My “near-death” experience when I rode the Tilt-A-Whirl!

It’s interesting what childhood memories we retain. Our family lived about ten-miles from Seabreeze Amusement Park near the shores of Lake Ontario and we usually took a trip there once or twice each summer to enjoy the rides.

I started out with the slow-moving kiddie rides, but graduated to the more adventurous rides as I got older. One of the first grown-up rides I braved was the Tilt-A-Whirl. In that ride, a circular, segmented platform rotates over an “undulating” (i.e., having a smoothly rising and falling form or outline) track. Seven individual cars bolted to the platform each spins on its own circular track. As the platform rotates, the passengers in each car can shift their position to synchronize the motion of the car with the indulations of the moving platform to achieve a rapid, spinning motion.

On the occasion of my first time on the Tilt-A-Whirl, I nervously stood in line with my older sisters as we waited for our turn. The ride’s noisy, mechanical movements and the loud squeals of the passengers were thrilling as well as intimidating. We slowly advanced up the steps to the ride’s platform and when the attendant lifted the metal chain we scrambled to claim our car. We all grasped the handlebar as the platform began to turn. My sisters were “old hands” at this ride and began to shift their weight to sync the car’s rotation with the ups and downs of the moving platform. Before I knew what was happening, our car was spinning like a top! As the car spun faster and faster, I felt the increasing centrifugal force. It was scary, unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I hung onto the handlebar with a death grip, but felt my strength quickly ebbing. Why did I ever agree to go on this dangerous contraption?!?!?! I must have been a sight, like a frightened wild animal caught in a trap. One of my sisters could see my panic and leaned over and advised me to just relax and lean back into the padded wall of the car. Huh? I took her advice, loosening my death grip, and just went with the spin. Ah! Much better. This Tilt-A-Whirl experience was fun after all! Let’s go again!

Every once in awhile, I think about that moment when I had a panicky death-grip on the Tilt-A-Whirl handlebar and then relaxing and being able to enjoy what the ride was designed to do. There’s a spiritual analogy there about struggling to do things in my own power, and then surrendering to the Lord and His power and will. Ah, what a wonderful feeling it is to relinquish control, which I never really had in the first place, and submit to God. How about you? Are fretting and hanging on tightly, trying to control circumstances that are really outside of your control?

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” – Psalms 28:7

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” – Psalm 34:17

Postscript: The Tilt-A-Whirl was invented by Herbert Sellner back in 1926 in the basement of his Faribault, Minnesota home.

Blogging and me

I generally don’t indulge in a lot of introspective navel gazing in my posts, but I recently had the urge to write something about my blogging routine. 

I’ve been blogging for over five years and I thoroughly enjoy it. This blog, excatholic4christ, is a ministry of Gospel outreach to Roman Catholics and also a ministry of warning to evangelicals about the dangers of ecumenism with the RC church. I also like to sprinkle in some non-theological topics here and there. So, this blog is a ministry and also a creative outlet. I like to write and I also enjoy reading the posts of other WordPress bloggers. I’m very grateful for the friendships of several fellow-bloggers. After I was laid off from Kodak Alaris last September, blogging became my unofficial, part-time job.

A lot of time goes into researching, writing, and publishing posts six days a week, Monday thru Saturday, with an occasional post on Sundays. I’ve developed a system over the years of drafting posts two-weeks ahead of publication and I even created a two-week blog worksheet which helps to keep me on track (photo above). The advantages of a two-week draft queue are 1) I’m able to “level out” creative peaks and valleys, and 2) I’m able to “fine tune” drafts before publication. As a draft post sits in the queue for a couple of weeks, I’ll usually add some points that didn’t occur to me when I initially wrote it or I’ll delete unnecessary or imprudent material. I’ve written several posts “in the heat of the moment” that I later heavily edited or deleted after I cooled off.

All of this brings me to the point that I really wanted to discuss. I spend a lot of time blogging, but I wasn’t sure exactly how much time. A few weeks ago, I thought it would be interesting to record all of the time I spent on my blogging activities (writing, editing, reading, commenting, responding to comments, etc.) in a sample week. So I used my iPhone stopwatch and set out to do exactly that. Nerdy? Sure, and I was doing a pretty good job of it for several days, but eventually fizzled out. A thought/conviction kept gnawing at me that it was wrong to put a stopwatch to ministry, so I quit that dumb project.

