🎼 History of the Byrds

Our ” The Byrds’ Top 25 Songs” countdown series ran from September 29, 2021 until March 23rd of this year and over that six-month span we had a lot of fun delving into the music of the Byrds and some of the history of the band (see the index here). Several weeks ago, I stumbled upon a YouTube video compilation that ties in nicely with our previous Byrds series.

Musicologist, Matt Williamson, maintains a YouTube channel, “Pop Goes the 60s,” in which he examines the history of 1960s rock ‘n’ roll. Williamson usually devotes one or possibly two videos to the history of a particular 60s band, but he recently released four videos that document the history of the very influential Byrds, from the band’s founding in 1965 to its demise in 1973.

I enjoyed this series quite a bit. Each video is 26-27 minutes long. Williamson did his homework and presents a lot of information, and while he doesn’t get all of the facts 100% correct, I give him an A for effort. Enjoy!

History of the Byrds – Part One

History of the Byrds – Part Two

History of the Byrds – Part Three

History of the Byrds – Part Four

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday Sermon Series, #137

Today, in our ongoing “Truth from Arkansas” series, we’re featuring two new sermons from the brethren down under.

First, we have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching from 2 Timothy 1:5 on “A Mom’s Legacy of Faith.”

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from Romans 1:1-7 on “Why We Are Servants.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, May 8.

Pastor Roger Copeland – A Mom’s Legacy of Faith

Pastor Cody Andrews – Why We Are Servants

The Rise of Catholic Indifference

Deadly Indifference: How the Church Lost Her Mission and How We Can Reclaim It
By Eric Sammons
Crisis Publications, 2021, 304 pp.

1 Star

The Roman Catholic church has always taught baptismal regeneration and the complementary doctrine of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus (Latin: “outside the Church [there is] no salvation.” Two exceptions were added to these doctrines, those being baptismus sanguinis (“baptism by blood”) and baptismus flaminis (“baptism by desire”). The former declared that those who were martyred before they were baptized could be saved, while the latter declared that those who desired to be baptized, but died before the sacrament could be administered, could also be saved. Those two exceptions were historically understood as “rare” occurrences, but today the Catholic church teaches that Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, and even atheists can be saved implicitly through baptismus flaminis/baptism by (unconscious) desire. How did this teaching evolve? In “Deadly Indifference,” traditionalist Catholic editor, Eric Sammons (“Crisis” magazine), examines the history of the expansion of baptismus flaminis and the implications for the declining RCC.

Beginning in the Middle Ages, some Catholic theologians and philosophers began to mull over the spiritual status of those pagans in distant lands who had never heard the Catholic gospel. The notion of “invincible ignorance” was born, which stated that “some” pagan souls might desire baptism if they were aware of it, and that they could also be saved via the baptism by desire exception. The teaching was bandied about by Catholic theologians for centuries and even gained papal approval in the Singulari Quadam allocution issued by Pius IX in 1854: “It is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, are not stained by any guilt in this matter in the eyes of God.” Invincible ignorance was popularly viewed as the theoretical exception rather than the rule as Catholic missionaries determinedly continued their efforts to convert non-Catholics across the globe.

However, as modernism/liberalism took hold in Catholic academia and episcopacies in the twentieth century, “invincible ignorance” and baptismus flaminis gradually became the standard regarding non-Catholics and were codified in the Second Vatican Council declarations, Unitatis redintegratio (1964) and Nostra aetate (1965). It took some time for this new liberal paradigm to filter down to the seminaries, rectories, convents, and pews – as a young Catholic grammar school student in the early and mid-1960s, I distinctly remember being taught by the priests and nuns that Protestants and all non-Catholics were destined for hell – but filter down it did. Sammons uses a “salvation spectrum” to demonstrate the current range of Catholic teaching/belief regarding extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. There is the absolutist on one extreme, who rejects the aforementioned exceptions. This view was infamously espoused by Jesuit Leonard Feeney (see here). Sammons states that, unlike Feeney, he is not an absolutist, but an exclusivist. He concedes the exception of baptismus flaminis as legitimate, but only in “rare” cases. Sammons posits that modern popes, John XXIII, Paul VI, JP II, Benedict XVI were in the middle “inclusivist” range in varying degrees, but that Francis is at the opposite extreme as a pluralist bordering on universalism.

