallel those pacifists make against using violence. Snape takes Harry to task for using Sectumsempra on Harry, but he's willing to use a nasty curse (but notably not one that would kill) against George Weasley as part of his masquerade as a Death Eater. There's no question that she distinguishes between good and bad use of magic, and it's not hard to see much of what she's doing as an analogy for technology in the real world. The ethics of magic is a major part of her series.

Even on relatively small-scale misuses of magic (meaning not Death Eater level but just things Harry and his friends do that seem fun), there's a lot of moral reflection going on. Take love potions as an example. Rowling is pretty clear that love potions don't actually produce love, just an intense infatuation. She distinguishes that from genuine love. We see the consequences of love potions most clearly in the case of Voldemort's parents, but a love potion also has serious consequences for Harry and Ron in the sixth book. We also receive a number of serious warnings from Professor Slughorn about the Felix Felicis potion, which Harry does put to great use at the end of book 6, but it helps him mostly in ways he doesn't recognize at the time, and Slughorn's cautionary urgings demonstrate mature reflection on important moral principles, and we see tight regulations on its use (e.g. the restrictions on its use in Quidditch). We encounter severe warnings about splinching from apparition (called apparation in its earlier appearances in the series), and becoming an Animagus is so dangerous that it requires registration with the government. The warnings in the third book about the dangers of time travel require a metaphysically-impossible theory of time, but the moral considerations brought to be there show that Rowling certainly has a moral framework at work to evaluate the use of magic.

The true horror of dark magic is front and center from book 4 on. You have the unforgivable curses. She seems to be tolerant of the use of the Imperius curse for a greater good (she certainly has Harry thinking so), but she doesn't seem to take the other two unforgivable curses to be ever all right (except for Snape's use of the killing curse on the already-dying Dumbledore to continue his masquerade as a double agent and to prevent Malfoy from doing so and harming himself in the process). You can't even use the Cruciatus curse without deeply evil intentions. Harry tried and failed. Harry's killing blows almost always come from redirecting evil characters' curses back at them (something the Death Eaters consistently make fun of him for). The depth of evil required for making horcruxes is vividly portrayed both in what Voldemort comes to look like as he's been losing pieces of his soul and by what he appears like in the afterlife-like scene in King's Cross toward the end of the final book. He destroys himself by using magic in this way.

Then there's the moral evaluation of the Deathly Hallows. It's clear by the end of the book that Rowling wants us to see the invisibility cloak as the only Hallow of continuing value to Harry. The elder wand is most appropriately acquired and used by someone who never wanted it. The resurrection stone is most appropriately used so Harry could get moral support in his preparation for giving up his life, not holding on to it. He ends up leaving it out in the forest where it had fallen. There's a clear sense of the illegitimacy of trying to hold on to your loved ones who have died, and the idea of acquiring power just to have more power leads her to write of the elder wand's history with one owner after another, each losing their prize and their life from the continued pursuit and acquisition of the wand by the next possessor. Harry uses it to repair his broken wand and then buries it with Dumbledore.

Rowling's "deep magic" based on love, a magic Voldemort never understands, is a clear tribute to Lewis. A voluntary sacrifice on behalf of someone else provides magical protection. She has Harry protected from Voldemort's magic in this way in his very body, until Voldemort takes Harry's blood into himself in a perverse use of magic that comes to backfire on him (because he in effect made himself serve as something like a horcrux for Harry, preventing Harry from dying when he finally could deliver a killing curse to Harry, which in the end only destroyed the scar that served as a horcrux for Voldemort. But Harry's mother's sacrifice continued in an extended way in the protection of the home of Harry's mother's sister as long as he officially lived there, and Harry's own voluntary sacrifice on behalf of all those who opposed Voldemort, together with the fact that he was using a wand whose loyalty was to Harry, ended up preventing his curses from doing anything after he and Harry returned to the world of the living from the King's Cross scene.

The contrast between these kinds of magic is one of Rowling's major themes, and the idea that she has nothing of a theological-ethical framework for the use of magic just flies in the face of all the work she does to present exactly such a framework. It's true that she's nowhere near as theological as either Lewis or Tolkien, but you have to have a pretty superficial reading (if you read the books at all) to suggest that she's treating magic is purely mundane, with no serious consequences, no sense of when it might be misused. There's quite a lot of reflection in her series about the ethics of magic, and her reflections strike me as thoughtful and morally mature, with few exceptions.

Genesis 1-11 sermons

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There were no introduction/preaching schedules for the sermons on Genesis.

1. Genesis 1:1-5 God's Creation, Christ the Light (Jeremy Jackson) 10-5-80
2. Genesis 1:6-2:3 Basic Principles of Creation (Al Gurley) 10-12-80
3. Genesis 2:4-25 (Doug Weeks) 10-19-80
4. Genesis 3 The Biography of Sin (Jeremy Jackson) 10-26-80
5. Genesis 3; John [passim]: The Tree of Life and the Gospel According to St. John (Jeremy Jackson) 11-2-80
6. Genesis 4 Spirit vs Flesh (Al Gurley) 11-9-80
7. Genesis 5:1-6:9 Reformation Sunday Pulpit Exchange (Jack Buskey) 11-16-80
8. Genesis 6:5-7:24 Noah and his World (Doug Weeks) 11-23-80
9. Genesis 8 The Flood and Redemption (Jeremy Jackson) 11-30-80
10. Genesis 9 Picture of Regeneration and Foretaste of New Covenant (Al Gurley) 12-7-80
11. Genesis 10:1-11:9 Can Babel be reversed? (Doug Weeks) 12-14-80
12. Genesis 11:9-32 Genesis, conclusion (Jim Pitcher) 12-21-80

For the missing sermons, I recommend the sermon collection at the Gospel Coalition website, which has high standards for what it includes. On chapters 5-6, I can personally recommend sermons by Dale Ralph Davis, Kent Hughes, Thabiti Anyabwile, and John Fesko, whose sermons I'm more familiar with. On chapter 11, G.I. Williamson and Iain Duguid stand out in my mind (and many of the ones listed cover the section that isn't missing here).

