steve’s college football thoughts for week 9

the news

  • In this video, Bill Murray will body slam Lee Corso on the set of College Gameday. Wait, what? [watches video again] In this video. Bill Murray. Will body slam. Lee Corso. On the set. Of College Gameday.
  • Florida State annihilated Clemson last week, thus rendering the ACC a joke once again.
  • The BCS (the ‘C’ is silent) standings are out, and not without some controversy. Alabama, of course is 1 as Satan continues to hold up his end of the bargain with Nick Saban. However, Oregon, which has been ranked 2 in both human polls for most of the season, has been leapfrogged by Florida State, who didn’t even make an appearance in my true big ten until last week. Ohio State remains fourth, and will need some help if they want to lose to Alabama in the BCS (the ‘C’ is silent) Championship Game.
  • Les Miles, our only hope at defeating Alabama, lost to Ole Miss last week. South Carolina lost to Tennessee. Georgia lost to Vanderbilt. Florida continues its decline to complete irrelevancy and lost to Mizzou. And Texas A & M lost to Auburn at home. What is going on in the SEC?
  • Michigan’s offense broke numerous school and Big Ten records last week, but it happened against Indiana, so it doesn’t count.
  • You should go watch that video of Bill Murray body slamming Lee Corso again, just to make sure it actually happened.

steve’s true big ten

  1. Alabama.
  2. Oregon. (unlike the BCS (the ‘C’ is silent), no computers have any input on this ranking.
  3. Florida State. The computers may like you, but I still think Oregon would beat you.
  4. Ohio State. Their marquee win, Northwestern, lost to Minnesota at home last week. Which, I guess makes their new marquee win Wisconsin. All this to say: you are not moving up this ranking without some help. However, your band is awesome.
  5. Missouri. Wait, what? Mizzou? Really? Really.
  6. Miami. BCS (the ‘C’ is…OK, you get it by now) has Stanford over Miami, but Miami hasn’t lost and Stanford lost to Utah. So Miami gets the nod here.
  7. Baylor. Great story here about Art Briles and the construction of Baylor’s offense.
  8. Stanford.
  9. Trinity International University. After losing 47-14 to Grand View last week, TIU is in danger of being dropped out of the true big ten altogether.
  10. Clemson. I believed in you. I believed in you.

this week’s proof that college football uniforms CAN get dumber

Two weeks ago, I discussed the “Pinktober” scam and how it was ruining college football, aesthetically. Boy, last week, did Oregon make it so much worse. So much worse.

where we go from here

Alabama and Florida State have the inside track to the BCS Championship game. The ‘Noles shouldn’t get too comfortable, because Oregon’s SOS will be improving in the coming weeks with games against UCLA and Stanford. If Oregon wins those games, they should jump over FSU to #2.

The ‘Noles only really have Miami to help boost their SOS as Florida continues to slip. They are probably going to need some help to keep their #2 ranking.

Ohio State is not going to get any help from their schedule. At this point, they really need Michigan to keep winning, because that will be their only shot at getting a quality win before the end of the year.

the picks

Texas Tech @ Oklahoma. I think homefield wi

South Carolina @ Missouri. Both schools playing without their starting QBs. I have no idea what to make of this one. Gamecocks 19, Tigers 17.

Notre Dame @ Air Force. ND 20, AF 13. Irish ‘D’ starting to get into high gear.

Penn State @ Ohio State. This could be close. Buckeyes 34 Nittany Lions 30.


interesting stuff about teens and social media

Piper Jaffray recently posted its semi-annual study of teen market research. Amidst all the stuff that I am completely incapable of understanding, is an interesting survey on the preferred social media sites of teenagers.

As you can see from this chart, the number of teens who consider Facebook their most important social media site has dropped from 42% a year ago to 23% today. Twitter is now the most important social media site to the most teenagers, with 30% of teens choosing it in the Spring, but down to 26% this Fall. Instagram has jumped from 12% to 23%. Google + was, predictably, dead on arrival, and Tumblr takes about 4%, which is a little surprising to me.

