22 August 2008

More unbridled cruelty

by Phil Johnson









Phil's signature

47 comments:

Solameanie said...

Hmm. Should have used the Youtube hornet video here instead of the Arminian thread. Very good!

wordsmith said...

The poster with McLaren reminds me of that New Age guy whose seminars PBS runs during their beg-a-thons.

NothingNewUnderTheSun said...

Keep them coming Phil.

DJP said...

Is that Maclaren, or James Carville?

Is there much difference?

Maybe a morph-shot is called for.

David Milton said...

Never seen the one of Erwin Rafael McManus before (Magnaminity).

NothingNewUnderTheSun said...

wordsmith- The poster with McLaren reminds me of that New Age guy whose seminars PBS runs during their beg-a-thons.


There's really little difference between a 'New age' guy and Brian Mclaren, except for maybe the lack of crystals and Shirley MacLaine.

donsands said...

Does Brian believe that Chrsit is the only name by which a sinner can be forgiven of his/her's sins?

He doesn't seem to want to tell anyone. So, would this be the same as not believing?

I can be frustrating to people, and I admit it. McLaren frustrates and seems to think it's a good thing.

Barbara said...

don, McLaren doesn't believe in the atonement. He calls the Cross "false advertising." And without the atonement, without the Cross, nothing else matters:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SOUfsX2fbk

I really like Todd Friel's treatment of him, though: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ygIay4OcNw

Solameanie said...

I think McLaren also endorses Steve Chalke's idea that the substitutionary atonement is akin to "cosmic child abuse."

stratagem said...

Ah, good old McLaren.

Used to be that hucksters put snake oil in bottles and peddled it from a wagon. Now they put it in books, and peddle it at "conferences."

Strong Tower said...

I'm taking a vow of poverty too...

Nice deal!

donsands said...

Thanks Barbara. The videos help. I'm familiar with McLaren to an extent, but this helps.
Steve Chalke & Brian McLaren the emergent duo.

Sorry about making this thread all about McLaren.

Strong Tower said...

McLaren endorsed Obama, doesn't that make him a good guy?

DJP said...

Which one?

Well, either way, no.

Solameanie said...

Maybe McLaren will be Obamanation's running mate.

Oops. That was mildly political. Better issue the standard broadcast disclaimer:

The opinions you hear expressed in Solameanie's comments are those of Solameanie (aka Joel) and not necessarily of this internet facility."

I'm Solameanie, and I approved this message.

Dave .... said...

Try this: "the Obama nation of desolation ..." (per Dan. 11:31) - there's a poster in there somewhere - maybe a footnote on "Liberality". I know, late to that party, too.

Great artwork and thought provoking words. As usual. Grace and peace.

Frank Turk said...

merciless beating.

It's your fault my stomach hurts.

BJ Irvin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Doulos said...

I heard (or started) a rumor that Obamessiah is going to name Brian McLaren as his running mate. Hmmm. I think I recall something about a beast and a false prophet?

OK, sorry. That was mean spirited. Like these posters. Sets a bad tone for conversation. That was insensitive (but not wrong) of me.

BJ Irvin said...

And the hits just keep on coming! Nice.

Barbara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie said...

Good gracious! LOL

(What were you LIKE as a child???)

My favorite is still "Understanding".

Susan said...

Guess Obama dumped McLaren for Biden....

sevenmeditations.com said...

I wonder what the church marketing guys think about this art work?

Puritan said...

Excellent guys!

To quote Spurgeon "I could with considerable refreshment to myself pour sarcasm after sarcasm upon religious cowardice."

Jake said...

I'm still wondering how something like this fits into Jesus's last request to his followers.

You say you take the Bible seriously, but I can't imagine God's laughing at this like you all are. Maybe the Bible should actually be followed too, and that we should love as God loves. But then again, I'm Catholic so what do I know? :-) I don't even know why I'm here!

I don't see how media like this defends the faith at all, if that's indeed your goal here, which it seems to be. It's more like the mean crowd at school making fun of the nerds. And I'm figuring you're preaching to the choir who then goes out and repeats what they've learned to people they don't think are part of the one true faith. (Hmm. Sounds a lot like my church!) Except, as in my church, many of the people just continue to go about their day once they leave until they come back and can feel like part of the club again.

I'm putting you on my prayer list, Phil. I really am. That you will first hand begin to live the inerrant verse in God's word, "We love because he first loved us." In fact, I'm praying it right now. May God bless you on your journey as you seek to be more like Christ. If I could be so presumptuous, I do pray part of that journey will be that God shows you His love in ways you've never known, so that it so spills out, you find yourself writing a post about unbridled love, not unbridled cruelty.

