31 August 2007

Emerging Church: bad as Gutless Grace Girliemen? Worse than Wrongheaded Wrightophiles? Sillier than Leaky Canoneers?

— OR —
Emerging/Emergent Errors; Puerile Pomo Prattle; Abominable Antinomian Aberrations; Novel New-Perspective Nonsense; Crazy Charismaniac Charlatanism; Sanctimonious Sacramentalist Superstitions; Cynical, Condescending Catholicity; Private Prophetic Phantasms; and Seeker-Sensitive Silliness: What Do They All Have in Common?

by
Frank Turk & Dan Phillips, but not Phil Johnson—because you people wear him out

The primary point of this post is to really bring all the people we have had consistent adversarial interaction with out of the woodwork to see if we can't make a comment thread go past the 1,000 mark—because after all, we get thousands of readers every day. Everyone should have something to say for himself.

(There's a possible counter-bonus to being so open about our aims. All our friends among the jolly-raunchers and tongue-waggers and shape-shifters and gutless-gracers might read our goal, and think "Well, I'll be [EC verbiage deleted] if I'm going to oblige those judgmental pinheaded legalistic dead-lettered haters!", and stay away. Net result? We get to whack away to our hearts' content, unopposed. See? Win/win!)

So we're going to write a post determined to engage all of the above categories, and it's going to work like this:
  • We're going to assume that when we type phrases like "inerrant scripture," "personal sanctification," "indwelling of the Holy Spirit," and "regenerate believers," they will be blithely ignored or recklessly misconstrued, and will instantly cause someone in one of the adversarial camps to post a comment which has nothing to do with the point we were making.
  • We're going to take it for granted that all of these groups are actually engaged in more important things—you know: like ministry, or real, high-flown academics—than blogging.
  • We're going to have a calm assurance that, no matter what we say, Steve Camp will find a way to disagree and show us how much better his Kung Fu is than ours.
  • We're going to gratuitously post graphics like this one:




And this one:

Maturity?
Inspired by remarks left in the combox below
And this one:


And this one:



And this one:



And this one:




And this one:



And this one:



But not this one:



And the reason for all of that is this—after our concurrent 3-ish years of blogging, we have come to realize that blogging cannot be serious business. Investing a lot of time in posts which say things like God's provision is usually exactly what we need, or that the sufficiency of God's word far exceeds any experience we could hope to encounter, or that we often discount what God has already done never seems to work out for us. People don't remember them. They're not what people come here to see.

And that, frankly, is a shame.

So no sense in wrecking the rest of our week with prayer, reflection and the real meat of God's word. This is what the people want—verbal meat-chubbery—and frankly, from what we understand, giving people what they really want is called missional these days.

We're down with that, because we've listened, heard, read, dialogued, and it keeps coming down to the same thing: the Bible. It seems to be such a problem for so many of our critics.

If you take the Word at its word, it is God's Word. Because it is God's Word, it is truth (John 17:17), it is inerrant (John 10:35), it is sufficient for every Christian need (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Are you a real disciple ofJesus? The way you treat the Bible tells the tale (John 8:31-32). It is the end result of a long, deliberate process (Hebrews 1:1-2), done through men moved by the Holy Spirit who wrote out God's self-revelation, rather than products of their own will (2 Peter 1:20-21).

And it's markedly complete. No essential God-breathed book has been found that antedates Genesis, nor any that post-dates Revelation. The whole vital, need-to-know story and all the details are there: God, man, the universe, the meaning of life and everything. How it all started, how it all ends, what we're to be believing and doing (and not believing nor doing) in the meanwhile.

And there's so much of it. Sixty-six books chock-full of revelation. So much that most professing Christians (to our shame) have never even read it all.

In the light of that, what explains a movement that in effect trivializes it all? A movement that's fascinated with low-voltage pale imitations, so much so that they will redefine Scripture itself to accommodate them? Why (on their view) did God make this perfect thing, then go mostly silent for long centuries, then recently start muttering and stammering and stuttering? It's like they think God is a one-hit wonder, who made one really great album, and then kept making a succession of tired, hackneyed thrift-shop nothing-bombs.

If these mutterings and burblings are actually meaningful, why did God bother to write the Book in the first place?

Or what of another movement that basically has to stare emptily at so much of the Bible? A movement that makes every imperative into a suggestion, treats the commandments of Christ and the apostles as more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules? That turns every vivid and hard warning into a Nerf-bat? That makes the road to Glory wide and easy, but the road to Hell narrow and hard?

If these commandments, warnings, and conditions are actually meaningless, why did God bother to write the Book?

Or what of yet another movement, a vowel/consonant movement, that reduces the clarion calls, the proclamations, the crystal-clear, black-and-white razor-edged demands of God to a "conversation"? A movement that sometimes seems to love community over clarity, dialogue over die-to-sin, leaven* over Heaven, good feelings over Good News, crass over Cross, reinvention over regeneration, edginess over edges, and hipness over holiness? A movement that has all the wisdom of a 20-year-old who's decided he's smarter than his elders (or smarter than all the wisdom of the ages) and approaches the issues of life as if no one else ever saw anything plainly before him...

...and (more particularly) as if God never said anything about the issues of life, or even if He did, as if no one has wrestled with His words before?

If none of the lines or limits of truth has been discovered, uncovered, and well-covered over the last twenty centuries, it makes you wonder why God bothered to give that Book as long ago as He did.

And if the most central issue of the Bible—how can man be just before God?—has been misunderstood by basically every one of the holiest, godliest, most consecrated and devoted men of God for centuries; if, that is, our most elder brothers in the faith have, every one of them, answered that question wrongly, and only a specialist engaging in specialized sub-category studies can unearth the true answer to this basic question...

...it makes you wonder not only why God wrote the Book, but why He made such a poor job of it. Why couldn't He manage to get it Wright... er, right, the first time? Why didn't He make it plain enough for non-specialists to "get" what He was saying?

And what if we lump together all those bustling, bristling groups that have found (invented) such wonderful ways of packing churches—by substituting arts and crafts, skits and dances, jokes and stories, gimmicks and gewgaws, rather than the red-hot, passionate, truth-full, straight-up, eternal-God- talking-to-you-today (Hebrews 3:7-13) preaching of the Word?

Why, really why, did He bother?

See, we may be really old guys, but we wonder things, too.

Don't you? Shouldn't you, anyway?


*Well, at any rate, yeast.

1,062 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 400 of 1062   Newer›   Newest»
donsands said...

Helen, Thanks for being honest. Appreciate it.

ALL FOR ONCE/ ONCE FOR ALL said...

Sojourner,
RE:Kung Fu
I don't remember that episode, frankly the only one I remember is when he p/u the Hibachi w/ his forearms.
A lot of people who doubt truth make that same mistake today :)

Helen said...

donsands: you're welcome.

art said...

For as little sense as Helen is making, she does have at least some part of her canon history correct.

The NT as well know it was collected as the 27 books that we know throughout the first-fourth centuries C.E. (i.e. it was a process). Athanasius is the first person to list the 27 books of the NT (and no others) in his Easter letter in 367 C.E.

The Muratorian Canon Fragment (late 2nd century C.E.) lists 22 of the 27 books, but also includes Wisdom of Solomon and The Apocalypse of Peter.

I'm not saying these books weren't around when the NT was written or that they weren't "Scripture." But, it is true that there is a big difference between what we know as the NT and what first century Christians thought of as their collected, authoritative writings.

donsands said...

Hey, I was numero 200. Does that count for anything?

Only 800 to go.

Tim Bertolet said...

"1,000 posts? Before a holiday weekend? Nahhhh. "

Well, if Mike would just split up those long post. ;)

farmboy said...

"Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the author."

Do "comments" such as the above count toward the goal of 1,000? Once a comment has been made can it at some time in the future cease to be a comment? The MLB stats people probably have an answer.

gods.geek said...

farmboy said...

"'Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the author.'

"Do "comments" such as the above count toward the goal of 1,000? Once a comment has been made can it at some time in the future cease to be a comment? The MLB stats people probably have an answer."

Yes, they count, but they get an asterisk by them in the record book; kind of the Barry Bonds' homer of comments.

Sewing said...

Donsands: And west of the Mississippi, too, I'd reckon, seeing as Frank, Dan, and the web server are all in the land of radio stations that start with K.

Libbie: Godwin's Law...I'd say the key word is not "Pharisee" or "Pharisaical," but "antinomian," which mercifully one doesn't see thrown around here very much, but it seems to be used by pretty much anyone (except the emergents!—a point in their favour?) against pretty much anyone else.

the postmortem said...

Helen,

Ok...let me try to understand the entirety of what you're saying:

First, "People should get their definition of following Jesus from Jesus." (emphasis mine) (as we find in John 14:6)

Next, a "follower" of Jesus should be "intentional about finding out what following Jesus means and then doing that, to the best of his/her ability (as enabled by God)." (see John 10:27-28)

Finally, "That person is answerable to Jesus for how he/she follows." (see 1 Peter 4:5)

To summarize, you believe people must let Jesus define what it means to follow Jesus. You then say Jesus (and Paul) believed (at least) the OT is authoritative. And you also believe Jesus holds people accountable for following in the way he has taught.

Like it or not, you've almost given a presentation of the gospel at this point...but then you say this:

"I said Jesus and Paul said the OT was authoritative; I didn't give my own opinion of it."

Whether you realize it or not, you have proposed that all followers of Jesus must (at least) agree with Jesus that the Old Testament (at least) is authoritative for their lives. Not only that, but Jesus holds them accountable for submission to its truth.

So here's my question: are you ready to give an account to Jesus of your submission to the truths found in the Old Testament as your authority for living?

None of us can live up to that standard of perfection. So, Jesus must not only be our teacher, but our substitute as the only one who has perfectly accomplished this submission. Upon the cross, he atoned for all our rebellion against God's authority, and by trusting in his sacrifice, we are justified and have peace with God. (Romans 5:1)

Helen, you seem to know Jesus well, but do you know him as your Savior?

Sewing said...

Sojourner:

Re the Shaolin monks—I love it! Thanks for that. That story is priceless.

As far as secular blogging is concerned, I regularly check out one blog on Korean affairs, and nationalistic rivalries between China, South and North Korea, and Japan rule the day—so much so that the various countries' very historiographies are heavily shaded by memories or real or alleged past slights by the other countries.

threegirldad said...

Dan: Libbie, tell me about Godwin's law. Please?

Since Libbie hasn't respond yet, I'll jump in, sinced I've said the exact same thing in conversation recently. See here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_Law

The next time I see a mindless, knee-jerk "You're just a pharisee!" post, I'll be sorely tempted to respond:

BZZZZZZZZZT! Thread dead -- you lose.

DJP said...

GilbertAfter reading this article, you can shut down Pyro. This says it all

Frank, Phil -- we're done!

Last one out, turn off the lights.

(c;

Helen said...

the postmortem: here's something I wrote in 1999:

New Life

Here's something I wrote last year

Why I don't go to church anymore

Sewing said...

So if a 404 Not Found page comes up, we'll know what happened—TP shut down and y'all have gone home?

DJP said...

threegirldad—she emailed me, so as not to embarrass me in front of everyone.

Very sweet lady. We like her a lot here.

But thanks, I appreciate it.

Tim Bertolet said...

hey Frank and DJP,

Here's a quote that I think goes right along with the original post:

"THOSE who, rejecting Scripture, imagine that they have some peculiar way of penetrating to God, are to be deemed not so much under the influence of error as madness. For certain giddy men have lately appeared, who, while they make a great display of the superiority of the Spirit, reject all reading of the Scriptures themselves, and deride the simplicity of those who only delight in what they call the dead and deadly letter. But I wish they would tell me what spirit it is whose inspiration raises them to such a sublime height that they dare despise the doctrine of Scripture as mean and childish. If they answer that it is the Spirit of Christ, their confidence is exceedingly ridiculous; since they will, I presume, admit that the apostles and other believers in the primitive Church were not illuminated by any other Spirit. None of these thereby learned to despise the word of God, but every one was imbued with greater reverence for it, as their writings most clearly testify."

John Calvin, Institutes, I.9.1. Of course we don't follow it just because Calvin said so.

Sewing said...

To Mike, Helen, et al:

I know you all are coming from a very different background than I...conservative, Bible-believing churches versus my own atheistic upbringing. Growing up, I saw a landscape of folks professing Christ that seemed all wrong to me—exemplified by the televangelists I saw on TV every Sunday morning. Personally, I could never have become a Christian—that is, reborn in Christ—were it not for the seemingly few churches that properly teach on the Sovereignty of God and the Doctrines of Grace. By the Lord's grace and mercy, He led me to one such church, and has blessed me that I could finally become what He had been calling me to become for two decades.

