Showing posts with label Commercials. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Commercials. Show all posts

26 August 2008

Coming attractions

by Phil Johnson

Springs Of Life Bible Church
Durham, NC
November 21-22, 2008

Send (or bring) your pastor.

BONUS: Click HERE to listen in on a conversation I had with James White earlier this year.

(Incidentally, James White and I will also be speaking at a conference together in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 20-24 August 2009. Watch this space for details.)

Phil's signature

17 September 2007

For those who asked...

by Phil Johnson

Coming April 2008

Phil's signature

24 April 2007

* BUMP *

by the TeamPyro P.R. Wonk

Yes: we are in the running for "Best blog ever" and "best religion blog", but some people are put off that they have to register to vote -- they ar afraid of SPAM. Personally, I'd be a lot more afraid of PUTTING MY BIRTHDAY INTO A FIELD ON THE INTERNET, but suit yourself.

The birthday thing you can fudge -- just put Jan 1 of the start of the decade you were born in. For example, if your B'Day is August 1967, you put 1/1/1961 in the B'Day field, and continue. That's close enough for them.

The spam thing can be a little trickier. You could set up a bogus e-mail account at Yahoo and then abandon it after you have confirmed and voted, but that sounds like a lot of trouble. Here's how to avoid getting spam:

register at Blogger awards, but for your e-mail address type in ( [at] ( I am the sole administer of, so I get all the e-mail that comes there.

I will clear all the confirmations that come in to and place votes for them for TeamPyro. If you have other votes you want to place, you'll be able to do that yourself after I confirm your account, which will be about every 6 hours, if you don't mind.

Because I want to win this thing. We have enough readers to win this thing. We won't win without you.

23 April 2007

Because it's true

by Geordy Barnha

Vote for the best blog of all time.

05 April 2007

from the mind of TeamPyro

by Frank Turk

Available in human sizes, too.

10 March 2007

Some things you should know about

by Phil Johnson

hat with all the hectic preparations for the Shepherds' Conference, and especially the busyness of the week itself, I've had to stifle my blog-output. And I've been juggling a few short items in my mind that I keep meaning to blog about. Here they are all at once:

  1. John MacArthur
    John MacArthur
    The "Grace to You" telecast is now streaming on the Web and available for podcast. These weekly programs are each an hour long, featuring a complete sermon by John MacArthur from the pulpit of Grace Community Church.


  2. For Pyro readers over forty who are single, striving to serve Christ faithfully, and looking for fellowship with like-minded people: you ought to go to this conference. Registration cost, including all meals, is $75.00 before March 16, 2007 and $85.00 after. Some activites may have added costs.Special Hotel rates and housing are available.

    Living in Hope
    Highly Recommended.
    To register, contact: Or call, 760.747.9252. Ask for Marsha McGaugh, conference registrar.

    You can also download the conference brochure.

    Pastor John Sale, Valley Center Community Church
    Dennis E. Johnson, Westminster Seminary California
    Pastor James Newheiser, Grace Bible Church
    Pastor Curt Arend, Grace Bible Church
    Pastor Mike Kelley, Grace Bible Church

  3. Something Mark Dever said at the Shepherds' Conference this week reminded me of this guy, whom you ought to know:

    That's Jay Smith, an American currently living in London. Jay was born in India, where his parents served as Brethren missionaries. He spends his Sunday afternoons at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, where Islamic radicals now more or less dominate. Jay's boldness is remarkable, and he's no mere rabble-rouser. He earned his Ph.D. in Islamic studies and employs that plus his winsome personality to confront the increasingly-violent rhetoric of radical Islam in a public and head-on way.

    You should get to know Jay. Every time I have been in England for the past couple of years, people have been talking about him and his ministry at Speakers' Corner. Invariably the discussion includes some remark about Jay's life expectancy. He receives death threats on a regular basis. Keep him in your prayers.

    Jay's web site is a little plain-looking, but full of helpful resources. His YouTube videos are collected here. Good stuff.

