23 August 2007

By Special Request

by Phil Johnson

Phil's signature


Mike Riccardi said...

Should be, "...audience who HAS to sit there and take it," not 'have,' right?

Phil Johnson said...


That would depend on whether you want to treat the collective noun the British way (plural) or the American way (singular). I ususally go with the plural on collectiove nouns, and Americans always complain. In this case, since you mentioned it, I changed the wording so that it more closely approximates Doug Pagitt's famous statement.

steve said...

The Texts and Imagination posters are just too good!

Great way to end the day.

Rick Frueh said...

A hungry blind man is led to a table with food by a sighted man. As he begins to eat the food he turns and mocks other blind men who haven't found the table with food as if he had anything to do with finding the food he now enjoys.

Mike Riccardi said...

LoL, sorry. Didn't mean to be a stickler. Just thought it was an oversight.

Btw, Phil, the offer for a home-cooked meal still stands while you're in NJ. It won't be balut or durian, but I bet we could work something out. ;o)

Anonymous said...

Why is it those who defend Scripture are considered unloving & arrogant; and those that compromise Scripture are compassionate & loving?

Also, why is it whenever I apply EC logic directly to my forehead, my headache gets worse?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Textus Bendus. Gumby's picture is next to "bend" in the dictionary, I think.

Quintin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
northWord said...


hahah brilliant, Gumby and Pokey standing in front of Luke 3.....these are great, never a beat missed.

and a good ole beating-o-the-wills?
bring. it. on.

Stefan Ewing said...

Very whimsical...my favourite three posters of the bunch!

Now I just have to figure out the connection between the comfy-chair-wielding Spanish Inquisitors whom no one expects and Ahab's ivory palace....

Unknown said...

... oh classic! The inquisition is back!

ukrainiac said...

Great posters! It's amazing how much you "say" in each one!

FX Turk said...

Part of me wants the madness to end for the sake of the children (it must be good if it's for the sake of the children, right?), and part of me is laughing enough that maybe this should be a once-a-week thing.

And part of me wants to see Phil commit to making a series of posters dedicated to henry (rick) frueh. Because it's one thing to be a beggar making fun of other beggars who haven't been let into the table yet, and it's another to make fun of other beggars who say they're re-inventing the table because the old one didn't have enough places to sit around.

Quintin said...

Johnny Chiastic has it down!

"For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?" 1 Corinthians 5:12.

But you see Johnny, we cannot see the table, so therefore anyone can say what they like about the table and it must be true... for them...

Quintin said...

I just had a thought - if interpretation can no longer belong to the author of the text, making the interpretation prevalent over the intention, surely the responsibility of interpretation belongs to the interpreter, not the author?

That means you guys are not responsible for the manner in which the posters are interpreted. You just made some posters, if the emergents are insulted, it is their fault! It also means if they blame you, they agree that there is objectivity in interpretation, because they claim to know your intention.

Or did I have too many crazy-o's for breakfast this morning (again)?

Kim said...

If you've got a heart, then Gumby's a part of you!

You should try and fit a poster in using the blockhead guys, too.

Keith B said...

The posters are very useful "once a week" would be good. I found this Masters Journal article helpful:

Progressional Dialogue & Preaching: Are They the Same?
by Richard L. Holland

It makes sense to me.

Unknown said...

henry (rick) frueh - I like the analogy but it breaks down a bit.

It seems that this blind man at the table mocking the others is so blind that he cannot see that the others are also at the table. And while he certainly has a good meal placed before him, while he is mocking the others he is actually chewing on the scraps while the others are eating well.

This blind man is completely unaware of the riches that surround him. Very sad.

More so, I'm wondering how pleased at this point is the master who provided the meal?

Rick Frueh said...

"make fun of other beggars who say they're re-inventing the table because the old one didn't have enough places to sit around."

And I agree with your observation, it is your methodology I have a problem with. The beggars who are re-inventing the table are DECEIVED. Why is ther never a call for prayer for them? Why is such a serious subject dealt with a creative mocking which is referred to as "foolish jesting".

And the reformed group knows this all too well, you didn't seek the truth, you didn't find the truth, you didn't make a logical assessment, you didn't have any insight to the truth, and the truth you noe embrace was BROUGHT to you be God's Spirit all by His sovereign grace.

So, which personal platform gives any of us the right to humorously mock others who God hasn't enlightened as of yet? Teach and preach the Word, yes. Pray and fast for them, yes? Shed some tears of compassion, yes. Speak the corrective truth in love, yes. Thank God for enlightening us, yes.

But to enjoy some dry eyed mocking humor at the expense of the deceived so everyone can get a good laugh at them and simultaneously add some "I'm glad I'm not like other men" attitude is counter productive at best.

Some of the posts here are substantive disecting of God's Word, some are Biblical confrontings of the emergent/seeker/purpose streams, but I just do not get these self serving caricatures. And then a commenter calls for a poster series dedicated to me. Ask my wife, she can provide you with the material you need.

