Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It comes only once every four years.  For that reason—and because we weren’t yet online last New Year’s Eve—our crack staff has compiled the following list of predictions we feel will be vindicated by February 29, 2016.

 1  Purpose-Driven pastor Rick Warren will revert to doctrinal orthodoxy.

Following the failure of Warren’s new chat show, The Surah-Hundred Club, a joint venture between TBN and Al Jazeera, Warren hits rock bottom.  He humbly repents, steps down from public ministry for two years, puts himself under the discipleship of a team of godly men (dubbed “The Warren Commission” by cynics), and issues a thoroughly orthodox statement of faith and an accompanying philosophy of ministry.

Of course, we don’t really expect this to happen.  However, Mr. Warren has left no room for any useful satirical speculation.  He’s gone so far off the chart, one can only hope that, by some bizarre theological physics, he will circle back from the other direction and land back on the chart. Lord help us.  Lord help Rick Warren.  

 2   Pastor James MacDonald will announce that the Elephant Room 3 conference, scheduled for February, 2013, will be replaced by a new conference series, Albatross 1. The focus of A1 will be the casting off of the inconvenient truths of biblical Christianity.

Hey HatersIt's time for breakfast.
   3   Digital photographic images of Elevation Church pastor and evangelical wunderkind Steven Furtick will be found to have healing prop- erties; as a second-wave to this phenomenon, people—mostly women, since they are easier to deceive—will begin to discover Furtick’s image baked into French toast and other savory items.  Expect another hagiopic from Elevation's film ministry. 

   Zondervan will introduce the Harry Potter Study Bible.  Come on, you knew this had to be coming.  And you thought TNIV-2010 was something?

 5    5 Pastor Ed Young, Jr., will have a promotion that does not involve rapping or being on a roof. 

It’s got to happen some time.  Just the law of averages.

    6TThe American Civil Liberties Union will come to the aid of street preachers as the 9th circuit—among other courts—declares street preaching to be a hate crime, making it illegal in most of America’s larger cities. When things are so messed up that you pray a Psalm 121 prayer and help comes from the Left, you know things are really messed up.

What is wrong with this man?
 7   Mark Driscoll will experience a very public fall from grace.  Though we can’t disclose the exact nature of the faux hawk pas, we can tell you that Freudians will have a field day with “what-did-we-tell-you”–type declarations.  Non-Freudians are shocked as well.  Quips the nouthetic Jay Adams, “I take back what I said about being competent to counsel. See you later.” 

A brief, redemptive epilogue follows.  Pastor Mark is then approached by the cable network Cinemax about

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ed Young to Hold Fashion Show on Church Roof

by Jude Phakiki Roosevelt

The Texas pastor known variously as a sex therapist, rap artist, deep-sea rescuer, aviation industry booster—almost anything but a preacher of the Gospel—has jumped head-long into his next venture: helping his fellow clergymen look sharp.

The same rooftop that gave us Sexperiment will
play host to Pastorista 2012, a fashion show for
preachers, April 7 in Grapevine, Texas. 
 “Pastors aren’t typically known for their fashion. Most people don’t think of the runway leading up to the pulpit. But why not?!” asks Pastor Ed Young, Jr. “Why can’t the men and women of God set the standard for the rest of the world in fashion as well as faith? That’s why we’re launching PastorFashion.com. We want to set the trends.” To promote awareness of his new web site, http://pastorfashion.com/,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In our inaugural SideBar feature, ST looks at the Southern Baptist Convention’s recent nominal angst.   

A blue ribbon  panel for the denomination finally made its recommendation Monday.  And after all that hand-wringing, “Great Commission Baptists” is what we get.  And it’s not even a legal name change.   It’s an “add-on.” Perhaps next time we’ll get a plug-in. 

Monday’s tepid recommendation ends months of speculation that America’s largest single protestant denomination would at long last jettison “southern” from its handle and come up with something cool.

According to an AP report, the panel “rejected a complete name change, citing the legal costs and difficulties like the thousands of will and trusts naming the SBC.”

Apparently, though, it wasn’t from lack of trying. “Convention President Bryant Wright and other church leaders are concerned that the Southern Baptist name is too regional and impedes the evangelistic faith’s efforts to spread the Gospel worldwide.”

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cheetos and Christian Bloggers

A Goliath of U.S. commerce is becoming unnerved by a hoard of pesky Davids. 
     Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo and the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world, has grown tired of the image associated with one of its most successful products.  Created in 1948 by Charles Elmer Doolin, Cheetos has created billions of loyal snackers over the last six decades, and perhaps trillions of orange, cheese-stained fingers and hands.  And therein lies the problem: orange digits and the digital age do not play well together.
     “Cheetos used to be associated with wholesome good fun, and was one of the first comfort foods—an essential component of American culture during the Cold War,” says Robert J. Thompson of Syracuse University, an expert in popular cutlure.  “But now too many people hear ‘Cheetos’ and think ‘middle-aged man blogging in his mom’s basement in a profoundly casual state of attire.’”