  4. Speaking of good stuff, bold apologists, and drab-looking websites, James White's material on Le Tombeau de Cameron has been superb. I hope you have been reading it.

  5. Congratulations to Dr. and Mrs. Warnock!

Phil's signature

07 March 2007

Yeah, not much

by Frank Turk

For the faithful few, blogging this week has been like a fourth or fifth-level priority between projects due at work and being actually sick. If you want to know what I'm thinking about, my Pastor has started a men's group on Wednesday mornings in which we will be reading J.I. Packer's edition of Luther's The Bondage of the Will, and I just received the newly-minted Believer's Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ edited by Schreiner and Wright.

And Dave Armstrong made an appearance in the meta at my blog to bemoan the fact that nobody takes him seriously anymore. So I clowned him.

Pretty slow week actually. How about you?

14 February 2007

Simeon. Cool.

by Phil Johnson

ur friends at Logos Bible Software (an all-around excellent program) have just announced the coming release of Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae Commentary (21 volumes). Spurgeon said of this work:

Horae Homileticae; or, Discourses digested into one continued series, and forming a Comment upon every book of the Old and Near Testament; 21 vols. 8vo. Seventh edition. Lond., H. G. Bohn. 1845. S.f2 10s. [Being the entire works of Charles Simeon, with Copious Indexes, prepared by T. Hartwell Horne.] Not Commentaries, but we could not exclude them. They have been called "a valley of dry bones": be a prophet and they will live.
Spurgeon read Simeon and occasionally quoted from him. He began his commentary on Psalm 11 with Simeon's summary. Our favorite Superstar Brit blogger, Dr. Warnock, apparently had a hand in encouraging this edition of Simeon's works.

Our own Dan Phillips wrote a bit about Simeon and Wesley just a month ago.

This looks like a great resource. I haven't read Simeon, because his works have always been so hard to find. So I'm glad Logos will be making these works available in this excellent, fully searchable format. Projected release date: "7/10/2007" (Is that July 10, or October 7? I don't know. How you read a date like that depends on whether you're American or not.) In any event, perhaps when we've had a chance to review them, one of us Pyros will write a more complete evaluation. We're going to lobby for some pre-release review copies.

But I can tell you already: this would be a much better way to spend your birthday money than loading up on Frank's Pyro-junk.

And I really love my Pyro-T-shirts, so that's a pretty strong recommendation for the Simeon works.

Phil's signature

13 February 2007


by J. Peterman

Now available at the Pawn Shop.

13 December 2006

The Love Shack

by Jolly Fat Man

OK -- you have 13 shopping days until Christmas, and I'm not even going to link to the Pawn Shop. That's just too obvious -- and besides: I'll bet you can't get your stuff in time now anyway. CafePress is fine and all that, but their fulfillment runs at about the speed that old men golf. The chatty ones.

Anyway, I had this 6-part series at my blog about Christmas which you'll have to read for yourself if you're interested because this is a blog for original stuff -- not recycled trash. Recycled Spurgeon, maybe -- but not trash. My point is that I took 6 parts to finish that series and I didn't get to say something. I couldn't figure out how to work it in, so I brought it over here. And it works in nicely with Dan's post from yesterday, so it's all gravy -- it's like we planned it.

I was on a bit about how the wrath of God is a sort of necessity in Christmas, and I got to the place where I was saying that we ought to love the incarnate Jesus to the degree that we have been spared the wrath of God -- that this is what Christmas ought to be all about.

So far, so good, right?

Listen: I couldn't figure out how to work in what it means to love the incarnate Christ. is that stupid? So that's the topic here -- loving Christ.

The first thing to say about that is, a real Jesus requires real love. One of the gripes I hear from non-believers (and nearly non-believers -- you know who you are) is that Christians are real emotional and relational clods. We don't really have a lot of emotional range -- we can get indignation out real good, and maybe stoic fortitude, but things like happy, compassionate, friendly in a non-salesman-like way, and all the upside of human emotional pitch seems to be someplace outside our repertoire. And honestly -- they have a small point. Even Bono -- who they might call a believer -- doesn't seem very happy even when he's doing whatever it is he says nobody else is doing.