I hope we can pray for our brothers who have been capture in the evil One's web of deception, making fun of them is useless and self serving. Sorry.

James Scott Bell said...

The problem is that self-appointed leaders who believe things like "biblical preaching is an act of violence" are sneezing all over the food.

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Texts: that particular item reminds me of the promo for "God's Warriors" on CNN. In one clip, a man says, "It's not so much about what the text says, but what it is made to say" [paraphrase].

Jay T said...

Henry (Rick) Frueh -
It's true that robust, heart-warming, sinner-sanctifying, God-honoring theology is a gift of the Holy Spirit, but the gift comes through means. Some of these means may be serious, sober, and book length, but some of them may be short little jabs designed to say, "Why are you brats making mudpies in the slums when you could be enjoying a day at the beach!?!"

FX Turk said...


Let me say frankly and clearly that the dodge, "well what about a call to prayer?" overlooks the fact that [a] when, in the past, we have called for prayer for those we disagree with, they have taken that as a personal attack, and [b] you don't know my personal prayer life, or the preparation any of the Pyros go through before we make a post of this sort or any other.

Now, I want you to consider something: let's imagine that everyone of of Phil's poster posts was preceded by the statement, "and as always, Frank's Sunday school class is praying for the larger church to have unity in truth and not just a superficial unity where anything goes." How do you think that would be received?

Because it does turn out that one of the frequent (though I admit, not continual or habitual) prayers we make in my small group is that our church is a light of God's truth, and that the larger church is unified in truth rather than superficially for the sake of appearances.

Now: if the response is, "oh -- well that's better," how are we commanded to pray, and to whom? That is, am I praying so that Rick Ianello can hear me and see what a great Christian I am, or am I praying to God for the sake of petitioning Him for the sake of Rick? I find it offensive -- really, honestly an offense to my integrity -- to imply that if I do not pray so that everyone can see me, and I do not list all the objects of my prayer, that somehow my prayer life is inadequate.

Is there anyone not praying about this? Be careful how you answer.

FX Turk said...

Rick Ianello:

I think Jesus thinks it's funny that people who have such a generous view of theology -- that is, it's a matter of accomodation rather than a matter of the exclusive claims of Christ -- don't have any room in their big house for satirical critics.

Annihiliationists and Universalists? No problem. Posters that make a joke about aberrations inside one wing of people who claim to follow Christ? Sin! Work of the Accuser!

You know: because Jesus was the one who said that the teacher or leader who travels across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, makes him twice as much a child of hell as the teacher was is a "blind guide" and a "whitewashed tomb".

Habitans in Sicco said...

sewing: "my favourite three posters of the bunch"

Are you kidding? These are the most mean-spirited yet. It just gets angrier and angrier. And now I can't believe you have dragged leprechauns and unicorns, Gumby and Pokey, and comfy chairs into your campaign of hatred.

It's vicious, I tell you. Unconscionable. Rick (Henry ) Froo is right: it's like watching genocide at the family reunion. Bodies are strewn everywhere, and now even Gumby has his stomach tied in a knot.

Please make it stop.

Rick Frueh said...

Johnny - I am not sure why you took my comment as an attack on your personal prayer life, it was not. Only that we should make the exhortation to pray for the deceived a priority because the deception that some are in and continue to descend futher into is serious business that can only be thwarted by God's power.

I am not your enemy, I often visit this site and rarely comment. I am edified by most of it. Perhaps even part of my perspective about the cartoons is worth considering? I would personally rather see a strong, confronting post that even borders on judgmentalism than mocking humor, that if we are honest only the choir gets and enjoys and the people to whom it is directed are inflamed.

There are also somewhat impartial believers who visit here and do not derive much from the cartoons because they have not come to maturity yet. You guys are "post graduate" in you Biblical knowledge, there is surely a better way to feed the sheep than to mock.

I will even go this far. Why don't you one by one post one of the cartoons (say about the lack of respect for Scripture, etc.) and then follow it with a Biblical teaching on its meaning and its error? Wouldn't that be a way of using the cartoons to disiple people without just having a laugh? You assume everyone gets them, they do not. If indeed they all make a substantive point then teach it along with the poster, everyone knows God has gifted you in the area of teaching so why not add that?

Just a suggestion from someone who I know is sometimes a thorn to you but maybe has a different perspective that can be a legitimate part of the equation.

Marc R. Wragg said...

Phil these three posts are like the Holy Trinity of Emergent-See posters.

These are great. Keep it up.

Rick Frueh said...

And Phil, now a person uses God's "Holy Trinity" in vain and quates it with posters. Do you not see how counter productive they can be, even to elicit blasphemy. Can you ever imagine Wesley or Calvin using the Holy Trinity in such a careless and carnal way?

All because of mocking posters that make and miss the point simultaneously.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marc R. Wragg said...

heheheh hahahha

Sorry Phil ;)

Unknown said...