I understand that you're coming from an evangelical environment, and have turned your backs on it (in different ways) to sort things out for yourselves. (I also acknowledge that y'all are at very different places in your journeys—I'm not trying to lump you all in together.) And I see that there are some in the Reformed camp who are seemingly strident in their beliefs. But honestly, I see in the "modern" (I used that term in its normal, not postmodernist sense) Reformed movement something fundamentally different from what evangelicalism has become in the last century and a half (ever since higher criticism and Finney's revivalism began having their effects on contemporary liberal and conservative Christianity respectively). As far as this blog is concerned, I see wrestling and contention here, but I also see grace and love.

Where am I going with this? I dunno.... For Helen specifically, given your situation, I do hope you'll stick around, and I pray that one day soon, the Lord will bring you back into His loving embrace—or rather, make manifest the loving embrace He is holding you in right now.

Luke & Rachael said...

[In the interest of working toward the 1,000 comment mark, and b/c I'm interested in what people have to say about it, I'm reposting this comment from the L'abri discussion below. (Double-posts count towards the 1,000, right?) If you want the full context go over to that thread.]

Here's what got me thinking on the whole Pyro-L'abri comparison in the first place: I can tell you for certain that if I were as concerned about the EC as the Pyros, and if I had as powerful a venue as this-here blog to do something about it with, I would most certainly not be using Pyro-style confrontationalism to put the EC in its place. I'd definitely be taking cues from L'abri in this context.

The reason is simple: the demographic that you all need to reach to stem the influence of the EC in the Xian community is far more likely to take the time to listen, and maybe even to engage in a little self-critical reflection, if engaged with L'abri-like conversation rather than Pyro-style confrontation.

The comments on this thread about apples and oranges help my point. I take it the apples and oranges point is that, hey, both the L'abri model and the Pyro model of engagement are biblically viable; so let the Pyros be who they be. Fine, good. But now look: if at the end of day the question of whether to employ a L'abri model or a Pyro model isn't so much a biblical issue as a personality one, and if I'm right about the likely comparative effectiveness of each model in addressing the evils of the EC, why on earth wouldn't you use the L-abri model? From a purely pragmatic perspective, it's the wise thing to do. Refusing to take a pointer or two from L'abri on grounds of personal preference just seems less than maximally wise, and maybe even a tad immature.

Here, let me make it easy and lay out my argument more explicitly; then you all can just tell me which premise you reject:

(1) The Pyros and their sympathizers are committed to stemming the influence of the EC in the Xian community.
(2) The L'abri model of engagement and disagreement constitutes a biblically permissible way of trying to do this.
(3) The demographic TeamPyro needs to reach to beat back the EC are more likely to engage w/ TeamPyro, and perhaps in a little self-critical reflection as well, on a L'abri model of conversation rather than a Pyro model of confrontation.
(4) So the Pyros can better accomplish their goals in relation to the EC, in a biblically principled way, on a L'abri style model of engagement.
(C) Therefore the Pyros should be using a L'abri style model.

BTW, I take it this disqualifies anyone from justifiably calling me "postmodern," since as a rule card-carrying pomos don't go in for arguments w/ numbered premises. :)

Helen said...

sewing: thanks for caring. I expect I'll be around on the Internet even if I'm not here. I think I'm fairly easy to track down in cyberspace.

Dave said...

I've got nothing to add, and I sadly don't have time to jump in on the fracas of ironic offendedness.

But I want to say that I enjoy TeamPyro and am consistently challenged by your words to return to the Scriptures as the source of truth. and that's awesome.

Thank you, gentlemen.

mensa reject said...

Mike Morrell,

Good to see you've got a sense of humor--that puts you head and shoulders above the rest of your emergent cohorts. Well, maybe head.

Give them all my love.

XOXO

Sewing said...

To get this baby up to 1,000 comments, I guess you guys shouldn't post anything until next Tuesday.

Except for Spurgeon, which most of us never comment on anyhow. (Hangs head in embarrassment.)

Mensa Reject: Love your profile and your pic. You've got the whole package downpat!

art said...

It's starting to get slow.

Since we all want one thousand...

Frank, you're dumb.

Dan, you're not nice.

Everyone else, you're wrong.

I'm right.

Case closed.

lordodamanor said...

djp-

Sorrrrrrrrrry- but words have more than one meaning....you did not specify the fundies you were talking about-

nor did you mention length...

and my point was that the emergents are not extra-mainstream, just one more manifestation of it, then again we have to defined mainstream, eh?

Habitans in Sicco said...

At this rate, you'll never make 1K without adding some extra spice to the post.

You should add the infamous BHT comic-book cover at the top of the post, or else ask for some kind of referendum where people post yes-or-no answers to something very controversial.

Or why not both? You could put the comic-book cover in the post and ask commenters to vote yea or nay about whether to remove it. Whaddya think?

I vote yea.

farmboy said...

Baptists, even Reformed Baptists, don't gamble, so hypothetically, given the rate at which the comments are accumulating and the goal of 1,000, if I were betting the over-under, I'd have to go with the under. But then I never officiated for the NBA either.

Sewing said...

Art made a sporting attempt at getting things going with his last comment.

I was describing to someone at my church how I read a lot of stuff by Reformed Baptists, and he said something like, "Well, if anyone needs reforming, it's those Baptists!" (He was joking.)

lordodamanor said...

Mike,

"you’re more than willing to align yourselves with Hunt, Hanegraaf, et al, but the moment they dot an “I” wrong you chew ‘em up. It’s sad!"

No it not. We fight for what we believe to be right, if it is my brother, and I truly love him, I will not excuse him but instead faithful are the wounds of a friend.

djp slammed me, I do not hate him for it. I will take it as a good punch, do more research, and grow, what about you? Are you honest enough to throw your punches and stand toe to toe, right or wrong, and become more fit to remain in the ring? From what you've said, though you do fight, you think you shouldn't. Now, that is sad.

I do not like Hanegraaf anymore than Hunt when it comes to skirting texts. I love the two when they are honest. Don't you?

the postmortem said...

Helen,

Thanks for the links. Neither gives a direct answer to the question I asked, though.

centuri0n and Dan,

I just want to thank you both for this post. It was really good for me to read. Sometimes, even for those of us who aren't emergers, we get caught up in the controversy and miss out on the goodness of the teaching of the Bible. I appreciate your willingness to point all of us back to it.

mwd said...

why can't we get on with remaking God in our image, asigning the appropriate "words" to him that make us happy. then we can get down to loving and then the world can see us for who we are and whom we serve.

lordodamanor said...

djp-

maybe this is what threw me-

"publicly denounced" I took publicly to me media in general. It followed on your rebuke of a term small "f" fundamentalist. A general category-

And, by the way you are correct, this is not a self-correcting movement, it is extension of a systemic non-Christian movement that is within, and at times flows over into the streets. We need only to look around us. The SBC appears benign. It is out of denominations like us that these others have emerged.

We need to face it.

Jonspach said...

I'm logging off now. I understand completely that such an announcement offers nothing of value to the conversation, but it does bring the total number of comments one post closer to 1,000.

Don't stop believin' everyone.

Helen said...

the postmortem, are you referring to this question: "Helen, you seem to know Jesus well, but do you know him as your Savior?"

If so then I don't know whether I do or not. I thought I did for 17 years - and evidently my Christian friends, pastors, Bible study leaders, etc. also thought I did; and these were conservative Bible-believing Christians; I'm not talking about ECs.

Now I'm not sure.

Sewing said...

mwd: "Remaking God in our image"? You're kidding, right?

That only makes sense if one thinks that God is a human construct. I presume that even the emergents among us would agree that it is He who made humans in His image and remakes us upon salvation, not the other way around!

Keith B said...

Being from East TX I like the Wild Hog and Hunting Dog poster. However, while I have expressed concern about sarcasm in the combox, I just want to say that I think Team Pyro has done a great job with the issues of our times that threatens the foundations of Christianity. Through the conflict on this blog I have learned much not only about Emerging/Emergent churches but also the correct usage of sarcasm. Thanks.

Lance Roberts said...

Love is defined by the Bible.

If you go outside the Bible, then you don't have love, only a poor fascimile.

donsands said...

"Now I'm not sure."

"By this we know that we abide in Him, and He is us, because He has given us of His Spirit. ...
And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. ....
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe in the name of the Son of God." 1 John 4:13; 5:6,13

What a wonderful letter the Apsotle has written to us here.
I'd encourage to read through it prayerfully.

Christ really did die. And He really rose from the dead. But only God can open a dead heart to this truth.
But once it's opened, you'll know it's opened.

You'll want to repent, and your faith will cause you to love Christ Jesus, because He first loved you.

Also, if you have a chance why not read through 1st & 2nd Peter again. This Apsotle says some incredible things about His Savior and Lord.

Chris said...

That was amazing.

Drummer Chris said...

...you've lost your first love...

Helen said...

don, not being sure isn't something I can make go away by 'repenting'. I can't just manufacture faith somehow.

drummer chris, actually he lost me...evidently he let me slip away.

donsands said...

Helen,
Sure you can. It may be difficult, and feel like a heavy burden, or even impossible, but with God all things are possible.

You believe on the Lord Jesus, and repent, which means you change your mind.

The Gospel is Christ. It's His love for the world. He calls for us to call out to Him.

If you call out to Jesus to save you, and committ yourself to Him, even your unbelief, he can meet you there.

And His mercy and grace are worth more than all this world can give.

Jesus is worth a thousand worlds. There nothing that compares with His love and mercy.

He died for the sins of the world, and we need to repent and believe.

Jo Cool said...

Faith/Doubt poster

Today that poster made me think of the Mother Teresa brouhaha. Selah

Now to make a "Mother is my homeboy" T-shirt!

(there's a newbie's contribution to the 1,000 posts)

the postmortem said...

Helen

I appreciate your honesty. I know what it feels like to not be sure where I stand with God. I also know what it feels like to have your old picture of God shattered, and wonder what there is that you can cling to.

I would just encourage you not to displace this problem on your past church, environment, or God. The first two will never be perfect, and you can't blame them for not being so. I don't say that because I know whether you do that...but because I know I have.

The last thing in that list (God) always is perfect, and you can count on him to be true to his Word and faithful to his promises. For me, that meant giving up on my own self-sufficient attempts to come to a complete understanding of the universe... which only left me despondent and angry with God.

In the midst of this struggle, I was encouraged by these words from Lamentations 3:22-33. It is my prayer that, through them and the rest of his Word, you may gain strength to trust him.

Anonymous said...

This is a negative comment, so it subtracts one.

DJP said...

Keith BThrough the conflict on this blog I have learned much not only about Emerging/Emergent churches but also the correct usage of sarcasm. Thanks.

You're wel---

Say... is that "Thanks" sarcastic?

/c:

DJP said...

drummer chris...you've lost your first love...

Everybody?

Or just me?

DJP said...

Randy McRobertsThis is a negative comment, so it subtracts on

Hey, hey! None of that!

centuri0n said...

245 is pathetic. I'm shocked.

Sewing said...

Helen (taking a cue from the Postmortem):

For over a dozen years, I was in a "dark night of the soul," where I'd gone from a youthful, naive, exuberant faith in God, through to practically doubting whether God existed at all, to where I am now.

At the time, I felt very far from God indeed, and was half convinced he didn't really exist. Everything I tried to get closer to him was fruitless. I just didn't "feel" anything. In hindsight, however, I see now that He was firmly in control of my life the whole time, and was right there with me, even though I didn't see it. He's been walking me every step of the way since he first revealed Himself to me 19 years ago—even though for most of those 19 years, I hardly felt his presence.

Helen, I don't know you, but I get the sense that you're in a not entirely dissimilar place to where I was. I'd hazard a guess you're probably a lot closer to God than you think you are. I grew up an atheist, but after the flowering of faith I experienced soon after God started calling me to Himself, I wound up in a very agnostic place, where I thought of myself at the time as effectively an atheist, though I know in hindsight He never let me fall that far.

Why did God even guide you to start commenting on this blog? His hand may be at work right now. He may be leading you to a place far beyond where you were in your previous churchgoing life.

Forgive me if there's any hint of presumptuousness in this comment. I'm just trying to encourage you.

DJP said...

Maybe time for Habitans' suggestion of a comic book cover?

centuri0n said...

Luke:

Your argument is interesting, logical, and precise.

It fails on one account only: it forgets that the point is not to give the pomos what they want but instead what they need.