The result of the expansion of baptismus flaminis and “invincible ignorance” is that there is no incentive for Catholic missions, since it is now taught that it’s possible for every non-Catholic religionist and even atheists to merit Heaven. Another result is an ever-increasing number of cradle Catholics are dropping away from the church because of the prevailing indifferentism. Their thinking: “If non-Catholic religionists and atheists have a good shot at Heaven, it makes no sense to have to suffer through an hour of boring mass every Sunday.”

Traditionalist Sammons, would like to return the Catholic church to pre-conciliar militancy, when baptismus flaminis and “invincible ignorance” were understood as the “rare” exceptions rather than the rule. He desires that Protestants be once-again categorized as “heretics” and that they be targets for proselytization by Catholic missionaries along with all other non-Catholics. Sammons also pines for the day when “religious freedom” is a memory and the Catholic church once again rules hand-in-glove with civil governments (pp. 50-51). Nope, I’m not kidding. How does Sammons put the horse back in the barn? He encourages fellow traditionalists to turn the clock back to pre-conciliar militancy, parish by parish.

We’re seeing signs that this rad-trad militant Catholicism that Sammons espouses is gaining traction and getting some internet notoriety, but the reality is that it’s still a small minority among Catholics.

Postscript: This book was valuable to me only in that it details some of the historical expansion of baptismus flaminis that I wasn’t aware of. In contradiction to all of this Catholic internecine squabbling over legalistic details (i.e., if baptismus flaminis is only rarely legitimate, how rare is rare? 0.1% of non-Catholics? 1%? 5%? 10%?) is the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Neither Francis’ progressive pluralism or Sammons’ militant traditionalism have any connection to the genuine Gospel of grace. Some might be surprised that evangelical darling, Billy Graham, also embraced the teaching of “invincible ignorance.” Watch Graham unabashedly propagate the heresy of invincible ignorance in a 1:30 minute video here.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 5/22/22

In 2018, Pope Francis co-orchestrated the Vatican-Beijing accord, which granted the Chinese communist government partial control of the Chinese Catholic church. Francis saw the accord as a pragmatic compromise to ensure the church’s survival and growth in China, however, conservative Chinese Catholics view the accord as a betrayal. Six-million Chinese Catholics are registered with the communist government while another six-million are defiantly unregistered. Cardinal Joseph Zen, a leader of the conservative Catholics and the biggest critic of the accord, was recently arrested by the communist regime on charges of “collusion with foreign forces.” The Vatican had no comment.

Pope Francis will be visiting Canada in July to apologize for the abuse of indigenous children in Catholic-run residential schools. Papal apologies for past historical atrocities, persecutions, and abuses linked to the Roman Catholic church began with John Paul II and Benedict XVI and now continue with Francis. If RCC popes and prelates of the past were led by the Holy Spirit as Catholicism claims, why do contemporary popes spend so much time apologizing on their behalf?

Last Sunday, a shooter killed 10 shoppers at a Tops grocery store in nearby Buffalo. On the same day on the opposite coast, a gunman opened fire on members of the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Laguna Woods, California. The culture is becoming increasingly violent.

It’s hard to believe that some American Christian nationalists venerate mass murderer, Vladimir Putin.

I’m seeing more and more manifestations of this traditionalist-Catholic radicalism.

This article is a good example of how Catholics are totally focused on Mary.

Tom’s retirement countdown – 23 more weekends to go!

Responding to “Meeting the Protestant Response”

We recently completed our nine-month series in which we examined Catholic philosopher and apologist, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018). I was mulling over several Catholic apologetics books for our next series and stumbled upon…

Meeting the Protestant Response: How to Answer Common Comebacks to Catholic Arguments
By Karlo Broussard
Catholic Answers Press, 2022, 288 pp.

As some of you may recall, we examined Broussard’s previous book, “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019) a couple of years ago.

This new book is divided into twenty-four chapters by subject matter, which include seventy-seven “common Protestant comebacks” to Catholic apologetical arguments, followed by Broussard’s responses. We’ll examine and answer one of Broussard’s counter-arguments every Friday.

Unlike Kreeft’s “shoot from the hip,” personal philosophical style in “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic,” Broussard uses ample Bible proof-texts throughout this book, so my responses will require much more research and preparation.

I hope you’ll join me over the next seventy-seven weeks as we respond to “Meeting the Protestant Response.”