Henry (Rick) Frueh: Why don't you one by one post one of the cartoons (say about the lack of respect for Scripture, etc.) and then follow it with a Biblical teaching on its meaning and its error?

How many times do we have to be reminded that Phil dealt with a teaching series on Emerging Church stuff first?

For those who like satire, here is a pretty good one of the 'traditional church' at this link .

Marc R. Wragg said...

Henry you are grasping at straws.

If you have a concern it is with me because I evoked the "Holy Trinity" not Phil because he made a poster. Which btw I think they are dead on accurate.

Drummer Chris said...

Your posters have gone from clever attempts at exposing some flaws in an opposing view to childish attempts at bringing down fellow Christians.

I agree with Henry:

"There are also somewhat impartial believers who visit here and do not derive much from the cartoons because they have not come to maturity yet. You guys are "post graduate" in you Biblical knowledge, there is surely a better way to feed the sheep than to mock."

I being one of those who are fairly young in their walk find this whole arguement defeating and unproductive.

That being said I'll still be watching for more of your "serious" postings to help me understand my purpose as a Christ Follower.

Solameanie said...


Perhaps the next series should be something along the lines of "favorite Emergent songs."

My opening suggestion for doctrine:

"Bend me, shape me, anyway you want me..."


"Come on, people now, smile on your brother everybody get together..."

We already know the multitudinous uses of "White Rabbit," so we won't go there for now.

Unknown said...

Cent - if you do pray for me, it may not matter to God but it's spelled 'ianniello'. Thanks.

See - now that is humor. I have space for it although I'm usually told I'm not so funny.

That aside. Do you really think Jesus thinks it's funny that people don't have room for satire? I don't imagine he is laughing at this at all. I think he is saddened (or even angered) with both sides of the bickering. Whether written or not, would I be wrong to say that this has not been completely good natured joking from both ends.

Separately, for some reason, you remain confused regarding the nature of my issue with all of this and I'm frustrated with my inability to communicate it to you.

Daryl said...


If I may, I'm not sure how it is that "good-natured joking" is even necessary or required when pointing out the issues with an apostate (or on the edge of being apostate) church. I'm not sure that this issue in quite as "in-house" as some may think.

Just my thoughts. Take 'em or leave 'em.

FX Turk said...

Yes, Rick, I do think Jesus finds it funny. After that, you may postulate anything you wish.

FX Turk said...

I'd like to object to being called "post-graduate" as well -- though I don't think it reproaches my integrity. What it does is lower the bar for what maturity looks like -- allowing people who will not be able to keep down even the milk of the word a chance to say that they are baby Christians.

Carl said...

Very amusing. Good job.

DJP said...

These are absolutely wonderful.

Marc R. Wragg said...

Drummer Chris,

Please forgive me since I do not regularly post in these threads and I quickly stepped into the middle of some sensitive matters. I find it rather interesting how personal people have taken these issues as if saying your hermeneutic or your methodology is wrong is tantamount to attacking a Christian brother. I get the understanding from 2 Cor 10:5 (“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”) that we are to tear down those things that are not consistent with the Word of God. I would get the understanding from this passage there is one who is offended by error and it is God himself. This wrong thinking and doctrinal error of the emergent church challenges God’s character and purposes. For anyone to turn Phil's posters into a personal attack is simply to align themselves with error and to be offended when they are exposed. While you may believe you are taking the moral high ground I would challenge you to go back and think through objectively what is being said and why.

donsands said...

It's sad that these posters reveal what is truly happening within the walls of our churches. Maybe it will wake some people up.

Even if you disagree with the intent, these posters speak the truth of how bad it is out there.

And as far as the intent, Phil and teampyro have proven there love for Christ, and how they're purposed to contend for the Gospel, and to keep it pure, and in so doing they are obeying their Lord and Savior.

That's my two cents.

Rick Frueh said...

marc - I for one encourage Biblical confrontation of the errors of so many movements that are growing today. However, when one uses mocking humor we remove any conduit for communication and we treat a person's view as so unworthy of seriousness that it only warrants humorous scorn.

My own nephew is dabbling in the emergent movement, should I pray for him and converse with him and even as Paul says "persuade" him because of God's terror, or should I mock him? Remember, there is more to the movement than easy targets like Spencer Burke, there are precious people who are getting swept up into these views who need a loving but strong voice of Biblical reason.

People respect sites like this, and you would be surprised at how many emergents/seekers/purpose people secretly visit sites like this. When they do, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver".

They cannot understand the nuances of those posters, they just know they are meant to belittle. But they can understand a sound, Biblical argument that both reproves and urges people to examine their eccesiastical surroundings in the light of Scripture.

These are serious times and the night approaches. I do not mean to be melodramatic but if Jesus came and spoke to these issues I am convinced that mocking posters would not be part of His technique.

Dawg said...

Ahab's Ivory Palace

Too funny

Daryl said...


It seems to me that these posters are a response to the reality that in fact, sound biblical arguments do NOT persuade the Emergent Church of their error. If that was the case, the whole movement would have been abandoned long ago.

