02 March 2009

A Follow-Up to Friday's Post

Some Comments on those Comments
by Phil Johnson



ere are some further thoughts on worldliness and contextualization that occurred to me this weekend as I read the comments under last Friday's post:

Notice (first of all) that the topic of hell was only incidental to the actual point of my post. But the comment-thread was utterly dominated at first by the question of how prominent hell should be in our preaching. Discussion later turned to the question of how seriously we should take the Bible's warnings about hell. Nevertheless, as my title ("James 4:4") somewhat cryptically announced, the post itself was supposed to be about the dangers of friendship with the world, not about hell per se.

I wrote the post to point out that the evangelical movement is worldly in the extreme—yet most in the movement seem not to notice or care. (That goes for most self-styled post-evangelicals as well, who like to mock evangelical kitsch, but in their own way are just as worldly as anything they profess to deplore in the evangelical movement.)

In fact, the opinion that utterly dominates the evangelical/post-evangelical universe today (including all the various flavors and styles that were flung out of the erstwhile Emergent[ing] Movement) is that the church urgently needs to become more worldly yet—i.e., we need to work harder than ever to adapt our message to the changing tastes, expectations, and likings of Gomorrah. After all, we are supposed to be all things to all men so that we can by all means be "missional." We therefore must adopt the Gomorrahan lifestyle and value-system in order to win the wayward citizens of Gomorrah.

You know: like Lot did.

Evangelicals and their wayward offspring are so busy painting the church like a cheap prostitute that they haven't noticed the effect of what they have done. Our collective testimony to the world has been ruined and our best men have been drained of strong convictions.

In other words, we have altered our message—in a profound and utterly disastrous way. Meanwhile, the average evangelical seems absolutely convinced that more of the same strategy is exactly what we need.

To illustrate my point, I cited some statements from a seven-year-old article that was published in one of the most liberal secular newspapers in the whole world, the Los Angeles Times. That paper's writers noticed as early as 2002 that evangelicals were deliberately and systematically avoiding saying anything about hell. Christians evidently had grown uncomfortable with the subject. "It's just not sexy enough," was one evangelical pastor's assessment of why most men in his position were deliberately avoiding the topic of hell.

In fact, despite some disturbing deficiencies, that Times article gave a surprisingly cogent analysis of why evangelicals have shifted their message and what it means. Even the Times can see that evangelicals' 50-year-old obsession with methodology over theology has radically altered the content of our preaching. Why does that point seem so difficult for hard-core contextualizers and pathologically "relevant" church leaders to grasp?

At the forefront of the evangelical movement today is a phalanx of self-styled experts and pollsters who talk incessantly about connecting with the culture—putting our message to Gomorrah in terms Gomorrahan "culture" can feel comfortable with. They insist there is no conflict whatsoever between the free use of such timely methods and our faithfulness to a timeless message. The medium is not the message, they constantly assure themselves.

Hordes of worldly young evangelicals, post-evangelicals, and post-Emergent[ing] bobble-head droids have dutifully fallen in behind these Gomorrahan Gurus, mindlessly reciting the mantras of relevance and contextualization, slouching along with "the culture" toward the brink of the abyss. Now and then one of them will make a brief pit-stop in our comment-threads. They rarely pause long enough to have a serious thought—just long enough to tag us with a condescending graffito about babies and bathwater.

Now, you would think those who most want to stay in step with "the culture" would be the very first to acknowledge something articulated so clearly in a front-page article in the Gomorrahan Times Los Angeles Times.

Not so. Seven years after that article was published, the problem it identified is worse than ever. Most in the broad evangelical movement simply don't want to acknowledge the problem the Times article pointed out. Even less do they want anyone talking about hell in clear and biblical terms within earshot of people whom they are trying to impress with their own coolness and "relevance." In fact, it seems those enthralled with contextualizing the gospel are the very first to criticize anyone who suggests that perhaps hell is not a subject we ought to ignore.

And yet, exceeding even my expectations, the baby/bathwater cliche made it into Friday's meta less than 2 hours after sunrise last Friday.

What is wrong with this picture?

Anyone?

Bueller?

