11 January 2007

Maybe I should just set up a permanent office in the Tampa airport...

by Phil Johnson

or the third time in as many months, I find myself blogging next to the Starbucks kiosk in Terminal E at Tampa International Airport, waiting for my flight home to depart.

Delta Airlines run a nonstop flight between Tampa and Los Angeles, and for my money, it's the best flight from one side of the continent to the other. Four hours plus change, and you are there. Today, we've been unaccountably bumped to first class. We'll be in Los Angeles in time to have lunch at home.

This has been an impossibly busy week for me. Monday before sunup, I was at Grace Church, in the basement of the seminary building, to teach in a conference on expository preaching in Pune, India, via live video hookup. Darlene and I flew from there to Tampa. Tuesday and Wednesday I had a couple of board meetings (for two different organizations), one on Tuesday through a teleconference with a dozen men scattered around the country, and then another all-day meeting yesterday in Bradenton. Tomorrow at this very hour, Lord willing, I'll be teaching another session for the conference in India. I would prefer to be there in person, of course, but the wonders of modern technology are amazing. (On my first trip to India in 1984, I remember having to wait a full eight hours just to get an international telephone line so that I could phone home on a very staticky connection. Things have certainly changed since then.)

Anyway, I've been watching with some degree of amazement the controversy over the Francis Chan video here this week. Actually, I have only been able to scan posts and comments. But I plan to read through them all carefully today, and then weigh in on the matter tomorrow. This post is merely a placeholder, and a brief word of explanation to those who wonder where I have been and why I have been so uncharacteristically silent.

But for those who may be planning to unload another volley today, let me take this opportunity to plead for a little more light and a lot less heat. That's all I'm going to say today. Tomorrow, if the Lord permits, I'll have lots more to say. See you then.

Phil's signature

33 comments:

Steven, said...

ohlp! there you are Phil.

Look forward to it.

Carla said...

I hope you and Darlene have a safe and pleasant flight home. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the content of the video Pastor Chan has produced.

4given said...

I had no idea any of this was going on until yesterday. Been overwhelmingly busy around my home as of late. But I have tried my best to watch the video several times and read all the posts and comments. I have no desire to chime my opinion in on this one and I want to encourage people to pray for a teachable heart as they read. Yes, lets all be teachable but not tossable. But please stop reacting. It ain't pretty. In other words, it isn't edifying at all. Iron sharpens iron but a sharp tongue will only get slashed by the sword.
This IS SO important!
This boils down to What is the Gospel?
This is the question that defines what we must proclaim and even how we should live out what we proclaim to believe.
Let us all consider posting with trembling fingers about this defining issue. please.

I pray you and your wife arrive safely home Mr. Johnson.

Sincerely,
Lisa

DJP said...

Well, Lisa, when you sign your post "Sincerely," I can only conclude that you think that anyone is acceptable to God "if he's sincere." Therefore, you are a Pelagian (or, worse, a semi-Pelagian), preach a false Gospel, and probably a poor tipper at restaurants.

That's about how some of this is starting to sound to me.

Chris Pixley said...

For the third time in as many months, I find myself blogging next to the Starbucks kiosk in Terminal E at Tampa International Airport...

And no phone call? I'm wounded:-)

David said...

I think all the critisim of the video (yes, I watched, weeks ago) and of those supporting the video has some direct ties to Franks post of several months ago on "Fundies".

Which is the entirity of my comments on this kerfluffle.

candyinsierras said...

Do ya see what happens around here when you leave the room?!

centuri0n said...

David:

You, my friend, are the only person so far which understands exactly what I am saying.

For that, you get a stamp of honor.

Sharon said...

Well, Lisa, when you sign your post "Sincerely," I can only conclude that you think that anyone is acceptable to God "if he's sincere." Therefore, you are a Pelagian (or, worse, a semi-Pelagian), preach a false Gospel, and probably a poor tipper at restaurants.

Gee, Dan, some of your posts of late have been a bit harsh and snarky. If you were trying to be humorous (and it's hard to tell), it just didn't work. And this isn't the first time you've snarled at a comment left on Pyro. And for what purpose? Certainly not edification, nor even admonition.

I don't get it.

LeeC said...

Hyperbole, irony ect.

"That's about how some of this is starting to sound to me."

He is using his extreme inferrances to make a point, one that is actualy in agreement with Lisa I believe.

Please correct me if I am wrong Dean, er I mean Dan.

LeeC said...

BTW, sorry Sharon, but I found it funny. :-)

DJP said...

Lee is exactly right, Sharon. How ANYONE could mistake my intent absolutely baffles me.