Even on this site, sound biblical arguments have evoked the same response that the posters have, or have evoked no response at all.

Anonymous said...

I spent the first 30 years of my life thinking I was a Christian and it wasn't until 3 years ago that the Lord opened my eyes and revealed my error. From that moment I surrendered to the truth (in it's entirety) within the pages of God's word.

The term Christian is worn lightly these days. It has become a fashion statement and/or is "in style" and those who reject the truth in it's entirety are considered "baby" Christians who lack understanding. Are Mormons "baby" Christians?

When I look back I realize that I was not a "baby" Christian. I was not a Christian at all; I simply thought I was.

Here's my question:

We seem to be concerned that this debate/discussion is dividing the church and disrupting the fellowship of Christians. Are ECer's Christians?

Like I said, I once thought I was too!

Marc R. Wragg said...


If Phil made a poster like this:

Stupid enough to believe the emergent lies.

That would be a personal attack. These posters are not a personal attack. These posters are doctrinal statements. As I stated to Chris above, these posters are made personal by others because their error is being exposed. Your Nephew needs to know that what he is dabbling with is in fact an error raised up against the knowledge of God.

PS I really hope your Nephew’s name is not Joe because I would feel really bad right now. I mean that sincerely.

Rick Frueh said...

I did not say they were personal attacks unless I missed one with a name attached. I said they were mocking and counter productive to any real purpose except for the amusement of a certain camp.

Even if some have rejected sound Biblical arguments don't you present them for God's glory and not for results anyway?

Marc R. Wragg said...


You said


My own nephew is dabbling in the emergent movement, should I pray for him and converse with him and even as Paul says "persuade" him because of God's terror, or should I mock him?


You did make it personal and because it is personal it clearly governs your statements.

Marc R. Wragg said...

I would also add that God’s glory is preserved not only in the conversion and repentance of sinners but also in the faithful proclamation of His truth.

Matt Gumm said...

My poor namesake! Phil, how could you?

Kay said...

It's criticism. Criticism packaged in a fairly creative way, but criticism none-the-less.

I'm presuming that most people thought the mac/pc style videos taking potshots at various 'traditional christians' were ok? How is this different?

Phil and others have written reams of prose in an attempt to critique troublesome aspects of a popular movement. Nary a one has been properly engaged with.

Maybe these posters catch more attention. I wouldn't have said that was a bad reflection on Phil...

Neil said...

It's comforting that Gummby prefers the KJV.

dec said...

They cannot understand the nuances of those posters

I didn't understand the nuances of those posters, and so I read the articles that were linked to them.

I now think the posters are an understatement, a gentle jab.

Al said...

Some observations…

- Some truth claims are funny even though they are wasted on doubters…

- These posters are like presuppositional apologetics…

- Ref. above: Van Til would be proud…

- Comfy chairs are only as good as the bottom placed therein…

- Gumby and Pokey have stiff wires that help them maintain their shape. Scripture needs a wire. Oh yeah, a bunch of dead guys (sorry Joyce Meyers) did some writing…

al sends

LeeC said...

dec has it in my eyes.
The posters lose much without the attached links, and then they seem tame comparatively.

Anonymous said...

Keep 'em coming Phil. Totally made my morning- I never expected the Spanish Inquisition!

Mike Riccardi said...

"Phil and others have written reams of prose in an attempt to critique troublesome aspects of a popular movement. Nary a one has been properly engaged with." -- libbie

That's te thing, Henry, is that all the things you're suggesting should be done have been done. The posters just happen to be the only thing getting anyone's attention. The age of the sound byte...

Also, "I didn't understand the nuances of those posters, and so I read the articles that were linked to them. I now think the posters are an understatement, a gentle jab." - dec

I agree with that as well.

bob hyatt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
northWord said...

the posters had links?
I guess I didn't need to see the stories-behind to get them. will def check them out though.

Thanks for the JMac on Larry King link Bob Hyatt! - (I happen to have a use for that now..)

I think God's kingdom in heaven rejoice's every time John MacArthur appears on CNN.

northWord said...

"The singular Christian is Jesus" John MacArthur


wordsmith said...

Anyone else getting a little tired of the term "authentic"? If the ECM constantly harps on their authenticity (as if that is some sort of significant distinction between "them" and "us"), what does that make the rest of us? "Inauthentic"? "Fake"? "Artificial"? What?

This from a bunch that supposedly values humility. That's not humility; that's youthful arrogance gone to seed.

Drummer Chris said...


If you read my post again you'll see that your response made absolutely no sense at all.

David Rudd said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marc R. Wragg said...


You said

Your posters have gone from clever attempts at exposing some flaws in an opposing view to childish attempts at bringing down fellow Christians.

You characterized Phil’s work as childish attempts to bring fellow Christians down. If you cannot see the relevance of the above post God help you because Lord knows I cannot.

donsands said...

" how the real EC follower's are Christians."

There Christians the same way we all are.

