Author Archives: David de Bruyn

Taste and Preference: A Last Word

Taste and Preference: A Last Word

This entry is part 56 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Why are there such different “tastes” among people? Is the debate over music in worship simply a “preference issue”?  Are matters of music, dress, recreation merely matters of “personal style”? We have tried to sort out the meanings of the word “taste”, and have seen two distinct meanings. The first is the act of judging,… Continue Reading

Taste Formed and Deformed by Culture

Taste Formed and Deformed by Culture

This entry is part 55 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Taste is never shaped in isolation. We learn to love what we love from our family, our church, our school, and our society. In other words, taste is largely shaped by culture. Culture can be defined as T. S. Eliot suggested, “the incarnation of a religion”. At the heart of any culture is Richard Weaver’s… Continue Reading

Taste Spoiled By Sweetness

Taste Spoiled By Sweetness

This entry is part 54 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

A discussion of taste is one of the most difficult (and unrewarding) ones to have, for most people are unreflective about their likes. “I know what I like!” is supposed to end the discussion, followed up with “different strokes for different folks”. Aesthetic immaturity is one of the reasons for a discrepancy in taste among… Continue Reading

Good Taste and Christian Taste

Good Taste and Christian Taste

This entry is part 53 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Even atheists used to believe in good taste. The infamous David Hume wrote in his Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals “In many orders of beauty, particularly those of the finer arts, it is requisite to employ much reasoning in order to feel the proper sentiment; and a false relish may frequently be corrected by… Continue Reading

Church Visibility or Church Publicity?

Church Visibility or Church Publicity?

Church leaders find themselves today harangued and prodded to build an “online presence”. This usually means a busy Facebook page, a Youtube channel, a Twitter account, a static website, live-streamed services and more. Without these, we’re told, a church is mostly “invisible” to the world, and is “failing to reach its community”. It is even… Continue Reading

Royal Presents

Royal Presents

The off’rings of the Eastern kings of old Unto our lord were incense, myrrh and gold; Incense because a God; gold as a king; And myrrh as to a dying man they bring. Instead of incense (Blessed Lord) if we Can send a sigh or fervent prayer to thee, Instead of myrrh if we can… Continue Reading

The Magi

The Magi

Sometimes I wish that Balthasar Had not been gazing when that star Appeared, so many years ago. We were younger then and bold, though Not so rash as to dash our lives For sudden changes in the skies. But nightly we watched their motions. Their dance soon cast out all notions Of conjunctions we expected.… Continue Reading

A New Children’s Book: The Mirror Who Wanted To Be Someone

A New Children’s Book: The Mirror Who Wanted To Be Someone

I’m pleased to announce the release of a children’s book, The Mirror Who Wanted To Be Someone. Lovingly illustrated by Diane Shearer with hand-drawn illustrations, this is a fairy tale of the Christian story of creation, fall, redemption and restoration. A happy Mirror becomes confused when a Dragon tempts him to stop reflecting others, and… Continue Reading

Christian at the Movies (3) – Magic and Fantasy

Christian at the Movies (3) – Magic and Fantasy

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Christian at the Movies You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Many Christians are alarmed at books or movies that involve magic or fantasy. They feel that the one is dabbling in the occult, and the other is immersing oneself in what is unreal and possibly even false. They wonder that any Christians could read or watch something containing magic, wizards or any reference to the… Continue Reading

Christian at the Movies (2)

Christian at the Movies (2)

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Christian at the Movies You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The laziest form of “discernment” about movies or television looks for the easy targets of occultism, sex, nudity, bad language and gratuitous violence. Certainly, Christians are right to avoid these things. But as we have seen in our last post, discernment is not as simple as using VidAngel or Clearplay to eliminate the objectionable. Nor… Continue Reading

Christian at the Movies (1)

Christian at the Movies (1)

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Christian at the Movies You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I was about ten when the first Rock ‘n Roll evangelists came to town. They weren’t proselytizing on behalf of Iron Maiden. They were there to tell us about the rampant satanism and occultism in contemporary rock and pop. To rapt audiences, they played snippets of songs backwards: “[ssshkp]…[ssshkp]…[ssshkp]…meeshnar eep… [ssshkp]… eeg zatan… [ssshkp]…’There! Hear… Continue Reading

Preference and Amorality

Preference and Amorality

This entry is part 52 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Adiaphora (indifferent matters) are misunderstood on two grounds. First, evangelicals misunderstand the term indifferent to mean unimportant. Second, evangelicals conflate the moral neutrality of adiaphora themselves into morally neutral actions once they are used. First of all, “indifferent” things has nothing to do with feeling indifferent about a matter. Adiaphora does not mean “matters of… Continue Reading

Preferences and Adiaphora

Preferences and Adiaphora

This entry is part 51 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

God reveals His will in Scripture in three ways. The first is by explicit command or prohibition. God simply mandates certain behaviours and forbids others. The second is by principles. Principles give truths, usually in timeless, axiomatic, or generalised form, which must then be properly connected to the specific circumstances that a believer is in.… Continue Reading

The Protection of Preference

The Protection of Preference

This entry is part 50 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Scripture loves unity among the saints, but does not mandate uniformity. Somewhere Tozer points out that a hundred pianos all tuned with the same tuning fork will all be in harmony with one another. So believers, when conformed to Christ and submitted to the same sound doctrine, will find their Spirit-given unity (Eph. 4:3). But… Continue Reading

Ten Mangled Words:”Taste”

Ten Mangled Words:”Taste”

This entry is part 49 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

De gustibus non est disputandum, said the ancient Romans. There is no disputing over taste, meaning that in matters of personal taste and preference, there can be no profitable dispute, and therefore there ought to be none. There’s much truth to that. If you’re a fan of murder mysteries, and have no time for fantasy,… Continue Reading

Votes From the Democracy of the Dead

Votes From the Democracy of the Dead

This entry is part 48 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The idea of ordinate affection is not welcome today. Narcissism has become a celebrated virtue, and is now even given the monikers transparent, authentic, and real. The two ditches of sentimentalism and brutality now take up most of the road and a slender middle path of appropriate love is known by few and trod by fewer.… Continue Reading

Affect or Effect

Affect or Effect

This entry is part 47 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The difference between affections and emotions is seen in what art is used in worship. Since worship uses art, worship leaders can use it in precisely one of these two ways: to affect us, or to create effect. They can work with poetry, music and the spoken word to work with the imagination. There the… Continue Reading

Everything is Uh-Sim

Everything is Uh-Sim

This entry is part 46 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“How’re you guys doin’ today?” “Fine, thanks.” “Uh-sim. Will you be using a rewards card today?” “Uh, no.” “Uh-sim. Cash back?” “No, not today.” Swipes card, takes receipt.  “No prob. You guys have an uh-sim day!” *** I’m probably not being fair to the cashiers at Target, but that was certainly how their pronunciation of… Continue Reading