Phil's signature



PS: Incidentally, I do quite agree that it's possible to over-emphasize hell or speak of God's wrath in such a callous and insensitive way that we defeat the whole point of the gospel (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:20). But surely that is not the most imminent threat facing the evangelical movement at the moment. Let's not be so concerned about how far the pendulum might swing the other way until we start to see the momentum diminishing as the pendulum swings this way. When a secular newspaper article is pointing out how dramatically evangelicals have toned down the gospel, our kneejerk response certainly shouldn't be panic about the grave dangers of expounding on hell the way Jonathan Edwards did.

It utterly amazes me how predictably (and how eagerly) evangelicals will queue up to take a poke at a straw man like that—and then solemnly assure one another that they have said something profoundly serious.

PPS: This week is the Shepherds' Conference at Grace Church. Don't expect to see a lot of me here on the blog, but if you come to the conference, look me up.

75 comments:

So spricht der HERR said...

"Evangelicals and their wayward offspring are so busy painting the church like a cheap prostitute that they haven't noticed the effect of what they have done. Our collective testimony to the world has been ruined and our best men have been drained of strong convictions."

Thanks, Phil. Once again, I need to hear this stuff. You are good for such sobering reminders. I go to a conservative evangelical college which will not be named or alluded to *cough*, except for the mention of a certain "Founder's Week" in which certain Barna Group and other post-evangelical/ emergent types have been dominating the scene not only in the pulpit but on the shelves and on the hearts of a large portion of the student body. I'm afraid this will only continue since the John MacArthur types are not "relevant to this generation*" or "revolutionary*" as our school newspaper recently put it. After all, the Institute's goal is to "put the students first in everything they do.*" I just don't get it...Why are we in such a hurry to make other people like us? My heart breaks for the gospel. It is "fire in my bones" wanting to be released and heard by all.

Alas, this is becoming a rant...

I hope others will have such conviction as you and others like you with a burden to preach the foolishness of the gospel with no compromise.

Which, by the way, on a positive note: if you haven't already, Allistair Begg gave a great message on 1 Corinthins 1-2 and the foolishness of the Gospel passage at Founder's Week 2009... just an FYI...

Take Care,
God Bless!

Stefan said...

Again, I'm reminded of the Minor Prophets. They're hard to read—their truths are hard—and it's tempting to skip over them and go directly from Daniel to Matthew.

But in speaking to problems 2500+ years ago that are very much like those of today, those twelve short books should disabuse anyone of the illusion that the Church is in a right relationship with God.

theologyofbobby said...

Phil,

I couldn't agree more, with your assessment!

It seems, in my estimation, that the Pietism (the privatization, and interiorization of the faith) has come home to roost. All the emergents are, are those who have taken the seeds of (Fundamentalism and rationalism) to "seed." I don't think we should be that surprised by how the "Evangelical" church looks . . . these seeds were sown when Christians decided to take on the "liberals" (the rise of Fundamentalism) on "their" terms --- thus, ironically, shaping and setting Fundamentalist/Evangelicalism on the trajectory we are now experiencing (thanks Schleiermacher).

Not to be too reductionistic :-) . . . but I think there is something to my claims above (so does George Marsden).

heath lloyd said...

Preach on, brother!

Johnny Dialectic said...

Yes, and it also points to the crying need to return to expository preaching, esp. through whole books, so the text determines the subject, not the whim of the preacher.

DJP said...

The monkey scares me.

Everyday Mommy said...

I've heard approximately 33 different versions of the finger-wagging baby with the bathwater argument on my blog. I'll tell you the real problem. It's not that the baby has been tossed out with the bathwater.

The baby drank the bathwater.

danny2 said...

we had a brother from pakistan at our church recently. during a question and answer time in the afternoon, i asked him about using the names isa or allah during evangelism to a muslim. (i was trying to ask it in an open, non leading way.)

his response. he leaned forward, pointed at me and stated:

You westerners are the only people obsessed with contextualization. It is nothing more than Western Intellectual Arrogance!

i love that quote.

DJP said...

Yeah?

So what was his point?

I don't get it.

jeff said...

I think the reason the church doesn't want to acknowledge the problem is because then they will have to admit that most of them are on their way to hell and also admit that many of "their guys" that "taught" them are currently in there. It's easier to ignore the reality than deal with it and its consequences. Makes us feel bad. Wouldn't want that.

Christiant2.0 said...

"It's not that the baby has been tossed out with the bathwater.