Through Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, according to Scripture alone, for the glory of Christ and His Father alone.

DJP said...

One day, if I ever learn how to use my PhotoShop Elements, I may try to make posters out of some of my 25 things.

Anonymous said...

I have given these quotes before:

"the sort of evangelicalism the Emerging Church Movement is striving for is anabaptist”. Scot McKnight

“The emerging peace church movement is deeply influenced by some of the 20th century's greatest pacifists like Gandhi, Dorothy Day, MLK, and Yoder”. Jarrod McKenna

“Jarrod McKenna and friends are beautiful examples of this new breed of emerging integral leaders. I thank God for them. May their tribe increase”. Brian McLaren

“People want to open up questions. They’re asking questions about how we should understand our relationship to scripture: Is it inerrant? Is it true? And many of the emergent people are saying that Scripture may not be absolute and authoritative and inerrant, but it is the “senior partner” in the conversation.” Scot McKnight

I do NOT mean any disrespect. Like I said earlier, I spent the first 30 years of my life THINKING I was a Christian. Looking back know, I realize I was not.

When I say the real EC movement, I am speaking of the leaders who make the above quotes. I am speaking of the ones who DO NOT follow Christ only, but also follow the philosophies of men (Ghandi, etc.). I am speaking of the leaders who build churches on sandy ground because they are not supported by the word of God (because they do not consider it authoritive; only a "senior partner").

With compromises like this, what makes this movement any different than Mormonism or JW's?

I ask this question with all sincerity.

DJP said...

What's wrong with Doris Day?


Anonymous said...

I thought she was Christian science?

Unknown said...

DJP - first, don't bother with PS Elements, get yourself PS CS3 if you are serious and if not, don't use anything but free stuff.

Second, here's a free, simple motivator generator for guys that don't know how to use PS Elements.


DJP said...

Well, Peggy Lee was Religious Science, my old cult. So was poor Robert Young.

Phil Johnson said...


Read rule 4 (again).

That rule applies especially if you have already attempted to score cheap-shot points at your own blog against a loved one of mine. For the record, you don't get to export failed threads from your own blog over here, ever--but especially threads of that nature.

I've been very clear about this every time it has ever come up, so don't try to plead ignorance.

David Rudd:

I thought you were already banned from our comment-threads for repeatedly acting childish in precisely that way. If I somehow forgot to keep you banned, the surest way to burn your case permanently into my memory is by cheerleading for someone who is engaging in a deliberate violation of rule 4.


Incidentally. There is absolutely no need for either of you to reply or tell me that I have totally misunderstood or misjudged someone's intentions. We'll just assume that's the case, as usual.

And I'll invite you to take an extra-close look at the final, italicized phrase of rule 4 in the right sidebar.

northWord said...

oh dear -my usual naivete just feels a little ickyier right now.

but the link was still appreciated :)

bob hyatt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SB said...

The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable.

All through this thread Henry you have said what needed to be said.

Phil Johnson said...


No prob. That previous comment from me wasn't about anything you said. Rule 4 is about deliberate infractions. Sometimes those are contained in the subtext--especially when a particular commenter has a long history of constant grousing. The rule is not intended to inhibit legitimate discussion. If the post itself had cited a paragraph from a John MacArthur book or sermon, then that particular paragraph or topic would be germane to the thread and fair game in the discussion.

But this blog is not a bulletin-board for disgruntled people to post whatever off-topic attacks against John MacArthur they like. I've made it clear repeatedly that such comments won't be allowed to stand here and those who deliberately make them won't be allowed to comment here.

From the first day I began blogging it became obvious that if given the opportunity, someone, somewhere would turn every comment-thread into a referendum about John MacArthur. So on day two, I made a simple request: If someone wants to post such comments, please take them elsewhere. I have no duty to provide a forum for attacks on my pastor.

About the only time it happens these days is when someone who has already lost an argument or someone who lacks the wherewithal to deal with me directly about what I have said decides it's easier to frag my pastor. As you can tell, I have very little respect or patience with people who act that way, especially when they are posing as champions for a kinder, gentler dialogue.

Rick Frueh said...

Let it be known that I appreciate the parameters of free and respectful discourse even when some of the perspectives are somewhat at odds with the blog overseers.

Also, I think that "The Gospel According to Jesus" is one of the top five pastoral books written in the last 30 years. And that from an Armi...never mind. Thanks Phil.

steve said...

...especially when they are posing as champions for a kinder, gentler dialogue.

The unending parade of ironies continues to amaze me. That's part of what makes the posters so powerful.

Jay T said...

"It is widely declared to-day that preaching is passe, that it must give way to dialogue and discussion and that it is a mark of pride for a man to stand before a congregation as though he had something authoritative to say."
Arnold Dallimore, in his biography of George Whitefield, 1980

I know prophetic quotes form the 1980's aren't as cool as Machen, but I thought of the current thread when I read this this afternoon.

donsands said...

