All posts by theronanmccabe

“IP address tracking” for Lutheran landlubbers

Ronan McCabe here. That’s the Ronan McCabe to you. I’m your guide for today’s fun activity. All you’ll need is your computer, tablet, or smartphone, with internet access—I know you’ve already got the equipment, or else you wouldn’t be reading this.

Let’s begin.

  1. Visit this website:

  2. Type in “”

  3. Hit “enter”

Wuzzit sey? San Francisco, California, baby.

No, it’s not because we started using a VPN—we didn’t, and we don’t need to. It’s because this is a WordPress blog and WordPress’s servers are in or around Silcon Valley.

Perhaps you’d like to graduate to Mid-Level Pet Detective and track the IP address from one of our specific posts. You wouldn’t have access to this information ordinarily, but I’ll let you peak at a screencap:

Go to the IP geo-location lookup tool on the same site, type in, and…

Marina Del Rey, CA. Without doxxing anyone, I can assure you that no one from our masthead lives there. But WordPress’s servers do.

So, a few days ago, we get this message from one Chris Rosebrah in our inbox (apparently we solicited feedback the other day), and it’s got this screencap of an IP address out of Cheyenne, Wyoming, at the top, with “The Cellar Door” typed out above it. And then, in this gay script-font, like what a kid would use for his ransom note if he didn’t want to go to the trouble of cutting letters out of a magazine, there’s this invitation…to “parley”! Get it? Parley, like, what pirates do. Then there’s this stream of ball-clicking gibberish about how “you think you know the things that you know but you totally don’t know them and I have documents and data to prove it”—basically, a variation on the same theme he was playing in a totally wigged-out Facebook message that he sent to us earlier:

O-K. Well, I don’t know about any “events,” but I suppose if I were a scandal-monger like you I’d be really interested right now.

Anyway, I’m sidetracking myself: I don’t know who it was who opened this thing first—the email, not the above screencapped FB message—but soon we were all reading it. Much merriment ensued, let me tell you. Here’s the working theory:

Rosebrah assumes that by monitoring the IPv4 addresses of visitors to his own website(s) and looking for patterns, he is going to “catch the culprit” in some big conspiracy that’s afoot to bring him down, a conspiracy which is presumably headquartered here at The Cellar Door. But you know what they say about assuming: it makes an ass out of Chris Rosebrah.

So the same night that we get this message, Rosebrah is on Twitter and Facebook just wetting himself, saying that he “tracked the Cellar Door’s IP address to Wyoming.” He posted this on Twitter, and we managed to gank it before it mysteriously disappeared:

This actually happened. Your favorite “discernment ministry” Pirate Cap’n and Issues, Etc. guest…

(a) puts words from a Star Wars movie in the mouth of Jesus Christ.
(b) slanders an entire town.
(c) does stuff like this, and then throws a tantrum when people don’t take him seriously.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”—unless it suits your small-man purposes. What’s a little casual blasphemy, after all? The honor of Christ is a small thing to sacrifice for the sake of ROOTING OUT THE GRAND CONSPIRACY. What an impious child-man. In the above “meme” you see Chris Rosebrah’s entire M.O. in microcosmic form: there is nothing this grifter will not submarine to exalt himself and his pathetic little brand. The Word of God, the honor of Our Lord, the honor and dignity of the pastoral office, the honor of Holy Church—all of these he will gladly deep-six in his quest to control the narrative in his little adventure story.

Needless to say, we’re not “parleying” with Rosebrah because we’re not little boys playing pirates. I’m not even interested in whatever scandals he thinks we all know about. We’re not a hivemind, you know—I didn’t post the tweet that rustled his jimmies, but I’ve read it, and it sounds plausible. But I don’t really care. I don’t mean that I don’t care about people being harassed and threatened—insofar as I can care about such things in the abstract, I’ll do my best. What I mean is that, for my part, I don’t care about Chris Rosebrah. I see him as thoroughly discredited and transparently idiotic, and I don’t have any interest in his little dramatic spats (except for this one, which was too good to pass up commenting on). Philopponus wrote about Rosebrah once, like a year ago, and he wasn’t even the main topic, Higher Things was. Recently we published a guest post about his…um…”online church,” which, as far as I could tell, contained nothing that someone with decent Google Fu wouldn’t be able to uncover in two minutes. And that’s it. I will shed not a tear if no forthcoming content on this blog features anything about Chris Rosebrah. In general, you don’t have to expose exhibitionists. They expose themselves.