The baby drank the bathwater."
------------------------------

I'm not sure I understand the baby and bathwater analogy anymore...

Matt
Christian2.0

Shinar Squirrel said...

Great post, Phil.

Have a great time at the Shepherds' Conference, everybody! Wish I could be there.

The Squirrel

Mesa Mike said...

> "It's not that the baby has been
> tossed out with the bathwater.
>
> The baby drank the bathwater."
> ------------------------------
>
> I'm not sure I understand the baby
> and bathwater analogy anymore...


The baby is bathing in kool-aid.

olan strickland said...

Theology determines methodology! To put it another way, methodology flows from theology! James 4:4 (theology) determines that we cannot be like the world to win the world (methodology).

The apostle Paul in his becoming all things to all men did not violate this biblical principle. Instead of him becoming like the world he was only determined not to put a stumbling block in front of either Jews or Gentiles. Paul did not require a Jew to violate his heritage - so he had Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman, circumcised in order not to cause offense to the Jews (Acts 16:1-3). Paul also did not require that a Gentile had to become a Jew - so he refused to make Titus be circumcised who was a Greek in order not ot cause offense to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:3).

From Friday's Post: until we realize that the gospel itself is the power of God unto salvation; until we quit tinkering with the message to try to accommodate it to the tastes and preferences of every subculture; and until we give up these foolish efforts to make the gospel "appealing" and concern ourselves with proclaiming it accurately and making it clear, the church's impact on the world will continue to diminish and the world's influence will continue to define what the church looks like.

The message is the method!

Joshua Cookingham said...

1. I agree with Dan, the monkey is scary.

2. I agree with Phil that the biggest problem is not preaching so much about Hell that the Gospel is ruined. I would venture to say it's a mix of bad Gospels and lack of action on the Church's part.

3. I love that quote danny2!

Lisa Nunley said...

One of the most gripping pictures of hell for me is in Luke 16... The rich man and Lazarus.
There is a point of no return, no mercy, no hope, utter misery.

For those that cry out 'Lord, Lord...'(Matthew 7:21-23):
You call Me master and obey Me not.
You call Me light and see Me not.
You call Me the Way and walk Me not.
You call Me life and live Me not.
You call Me wise and follow Me not.
You call Me fair and love Me not.
You call Me rich and ask Me not.
You call Me eternal and seek Me not.
If I condemn thee, blame Me not.


(from an old engraving on a cathedral in Labeck, Germany)

"...'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.'" Luke 16:31

Frank Turk said...

DJP:

danny2's point was that the monkey should scare somebody.

DJP said...

Ohhhhhhhhhh.

Well then... Mission Accomplished.

donsands said...

Wow, what a well written article. Incredible word pictures. Thanks for taking the time to write this post.

"Why does that point seem so difficult for hard-core contextualizers and pathologically "relevant" church leaders to grasp?"

That's the question that we'll never know, because when the Brian McLaren's answer it, it's impossible to understand what they are saying. At least for me it is.

Whatever happened to speaking the truth (God's Word) in love?

David Rudd said...

Phil,

1) I like the monkey, reminds me of my brother.

2) Your ps is well-stated and provides a good balance to Friday's post. (had it appeared on Friday it would have stolen some thunder from the early objections some had)

Strong Tower said...

"So what was his point?"

Not sure but I think it goes something like this: we don't think that other cultures are smart enough to figure out what the context of the Gospel is in the biblical culture, i.e., Scripture, so we condescendingly adapt it to the dummies we are presenting it to.

Something like that, I think.

But that really misses the point of the post if I get it. It is not a matter of contextualizing hell for the culture, but the denial of hell altogether to get along with the culture.

It is always amazing to go to a business meeting and hear someone get up and complain about people not giving and proposing a giving program just for them to leave the meeting get in their McCadilac Escalade and drive home to their McMansion in thier gated McCommunity.

The question of Lot; from the plain, what allurement of the city drew him away from shepherding? What was the price of assimilation, the continuing cost to live at peace among the Gamorrahns, and what more would he be willing to sacrifice to maintain the peace. He wouldn't sacrifice his own daughter's would he? Though grieved at heart as righteous Lot, would we willing give over even our children's innocence to satisfy our want to live like the heathen do? As second, or third generation affluents, do we even recognize anymore where we came from?

