25 August 2010

The One who is not Offended

by Frank Turk



Some of you will read this post as a break from the series on the issues with BioLogos. That would be an error on your part.

On my morning walk (I've been back on the horse for 2 weeks now that it's below 80 at 5:30 AM in Little Rock) I've been catching up on podcasts, and I've been listening to Tim Keller's sermons from back in February. He has a fine sermon on "Literalism" that I commend to you, but the one I listened to today was called "Meeting the Real Jesus". In it, Pastor Keller is preaching on an excellent passage from Matthew 11:
Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?" And Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me." [ESV Mat 11:2-6]
I could transcript it for you, but then my point would be buried under his very-good teaching on this passage. Turns out that this is actually a sermon from 1996 according the the Redeemer web site. You will get my version of this story instead -- and why it matters to the BioLogos controversy.

Here's the place in Scripture where John the Baptist -- the guy who Jesus later in this very passage called "the Elijah who is to come" -- is in prison, and he's actually giving God some sassy lip. You know: the real Elijah burns up all the prophets of Baal, and just because he missed Jezebel he runs off to a cave to ask God to let him die because the evil queen is still threatening him. So the Elijah who is to come at least comes by it honestly.

So John sends his disciples to Jesus to ask him, "listen: I'm in jail, and I thought you were the savior of Israel, so are you going to set me free here, or is there someone else who's going to set Israel -- and by 'Israel', I mean 'me' -- free?"

So Jesus says to them, "Tell John ... blessed is the one who is not offended by me." Think about that a second: Jesus is telling camel-cloth prophet John (who baptized him) in much the same way as he tells everyone earlier in Matthew's Gospel, "blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek, blessed are those hungry for justice, etc.," except that rather than addressing the crowd, ("blessed are they") he's addressing one guy ("blessed is he").

But how does he say that? It's all in the ellipsis, isn't it? The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. See, John: I'm the one saving the ones who need to be saved. Pastor Keller does a very keen job of getting you there in his sermon by focusing on that key phrase I underlined -- that the poor have good news preached to them.

In fact, he makes it a point to say that this is really the central matter of the Gospel which most churches that call themselves "Christian" miss out on. Most "respectable" churches are preaching a Gospel not for people with no hope but a message for people who just need to try harder. They don't need to be saved: they just need a good example.

And in that, he says, they have lost the supernatural, culture-spanning power of the Gospel -- because they want to be for the respectable and not for the helpless. The poor, you see, understand their plight better than the comfortable: they cannot save themselves.



And this, I think is where we turn this passage of Scripture to the problem of being intellectually respectable. It seems to me that this is the central matter for the BioLogos folks: they do not want to save anybody. They want to merely do better as the world might see it.

It comes out when they say stuff like this:
The creation story of BioLogos is compatible with many faith traditions, and there is no way to give a scientific proof for one monotheistic faith over another. Therefore, this response will simply show the compatibility of Christianity with BioLogos.
Or this blurb from a "coming soon" essay:
Over the past few decades, sociobiologists have begun applying Darwin’s theory to many aspects of human behavior, including altruism. If evolution selects only traits that promote reproductive success, then altruistic behaviors seem contrary to the underlying principle of evolution. Sociobiology and evolutionary models can account for some elements of altruism, but radical altruism poses additional challenges.
That is: science can and does offer an explanation which we don't have to be ashamed of.

But Jesus here tells John that the one who is not offended by Jesus -- the one who doesn't necessarily protect us from persecution, but in fact saves us to take up our cross and die daily to sin -- is the one who is blessed.