But only that is surprising (to me, at least)*. With more and more of their parents and grandparents on, Facebook has lost its cool factor as an online teen hangout. Teens want to share their thoughts and pictures with their friends, not their parents or grandparents or friends’ parents. With all these adults whining about politics or sharing pictures of their babies or sharing memes that they don’t really understand, teens have migrated from Facebook to other social media sites.

From my subjective experience as a youth pastor, I can attest to this. Fewer and fewer of my students respond to our youth group Facebook page and it is no longer a reliable way for me to get information to them. Most of my students have an Instagram account and more and more of them are on Twitter. (Which, honestly, has ruined Twitter. I’m on Twitter to get news, sports news, and to make witty comments about things I see on TV or about life in general. Oh, and the latest theological controversy. Those are fun. I am NOT on Twitter to see teens constantly subtweeting each other and re-tweeting @CommonWhiteGrl into my Twitter feed.)

Also, Facebook is increasingly terrible. I have no idea how my News Feed works anymore and all the changes they have made have on the whole made the product worse. Their advertising integration has become increasingly annoying and is not nearly as smooth as Twitter’s.

So, the rise in popularity of Twitter or Instagram does not surprise me. What is most fascinating to me is the growth of “Other.” It went from 2% a year ago to 17% today. What I want to know is what is “Other?” Is it Vine? Is it Snapchat? How does that 17% break out?

My guess is teen’s are frequently more drawn to social media that isn’t really for public consumption, but more just between a select group of friends. With more and more of them using smart phones, apps like Snapchat and text messaging are a convenient way for students to connect without fear that their mom or dad are going to see what they are doing.

So kids, what would you consider your most important social media site or app? How often do you use it?

*edited from earlier to fix some truly terrible writing.

steve’s college football thoughts for week 8

the news

  • Hold the phone. A top-5 matchup of ACC teams? When did basketball season start?
  • Clemson vs Florida State in the primetime this Saturday just confirms that the ACC–yes, that ACC–is a better football conference than the Big Ten. 
  • But don’t worry, Big Ten fans. You are poaching Maryland from the ACC next year. That’ll fix everything. Right?
  • [The sounds of snickering SEC fans saying that Clemson and Florida State wouldn’t finish in the top five of either SEC division]
  • Last week was the first Silly Saturday of the season, and it saw Stanford, Georgia, and Oklahoma fall from the ranks of the unbeaten to far inferior opponents. I suspect we may see one or two more this season. 
  • Ohio State’s best win, Northwestern, was pummeled in Mad-town by a mediocre Wisconsin team. At this rate, the Buckeyes will go undefeated and not even come close to sniffing the BCS championship game. Congratulations, Buckeye fans, you are Boise State. 

steve’s true big ten

  1. Alabama. Again.
  2. Oregon. Nice win over Washington a week ago.
  3. Clemson. Another team that could win out and still not make it to the BCS championship game. This would be a good year for the playoff to start.
  4. Florida State. I think they are better than Ohio State. Because of that, they are ranked ahead of them.
  5. Ohio State. Will be back in Top 4 next week. Don’t worry, Buckeye fans!
  6. Louisville. I struggle with this team, because while they are beating mediocre AAC teams, they are barely beating mediocre AAC teams. 
  7. LSU. Our only hope for derailing Alabama is Les Miles. Help me, Mad Hatter, you’re my only hope!
  8. Trinity International University. Have to drop the Trojans back a spot after losing to St. Ambrose, who I am sure used nefarious means in order to win. 
  9. UCLA. Tough road game in Palo Alto this weekend. 
  10. Baylor. Good, solid road win in the Little Apple last weekend. 

this week’s proof that college football uniforms CAN get dumber

Georgia Tech. Yuck. I get you are the Yellow Jackets, but really, honeycomb on the uniform? Come on. If you want to have the world’s ugliest football uniforms, you’re at Georgia Tech! You can do that!

this weeks’ proof that college football uniforms can get AWESOMER!