1517 The Legacy Projection: whither movest it, and whence?

From the comment section over at BJS. Trent Demarest pointed me to this with the following disclaimer:

This was sent to me via email by Pr. Mark Surburg, who assumed that I was the author and indicated that others have been making the same assumption (presumably on Facebook). I’m honored(ish), but, no, I am not the author. Funny thing, I was actually trying to get a comment in on that story all day, but was having weird CAPTCHA difficulties and was unable to post. I am not the author, but I wish I were. Well, kind of. I would never say, “1517/CHF is a lot of good and a lot of bad all mixed together”— I think the whole thing is a flaming pile of […], and I have never liked Rod Rosenbladt even a little. Nothing personal— I only know him as a theologian, and he’s awful. Even when I was an antinomian, I thought he was a weird, emotive try-hard. It’s like he never stopped being a pietist. Anyway, on the whole and in general, yes to all of this. You should post it.

Alright, well…whatever.

I’ve taken the liberty of putting links in where available. Read and share. Papa bless.

NOTE: photos, captions, etc., are all the creation of The Cellar Door Syndicate™ and are all completely © and even ®, so don’t even think about stealing our OC.

What is a “Preston Sprinkle”? We just don’t know. But, wow, Popovits. What a cool guy. “How cool?” you ask. Oh, you don’t even know…

Comparisons with Issues, Etc. or Seminary Symposium, or pastors contributing to non-Lutheran blogs are more obscuring than helpful. Same with personal testimonies about how 1517 used to be. 1517 understands itself as a “movement.” The question is, where is it moving?

Once upon a time 1517 had nothing to do with Christ Hold Fast (CHF). Now it does. Is that a “movement” toward or away from Confessional Lutheranism?

The founder of CHF, “Pastor” Daniel Price, has sexually preyed upon one of Christ’s sheep. He twists the Bible to remain instated as a “pastor” of an “independent Lutheran church” (read: cult leader). He practices open communion, slanders confessional brothers, is divisive, quarrelsome, and blatantly unrepentant. If you want to know his m.o. read, “Beware of Broken Wolves” by Joe Carter. It spells out how Price uses the gospel so that Price can do what Price wants to do.

What Price wants to do is (actually) strangle Demarest. This just looks like soccer-between-the-trenches “haha irony” stuff.

Once upon a time Van Voorhis used his gifts in service to Confessional Lutheranism. For example, google his videos on “American Christianity” and “A Brief history of Lutheran Pietism.” Since becoming part of the “movement” that is 1517, how has Van Voorhis moved? There was the pro Nadia Bolz-Weber article, bizarre and questionable videos on “Christ and Culture,” the Reinke interview, the Eilers interview, and now hours of narcissism and humble-bragging about a sinful past (See “Virtue in the Wasteland” and “Monsters”).

If 1517 was interested in working together with Confessional Lutherans, how hard would it be to simply post a correction, retraction, or clarification (on the Eilers issue, for example, or any of the others)? How hard would it be for 1517 to simply say: “If you see something contrary to the Bible or the Confessions, let us know, we will take it down”?

But 1517 is a movement and it isn’t interested in what Confessional Lutheranism thinks. It’s headed in another direction, one small step at a time.

Evidence? Donavan Riley: “Clark Kent in a Manger” (Eutychianism), “God’s Not Angry At You” and “The Gospel For those angry At God” (Antinomianism). Chad Bird: “Safe Preaching and the Prophylactic Gospel” and “Gospel Phobia” (Antinomianism). Scott Keith: “Do you Really think You can Use God’s Law” (Antinomianism), “The Gospel As Dynamite …” (Anachronism, Bad Exegesis, Reductionism), “My First Lutheran Cruise” (Mocking the Lutheran church). Joel Hess: “Is God Drunk” (Blasphemy), “Want Uniformity In Worship? Go back to Prussia” (Anti-liturgical). There’s even a papist! Graham Glover: “Authority Problem” and “Protestants Need the Pope.”

Awwww! All of the boyz together, with somebody’s mom. (NB: Van Voorhis is the one rocking the contraposso and protest tats.) Man, this picture is just uncomfortable to look at.

Add all this to what you know about CHF and the tragic turn of Van Voorhis.

1517 identifies as a “movement.” Does it appear that they are moving (and want their audience to move) toward Confessional Lutheranism or away from it?