But here's the thing: while loving Christ produces a real love for people, it must produce a real love and not merely an emotional love for people. Because it must itself be a real love for Christ and not merely a zinger-and-Code-red rush of emotional sugar for Jesus.

You know: Christ died for our sins. He was born and allowed himself to be birthed in a stable -- a cave or a shack -- and slept his first night in the air of Jerusalem Bethlehem (sorry -- that's what I get for being up late) in a feeding trough. They weren't expecting Him, and they didn't clean up the barn before he showed up -- it was a dirty place in a barn-like sort of way. And Jesus did that in order to die for our sins.

Think about what Christ gave up to then die for our sins. He gave up the throne of Heaven where he was only worshipped for the sake of growing up the son of a carpenter. He gave up having no needs to be was hungry from time to time. He gave up eternal perfection and beauty to smell like a person who didn't have any deodorant ever, and lived among people who were exactly like that. And he loved these people.

He loved them! He loved John the crazy baptizer who, after being thrown in prison, had his doubts about whether Jesus was the Christ, who even asked if he and his disciples should look for another Messiah. He loved Peter, and Peter was quite a pill -- one of those friends who was always making promises and not keeping them. He loved his mother who, even though she saw the angel and gave a virgin birth, doubted that Jesus was sane and pleaded with him to stop what he was doing. He loved Mary who had demons, and Martha who worked too hard, and Lazarus their brother.

Who do we love? I mean besides out spouses and our kids: who do we love in a way that is more than a wish of good luck to that person? Do you love anybody in an active and obvious way?

Would they agree with you that you do this?

Listen: in this way -- this Christmas way -- God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son. Gave His son! God did something about love at Christmas which people could see and hear and touch with their own hands. And we are called by His name to be a people like that given Son.

So this Christmas, with 13 shopping days left, take your mind off the cookies and the wrapping paper and the fake tree with the lights burned out, and think about the love that is manifest in the baby in the manger. Because that Love is not just a greeting card kind of love, and it's not a cue-the-orchestra kind of emotional state: that love is a working love, a living love which overcomes the world.

Be part of that love. And not just at Christmas, but maybe you could start at Christmas -- like a present to your conscience or something. I don't have any practical suggestions about how to do that because you people are all over the planet. But get off your KBs and pull yourself away from the blogs for a half hour and love someone the way Christ loves you -- that is, in a way which they do not deserve and that you can pay out lavishly.

There is no law against that kind of love.

01 November 2006

You didn't even buy anything ...

by Frank Turk

Let me start this post with something really obvious: we had 27 entries in the contest, and 10 of them got ZERO votes via purchases. ZERO. That means people nominated t-shirts which they themselves were unwilling to buy even at the ridiculously-cheap price of $ 9.98. And we get about 4,000 readers a day -- and we only sold 35 items! Somebody get a caluculator and figure out the percentage of apathy that comes out to ... The only peson who has any excuses for doing that is the person who nominated Chrysostom, for whom I never got the spell-check updated. The rest of you -- that's just proof of my original thesis that these designs are not even one-up designs.

However, the rest of you have something to be proud of -- we did sell 35 items (shirts, mugs, infant crawlers) and completely funded the contest winner's prize, relieving me of the somewhat-emabarassing problem of trying to explain to my wife why, exactly, I'm buying t-shirts and junk for people I know only via the internet. That's good work, people, and God Bless you for being somewhat-careful with my reputation with my wife.

All that said, one last thing before we get to the results: even if we back out the "Orthodox Gangsta" design, the rest of my pawn shop outsold the contest entries by about 2:1. I offer that only to taunt you with the fact that the other junk in my shop, at a higher markup, apparently has more appeal than the ideas you folks had. Sorry -- some of us are actual snake-oil salesmen, and some of us are just victims of snake oil salesmen.