It's foolishness to Greeks.

Helen said...

donsands, the postmortem and sewing - thanks.

Sewing said...

More on the Dark Night of the Soul here. Although the actual terminology has close connections to Catholic mysticism, the basic phenomenon is, methinks, a regularly occurring one among God's community of believers.

For me, God needed to lead me from belief in a humanistic Jesus, through a series of trials, tribulations, and blind allies—as well as meet my wife and establish a life with her—before I would be ready to understand and exercise faith in the redeeming nature of the living Christ.

Some of Dan's excellent posts on suffering may be germane to someone who feels distant from God. Think how Job felt in the depths of his suffering!

(Some more folks had better hurry up and start commenting. I don't want to turn this thread into my confessional!)

art said...

I had to check with Drs. Borg, Funk, and Crossan before I posted this, just to make sure my facts were straight.

As we can tell from extant textual evidence from the Aramaic, Greek, Coptic, and Armenian documents, the original title of this work, roughly translated, is "The Frivolous Commonalities of Proto- and Neo- Orthodox Beliefs Which Stand in Contradistinction to the Gospel of Our Lord." This, of course, is alliterated in the Aramaic text, which leads scholars to believe in Aramaic primacy via 2 or more vorlagen most likely originating in Babylon. The Aramaic title remains in some of the earliest copies of the Coptic manuscripts, but has been subjugated to the margins. This subjugation seems to be, at least in part, theologically and politically motivated, as the title that replaced it reads: "These Guys Really Aren't That Bad." The scribe(s) responsible seem to come from the McBell school, although this is merely speculation.

Moving onward. Notice the use of the symbol "&" as opposed to the conjunction "and" when attributing authorship immediately followed by another conjunction ("but") that implies difference. This seems to be a later gloss placed in the text by followers of the Johnson school who grew increasingly wary of the teachings of both the Turkanian and Danstonian (ironically, those schools often feuded with each other later in church history, but this text had already reached a normative status...any change would have been weeded out immediately). The use of the symbol "&" also functions to bring the names of Frank Turk and Dan Phillips closer together (spelling out "and" would have placed the names 5 spaces away, while the use of the symbol "&" places the names 3 symbols away...this is all assuming this pericope was not originally composed in scripta continua). This is a visual way to make a relational point: Frank Turk and Dan Phillips are closely related in thought. Some later scholars believe the latter merely to be a pen name for the former, making the two people actually the same person. This view was seen as invalid after the fall of Docetism.

The first part of this document (from "The primary point.." to "Win/win!) So...) has been concluded to be a later addition. This addition served the purpose of laying out the trajectory of content the rest of the text will follow. However, this insertion has not been well preserved: notice that some of the "verbiage" has been deleted. Perhaps this section was in the front of the codex and, therefore, not as well preserved as the rest of the document.

The main body of the text originally began with "we're going to write a post..." Textual critics have shown that within this genre of literature known as a "post" the author(s) are more likely to begin with a bulleted outline prefaced by one introductory sentence. There are also words found within the spurious introduction that are not found within the rest of the document (such as the number "1,000," and "jolly"). This words were not in usage until later in history, perhaps imported to the document as Arianisms.

The content of the text seems to be focused on something known as the emerging or emergent church. There is no extant theological statements from this sect within Christianity, who seemed to be focused simply on, what they called, "living the gospel." This phrase, as it were, is not found within the Biblical text. Nevertheless, from secondary literature scholars were able to deduce that the emerging or emergent sect focused on "visual arts." Within the text in question, there seem to be 13 different visual images placed within the text. This has been demonstrated by a number of scholars (foremost, Dr. Julius Wellhausen) to be a much later addition by those within the emerging sect as a piece of irony. Wellhausen believed that the emerging sect's leaders attempted to cover the text with images, so as to erase its content from history. This, however, is simply a theory that has been challenged by Tony Jones, IV in an essay written in No Longer Relevant magazine.

Later in the text, there seems to be a scribal mistake which has been continually present within the text in its various forms. Notice the term "Wright" is crossed out, followed by the term "er." This has baffled textual critics for centuries. Perhaps the original redactor made a mistake either by parablesis or homoeoteleuton and switched from one vorlegan to another in mid sentence. It seems the evidence, at this point, in inconclusive.

The last image has also caused quite a stir in the world of textual scholars. Some have concluded that this is, in fact, a picture of the infamous Frank Turk and Dan Phillips that also includes their favorite Scripture passages next to their portrait.

Sewing said...

A brilliant tour de force, Art!

SolaMeanie said...

Notw

Your constant carping over what is supposed to constitute "agape" or love is growing tiresome. True biblical love is far more than just throwing out warm fuzzies. Sometimes slugs rather than hugs are precisely what is needed.

Aside from you apparently cherrypicking Scripture and definitions, how can you look into the hearts of anyone posting here and determine they are devoid of love, and that lack of said love is what motivates them. Such an idea, if indeed you hold it, makes you guilty of judging motivations.

When the Apostle Paul expressed the wish that those who were sowing false doctrine in the Galatian church would "mutilate themselves," he was acting out of anger AMD love. Love for the Galatian church, and love for the truth, and anger at false teachers.

I think it's time you and those of like mind get your collective heads out of the sand and realize that there are many facets to love, including the need to be stern and yes, sarcastic at times.

Again, for the record, Dan, Phil and Frank have posted how many columns over the past two years dealing seriously with the doctrinal problems rife within the movement that disdains being called a movement. And rather than serious doctrinal engagement with the issues AND Scriptures they raise, they get pompous, self-righteous, childish whining.

Note to the guys: ditch the gentle remonstrances, and above all ditch the meat chub. It's time to get out paddles with holes drilled in them. Hey, at this juncture, I am ready to follow the example of the Lord and get out the bullwhip.

Anonymous said...

"All your base are belong to us"...

Please 'splain this to me.

Sewing said...

...And Frank, Dan (and Phil), may I say that this blog has truly been a blessing. I stumbled upon TP by the most improbably providential of circumstances. Had I not done so, I wouldn't have known who John Piper was, and I wouldn't have gone to hear him speak at our church. Had I not done that, I wouldn't have twigged how deeply Reformed our pastor is. Had that not happened, I wouldn't have plugged into the fount of blessings the Lord has meted out to me as my daily nourishment, in learning of the great believers and teachers of the past who have been a faithful part of God's remnant church, from Abel, Enoch, and Noah, through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, and Elijah, to John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and onwards to all of the great post-canonical teachers past and present.

You guys can be confrontational and sometimes in-your-face, but that's never what attracted me to this blog. The first post I read was part 3 of Dan's testimonial early this year, and it was the long, deep, rich teaching posts that kept me coming back for more. Your clarity in discernment and doctrine is what gives your writing such conviction. In turn, I have been able to take what I learn here as a complement to what I learn in our church, and give it back to other seekers and believers in their journeys in faith.

Keep it up, and may God continue to bless you, and us through you.

Russet Shadows said...

From what I've read, the EM conversation is nothing more than a playground for overly-intelligent hipsters; it claims "missionality" but the only missions which concern it is finding more buds to hang out with; neither doctrine nor the dying concern it. It's like some fun-house mirror-reflection of the excesses of the modern-day evangelicism, but it provides no answers. So it critiques excess with emptiness, leaving souls as barren and hopeless as they were before, providing only a rampart from which to hurl feces and urine. Way to go. That's extremely mature.

What is the future of the EMC? What was the future of the laughing revival? What is the future of the gold-filling ministry? Twenty years hence, no-one will know or care. Both roads lead to the same place -- abandonment of faith.

The idiocy of it all is that claiming to be part of the 'conversation' amounts to a license to blaspheme and attack Christ without all the negative implications of Satanism or atheism.

Sewing said...

Everyday Mommy: explanation here.

Sewing said...

261 comments (262 now) is pretty good without even really trying very hard....

IronWill said...

Mike Morrell Sez:
IronWill, I believe that heresy exists and is dangerous. Honest I do. I have Jude and 2 Peter and Timothy in my Bible, as well as Jesus' warnings. I know that sound teaching is precious, and worth conserving. But here's the thing--two things, really--in all my reading about 'false teachers,' the 'thing' the first-century NT writers got so hopping mad about was people turning grace into law! Check out Galatians. (I know it happened the other way 'round too, with grace into license. But that just seemed like another day in the local church community for Paul; he'd deal with it and move on. But Galatians! Man, he gets mad in that letter!) People subverting the freedom and simplicity of life in God and making people miserable through religious obligation. This is true of Jesus himself; who did he get really mad at, the prostitutes and tax collectors? No! It was the religious teachers, the doctrinaire, the Pharisees and Sadducees. I understand, re: Godwin’s Law and Pharisee comparisons, and actually NT Wright and Dunn are helping me appreciate the Pharisees a bit more. But I still think that Jesus is at home in emerging communities of faith. I think many heresy-hunters form the warning passages of Scripture into wax noses, twisting this way and that, to apply to heresies the bible just doesn’t address.

My Response:
You're right, Jesus did deal extensively with the Pharisees, but there's a reason for this. Jesus was a Jew who had to deal with Jewish problems. Remember that Christ commanded the disciples to obey what the Pharisees taught. The Pharisees were the orthodoxy of their day.

You're right of course, that Christ had a problem with them. But it was because of the fact that A)they had the wrong attitude, and B)they were hypocrites.But His problem was not with their teaching.

Paul and the Apostles primarily had to deal with Judaizers, who were attempting to convert Gentiles to Jewish customs. But they also had to deal with those who were teaching false doctrine(see 1Timothy 2:17-18). What good is love without correct teaching? I would contend if the teaching is not correct, then there truly is no love. We cannot truly love those we want to reach or teach if we are not teaching them what is correct. And what we teach must need be held up to the Scriptures to make certain that it is right. Truth spoken without love is wrong, but so is love spoken without truth.

Sewing said...

One more comment after this one and we've exceeded the N.T. Wright post linked to in the original article. Time to break out the dealcoholized champagne?

dec said...

Sewing said:
I wouldn't have twigged how deeply Reformed our pastor is.

Oh, you English, your language is so charming.

Sewing said...

Is that an Anglicism? I'm a Canucklehead born and bred! True, the Queen is our Head of State and my father pronounces tomato "to-mah-to," but I didn't "twig" it's an Anglicism, guv, jolly old chap, eh wot?

YnottonY said...

       

dec said...

YnottonY is speechless.

Sewing said...

Just when this comment thread was going nowhere fast, ynottony comes along to give it second wind! ;)

Sewing said...

We're guaranteed to at least hit 500 now!

dec said...

YnottonY said..
" ".

I completely disagree. I am so unhappy with your comment that I can not reply in the gentle spirit that is characteristic of this blog.

I must now go meditate.

The Boy in The Crowd said...

Theres a parable to describe this

There was a group of priests walking together in Germany one day in 16th century Germany, they were talking to themselves about the whether, politics, the times and a new sect that had developed. It was led by one of their old colleagues, a man by the name of Martin Luther. They said how angry they were him peddling this new theology, it questioned all they held dear, and he was questioning the very foundations of their church, how dear he question the indulgences they said, this must be of the enemy, they said, and look at his ragid group of followers, they don’t know what they believe, their just questioning, they don’t have answers. But we should worry, its just a fad, they are not doing the right thing, God is on our side.

There’s another story to go with this one, a group of Pharisees got together one day. They said to each other “O how happy we are that we have got ridden of that annoying pesky preacher in Palestine, he was questioning all that we held dear, how could he question our Sabbath day, our celebrations, our way of life. Look at the way he lived, he hung out with prostitutes, he was a glutton and a drunk, and his followers followed him asking questions of him, not showing the respect they should to their leader.” Oh aren’t we happy that nice little fad is over!

On the day of Pentecost, the Pharisees worst fears are realised, the movement they believed they had stamped out had risen again, in a new form, revealing new power of God, preaching with authority, healing the sick, preaching salvation had come. How dare they do this, Oh well, the Pharisees said to them, we will persecute them just like we did their unholy leader, we will show them for what they are, a fraud. Look at them hanging out with gentiles, no good Jew would do that, they aren’t preaching true Judaism, God won’t be with them, its all a fad, it will die out in a couple of years, and everything will be just the same!

Take what you might out of this, there are issues within all parts of the church, reveal Jesus through your actions, God is creative, you said that in one of your posts recently, I do agree with you that anything new should be in accordance with scripture, and there are issues in every single new movement, but so was there in the early church, in how the reformation occurred and how anything new occurs. God uses broken damaged people to do his will. Just look throughout the bible, everyone except Jesus was a broken damaged person, they didn’t get everything right, and had baggage and issues from their past, it was only through the grace of God that they could be used.