Oh, and if God tamed the lions for Daniel, I think he can keep that wolf's mouth shut up tight too!

Francis

(Sorry, this is my son's account. I'm not Jake! :-D I forgot my password.)

donsands said...

"I don't see how media like this defends the faith at all, if that's indeed your goal here, which it seems to be."

Teampyro does contend for the faith. Phil, Dan, and Frank all speak the truth in love.

We all need to be speaking the truth in love, don't we. Sometimes there may not be the measure of love needed, and so silence can be golden at times.
Other times truth is lacking. And silence in this case is yellow.

I struggle with both speaking the truth without love at times, and speaking with love but weak on truth at times.
When these are out of balance, then it shall be fruitless.

And when we do speak in love, the love we have needs to first be for Christ, and His name's sake. The love for His truth, which we need to speak in love, is our first love. People are to be loved, because of this first love.

Matt said...

To Jake or Francis,

1 Kings 18:27 (NLT) 27 About noontime Elijah began mocking them. “You’ll have to shout louder,” he scoffed, “for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!”

Sometimes it is a loving act to do some sanctifying mocking for the purpose of exposing false teaching.

I remind you that the very Incarnation of Love practiced this:

Matthew 23:24-25 (NASB95)24 “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.

Straining a gnat and swallowing a camel. That is genius mockery by our Lord.
The only way that you could know whether Phil lacks love was if you have omniscient eyes and know his motives. You don't know his motives(Jas 4:12).

Solameanie said...

In Psalm 2, it says God laughs at his enemies.

Phil Johnson said...

Francis (aka Jake):

Thanks for your comment.

Jesus' command to love one another by no means entails any duty to tolerate pseudo-Christianity or aberrant worldviews put forth in the name of Christ.

Read Jesus' letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3 (which actually would fit the description "Jesus' last request to his followers" better than whatever verse you were talking about). A running theme in those letters is condemnation for those who tolerated deviant doctrines and permitted the purveyors of false religion to mingle in their midst (e.g. 2:14-15), and blessing for those who tested and exposed the phonies and false teachers (e.g. 2:2).

Also (and we've been over this many times before), Scripture frequently employs mockery and harsh sarcasm against heretics, pseudo-believers, and willful corrupters of the truth (1 Kings 18:27-28; Psalm 59:8; Matthew 23:24). Paul spoke harshly against those in Corinth who undermined the doctrine he had taught--and told them that if they did not repent, he would not spare them (2 Cor. 13:1-4). I don't think he was literally threatening them with phyiscal violence, but surely what he had in mind was something more severe than satire. Paul did use rather nasty-sounding violent imagery in his condemnation of the Judaizers in Galatia (Galataians 5:12). Jesus himself promised to wage war against people in the church who had departed from the truth (Revelation 2:16).

So:

1. In reality, these humorous jabs at the jargon of our emergent friends are a whole lot milder (and certainly "nicer") than what's in store for them if they continue to undermine, question, redesign, re-imagine, and spurn biblical truth.

2. Authentic Christian love looks nothing whatsoever like postmodern tolerance or any other worldly notion of what seems "nice."

3. Truth is important--often (perhaps always) more important than how we feel about it.

4. Do pray for us that we will be faithful to Christ. Thanks for that.

Strong Tower said...

I'm guessing that the title of this post is also what it is? After Jake's comment, isn't that what the *gents and liberals say when the truth is spoken, that we are being cruel and should bridle our tongues? Even if there weren't posters any criticism would be treated likewise.

Seems to me I have been hit more than once with a meat chub here. But, then, isn't that why we keep on coming back?

Nice point on the Book of Revelation. Interesting that Jesus' instruction is "kick em out" and not, "the're entitled to their opinions and practices".

David Rudd said...

truth is important.

error must be corrected.

however, do these posters meet the standard for correction set by 2 timothy 2:24-25?

Strong Tower said...

David,

Only when their rolled up tight and used to smack sense into the object of their ridicule.

Phil Johnson said...

David Rudd: "do these posters meet the standard for correction set by 2 timothy 2:24-25?"

Well, let's see:

"And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth" (2 Timothy 2:24).

Whatever Paul meant about not being quarrelsome, he certainly wasn't suggesting its a sin to disagree with someone and say so--even publicly--because at least 50 percent of his epistles were devoted to exposing and correcting errors--which in some cases were a lot less overtly unbiblical than the pop-culture syncretism these posters expose.

Whatever Paul requires by way of gentleness can't be something he himself violated in the writing of holy Scripture. And since he employed (at times when necessary) everything from strong anathemas (Gal. 1:8-9) to harsh rebukes and threats (2 Cor. 13:2-3) to sarcastic exaggeration (Gal. 5:12) to the demand that someone be delivered to Satan for the destruction of his flesh (1 Cor. 5:5), such things can't be automatically deemed a violation of the command he gives here.