See, we can have sound preaching in our churches and behind the walls live like heaven while we live like hell. Righteous Lot was grieved, but so blind to his need to move out of the city, to disassimilate, that God, unwilling to lose his rement distroyed the city to save him. Question then, is our compromise sounding the death knell to the city we willing assimilate to? Will it take God's intervention (do we want that!!)? Should we not go outside the city (figuratively literately speaking) and cry out, come out, rather than remain and close our doors and say keep out as if that will change the minds of those trying to beat down the doors of what is left of the remnant of the church? It may not be that God will preserve the city for there are no righteous there, but by going out we might just draw others with us.

Just some questions. I probably got the point of the post wrong, but hey, I been in this city so long a lot of thing don't make sense any more.

Maybe we should just keep drinking the water, eh?

In the words of the old song, "Now baby, you don't have to live like a refugee."

David S said...

I read Danny2's comment and instantly thought about the Inauguration "prayer."

An exposition of Lot would be fascinating, in light of our times.

Have a great week at Shepherds Conf.

Mike Jones said...

I wrote elsewhere on your post...

"Phil Johnson comments on the thought of Bork and Yeats who put forward that the problem is not some end-times beast that is slouching toward Bethlehem; the real problem is that society itself is slouching toward Gomorrah, and says, "As we look at the state of Christ's church worldwide today, we see an even more frightening prospect. By and large, the church has fallen in love with Gomorrah, and has veered off that direction in a dead sprint. Christians seem as if they are on a collective quest to see how much of the world they can absorb and imitate. Instead of trying to win the world the way Christ commanded, the church seems determined to see how much like the world she can become." There is a pervasive willingness to accommodate divine truth to the world. e.g. One pastor said churches nowadays don't mention hell because "it isn't sexy enough anymore." Many are complicit in neglecting the Gospel as the power of God to salvation in favour of a consumeristic emphasis on being appealing rather than faithful."

I don't think the point if your post was that hard to follow. Hell was an 'e.g.' in there...

But hey, rather than follow the point of the post, why not take the opportunity to take a ride on one's favourite hobby-horse?

Phil Johnson said...

Danny2: "he leaned forward, pointed at me and stated: You westerners are the only people obsessed with contextualization. It is nothing more than Western Intellectual Arrogance!"

That may be the best quotation about contextualization I've ever heard. Sounds like he'd make a great PyroManiac. Ask him if he has any interest in writing for a team blog.

Phil Johnson said...

Everyday Mommy: "I've heard approximately 33 different versions of the finger-wagging baby with the bathwater argument on my blog."

I'm afraid some folks today aren't capable of thinking, except in cliches. HERE'S a graphic you can use next time.

Mesa Mike said...

Yuck!

K said...

There are men who chase the prostitute and men who watch men chase the whore. Whom are you looking at? You are consumed with writing about the whore - did you get a view?

DJP said...

...and then there are pimps, and there are customers with guilty consciences.

Which are you?

ezekiel said...

Phil,

"In other words, we have altered our message—in a profound and utterly disastrous way. Meanwhile, the average evangelical seems absolutely convinced that more of the same strategy is exactly what we need."

The way I see it you have put your hand on the problem. I am not enough a church historian to say when it happened but somewhere back down the line we started preaching "grace and mercy", "new covenant",
"new testament church" at the expense of the the example recorded for our instruction in the OT.
(1Cor 10:1-11)

But even if you stand tall and cry loud, His people have a long history of doing exactly what they are doing.


2Ch 36:15 And the Lord, the God of their fathers, sent to them persistently by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place.
2Ch 36:16 But they kept mocking the messengers of God and despising His words and scoffing at His prophets till the wrath of the Lord rose against His people, till there was no remedy or healing.

The night before last while reading a childrens bible to my daughter, the problem was made clear. We finished the OT and came to the NT. She couldn't wait to start reading about, in her words, the "new rules". Now I haven't taught her that. She had to have picked it up in Sunday School.

We have spent a lot of time and effort training folks to say that the God of the OT has changed or the rules have changed or the rules have simply gone away to some degree or another. Some just totally ignore the OT messengers and prophets telling us that they aren't relevant any more.

Sadly, we seem to be on a collision course with the abyss and we aren't doing any better of a job slowing it down than the kings, the prophets or the religous system did for Israel or Judah.

But then we are told this was going to happen in
Mat 24. Weren't we.