M said...

Ok, I read too many coments and my brain is fried.

For some reason, some post along the line, i wanted to respond with this.

The source of truth is God.

God's revealed truth is contained in the Bible.

A reasonable facsimile of such truth can be found in most English Language Bibles (there are exceptions..cough Message...cough...)

Start there and when you feel you've exhausted all the truth in English, learn Greek and Hebrew and start over.

Spend 180 bucks and get 4gb of pdf files of commentary from ages software (actually, I think you have to buy it from CBD to get it for that price), and stand on the shoulders of the giants of the faith.

If you've read all that (including the 3000+ sermons from Spurgeon) and you're still not dead of old age, start over again, because you've certainly forgotten some stuff by now.

DJP said...

ART, that was wonderful. Thanks for the effort. Well-done!

< applauds >

dec said...

the boy said:
I do agree with you that anything new should be in accordance with scripture

Indeed. I agree with you.

DJP said...

O The Boy in The Crowd, if you're implying that the EC is analogous to The Good Guys in your parables — what is the fatal flaw?

(Hint: the post was all about it.)

a_simple_bloggtrotter said...

Team Pyro,


I have been reading Phil's posts from before he decided to rip off imonk and go group-blog. Gotta say: Three-ish years of solid-ish and (much more often than not) Biblical posts. I am edified more often than not, and that is a blessing I do try to pass on as I can.



bloggTRotter







God bless

Kevin Stilley said...

Protagoras is alive and well and doing what he "believes is necessary in order to follow Jesus faithfully."

Helen said...

Kevin wrote: Protagoras is alive and well and doing what he "believes is necessary in order to follow Jesus faithfully."

Sounds good...who is Protagoras?

steve said...

Did I miss it, or have the Wrightophiles been absent from the discussion thus far? The energy they often expend in defense of N.T. should easily have pushed the comment count past 350 by now.

Are they hiding quietly in the woods and saving up their ammunition for John Piper's soon-to-be-released Future of Justification?

blackhat173 said...

"So we're going to write a post determined to engage all of the above categories" - cool, when can we expect to see it?

Shawn Wilhite said...

I don't know if the words 'I love you' have ever come from your lips

Shawn

Dan Paden said...

Frank, if you're close enough to visit Elmer's on a semi-regular basis, I guess you're close enough that I will eventually make it out to your bookstore.

As for "kung-fu"--schmung fu. Anyone who's been around knows that Okinawan karate, ryukyu kempo to-te jutsu, is da bomb. :)

Anonymous said...

Top 5 Comments:

5.) David said:

"If the church does not embrace God's word fully, well, then that church really isnt a Christian church".

4.) opn said:

"I want to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, but I don't want His words to get in the way of it".

3.) sojourner said:

"At some point, you simply have to tell the truth, and I have yet to see how a clear explanation of sin can possibly be "non-confrontational".

2.) Cent said:

"Does the disciple of Jesus Christ have an obligation to know the Scripture and do what it says to do"?

and the number one comment goes to...

1.) YnottonY said:




(crickets)

Anonymous said...

Honorable Mention goes to...

Dan said:

Yep.

DJP said...

blackhat173"So we're going to write a post determined to engage all of the above categories" - cool, when can we expect to see it?

Soon as you turn your SpongeBob costume around. Got the eye-holes on the wrong side, dude.

dec said...

Shawn stated:
I don't know if the words 'I love you' have ever come from your lips.

My guess is Fezzik from 'The Princess Bride'.

DJP said...

lol

Shawn Wilhite said...

No seriously, I'm new here, and can you at least point me to a link, or give me a short answer to how this kind of tone is loving?

Habitans in Sicco said...

Shawn:

Here.

Read the comments, too.

Luv ya.

donsands said...

"give me a short answer to how this kind of tone is loving?"

It's "speaking the truth in love", that is true love.

" .. rather than the red-hot, passionate, truth-full, straight-up, eternal-God- talking-to-you-today (Hebrews 3:7-13) preaching of the Word?"

Love rejoices in the truth. God's Word is the truth.
TeamPyro rejoice in the truth, and so a loving tone.

Kaffinator said...

Hi Shawn, let me take a crack too.

The question to ask yourself is whether the words of Dan and Frank, (not to mention their Shadowy Overlord) emerge from a desire to love or a desire to hate.

Do they post out of a love for truth? A love for the Word of God? A love for those who are at risk of becoming deluded by false promises?

If you see this in them, as I do, then it is not so hard to imagine that they have a love even for those who are doing the deluding. By "love" I do not mean a sack of useless cloying pleasantries, but a love like...well...like the kind Paul employed in 1 Cor 5:5.

And ya know? That's why I keep coming back to the Pyros. When they're not exhorting from scripture to the best of their considerable abilities, they're exemplifying the kind of full-bodied, full-contact brotherly love that takes people's claims seriously and engages them where they stand.

And I'll take that, over "well I kinda sorta might disagree maybe but I sure don't want to hurt anybody's feelings". Any day of the week. Even in those rare cases when I might disagree.

Habitans in Sicco said...

What Kaffinator said.





Oh. And here's another link for Shawn. Search the comments there for the phrase "how are these 'signs' gracious?"

Shawn Wilhite said...

I "NEVER" said I disagreed with the post. I can't stand the Postmodern movement AT ALL. I REPEAT I CAN'T STAND IT.

However, what I did say is: Why can't we let the authority of Word of God come forth through the pure reading and teaching of Scripture, the tone of my voice will not convict the soul. It may stir emotions, but the emotions will not last. Teach and preach TRUTH tactfully.

I would still get my point across if I taught TRUTH (with passion), not by demeaning people.

Let's use someone that everyone should be aware of, for example Kevin Vanhoozer. He considers himself 'Postconservative', which do not consider themselves 'Evangelical Conservative' (look it up in "The Voice and the Actor: A Dramatic Proposal About the Ministry and Misntrelsy of Theology," in Evangelical Futures, page 10; or, "Reclaiming the Center: Confronting Evangelical Accommodation in Postmodern Times", edited by Millard Erickson, Justin Talyor). However, have you read his sermon titled "Worship at the Well: From Dogmatics to Doxology (And Back Again)" from TRINJ 23 NS (2002) 3-16. It was excelent. I won't fully agree with his theological position's on many points, but I won't step back and degade him.

That is what I meant by: can we say it seasoned with 'love.'

Chris West said...

Art said, "Nevertheless, from secondary literature scholars were able to deduce that the emerging or emergent sect focused on "visual arts."

That's when I laughed. I don't understand the individual beliefs in the EC, but I do disagree with what a lot their "leaders" say.

Andrew said...

Fabulous posts like this make me want to blog more. May a thousand comments be yours,

andrew jones
http://tallskinnykiwi.com

Tom Chantry said...

Can I do that too?

John MacArthur is premillennial. So was S. Lewis Johnson. So am I.

There y'go! It's a Reformed consensus! Yayy!


Hey! Hey! Hey!!!

I thought you didn't do that here!

centuri0n said...

Mike:

| Um...no, not really. Different people
| are sitting around in the Bible,
| sleeping, working, eating, and they
| "hear" (in whatever sense) God
| asking them questions or directing
| them to do things.

Of all the that ways all the people who cling to supernatural kerygma want to justify their belief, this one is prolly the least compelling. "in whatever sense"? So this discussion comes to the place that all the people in the OT who are doing things because they are compelled by God's words to do them (for example, Balaam, who could not curse Israel but wanted the money, or Jonah, about whom I have expounded at length), these people are just following some vague impression, and their confession that the word of the Lord came to them, and thus saith the Lord, these things are "in whatever sense"?

Run that by Sam Storms, dude. See if he buys that.

| I don't see this as
| being too different than how millions
| of people around the world hear God
| now.

Then you have proved my point and my objection -- not refuted it or subverted it.

| Is it always God, 100% of the
| time? Of course not. It could be
| drugs, demons, or bad pizza. But I
| like to give God the benefit of the
| doubt at least sometimes.

It's not God I doubt. It's the pizza, the drugs, the demons, and most importantly the human heart which is deceitful above all things.

| Acts 2
| and I Corinthians and all that. But I
| know you guys have devoted scads
| of blog posts to debunking all such
| passages, so I don't see the
| fruitfulness of debating cessation
| yet again. I'll only say this: Unless
| you're a full we're-living-in-the-new-
| heavens-and-earth-now preterist,
| you have no exegetical grounds to
| invoke the "when the perfect comes,
| tongues, et al, will cease." You just
| don't. Only a full preterist does.

Not even hardly -- but I have dealt with that elsewhere. If you're willing to not say things in order to avoid controversy, the most I'll do is not repeat myself.

| But
| even the preterist then needs to
| contend with "the powers in the age
| to come" that Hebrews names.

Holy Christmas. You think the Heb 6:5 says that people who are not saved, and are falling away, can experience the charismata?

Run that by Sam Storms, dude. There comes a place where the only reason to tell you you're wrong is so that I have a clean conscience.

| Okay, enough about my experiences
| with the internally consisistent, same
| yesterday-and-today God revealed in
| Christ.

Yes, I see: unless Moses' experience and your experience are identical, there's something wrong with God.

And I'm the one getting everyone's rhetorical angry-eyebrows.

| I'm glad you believe in God as
| the all-in-all, the active creator and
| sustainer of everything. That, in my
| opinion, would make it easier for you
| to be a contemplative and a
| charismatic-God is everywhere,
| speaking in all things. The universe is
| his canvas. Of course you don't
| chuck discernment. Of course
| Scripture is unique in the scheme of
| things. But if you believe God is
| sovereign and in all, you just
| shouldn't struggle so with
| contemporary encounters with God.

What I struggle with is the blurring of the distinction between general revelation and special revelation -- the difference between Rom 1 and Heb 1. It's fine to say, "I see God in the Lake Weddington hiking trails," but something else completely to say, "and He told me there that now I have to start a company selling Christian jelly beans."

The first is in evidence to all people; the last, in the best case, comes from someone’s own interpretation. Peter didn't think that was such a hot idea in his letter, and maybe we should think about that.

| My reading of Scripture tells me we
| are to expect such things.

You should present that reading of Scripture. I'd be willing to consider it with you. What you have presented here is not a great representation of anything.

| And you
| have plenty of good Reformed
| teachers who explain this to you in
| your own nomenclature-Gruden,
| Mahaney, Storms, et al.

You make a statement next which is very telling, but let me suggest something: good men can be wrong, and even the three you list here are not in some kind of conformity in how they would talk about supernatural kergyma.

Being "Reformed" doesn't simply give one a theological or exegetical hall pass. Mike Horton, Kim Riddlebarger and Ken Jones are reformed, and they wouldn't even count these other guys as reformed, nor would they buy into supernatural excitements.

Impasse. Stalemate. Unless, of course, one is willing to try something like this ...

| Why you're
| hardened to this staggers the
| imagination.

I see: either I'm Kansas City charismatic, or I'm reprobate -- "hardened".

Got it. And TeamPyro are the ones who have a problem with arrogance.

| I'll never make fun of
| your comic books. I'm an avid comic
| book geek. My faves: Peter David's
| run on The Incredible Hulk and Bob
| Burden's Flaming Carrot. Yours?

All-time: George Perez's first run on the Avengers, Peter David's Hulk (and they cut it off for what -- Heroes Reborn? please.), Next Men, and the runs on Captain America by Mark Wade.

| __Yes...in some sense you make
| your extreme counterparts. Just like
| American foreign policy and
| terrorism. We get the enemies we
| "deserve." Now, I'm not saying this
| absolves antagonees from
| responsibility to process their darker
| sides just because their antagonists
| are provoking them-but we're all
| interconnected. Everyone. We need
| to awaken to this reality.

Oh brother. There's nothing I can say about that which is not sarcastic and critical, so rather than "make you" respond, I'll just laugh into my coffee cup ...

| You say:
| "you're so afraid of conflict you
| can't even accept criticism from
| other believers." Well, at least
| you're affording us the courtesy of
| being fellow believers, more than
| some in this comments section are
| doing. I appreciate that. And yes,
| brother, if you and I lived in the
| same town, I'd love to have coffee
| with you, bibles in hand, and get to
| know each other.

Unless you're making friends with the deacons and elders of the local Founders-friendly SBC church, I think you're spreading it on a little thick, dude. Don't be star-struck with my blogging. If you're serious about encountering the things I believe in a personal way, all relational and fuzzy, cup o' joe, etc., go do that.

