06 September 2007

Ack.

    promised a full retraction if it turned out that the website I linked to in the post that originally appeared here was a fraud. Today the person who sent me that link yesterday (from a hotmail account) sent me another cryptic e-mail which I can only interpret as an admission that the site is indeed a fraud. Here is all he says: "you're a calvinist anyway. you probably think that whats happening now with the church is predestined to. we need action."

Well, we don't need the kind of "action" that involves deliberate deception. In fact, we need truth before we need "action." As I said in a comment below, the cause of truth is not served by lies.

So I'm permanently withdrawing the satirical image that was based on the fraudulent site, and I apologize for not checking it out better before posting a link.

Thanks to David, who first noticed what I didn't.

Phil's signature

PS: I'm disappointed that no one has actually cast an official vote one way or the other for whichever version of the "Friend of Sinners" sidebar banner you prefer. Here's Frank's original and my charismaticized revision, which I think has the distinct advantage of including no violent weaponry:



Comment below if you have a preference about which if either should become the official version. Alternative suggestions for imagery are welcomed. Get creative. I'm thinking maybe something like this:




84 comments:

Faithful Servant said...

Woah. Can you say contradiction? Doesn't Reconciliation with God mean being made new?? Whether it be homosexuality or sexual immorality, it means being made new right?

LeeC said...

Ugh.
You should put a warning up.
I read this after eating....

:-(

dec said...

"So what?
Who cares what arsenkoitas means?"


Finally, they take a stand, and the conversation has meaning!

"But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively."

candyinsierras said...

Distressing. He does have a logo for United Church of Christ on his blog...so not that much of a surprise I guess.

centuri0n said...

Some things just leave you speechless.

Which is why the "friend of emergent" and "friend of missional" badges are so handy in this bruhaha.

centuri0n said...

I'm also suggesting this badge for all readers who are serious about being actually "missional".

Phil Johnson said...

I like it.

centuri0n said...

A small version for those who have daintier tastes.

Phil Johnson said...

But before we start a campaign to distribute that, can I mess around with it a little and try to devise a more fitting version of the TP logo, instead of that cartoon of someone (is that one of the Ricks?) holding a gun on me?

Be back in 40 minutes...

Justin Walker said...

I am left almost speachless.

"For the word of God is quick (LIVING), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Helen said...

About the badge: I don't get it - is it bad to be called a "friend of sinners"? Jesus was called that, right?

centuri0n said...

Helen:

Jesus was a true friend to sinners, as are all who rightly call sinners to the repentance -- the only repentance available -- purchased by His bloody sacrifice.

A friend of sinners doesn't simply ignore their need: he declares it.

centuri0n said...

Leave it to Phil to highjack my badge ... {sigh}

Helen said...

Frank, thanks for explaining.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Hello 'friend'.

Unbelievable.
Sometimes you simply...oops. You already said that.

centuri0n said...

I call contest for the official badge, btw. I have some entries I want to get in, including the old shotgun graphic.

David said...

where do you find this stuff?

It was the guys first (and only) blog post

It looks like a set up to me - someone spoofing an emergent

P.D. Nelson said...

Frank:

I like the original badge you have my vote.

Jared Wall said...

"thirty-something emerging christian..." HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Let's give him credit for stating what we all new to begin with. We know the Bible says it, but we don't like it and don't care. Come just as you are and remain that way. I guess that is what you get from years of evangelical preaching exhorting people to check this Jesus guy out. You might like him.

Grace said...

There's a term for that in psychological discourse:

Cognitive dissonance.

Post-moderns seems to enjoy the tension it produces rather than try to resolve it. That or they are so ignorant that they don't realize the contradiction. I don't know which is worse.

Phil Johnson said...

David:

In all fairness, the more I examine the blog, the more I think you could well be right. Whoever made that post left no pedigree or links of any kind, and it is his only post, ever. The thoroughness of his argumentation is what makes it look authentic, but as you correctly note, it has some suspicious elements as well.

He says it's his "opening salvo." I guess we'll see eventually see whether he's a fraud or not. In the meantime, I'll add a note of caution to the above post.

bloggernaut said...

Yes, I'll agree--that was pretty bad stuff. Perhaps the blog is new; mine is.

Every once in a while this gadfly takes a vacation too, ya know. ;)

Hey, to get completely off topic (like we couldn't more on voting on badges for the love of pete), anyone ask lately whatever happened to the New Age Movement?
www.talithakoumfiles.blogspot.com

bloggernaut said...