Blogging here at WordPress is a great blessing, however, I have to constantly align it with my other responsibilities that maybe aren’t so enjoyable. How do you fit blogging into your life? I’m sure most bloggers operate a lot more extemporaneously compared to my Poindexter-self with my two-week worksheet. No, the worksheet is NOT attached to a clipboard! I’m not quite that bad!

p.s. I definitely don’t like the new WordPress block editor. WordPress should have left well enough alone.

Ave Maria, a planned Catholic community near Naples, Florida?

Three of my five sisters live together in Naples, Florida and one of them mentioned that they recently took a 50-minute, curiosity drive to visit the planned community of Ave Maria (Hail Mary). Intrigued, I did a little research.

American entrepreneur, Tom Monaghan, now 83, founded the Domino’s Pizza chain in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1960. The humble pizza chain grew to be a national corporation with 17,000 locations. Monaghan retired in 1998 and sold Domino’s for a reported $1 billion dollars.

Monaghan is one those pious, conservative Roman Catholics who takes their legalistic works-religion very seriously. Among other projects, he founded the Ave Maria Catholic Radio Network in 1999. There’s also Ave Maria Mutual Funds. In 2006, Monaghan broke ground in former-tomato farm fields for his planned Catholic community of Ave Maria, northeast of Naples, Florida, which would include Ave Maria University, a commercial/business district, and 11,000 residences, all clustered around the mammoth Ave Maria Catholic church in the center of the community. Monaghan envisioned the college campus and residential and commercial areas being totally free of contraceptives and cable television pornography via restrictive town ordinances, which prompted the Naples press to begin referring to Ave Maria as the “Catholic Jonestown.”

There’s been slow growth and Ave Maria currently has about 30,000 residents, but it’s still considered more of a giant housing development than an actual town. Monaghan had hoped the new community would attract other like-minded, pious Catholics and become a center of conservative American Catholicism, but people of all religious beliefs have moved in and the town could be mistaken for any other large Florida development, except for the Catholic university (1100 students, 80% Catholic) and the ostentatious church building sitting smak dab in the center of town, like something out of Medieval Europe.

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Tom Monaghan

Conservative Catholics like Tom Monaghan still pine for the pre-conciliar, militant Catholicism of the 1950s. They haven’t gotten the message yet that their popes and prelates now grant that all works-religionists and even atheists may also merit heaven if they are “sincere” and “good.” Catholicism covers a wide range of beliefs and preferences, from progressive to traditionalist, but nowhere in sight is the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. The most dangerous places in Ave Maria are actually its centerpieces; the Ave Maria Catholic church and Ave Maria University, both of which propagate Roman Catholicism’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

Postscript: It’s quite revealing that Tom Monaghan is ALL ABOUT worshiping Mary, with the “Ave Maria” moniker attached to EVERYTHING he creates.

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Five Year Anniversary – excatholic4christ

Note: We’re preempting our usual Friday apologetics series for this anniversary post. Next Friday we’ll return back to our regular series.


Today marks the fifth-year anniversary of excatholic4christ. Wow! It’s absolutely amazing to me that it’s been five years since I started blogging. I’m grateful to the Lord for this humble ministry of (A) Gospel outreach to Roman Catholics and (B) warning evangelicals of the dangers of ecumenism with Rome.

I’m also grateful for every visitor to this blog. May Roman Catholics come out of their false church with its false gospel and accept Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone and may evangelical Christians awaken to the great spiritual dangers of ecumenism with Rome.

I truly appreciate all of the friends of this blog. My subject material is admittedly controversial in this era of increasing ecumenical accommodation and compromise. Thank you all for your encouragement in the Lord!

Each year at this time, I usually present the twenty-five most-viewed posts of the previous twelve months. Well, that list was always dominated by older posts that had been circulating around the internet for awhile. So this year, I thought I would change it up a bit by presenting two lists; A) the twelve most-viewed posts of the past year written prior to July 17, 2019 and B) the twelve most-viewed posts of the past year written in the last twelve months. Yup, absolutely I’m a nerd!

All titles are hyper-linked to the respective articles.