Excellent quote.
I thank the Lord I have a pastor who speaks the Word with authority.

Solameanie said...

An observation here from someone suffering from a very painful kidney stone (again) at midnight Central Time. Somehow intense pain gives me curious insights (aside from general crabbiness).

From time to time, Rush Limbaugh takes phone calls on his radio program. Many are full of praise, while a few others are sharply critical. However, on occasion, Rush's finely-tuned sense of suspicion (shared by most long-time broadcast veterans) sounds the klaxon when taking some calls, and he immediately identifies them as "seminar callers," in other words, those who have been given talking points and are marshalled en masse to call the program to complain about something.

It seems to me that the word has spread like dengue fever through the EC ranks about these posters, and now growing numbers of them are "seminar posting" at this blog.

Secondly, although this has been hinted at, I'll stress it again. For the past several years -- at seminars, conferences, in radio programs, in sermons, in books, on blogs (including this one), in Sunday school classes, in countless bloody church splits across this country, in college classes, you name the forum -- no effort has been spared in clearly and soberly articulating grave concerns over the doctrine and practices of the Emergent Church movement. It's been done in both scholarly fashion and with a common man touch. It's been done in private and in public. Hours upon hours have been spent in the EC's favorite parlor game, namely dialogue, dialogue and even more dialogue. And it's largely been to no avail, at least with the key figures pushing this witches' brew poorly disguised as Christian theology.

So now satire is coming out in yet another valiant effort to pierce through stone deaf ears and clouded brains to make vitally important points that have been ignored thus far. It must be finally hitting close to home, because the squeals of protest are reaching banshee levels.

Perhaps when those who so vociferously defend the unbiblical begin actually listening and prayerfully considering what they are doing in light of the absolute authority of God's Word, then they can actually have a dialogue that accomplishes something. Until then, expect to continue to get whacked when you've got it coming.

FX Turk said...

None whacketh me so kindly as he which whacketh me as a brother.

That's the King Solameanie translation, and I'll put that up as Bible agin' anyone who says otherwise.

Helen said...

Until then, expect to continue to get whacked when you've got it coming.

This is rather mean, isn't it? Maybe it's best not to post when you're in physical pain. Lest frustration and pain tempt you into crossing a line it's best not to cross.

I expect a lot of people thought what you wrote as they watched Jesus beaten and then crucified. How do you know whether this is a godly thought or a sinful human one?

And how do you decide how to divide your time between chastising believers whose teaching is incorrect and between witnessing to people who have never believed? In your post you've observed how unyielding the emergent people are. Maybe your time would be better spent on people who don't claim to be Christians (yet)?

Solameanie said...


I think there is a vast difference between untaught individuals who might get sucked into the Emergent movement and the TEACHERS who are PEDDLING this stuff. I believe Scripture also makes that distinction.

BTW, in case people are really ruffled over the term "whacked," I mean it in the sense of turning someone over my knee and spanking them, not the Sopranos variety.

Hope that helps.

Solameanie said...


Be careful in making references to King-anything unless it's of the James variety. Be VERY careful. I don't think you want to have scantling-waving Ruckmanites chasing us into the Lockman Foundation building on the spurious notion that we're introducing yet another New Age Bible translation into the mix.

On second thought, perhaps I should have used a term such as "chastiseth." The word "whacked" seems to have nothing but Mafia connotations these days. I would have used "reprove them severely" but that comes awfully close to quoting Scripture, and we know how deeply that upsets certain individuals. (winkgrin)

Helen said...

Thanks for your response, solameanie.

Yes I did realize that you mean spanking in the sense of a parent disciplining a child.

But I thought all believers were children of God - isn't he the parent? I would be concerned if my children started 'disciplining' each other as if one was the parent - they're siblings, not parent-and-child.

FX Turk said...

"Whacketh" is so much more relevant.

Anonymous said...


"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." 2 Tim 3:16&17

I would consider reproof, correction and training on par with getting metaphorically whacked or spanked by Godly men who love me enough to keep me from error, so that the glory of God may be better exemplified in my thoughts, actions, and emotions. Otherwise, accountability and discipleship lack meaning. You may recall an occasion where Paul whacked Peter...

Phil Johnson said...

Helen: " I would be concerned if my children started 'disciplining' each other as if one was the parent - they're siblings, not parent-and-child."

If one of my kids was about to step off the curb in front of a bus, I'd be disappointed if his siblings didn't gang-tackle him.
8:11 AM, August 24, 2

Helen said...

Phil: fair enough, but I thought it was the non-Christians who are doing that? Aren't the EC intentionally lying down in the road with ear plugs in (from your POV)? Maybe your time would be more effectively spent trying to rescue people who are less intentional about where they are placing themselves?

I'm just asking - I have no authority to judge how people spend their time...

Phil Johnson said...

Helen: "Aren't the EC intentionally lying down in the road with ear plugs in (from your POV)?"

There are no doubt some people like that. Perhaps a shrill warning and a solid flick on the head will persuade one or two of them to get out of the bus lane before it's too late.