It's funny that BioLogos sort of makes Isaac Newton out to be a rube because when he observed the planets in motion, he wrote this:
The six primary Planets are revolv'd about the Sun, in circles concentric with the Sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts and almost in the same plan. Ten Moons are revolv'd about the Earth, Jupiter and Saturn, in circles concentric with them, with the same direction of motion, and nearly in the planes of the orbits of those Planets. But it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions: since the Comets range over all parts of the heavens, in very eccentric orbits. For by that kind of motion they pass easily through the orbits of the Planets, and with great rapidity; and in their aphelions, where they move the slowest, and are detain'd the longest, they recede to the greatest distances from each other, and thence suffer the least disturbance from their mutual attractions. This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being. And if the fixed Stars are the centers of other like systems, these, being form'd by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; especially since the light of the fixed Stars is of the same nature with the light of the Sun, and from every system light passes into all the other systems. And lest the systems of the fixed Stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those Systems at immense distances from one another.
It seems to me that this sort of thing speaks plainly to their objectives -- which are not nearly and Bible-friendly and Gospel-friendly as they want to let on.

They are, in fact, offended by this sort of faith. It speaks to the kind of faith and blessing they are looking for.






55 comments:

RealityCheck said...

I’m in the middle of reading “A Praying Life” by Paul Miller and your post brought back a great part I recently read. Miller had had someone suggest that Christians shouldn’t pray for a parking spot. He relayed this to his mother who found such a belief pretty silly and explained why. She had been doing missionary work in Uganda and after so many years of war, things were so bad there, that just trying to find a toilet that flushed was a big deal. Such a big deal that they routinely prayed for such a thing. In fact, because of the circumstances, everybody pretty much prayed for everything. This really struck me because to be quite honest, I don’t pray like that… I’ve never had to. I’ve always had it so good that it’s allowed me to be lazy about my prayer life. So good, that I haven’t always realized just what desperate shape I’m really in. Con’t…

RealityCheck said...

Now I know your post isn’t about prayer, but I think it is about having the kind of faith that would cause a person to pray like Millers mom prays. A kind of faith that understands just how “poor” we really are. A kind of faith that outfits like BioLogos are determined to convince us we don’t need because we can have faith in other things like science. Personally, I’ve wasted enough of my life having faith in such things… I don’t want to waste anymore of it. That’s why I’m glad for posts like this, that point out what these guys are really up to, even if they don’t know it. Sorry for such a long comment.

quack21 said...

Hey quick question - can clarify my understanding of the last few paragraphs? You think that Isaac Newton's kind of faith offends them, correct? Also, could you possibly link to where they make Isaac Newton out to be a rube, it'd be good to have for reference.

Pta-herald said...

The truth is in front of us all. There is an infinite powerful God, infinitely intelligent. It takes highly intelligent people to convince themselves that there is no God.
Calvyn did not seek to proof the Bible from any external facts. The Bible was the foundation and does not need any proof of being truth. The proof is in abundance however, but if you don’t want to see it you will not recognize it, even if you bump into it.
Grace is what opens our eyes

Robert said...

The fear of man is obviously on display in the mindset of BioLogos. Concerned more with their academic respectability than with defending the truth of the Bible. We should interpret the Bible with the Bible, and not with science. We shouldn't count on men to explain better what God has already explained. And we should expect that men who try to do so will be offended by the truth of the Bible. Just as people hide in the darkness and don't want their sins exposed...and thus deny the truth of the gospel that they need to be saved from their sins.

And there are plenty of "churches" around who don't mind leaving people in their sin and just telling them God loves them the way they are. What they fail to tell them is that God does not leave sin unpunished. Just like BioLogos will tell all of the evolutionists that they are right and that Christians must come to terms with that. I think I'll stick with the special revelation of the Bible.

James Joyce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Joyce said...

quack21

Newton and Biologos have opposite starting points.
Isaac Newton started with God and his word to interpret science.
Biologos starts with science to interpret God and his word.
Therefore they make Sir Isaac out to be a rube for having faith that starts with God.

Or I think that's what Frank is getting at.

Rob said...

This was a great post and I'm looking forward to checking out the Keller message later, although I did find the inclusion of Keller a little bit ironic for this particular matter with BioLogos, as isn't Keller someone who believes in reconciling Genesis 1 with evolutionary theory (framework hypothesis stuff, right?)

bou2010 said...

Keller does believe in some sort of theistic evolution, according to his book, The Reason for God.

That is one of the reasons why I contend that you can orthodox and still believe in some kind of allegorizing of creation accounts.