But here's what I think: I think you left a church some time in the past which believed these things because they believed these things and you wanted something "deeper" or something "higher" or something "bigger". This "relational" talk all breaks down when it turns out that the only "relationships" getting sought out are ones in which everyone is of the same stripe, and those of a different stripe are "hardened" or worse.

| I'd love to hear
| your story of how you came to
| Christ, and you could hear mine. I'd
| like to learn how you're growing in
| faith-where you're at, how you got
| here, what you're wondering about
| and what you're struggling with. And
| I'd do the same. Now this might
| sound all namby-pamby to you, and
| if it does I'm sorry. I just think that
| affirmation and grace should be
| trumpeted worldwide and
| disagreements handled locally.

See above.

| It does less shame to the name of
| Christ and the unity of the Body that
| way. __"Have some spiritual moxie
| and face up to criticism." Dude, I'm
| more than up to entering the fray of
| criticism. Forget defense, I can go on
| the offense. But-and I'm sorry if
| anyone thinks this is a high horse or
| deflection-I'm also really busy, and
| don't know that I'd have the time
| and energy to (pardon my cynicism)
| spend months going nowhere.

Which is why you're text-dumping our meta right now.

I see.

| There are reasons that the emerging
| conversation has struck such a chord
| with so many of us. And there are
| reasons why it strikes a nerve with
| so many others. I want to honor this
| panoply of reasons, and I'm
| wondering if there's a better way
| than online shouting matches.

Let me process that: if we do it your way -- and don't offend anyone or have real disagreement -- it's valid. If we do it my way, and really disagree, and are serious about seeking a resolution to the disagreement, it's a "shouting match". It's ungodly in some way.

I'm glad you are so open-minded.

| Maybe local gospel debates, I dunno. 'Cause
| the truth is, I'd love it if we were all
| of one mind in more practical
| expressions. Christians coming
| together in honesty and in love,
| hashing out differences, each
| compromising entrenched positions
| to give way to greater
| Light...sounds like redemptive
| community to me.

I like "honesty" and "hashing". And I am in massive debt to "love", so I get that. The problem is that you don't want "hashing" and you don't want "honesty", as we can see, above. You want unity first -- and unity, while critical and significant and a functional attribute of the local church, is an end not a means. You don't start with unity: you end with unity.

Tom Chantry said...

Daryl, brother, it pains me to do this, but I must rebuke you. I take great offense at your stepping out to cut the grass. I intend to initiate Matthew 18 proceedings immediately.

centuri0n said...

Note to Mark Waid:

Sorry about the typo, dude. You're my hero.

Helen said...

Centurion wrote: So this discussion comes to the place that all the people in the OT who are doing things because they are compelled by God's words to do them (for example, Balaam, who could not curse Israel but wanted the money, or Jonah, about whom I have expounded at length), these people are just following some vague impression, and their confession that the word of the Lord came to them, and thus saith the Lord, these things are "in whatever sense"?

Do you think anyone since the Bible was complete has heard the word of God in the way Balaam heard it? Has God stopped communicating in the way he communicated to Balaam? How did he communicate with Balaam? How did Balaam know it was God speaking to him?

Or are some of these unanswerable questions, since we don't have enough information to answer them?

If you believe God speaks differently since the Bible was completed, what do you base that on (apart from possibly that verse in 1 Cor 13 about 'when perfection comes' - is there anything else?)

Is it possible for imperfect humans to have perfect certainty that they have heard God correctly - or understood the Bible correctly?

centuri0n said...

I've gone easy on you so far, Helen. Let's see where this post goes.

| Do you think anyone since the
| Bible was complete has heard
| the word of God in the way
| Balaam heard it?

Nope.

| Has God
| stopped communicating in the
| way he communicated to
| Balaam?

Yup.

| How did he
| communicate with Balaam?

With words. Balaam obvious had a conversation with God where God asked questions, Balaam answered and asked questions, and they interacted verbally.

With words. See Numbers 22.

| How did Balaam know it was God
| speaking to him?

The same way you know, for instance, when your mother is talking to you: you know what she sounds like.

| Or are some
| of these unanswerable
| questions, since we don't have
| enough information to answer
| them?

I'm not willing to cop out that way. We have more than enough info to deduce that Balaam got specific instruction from God about Israel - or rather, what he could not do.

| If you believe God
| speaks differently since the
| Bible was completed, what do
| you base that on (apart from
| possibly that verse in 1 Cor 13
| about 'when perfection comes'
| - is there anything else?)

Here's what I think, in a nutshell:

[1] God is able to do what He intends to do, and what He wants to do.

[2] it is massively evident in the faith-history which is the Bible that God's intention is to give a written account of His purpose for all things.

[3] God's final purpose is the work of Jesus Christ -- and in that work, God calls all men to Himself in an offer of forgiveness for those who will repent and believe.

[4] Because that purpose is complete, no further revelation is necessary.

Repent and Believe, Helen. You don't need any other revelation or communication in order to get that, and it's the most important thing that can happen to you.

| Is it
| possible for imperfect humans
| to have perfect certainty that
| they have heard God correctly -
| or understood the Bible
| correctly?

You want to be infallible? I can't offer that. You want truth, and salvation, and a savior who will not fail? That's the offer the Bible makes. And I'm reporting that to you today -- declaring it, for the sake of the theology vocabulary police.

See a savior who pours out His blood so that sin is paid for in full, and the record of sins we each have is nailed to a cross.

Tom Chantry said...

Where I might differ from many of you is that I see the conservative church as dying, too, even if it looks strong in mega churches and the Global South today. It’s all dying—liberal and conservative alike—because it’s clinging desperately to a world that’s not longer here.

Mike, please don't take offense, but I want to cherry-pick this statement from your comments. I know it doesn't communicate your entire thinking, but I'm not going to attempt to engage the whole logic of your comments. Others have done so.

This statement represents, I believe, one of the most compelling arguments in any theological debate, but it is compelling only in an emotional sense. It has been used repeatedly for centuries. It has been used by deists, by higher critics, by Barthians, etc. The argument is essentially: "Your position is outdated - abandon it or be left behind." (Sorry, Dan - couldn't resist.)

Now I'm not saying that this argument proves a person to be unregenerate, but it is very good evidence that the argument being made is weak and unfounded. For example, a friend of mine was recently told by his pastor, "More and more conservative, Reformed people hold to Progressive Creationism. If you hold to a literal six days, you're going to have a hard time finding a church." The man who said this was, so far as I know, a genuine believer, and in many ways a solid preacher. But his argument was woefully inadequate, and it points ultimately to the fallacy of his beliefs about creation.

If a position is true, it is true. If an argument deserves to be heard, it deserves to be heard whether it is coming from a growing majority or a diminishing remnant. Only the false inventions of sinful hearts require this sort of scare-tactic defense.

But let's face it: no one wants to be alone. Elijah ran to Mt. Sinai because he thought he was the only one left. But he did not conclude that he should consequently submit to Baal worship. In time God revealed the truth to him: he was one of thousands. The kingdom of God was not going to end with Elijah.

I think we can fairly conclude from his experiences that it is pointless to try to read the tea leaves and figure out what the future history of the church will be short of the return of Christ. The truth should be followed because it's the truth, and regardless of trends and historic shifts, God will always maintain His church in spirit and in truth. It matters not whether we are part of a dwindling remnant or an explosively resurgent revival. It matters only that we are on the Lord's side.

Everyone wants to be Martin Luther. Everyone wants to be on the edge of a wave of revival and renewal. But history is in God's hands, not ours. If He would have us stand faithful while the church at large abandons truth, so be it. I would rather stand with Machen than with Fosdick. The latter may have represented the dominant trend, but the other has reached glory.

I don't really know whether Mike intended this comment fragment, which I have admittedly quoted out of context, as a prod to drive others to his opinion, but the truth is that many will use similar comments in that way. Perhaps that is as good an explanation of any for why so many have adopted emerging trends.

But it is an argument which must be rejected by those who love truth. Better to enter the wilderness as the only one left, or to languish as one of the seven thousand (though perhaps the only family in your own village) than to bow the knee to Baal. Let history take care of itself.

Helen said...

Centurion, thanks for your response.

With words. Balaam obvious had a conversation with God where God asked questions, Balaam answered and asked questions, and they interacted verbally.

So did God make audible sounds in this conversation? Or did he speak into Balaam's mind?

Does God speak into your mind? Like, when you are trying to figure out whether a) or not a) is God's will for you, how do you do that?

One of the biggest places I got stuck was: God is unknowable, because if I try to hear him in my head I have no idea if that's just me talking to myself.

I go to the Bible - definitely outside my head which adds helpful objectivity - Christians greatly disagree over what it means so, still, things are too unclear.

I expect you would say this is EXACTLY why you are so concerned about the EC. They are the ones muddying the water.

But my problems arose in VCC-land when I found myself continually noticing: "I think God's will (for me) is A, but this other Christian evidently thinks it's not A".

You could say, ok, so clearly my discernment of God's will was already off-track.

But it wasn't, always, because, well, when I said "I am in desperate need of guidance" and I was more desperate than I have ever been, before or since, then I did what I thought God told me to do and - I was rescued from that situation.

When I was *sure* God wanted me to take a course and my church said I couldn't take it there because I wasn't eligible to be a lay counselor for them, then a few days later I ran into someone in the park who I told and he said "Oh, I am doing that course; you can take it through me".

Yes, these are personal, subjective and anecdotal.

But I expect somehow, somewhere, you have the same; you have personal experiences of God which anchor your beliefs.

When people ask me to repent - am I supposed to repent of being honest enough to say I don't know, and start pretending I have faith I don't have?

Am I supposed to repent of rejecting all cruel and unkind religion practised supposedly in the name of God who is love/abounding in loving-kindness?

Am I supposed to repent that the discussion board I host is a place where I welcome guests and treat them with respect no matter what they believe?

What exactly am I supposed to repent of?

I have a picture of what I think Jesus stands for, if he is real.

I am not going to repent in any way which takes me further away from that.

And in this I suppose I *am* deeply aligned with EC thinking.

The Spirit blows where it wills.

DJP said...

Chantry—I thought you didn't do that here!

Well, I can't advocate or expositate... but I can parodicate!

DJP said...

Mike MActs 2 and I Corinthians and all that. But I know you guys have devoted scads of blog posts to debunking all such passages, so I don’t see the fruitfulness of debating cessation yet again.

Actually, not a one of us has ever debunked those passages. Each of us ardently and absolutely believes them.

That's exactly why we keep debunking people who twist, water down, or pervert them (and others) to make the modern fakes look better.

I’ll only say this: Unless you’re a full we’re-living-in-the-new-heavens-and-earth-now preterist, you have no exegetical grounds to invoke the “when the perfect comes, tongues, et al, will cease.” You just don’t.

Proof-positive you haven't read our posts on the subject. Easier to diss a straw-man, though, eh?

DJP said...

Chantry(Sorry, Dan - couldn't resist.)

"Couldn't"?

Or "didn't try"?

(c;

greglong said...

Cent says:

| The vertical line thing is a WORD trick.
|
| [1] copy the text your' responding to into a blank WORD document.
|
| [2] select all the text and make it 28pt sized text.
|
| [3] save the document as plain text. In WORD 98 and earlier, you will save as
| file type "text with line breaks"; in later versions of WORD, you will save as
| text, and when the dialog box comes up check the "insert line breaks" box.
|
| [4] close the document and reopen it.
|
| [5] use the "replace all" function to replace "^p" (paragraph breaks) with "^p| "
| (p-breaks with vertical line and a single space).
|
| [6] insert your comments.
|
| [7] copy and paste finish result into blogger comments.
|

Greg Long says:

* This is WAY too much work.
& And I know you’re not telling us the whole story, Cent,
% because making all the text 28 pt font is completely
@ worthless when you’re going to save something as plain
# text anyway. I smell...
? ...a HERRING!!! (cue dramatic music)

greglong said...

I see the light! I get it now! The 28-pt font step is necessary so your lines don't spill over!

I repent in dust and ashes. Thank you for winning me without a word and with the Word (Microsoft, that is.)

étrangère said...

I can't believe how much commenting this has got overnight (ok, and morning. GMT.) So to add one more:

ReformedMommy, I'm a Mlle :) And Dan, I'm not a redhead, but methinks I should change that profile pic cos it's had that response before. I love the Humpty Dumpty, but the best send-up I've read of source criticism was Überlieferungs- und religionsgeschichtliche Studien zum Pu-Buch. Albeit not quite so pithy as your fave.

Brandon said...

What exactly am I supposed to repent of?

I have a picture of what I think Jesus stands for, if he is real.