More urgently, though, I think there are lots of people being influenced by and swept into the ECM who are simply young and naive. They grew up in seeker-sensitive churches or some other kind of wobbly evangelicalism where the teaching ministry was marginal, non-existent, or simply a joke—and they naturally don't grasp the importance of doctrinal soundness or the significance of the neo-liberal trends that dominate the ECM.

I for one am happy to keep sounding the warning as shrilly as necessary to steer some of those people away from the bus lane. If we influenced one or two people a week, it would be well worth the effort as far as I am concerned. Judging from the responses I get by e-mail and my personal conversations with church leaders here and there, we're having more of an impact than that. If I didn't believe what we are doing is the right thing, I wouldn't be doing it.

And I'm not writing criticisms of the ECM merely for sport. I'm convinced that rampant postmodernism within the ECM represents at least as great a danger as modernism did in the denominations that were large and influential at the end of the 18th century. There's a reason none of them are still thriving. Modernism was a cancer that gnawed away the evangelical strength of churches and whole denominations until a few key evangelicals finally faced the fact that the distinctive ideas driving the movement were not actually even compatible with biblical Christianity--and they said so plainly. The church in this generation similarly needs to wake up to the equal (if not greater) dangers of postmodernism.

Incidentally, I also remain utterly unmoved by those who keep insisting Jesus would never be anything but warm and friendly and cordial with religious people as long as they claim to be His followers. Jesus Himself warned us against that kind of complacency.

FX Turk said...

Hey Phil:

You're not my pastor. That's to avoid saying, "you're not the boss a' me."

Helen said...

Phil, thanks for taking the time to answer my question.

I'm taken aback by your comments about the British use of the collective noun. Is it possible that you might have been fraternizing with British people who weren't taught grammar correctly? In my writing I go either way, but as best I recall, there isn't a different grammatical construction taught in the UK.

Since my memory may be faulty, maybe you can direct me to a link if you have one indicating I'm wrong.

donsands said...

" ... let him be accursed". Gal.1:8

"Here again he [Paul] excuses the Galatians, and most bitterly reproaches the false apostles, ... The false apostles condemn Paul, and Paul condemns the false apsotles. Contending and condemning is always in the Church, especially when the gospel flourishes. ... Would to God that this terrible sentence of the Apostle might stike terror into the hearts of those who seek to pervert the Gosepl of Paul" -Luther

threegirldad said...

Helen: I'm taken aback by your comments about the British use of the collective noun.

See here for one example. Apologies for jumping in, since I'm not Phil, but I also have a keen interest in this sort of thing...

The Fantastic Daughter-In-Law's Spouse said...

It's like reliving the day I spilled Kool-Aid on the carpet of our new home...

My advice - get out of the way and let the storm die down.

Helen said...

Thanks threegirldad, that's a very helpful link!

Neil said...

Hmmmm... I'm not sure what to think about using your God-given talents to mock fellow Disciples.

FX Turk said...

Neil --

I'm sure none of them will ever be the same. Which, God willing, is for the best.

Solameanie said...


All I can say is to suggest you go re-read the New Testament at the very least and see how false teachers are treated. And if the rather sharp rebukes given throughout the New Testament are unpalatable to you, have a slog through the Old Testament, where false prophets were stoned to death.

If I had to choose between having a poster make fun of my bad theology or lying in a pit with boulders being thrown at me, I think I'd choose the poster. At least with the poster, I'd have the opportunity to repent. You can't repent when you're dead.

Unknown said...

I have noticed that sarcasm is definately an "eye of the beholder" type thing. When it's used against someone you dont believe to be correct, it's great.

When it's used against you, its not so nice. In fact it irritates you.

Not saying that applies to anyone here of course, but.....

Unknown said...

Solameanie - so are we talking about false teachers or less than perfect theology? Please find for me the false teaching that warrants stoning among the references provided. I looked at about half and realized the only false anything was the accusations from TeamPyro.

And, if you still agree with TeamPyro, then I think mockery is not the right approach. Something more in line with stoning seems about right.

Either way, I find TeamPyro the ones in need of repentance here.

And now apparently you ...

Solameanie said...


You missed my point by a wide margin, and it's a bit frustrating. My point really wasn't that hard to discern. I won't try to restate my point again, but to put your mind at ease in case you are wondering, I do not advocate stoning as the church is not under the Law of Moses.

Aside from that little matter, I think you should consider what constitutes damnable heresy. While I certainly do not believe all EC teachers teach damnable heresy, some of them skate awfully close to the mark.

What a person believes determines his/her eternal destiny. If a person teaches a false Gospel, or perverts the Gospel, Scripture is pretty plain that that individual is anathema (accursed). I am not going to spend time here listing all Emergent-friendly teachers and authors, then rating them on an Olympic-type scale or heresy meter. I'll leave it to you to sort that out.

Jonathan said...

The potential for fun is great here. . .put one on a t-shirt and go to your local emergent "gathering".