Wisconsin’s red helmets. Those are magnificent.

where we go from here

Here’s how I see the season shaping up:

  • SEC: Alabama will win the west. Hard to tell with the east, but I think South Carolina sneaks back into the picture and takes it.
  • ACC: spoiler alert for this week’s picks, but Clemson will take whatever division they are in, and Miami will take the other. 
  • Pac-12: I don’t think anyone is beating Oregon in Pac-12 play. I think UCLA takes the South.
  • Big 12: Baylor. They’ll have a tough November but this conference is a joke.
  • Big Ten: Ohio State will win the Leaders Division. Or is it the Legends? Leaders. Which means that the pile of flaming dung that is the Legends Division will feature whoever wins Nebraska-Michigan. 
  • I think Oregon and Alabama will play for the BCS championship, and I think an undefeated Clemson team will get robbed. An undefeated Ohio State team will get exactly what it deserves.

the picks

UCLA @ Stanford. The Cardinal had a rough week last week, losing in Salt Lake City to Utah. UCLA barely beat Utah. I don’t even know what to think of this one. I think UCLA will pull off the slight upset, but don’t know why. UCLA 24, Stanford 20.

Florida @ Missouri. Mizzou’s QB is out. Florida’s offense is terrible. Mizzou 27, Florida 17. 

USC @ Notre Dame. This game suffers the indignity of being overshadowed by an ACC game on at the same time. Remember when this game mattered? Like last November? ND 27, USC 24. 

Iowa @ Ohio State. What I like to call the “Brent Musberger Game.” Nobody pronounces the words “Hawkeye” or “Buckeye” better than Musberger. If only this was a good enough game for him to call. Ohio State 34, Iowa 10. 

Auburn @ Texas A & M. Something something Johnny Football something something. Aggies 48, Auburn 27.

smooth jimmy apollo’s lock of the week.

Florida State @ Clemson. I really like this Clemson team, and I think the QB experience advantage tips this one in their favor. Clemson 40, FSU 31. 

steve’s college football thoughts for week 7

the news

Jim Delaney can sleep well, knowing that his conference’s best chance at the BCS championship, Ohio State, squeaked out a narrow victory over the Northwestern Wildcats. This victory was not without controversy, however.

Northwestern went for it on 4th-and-inches inside Ohio State territory late in the 4th while trailing by 4. Kain Colter fumbled the snap and was ruled to have not gained enough for a first time. They reviewed the spot, and it appeared on one angle that Colter had gained enough for the first down, but the spot was confirmed. Ohio State ball, and the rest is history.

Since I am writing on college football to keep my friend Jonathan informed while he serves in Afghanistan, and Jonathan is an avid Ohio State fan, I will try to temper my opinion on this matter. OHIO STATE IS LUCKY TO STILL BE UNDEFEATED, THE OFFICIATING OF THIS GAME WAS AN ABSOLUTE TRAVESTY, AND NORTHWESTERN WAS ROBBED. 

The Big Ten needs Ohio State to keep winning to keep it from being even more of a joke than it is now. They are the only nationally-relevant team it has amongst its members. Michigan is still down after RichRod ruined the program. Penn State is down and will be down for a long time (and, in this writer’s opinion, deservedly so). Nebraska will never be what it used to be and has done little to lift the prestige of the conference. Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa and Northwestern are nice programs but will never matter nationally. Ohio State is it for the Big Ten, and if they keep winning unconvincingly and with some help from the officials, conspiracy theories will continue to fly. 

the other news

Penn State lost to Indiana for the first time ever last Saturday. If you need a way to see if your program has reached rock bottom, that’s all you really need.

Baylor continues to score at alarming rates. To wit:

  • They are AVERAGING 70.5 points per game. That’s a good MONTH for Notre Dame.
  • They are AVERAGING 779.5 yards per game. AVERAGING. 
  • QB Bryce Petty’s AVERAGE touchdown pass is 52.1 yards. He has completed 67 passes. 50 of them have gone for a first down. 
  • Baylor has scored in 2 minutes or less 29 times. 
  • While I was writing this up, they have scored twice. 

USC alums are even smugger (more smug?) than before after forcing the ouster of Lane Kiffin and then seeing Ed Orgeron’s team beat Arizona 38-31 last night. 