David Rudd said...

Ezekiel,

Not to disagree, but to expand the picture of the OT God (who i would suggest, is the same as the NT God)

Psalm 103:

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits

who forgives all your iniquity
who heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy

who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.


It ain't all "wrath and anger" in the OT...

ezekiel said...

David Rudd,

I never said it was. That is where I think we make a huge mistake. WE don't do a good job of showing folks HIS grace and mercy on display throughout the OT. I don't know why that is, maybe we just haven't read it enough to be able to see it. Either that or we are blind guides...

Do you not see the enormous grace and mercy, long suffering and patience in the scripture I quoted?

"2Ch 36:15 And the Lord, the God of their fathers, sent to them persistently by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place."

HE sent every prophet, every messenger and even His own Son to deliver a message that we today, parse, pervert, add to and subtract from. And as of this morning we are still here....

If you can't see much grace and mercy in that, I won't be able to show it to you.

David Rudd said...

E.

you misunderstand.

i'm not disagreeing with your point. i was seeking to amplify.

Stefan said...

I, too, would like to know when this false dichotomy arose, pitting the New Testament (allegedly all grace and no law) against the Old Testament (allegedly all law and no grace).

It seems that the Church would be much healthier than it is if the Bible were more widely regarded as a single continuum from Genesis to Revelation.

Chad V. said...

What's Missing?

Holiness. Holiness isn't just refraining from things like pornography or drunkenness, it's having a renewed heart which loves the law of God, which worships God as he commands, which presents Christ to lost sinners as He is presented in the scripture, it's believing right and true doctrine and living accordingly. It's following God as God by faith.

Regeneration produces real change in the heart of the believer. It conforms him more and more to the image of Christ. It produces holiness. Where holiness is absent regeneration is absent.

I fear that the phrase that best describes the bulk of what is called evangelicalism is "everyone did what was right in his own eyes". Contextualization is nothing less than idolatry.

gringa said...

That's one reason expository preaching is so important. You can't see it unless you look at it.

ezekiel said...

David,

Thanks for the clarification. Thinking about it just now, to further amplify, can't we say that the NT isn't all mercy and grace either?

When is the last time you can remember a good sermon on a church having it's lampstand removed?
(Rev 2:4-5) If this isn't a perfect picture of what we are seeing today, all over the place, I don't know what is. But if we even mention it, folks get in a fightin mood real quick.

gringa said...

My comment was in response to Stefan's comment. I'm new at this (but a long-time reader)!:)

danny2 said...

DJP:

i guess it is hard to follow the quoted line when it's the only part of the conversation i reproduced.

his point was that the american church has become so obsessed with saying things in a way that is palatable to the hearer, we're not saying anything worthwhile to the hearer.

for instance (and this is coming from a man who grew up in a muslim nation), when we say isa instead of Jesus, or allah instead of God, he argued you actually confuse the listener, rather than make the gospel more palatable. therefore, we've done nothing to make the gospel clearer, and probably just confused it further, yet we walk away patting ourself on the back for being so culturally aware and sensitive.

it seems to me that not preaching hell and accommodating our churches to the secular cultures whim has done nothing to make the gospel clearer but has only blurred it further...all the while, we take great pride in thinking we are so culturally aware and sensitive.

(but i do find the monkey frightening too. so that could also be the purpose.)

K said...

Dear Sir - I am not the whore, nor the pimp nor the customer. I am the Bride of Christ. Bought, paid for and sealed for delivery. And God will answer you for thinking any less of His power to maintain my purity.

Chad V. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chad V. said...

Actually, the church is the bride of Christ. Individuals are only members of the body. Not the bride herself. That's an important distinction.

DJP said...

Danny — thanks; now I'm not the only one that doesn't get it. (You actually said it better.)

Strong Tower said...

Then there is the Bride that dresses like a whore and the whore that dresses lik the Bride.

Then there are the men in black and other people who get along just fine in their miserable lives thinking they are alone on this planet as long as no one says any thing.

Then there is the authentic Christian and the one who looks for his return, and the one who thinks he is the authentic Christian and doesn't look at anyone but expects everyone to look at him.

Then there is a bowl full of wet macaroni and if you thrust your hand into it while not looking it feels like fresh sheep oysters...

Everyday Mommy said...

K...