Also, side note: Isaac Newton, while a theist, was very much against the deity of Christ and wrote a lot on that.

Excellent point, Mr. Turk, on "being respectable to the world." We believe in foolishness and only regenerated hearts can change the way people see that "foolishness."

I think this idea underlies a lot of contemporary ministry as well, IMO.

Steve Drake said...

Hi Frank,
Have you had a chance to read Tim Keller's white paper titled, "Creation, Evolution, and Christian Laypeople" that he wrote for BioLogos I think? I remember Christopher Benson referring to this in his blog of several weeks ago now. I'm curious in light of Rob's post above what you might think of this white paper by Keller?

bou2010 said...

The Keller paper is found here:

http://www.biologos.org/uploads/projects/Keller_white_paper.pdf

Zaphon said...

Of course, the intellectual respect usually works only in one direction, and not towards those talking about God.

Robert said...

I started reading the paper and already ran into problems just as Keller started covering his first question. He doesn't go through the total text of Genesis 1 and 2, but rather cherry-picks what he can use to proof text his way through his argument. how about the fact that the Bible says the first day, second day, etc.?

I, for one, found it much more enjoyable to read the following article that Michelle directed me to on another post on here:

http://www.albertmohler.com/2010/08/25/a-letter-to-professor-giberson-on-darwin-and-darwinism/

romey said...

The funny thing is that the atheists and the rest of the "intellectuals" still despise Biologos despite their attempts at finding "middle ground."

The second you bring God into the picture, the atheist writes you off and views you as a moron. Look at some of the comments by atheists to articles on the Biologos site, or any of Enn's articles on Huff Po for clear examples.

Frank Turk said...

quack21:

That's a reasonable question.

You can find their description of Newton vs. Laplace right here.

You will not find the word "rube" on that page, but you will find the implication that his approach to science and faith is not the one educated people today should take. Hence: "rube".

Frank Turk said...

On the Keller paper:

I'm always confounded that when I write 10 pages on a subject, I am waved off as too long, and when I stick to 3 pages I am usually "yeah but"'d because I didn;t get to finish my thought.

The Keller paper at BioLogos is coming. Don't run ahead of the matter. For now, relish the irony.

bou2010 said...

The Keller paper at BioLogos is coming. Don't run ahead of the matter. For now, relish the irony.

I look forward to it. =)

Steve Drake said...

Hi Frank,
Help! I can't slow down. Catch up! No, just kidding, I know you've got it coming, so I can't wait to hear your analysis. Thanks brother. Your articles have been fantastic.

lawrence said...

Excellent thoughts.

Phil Johnson said...

Bingo.

Frank has highlighted the central reason for my utter abhorrence of the BioLogos project: The whole thing is driven by an ungodly craving for worldly respect and approval (which they will never get anyway).

The proof of that motive came in the infamous Waltke video (which was removed from BioLogos after Waltke lost his professorship over it), in which he lamented that if evangelicals don't embrace current evolutionary beliefs, seclar academia will regard us as a "cult."

I have news for Waltke and others who share his fear: that happened long ago anyway. See Acts 17.

The evangelical elites' incessant toadying to current academic thinking--not only in the realm of science, but also in the realm of theology--is shameful and anti-Christian.

A simple look at church history would reveal the uncomfortable fact that those who begin to make concessions to worldly wisdom ALWAYS go off the rails spiritually.

But even those who don't give a flip about church history could learn the same lesson from Scripture, if they only took it seriously.

stratagem said...

Your last sentence about BioLogos is most impactful (not as Biblically friendly as they let on).

I suspect they posted on HuffPo rather than on a Christian website because BioLogos is about 99% Bio and about 1% Logos.

Canyon Shearer said...

I'm surprised that you quoted Keller in a positive light (or maybe I'm missing something) since he seems to be on the opposite spectrum of this Biologos debate than you and I. I'd be interested in hearing your opinion of his overall message and hermeneutic. I researched him quite thoroughly about two months ago and wrote him off as a wolf in Roman Catholic clothing with a Reformed overcoat. I was hardpressed to find anything redeeming in his ministry other than the name.