OK: before I say anything by which Phil will get addled, here are the results (poorly formatted by Excel, thank you very much):

x Lloyd-Jones Total 7
x Whitefield Total 4
x Not Finney Total 3
x S Lewis Johnson Total 3
x Bahnsen Total 2
x Bunyan Total 2
x Chalmers Total 2
x Owen Total 2
x Pink Total 2
x Tyndale Total 2
x Augustine Total 1
x Berkhof Total 1
x Charnock Total 1
x Polycarp Total 1
x Sibbes Total 1
x Turretin Total 1
Calvin Total 11
Edwards Total 11
Luke 18:14 Total 8
Spurgeon Total 8
Orthordox Gangsta Total 7
Luther Total 4
apply to the forehead 3
Get schooled @ TeamPyro 3
Machen Total 2
TeamPyro 3
VanTil Total 2
Warfield Total 2
C. Hodge Total 1
Good Advice Total 1
Henry Total 1
Kuyper Total 1
Not just a homeboy Total 1
OG Calvinist Gadfly 1
TeamPyro! Total 1
Tea-Total T-shirt Total 1
VanTil Total 1

So the appropriate measure of congratulations and whoopla should be extended to our British reader Martin Downes (do you say "downz" or "dow-nez"?), who tendered the suggestion of making the Doctor a Homeboy at TeamPyro. Martin: e-mail me at my blogger e-mail address and we can work out the details of your prize being shipped to you. If you're really good, Phil has offered to deliver it himself when he's in London in December to save me the $20 in shipping.

Well-played all of you. Back to your dreary November. We'll probably have one last contest before the end of the year for Christmas, so keep your eyes open for that.

24 October 2006

bumpable update

by P.T. Barnum

For those of you who were worried about it, "Richard Sibbes" and "Louis Berkhof" have been spell-checked in the t-shirt contest with just under a week to go. I am sure, frankly, that they were handicapped by my spelling errors, but now that you have a week to order your junk, you nutty Sibbes and Berkhof fans will probably pummel all the Lloyd-Jones fans.

And, as you can see to the right, there's a new design at the Pawn Shop -- it's a lightly-aged "Varsity" style design, and the backs of the shirts which accept a backside design say "get schooled". I thought it appropriate, given the recent bru-ha-ha over how Phil, Dan, myself and all of you faithful readers are bullies.

And I'm posting this early so it doesn't have to dominate the top spot today. Dan will likely update around Noon and you'll have something better to do with your day than shop the Pawn Shop. Though I'm not sure what that would be ...

19 October 2006

Today's e-mail brings this....

t appears Frank's pawn shop has competition from a more or less authoritative source:

Hi Phil:

Caleb Maskell here from the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale. Nice site...some great stuff...

FYI (and perhaps that of your homeboy-inclined readers) the "official" CT-licensed Jonathan Edwards is My Homeboy t-shirts are now available at our website...

Thought you might like to know.



Phil's signature

24 September 2006

A minimalist BlogSpotting Post at the End of a Long Weekend

by [name or initials here]

his weekend GraceLife sponsored a family conference. Between Saturday and Sunday, I spoke a total of five times (plus a Q&A session), and that's why there was no BlogSpotting post Saturday. Here is an abbreviated make-up post. These are by no means all the links we could cite from this week, but it's as much as I can do at the end of a loooooooong weekend:

That's all I can do for now. I need to get some rest.

Phil's signature

20 September 2006

I got nothin'

by Frank Turk

UPDATED 10/10: Oh BOOYAH! 27 designs made it to the actual contest. We had 4 non-starters because I couldn't find graphics for them which were in a decent enough resolution to get them into 10inX10in size. Sorry!

So here's how the contest works: You go visit the contest shop, and you buy the deeply-discounted t-shirt you think has the best obscure hero of the faith. We run the shop through Reformation Day (October 31), and on the morning of November 1, I run the sales report for the shop. The design which sold the most UNITS wins the prize I have outlined someplace in this post -- so if somebody sells 10 sweatshirts, but somebody else sells 11 value T's, the person who sold 11 UNITS wins in spite of the fact that the design which sold 10 sweatshirts sold twice as many dollars worth of stuff.