(A) Most-viewed posts of the past year written prior to July 17, 2019

The improbable “return” of Jimmy Swaggart – posted August 14, 2018 – 5624 views

Heluva Good New England Clam Dip Recipe – July 10, 2017 – 2963 views

Did Jesus or the apostles ever quote the Apocrypha? – May 22, 2017 – 1269 views

Rules about “holy water.” Who knew?!?! – June 16, 2016 – 1093 views

Question: When George Harrison was singing, “My Sweet Lord,” who was he singing to? – August 31, 2017 – 758 views

“If I take off my scapular prior to surgery and die on the operating table, will I still go to Heaven?” – January 17, 2017 – 694 views

What’s with all of those little candles at Catholic churches? – April 5, 2018 – 672 views

Ruth: Who/what was the other kinsman? – September 5, 2016 – 642 views

Catholicism’s “three-legged stool” – Broken for all the world to see! – December 8, 2107 – 531 views

Walter Martin was no admirer of Catholicism but dropped the ball in “Kingdom of the Cults” – October 7, 2015 – 513 views

The “churched,” the “unchurched,” the “dechurched,” and the believer – June 7, 2017 – 415 views

More on the CSN/Byrds/Buffalo Springfield Jesus Connection – January 25, 2016 – 402 views


(B) Most-viewed posts of the past year written after July 17, 2019

De-substantiation? What happens to the Jesus wafer after it is swallowed? – February 3, 2020 – 247 views

The “untimely” death of Kobe Bryant – January 27, 2020 – 241 views

John MacArthur’s Blog Series – Exposing the Heresies of the Roman Catholic Church – March 4, 2020 – 213 views

Rebutting a Catholic apologist, #1: “James Led the Council” – December 6, 2019 – 167 views

Popular Un-Biblical Sayings and Adages – July 31, 2019 – 151 views

Rebutting a Catholic apologist, #5: “All Are One in Christ” – January 3, 2020 – 149 views

Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist, #22: “God Will Cut Off the Person Who Eats Blood” – May 1, 2020 – 137 views

Rebutting a Catholic apologist, #2: “No Other Foundation but Jesus”– December 13, 2019 – 121 views

Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist, #11: “Don’t Add to God’s Word” – February 14, 2020 – 118 views

Pope Tells “Christians” to NEVER Try to Convert Unbelievers – January 13, 2020 – 115 views

Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist, #12: “We Are Justified All At Once” – February 21, 2020 – 115 views

Twisted logic from an ecumenically-minded evangelical – August 27, 2019 – 113 views


Some nerdy five-year blog stats for excatholic4christ:

  • Total posts: 1652
  • Total words: 918,998 = 1.6X the length of “War and Peace”
  • Total views: 190,452
  • Total visitors: 93,919

My old neighborhood, Part 2: Gossip

On Monday, I wrote about a secret in my old neighborhood that was eventually brought to light. See here. Today, I’m going to write about a memory that involved the same parties. Once again, the names have been changed for obvious reasons.

We all have childhood memories. Some we cherish, some are painful, and some are just downright strange. Unlike today, everybody knew everybody else on our street back in the early-1960s. Get-togethers with neighbors were very common. Our family spent a lot of time with the Karros family, whose house was almost directly across the street from ours. There were six children in our family and my parents were VERY strict disciplinarians. Nonconforming conduct was NOT tolerated. Period. End of story. Mr. and Mrs. Karros, in contrast, allowed their four children A LOT more leeway and that was glaringly apparent every time the two families got together. The laxness in discipline troubled my mother to no end, as we shall see.

I’m not sure exactly how old I was, maybe around eight or nine, but one sunny, summer morning my Mom and I walked across the street to the Karros’s house. My Mom intended to visit with Mrs. Karros, who was on her knees doing some gardening in the front yard, while I was going to play with one of the Karros children. The memory is still quite vivid 55 years later. Shortly after we arrived, I heard Mrs. Karros yelling at my mother in a VERY angry tone. My mother didn’t reply, but sheepishly turned back towards our house and motioned to me to follow her. That exchange was quite a novelty for me. I had never witnessed an adult talk so angrily or seen my very self-assured mother so humiliated.

I had no idea what had just transpired, but I learned later, from one of my older sisters, that my Mom had been chitchatting on the phone with another neighbor, Mrs. Palmeroni, who lived a couple of houses down the road, and said that the Karros children were wild and crazy and that all of them “needed a psychiatrist.” Well, the Palmeronis were also very friendly with the Karros family and Mrs. Palmeroni was happy to share my Mom’s disparaging remarks with Mrs. Karros, which was beyond ironic given the circumstances I described in my Part 1 post. Well, there’s nothing more ferocious than a mama bear when somebody’s messing with her cubs.