Throwback Thursday: Yes, I am “in Christ.” No, you’re not. Yes, I AM! No, you’re NOT!

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on September 30, 2016 and has been revised.


Last night, I was reviewing some discussions I had with a couple of Roman Catholics back when I first began this blog. The dialogue reached a point where the Catholics claimed to be “in Christ” just as much as I claimed to be “in Christ.” I was a Catholic for twenty-seven years; educated in a Catholic grammar and high school, and I’ve learned even more about Catholicism since I left that church and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior in 1983. I’m fully aware that Catholic parlance is filled with references to “Jesus the Savior,” “faith,” “grace,” and the like, but when Catholics use such terms, they mean something entirely different than what evangelicals understand.

In my exchanges with the Catholics about being “in Christ,” I said the term referred to a believer’s position before a Holy God; covered in Christ’s righteousness. I have no righteousness of my own. When I accepted Jesus as my Savior, His perfect righteousness was imputed to me. In Holy God’s perfect court of law, I stand completely condemned by my sin, but my Savior took my place and bore the penalty for my sin on the cross. I am washed and redeemed by His blood and I’m able to go free ONLY because of His righteousness.

In contrast, Rome teaches that God’s grace is infused into the Catholic through its sacraments, empowering them to obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and live an increasingly sanctified life, enabling them to merit Heaven. So a Catholic faithful to their church’s teachings cannot rightly say they are “in Christ,” because their salvation ultimately depends upon how well they obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) right up until the moment of their death. Positionally before God, they are NOT “in Christ,” they are “outside of Christ” and still in their sins because they are attempting to merit their own salvation rather than accepting Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone.

My Catholics friends were quite taken aback that I would dare to suggest that they were not “in Christ.” Who was I to tell them that? Was I making myself out to be God Almighty by deciding who was going to Heaven and who wasn’t? How rude! How narrow-minded and judgmental!

But God’s Word says there is only one Way to salvation, and that’s Jesus Christ. Christ is either your Savior or He is not. It’s not enough to call Christ your Savior, you must be trusting in Him by faith alone. If you tell me that salvation is merited by obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) through sacramental grace, as Catholicism teaches, then I can tell you with absolute confidence that Jesus is not your Savior and you are not “in Christ.”

To illustrate, let’s suppose you’re a passenger on a sinking cruise ship, and I show up in my rescue boat and beg you to get in. Praising and admiring the rescue boat for its wonderful qualities won’t save you. You have to abandon your ship and get into the rescue boat. You have to be in the rescue boat for the boat to save you. Likewise, gushing about “Jesus the Savior,” “faith,” and “grace” won’t save you when you’re still trying to merit your salvation by your own efforts. You’re not “in Christ,” you’re denying Christ and trusting in your own abilities and “goodness.”

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1

In today’s climate of plurality, tolerance, and relativism, theological debates such as the one above are viewed as unseemly and repugnant and are to be avoided at all costs. The only requirement, according to Rick Warren and friends, is that we all nebulously “just love Jesus.” That’s a sinking ship, friends.

What does it mean to be in Christ?

The Flying Burrito Brothers’ excellent final studio album

I’ve already reviewed two of the Flying Burrito Brothers’ albums and continue the four-part project with this review of…

The Flying Burrito Bros
The Flying Burrito Brothers
Produced by Jim Dickson, A&M Records, Released June 1971, Length 36:15

5 Stars

Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman left the legendary Byrds in 1968 to form the pioneering country-rock band, the Flying Burrito Brothers. The FBBs’ first album, “The Gilded Palace of Sin” (1969), is still beloved as one of the seminal, pioneering country-rock records (see my review here). As Parsons stumbled deeper and deeper into drug and alcohol addiction, the quality of the band’s music suffered. The FBBs’ second LP, “Burrito Deluxe” (1970), had its moments, but couldn’t compare with the band’s debut.

Hillman reluctantly fired the increasingly unreliable Parsons, replacing him with talented 21-year-old singer and songwriter, Rick Roberts (rhythm guitar). Along with Sneaky Pete Kleinow on pedal steel guitar, Bernie Leadon (future Eagle) on lead guitar, and Michael Clarke on drums, Hillman (bass) and the FBBs recorded their third album, the eponymous “The Flying Burrito Bros,” affectionately dubbed “the blue album” by FBBs fans.

This album is one of my all-time favorites, but rock ‘n’ roll audiences still weren’t hip to country rock. The Eagles would change that with their debut album the following year in 1972.