Georgia keeps on winning, and they barely beat a game Tennessee team last Saturday in Knoxville. They also keep on getting injured, and this will be something to think about going forward. 

There’s something going on with Jadevon Clowney. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t care. If you want to know, just turn on ESPN, it’s all they are talking about this week.

nfl teams alabama could beat

  • Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) They have a point differential of -112. They play Denver this Sunday, who has a point differential of +91. This could be ugly.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4) Last week: Steelers 17, BYE WEEK 15. They squeaked that one out!
  • New York Football Giants (0-6) They made Jay Cutler look like Johnny Unitas last night. Imagine what A.J. McCarron could do against them.

steve’s true big ten

  1. Alabama.
  2. Oregon. Big game Saturday against Washington. Could be the first time they are tested all year.
  3. Clemson. Coasting until the 19th when they play Florida State.
  4. Stanford. 
  5. Ohio State. Yes that’s right. Down a spot from last week. I’m nothing if not petty.
  6. Trinity International University. The 4-1 Trojans beat those dirty Nazarenes from Olivet last Saturday at Homecoming. 
  7. Georgia. 
  8. Louisville.
  9. LSU.
  10. Baylor’s Offense.

this week’s proof that college football uniforms CAN get dumber

The pink thing in October really bugs me, mostly because it’s a huge scam. But, also, aesthetics. I don’t want to be watching classic highlights of great moments in football history 25 years from now and wondering why on earth everyone is wearing pink cleats. Now, wearing a pink towel or cleats is one thing; making an element of your uniform pink is crossing the line entirely. 

I give you: Indiana

the picks

Missouri at Georgia. Georgia’s schedule is insane. Missouri will be exposed as a fraud. Georgia 37, Mizzou 20.

Oklahoma vs. Texas. Fortunately for him, this will be the last time Mack Brown loses to Oklahoma. So, he’s got that going for him. Sooners 38, Longhorns 17.

Northwestern at Wisconsin. Going to be a tough assignment for the Wildcats to travel to Madison after an emotional loss last week against OSU. I think they are up for it. Wildcats 38, Badgers 34. 

Florida at LSU. Tigers are just better. LSU 41 Florida 17.

Michigan at Penn State. Well, if you can’t beat Indiana…Michigan 35 Penn State 27.

smooth jimmy apollo’s lock of the week.

Oregon @ Washington. This could be a tough one for the Ducks, but I think they get it done. Ducks 37, Huskies 24. 

record: 10-2 (both losses were from Notre Dame games. Thank goodness they don’t play this week.)



steve’s college football thoughts, week 6

the news

  • Lane Kiffin was fired. Lane Kiffin was fired. Lane Kiffin was fired. Sorry, it’s just so much fun to type. Lane Kiffin was fired. OK, just one more. Lane Kiffin was fired.
  • USC is in shambles. Which is even more fun to type, but I’ll show some restraint.
  • Pat Haden should have fired Kiffin after last season. No, he should never have hired him. He always sounded so smart on Notre Dame television. 
  • My guess is USC suffered more from scholarship losses than Kiffin’s coaching. Had Kiffin had more scholarship players, they may have won a game or two more. Haden fired Kiffin because he couldn’t fire Pete Carroll. 
  • UCONN also fired its horrible coach, whose chief accomplishment was making them so bad that the ACC wouldn’t touch them and they had to stay in the American Athletic Conference. 
  • College GameDay is heading to Evanston for the first time since I was 12. Northwestern has become a fairly decent program in recent year, but a win over the Buckeyes in front of Musberger, Herbstreit and the entire country could be huge. 

nfl teams alabama could beat

  • Jacksonville (0-4). My guess is they are intentionally playing so horribly in order to distract everyone from their horrible, horrible helmets.
  • Tampa Bay (0-4). Greg Schiano will be available for the UCONN job in a couple of weeks.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4). When Big Ben’s advisors gathered this summer to ask “How can we make Ben more sympathetic to the public?” starting 0-4 and having an offensive line so terrible that Ben would literally have to run for his life every other play was number 3 on their brainstorming list.
  • New York Giants. How on earth are they the worst team in New York? How?