On your point about the church wanting to be seen as better, I agree wholeheartedly. We're having huge issues within our emerging (and I choose that word for a purpose) college students who are enamored with preachers who make the gospel "cool" and who aren't laughed at by "science". I recently read Alvin Plantinga's Naturalism Defeated and felt that your summation of wanting to look smart really sums up that whole book/article, which has absolutely no biblical merit. Yet those who enjoy the accolades of men and have no fear of God before their eyes have no issue assuming that evolution is true and the Bible is at best misunderstood and at worst wrong.

It is lamentable and I am glad that there is a concerted effort in place to stand for the truth of scripture and creation.

Frank Turk said...

Canyon:

Not everyone who is wrong is always wrong. Not everyone who is right is lilly-white.

Look forward to my review of Pastor Keller's BioLogos paper later in this series.

Garrett League said...

"they do not want to save anybody. They want to merely do better as the world might see it."

Frank, you're dead on here.

I've read Giberson's Mohler trashing. You guys know I'm sympathetic to BL's in many respects (as is Tim Keller). I too have been burned by lousy creationist apologetics. But this is just plain pathetic. Giberson acted like a middle school girl. Then he praises Shermer. Why doesn't he share the gospel with Shermer? Go on youtube, they have an interview together where Giberson says, essentially, that other faiths aren't necessarily invalid. His apology for the faith was literally an apology. "Sorry for not going the whole 9 yards. Still need my childhood security blanket." Sad.

I'm with Mohler, Phil, and JT on this. Embarrassing, underhanded behavior. LeBron's got nothing on Giberson. This dude is ice cold.

Oh, and before I forget, this isn't the first hack job by Giberson. ***GET THIS*** Giberson once compared Jonathan Edwards (!?!) to a TBN televangelist in a salondotcom piece in 08'. HERETIC HUNTING FAIL:

"Jonathan Edwards, who waxed eloquent in his famous 1741 speech, 'Sinners at the Hands of an Angry God,' about the miserable delusions that lead humans to reject the truth and spend eternity in hell. We still have preachers like Edwards today, of course; they can be found on the Trinity Broadcasting Network."

For documentation: http://helives.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html

That post sums it up nicely:

"Unspeakable blasphemy! Slander so vile, thy name is Giberson!"

DJP said...

But what I'd add is that anyone sympathetic to BL (whose institutional heartbeat is not-getting-James-4:4), and frowning at Gibberson, is just looking at someone a few yards down the same road he took when he left the epistemic primacy of Scripture to "fit in" with the world.

Steve Gentry said...

The more I read the posts and comments at this blog, the more I like BioLogos.

You really have to be straining at gnats to start with Keller's sermon and come up with the conclusions reached in this post.

BioLogos didn't insinuate that Newton was a "rube". They merely pointed out the danger of invoking God to account for natural phenomena that is not explained by science. When (and if) science closes the knowledge gap, apologetic arguments start to fall apart.

I don't think the main goal of BioLogos is to be intellectually respectable, but I do believe they strive to be intellectually honest. They know the data supports an old earth and evolution, and believe that natural revelation can be reconciled with special revelation.

I don't find BioLogos to be offended by Jesus as you insinuate. Rather I find them to be offended by those who twist the truth to support their cause.

Steve Gentry said...

For those interested in the spat between Giberson and Mohler, Mohler provided his response here

Mohler was actually much more professional in this exchange than Giberson.

In this case, I'll have to say that Giberson was straining at gnats.

bou2010 said...

But what I'd add is that anyone sympathetic to BL (whose institutional heartbeat is not-getting-James-4:4), and frowning at Gibberson, is just looking at someone a few yards down the same road he took when he left the epistemic primacy of Scripture to "fit in" with the world.

False. =)

Frank Turk said...

Steve Gentry:

How was John the baptist offended by Jesus? That is: why did Jesus say what he said to John's messengers?

Steve Drake said...

Hi Garrett,
you said: "I too have been burned by lousy creationist apologetics."