“I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs.” – Hosea 13:8

It was very strange living across the street from the Karroses after that. I still played with the Karros children occasionally, but Mrs. Karros let me know that I was a persona non grata as far as she was concerned. She looked at me and talked to me with barely restrained repugnance and hatred. I made it a point to avoid her as best I could for the next ten years. My mother and Mrs. Karros did not acknowledge each other when they were within eyesight.

Many years later, after I had moved out of my parents’ house, my mother and Mrs. Karros did resume a neighborly relationship. That was surprising. Mrs. Karros even attended my Mom’s funeral in 2014.

I’ll never forget the memory of walking back home with my thoroughly chastised and humiliated mother. Has gossip ever come back to bite you?

“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” – Proverbs 21:23

“A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends.” – Proverbs 16:28

My old neighborhood, Part 1: Be sure your sin will find you out

DNA ancestry kits have become quite the rage in our culture. For $100, or 23andMe will test your submitted saliva sample and report back with all kinds of fascinatingly detailed information about your ancestry. However, be forewarned. The DNA doesn’t lie and more than a few customers have been surprised by some very unexpected results. The names in the following example have been changed for reasons that will become fairly obvious.

Neighborhoods were much different back in the 1960s when I was growing up. Everyone knew everybody else on our cozy cul-de-sac of twenty-seven houses and there was a LOT of socialization. The house-moms had their coffee klatsches every morning and the numerous backyard barbeques always included several neighbor families. The Karros family lived almost directly across the street from us with their four children. Two houses down the street from them was the Palmeroni family with two children. Those two families socialized together regularly. The children even addressed the parents of the other family as “Uncle” and “Aunt.” Two of the girls, Kristine Karros and Marianne Palmeroni, became good friends and hung out together daily until the Palmeroni family moved out of the neighborhood in the early-1970s.

Mrs. Karros died in 2017 and one of my sisters attended the funeral. At the gathering, Kristine indiscreetly divulged to my sister that she had recently sent in a DNA sample and was shocked to discover that she and her youngest brother were half-siblings of her former childhood friend, Marianne, who had also submitted a DNA sample. Kristine’s biological father turned out to be Mr. Palmeroni. Evidently, Mr. Karros, who now has Alzheimer’s, was not even aware that his two youngest children were not his own. I googled Mr. Palmeroni and discovered he had died in 2008. His obituary states that he had been a proud member of his Roman Catholic parish and a 3rd Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, and was lovingly honored for “always putting his family before his well being.”

When I heard this story,  the Bible verse below came to mind:

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.” – Numbers 32:23

What a shock that must have been for the two Karros children to learn their biological father was Mr. Palmeroni. It’s tempting for us to condescendingly judge Mr. Palmeroni and Mrs. Karros for their transgressions, but WE ARE ALL SINNERS, in thought if not in deed. We may think we’re getting away with sin, but God Almighty sees all and knows all. All of our sins will be there to accuse us after we die, with even more accuracy than a DNA test. We all deserve eternal punishment for our sin, but God loves us so much He sent Jesus Christ, God the Son, to pay the debt for our sins on the cross. Jesus conquered sin and death when He rose from the grave and offers the free gift of salvation to all those who repent of their sin and accept Him as their Savior by faith alone. Have you trusted in Jesus Christ? What are you waiting for?

On Wednesday, we’ll journey back to my old neighborhood once again for the second installment in this two-part series on how sin comes back to bite.

