This looks interesting. If more people would actually research the subject instead of sloganeering it would be productive. Also, the majority of the OT department at Covenant Theological Seminary, the national seminary of the PCA, held this position on exegetical grounds when I was a student there. Its not something to be dismissed lightly.
Anthony's got an interesting thread going on Rumspringa, the Amish crossover period for teens when they are allowed to sin freely in preparation to either choose the Amish life or leave the community. Anthony asks whether Evangelicals have a de fact Rumspringa because of disengaged parenting. I think the answer is yes and the problem is ultimately theological.
Through the Rumspringa process, Amish youth can eventually choose the Amish life whereupon they are baptized into the church. The Reformed have always drawn a sharp distinction between themselves and the Anabaptists (the progenitors of the Amish) who saw baptism and entry into the church as something one does in a rational manner at some later "accountable" date. Even though Reformed churches still baptize infants, it would seem that Anabaptist views have ultimately prevailed. When was the last time you heard a Reformed pastor emphasize that baptism does anything (even initiate the baptized into the church in any vital way)? Our modern Rumspringa ends when the child is confirmed and takes communion (I've seen this delayed into the late teens) or leaves the church for college, never to return. Rumspringa does not comport with a covenantal worldview.
I just got my first haircut back here in Southern California. I used to complain when haircuts went from $6 to $8 out here some years ago but after living in St. Louis, I have ceased. In St. Louis my haircuts (at dumpy barber shops) ran $13-15. Out here they are $7-8. That means haircuts in St. Louis are 85%-114% more pricey than expensive SO CAL. Huh? What's up with that?
I was in Las Vegas this week for a wedding. I find Vegas a somewhat entertaining but mostly oppressive city. It lives and breathes lustfully as it swallows people up alive. Christians are not immune.
I have wondered for some time how one could effectively carry out a full-orbed ministry in Vegas and I have found few answers. If one adopts a "Christ transforming culture" model (I think that is the proper posture of the church) the question is, what are you transforming it to? You see, when a transformation model is applied, it normally assumes something to build upon like some prior structure. For example, if you planted a transformative ministry in a "red light" district of the Bronx, NY, you assume there was a viable neighborhood there once that you might grab some building blocks from in a work of restoration.
What prior structure is there to Las Vegas?
Las Vegas was dusty ville in the middle of a nearly trackless desert waste. Then came Ben Bugsy Siegel and the Syndicate. A city sprang up from nowhere with an economy and existence based soley upon two things that were illegal elsewhere: (1) prostitution and, (2) gambling. Poof! Instant city. Scratch ever so slightly below the thin veneer of "culture" (The Gugenheim collection, the Monet's, the fake city-scape facades) and you find an economy still based on those two things. Can you build a new city for the glory of God from scratch there? Don't get me wrong, God can do anything but God has, in the past, abandoned decadent flesh-pot cities to their own devices and eventual destruction.
So, I know there must be some model for transformation but what is it and is it biblical?