And whatever Paul has in mind when he mentions humility, it cannot be the sort of epistemological "modesty" that requires postmodern people to disclaim all certainty about everything they believe, always bow to the politically-correct language police, or carefully avoid upsetting anyone. Because Paul made a lot of people angry, and he was neither uncertain nor overly concerned about using language that tiptoed around the resentments of his doctrinal adversaries.

So if that's your idea of what he requires in this command, you need to think again.

Second Timothy 2:24-25 is first and foremost a principle governing how shepherds should minister to wayward sheep, not a prescription for dealing with savage wolves and their false teachings.

But notice, moreover, what's positively required by this text that always seems to get glossed over: the Lord's servant must be a teacher, and specifically one who patiently and persistently corrects error.

It seems like those who are relentlessly critical when parody is used as a tool to expose popular doctrinal and worldview errors are usually unwilling to invest much energy or passion in actually correcting error in their own circles--and often these same people have no scruples whatsoever about using the very harshest kind of mockery against things they don't like in more tradional or mainstream evangelical churches. Why is that?

Perhaps, David, if you're genuinely concerned about whether "these posters meet the standard for correction set by 2 timothy 2:24-25," you could point out precisely how you think they violate that command. And if possible, show us where you have addressed some of these same issues effectively in a way that changes lots of minds and makes lots of people rethink what they have uncritically imbibed--but without annoying any of the people (some of them good friends of yours, it seems) who have devoted their lives and ministries to the spreading these errors.

I'd love to see that.

David Rudd said...

Phil,

I have no desire to have another back and forth with you debating whether or not I have met your standard of confrontation. It just isn't that important to me to "win" an argument with you.

I'll simply point out the things we agree about:

You said, "But notice, moreover, what's positively required by this text that always seems to get glossed over: the Lord's servant must be a teacher, and specifically one who patiently and persistently corrects error."

Absolutely.

That's why I began my post with, "truth is important.
error must be corrected."

It's good to find agreement.

David Rudd said...

p.s.

Phil, if you truly are interested to hear my thoughts on your comment, feel free to email me. I'd love to discuss this further with you in that medium.

Phil Johnson said...

David:

I'm not sure what your remark about my "standard of confrontation" was supposed to mean, but here's the way it works (and it's really very simple): Make a public insinuation, I'll answer it publicly. You've made at least three public insinuations here, and now you want me to contact you privately to hear your "thoughts"?

I think not.

Making an accusation in the form of a hint (or disguising it as a question) isn't really any more "gentle" than simple candor. In the text you cited, 2 Tim. 2:24-25, I'm certain Paul is pleading for candor more than for insinuation.

Thanks for the comments anyway.

David Rudd said...

just to clarify...

i apologize if you read any insinuations into my question. it was simply meant to be a question. you answered it, and i saw no reason to pursue my question any further.

regarding emailing me, i was only responding to the following statement:

Perhaps, David, if you're genuinely concerned about whether "these posters meet the standard for correction set by 2 timothy 2:24-25," you could point out precisely how you think they violate that command. And if possible, show us where you have addressed some of these same issues effectively in a way that changes lots of minds and makes lots of people rethink what they have uncritically imbibed--but without annoying any of the people (some of them good friends of yours, it seems) who have devoted their lives and ministries to the spreading these errors.

I'd love to see that.


If, indeed, you'd love to have that discussion with me, I am willing to engage with you in a forum other than this.

Finally, it looks like i used a poor choice of words when i said, "standard of confrontation". i was particularly referring to your desire for me to demonstrate that scope of my own confrontation with others by "show(ing) us where you have addressed some of these same issues effectively in a way that changes lots of minds and makes lots of people rethink what they have uncritically imbibed"

Sorry for any confusion. And of course my offer to discuss this further stands.

it's amazing how sometimes poor choices of words can hamper communication.

Phil Johnson said...

David:

Thanks for the clarification. Sure, I'd love to see some samples of what you are talking about. You know my e-mail address. Have at it.

simplyecclesia.com said...

I noticed somebody up top explained what was wrong with Brian McClaren. Could somebody please tell me what is wrong with Erwin McManus' theology. Thanks.

also

Can somebody explain to me why B. McClaren and MacArthur have the same publisher?

Phil Johnson said...

simplyecclesia.com "I noticed somebody up top explained what was wrong with Brian McClaren. Could somebody please tell me what is wrong with Erwin McManus' theology."