Rick Wellman preached on Genesis 4:1-8 in a sermon entitled Anger: the Story of Cain on 6-20-99. See the topical sermons here.
Doug Weeks preached on Genesis 3:1-8 in a sermon entitled God is Good on 9-3-00. See the same topical series just listed.

For more sermons, see here.

At least twice in the last few weeks I've come across someone claiming that the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the one-drop rule in 1986. I was surprised, because shortly before the first time I saw this claim I'd come across someone else saying that the 1967 case Loving v. Virginia, which is best known for overturning Virginia's ban on interracial marriage, also declared the one-drop rule unconstitutional. So I eventually started looking into both claims. It turns out that the first is false, and the second is true. That is, the Supreme Court did overturn one-drop-rule style racial classification laws in 1967, and they did not affirm a one-drop-rule law in 1986.

What Chief Justice Earl Warren's opinion in Loving actually says in the main text is that racial classifications need to be subjected to the most rigid scrutiny, especially if they form the basis of some impact in a criminal proceeding. But this isn't a new judgment. It's a quotation of a previous decision. And it's not clear what the most rigid scruntiny is supposed to be or how it would apply to one-drop rule laws, and he never applies it to such laws. But he points out that the basis of the racial classifications used in the Virginia law were instituted specifically to preserve the conception of white purity advocated by the invidious discrimination of 1924 Virginia that was of a piece with the kind of segregation at odds with the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, and that can't stand up to the most rigid scrutiny.

It's not quite clear, however, until you get to footnote 11, which says that the racial-classification system of Virgina is "repugnant to the Fourteenth Amendment" (and therefore presumably unconstitutional, although he never explicitly says they're overturning that law too). Since this is the reasoning for the overturning of the interracial-marriage ban, and not some aside on a topic not necessary for guiding the current case, I think it does count as overturning one-drop rule laws, at least any justified on the basis of white supremacy or purity (as I'm sure all actual one-drop rule laws were). But I now understand how it can do that in a way that I didn't really notice before. The real work is done in a footnote.

But the first claim is simply false. What happened in 1985 was a case involving a Louisiana woman who had thought of herself as white all her life who then discovered that her birth certificate listed her parents as colored. Louisiana law, until 1983, had a 1/32 one-drop rule, which counted someone as colored for having one black ancestor out of 32 great-great-great grandparents. Her parents were classified as colored by that law. She herself actually didn't count as black by that law, since it was her great-great-great-great grandmother who was black. But her birth certificate listed her as colored because her parents were listed as colored on theirs. So it wasn't the one-drop rule law that led her to be classified as black on her birth certificate. It was the cultural practice among doctors and midwives of transferring the racial-classification of the parents to the child when both parents had the same classification. Her parents had never objected to their classifications, and corrections to birth certificates apparently had to come from the person whose birth certificate it is issuing a complaint and request for correction.

So the state court concluded that there was no legal justification for forcing the birth certificate office to issue corrected birth certificates. They then said that the repealed 1/32 one-drop rule law was not relevant, because midwives and doctors aren't subject to the prohibition on government employees' violation of the 14th Amendment, since they're not government employees. Finally, they said the one-drop rule laws involved with this did, by their judgment, violate the Constitution, but they were bound by Louisiana Supreme Court precedent on that question. None of their analysis depended on any stance on the one-drop rule law, which was no longer on the books at this time anyway and thus could not be overturned by a court in any direct way. The case apparently got appealed to the Supreme Court in 1986, and they opted not to hear it, but it seems crazy to me to take that as a sign that they would affirm a one-drop-rule law.

Exodus 25-40 sermons

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The introduction and preaching schedule for this part of the book is here. (This is the first such preaching schedule the elders produced.)

1. Exodus 25-31 The meaning of the Tabernacle (a): God is with you (Doug Weeks) 9-28-86
2. Exodus 25-31 The meaning of the Tabernacle (b): God is glorious in majesty (Jeremy Jackson) 10-5-86
3. Exodus 25-31 The meaning of the Tabernacle (c): Sacrifice -- God's criterion for approach (Bill Finch) 10-12-86
4. Exodus 28 The meaning of the Priesthood (a): the Vestments (Doug Weeks) 10-19-86
5. Exodus 29 The meaning of the Priesthood (b): the Consecration (Al Gurley) 11-2-86
6. Exodus 32:1-14 The need for the Tabernacle (a): Rebellion (Doug Weeks) 11-9-86
7. Exodus 32:15-33 The need for the Tabernacle (b): Confrontation (Jeremy Jackson) 11-16-86
8. Exodus 33:1-16 The need for the Tabernacle (c): Israel in the balance (Al Gurley) 11-23-86
9. Exodus 33:17-34:10 The need for the Tabernacle (d): God's character revealed (Jeremy Jackson) 11-30-86
10. Exodus 34:11-35 The need for the Tabernacle (e): Covenant renewal (Doug Weeks) 12-7-86
11. Exodus 39:32-43 Building the Tabernacle (a): Skills and talents (Ed Van Cott) 12-14-86
12. Exodus 35:4-9,20-29;36:3-7 Building the Tabernacle (b): Material gifts and obligations (Doug Weeks) 12-21-86
13. Exodus 40 Building the Tabernacle (c): The blessing of the finished work (Jeremy Jackson) 12-28-86

Jeremy Jackson also preached on Exodus 33:12-16 earlier in 1986. See the topical series here.

For more sermons, see here.

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