Let’s take a look at the excellent “The Flying Burrito Bros” album, track by track:

  • “White Line Fever” (Merle Haggard) – 3:16 – Hillman sings Haggard’s 1969 hit about the truckin’ life. Lots of tasty licks from Sneaky Pete.
  • “Colorado” (Rick Roberts) – 4:52 – I heard Roberts sing this great tune in concert in 1974 when he was backing a solo Stephen Stills. Video below.
  • “Hand to Mouth” (Rick Roberts, Chris Hillman) – 3:44 – A nice Roberts-Hillman collaboration with rollicking piano from guest Earl P. Ball. Folk legend, Bob Gibson, lends some twelve-string acoustic guitar.
  • “Tried So Hard” (Gene Clark) – 3:08 – Hillman and Co. do an excellent cover of this 1967 Gene Clark tune.
  • “Just Can’t Be” (Rick Roberts, Chris Hillman) – 4:58 – Another nice and easy Roberts-Hillman composition. Leadon provides some tasty licks on lead guitar.
  • “To Ramona” (Bob Dylan) – 3:40 – Hillman continues the Byrds’ legacy of paying tribute to Dylan with this cover. Guest guitarist Mike Deasy contributes the fuzz. Hillman still wasn’t confident in his lead vocals at this point and producer Jim Dickson took extraordinary measures to coax a pleasing performance from the band leader.
  • “Four Days of Rain” (Rick Roberts) – 3:39 – Roberts’ very enjoyable brand of country-rock lite portends his future stint with Firefall. Gotta love Sneaky Pete’s tasteful pedal steel fills here.
  • “Can’t You Hear Me Calling” (Rick Roberts, Chris Hillman) – 2:23 – The band pulls out all the stops on this rockin’ tune.
  • “All Alone” (Rick Roberts, Chris Hillman) – 3:33 – A slow, sad number with a very catchy chorus.
  • “Why Are You Crying” (Rick Roberts) – 3:02 – An excellent song by Roberts. I love Leadon’s banjo. Listen here.

Some critics of this album complain that the songs are slow and on the understated side, but I appreciate the easy-going feel of this excellent LP. There’s simply not one dog on the entire disc. Rick Roberts was not a country music player when Hillman hired him, so the FBBs had to accommodate Roberts’ more poppish style just as he had to bend to the FBBs’ country-rock style. The result was a more commercial album than the band’s two previous LPs. The problem was few people bought it. I can understand why Hillman disbanded the FBBs in frustration after the anemic sales for the blue album. Said Hillman, “I hold this one high, way over ‘Burrito Deluxe.’ But it didn’t sell. We were done then. There was nothing we could do” (“Hot Burritos: The True Story of the Flying Burrito Brothers,” p. 249). The Flying Burritos Brothers and this LP, “The Flying Burrito Bros,” were ahead of their time. Make no mistake, Glenn Frey and Don Henley were watching and listening intently and taking notes. They subsequently took the country-rock baton from the FBBs and ran with it.

One more album was released under the FBBs banner to fulfill the band’s contractual obligations with A&M, the excellent live LP, “Last of the Red Hot Burritos” (see my review here). Chris Hillman would continue his music career for another 46 years, most notably as leader of the Desert Rose Band from 1987 to 1993. Rick Roberts and Michael Clarke went on to form Firefall with Jock Bartley. Roberts wrote and sang lead vocals on Firefall’s three big hits, “You Are The Woman,” “Just Remember I Love You,” and “Strange Way.” Bernie Leadon co-founded the Eagle’s with Frey and Henley as the band’s lead guitarist. He was replaced by Joe Walsh in 1975. Sneaky Pete Kleinow would participate in the various ersatz-FBBs reincarnations that followed.

Someday soon, I’ll review the FBBs’ semi-disappointing second album.

Above from left to right: Bernie Leadon, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Rick Roberts, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke.

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday Sermon Series, #136

Today, in our ongoing “Truth from Arkansas” series, we’re featuring two new sermons from the brethren down under.

First, we have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching from Romans 1:18-32 on “The Righteous Wrath of God.”

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from Joshua 14:1-15 on “Are You Serving Whole Heartedly or Half Heartedly?”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, May 1st.