That make sense? Good. Go buy something and we'll talk about this again when the contest is over.

Go. This is the link.

UPDATED 10/9: Yes, I know -- I'm a week behind. I have also, if you'll check my blog, gone fishin'. The contest will begin when I have all the t-shirts rendered and uploaded. Thank you for your patience.

UPDATED 10/4: no updates. Sorry! Thanks for checking!

UPDATED 10/3: I have a list of 32 design ideas (including the first person who submitted said idea), and I am downloading images to drop into the template. I am also still in the thick of video editing for my church. Since the selling season for the contest is the whole month of October, but this video has to be ready and burned to DVD by Friday, your shirts are on-hold. For your convenience, when we have a live t-shirt shop I'll change the contest graphic on the front page.

Please do not cause global unrest in your urgency to see these designs on actual products. This is a t-shirt contest and not a clash of civilizations.

UPDATED 9/29: OK -- the contest entry deadline is tomorrow (9/30), and I promised to have the rule-abiding entries in a cafepress shop by October 1. Well, I'm in the middle of shooting and editing a vision-casting video for my church, my parents are flying in to town today, and my normal hectic life leaves me short on time to hit the 10/1 start selling date at CafePress.

Just be forewarned that the shop will not be available on 10/1. It may take until 10/3 to have it full of your really cool ideas.

I am certain Dan has something very insightful to say today. I am, unfortunately, out of pocket and can't find 45 minutes to knock out a decent TeamPyro post.

I did, however, get an e-mail from the Pawn Shop Host, and they told me that I am in the running to be shopkeeper of the month, based on the sales of the "homeboy collection" of cheap junk at ridiculous prices. By a long shot, these are the best selling items ever posted at the Pawn Shop, and I encourage you to show the world that the truly reformed are people, too, by buying a shirt and making the Pawn Shop the Shop of the Month at CafePress.

It could lead to a contest, but I am too busy to figure one out right now.

UPDATED: "mike" in the meta inspired this contest ideaer, so read closely. I have gotten literally dozens of one-up ideas for "homeboy" t-shirts -- that is, ideas one person swears they would buy if it was in the Pawn Shop, but prolly not anyone else.

Well, all you brilliant thinkers, here's the deal:

In the meta of this post, put up your one-up ideas. You are limited to ideas that I have not already created and posted in the Pawn Shop, and they must be historical figures with some kind of relationship to Reformed theology, and a dead person; for example, Athanasius was a reformer in his age and would be fair game, but Joseph Smith or any Pope would not be inside the bounds of good taste -- we don't want to get accused of lampooning or disrespect -- and James White would be a living person of whom we do not want to run afoul. You have until Midnight on Sept 30, 2006 to make your entry. One entry per poster. On Oct 1, I will open up a "Homeboys II" section in the Pawn Shop, and whichever idea sells the most t-shirts in the month of October, the thinker who thought up the great idea gets a free t-shirt (gray T), mug and poster (unframed) as a reward. In case of a tie, I pick the winner and there's no appeal process. In the event that there are no sales on your one-up ideaers, there will be no winner.

It doesn't get any more fair than that. I look forward to your horsepower. One other thing: I'm going to reduce my markup on the items in that section of the shop to make it all the more appealing -- so you'll see all the prices lowered and ending in .99. May it never be said that I was unfair to you people after you came up with great ideas.

30 August 2006

Wednesday is apparently my day

by Frank Turk

I was going to blog about the symmetry between liberal and conservative anti-intellectualism today at TeamPyro (case in point), and how that relates to the Emergent circus tent, but merchandising got in the way.

I'm not going to pander here. I'm just going to link to the Pawn Shop and let you see for yourself what you're missing.