other college football people who should lose their jobs

Lane Kiffin and Paul Pasqualoni lost their jobs this week. Here’s who else should lose their job:

  • Tommie Rees, starting QB, Notre Dame. He is making Domers long for the good ol’ days of Ron Powlus. 
  • Mark May. Do I need to explain why? He is the worst.
  • Most Pac-12 officials. 

steve’s true big ten

  1. Alabama. Yawn. 
  2. Oregon. 
  3. Clemson.
  4. Ohio State. A win on the road against Northwestern may end up being their best win of the year. This is a huge game for them.
  5. Stanford. Their beatdown of Oregon State was merciless.
  6. Georgia. Easily the best 1-loss team, they are on the fast track for a showdown with Alabama in the SEC championship game.
  7. Louisville.
  8. Trinity International. The Trojans lost to local powerhouse Robert Morris last Saturday, mostly due to cheating. Still, a loss is a loss, and I have to drop Trinity down a rank.
  9. LSU. No shame in losing to Georgia between the hedges. Still the best chance of anyone to beat Bama.
  10. UCLA. 

this week’s proof that college football uniforms CAN get dumber

Arizona State. I guess if you get Lane Kiffin fired, you can wear whatever you want.

the picks

Air Force @ Navy. This game was in doubt because of the government shutdown, but it turns out college football is more important than welfare checks or allowing veterans to visit war memorials, so the game goes on! (Nobody is more bummed about this than Notre Dame, who was looking forward to not losing the weeks they were scheduled to play these teams.) Navy 27, Air Force 24

Maryland @ Florida State. Did you know Maryland is ranked? Not for much longer. ‘Noles 48, Terrapins 24. 

Georgia State @ Alabama. The Tide will be starting a freshman cheerleader at QB this week. They will still win. Bama 62, GSU 0.

Notre Dame vs Arizona State. Tommie Rees is, in fact, terrible. ASU 31, ND 17. 

Washington @ Stanford. The Cardinal will continue to roll, but it won’t be easy. Stanford 34, Washington 27.

smooth jimmy apollo’s lock of the week

Ohio State @ Northwestern. NW has come a long way, but not quite ready for primetime yet. Buckeyes 38, Wildcats 27. 

record: 5-1. (Note: not picking against the spread, because I am not a degenerate gambler.)

steve’s college football thoughts week 5

I have been tasked to help my friend Jonathan, who is currently deployed to Afghanistan, keep up with the goings-on in college football. Without further ado, here is my take on the world of college football.

the news

  • Nick Saban has cancelled Alabama’s upcoming home-and-home series with Michigan State, presumably because he fears scheduling a Big Ten team will hurt his team’s strength of schedule. 
  • Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney suggests that instead of paying college athletes, they be allowed to go pro straight out of high school. Because if the Big Ten can’t recruit against the SEC, then perhaps the NFL can. 
  • Jonathan would be pleased to know that Michigan almost lost to Akron (Akron!) and UCONN (UCONN!), embarrassing itself, the Big Ten, the state of Michigan, and the entire Midwest in the process.
  • The NCAA is giving Penn State some of its scholarships back, because NCAA.

nfl teams alabama could beat

  • Jacksonville (0-3). In all fairness, Alabama’s players are probably getting paid more than the Jaguars’. 
  • Tampa Bay (0-3). If a Mike Glennon QB’d college team stood no chance against the Mighty Sabans, then neither does a Mike Glennon QB’d NFL team.
  • Buffalo (1-2). Ditto EJ Manuel. 
  • Oakland (1-2). Yikes. 