Oooh, the more I look at it, the more I do think someone's pulling your chain. Got me.

Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

Good one, Phil. My caption would be something like, "EXEGESIS: Who cares if the Bible means what it says? My experience is different."

David said...

I am "astute"?

woohoo - usually I am just a clown

Phil Johnson said...

Hey, Bello Nock is a clown,and he is very astute, so sometimes...

Bello also has Dan Kimball hair, so I gather he's Emerging.

David said...

I think you have given Frank a horrible idea for the next time I try satire on him.

dec said...

The blog may be a hoax, but the United Church of Christ logo comes from a real church in San Francisco. The First Congregational Church is a United Church of Christ Congregation that "affirms gay/lesbian/bisexual people as an active part of ministry and leadership".
The church believes "that God’s blessing is given not only to heterosexual unions, but also to unions of two women or two men who pledge their love and commitment to each other".

dec said...

I'll try again.
Church link

Sewing said...

Bloggernaut: I think The Secret is the latest incarnation of the New Age movement, as the lady was apparently influenced by "spirit guides" or some such thing. (Lighthouse Trails Research has some stuff on it.) The Kabbalah is an old concept in and of itself, but I'd consider it a latter-day New Agey thing as well.

Sewing said...

Too bad I missed the poster (there was a poster, I take it, before Phil removed it?). Since David pointed it out, it is hard to know what to make of the linked post. Time will tell.

Does the GNT really use the word "arsenkoitas"!? Wow, that pretty much eliminates all ambiguity....

Phil Johnson said...

Sorry. Got interrupted.

Here's my proposed adaptation of Frank's graphic. It's faithful to his design, but it gets rid of the gun to my head.

But I'll go with whatever majority opinion decides.

Sewing said...

Aha, yes, I see in A Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament, "arsenokoitEs." Well, that pretty much puts to pasture the arguments from some quarters that what we think Paul meant isn't what Paul himself meant. The word in its very formation doesn't permit too much latitude in interpretation....

Sewing said...

Who the heck is that in the picture, though?

Phil Johnson said...

Here's a version with the typography adjusted so that "sinners" fills the bottom line. I'm not sure which version I prefer.

Phil Johnson said...

Sewing:

That's Bello the clown.

Sewing said...

Ah, sorry, I meant, who's the guy in your version of the "Friend of Sinners" logo? Either it's a cultural reference I'm totall not getting, or he just looks a generic, ecstatic churchgoer.

one busy mom said...

Yuck!!!

But in light of that article, I think you should change your text on the badge to:

"Frolics with Sinners"

Phil Johnson said...

Sewing:

He's just a guy basking in forgiveness.

Darlene thinks he's too charismatic for TeamPyro. I told her she's being legalistic.

So it already looks like he's going to get voted down. I still think the guy with a gun to my head doesn't quite fit the "Friend of Sinners" motif.

Jeremiah Bailey said...

Wow, I remember when interpreters looked to the historical context to help them understand a text rather than what to ignore in the text...

rick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David said...

It's Morning in the Midwest

So, who sent you the link? If there was mischief to be made, it can likely be tracked down, starting with the person who told you about the blog.

Helen said...

I don't think it's a spoof. Lots of people have vague profiles (including commenters here whose comments seem valued) - it doesn't necessarily signify anything.

It's a new blog (started this month and it's only Sept 7) so perhaps that's why there's only one entry so far.

I've noticed that people who care at all about the Bible do three things with passages they find difficult:
1) Accept them anyway as God's Word
2) Try to redefine words in them or reinterpret them until they like them better
3) Have a view of Scripture which means passages they don't like aren't binding on them or others.

The author seems to be arguing that 2) is inappropriate and 3) is the way to go.

However that is never going to fly here since this is a 1) sort of place.

Daryl said...

Well, either the cat's out of the bag...(if it was ever in the bag) or its a great joke. I posted a comment to that blog responding as though it were a satirical article trying to point out the obvious blindness in the EC.
It probably wasn't a joke but...I figured I'd at least poke 'em in the ribs anyways.

The thing that strikes me is that, at least on obvious (to me) or foundational issues, isn't that how pretty much all bad ideas get into the church? Someone smart-guy just says "yeah, whatever...this sounds better to me" and then rewrites their theology in their own image?