1517 has also promoted an organization called Mockingbird and its conferences (see the “friends” section of 1517’s website). If you want the abstract, simply google “episcodisco.” If you want the full scoop, check out the crass antinomianism of Paul Zahl’s book, Grace In Practice or the identical theology of his son, David Zahl. Mockingbird is also pro women’s ordination and has had, for example, “Rev.” Mrs. Fleming Rutledge as a conference speaker. Again, 1517 promotes Mockingbird and its conferences.

1517 identifies as a “movement.” Does it appear that they are moving toward Confessional Lutheranism or away from it?

1517/CHF are now promoting a conference called “Here We Still Stand” The conference name and list of speakers will tell you all you need to know. Orthodox (Montgomery, Rosenbladt, Francisco, Siemon-Netto), mixed with heterodox (non-Lutherans, David Zahl, etc.), mixed with predatory (Daniel Price), mixed with flat-out heretical (Stephen Paulson). Yes, Stephen Paulson who, in his book, “Lutheran Theology” denies the atonement (p. 91-93), denies the Third Use (p. 170-188), and even accuses our Lord Jesus Himself of personal sin (p.105) is one with whom 1517/CHF is going to “stand” on the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. Let that sink in.

1517 identifies as a “movement.” If it “stands” with the kind of teachers listed above, and implies that Lutherans have always stood with these kinds of teachers (“Here We Still Stand”), is this a “movement” toward or away from Confessional Lutheranism? Is it a “movement” toward or away from Truth?

Try not to laugh. Narrator def needs some Dulcolax.

How have orthodox teachers gotten wrapped into this? By not truly understanding the nature of the “movement” to which they are lending their names and talents. Once upon a time 1517 was not so. Now it is. The big picture and the slow drift are sometimes hard to see. Old age, old friendships, and a bit of money can make it even harder to see.

Of course, you could simply come to the same conclusion about 1517/CHF using the well-worn short-cut: lex orandi, lex credendi. If the worship is generically protestant, revivalistic, and ego driven – so too will be the theology. Check out any 1517/CHF conference.

1517/CHF is a lot of good and a lot of bad all mixed together. The bad is a move toward protestantism, nuanced with radical Lutheranism. The good is why it has its champions. Everyone interested in Confessional Lutheranism needs to understand that 1517/CHF is a “movement,” and they need to understand where that “movement” is headed.

And if this is, indeed, a “movement” that Higher Things wants to join, then, “Higher Things – Quo Vadis?”

The Price is Wrong

“Experience had taught me that innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks.
Guilt does. Innocence is a mighty shield, and the man or woman covered by it, is
much more likely to answer calmly: ‘My life is blameless. Look into it, if you
like, for you will find nothing.’”
– Whittaker Chambers, Witness

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
– Queen Gertrude (Shakespeare’s Hamlet)

“Generalizations, like brooms, are supposed to sweep.”
– John Lukacs, The Last European War

Very unsurprising that the regnant faux-Lutheran perv-pastor of northwest Arkansas has taken umbrage at Pastor Todd Wilken’s recent denunciation of “Radical Lutheranism,” made in the context of his keynote talk at the 2017 Redeemer Ft. Wayne Free Conference (videos here).

Hat-tip to Philopponus for these absurd and hilarious screenshots. These comments absolutely define logomachy.






Best comment, although I don’t know if the guy who made it knew how truly apropos of Price it was:

Perhaps I should have heeded the Proverb: “Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.”

I mean, woof. By their fruits and creepy tank-tops shall ye know them. Maybe it’s just me, but if I were a preacher-man cult-leader type who was trying to convince people that I hadn’t in fact cheated on my wife and banged one of my female disciples, I’d probably try to look a little more presentable/less chi-mo-ish. But, oh wait— I forgot that the “broken” grunge-potato look is part of this group’s bag. Cue 3EB, “Misfits,” which I’m sure they all headbang to during “worship” when they’re not raving to gospel-tarded EDM. These people are such idiots.

Over the last year I have gotten to know several ex-fans of this passing dog’s crapulous output. Listen to any one of Price’s signally “sermons,” and you’ll find a consistent subtext: “Why it’s OK that I’m still a pastor.” Which is good, in a way, I guess, as it indicates that he still has nagging doubts. For the sake of his soul, he should entertain those doubts and let them sink in a bit more. A “preacher-man” he might be, but a pastor he is not: as many a scarred Scottish sheep could tell you, the mere fact that a man has gathered a flock around him by no means makes him a shepherd.