steve’s true big ten 

  1. Alabama. Highly skilled, highly ranked, highly paid (probably). 
  2. Oregon. Nike’s lab experiment continues, unabated. 
  3. Clemson. They might have the best win (Georgia) of anyone this year so far.
  4. Ohio State. Now that they can’t play Pop Warner teams anymore, we will see what they are truly made of. Beat Wisky and Northwestern in back-to-back weeks, and they could be moving up.
  5. Louisville. Teddy Bridgewater is legit. That is all.
  6. LSU. Big game against Georgia this Saturday between the hedges. (I just really wanted to type “between the hedges”)
  7. Trinity International University. After a thrilling 41-39 upset of St. Francis last week, the Trojans climb the rankings and prepare to beat down Robert Morris University-Illinois Saturday night.
  8. Stanford. Good win against Arizona State last week, but I’m fairly confident whatever ASU students did to console themselves after the game was way more fun then the victory parties in Palo Alto. 
  9. Georgia. No shame in losing to Clemson in Death Valley. Beat LSU Saturday and they should jump a few spots. Between the hedges.
  10. UCLA. I know it was just Nebraska, but if you go on the road in September and take a top-25 team to the woodshed, you deserve to be in the true big ten. Even if you play in the Pac-12. 

this week’s proof college football uniforms CAN get dumber

Virginia Tech. Woof. If you are going to base your helmets on an architectural feature of your campus, you should have the good sense to have a giant golden dome on top of your administration building. 

the picks

LSU @ Georgia. LSU hasn’t played anybody, while this is Georgia’s third (third!) game against a team in the top ten. Georgia wins 33-21 because between the hedges.

Oklahoma @ Notre Dame. Oklahoma’s quarterback Blake Bell is 6’6”, 252 lbs, or approximately 5 “Rudys”. But Rudy don’t play no more. Notre Dame 19, Oklahoma 16. 

Ole Miss @ Alabama. This might be a good game. For about 3 minutes. Alabama 33, Ole Miss 6. Yawn.

Arizona @ Washington. Washington 37, Arizona 30. Because watching RichRod lose is highly enjoyable.

Florida State @ Boston College. This is the best game in the ACC this week. WHY DO WE EVEN LET YOU BE A CONFERENCE?!?! FSU 47, BC 17. 

smooth jimmy apollo’s lock of the week

Wisconsin at Ohio State. Columbus at night is a tough place to win for a road team. I think the Buckeyes are pumped for the first chance to play real competition this week and prove they belong in the national elite. Ohio State 45, Wisconsin 31. 




Between the hedges.


the pc(usa) bans “In Christ Alone”; why the neo-reformed should, too

Some of the neo-reformed (by which, I mean, younger, Baptistic Calvinists influenced by John Piper and Al Mohler), are in an uproar (and really, when aren’t they?) over the decision made by Presbyterian Church (USA) to not include the contemporary hymn “In Christ Alone” in their new hymnal.

It seems that the Committee in Charge of Selecting the Songs We Put in the New Hymnal (this may or may not be its actual name) objected to a line in the third stanza of the song that reads (sings?): “til on the cross as Jesus died/the wrath of God was satisfied.” They asked the authors of the song, Keith Getty and Stuart Townend if they could have permission to revise the lyric to read (again, sing?), “til on the cross as Jesus died/the love of God was magnified.” This revision is a statement of truth, but the songwriters objected and thus the Committee to Pick the Songs that we Sing out of the Hymnal at Church on Sundays (may or may not be its real name) voted to not include the song in its new hymnal. (Personally, I’m pleasantly surprised it wasn’t the title the committee objected to.)

This, of course, riled up the conservative Calvinists who immediately claimed that the PC (USA)’s rejection of this song was a rejection of the God of the Bible. They rushed to applaud Getty and Townend (a songwriting duo that they hope will finally rid Christendom of the Wesleys and their Arminian nonsense) for standing up for biblical truth and not caving into the “left wing, limp wristed, sissy theology that saturates mainstream ‘Christianity’ these days.” (An actual comment left on Denny Burk’s blog).

First of all, I kinda dig “In Christ Alone.” I do have my own problems with the lyric in question, but the rest of it is OK with me.

Second-of-ly, the PC (USA) can put whatever hymns it wants to put in its hymnal. Getty and Townend can refuse to allow people to modify their song if they want, too.

Thirdly, if the PC (USA) has a problem with this lyric and they can’t modify it, they shouldn’t put it in their hymnal. But it’s not just them who should have a problem with the song; the neo-reformed should, too.