I'm always amazed and amused by people who come to be offensive and are then offended that someone was offended.

Everyday Mommy said...

Phil...

Thanks for the great graphic. That'll do the trick!

Shinar Squirrel said...

Chad V said, "Regeneration produces real change in the heart of the believer. It conforms him more and more to the image of Christ. It produces holiness. Where holiness is absent regeneration is absent."

Word!

The Squirrel

Aaron said...

Wow good post Phil I am reading Set the Trumpet to Thy Mouth by David R. Wilkerson. I cant help but tremble at the worldlness in so many of our churchs.

Mike Riccardi said...

it seems to me that not preaching hell and accommodating our churches to the secular cultures whim has done nothing to make the gospel clearer but has only blurred it further...all the while, we take great pride in thinking we are so culturally aware and sensitive.

This is an astute observation. MacArthur has said, "Anytime you add a medium to an existing medium, the result is confusion."

When we hope to add to the God-given medium of the simple proclamation (i.e., telling, speaking) of the Word of God, we do indeed change the "timeless message."

Great observations all around. Pray that Evangelicalism wakes up to it.

olan strickland said...

Contexutalization is nothing short of a clever disguise to baptize and spiritualize worldliness (cultural relevance) which is in direct violation of God's Word (James 4:4). Contextualization alters the message in order to not offend the masses, and yet those who participate in it claim that they are not altering the message but only "repackaging" it by changing their methods.

However, the Gospel is God's Gospel (Romans 1:1), it is eternal (Titus 1:2-3), it is not to be tampered with (Galatians 1:8), and it is the method (1 Corinthians 1:21).

Solameanie said...

How about sermons these days that are 30 to 45 minutes of cliches interspersed with Bible verses that aren't even in context to the cliche?

It's distressing.

Mesa Mike said...

Bible verses?
You get Bible verses with your cliches?

I won't be surprised when I start hearing Mary Baker Eddy quotations tossed in amongst the cliches.

trogdor said...

Mary Baker Eddy would be awesome for churches targeting intellectuals, because she's Christian and a scientist! So you get your Bibley talk and a little scientific goodness - perfect contextualization. Right?

K said...

Everyday Mommy - Obviously, I am new to Pyromaniacs - as a very dear pastor mentioned I might enjoy these articles as they are very much in line with what I teach. And, I am not in anyway offended. I always like to do a little pretest (incognito) to see how those who follow the blog closely respond so that I will know if I can in turn recommend it to my children. Thanks for your time -

Frank Turk said...

WOW. What a lousy day to be busy at work.

Everyday Mommy said...

WARNING! Everyday Mommy is unsafe for children!

Chad V. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pevensie15 said...

You get such awesome pictures all the time

Everyday Mommy said...

K...

Oh,one last question:

Since it seems that you're all about integrity, did you tell your very dear pastor friend and your children that you accused Pastor Johnson of chasing after prostitutes/whores?

I'm going out on a limb here and guessing that you teach a course in vainglory.

SolaMommy said...

trogdor: LOL

I prefer the monkey to that clown graphic from Friday.

greglong said...

K said:

Everyday Mommy - Obviously, I am new to Pyromaniacs - as a very dear pastor mentioned I might enjoy these articles as they are very much in line with what I teach. And, I am not in anyway offended. I always like to do a little pretest (incognito) to see how those who follow the blog closely respond so that I will know if I can in turn recommend it to my children. Thanks for your time.

"pretest" or pretense?

farmboy said...

The letter "K", or some other symbol disguised as the letter "K" provides the following: "There are men who chase the prostitute and men who watch men chase the whore. Whom are you looking at? You are consumed with writing about the whore - did you get a view?" and "Obviously, I am new to Pyromaniacs...I always like to do a little pretest (incognito) to see how those who follow the blog closely respond so that I will know if I can in turn recommend it to my children."

I've been reading Pyromaniacs and occasionally commenting since the beginning, and I'm pretty sure that the letter "k" has appeared in all posts to this blog. However, when I'm in new settings I now have a new approach to consider employing: Jump right in and do my best to be rude, offensive and cryptic. If I receive the type of response that such conduct warrants, I just move on to the next setting. Makes one wonder if there is a silent "k" somewhere in the word "nomad".

Chad V. said...

K said

"And God will answer you for thinking any less of His power to maintain my purity."