Loving the brethren: Sometimes it’s difficult

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” – John 13:34

We believers are commanded to love our brothers and sisters in the Lord. But after being part of a church fellowship for a time or even after navigating the Christian blogging community here at WordPress for a period, we are bound to come across individuals that we don’t easily mesh with for whatever reason. Sometimes we’re put off by a person’s personality. Sometimes we don’t agree with a person’s beliefs regarding a secondary or tertiary doctrine and they keep “banging the drum” about it. Sometimes we perceive that we have somehow been wronged by an individual and refuse to forgive them. We should sacrificially love and forgive others as Christ forgave us, but sometimes it’s difficult to hang out with certain individuals. I’ve changed the names in the illustration below:

Mike and Sue Smith are a Christian married couple who live in our old neighborhood. My wife and Sue became good friends back in the day and we all socialized together occasionally. However, in 2001, during my very dumb prodigal “season” away from the Lord, my wife and I divorced, sold the house, and moved out of the neighborhood. Miraculously, the Lord brought my wife and I back together the following year. Twelve years went by, but in 2014 my wife reached out to Sue and they rekindled their friendship. We began socializing with the Smiths again and they invited us to a worship service at their church, which led to my returning to the Lord. Praise God! About every 6 or 8 weeks or so, we got together with the Smiths, either sharing a home-cooked meal or taking a short trip somewhere together. We had some good times and plenty of good conversation about the Lord and our Christian walk.

However, the Smiths (especially Sue) are very politically-minded and would regularly introduce political topics into the conversations. My wife is also very politically-minded, although she’s at the opposite end of the political spectrum from the Smiths. Me? I’m trying hard to be apolitical because I believe that politics and nationalism are a snare for Christians and this story is a good example of that. Anyway, during our get-togethers either Sue or my wife would invariably introduce a political topic into the conversation and the other would take off like a rocket. Often the discussions became tense and very uncomfortable. This happened just about every time the four of us got together. My wife realized that she and Sue were never going to agree politically, so, for the sake of the friendship, she asked that they avoid political discussions completely. But Sue wouldn’t stop. Again and again the Smiths, especially Sue, would bring up politics when we were together. Politics and nationalism were such integral parts of their beliefs and affections that they could not disengage from them.

One cold, Saturday night in January 2019 we were over at the Smiths’ for dinner and ONCE AGAIN they brought up politics. Both my wife and I kindly objected that we didn’t want to discuss politics, but they kept it up and kept it up until my wife finally responded. Things then quickly escalated to the point where Sue, the hostess, left the dinner table in a fit of rage and the three of us sat there in a very chilly and awkward silence. Should my wife and I just get up and leave? I had never been in a circumstance like that before. Things cooled down a little bit after my wife apologized for her part. After another half-hour of forced small talk, my wife and I finally extricated ourselves from that very awkward situation. When we got into our car, I turned to my wife and said something along the lines of, “THAT was the last straw. Never again.” We haven’t seen the Smiths since.

Rare is the fellow believer whose doctrinal beliefs are going to align exactly with ours. We all need to practice tolerance, patience, and forbearance when it comes to non-salvation issues. However, over the years I’ve had to disengage from/unfollow bloggers here at WordPress who were very passionate about a particular secondary or tertiary belief, turning it into their “hill to die on.” There are some believers who we are just not compatible with. We must love them and pray for them (I’ll be forever grateful to the “Smiths” for inviting us to their church in 2014), but being in their company and engaging with them is not good for them or for us.

Odds & Ends

It’s been about two months since I last posted an “Odds & Ends” article. Since then, I’ve accumulated several ideas that are not quite post-worthy by themselves. So, without any further ado, let’s clear the deck:


Christian bookstore closes

Alpha and Omega Christian Bookstore was a staple on Rochester’s eastside for a half-century. I bought two Catholic bibles there while I was still a Roman Catholic, which was the start of a journey towards salvation in Jesus Christ. After I was saved, I continued to frequent the store. They had some good, solid materials back in the day. Alpha and Omega moved from Penfield’s Four Corners to a nearby strip mall at some point and I visited less and less. The books on display increasingly tended toward TBN prosperity junk written by such authors as Meyer, Osteen, Jakes, and Prince. I noticed the store had closed during the pandemic lockdown and I’m ambivalent about that. A&O has another location on the westside of town, but it’s not clear at this point if that store will survive, either.


Milk delivery

Remember the milkman? You might if you’re in your late 50s or older. Back in the 1960s, the Genesee Valley Dairy milkman used to make home deliveries in our neighborhood in his red and beige truck. He would open the two-way cubbie built into the side of every house, take the used bottles, and replace them with two bottles of fresh, cold milk. The milk had cream at the top, which disgusted me. That was before homogenization. I hated it when little chunks of slightly yellowish cream were floating around in my bowl of Cheerios. I picked them out with my spoon with great revulsion. The milkman packed his bottles in ice on the truck to keep the milk cold. When we kids were playing in the street during the summer heat, we would often ask the milkman for chunks of ice to suck on. Milk truck ice was almost as good as ice cream from Skippy! The homes in my current neighborhood were built in the 1950s and many still have the milk cubbies like the one in this photo.