Piggybacking on what Frank said
by Phil Johnson

omeone pointed out that it's been more than a week since I've written and posted anything substantial on the blog. Quotes from Spurgeon don't count, because I didn't write them.

I beg your indulgence for my relative silence recently. It's not that I'm losing interest in the blog. But I've been very busy at work and with various pastoral duties for the past two weeks or so. I haven't even answered most of my e-mail for more than a week. So (if you're waiting for an e-mail reply from me, I'm working as hard as I can.) But meanwhile, be assured: my mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives. And I have some substantial issues in mind to bring up for discussion at PyroManiacs in the days to come.

One of those is apparently identical to what Frank is thinking about.

We Pyros don't consult with one another or plan who will blog about what and when. We all pretty much do our own thing. The chaos of such an approach is part of the fun of gangblogging. And the fact that we almost always agree with one another is icing on the cake.

Now, I have never mentioned this to Frank or discussed it with him, but I've been planning to blog about the very thing Frank mentions above: "the symmetry between liberal and conservative anti-intellectualism."

I think anti-intellectualism is a huge problem in the Emerging/Emergent Church/Conversation/Movement. The literature produced by the movement is shot through with deliberate naïveté about Christian doctrine and the history of heresy.

In my assessment, the Emerging brand of anti-intellectualism is fundamentally no better than the more lowbrow but equally deliberate ignorance of old-style backwoods fundamentalism. (I'm speaking here of the angry independent Baptist variety.) In fact, in some important ways, the two flavors of anti-intellectualism are one another's evil twins.

Here's what I mean: The lowbrow fundamentalists tend to employ angry preaching and a tone of intimidation to compensate for their lack of biblical and doctrinal content. Emergents are the mirror opposite. Some of them are altogether dismissive of the idea of preaching. Most of them favor always-affable group dialogues and an almost inexhaustible spirit of tolerance, which ultimately serves exactly the same purpose as the fundamentalists' high-handed authoritarianism. Both mindless dogmatism and mindless latitudinarianism are expressions of anti-intellectualism that all but eliminate meaningful debate and discussion about doctrine and history.

That's all I have time to say at the moment, but it's a thought worth pondering carefully, and I hope to expand on it in a future post, if the Lord permits.

Phil's signature

Piggybacking on what Phil said piggybacking on what Frank said
by Dan Phillips

Is this synchronicity, or what?

I wrote a post, and was about to put it up this morning, when I saw that Frank had already posted. So, since I never bump Frank, I just left it on our server in "Draft" status, and will sling it out tomorrow, DV.

The title?

Is Christianity Rational?

No collusion. I tell you, boys, we've got this group-mind thing going on!

Dan Phillips's signature

11 June 2006

Another birthday

by Phil Johnson

So today was my 53rd birthday. They're less fun every year.

But some good stuff happened today. To start with, while I was getting ready for church, Jeff Williams phoned me from the Space Station to say happy birthday. He said he was passing over Indonesia at the time. I'm guessing the number of people who get birthday greetings from outer space is a pretty select fraternity. Not to gloat or anything.

Then this afternoon, I got another call from Edna Pearson, longtime friend who lives in Australia. Her birthday is June 12, and it was already Monday there, so we celebrated our different birthdays simultaneously over the phone. That doesn't happen every day, either.

Then Frank Turk sent me a hilarious birthday wish via an e-card from Dayspring that made me laugh out loud. (I'd give you the URL, but it was personal.) Frank also has a cool new t-shirt at his pawn shop. Check it out.

53. Thanks. It's all downhill from here.

Incidentally, on the phone, Jeff Williams reminded me that he started a blog at the end of last year: "Take Up and Read." When I last checked around the end of January, he had only 3 posts. But his reminder prompted me to check again, and I see he was posting more regularly, and still posting new stuff just days before his mission started.

I'm not sure if he can post directly to his blog from the Space Station, but he can send e-mail, so I don't know why not. I'm going to try to get him to guest-blog here at TeamPyro at least once before the end of his mission.