Shouldn't it be said that Open theism and all it's relatives (like the supremacy of libretarian free-will) fall into the same category as this guy's conclusions?

Mark B. Hanson said...

The third commenter on that blog post points to Al Mohler's comments on Timothy George's similar approach to homosexuality. So at least there was something useful to be found...

But seriously, it's easy to let experience trump doctrine, especially if your friend is "very gay, and a sweet person".

M said...

Oh, and I'd still like to see the poster....

candyinsierras said...

Sorry Rick. You have a point, but I will say that many times when a comment intrigues me and I want to find out what they might mean, I do the research myself, just cuz I like researching things.

Many United Churches of Christ are very liberal. Some have women pastors, many accept homosexual, lesbian lifestyles, and they can be very ecumenical with little discernment. Does that help a bit?

Tim Bertolet said...

It may be that perhaps this blog is a hoax it is tough to know. However, the same response to homesexuality can be found by serious commentators claiming to be Christians: "the Bible says its wrong, but lets retranslate the message to today."

As Mark noted above, Al Molher pointed out this inconsistancy of the position of Luke Timothy Johnson here . With the original paper here. This is not something unique to emergent/ing (and of course, it isn't all emerging who would agree with this.)

There is his constant danger however of this notion of "retranslating the message for today." It seems to me it can be illdefined in some corners and just plan wrong elsewhere.

Regardless of whether this blog was fake or not, the guy got a lot of hits real quick, if tons of TeamPyro readers went over there.

RossThird said...

Salvo was an innapropriate word Ill admit. but you have to understand that I'm not rejecting the canon of scripture, I am only interpreting it the way Paul did the Old testament in Galatians 3. I also should have phrased my words more 'gracefully' when speaking of exegesis, because I always engage in exegesis to make my own arguments. Exegesis is useful. For instance, Paul and the entire ancient world was completely unaware of sexual orientation, as he was also unaware that the earth revolved around the sun. It was assumed that one chose their orientation.

I recommend to you Tom Gruber's book What the Bible "Really" says About Sex: A New Look at Sexual Ethics from a Biblical Perspective. You can order it on Amazon.com for 14$. You will probably disagree with it, but it's another opinion. keep in mind that in early Puritan communities young men and women could engage in premarital sex so long as they eventually married and not disgrace their reputatiom.

I am a real human being tho, not a "bot". Perhaps the label emerging is not so great, I'm really not emerging into anything. I'm currently on vacation in canada, not at home thou. I'm not your traditional emergent, so I wouldn't want to put a bad label on them because I know a some emerging christians I've met on the east coast who think I'm an out and out apostate.

Tim Bertolet said...

Hi Rossthird, enjoy your vacation.

While you deal with serious issues, I have to say, I got a chuckle out of your phrase, "traditional emergent." I didn't know there was such a thing.

"Quoter" said...

If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:20)

They must be tested by the written word of God. Does the professed servant of God teach that which is in accord with the Holy Scriptures? Does he furnish a “Thus saith the Lord” for every assertion he makes? If he does not, no matter how winsome may be his personality, nor how pleasing his ways, no matter how marvelous may be the “results” he “gets”, God’s command is, “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house (2 John 10)".

A.W. Pink

rick said...

thanks candyinsierras - I'm with you!

Women pastors - I don't think this is Biblical and I would not be in a church like that. While wrong, somehow my brain processes this different than the next point.

Accepting homosexual, lesbian lifestyles - sin! Not ok.

Very ecumenical with little discernment - somewhat subjective to evaluate and also not on the same order as the point above but definitely a risky path.

All that aside - now I understand and presuming you are correct, I share your general comment.

Phil Johnson said...

RossThird:

I wasn't concerned about whether you're a "bot." But I still want some evidence that you say who you are. I'm taking the link down in the meantime. We're not going to keep sending readers your way until you give some better sign that you are really serious.

If you want to convince me you are serious, you can either: 1) fill in your blogger profile with the basic details; or 2) send me a private e-mail telling me who you really are (to be kept confidential, of course); or 3) convince me by the way you maintain the blog that your first entry isn't a spoof.

Phil Johnson said...

Rick:

I haven't utterly banned you but I'm really close. For future reference, all comments from you rehashing the history of your complaints about the style with which we make our points; comments merely telling us what style of post we should have made instead of whatever we did; or comments that fail to engage any actual point germane to the thread itself, will be deleted. You don't have to do all three of those things to get deleted—just one will suffice.