Sword of the Lord

The first church my wife and I attended after being saved was an Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) church and the “Sword of the Lord” bi-weekly newspaper was the national communication organ for a large portion of the IFB movement. I was a subscriber for several years.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading and posting about the IFB movement lately, so that prompted me to resubscribe to the “Sword.” Neither the IFB movement or the “Sword” are what they used to be. Most evangelical Christians (including myself) would find IFB churches to be too legalistic and the newspaper has only about one-quarter of the subscribers that it did in its heyday. However, the “Sword” still has a lot of very good, inspirational information. I just need to chew on the meat and spit out the bones.


Chromebook vs. Windows Laptop

My wife and I aren’t very tech savvy, so we rely on our oldest son, Joe, to help us with tech essentials. When our old, bulky laptop was starting to fail a couple of years ago, our son steered us toward a Chromebook. It was much cheaper than a laptop and our son thought we didn’t need all of the Microsoft Windows software bells and whistles. Well, I didn’t like the pared down Chromebook and stuck with my work laptop, which ran Microsoft Word and Excel. When I was laid off at the end of September, I had to give up my work laptop. I initially did my job search using the PCs at our local library because our jalopy Windows 7 PC in our basement doesn’t have Microsoft Word or Excel, which I needed for my job search. But doing job search at the library was VERY tough. Our son then loaned me one of his Windows laptops and that was a HUGE help. Yay! However, when the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine hit, our son asked for the laptop back because one of our grandchildren needed it for schoolwork. Ach. How was I going to get by without Microsoft Word and Excel? I thought about buying the Microsoft Office software suite for the jalopy PC, but found out the current version’s not compatible with Windows 7. I could have upgraded the jalopy PC to Windows 10, but for the total price of all the software I would have been better off just buying a new laptop. Grr! In desperation I dug up the Chromebook and began experimenting. Ahh! I discovered that Google Docs and Google Sheets worked just fine for my needs. I now love the lightweight Chromebook. The only two negatives are the lack of a “Delete” key and the lack of good picture editing software like Microsoft Paint and Adobe Photoshop. No big deal. When I need to edit a picture for the blog, I use the jalopy PC, which does have Microsoft Paint and also has Gimp, a free Photoshop alternative.



Flavor of Poland

I stumbled across the “Flavor of Poland” PBS television series several weeks ago. Each week, hostess, Aleksandra August, takes the viewer to different Polish city or town and highlights a traditional Polish dish. Find the show’s website here.


I no longer have a lot of hair on the top of my head, but I still need a haircut every month or so. During the prolonged lockdown I was desperate and used my battery-powered beard trimmer clippers to give myself a haircut. It actually turned out very well. Sorry, Sports Clips. I found out I won’t be needing your services after you reopen.

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A few weeks ago, my wife and I began listening to Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermon series on the Book of Romans and I thought it might be helpful for her to see the 3-DVD documentary package, “Logic On Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones,” which I had watched and reviewed three years ago (see here). My wife enjoyed it greatly and I was blessed by watching it again. The documentary is available from Amazon as either the DVD package or by streaming.

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Chris Hillman Book

Mark your calendars! Chris Hillman has written an autobiography that’s due out September 15th. Hillman was one of the original members of the legendary Byrds from 1965 to 1968, co-founded the Flying Burrito Brothers (1968-1972), and was the leader of the Desert Rose Band (1985-1994). Hillman doesn’t get proper credit for his pioneering role in the creation of country rock.

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San Diego Padres 2020?

The San Diego Padres are suppose to return to their original 1969 team colors this season, but fans may not get to see them. MLB is still trying to figure out how to have a shortened season in the midst of the lingering pandemic quasi-quarantine, with club owners and the players’ union still at odds. Two-and-a-half months of the season are already gone.

Oxymoron: The Christian Hall of Fame: Inductees 82-108

Today, we complete our series on the inaptly-named “Christian Hall of Fame” located at Canton Baptist Temple in Canton, Ohio as we review the final set of inductees, #s 82 through 108. See the links far below for the first four posts in the series.