Meanwhile, be sure to keep Jeff in your prayers.

Phil's signature

30 May 2006

A promise is a promise

by J. Peterman

Look: a promise is a promise, and last week the pawn shop sold more than the requisite 3 t-shirts I needed to have enough credit to give away another t-shirt here at TeamPyro, so roll up your sleeves, people.

The picture at the right is the t-shirt we are giving away, and if you click it you'll notice it's the value-priced T. It's perfect summer wear as it is light cotton. I considered giving away a stein, but the mere metion of such a thing left the blog in a state of near civil war, so I chose this item instead.

Here's the contest: name the top 5 reasons you personally ought to receive the teamPyro shirt on the block. You have until Thursday at 5:00 PM blogger time to get your entry in. On Friday around lunchtime, I'll announce the winner -- and I'm setting the time right now so Dan can post something pithy immediately after I do to knock me off the top slot.

It is likely I will be the only judge as the other Pyros are not as amused by the contests as I am, but keep in mind that they may e-mail to spike your entry if you say things untoward about them.

Let the hoopla begin!

25 May 2006

The Golden Fleece [2 of 2]

by Frank Turk

Yeah, well, so what? One of our astute readers here at TeamPyro made this comment in response to the the new t-shirt design I have thrown together:
I must say something, and I truly do it in all humility.

First off, I love visiting this blog. I especially find James Spurgeon's posts insightful and edifying. Having said that...

I really wish that the Pyromaniacs blog wouldn't give into the temptation to "market"themselves and further fleece the flock by selling t-shirts and other logo-laden merchandise. Doesn't this just add to the whole atmosphere of consumerism and materialism that plagues the Church already? Why not encourage your readers to give to missions instead, especially those in the unreached 10/40 window? America is just so wasteful, especially in the Church.

You guys really do seem to have your fingers on the pulse of the Church when it comes to what we need to hear doctrinally, and yet there is a whole separate area, one in which the Church is failing miserably, that you could use your highly visited blog to address and impact for the positive.

There is a small, new ministry called "Good Measure International" that is selling t-shirts for $15 that say something like, "My t-shirt helped feed a hungry child for a month, what did your t-shirt do?"All the proceeds from the shirts go to ministries who minister the Gospel and help meet the physical needs of the poor. Now THAT's a worthy t-shirt and money well spent.

I don't mean to be a downer on this light posting, but I just had that on my heart to share.

Thank you for always sticking your necks out, and thank you for letting me do the same.
Now, before the fireworks begin, let’s make sure I agree with all the excellent points that were made here. By a long shot, it is far more important that we express the Gospel, support the church locally and globally, and that we stand for unity in truth, than it is to buy one of our little trinkets that are doing so well with the readers.

Note to Phil: While you are by far the best customer of the pawn shop, you only account for about 40% of the trade there as we review the sales data. However, you do account for 40% of the sales. Dude: 40%.


In fact, the point is so critical that I’m going to drop some links in here from my own blog which have been there for, well, at least since last summer:

This is the “Gospel Practicum", folks. Get after it. If you’re just toddling along with your Bible open and you go the church 3 times a week plus your gender-specific Bible study, and you blog about Jesus, but that doesn’t turn into something where some person is getting something personally from you which we can call “love" in the Gospel sense, you’re getting is all wrong.

And for the record, I can’t find a link to “good measure international", but the three I listed here are relief organizations which are Christ-centered and have good ratings with Charity Navigator.

So what’s that got to do with the cess pool which is CBA? Well, let’s look at some current t-shirt designs from the CBA marketplace, shall we?

For those who can’t make it out, the scripture references are “He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says..."(Revelation 3:22) and “My sheep listen to my voice I know them and they follow me."(John 10:27) This T is produced by an organization in Berryville, AR, named “Kerusso"(which you may or may not take offense to). And let me be clear: they make a quality product from a retail standpoint. The Ts are nice weight, and the colors are always great – good looking stuff.