Phil Johnson said...

Rossthird: "I'm currently on vacation in canada, not at home thou."

Just so you know, that's the line in your comment that heightens my concern that you're a hoaxster. I can't imagine why you would mention that, unless you figured I had some means of checking commenters' IP addresses, and you knew it would reveal you're not from SF after all. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever that anyone would make a first blogpost such as you made from vacation, so I'm pretty much putting you down as a phony.

As you know, I have no problem with caricatures and satire. I think they can be fine teaching tools, especially in these postmodern times when people want to nuance all the meaning out of everything, and make everything look fuzzy. Caricatures have the advantage of being sharp.

But when you do a gross exaggeration and try to disguise it as the real thing, it's not a caricature any more: it's a lie. And the cause of truth is not served by lies.

If that's what you are doing, shame on you, and you need to take it down.

centuri0n said...

I read this:

[QUOTE]
The third commenter on that blog post points to Al Mohler's comments on Timothy George's similar approach to homosexuality.
[/QUOTE]

My head almost fell off my shoulders.

It's not Timothy George. It's Luke Timothy Johnson.

VERY different people.

rick said...

Phil - are you serious? I thought I was interacting with your "gun to the head" comment and even then I worked to center that around the content of this post.

If you delete this comment, I understand but I'd like not to get banned. I looked around your site for an email to send this to instead of commenting again but didn't see it.

If I misunderstood your "gun to the head" point, I'd feel better if you explained it.

If you are saying never initiate conversation of the past, I completely understand, it's your blog and I happily accept that.

If you are saying you are going to poke at me based on the past and I'm not allowed to respond, it's still your blog and obviously I will still need to accept that but it won't be as happily.

Please be kind enough to let me know where you are coming from.


rianniello {at} gmail {dot} com

Phil Johnson said...

Rick:

I wasn't talking about the gun-to-the head reference. You're welcome to respond to that, or engage the actual points made in the post.

I deleted your comment because of the "You should post regarding. . ." part of your comment, and the subsequent rehashing of why you don't like what we do here.

I'm tired of your daily complaints about what we should have said and how we should have said it. You post enough of that at your own blog, and you have been doing it for weeks (perhaps even months). No need to do it every day over here, too.

I've told you I get your point, but I still disagree, and you don't need to keep saying the same thing over and over. You didn't take the hint when I first said that. So I deleted a couple of your comments where you were droning on about it. You even wrote at your blog about the fact that I deleted your comments, but you still evidently haven't got the hint. So I'm telling you as plainly as I know how that you're about to get banned if you keep it up. I don't know how I could possibly make it any clearer.

Post whatever complaint you like about our blog at your blog. But once you've got a full-scale campaign against us going over there, you don't get to bring it here. And as I have also said to you before, we'll extend the very same courtesy to you.

OK?

Aaron said...

The blog has disappeared. I wonder if it's because of a comment that was posted where the article was reprinted, but with every instance of "homosexuals" replaced with "necropedobeastiacs"?

Maybe it was because you guys so deftly discovered the satirical nature of the blog (though I'm still not convinced it was a hoax)?

centuri0n said...

I say we give people a crazy variety of "Friend of Sinners" badges to choose from.

Marc R. Wragg said...

Personally I like the open arm banner. It will drive the Hyper-Calvinist’s crazy. I believe it is more accurate to the point.

Aaron said...

I like the "worship song chorus pose" one.

Sewing said...

I don't know definitively if that linked article was a hoax or not, but the blog's owner showed up here pretty quickly, and how did he know the one place on the Internet to find a discussion of his blog? (Unless he has, say, Google Analytics, which would mean he's a pretty savvy blogger....)

As for logos, I prefer the guy with his arms outstretched, too. Sorry, Frank, although the idea in its original concept is still all your baby.

LeeC said...

I like the Pilgrims Progress one myself.

Gary said...

I'll vote.

I like the one with Kirk Cameron holding his arms open... that is Kirk isn't it?

"Quoter" said...

"The Law didn't help me; it just left me helpless. It didn't make me a good person; it made me realize that I'm not. The Law is the mirror that shows you and me that were in trouble with God and cannot help ourselves; we must rely completely upon Jesus to save us. I thank God for the Law. Without it, I'd still be living in a dream world, thinking I was going to heaven when, in reality, I was on my way to hell!"