Regardless, if Lisa took it the way you took it, I assure you I will fall all over myself apologizing to her.

Steve said...

Well, I have to admit Dan's comment struck me the same way it struck Sharon.

I appreciate dry wit, but I know those who indulge in it can sometimes put it forth in a way that doesn't quite register as well as it should...myself included.

SJ Camp said...

Dan:
IMHO, it hit me that same way brother and I am certain Lisa was hurt by this. Start falling...

Norman said...

You guys are now arguing about whether you are arguing or not.

DJP said...

You actually think that I would seriously accuse a friend of Pelagianism — because she signed a post "Sincerely"?

The lame, inane, harebrained, insane "reasoning" in that comment sounds like my way of reasoning, to you?

And that, after I had just published two entire posts faulting folks for jumping the gun and being hyper-critical of Chan's video?

Astonishing.

And what did "That's about how some of this is starting to sound to me" mean, on your reading?

I truly am nonplused.

C.T. Lillies said...

kerfluffle Is that anything like a pericope?

Man you guys are giving me a headache.

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."
--2 Timothy 2:9

DJP said...

I think, in Pyro history, it's a hapax legomenon.

Connie said...

I've been simply reading and listening for the past few days--intentionally staying out of the "fray".

But today I was sadden to see/read the loss of the usual "sense of humor" by people--people who ordinarily would understand (and know better).

I EXPECT sharp wit from the Pyro guys--so does Lisa. :-)

littlegal_66 said...

I'm really hesitant to jump in here, but I'm going to take a deep breath and step off the comment high-dive for my dear sister, "4given."

Mr. Phillips,

I would propose that one of the following words, placed between "how" and "some" in your sentence,
"That's about how (insert adjective from list below) some of this is starting to sound to me, " would possibly have prevented misinterpretation of your statement as well as spared some feelings:

1. preposterous
2. ludicrous
3. ridiculous
4. absurb
5. far-fetched

Also, not sure how you feel about emoticons, but a strategically-placed one might have further served to promote clarity. But I know that it can be difficult to express the true spirit in which a comment is posted here in the blogosphere....and as they say, hindsight is 20/20.

And BTW, I in no way intend for this to come across as condescending in any manner; please don't take it that way, I'm just "sincerely" trying to help. :-)

There. I took the "Nestea plunge." (Now doesn't that obscure reference take some of us back in time....?);-)

DJP said...

Littlegal--those are all great ideas. Thank you. And I have no problem with emoticons.

If anyone had told me that any reasonable reader would actually take that preposterous parody as a serious comment... well, to avoid further problems, I'll just say that my response would have indicated that the suggestion could not fit into my brain.

littlegal_66 said...

Dan, I now see that I misspelled "absurd" by spelling it "absurb," (which isn't in the dictionary), so that one probably wouldn't have worked very well.
(I definitely have no illusions of perfection within myself).

northWord said...

Greetings,

I watched the video. It looked polished and pretty at first, and had great accompanying music but in the end the "Gospel presentation" didn't grab me much.

In my humble opinion Mr. Chan's very sincere plea for our reconciliation to God seemed better suited to a casual setting. It felt as if I was listening-in as he and an un-saved buddy are on a walk together, and Chan is giving his buddy "the talk" - pontificating and crescendo-ing with each new epiphany. It felt kind of wierd....fragmented, in the rough.

I guess if I were looking around for something to show an un-saved friend/relation to get them fired up this wouldn't be my first choice.
That's not to say that another person seeing this lovely presentation wouldn't be so moved to at least begin thinking about this stuff. And that's good, to each their own of course.

The point I did want to make is that I think it's absolutely imperative to cite scripture, and often, when expounding the talking points of the Gospel, because God's word in its simplest presentation is stronger than anything man can put together. So I was left wondering why there wasn't much scripture included.
Such as:
In the context of "God doesn't want to take anything away from us" Mr. Chan mentions God makes "rules" for our own good (true of course), he uses "murder"-ing eachother as an example of one of God's "rules" - what struck me after making that point is I thought he should have taken that opportunity to mention a key element of this Law, that Christ mentions in the NT:
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.'
"But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire."
(Mat 5:21 & 22

Another thing that caught my attention was he mentions sins as something we "do" (which is true) but he doesn't mention that we are all born into sin because of the original sin by Adam, no? "As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." (Romans 5:19)

I wouldn't attempt to cite doctrinal (or whatever) faults as to what was right or wrong with Chan's presentation, I'm no expert to be sure! I have to say it seems odd to me that so much is being made of it, really. Maybe I missing something.
Anyway, just thought I'd throw my impression into the mix.