I am not going to repent in any way which takes me further away from that.


You need to repent of setting yourself up as the judge of who Jesus is and what he stands for, and believe what God has said about Christ in the Scriptures.

Why? In Matthew 5, Jesus says:"On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’"

It is possible to be sincerely dead wrong.

If you are having trouble seeing who Jesus is, you should stop believing your fuzzy picture, and start honestly looking to the Scriptures for the clear picture, while asking God for eyes to see.

Daryl said...

Just to keep the numbers climbing...have a good dasy all...1000 comments here we come...eventually...maybe??

Helen said...

Brandon wrote: If you are having trouble seeing who Jesus is, you should stop believing your fuzzy picture, and start honestly looking to the Scriptures for the clear picture, while asking God for eyes to see.

I'm not having trouble - my picture is clear and came from the Bible.

I picked and chose different passages from you as my key passages; so you think my picture is wrong.

For what it's worth, one of mine that I don't recall seeing here - but it's just as much in the Bible as what I have seen here; and Jesus even confirms in public that it is speaking of him - is:

A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.

insert name said...

check it out another noob.
at posting to threads at lest. like many other for several months i have been lurking in the shadows and truly enjoying team pyro, and if ever this thread is going to reach 1,000 post we need more lurkers to get on their keyboards and post


chris

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin said...

Helen said "I picked and chose different passages from you as my key passages; so you think my picture is wrong."

Jesus believed that scripture is the word of God - agreed?
Paul and the other apostles taught the same - 2 Timothy 3:16 - agreed?
Jesus commands obedience - agreed?
Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth - agreed?
Obedience means obeying all truth, not 'picking and choosing', no?

So what's the problem???

Tom Chantry said...


"Couldn't"?

Or "didn't try"?


No, can't say as I remember trying. You're not suddenly going to insist that words have a definite meaning, now, are you?

Tom Chantry said...

Daryl, Daryl, Daryl. Back and posting again, but you have not yet repented of your besetting lawn-mowing.

OK, guys. Who wants to come with me to confront Daryl?

Tim Bertolet said...

Helen,
First, when people ask you who Jesus is you say the guy the NT calls Lord and Messiah.

Then, people ask you who you think he is and you say "I'm unsure who Jesus was/is. "

Then people try to address that with you, and so you say "I'm not having trouble - my picture is clear and came from the Bible."

So which is it?
Are you a disciple of Jesus? If so: in what way: are you trying to submit to all of the Bible as God's Word point to Jesus (acknowledging we all fail) or are you following only so far as "if that's what the disciple believes is necessary in order to follow Jesus faithfully."

Or are you wandering. If so in what sense: Are you wandering in the sense that you really are looking for God or are you just reveling in uncertainty, doubt and the fact that you know you are wandering {the like prodical son and his parties}, in which case the Bible calls this rebellion.

When people try to speak politely to you about uncertainty suddenly you have a new found certainty. So which is it? Sure, God is unknowable in that we cannot accent our mind and reason to Him BUT He is knowable in that He has revealed to us who He is and He redeems us. This revelation is objective in Christ and the Bible, the Word of God. Even though humans twist it, the Word is not wholly subjective. Vague impressions of God's will are just that vague impressions.

You may claim to embracee mystery (I'm not sure where you stand on this), but the Biblical category for mystery is the plan of God now revealed in Christ--mystery is made clear by revelation {Rom. 16:25-27; Col. 1:25-27}. Thus, we are back to Christ and the certainty of His Word.

You might be comfortable with uncertainty, and life does have a lot of uncertainty, but what we are trying to say here is that truly knowing Christ and trusting Him does not leave us like a boat tossed by the storms of life. The storms still come, but Christ is a rock. He holds me regardless of my failures.

So which is it: sure or unsure? To say "sure about unsurity" is really a worldview that is self-defeating because you are at least sure of one thing which brings to question: how do I know I can't have surity on other things and I'm missing it.

Let me say it one more time: if you claim to have an epistomology (about Jesus or other things) that says "I know I cannot know anything for certain" you have already declared you know at least one thing for certain. For the Christian: To say we have certainty on some things based upon God's Word is not to say we have certainty on every thing, say for example, what will happen to me tomorrow.

After all, maybe I missed my calling to sell Christian jelly beans. [Frank really convicted me].

Habitans in Sicco said...

Hey, Sam:

What's the difference between good-natured ribbing and a deliberate insult?

And which category does the last part of your comment belong in?

I'm just asking, 'cause I'm not sure it's all as perfectly obvious as you might think it is.

Matt said...

Excellent post.

Thanks for all your hard work on the subject.

Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re

Gilbert said...

Hmmm. 320 posts? Not bad for a hate site.

Wait. Did I just write that? Did I just say that Pyromaniacs is a hate site? And, I might add, one of my FAVORITE hate sites?

Yep. Let me elaborate.

My flesh wants to do fleshy things. Like sin. It wants to do it continually. And it HATES it when the Pyros tell me how damnable sin is, how it defiles my Lord and Savior, and turns me away from what should be, always, my first love:

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. ...
Revelation 2:4 (NIV)

Being someone who naturally is rather cowardly, my flesh hates it when the Pyros tell me:

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. ...

Revelation 21:8 (NIV)

Yeah, cowardly is first on the list. Oh, joy. My flesh really hates the Pyros for reminding me of that one.

And here's the big one: for defending the truth, you will be hated. My flesh likes to be popular. I'm sure the Pyros never had a problem getting a date on Saturday nights. And after at least one gives a sermon, I'm pretty sure a chant of "more, more more!" keeps him in the pulpit past 1 PM on Sundays. OK...maybe not. But, in the end, I want it to be all about me, and not about Him.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. --Romans 7:15 (NIV)

So, Pyros, hear me good: my flesh hates your guts. You are a hate site, spewing hate that my flesh abhors. But as a brother, you're one of the best "hate" sites out there. And one day, these fleshy, hateful desires will be gone, replaced completely by the joy and complete love for my Savior, and you will have played a small part in it. Thank you so much for that, and for standing up to the truth...even when it isn't fashionable, "politically correct", and other cursable human tripe that is an excuse to "excuse" sin. And when some call it hate.

All I ask is that you keep the "hate" coming. Those who understand, really do get it.

Keith B said...

DJP: The thanks was meant in all sincerity. (-:

DJP said...

étrangèreAnd Dan, I'm not a redhead...

Ah, denial. Looks like a readhead, writes like a redhead, but isn't a redhead. Who do I believe: you, or my lying eyes?

DJP said...

insert name , your stepping out of the shadows, and stepping up, is appreciated!

DJP said...

SamSo in this case there is a "problem with the messenger." It's called sin.

Oh my heavens, that is hysterical.

Frank, even teasing Steve is sin! Watch out, don't touch Sam's anointed!

(Evidently snarking at you and me isn't, though. Dang, how do we get to share Steve's exalted "no-touchee" status? If I sing, can you harmonize?)

DJP said...

ChantryYou're not suddenly going to insist that words have a definite meaning, now, are you?

Some words, yes.

I'll tell you which ones.

DJP said...

Tim Bertolet on Helen.

Ding ding ding ding ding.

Now I don't have to write anything on that subject. Thanks!

DJP said...

Gilbert, thanks for the encouraging word.

Earns you a "wink" on that whole NIV thing.

(c;

wordsmith said...

Well said, Mr.Chantry. Argumentum ad populum will never hold water, no matter how big that bandwagon seems to be getting.

a_simple_bloggtrotter said...

OK, If we are going to get even 500 comments we are going to have to do something here: How about frank running into the BHT all green goblin style ( see Hi, I'm a Marvel, and I'm a DC after hours #5).


no?

just a thought.


BloggTRotter

Sewing said...

Another day, another couple of dozen comments.

Mike, Helen: Holding a cessationist position does not necessarily preclude the possibility that God can still intervene miraculously at any time or place He wills, or has done so in various times and places over the past 2000 years. I do think his communicating directly with people is a key component of how he works his effectual call in the as-yet-unsaved elect. I have had two dreams in my life which made no sense to me at the time—this is a long, long time ago, long before I was saved—but now, in hindsight, made perfect sense. In both dreams, God himself was charting my path, showing the future course of my life up to salvation—showing the way I should take. In one, he commuted my sentence to eternal torment; in the other, he showed me that dark night of my soul would end in communion with Christ. At the time I had the dreams, I didn't even discern that it was the God of my ancestors in these dreams; only that they were of a supernatural nature. But given my third-generation atheistic background, I feel confident in saying that He needed to intervene miraculously to get me on the right path. And we do hear stories from time to time of miracles occurring, especially in places where the Gospel is not widely heard, as a means of drawing out the Lord's chosen people from among their communities.

What cessationism as a whole seems to teach against is the idea that we can be a channel for miracles and can essentially draw down God's power to heal others, etc., according to our will. We are not Moses, nor Elijah, nor the Lord Jesus Christ, nor His apostles. We have no sound reason to think that He has given us that power.

Now, apart from dreams or possibly in some cases visions, God does communicate to us in various ways. Through reading, teaching, and meditating on His Word, for one. But also through providence. I could relate all kinds of stories in that regard, but I'll refrain from it here. (In fact, I've related a few of them in these very comment threads over the last few months.) But one anecdote Helen related strikes me as being a perfect example of God's providential hand at work in the arranging of circumstances in our lives:

When I was *sure* God wanted me to take a course and my church said I couldn't take it there because I wasn't eligible to be a lay counselor for them, then a few days later I ran into someone in the park who I told and he said "Oh, I am doing that course; you can take it through me".

So think about it...Helen discerned a desire from God for her to take that course, yet circumstances dictated that she couldn't take it. Okay, so maybe God didn't will it? But then what happens? She just happens to run into someone in a park a few days later, relates her story, and she can take the course through him?

Is that not God's providential hand at work!? A series of improbable circumstances leading to a completely unexpected outcome: that's how God works. That's how He works in our lives!

sumbibazo said...

Dan and Frank,

Wow.

Several months ago when you two went on a rampage unleashing your "over-the-top" jabs, I changed my reading habits for Pyro. Since then I come to the blog, I look for Phil's posts and the only part of yours I read is the comment number. If the number is growing, I scan through the comments most often looking for replies from just a few, like Phil. There are several friends at church that have told me they do the same.

- but wow - here you go again.

You guys are loose canons. I'm not going where Sam went except to say this - I wish Phil whould take TeamPyro back to the days of just Pyro and let you guys post as commentors only if you are able to follow the rules.

Sewing said...

Steve Camp hasn't commented here yet. Also waiting for Matt, that J. Scott Clark disciple from the U of Edinburgh, Tartanarmy, Highland Host, William Dick, oh, and some guy...I think he preaches out in southern California somewhere...has a snazzy goatee and a penchant for Hawaiian shirts...what's his name....

DJP said...

Actually, we're very tight Canon.

Which also ticks some people off.

Which we're also really okay with.

Sewing said...

66-book canon? Or digital camera Canon? Or Bach's Canon and Fugue?

Jo Cool said...

Sewing wrote:
What cessationism as a whole seems to teach against is the idea that we can be a channel for miracles and can essentially draw down God's power to heal others, etc., according to our will. We are not Moses, nor Elijah, nor the Lord Jesus Christ, nor His apostles. We have no sound reason to think that He has given us that power.

Call George Lucas; I think I've got an angle on remaking the bestseller of all time into a hit movie franchise. Seriously, I could use some references to remind me where in the written Word Almighty God gave anyone license to act according to their will.

Black Hat said...

DLP wrote concerning:
blackhat173's brilliant commentary—"So we're going to write a post determined to engage all of the above categories" - cool, when can we expect to see it?

> Soon as you turn your
> SpongeBob costume
> around.
> Got the eye-holes on the
> wrong side, dude.

So is "Sponge-Bob" this blog's version of Raca? Or would that be "Dude"?

Warning Will Robinson, warning.

DJP said...

More like Proverbs 26:5, BH.

Sewing said...

Jo Cool: I meant that modern-day "miracle workers" do their work as if they had the power to choose whom to heal, etc., in the same manner as the apostles, in Jesus' sending out of them in Matthew 10:8: "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons."

Sewing said...

But I like how you took that long, multi-pointed comment of mine and seized on one word.

Sewing said...

Or rather, four words in one dependent clause.

Sewing said...

Actually, it's an adverbial phrase.

(I would have deleted and rewritten, but just trying to do my part to keep the comment count going....)

Sewing said...

Now, to be fair, Dan also seized on one typo in Sumbibazo's comment, and I played along.