The names below are hyperlinked to their respective Wiki articles (in cases where a Wiki article was not available, a substitute is presented).

Lee Rutland Scarborough (1870-1945) – US – Southern Baptist pastor, evangelist, and professor at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

C.I. Scofield (1843-1921) – US – Congregationalist pastor, theologian, and writer whose best-selling annotated Bible popularized Dispensationalism among fundamentalist Christians.

W. Graham Scroggie (1877-1958) – UK – Baptist pastor and author.

Thomas Todhunter Shields (1873-1955) – Canada – Baptist minister and a leader of the Fundamentalist movement in Canada.

Robert Shuler (1880-1965) – US – Methodist pastor and radio broadcaster, known as “Fighting Bob” for his outspoken political views.

Menno Simons (1496-1561) – Netherlands/Germany – Anabaptist leader. Followers became known as Mennonites.

A.B. Simpson (1843-1919) – Canada – Preacher, theologian, author, and founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

Rodney “Gipsy” Smith (1860-1947) – UK – Evangelist, began under the auspices of the Salvation Army.

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) – UK – Particular Baptist pastor whose writings are still highly popular among conservative evangelicals. Often cited as the most influential preacher of the 19th century.

C.T. Studd (1860-1931) – UK – Missionary to China, India, and Africa.

Billy Sunday (1862-1935) – US – Presbyterian/non-denominational evangelist. As per the Wiki article, Sunday avoided criticizing the Roman Catholic Church and even met with cardinal Gibbons during his 1916 Baltimore campaign. Cards filled out by the “trail hitters”/converts who came forward at his campaigns were delivered to their respective churches for follow-up, including the apostate Catholic and Unitarian churches.

Thomas De Witt Talmage (1832-1902) – US – Reformed/Presbyterian pastor and writer said to have been the most prominent evangelical Protestant religious leader in the United States during the mid- to late-19th century,

James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) – UK – Missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission.

Tertullian (155-220) – Carthage, Tunisia – Theologian. Although including ancient church fathers such as Tertullian on lists such as this is tempting for evangelicals, it belies the fact that these men were already drifting into sacramentalism.

R.A. Torrey (1856-1928) – US – Congregationalist evangelist, pastor, educator, and writer. Led both Moody Bible Institute and Moody Church for periods. Co-editor of the influential pamphlet series, The Fundamentals.

Mel Trotter (1870-1940) – US – Presbyterian rescue mission superintendent and evangelist.

George W. Truett (1867-1944) – US – Prominent Southern Baptist Convention pastor.

William Tyndale (1494-1536) – UK – Scholar who became a leading figure in the Protestant Reformation in England.

George Beauchamp Vick (1901-1975) – US – Pastor and founder of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International and Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri.

Charles Frederick Weigle (1871-1966) – US – Baptist evangelist and noted hymn writer.

John Wesley (1703-1791) – UK – English cleric, theologian and evangelist who was a leader of a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism.

George Whitefield (1714-1770) – UK-American Colonies – Anglican cleric and evangelist who was one of the founders of Methodism and a leader in the First Great Awakening.

Roger Williams (1603-1683) – UK-American Colonies – Puritan minister, theologian, and author who founded Providence Plantations, which became the Colony of Rhode Island. He was a staunch advocate for religious freedom and separation of church and state. Founder of the first Baptist church in the American colonies.

Walter L. Wilson (1881-1969) – US – Pastor, writer, and expert on Old Testament types.

John Wycliffe (1330-1384) – UK – Philosopher, theologian, biblical translator, reformer, and a seminary professor at the University of Oxford. He became an influential dissident within the Roman Catholic church during the 14th century and an important predecessor to Protestantism.

Roger Youderian (1924-1956) – US – Missionary to Ecuador and martyr.

Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531) – Zürich, Switzerland – Pastor, theologian, and one of the seminal leaders of the Protestant Reformation.

That completes the list of the inductees to the regrettably-named, Christian Hall of Fame. I hope you enjoyed this series. There was an unmistakable 20th-century, American, independent-fundamental-Baptist bias involved in the selections. Can you think of any glaring omissions?