‘K? And I sell these things in my store, so whatever complaint I’m about to pony up, I’m in the boat with the guys at Kerusso.

Now, what’s the point of buying this particular t-shirt? Rather than tease you, let me suggest that the right reason for buying this t-shirt is that it looks good on you. That’s all: if it looks good on you, and you have $15 laying around, and you need a T, brother or sister, there’s nothing stopping you from buying this t-shirt.

But if that’s the point in buying this t-shirt, then let me say that anyone who buys this shirt because they think it makes them some kind of a Christian is significantly self-deluded. Same for putting the fish on your car. Same for reading this blog for that matter. You are not a “better"Christian, or a any kind of “adjective" Christian, because you are doing business – intellectual, retail, whatever – with other Christians and the stuff your pass back and forth has a verse on it or a fish or a celtic trinity symbol or whatever.

See: you are a Christian when you follow the Gospel. And anyone who tells you that their T-shirt helps you follow the Gospel … you should run away from them. They are clearly trying to sell you something, and I’m willing to go out on a limb and say it’s not just a t-shirt. It has something to do with "BUST HILL", but I'm not going to open up a controversy inside a controversy.

The t-shirts at the pawn shop? They don’t help you follow the Gospel. The only reason they have any scripture references on them is because those verses are in the premises of the blog – not because wearing them gives you any kind of an opportunity to preach and teach. If you wear one, you're a groupie -- becuase who else would wear a t-shirt with a blog logo on it besides a groupie?

Is it wrong to be a groupie? Only if you, for example, start calling us at work or start leaving messages for us with our employees.

The dreck at the pawn shop is over-priced – and it’s not because Phil’s licensing fee is so high. It’s because CaféPress has confiscatory vendor pricing. I make $3 on the black Ts which are priced at $21.99 – and “make", btw, is a euphemism for “which I then spend monthly to keep the pawn shop open, because the only profit I ever made from the CafePress store was the T I just bought for myself last week".

It is part of the punch line, folks. I really hate it when we have to deconstruct all of the gags and ironies and snide bits of social satire, but the whole point of the TeamPyro shop is to say, “this is not even close to the ‘good stuff’". If you’re reading this blog to be more “relevant" because you can show everyone you wear the t-shirt, I say “re-read this blog. I think you didn’t ‘get it’ on first pass."

Now, look: it costs me about $7 a month to perpetrate this gag, and to date I haven’t received a single check from CafePress. I bought a black “stoner"T from my shop with $17.99 + shipping, and frankly I don’t have any guilt over that. I needed a new shirt to work out in, and it is 100% serviceable. I gave away a t-shirt last month, and if we sell 2 more shirts this month I’ll give another away – because it’s fun.

Well, I think it’s fun. If you readers think it’s chintzy, I’ll call off the hounds. No sense being the only guy in the room laughing.

Last thing: let’s be careful how we throw around the word “fleecing" in the future. I haven’t fleeced anybody, and this blog isn’t fleecing anybody. It’s not like we’re charging you for the priviledge of posting your comments, for cryin’ out loud ...

21 February 2006

Toward a better-looking blog...

by Phil Johnson

A fresh shirt. Ahhh.There. I changed shirts. That's much better.

Note to self: add rule to Pyromaniacs' posting guidelines. Ban all unapproved candid photos from the blog.

Incidentally, for those who have wondered about the "Pyromaniacs" merchandise in Frank's Pawn shop: Yes it's real. Below are some actual pictures of my friend Madeline wearing the Infant Creeper. Trust me: it's really cool stuff. We'd sell it here, but I don't want to commercialize the blog. Frank's blog is already a giant mercantile center, so he's handling all the merchandise.

Load up while you can. If Frank keeps posting pictures of me in my fishing shirt, his affiliation with PyroManiacs could be short-lived.

Normally, I wouldn't allow crass commercial promotion on this blog, especially the kind that uses a good-looking female model. But since Frank uglified the blog this morning, we need to restore some equilibrium to the universe.


Phil's signature