So to Sumbibazo, a longer reply:

Of all the contributors to this blog, Dan generates some of the deepest, most Biblically rich articles. If you are filtering out his posts, you are missing a lot.

It seems that generally, it's Phil to whom most people object, since it's primarily he who tackles the ECM, charismaticism, and so on head on. As for Frank, well, he does seem to be more of a provocateur, but I love him (in a manly, Christian way) all the same.

Sewing said...

Frank, Dan: In all your long list of alliterative groups, you forgot Tendentious Tiber Transversors (or if you prefer, Ruefully Reverted Romanists.)

Sewing said...

My mistake: You included "Cynical, Condescending Catholicity."

(Hey, I can't do this all on my own. The nerve of people, being outside on a Saturday afternoon enjoying the glory of God's creation, instead of hunching over their computers blogging!)

Sam said...

Dan,

Talk about hilarious, now who's touching the anointed? Are Frank's motives above questioning? Are any of ours for that matter? I know my heart is deceptively wicked.

Basically I have tried to raise one issue regarding trying to start something with Steve Camp. At first I questioned the wisdom of lumping him in with this particular post in light of the Chan video disagreement. I asked Frank if the issue had been resolved. His answer was to not answer. My concern is if there is still an unresolved conflict why on earth would you try to lay a stumbling block in front of him just to get comments.

In regards to the "newsflash" in my second post. I honestly thought the internet's greatest apologists for sarcasm would have loved it.

You see Dan, I am not at all angry in my comments, just concerned. I enjoy this sight and read it daily and will continue to do so.

As far as your attempt to make Steve Camp "my anointed" you can do better man! You forget that the majority of people who make comments on your sight can actually think for themselves (another bonus for pyromaniacs) and anyone who takes time to read what I have written can see that there is more there than a defense of Steve Camp.

Have a great weekend.

Helen said...

kevin wrote: So what's the problem???

It's me of course - it's always me!

tim and djp "ding ding ding ding ding": I'm fairly sure what my picture of Jesus looks like, but I'm not sure whether Jesus is real or not.

sewing: about God's providential hand at work (in someone saying I could take the course through them which I wasn't allowed to take at my church) - yes, that's definitely how I saw it at the time. I was reassured God did want me to take the course after all, which was what I thought. When my church said no, that was very confusing and invalidating because I had been quite sure God wanted me to do it. Then I was unconfused and validated again when another way to take it turned up shortly after that.

Sewing said...

Sam:

Except for a few kernels of truth (the prooftexted paragraph on the Word of God and its extended argument in the following paragraphs), this post was pretty much entirely tongue-in-cheek—at least that's the way I read it.

It was largely self-parody, riffing on the idea that's been bandied about in the past of what would would happen if there were one mother-of-all-posts that simultaneously took on all the movements TP critically addresses.

The Steve Camp reference was definitely tongue-in-cheek, just as the long string of images was, ending with Medusa in a T-shirt (a gentle jab at Kent Brandenburg, which he got).

Tim Brown said...

This is nothing more than a comment made in order to push the number of comments up.

No problem. My contribution.

Tim

sumbibazo said...

Don't forget the typos "commentors" and "whould".

(If I post again - I'll be sure to type more carefully.)

Dan said, "Actually, we're very tight Canon."

...that was funny.

I’ll try this again…

loose cannon
–noun
"a person who is expected to perform a particular task but who is out of control and dangerous."

Your "loose cannon" comments injure the impact of any "tight canon" comments that might be profitable.

Sewing said, "Of all the contributors to this blog, Dan generates some of the deepest, most Biblically rich articles. If you are filtering out his posts, you are missing a lot."

You are actually making my point regarding the impact of anything good he posts.

… and about Phil - he has my total respect. He has proven himself over many years. I thank God for his teaching and his great sense of humor. He knows how to use it effectively.

Effectively: In an effective way.
Effective: adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result.

Sewing said...

Helen:

I see potential in you! You wouldn't be here—or you'd be telling us that God doesn't exist—if you had completely made up your mind about it.

All I can do is reiterate that I know exactly how being far from God feels. I'd felt very close to him in 1992-93, then for years very, very far away. I was lost in sin; learned about other religions like Buddhism; learned about the ancient Hebrew cult of Asherah; learned about Canaanite religion; and knew only that some kind of divine entity exists. I didn't pray, didn't go to church, and occasionally read the Bible, but it didn't do anything for me. (Actually, I was more interested in reading Gospel synopses and apostate, extracanonical "gospels.")

When the Lord started leading me back towards Himself, it was through an extended chain of events over many years...and at every step of the way, I felt myself being drawn closer to him, but I had no idea it would end in rebirth in Christ: that concept was foreign to me, and I thought it was something that only "fundamentalists" believed in.

But eventually, inevitably, it happened, and now, as I look back on that long period of darkness and doubt, I see that His hand was at work all along—either through positive actions, or through letting me fall away (but never too far) to learn the falseness of all the alternative avenues I was pursuing. In the end, there was only one Way back to God, and that Way was through the Christ.

Now, I know you've already been there, done that, got the T-shirt; I just pray that some day soon, you'll return as a prodigal daughter, to the songs of angels in heaven.

And how to get back there? Beats me! Just pray, and wait for His guidance.

Sewing said...

And please forgive me if you've heard it all before. All I can offer is heartfelt sympathy. Hopefully, in some small way, I've said something new you haven't heard before.

DJP said...

Sam—so... you don't have any problem with our teasing Steve, because he's not off-limits.

Well, then, great!

DJP said...

sumbibazo"a person who is expected to perform a particular task but who is out of control and dangerous."

See? I told Phil and Frank we never should have named the blog "Tofumaniacs"! It creates entirely the wrong expectation.

We should have picked something more descriptive, more nuanced; something that would focus and expectation of anyone entering the site.

Something like... oh, I don't know.

Pyromaniacs?

Tim Bertolet said...

Helen,
Regarding your experience with the course, you let yourself and other people speak for God. Of course, that will be confusing.

You saw "shifting" and "variation" when in fact in God there is none (James 1:17).

It seems to me that when you say "I'm fairly sure what my picture of Jesus looks like" you are again speaking for Him and in His place. Your surity of 'my picture' is nothing more than the sheer force of your will--ok, you can attempt to base your life on that personal picture for now, but how long can you hold yourself up like that in a crazy uncertain world?

It seems to me if you would turn to trust His Word and acknowledge it as true, allowing Him to speak for Himself, you would find out if He is real or not.
{and I don't mean you should pretend its true to see what happens, I am not referring to a Kierkegaardian blind leap of faith}

Helen, if your serious about the problem being in you, we've all been there before. That's part of the reality of the gospel: there is a problem: and it's me! {I say that to myself}, it doesn't have to end there.

I'm heading out, talk to you all later.

donsands said...

"This is nothing more than a comment made in order to push the number of comments up." Tim

I don't think that can count Tim. You have to say something about something for it to count.

Like, Thanks guys for a good post. Or This post is mean.
Then it counts.

My counts because I'm commenting about your comment. Which is another way of being counted, you can simply comment on my comment to you.

I'm just guessing at this of course. I don't really know the official rules.

630 to go.

Jo Cool said...

Sewing: I apologize for coming across as adversarial. Perhaps I should have responded in a more "affirming" way; I'll try again.

I was nodding my head in agreement with your comment until this paragraph shook me awake. That is most likely because I've only recently become aware of the cessationist viewpoint and so my interest was piqued. That adverbial phrase set off my internal "untruth" detector and I felt the need to "defend the faith" (or at least get clarification, which you more or less gave). For some reason this blog is having that effect on me - maybe that's the intention?!

Anyway, continuing the cessationism discussion may be off topic but how can you hit 1000 with only on-topic comments? Did you mean to say that the apostles did have the power to choose whom to heal or did I misread that comment as well?

Sewing said...

Helen: One more thing. As it happens, Peter Pike over at Triablogue wrote a long post on the "Dark Night of the Soul" just a few days ago, here: http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/08/dark-night-of-soul.html. (I would recommend reading that one, and not the original post on Mother Theresa to which it links.)

Off the top of my head, I could also recommend Psalms 13 and 42-43 might help as text for prayer and study—Psalm 13 in particular.

DJP said...

Anyway, continuing the cessationism discussion may be off topic but how can you hit 1000 with only on-topic comments?

Jo Cool speak truth.

Sewing said...

Jo Cool:

Well, I'm a Calvinist. I don't think there's anything we do that's entirely apart from God's sovereign decrees. Even when we sin, it's because He allows it to happen, though He is never the author or cause of sin.

I would be willing to argue that every person who was healed by an apostle was healed because God guided him to that person.

And again, my own aside-phrases seem to be getting things off track.

What I meant was this: modern faith healers, or participants in signs and wonders services, or the like, seem to think that they can just draw on God's power to bring about health and prosperity—as if they have somehow harnessed God's power and can switch it on and off as they like. I don't agree with that idea.

Sewing said...

I've been in a service where the pastor spoke in a deep voice of rebuking sickness "with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm" (and of course, his arm was outstretched). It was spooky.

Helen said...

thanks sewing, no need for forgiveness; you didn't offend me.

tim wrote: Regarding your experience with the course, you let yourself and other people speak for God. Of course, that will be confusing.

It was not confusing except when people told me I couldn't do what I thought God wanted me to do. Once another way turned up then it wasn't confusing anymore because what I thought God told me and what was possible became realigned.

It seems to me if you would turn to trust His Word and acknowledge it as true, allowing Him to speak for Himself, you would find out if He is real or not.

Thank you for saying "it seems to me".

I don't see one clear message in the Bible. I am only too aware I picked and chose to get my picture of Jesus. What I don't understand is that the bits I pick and chose seem to be missing from other peoples' pictures. So evidently they picked and chose too and left my favorite verses out.

I'm not ok with a Jesus lacking the attributes in my favorite verses.

Such as Isaiah 42:3 which I posted on here earlier today. Why does no-one talk about this? I don't recall anyone ever bringing this attribute of Jesus up except me.

Mike said...

Helen,

1) What gave you the idea that you had the authority to pick and choose?

2) How did you decide which verses you would pick vs. not pick?

Helen said...

Mike - that was exactly what I wondered when I noticed everyone picks and chooses. Or so it seems to me.

I don't have more 'authority' than anyone else does to pick and choose; but equally, I don't have less. Since based on my observation everyone picks and chooses, I may as well also.

It would be nice to get credit for being honest and upfront about my picking and choosing, but I'm not expecting any.

Sewing said...

"A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench."

Amen.

I does concern me if fellow believers have treated you or others in a way that is not consonant with the above. This is a beautiful verse.

Sewing said...

DAN and also Helen: this one's for you. I'm sorry I didn't mention it before. A few weeks ago, our "junior" pastor preached on Psalm 13. He spoke on suffering (that's for Dan, and I referred one of your posts to him before he gave the sermon) and feeling distant from God (that's for Helen). Please enjoy. The intro page is here: links to the mp3 and video of the sermon at the bottom. (Warning: electric guitar in the background of the video!)

Sewing said...

(The guitar's not being played, mind you, but just sitting there...lurking....)

Mike said...

So the answer to number 1 is: "I have no authority, but since everyone else was doing it..." Thanks for answering.

What's the answer to number 2?

Habitans in Sicco said...

Sumbibazo (and anyone else who thinks the Steve Camp reference was a "sin"):

Before this comment thread suddenly turns nasty, y'all should think about what this post really is: It's a self-parody that makes a serious point. It intentionally exaggerates the caricature normally used against TeamPyro. You know: they're just highly opinionated controversy-addicts with no real agenda other than driving the hit-counter up.

So they obviously wrote it in the most exaggerated possible way, gathering up almost every subject and every person who has ever been the subject of controversy at this blog and they mentioned them all. (Except I notice they left out the white supremacists, the BHT guys, and a few others who never take anything that comes from this blog in good humor. Good call, dudes.)

Then (as usual) Dan and Frank managed to make a serious point in the post anyway.

So who'd have ever guessed that the one thing in the post that would raise the most hackles was a lighthearted jab at Steve Camp? I sure hope Steve has a better sense of humor than his posse.

HarryJ said...

Frank and Dan

Here are some great ways to spend your Saturday...

Enjoy
:-)

HJ

Jo Cool said...

Sewing said:

Well, I'm a Calvinist. I don't think there's anything we do that's entirely apart from God's sovereign decrees. Even when we sin, it's because He allows it to happen, though He is never the author or cause of sin.

I agree (although I probably wouldn't use the word decrees). I heard recently a rather profound answer to the question of why God would allow sin: it is in His response to our sin that the depths of His love and mercy can be known by us. (Wow, I'm sure we could get 1000 comments on that question!)