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chris Rosebrough attends conference against his will

Rosebrough Abducted
Blogger attends conference against his will

Leo Sánchez
The Steam Tunnel

Blogger and podcaster Chris Rosebrough, host of Fighting for the Faith, the most listened-to Christian podcast in the world, disappeared during a self-imposed ministry hiatus last week.
    Taking some time out after a grueling stretch of programs and conferences, which included being ejected from James MacDonald’s Elephant Room under threat of arrest, the gadfly of the post-Evangelical blogosphere returned to his native Southern California to recharge his batteries and to “put the pirate ship in dry dock for a few days.”
Kidnapped in paradise.  A pirate captain
finds himself landlocked on Tiburón Island
   Thursday afternoon, at approximately 1:45 local time, Rosebrough told friends that he was going to take a long, non-contemplative walk along the beach at San Clemente. He never returned.
  What transpired thereafter was stranger than some of the “guests” on Rosebrough’s daily program.
    Still groggy from an agave-inspired natural sedative, Chris awakened 15 hours later in a one-window room, locked from the outside, overlooking the Gulf of California.  He had a “VIP” identification tag hanging around his neck.

     Following a brief meet-and-greet session, Rosebrough’s captors informed him that he had left the U.S. and was now attending the “Circle the Wagons Conference” put together by a group called “Avengers for the Gospel.”  In fact, he was scheduled as the keynote speaker. 

Mexican federal police in Kino Nuevo prepare
to confront Avengers on Tiburon Island 
     A polyglot consortium of theologically confused men from 33 nations, the A4G contingent had rented out convention facilities on Tiburón Island, opposite the Baja coast.  Unfortunately, none of the aforementioned glots included English. “I first sensed that language might be a barrier when I asked them about the island,” Rosebrough told ST in an exclusive interview.  He noticed that there were no cars or trucks on the island, prompting him to wonder why ferries were incapable of crossing the strait, even though the mainland was clearly visible.  “In somewhat broken English they told me that they had all divested themselves of cars and trucks.”  However, Rosebrough claims, it was not vigorous environmentalism that convinced these guys to take to the streets on foot.  “They told me that they didn’t want to have anything to do with the Motorist Heresy, and that this was one of the reasons they were so eager to have me come down and talk to them.”
   From that point things deteriorated quickly.  “They wanted me to lecture on the Sun-Stand-Still prayer: Normally, I’d have been happy to do so, but these guys were under the impression that I was promoting Sun Stand Still.  They told me they wanted to learn how to do it, reasoning that even a few extra minutes of daylight per 24-hour period could significantly increase tourism in their communities in the off-season winter months.”   

The tipping point came when the group leader, “Céro”—the closest thing Rosebrough ever got to a name while he was in captivity—explained to him that the opening plenary session would be conducted by Dr. Dan Allender, who, by the way, speaks perfect Spanish. 
   “That’s when I knew it was do-or-die for me,” he said.  “The thought of him coming down here and translating words like ‘bruta-ful’ into another language was more than I could bear.  It was bad enough in English.” 
    Despairing even of his life—or at least his sanity—the 43-year-old apologist, who was a varsity swimmer in high school, took to the waves.  Just under two hours later, he had traversed the 1.4-km strait and arrived on the beach at Kino Nuevo, where he was greeted by off-duty agents of the Federales the Mexican Federal Police, who were in the area investigating claims that a young boy had seen something “great and white” moving in the water.  
Rosebrough arrives at U.S. border checkpoint
in Douglas, Arizona, accompanied by Irrigation
and Customs Engagement (ICE) agents.
    Storming the island three hours later, the Federales arrested eight men, including “Céro,” later identified as 34-year-old Paco Warsavian,  whose mixed Mestizo-Slavic family tree is not untainted by international intrigue: a retired Lucha Libre wrestler, Warsavian’s great-grandfather had introduced an ice pick to the “head region” of one Leon Trotsky in Mexico City in 1940.

  An exhausted Chris Rosebrough was escorted by Mexican customs officials to the U.S. border entry at Douglas, Arizona, where he arrived at 5:18 a.m. Mountain Standard Time on Sunday morning.  At an impromptu press conference, Chris reflected on the treatment he received at Circle-the-Wagons.  “Nice guys, for the most part,” he said, explaining that he was taunted at one point by a security guard, who had asked him, “So, how does it feel to be ‘boarded,’ pirate man?”
      “The facilities were actually top-notch.  They even had a gym where I could work out.  And even though this was Mexico, there was always a copy of USAToday outside my door when they came to get me in the morning. The food was good, too. Mexican, mostly. Lots of combo plates—and not one was missing a taco! I don’t know who our chef was, because I never saw him. Whoever he was, though, that man could make a chili relleno like nobody’s business.”

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