Steve Drake: That's quite a charge that as a brother, I cannot let go unsubstantiated. I'd like to engage you, if possible, in brotherly love, with what you consider 'lousy creationist arguments'. Can you explain?

DJP said...

Oh, Garrett, please don't.

Steve Drake, just enter this at Google:

garrett site:teampyro.blogspot.com

Then read all his comments. Here's the tenor:

ALL Biblical creationists are pathetic, worthless scientists. ALL Biblical creationist sites are bad. ALL Biblical creationist organizations give out false and misleading information.

There's massive, insuperable, overwhelming evidence for the evo's.

In other words, just what the Church of Darwin's press kit says, but with more angst.

Please, let's not rehearse it again.

David said...

My hope is built on nothing less
Than worldly love and fawning press
No matter what debates I frame
Please check the spelling of my name

On Arianna’s Post I stand
I’ve built my hope on protein strands
I’ve built my hope on protein strands


Aaaaaaah – men!

Steve Drake said...

thanks for the links Dan.
Advice well taken. I can see from the links that this has been going on for quite some time. Not trying to 'egg' anybody on, and can see that everyone has tried, no use rehashing old business. Thanks.

DJP said...

No problem, Steve.

Though I will say: someone suggested to me that reps from creationist sites monitor what we do here.

I say of them as I think of many: sure would be nice if they'd weigh in sometimes, such as when some troll says "Oh yeah? What about the Bogotron isotrope in the Sphinx's nose? Creationists are always lying about that!"

But then as Dave the Unteachable Troll models so eloquently, it isn't about truth, it's about distraction and self-amusement.

David said...

Unteachable troll in what sense, Dan?

I've actually been taught and understood YEC on exactly the basis Frank is talking here. I've actually been taught something about the nature of the gifts and God's Word by you, right here at Pyro, over the course of the last couple of years.

I hold the work that Frank and you and Phil do here in the highest regard. If my framing a poem to underscore the point doesn't sit with you, I'll cease.

DJP said...

Oh my gosh, you're not David the Unteachable Troll! No-profile Darwin Dave is David the Unteachable Troll! You're pretty-boy David, or whatever Frank calls you, a long-standing and valued member of our little community.

Zathras, Zathras, Zathras, David. We have lots of Davids. You definitely have seniority, David R.

Steve Gentry said...

Frank asked: How was John the baptist offended by Jesus? That is: why did Jesus say what he said to John's messengers?

Frank, I'm really not sure what you're asking here. I'm not really sure John the Baptist was "offended" by Jesus. He may well have hoped that if Jesus was God as he proclaimed to be, that he would miraculously deliver him from prison.

That's not clearly stated in the text but probably a good assumption. Jesus reply was essentially to "look at the miracles I've performed and the message I've preached". Basically, look at the evidence.

Maybe, I'm just being a little thick here, but I don't really see what this has to do with BioLogos or your attempt to say that they are just trying to "look respectable". I haven't seen where they deny the miracles of Jesus, the resurrection, the virgin birth, or any of the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith.

A literal 6 day creation is not a cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith. I don't think you'll find that they deny that "in the beginning God...".

You're going to have to be a little more specific, because I'm not following your train of thought.

Frank Turk said...

Steve Garrett said/asked:

Frank, I'm really not sure what you're asking here. I'm not really sure John the Baptist was "offended" by Jesus. He may well have hoped that if Jesus was God as he proclaimed to be, that he would miraculously deliver him from prison.

Atomizing the text is a pretty shallow way to avoid the text. It's funny that Keller reads it the way I do, but you can't answer this rudimentary question for understanding this text.

I did ask the question two ways -- you could answer the second version of the question if the first left you unhappy.

That's not clearly stated in the text ...

So that's why we should go with it: it's not there.

... but probably a good assumption. Jesus reply was essentially to "look at the miracles I've performed and the message I've preached". Basically, look at the evidence.

And he concludes, "blessed is the one who is not offended by me." Jesus brings up the question of offense, Steve. Why does he do that? Any thoughts?