This entire series can be accessed via the links below:

Oxymoron: The Christian Hall of Fame: An Introduction

Oxymoron: The Christian Hall of Fame: Inductees 1-27

Oxymoron: The Christian Hall of Fame: Inductees 28-54

Oxymoron: The Christian Hall of Fame: Inductees 55-81

Oxymoron: The Christian Hall of Fame: Inductees 82-108

Oxymoron: The Christian Hall of Fame: Inductees 55-81

Today, we continue our series on the (very) inaptly named “Christian Hall of Fame” located at Canton Baptist Temple in Canton, Ohio, as we review inductees 55 through 81. See the links far below for the first three posts in the series.

The names below are hyperlinked to their respective Wiki articles (in cases where a Wiki article was not available, a substitute is presented).

Jeremiah McAuley (1839-1884) – Ireland-US – Founder of America’s first rescue mission, Water Street Mission in Lower Manhattan.

Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843) – Scotland/UK – Presbyterian missionary to Palestine.

Alva McClain (1888-1968) – US – Brethren theologian and founder of Grace Theological Seminary.

F.B. Meyer (1847-1929) – UK – Baptist pastor and evangelist.

Robert Moffat (1795-1883) – UK – Congregationalist missionary to Africa.

D.L. Moody (1837-1899) – US – Brethren evangelist and founder of Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishers.

G. Campbell Morgan (1863-1945) – UK – Congregationalist pastor, preceded D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones as pastor of Westminster Chapel.

Henry Clay Morrison (1857-1942) – US – Methodist evangelist, editor, and founder of Asbury Theological Seminary.

George Müller (1805-1898) – Germany-UK – Evangelist, director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, and one of the founders of the Plymouth Brethren.

William R. Newell (1868-1956) – US – Congregationalist pastor, theologian, and Assistant Superintendent of Moody Bible Institute under R. A. Torrey.

John Newton (1725-1807) – UK – English Anglican clergyman and abolitionist, best known for writing “Amazing Grace.”

J. Frank Norris (1877-1952) – US – Baptist firebrand preacher and a leader of the independent fundamental Baptist movement.

John Gibson Paton (1824-1907) – Scotland/UK – Presbyterian missionary to the New Hebrides islands.

Patrick (389-461) – Britannia-Ireland – Missionary to Ireland. Including semi-mythical Patrick as an evangelical Christian is probably more wishful thinking than reality. Just sayin’.

Stephen Paxson (1808-1881) – US – Sunday school missionary.

William Pettingill (1886-1950) – US – Pastor and dean of the Philadelphia School of the Bible.

Polycarp (69-155) – Smyrna, Turkey – Disciple of John the apostle and bishop of Smyrna.

Ford Porter (1893-1976) – US – Pastor and founder of Berean Gospel Ministry.

Paul Rader (1878-1938) – US – Evangelist, pastor of Moody Church from 1915 to 1921, America’s first nationwide radio preacher, and second president of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

Robert Raikes (1735-1811) – UK – Anglican layman noted for his promotion of Sunday schools.

Ernest Ira Reveal (1880-1959) – US – Presbyterian minister and rescue mission superintendent.

John R. Rice (1895-1980) – US – Baptist pastor, evangelist, publisher of “Sword of the Lord” newspaper, and a leader of the independent fundamental Baptist movement.

William Bell Riley (1861-1947) – US – Baptist pastor and a leader in the anti-evolution movement, dubbed “The Grand Old Man of Fundamentalism.”

Lee Roberson (1909-2007) – US – Baptist pastor, evangelist, and founder of Tennessee Temple University.

Evan Roberts (1878-1951) – Wales/UK – Evangelist and leading figure of the 1904–1905 Welsh Revival.

Reuben Robinson (1860-1942) – US – Evangelist.

Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498) – Florence, Italy – Dominican Friar famous for opposing the corruption of the papacy of Alexander VI aka Rodrigo de Borja. Some evangelicals cite Savonarola as a “pre-reformer,” but the friar was a defender of Catholic sacramentalism and certainly did not preach the Gospel of grace.

Tomorrow, we’ll complete this series with a review of inductees 82 through 108.


This entire series can be accessed via the links below:

Oxymoron: The Christian Hall of Fame: An Introduction

Oxymoron: The Christian Hall of Fame: Inductees 1-27

Oxymoron: The Christian Hall of Fame: Inductees 28-54

Oxymoron: The Christian Hall of Fame: Inductees 55-81

Oxymoron: The Christian Hall of Fame: Inductees 82-108