Just imagine the "conversation" that could be had.

Andrew Jones said...

the guy on the couch in "Comfy Chairs" is using a PC and not a MAC - therefore it really cant be emerging church.

Unknown said...

Solameanie - sorry but you only offered two options, stoning or mocking. You and I apparently agree that stoning is not appropriate but I disagree with you, TeamPyro, and their fans that mocking is appropriate.

I don't find that to be the proper Biblical approach, it is causing many to make generalizations on questionable facts, and is promoting an spirit more interested in harm than good (take Jonathan for example).

Again, what really frustrates me is that I don't consider myself emergent and they probably wouldn't consider me one. I have found a few points that at least some number of EC voices believe and I have substantial issues with that.

But I don't know that EC'ers believe these things. I simply address the specifics and do not categorize all EC'ers that way. And more to the point, I haven't found mocking and misrepresentation to help the case.

Then on the other side, a large number of these are questionable at best. Many of the referenced articles are not bad at all. Certainly not the kind of thing that warrant attack.

Finally, as one would expect from the spirit fostered here, now Cent and some fans feel it's ok to publicly highlight people they don't know as having low talent, wrong motives, etc. in the area of art (see comments to Dan Phillip's post on creativity). I have to be honest, I wouldn't recommend what I see but come on, pointing to them and laughing ... please ...

TeamPyro was and still is known for excellent Biblical analysis and challenges for living accordingly.

But they are drifting terribly ... I'm trying to engage them seriously but they would have nothing of it, instead preferring to continue the mockery and tomfoolery.

Solameanie - which is appropriate? To stone them, mock them, or I offer to engage in conversation?

James Scott Bell said...

Rick, when you wrote on your blog that "TeamPyro as a whole is deceived, arrogant, and is being used by the enemy to tear down the body of Christ" what was your intent?

Helen said...

jonathon wrote: The potential for fun is great here. . .put one on a t-shirt and go to your local emergent "gathering".

Just imagine the "conversation" that could be had.

I think that's a great idea! Please join us at Off The Map Live wearing your T-shirts.

We aren't 'emergent' per se but some of the speakers are and it's likely that lots of people who attend will be. You will have lots of opportunity to talk to emergent people there.

Seriously, if any of you decide to come wearing T-shirts let me know. I'd be happy to say I encouraged it.

Unknown said...

Johnny - was that my intent? I could be more precise. Yes, I think they are being "deceived, arrogant, and ... used by the enemy to tear down the body of Christ".

The other piece, "as a whole" needs clarification. I absolutely do not think that is true of all that they write. But I think it permeates no small amount of what they write

The do this enough that some know them by this trait. In fact, I actually find myself not taking time to read some of their excellent stuff and just skim through for points of contention. That's ugly on my part but I know of others who read them for that purpose or have stopped reading them to avoid this stuff. Net, "whole" meaning all of their writing, no; "whole" meaning it has no small role in the body of their work, yes.

Then regarding whole as to who. Phil generates the material, Frank seems to be the agitator. Dan impresses me generally. I only recall one "I like that" so I'm not sure where he is on the issue. Pecadillo, if he has weighed in I missed it.

So whole regarding all of them, I'd say Phil and Frank seem more ensnared in it.

Net - generally speaking, yes I meant what I wrote but if pressed on the extent, I will allow leeway regarding the word "whole".

donsands said...

"I think that's a great idea! Please join us at Off The Map Live wearing your T-shirts."

I'd like to have the one that says: "Texts
Wonderful, Bendable, Highly Amusing Toys" on the front of my t-shirt, and on the back:

"He was wounded for our transgressions, was bruised for our sins... And the Lord has laid on Him the sin of us all". Isa. 53:5-6

To make a point that there are many who are perverting the Holy Bible today, and they seem bold about it.

Isaiah 53 has been a major Holy Text that has lately been bent and twisted by teachers in the EC.
They have lost their fear of God, for they don't mind twisting His word.

"In which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable teachers twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures." 2 Pet. 3:16

Phil Johnson said...

Andrew: "The guy on the couch in "Comfy Chairs" is using a PC and not a MAC - therefore it really cant be emerging church."


Believe it or not, the same thought occurred to me, and I almost did a PhotoShop job on that picture to fix it. Maybe I will, now.

Good catch. If I re-PhotoShop it, I'll stick a Scooterworks-style classic coffee machine in there just for you, Andrew.

Mike Riccardi said...

Solameanie: I am not going to spend time here listing all Emergent-friendly teachers and authors, then rating them on an Olympic-type scale or heresy meter. I'll leave it to you to sort that out.

I think that'd be a pretty cool project, and probably fun for one interested in emerging issues (ahem, Phil, ahem). I'm thinking a Shepherds' Conference seminar....


Phil Johnson said...


Hit reload and he's using a Mac.

Sadly, the espresso machine isn't quite a Scooterworks classic, but it's the closest I could get here in LA on such short notice.