Kirk Cameron

Sewing said...

Is that Kirk Cameron? Praise God for what He has done in that man, and for his work with Way of the Master.

Now I'm not getting the new picture. Is it in fact an illustration of Pilgrim's Progress (per leec)? Looks like stained glass.

centuri0n said...

Wow. The stained glass one is a WOWOW.

WOW!

threegirldad said...

My vote is for the one at the bottom.

insert name said...

I like the Pilgrims Progress one

MaximumFocus said...

Phil et al. You "big brain" guys are way over my head most of the time. I come here to get "smartified". I truly dig the Evangelist/Christian badge. That just resonates so much. Perhaps you would consider depicting Christiana and Great-heart or Valiant-for-truth. Me, I'm Mr. Feeble-mind.

Grace and peace (2 Peter 1:2)
Max

Sewing said...

"I come here to get 'smartified.'"

LOL—love it! Me, too!

Sewing said...

Could Phil or someone else please tell me where the image is from? I'm curious, but a quick search in Google Images for "Pilgrim's Progress" isn't turning up anything that looks similar.

Sewing said...

A suggestion: Since the mouse-hover-over image hint for the TP logo includes the reference to Jeremiah 23:29, might it be worthwhile to add the 1 Peter 3:15 and Matthew 5:16 references to the image hint for the "Friend of Sinners" logo? (Since they are not legible in the sidebar versions of the same.)

Mark B. Hanson said...

centuri0n said:

"It's not Timothy George. It's Luke Timothy Johnson.

"VERY different people."

Mea culpa about mixing the names up. Chalk it up to writing so early in the morning. I stand (or sit) corrected, and apologize profusely to Timothy George for my failure to cut and paste rather than trust my memory.

Phil Johnson said...

The Pilgrim's Progress image is one of a famous series of stained-glass windows in the Bunyan Meeting Free Church in Bedford, England. It's where Bunyan himself preached, and the windows are mostly 19th-century works, all based on scenes from Bunyan's life and writings. The image is from a photo I took there last December. Pilgrim's shirt is red in the actual window. I colored it blue to give some variety when it's placed against the backdrop of our logo. I'm sure the artist would not appreciate my Bowdlerizing of his work (can you Bowdlerize a painting?) but it's old enough to be in the public domain, so there you are. I used other scenes from those windows on the blog last December when I was there.

Sewing:

I wouldn't know how to get a Scripture reference to show on the small versions of that graphic without removing the picture completely and putting the verse in instead. If you want to include a reference, put it in a "title=" tag, and it'll show when someone mouses over it.

Mr. Light said...

Pilgrim's Progress banner all the way! Stained glass art is beautiful and the image is perfect for the text.

PS- I have never commented here before, but I have been reading for ages. Keep up the great work.

Jared Wall said...

I prefer the Pilgrim's Progress one as well.

Thanks for being on top of the controversy and keeping the blog above repute. i guess what I have learned for sure is that the emerging movement is so far afield that I could actually see that post as plausible.

I also made fun earlier based on the post that is apparently false, and for that, I also apologize and repent in sackcloth and ashes.

Sewing said...

I learned a Greek word out of all of this.

Phil, thanks for the info on the window, and the tip on the image.

So, we have permission to use the image—with the TP logo in the background?

wordsmith said...

Chalk up another vote for Pilgrim's Progress.

candyinsierras said...

Please don't get rid of the original one! I really like that picture of you as a harassed journalist newspaper guy. Maybe tamper with the other part of it but I am partial to the overall picture. I do like the Pilgrim's Progress one too.

Jay said...

The Pilgrim's Progress badge is sweet.

SolaMeanie said...

I am in a quandary. While I love Pilgrim's Progress, I am also a huge fan of film noir. Film noir speaks such truth about human nature. The only problem is that the images portrayed are in color. To be a good film noir, it must be in black and white.

Black and white. Hmmm. Represents my thinking very admirably. And as to shades of grey? I love grey. It's a zippy color, but I seldom give in to it in terms of theological argument.

Phil, as I have the original sticker with violent weapon, and as a true conservative, I am very cautious and slow on change, I say keep the gun. In this day and age, I think it probably resonates more than someone dressed like Cotton Mather.

John D. Chitty said...

The Pilgrim/Evangelist one is definitely best of all. I just put it on my sidebar and it points sinners to Evangelism Explosion's flash video gospel presentation. Thanks for the good work!