Respectfully,
suzanne

(oh dear - sorry this is so long!)

northWord said...

Greetings,

I watched the video. It looked polished and pretty at first, and had great accompanying music but in the end the "Gospel presentation" didn't grab me much.

In my humble opinion Mr. Chan's very sincere plea for our reconciliation to God seemed better suited to a casual setting. It felt as if I was listening-in as he and an un-saved buddy are on a walk together, and Chan is giving his buddy "the talk" - pontificating and crescendo-ing with each new epiphany. It felt kind of wierd....fragmented, in the rough.

I guess if I were looking around for something to show an un-saved friend/relation to get them fired up this wouldn't be my first choice.
That's not to say that another person seeing this lovely presentation wouldn't be so moved to at least begin thinking about this stuff. And that's good, to each their own of course.

The point I did want to make is that I think it's absolutely imperative to cite scripture, and often, when expounding the talking points of the Gospel, because God's word in its simplest presentation is stronger than anything man can put together. So I was left wondering why there wasn't much scripture included.
Such as:
In the context of "God doesn't want to take anything away from us" Mr. Chan mentions God makes "rules" for our own good (true of course), he uses "murder"-ing eachother as an example of one of God's "rules" - what struck me after making that point is I thought he should have taken that opportunity to mention a key element of this Law, that Christ mentions in the NT:
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.'
"But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire."
(Mat 5:21 & 22

Another thing that caught my attention was he mentions sins as something we "do" (which is true) but he doesn't mention that we are all born into sin because of the original sin by Adam, no? "As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." (Romans 5:19)

I wouldn't attempt to cite doctrinal (or whatever) faults as to what was right or wrong with Chan's presentation, I'm no expert to be sure! I have to say it seems odd to me that so much is being made of it, really. Maybe I missing something.
Anyway, just thought I'd throw my impression into the mix.

Respectfully,
a plebeian among the scholars
:)

(oh dear - sorry this is so long!)

Sharon said...

OK, so apparently I'm an oblivious idiot who can't spot a joke. I believe people who know me would disagree, but nevertheless . . .

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9

David said...

kerfuffle - British slang for a commotion or fuss


hmmm, stamp of honor. Does that mean I have to give back the clowns?

Catez said...

and probably a poor tipper at restaurants.

Is this possibly what has engendered such strong objection?

I got it and thought it was funny - it is Dan's usual sense of humour. Now about the people calling themselves Reformed when they are poor tippers... That needs to be addressed.

You guys are now arguing about whether you are arguing or not.

LOL.

Some lightening up might be a good idea.

C.T. Lillies said...

This is starting to sound like a Monty Python bit: "...AND you're a poor TIPPER at RESTAURANTS...AAAAAARRRRGGGGhhhhh."

If you're a Baptist just imagine one of the deacons--you know, the red-faced yeller--with a bowler and an umbrella. You'll get the picture.

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."
--2 Timothy 2:9

Catez said...

Indeed CT. The Ministry of Silly Walks...

Catez said...

Clarification - I heart the Ministry of Silly Walks.

DJP said...

I immediately emailed Lisa when I read the first intimation that anyone could have taken my parodied comment seriously. Unbeknownst to me, she was cut off from the internet, but kindly got word through to me that I shouldn't "fret." Lisa since posted that she did initially mis-take my intent. She then thought it through, put it in context, and realized otherwise.

In emails she has assured me that all is well, and said that I should not apologize.

Nevertheless, I do want to say that, had I thought there was any chance that Lisa would be hurt by my zinging the hyper-critical with an absurd parody, I either never would have posted that comment, or I would have hedged it even more carefully than I thought I had with the "poor tipper" element, and by ending it with "That's about how some of this is starting to sound to me."

As I have assured Lisa personally, I very much regret that my words caused any pain whatever to her, however fleeting. Such was not even within galactic range of my intent.

Qohelet said...

Well, Dan, I'm glad you finally offered an apology because I was about to delete all your comments here.

:>)

northWord said...

*cringe* . .

(notes to self):
a) while formulating a comment, use that "show original post" link
b) don't try making long essay-like comments when in a hurry -
better yet, cease making long essay-like comments)

Phil,
I've come back here after a long weekend away and re-read my commentary on the video, besides being embarrassed by my fragmented, annoying rambling, (my real impressions, just put badly) I see the worse part is that my comment didn't really belong here. I completely dis-regarded the purpose of your post. Please forgive me for my carelessness.

As always, I truly appreciate the work (and the humor) you and the rest of the guys put into this blog.
I sincerely hope you have some less-than crazy weeks ahead, some breathing room, rejuvenation.
God bless you for all you do ~