What does God say about lying K?

KM said...

OK. I’m sorry but this is just stupid and I regret that I’ve had the misfortune of reading it. First of all, K did not say anyone here was “chasing” after whores or prostitutes. He/she did make an extremely bizarre metaphor, but he/she did not call anyone an adulterer or a fornicator. Read the comment again if you doubt me on that.

I don’t know why it’s so important for some here who claim to be followers of the Word to think that they’ve been given license to be rude and blatantly insulting. Or maybe this place is an “an eye for an eye” kind of place.

Everyday Mommy - it was totally unnecessary for you to turn that weird comment written by the mysterious K into some personal attack on Phil Johnson’s moral character. That person does not know Pastor Johnson and I’m sure that is not what was being implied. More importantly however is the fact that I’m sure you know that was not what was being implied. You just used K’s bizarro wording as an opportunity to be rude and imply that she was accusing a preacher of adultery. That’s lame and tacky.

DJP - It’s no wonder that Everyday Mommy wrote what she wrote with you leading the way like you did. K’s point was that there are those who participate in activities (buying prostitutes, playing bingo, etc.) and there are those who study those involved in them. She wanted to know which group the Pyro group was (she claims). Are you really so dense that you didn’t see that? Did you really need to make an equally bizarre and inappropriate retort in asking if he/she was a pimp or guilty customer? You always accuse PoMos of never answering questions but instead just asking new ones because they want argument not answers. You just did that with K. Or maybe that only applies when you and your people are the ones asking the questions.

K - Your question was weird, it was asked in an extremely rude way considering you are new and it didn’t make sense. If you were trying to sound OT Biblical you failed. And, the fact that you were “not offended” but instead regarded this as some kind of cheesy test for appropriateness for children is idiotic. How, would a question like yours possibly reveal appropriateness for children? Your question wasn’t even appropriate for children so please get over yourself about your “purity.”

I mean no disrespect but can we all please try to be what we claim to be.

km

NoLongerBlind said...

Re: the Mary Baker Eddy (etc., etc.) comment.....

John MacArthur on "Christian Science":

"It's a little like Grape Nuts; they aren't grapes, and they aren't nuts. Christian Science isn't Christian, and it isn't science!"

Uh-oh: my word verification:

fastosin

%(

NoLongerBlind said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lawrence said...

Well I'm glad KM came around and figured out the effectiveness of what was said, as well as everyone's intentions in saying it, so perfectly.

:-)

Everyday Mommy said...

KM...you wouldn't be related to K...would you?

Phil Johnson said...

I haven't got a clue what this comment-thread is about.

Frank Turk said...

Phil -

It's all about the monkey.

Johnny Dialectic said...

Turk's right. The monkey has nice teeth. I think he's saying, "These are my cymbals. I am what they say I am...."

DJP said...

It's about the monkey, and...

...it was brought to you by the letters "K" and "M."

Joshua Cookingham said...

And your number of the day is 72.

:)

Solameanie said...

Well, we've reached a new level. Metas derailed by music, metas derailed by Monty Python, and now metas derailed by monkeys.

Or as Inspector Clouseau would say, "Minkeys."

What's next on the docket?

LeeC said...

Well I guess that depends on whether you have a license for that minkey Sola...

Josh said...

"Now and then one of them will make a brief pit-stop in our comment-threads. They rarely pause long enough to have a serious thought—just long enough to tag us with a condescending graffito about babies and bathwater."

Hi Phil ~ Josh here. I am the one who made the 'brief pit-stop' on your blog the other day and surpassed your expectations with the 'baby & bathwater' comment. I did not mean to come across as condescending, I'm sorry my comment was perceived that way.

I frequently read your blog posts and generally enjoy them tremendously. I do not often find the courage or the time to comment. I agree completely that we short-change the gospel when we leave out the reality of hell and all it's awfulness. Preach it.

My comments regarding contextualization ("timely methods") were meant in a more general sense (not specifically regarding hell) and come from a background of missions, and the role contextualization plays in cross-cultural missions. I am a missionary kid, counting back 4 generations of missionaries in my family heritage. My parents still serve God as medical missionaries in Africa and 3 of my 4 grandparents were martyred in the process of contextualizing the unchanging gospel to unreached people groups. I can't wait to meet them!

Blessings on you and your blog.

Josh