They should for a couple of reasons. First, a line in the second stanza goes like this, “There in the ground His body lay/ Light of the World by darkness slain.” Now, I have no issue with this line, but Calvinists should. They should be INFURIATED by the word “by.”

You see, a good Calvinist believes that, while human agents were involved, Jesus was ultimately killed by God. God decreed from eternity past that he would kill his Son on the cross for the sins of humanity. So, if Jesus was killed by God, he certainly wasn’t killed by “darkness.” Darkness didn’t kill Jesus, according to Calvinism, God did. God is not darkness, therefore, this line is incorrect and Calvinists should be in an uproar over THIS.

The second problem should be with the lyric the PC had a problem with, “the wrath of God was satisfied.” I did an exhaustive study of the phrase “the wrath of God” in the Bible with the use of several concordances, commentaries, and the original Greek and Hebrew (OK fine, I did a five-minute search on biblegateway) and discovered something fascinating…

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (Romans 1:18-19)

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. (Colossians 3:5-6)

who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone 16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last. (1 Thessalonians 2:15-17)

6 Out of the templecame the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests. 7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed. (Revelation 15:6-8)

If, as Getty and Townend write, that the wrath of God was satisfied on the cross as Jesus died, then what’s all this then? All of this was written after Jesus died, yet these passages still talk about the coming of God’s wrath!

There is a great episode of The Simpsons in which Homer and Marge go to the Frying Dutchman for all-you-can-eat seafood. At some point, the owner throws Homer out of the restaurant for eating too much, and Homer sues him for fraudulent advertising. At the trial, Lionel Hutz asks Marge what Homer did after he was thrown out of the restaurant. Marge confesses that they drove around until 3 a.m. looking for another all-you-could-eat seafood buffet and when they couldn’t, they went fishing. Hutz then asks “do these sound like the actions of a man who has had all he could eat?”

I read these passages in light of the claim that God’s wrath was satisfied on the cross and ask, “do these sound like the actions of a God who has wrathed all he could wrath?”

In my reading, the wrath of God is always connected to sin. Since there is still sin on this side of Calvary, God still stands in righteous judgment against it. If God’s wrath has, indeed, been satisfied (a belief that would require one to ignore all of the Scripture I just quoted), then one must assume that he is no longer wrathful. If God is no longer wrathful, then sin must no longer be a problem. And, if sin is no longer a problem, then there is no need for–wait for it–hell.


What’s the point of hell if God’s wrath is satisfied? These same conservative Calvinists are so adamant in the view of Eternal Conscious Torment in hell that they will write books, and books, and more books against you if you even question this view, are singing a song in which they confess that God’s wrath is satisfied, implying no need for eternal punishment in hell from a wrathful God. In fact, honest Calvinists will confess that God created people for the specific purposes of exercising his divine attribute of wrath and tormenting them eternally in hell. So how could his wrath be satisfied on the cross? IF God’s wrath was satisfied on the cross, then why is he sending people to suffer in hell and how could his wrath be an attribute of his divine self?

Why are they supporting a song that undermines the need for hell? Didn’t they torch Rob Bell for doing just that? Why isn’t John Piper tweeting “Farewell, Keith Getty?”

To be clear, I do affirm that God has wrath and it burns against sin, In light of the whole counsel of the word of God, I do not believe that it was completely satisfied on the cross of Christ and I do not believe that this was the primary reason for his death.

I believe it is possible to affirm God’s wrath and NOT affirm the line in this song.

Finally, I believe that if you don’t affirm that the crucifixion is primarily an act of God’s love (John 3:16, Romans 5:8), then you are doing it wrong.

The line the Committee to Tinker with Other People’s Songs for Approved Use in Our New Hymnal (may or may not be its real name) wanted to use, “the love of God was magnified”, is, I think, superior to the original. The neo-reformed impulse to elevate their view of God’s wrath and hell and penal substitution to a marker of fidelity to true biblical Christianity is causing them to defend a song that may not even reflect fully what they confess to be true.