I would be willing to argue that every person who was healed by an apostle was healed because God guided him to that person.

You'll get no argument from me. Key words = God guided

And again, my own aside-phrases seem to be getting things off track.

There was a track? Or were you tracking something big and followed a rabbit trail?

What I meant was this: modern faith healers, or participants in signs and wonders services, or the like, seem to think that they can just draw on God's power to bring about health and prosperity—as if they have somehow harnessed God's power and can switch it on and off as they like. I don't agree with that idea.

Yes, I'm not sure of anything that sickens me more than Godsploitation. I identify with the whip in the temple account in that area.

I've been in a service where the pastor spoke in a deep voice of rebuking sickness "with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm" (and of course, his arm was outstretched). It was spooky.

Shiver me timbers! I don't know which is worse: when those things give us no pause or when they do and we do nothing. Forgive me, Lord!

sumbibazo said...

Habitans in Sicco ....

I never mentioned Steve Camp and I didn't read Dan and Frank's post either. I'm not a "posse" member and I do have a sense of humor.

You are really assuming alot in your response.

Take a deep breath - there is some behavioral history in this place - probably still in the archives - and I don't recommend reading it.
By the way - it doesn't all revolve around Steve Camp.

Helen said...

Mike: I forgot to answer #2.

Ummm...I went with the ones which gave me a picture I could affirm as good, I guess. Otherwise I would end up with a God who is less than perfectly good, because he wasn't as good as I could imagine. It has proved very difficult to explain this to conservative Christians and I don't expect you will understand it either - most likely you are just going to come back with "you are judging God" or "who gave you the authority to decide what God is like..."

Mike I can't go along with a picture of God that is less than perfect goodness - that would be blasphemy.

Anyway, unless you can prove to me I'm doing something other than what everyone else is doing, I don't see a reason to change. Based on my observation, Systematic Theology picks and chooses. The Bible isn't systematic, so if you try to reduce it to Systematic Theology you have to ignore stuff i.e. you have to pick and choose.

Yes, that's just my opinion.

donsands said...

mezgadHey Helen, I'll be praying for you.

I've been hurt by a lot of people in the Church. It's just the way it is.
But the Lord never should be compared to His Church.

On the other hand, I have been blessed and comforted by a lot of people in the Church.

I've learned that the Scriptures say, "Taste and see that the Lord is Good, Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!"
The Church doesn't always taste good.
But the Lord always tsates good, for He is good always.

donsands said...

If I ever comment one time without a spelling error I think I'll faint.

Helen said...

thanks Don - yes, I understand I shouldn't blame God for what humans may have done to me. I don't think I'm blaming God.

My problem with believing in God is more that I have trouble believing the Bible contains one clear message - or that I can determine what God is saying to me with any sort of clarity - which leaves me with an unknowable God.

Sewing said...

What the heck is mezgad?

Sewing said...

Jo Cool:

I was so stunned I didn't say anything. And I was trying to be "nice" to my cousin, who invited me there. I am still working on her, though, slowly....

Habitans in Sicco said...

Sumbibazo:

My deepest apologies. I conflated your rant with someone else's.

The best half of my comment still applies to what you said, tho. Hope you'll give it some thought.

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Congratulations on your first ever Puritan style post title. Those were the days I tell ya. You didn't need an informative back cover to describe a book. You just needed a really long title.

This post is amazing. Maybe Campi will write a song to commemorate it. Maybe Henry (Rick) Frueh will actually go back to his blog and write something positive about Pyro for once. Maybe somebody will give Tom Chantry a big Amil hug.

What are we up to now for a comment-count? Do we have any CGM leaders here to keep track of the numbers for us???

Sewing said...

Helen: Here's a hint.

Exodus 24:8: "Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words."

Mark 14:24: "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many."

Passover is a remembrance of the Lord's deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. The Lord's Supper (instituted during the Passover meal) is a remembrance of Christ's redemption of us from sin.

The lambs that were sacrificed to save the Israelites' firstborn sons from death is the Passover Lamb that was sacrificed to save us from eternal perdition.

Genesis 1:1 to Exodus 24:7, Exodus 24:9 to Mark 14:23, and Mark 14:25 to Revelation 22:21 are elaborations on a theme.

donsands said...

What the heck is mezgad?

That's Greetings, in Celtic.

Mike said...

Anyway, unless you can prove to me I'm doing something other than what everyone else is doing, I don't see a reason to change.

There's no way to prove that other than saying, "Wrong. No Christian does that," thereby putting the onus on you to produce an example of such picking and choosing. I, for one, don't believe that I purposely pick and choose which attributes of God to accept or reject. I affirm all those taught in Scripture. I don't find Scripture to be contradicting itself at all. Quite the contrary, the more I read the Bible the more amazed I am at how consistent and harmonized it all is.

Mike said...

Based on my observation, Systematic Theology picks and chooses. The Bible isn't systematic, so if you try to reduce it to Systematic Theology you have to ignore stuff i.e. you have to pick and choose.

Follow your reasoning there. Since the Bible isn't systematic, the Bible forces you to pick which aspects of it are true and false. I don't even know where to begin. Based on the nature of the Bible, we all must concede that some of it is true and some of it is false. It's just a kingdom divided against itself. It's like saying, "It's true, therefore it's false." Nothing like that exists. There is no such thing as something that, because its nature authority is accepted, falsifies itself. The logic just implodes. Can you see that?

Mike said...

Mike I can't go along with a picture of God that is less than perfect goodness - that would be blasphemy.

Helen, I submit that by getting a picture of God that is any different than the picture of Himself He gives from all of Scripture, which does not contradict itself, that you have conceived of a god (to keep with your ontological-argument vocab) infinitely less-than-perfectly-good. Such is the case whenever any authority other than God (in this case, you) is employed to define what is good. Therein lies the blasphemy.

The all-loving, totally good God reveals Himself -- in all of His different facets -- on the pages of Scripture. To affirm one group of characteristics over another is to pit God against Himself. It's to limit Him by such thoughts as, for example, His wrath and justice cannot be reconciled with His holiness and love. Consider this statement:

It is a proper and excellent thing for infinite glory to shine forth; and for the same reason, it is proper that the shining forth of God’s glory should be complete; that is, that all parts of his glory should shine forth, that every beauty should be proportionably effulgent [or radiant], that the beholder may have a proper notion of God. It is not proper that one glory should be exceedingly manifested, and another not at all. . . Thus it is necessary, that God’s awful majesty, his authority and dreadful greatness, justice, and holiness, should be manifested.

ALL of His attributes and facets of His glory are presented in Scripture so that the fullest version of infinite glory is perceived by finite minds as is possible. Don't mistake the amazingly complex and beautiful nature of God for lack of clarity. In fact, it's more clear than one is probably used to.

Tom Chantry said...

Don't anybody try to hug me unless you're ready for a right cross. I'm serious, man; I'm sleep deprived!

Phil Johnson said...

Helen: "It would be nice to get credit for being honest and upfront about my picking and choosing, but I'm not expecting any."

Well, I hope you'll give me credit for being honest and up-front, too, then:

I don't think you're really being honest at all—certainly not with yourself, and not with our readers here. You weren't exactly forthcoming from the very beginning about your involvement with various organizations, events, or projects where Brian McLaren is also involved. You use an extra-polite veneer to deflect criticism and/or counsel, but you've really not displayed any signs of authentic humility, teachability, or openness.

Why, indeed, would you? you have a gig working with an Emergent-friendly organization where you are their staff skeptic. It would spoil your job if you ever shed your unbelief. Shame on them for making merchandise of your soul that way.

Moreover, by your own admission you abandoned a long-standing profession of faith and embraced unbelief with your eyes wide open. This is the stance you have chosen because (again by your own admission) you like your imaginary version of a softer, gentler jesus who is nothing like the God of Scripture (whom you have proudly rejected). Of course, the choice you have made also entails a rejection of the Bible as the Word of God. But you know too much truth to be rejecting it in ignorance, so no amount of additional light from Scripture is ever going to impact your thinking. Your decision to reject it has already been made.

You find yourself on the precipice of (if not already well into) the position we are warned about in Hebrews 6 and 10, as someone who had every spiritual advantage and rejected it all, and now there is no way for you to be renewed again to repentance. (That's not to suggest you were once saved and have now got yourself unsaved, BTW. The evidence points to the probability that you were never saved in the first place--1 John 2:19).

But now you employ an über-polite tone to encourage Christians to talk to you about your unbelief. You know they are heartbroken about your apostasy, and they would spare no effort to convince you to give up your unbelief. So you use those "conversations" as opportunities to try to justify your skepticism in your own mind. One gets the impression you're practicing for judgment day, labouring under the illusion that if you're just friendly enough and polite enough, somehow you'll even be able to persuade God to accept you, too.

If that's what you're thinking, you know enough of the Bible that I shouldn't have to remind you it's wrong. It's just another form of self-righteousness—made all the worse because it's mixed with arrogant unbelief.

I honestly don't see any sign that you are a genuine seeker at all. You say you believe God is "unknowable." Yet you irrationally insist that you know better than He himself what constitutes "good." All of that suggests that you have become an evangelist for skepticism. Whether that's intentional on your part or you are self-deceived, it merits no points for "honesty" around here.

It might earn you a ban, though.

First, however, I'll ask nicely: Please don't use our comment-threads to proselytize people to your unbelief-system. People here have been answering you very gently and very thoughtfully. Yet you have brushed aside the answers you have been given and ramped up the energy with which you are peddling your unbelief. Please don't mistake our concern for your soul as any kind of encouragement—other than a heartfelt encouragement for you to plead to God that He may grant you repentance.

Sewing said...

Amill, premill, postmill...we'll all be together in the end!

"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!"

Sewing said...

My comment was to Tom Chantry, of course.

DJP said...

jim from oldtruth.comMaybe somebody will give Tom Chantry a big Amil hug.

Well, on that approach, couldn't one do anything, and then just say it was meant as a hug?

(c;

DJP said...

Oh, Chantry, no hugs?

Maybe you just don't know how to do it right.

Helen said...

Phil wrote: Why, indeed, would you? you have a gig working with an Emergent-friendly organization where you are their staff skeptic. It would spoil your job if you ever shed your unbelief. Shame on them for making merchandise of your soul that way.

Phil, you are so wrong about thinking they PREFER me to not believe. They didn't take me on board as a volunteer because of that; they did so because they felt that my abilities and character were a good match for what they needed. Yes they are using my lack of faith to get attention BUT that in no way means they are invested in me staying that way.

I apologize for crossing the line in saying too much about my unbelief. I get carried away sometimes; sorry.

Thank you for not banning me already.

I will do my best to contribute to your comment count without unacceptably pushing my views from now on.

If I fail (I hope not) then I will accept whatever consequences you deem appropriate.

Hey do you remember when you sent me John MacArthur's book about heaven, years ago? I think that was you but for some reason I thought you were an old guy - lol, I don't know why.

Anonymous said...

I keep mulling over the following and wonder if there is some (silly? nah) connection between divorce and sarcasm. Jesus's comment (Matt. 19:8) about divorce..could this be said about sarcasm, too? Moses permitted divorce. Is there someone ? who permits sarcasm? Is it a test or temptation to see how far we push the envelope with sarcasm towards the person not loved (anymore). How do we respond or react to people/things/ideas we are opposed to? For some, the medicine of sarcasm, tastes bitter in the mouth. Some take it, if they understand it will do them some good, but for those who lack understanding, the gag reflex becomes automatic.

The kids want me to take them to the library, they think I have been too long on the PC. I think so too:)

But I will add a belated comment about a Spurgeon's sermon from here a few weeks ago. "Pick up your sword", amen!

Sewing said...

God bless you have kids who want to go to the library!

Sewing said...

"you" = "you, if you"

Sewing said...

I love the list of movies in your profile, Silly Old Nana, especially after reading all the ways you meditate on God's grace.

So...who will be 400? I will humbly deny myself the opportunity.

donsands said...

"Don't anybody try to hug me unless you're ready for a right cross. I'm serious, man; I'm sleep deprived!"

How about falling on your neck. (Whatever that mey be).And I'm a mixture of a-mil & pre-mil, which may be "pre-historic" mil.

Dan, Loved the Man Hug video. Now I'm ready to do some big time serious huggin'.

Tom Chantry said...

Yeah, manhugs. Good video, terrible precedent. Back off. I think I'm starting to hallucinate. I may have to break my no-caffeine-in-the-evening rule.

«Oldest ‹Older   201 – 400 of 1062   Newer› Newest»