Pastor Roger Copeland – The Righteous Wrath of God – Sermon begins at 26:25 mark


Pastor Cody Andrews – Are You Serving Whole Heartedly or Half Heartedly?

The Legion of Super-Heroes in “Whispers of Doom”

It’s time once again to climb aboard our time bubble and travel to the future for another adventure with those crime-fighting heroes of the 31st Century.

The Legion of Super-Heroes in “Whispers of Doom”
Writer: Paul Levitz, Penciller: Kevin Sharpe
Adventure Comics #518, DC Comics, November 2010

4 Stars


A contingent of the newly formed Legion of Super-Heroes – Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, and Ultra Boy – engages and subdues Zaryan’s pirates. They’re disappointed that arch-criminal Zaryan is not aboard the pirate cruiser, but obtain the coordinates of the next raid. Back in Metropolis, Phantom Girl and Superboy discuss a ghostly presence that’s been “haunting” the newly constructed Legion clubhouse. Uncomfortable with Phantom Girl’s flirtations, Superboy excuses himself to visit the Superman Museum.

Zaryan and his raiding party approach the planet Naltor, but are surprised that a combined force of Science Police and Legionnaires are awaiting them. After a brief engagement, Zaryan and the pirates realize they are overwhelmed and flee. The leader of Naltor, Beren Kah, praises young Nura Nal for her precognition, which helped thwart the raiders. Nura foresees herself as a Legionnaire (Dream Girl), but also has a disturbing vision of one of the heroes dying in a future engagement with Zaryan. Kah attempts to send a warning to the Legionnaires.

At the Superman Museum, Superboy learns his future, that he will be killed by Doomsday as an adult.* The aforementioned ghostly presence warns Superboy to immediately return to his own time. Brainiac 5 oversees the Boy of Steel’s return to 20th century Smallville via a time bubble.


The fledgling Legion picks up where it left off last issue, fighting Zaryan, but with the abrupt “out of the blue,” addition of new members Brainiac 5, Phantom Girl, Sun Boy, Superboy, and Ultra Boy. Perhaps Levitz could have provided a very brief summary of how the four additional members joined (excluding Superboy, whose recruitment was covered in Adventure #12). Who/what is this ghostly presence? Which Legionnaire will die?

*Unlike the linear and unalterable plotlines of the Silver Age, events presented as fact have zero meaning in DC’s ever-shifting universe.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 5/14/22

Pro-abortion activists are riled over the leaked Supreme Court draft indicating the majority of justices favor overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and are looking for someone to blame. The pro-abortion group, Ruth (Ginsburg) Sent Us, is encouraging activists to target Catholic churches, even though a 2019 Pew Research survey revealed 56% of Catholics support legalized abortion at some level. Last Sunday, pro-abortion protestors dressed in red costumes inspired by “The Handmaid’s Tale” disrupted Sunday mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles (photo above). POTUS Joe Biden’s outspoken support of “abortion rights” in reaction to the leaked document will rekindle demands from conservative Catholics that Joe be banned from receiving the Jesus wafer. Catholics believe their church buildings are holy and consider vandalism and disruption of the mass as sacrilege and grievous desecration. It actually is the Catholic mass that is sacrilegious with its many anti-Scriptural elements, including the perpetual sacrifice for sin, the worship of the faux Jesus wafer, and the teaching of the false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

Jack Schaap, former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana (FBCH), got an early release from federal prison on May 4th. In 2013, Schaap was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for taking a 16-year-old girl across state lines for sex. Schaap had succeeded his father-in-law, the controversial Jack Hyles, as pastor of FBCH in 2001. Under Hyles, the First Baptist Church of Hammond was one of the most influential churches in the independent fundamental Baptist (IFB) movement. Schaap’s wife, Cindy Hyles Schaap, filed for divorce from her husband in 2014. See my 2020 post on Jack Schaap here.

Jesuit James Martin continues to work with pope Francis to grease the skids for the eventual full-acceptance of practicing LGBTers within RC-ism.

Progressive pope Francis continues to publicly scold conservative and traditionalist Catholics who defiantly cling to the Latin Mass.

The SCOTUS recently ruled that Boston City Hall must fly the ecumenical Christian flag (adopted by the Federal Council of Churches in 1942). Satanists are predictably demanding their flag be displayed as well. Unlike many evangelicals, I don’t believe tax-supported government institutions should sponsor religious displays or activities of any kind. Let the church be the church and let the government be the government.