It's very interesting that you would raise such questions, because I checked your blog and it's pretty clear these are topics you think Christians shouldn't discuss. You wouldn't permit any discussion of these questions at your own blog; so why do you ask them here? As a matter of fact, your blog seems to suggest that it's inherently sinful for Christians to argue over things they disagree about. Your "purpose" page says you started your blog in the first place as an alternative to Christian websites where Christians "bash" one another's views. So why would you lob a question into the meta here that is 1) off-topic; 2) guaranteed to start an argument; and 3) fairly begging for someone to "bash" another person's views?

I'm just asking.

'Cause I wouldn't troll your blog asking the kind of questions I don't permit here.

simplyecclesia.com said...

I would like to apologize to this site. I didn't mean to come off as a troll. I had an honest question about Erwin McManus.

I like his books and thought that if he is writing stuff I shouldn't read then maybe a fellow brother/sister in Christ could help shed some light on why I shouldn't read his stuff. If anybody would like to tell me they don't have to reply on the site. My email address is simplyecclesia@gmail.com.

I have this sites feed on my site because I am curious to what you put on here. I am trying to grow in my Christian walk just like you and thought that we could have iron sharpen iron. Again I did not mean to come off as a troll and hope you accept my apologies. God bless you and your ministry.

Phil Johnson said...

simplecclesia: "I have this sites feed on my site because I am curious to what you put on here. I am trying to grow in my Christian walk just like you and thought that we could have iron sharpen iron. Again I did not mean to come off as a troll and hope you accept my apologies. God bless you and your ministry."

No need to apologize. You weren't being unkind, and I didn't assume you were merely being smart-alecky. I just couldn't understand why you would raise questions practically guaranteed to spark the sort of exchange your blog says you absolutely deplore--so I asked.

I'm also curious about whether a careful analysis of any author's doctrine would really convince you that this or that author was beyond the pale of orthodoxy. Because the book recommendations at your site range from Fulton J. Sheen to Brennan Manning to Erwin McManus, with some pretty standard evangelical works sprinkled in here and there. But for the most part, your contributors' lists are heavily weighted toward Catholic mysticism.

So would it be possible for anyone who professes to be a Christian to veer off course doctrinally far enough that you would think it reasonable to for someone holding to classic confessional Protestant doctrine (as we do here) to withhold a recommendation of that person's books on doctrinal grounds alone?

In other words, is there an answer to your question--even hypothetically--that would really satisfy you that we're trying to be fair and consistent, or will the mere fact that I might disagree with a book on your reading list provoke the kind of scorn refected in your blog's purpose statement?

See: It kind of looks like it's going to be a lose-lose for anyone who tries to answer to your question.

But to be clear: it's not the question per se that bothers me. It's that when contributors on your blog reply to people who offer the very kind of feedback you are asking for here, it doesn't seem to take very long before we hear words like "bashing" and the assumption that people who disagree do it only because they take some perverse joy in quarrelling.

CR said...

Phil: Whatever Paul requires by way of gentleness can't be something he himself violated in the writing of holy Scripture. And since he employed (at times when necessary) everything from strong anathemas (Gal. 1:8-9) to harsh rebukes and threats (2 Cor. 13:2-3) to sarcastic exaggeration (Gal. 5:12) to the demand that someone be delivered to Satan for the destruction of his flesh (1 Cor. 5:5), such things can't be automatically deemed a violation of the command he gives here.

Exactly. It never ceases to amaze me when we expose Emergent Theology and those who identify with it, like McLaren, as a false gospel, and then we hear from them, "I don't sense grace in you."

To date, I've never told an Emergent to emasculate themselves - maybe that day will come. But the reason for Paul's outrage was that the Judaizers were leading people astray. Our Lord also had some strong words with those that lead people astray.

I really hate to say this folks, and I'll keep it at PG, but the Greek word used there by Paul in Gal 5:12 probably refers to a severe mutilation of a particular male sexual organ or it refers to castration. Obviously, Paul is using hyperbole, but nonetheless, he is uses strong language.

Frank Turk said...

Anyone who wants to hear my public opinions about this thread can e-mail me privately.

That's how to be civil, isn't it? Talk behind people's backs?

stratagem said...

OK, I admit it: I think McLaren is a heretic, and I don't have grace about it. So sue me!

(I always wanted to say that).

Actually, I primarily wanted to cynically bash McLaren because Michelle Obama said that B-HO was going to make us give up our cynicism if he's elected. So I'm engaging in an absolute orgy of cynicism now, in case he grabs the brass ring. (This kinda ties into that last po-motivator, or at least that's my alibi for this post and I'm sticking to it).

tck said...

Mr. Johnson: Absolutely not bad. The posters that is. :)