Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Random observations while at T4G 08

I am in between sessions and had a few random observations not entirely related to the conference, but blogable for the sake of (my own) amusement:

1. Did you know the "Louisville Slugger" plant and museum is right here in Louisville? I know- duh! Apparently you can take a tour, see how the bats are made, and even get a free bat at the end.

2. There are pictures of the Colonel (Kentucky Fried Chicken, of course) and Muhammed Ali (second best boxer ever, born here) everywhere in downtown Louisville. Interesting.

3. Locals and other southern folk here pronounce "Louisville" as Looaville or Loo-i-ville but no one calls it Louie-ville like me, a Yankee. What makes no sense, to me at least, is why the city is pronounced as noted, yet the bat is known the world over as a "Louie-ville slugger". I just don't get these southern folks. Maybe they're fake southerners, after all, they did NOT have sweet tea at the Kentucky Convention Center- one of the great gifts of southern culture. I do think the Union army burned this city during the Civil War, didn't they? They have to be southern then. I'm confused.

4. Related to the conference, there are several different evangelical traditions who label themselves "reformed" represented here. There are a token few Presbyterians (PCA guys like me, represented by speakers Ligon Duncan and RC Sproul), tons of Baptists (I'd say the majority are in this category, represented by speakers Al Mohler, Mark Dever, and John Piper), a good representation of MacArthurites (you know, independent "bible" church types, represented by John MacArthur of course), and a bunch of Sovereign Grace guys (so-called "continuationists" who are basically hand-raising, charismatic Calvinists, represented by speaker CJ Mahaney). This dynamic is very interesting and dare I say refreshing? Don't get me wrong, I am more comfortable with my own kind (Liturgical Presbyterians) and I would quibble with labeling all these groups reformed, but I'm comfortable in such a fellowship because we all do agree on the main fruit of the Reformation- a clarifying of the gospel message. The wider evangelical church is in serious need of what is being taught at this conference.

5. Again, related to the conference and in light of #4- I have noticed several of the speakers (particularly the baptist ones) jokingly refer to us presbyterians as "uptight" and/or "stiff". I find this hugely amusing. Forget us presbyterians for a moment, the baptists seem plenty uptight to me! Are they not uptight because they might yell out an occasional Amen ? A large portion of the guys who are chuckling when the uptight presbyterian jokes are fired have been wearing a suit this whole conference! I'll be they always wear a suit. I never wear a suit if I can help it, except for 90 minutes on Sunday. I'm as loose as a goose hanging out with a moose compared to these guys! Further, I'll believe my baptist brothers are not themselves uptight when I see them kick back, drink a glass of fine ale, and smoke a choice cigar in public!

Fun times.....more later.


GUNNY said...

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em.

Ah ... pronunciation of the town. I forgot how much I enjoyed that in '06. I used to live in that area, so I've always been a Looaville guy, but I can see how that would be odd.

Of course, I'm originally from St. Louis, Muzuruh, so what can you do.

Enjoy the time, hopefully losing some of your uptightness.


Anonymous said...

Let me guess...the first greatest boxer is Rocky Marciano...?

Reepicheep said...

But of course...the only undefeated heavyweight champion of the world, ever.

Jeff said...

Well, I have to say, I know exactly ONE baptist who smokes cigars. But, he was also a Naval Aviator, and a Top Gun instructor, so he can do whatever he wants...

no fine ale, though. In fact, when we were with them in Mississippi, we had to enjoy a fine dinner of catfish, crawfish, and shrimp without one, since we were down there under the umbrella of a Baptist organization. That's ok though!

Contrast that with my uncle. He's British. VERY British. He's an Orthodox Presbyterian Minister. Teaches seminary. Has written books on theology. Speaks the Queen's English. But, he enjoys a fine Boddington's or hard cider when he has the chance.

It's interesting how people look at those who are "different" than they are. When i moved into the part of NJ that we're in as a middle school student, the school I went to was a Christian school run by a Christian Reformed Church. All Dutch Farmers. The school I had come from was run by my OPC church. I had a hard time getting used to the idea that the Dutch guys smoked cigarettes and used "The 'S' Word" for manure when they would talk. They had a hard time getting used to my mom's tomato sauce because she put wine in it! (Do you have tomato sauce in KS??)

Anyway, Tony, you hit the nail on the head. If we're unified in the True Gospel, the other stuff is just that...stuff. Enjoy the rest of your conference!

GUNNY said...

There dey go. There they go, some white man's gotta bring up Rocky Marciano.

Yeah, but Joe Louis (pronounced Looiss, no relation to Looaville) was 137 years old when he fought Rocky Marciano.

And that #2? His mama named him "Clay;" I'm gonna call him, "Clay."

Hough said...

Laura worked in the building the bat is leaning on. Marketing. We lived there 6 months and never took the tour.

M. Jay Bennett said...

That sounds like a great conference. Enjoy!

Frontier Forest said...

Uptight Presb’s? Loosen up Tony! Just wondering, with all that inspired preaching and teaching, during worship did you raise your hands with a praise offering unto the Lord? Maybe those liberated brothers could show us a thing or two?

Reepicheep said...


I think people who like to raise their hands while worshiping should feel free to do so. Go for it.

As for me, I will confess a major moving of the Spirit as I felt moved to take my hands out of my pocket on several occasions (usually in the second stanza of whatever song we were singing...I felt a tingle that I interpreted to be a sign I should do something other than keep my hands in my pocket).

Pretty charismatic stuff.

Rick Calohan said...

This morning I realized I had posted this on this previous post “Together for the Gospel 2008” but this is applicable for both.

From the book and Movie by Norman Maclean A River Runs Through It

As a Scot and Presbyterian, my father believed that man by nature was a mess and had fallen from an original state of grace. Somehow, I developed an early notion that he had done this by fallen from a tree. As for my father, I never knew whether he believed God was a mathematician but he certainly believed God could count and that only by picking up God's rhythms were we able to regain power and beauty.

Older Norman: [narrating] My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him, all good things - trout as well as eternal salvation - came by grace; and grace comes by art; and art does not come easy.

Rev. Maclean: Each one of here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don't know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them - we can love completely without complete understanding.

Older Norman: [narrating] They were Methodists, a denomination my father referred to as Baptists who could read.

And as we all know...

Well, a Baptist is mearly a Catholic that lost his fear of the water. A Methodist is simply a Baptist that learned how to read. A Presbyterian is just a Methodist that went to college. And an Episcopalian is just a Presbyterian that did exceedingly well on his investments.

Which leads to the question

How many Presbyterians does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Answer: Change?