Maybe, I'm just being a little thick here,...

No comment.

... but I don't really see what this has to do with BioLogos or your attempt to say that they are just trying to "look respectable". I haven't seen where they deny the miracles of Jesus, the resurrection, the virgin birth, or any of the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith.

You're not looking, if you ask me. This passage is a transparent example of that.

A literal 6 day creation is not a cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith. I don't think you'll find that they deny that "in the beginning God...".

Uh huh. Tell me: what is their explanation, for example, of the star at Jesus' birth -- miracle, or naturally-occuring event?

You're going to have to be a little more specific, because I'm not following your train of thought.

I asked a very simple question: why did Jesus say what he said to John's messengers, specifically about being offended?

Daryl said...

I just watched the interview between Messrs Giberson and Shermer.

I fail to see (realizing that it's a serious charge) how Karl Giberson can claim to be a Christian.
His version sounds much more like "Try Jesus for 30 days, He feels right" or something like that.

Even admitting that he's slid partway down the slope to unbelief and is "hanging on a bush halfway down...for now".

Having watched the video, his article addressing Al Mohler makes more sense to me.
He's someone looking for "a more satisfying answer" and creation doesn't do it for him, and it doesn't sound like God will for very long either.

Now his article sounds like just another atheistic materialist tell us that whoever disagrees with evolutionary theory is a liar or a dupe.

Kinda like BioLogos main premise come to think of it.

David said...

Too many Daves. Sorry about that.

Thanks, Phil.

;D

DJP said...

Ouch.

Garrett League said...

"ALL Biblical creationists are pathetic, worthless scientists."

Some are better than others, for sure. Carl Baugh is not worthy to loose Kurt Wise's sandals. I grew up a big fan of Kent Hovind. That was my "burning." AiG and guys like Kurt Wise, Todd Wood, etc. are vastly superior and are probably 10xs the scientists I will ever be. I really am sorry giving that impression: I'm sure I did. These debates usually produce more heat than light, and I'm trying my best to cool down.

"Please, let's not rehearse it again."

Agreed.

Sir Aaron said...

DJP:

I don't know if reps visit this blog, but I know ICR has been discussing Biologos regularly in their Act and Facts magazine (which, btw, is a free monthly publication that addresses various scientific issues).

Zaphon said...

Garrette:"Why doesn't he share the gospel with Shermer?"

What "Gospel" is left when you're basic view of creation is skeptic-friendly, hence compromises the inherent redemptive history of Genesis?

Shermer is the enemy of Giberson's enemy, which makes him an epistiemic friend. As Frank said about the "faith" these BL folks are promoting...it isn't going to offend anyone, hence there is no true blessing.

SAD.

Zaph

Ye said...

Frank, if that's your real name, I'm offended at your reference to John the Badness. You should know he was the 2nd greatest man ever to walk the earth. Repent and shave your head and pay the price for my haircut.

wordsmith said...

If someone doesn't outright "deny the miracles of Jesus, the resurrection, the virgin birth, or any of the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith," but they deny the basis on which to believe said doctrines (i.e., they don't hold to an inerrant, infallible, God-breathed Scripture), how long will it be before they do deny, in whole or in part, cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith?

Zaphon said...

Or, to make my last point better...as Frank said " they do not want to save anybody. They want to merely do better as the world might see it."

Jacob said...

I like the picture at the beginning of the post. Though, I'm not sure what the monkey means. Good post. Not only will BioLogos begin jettisoning other miracles and acts of God in an effort to be guided by the arrogant, anti-God pseudo-scientific philosophy that masquerades as science. But they will begin drawing away from the core of the gospel because it offends people. If they think Creation offends people and want to be respectable, I don't even begin to see how they can hold to anything resembling the Biblical gospel which is an offense and a stumbling block.

Robert said...

It just came to me as I was listening to a sermon on Acts 5 today that these guys at BioLogos and others in that line of thinking bear a STRONG resemblence to the Sadducees.

word verification: triesp
Is my spelling that bad? lol

Stefan said...

Robert:

That's a good analogy. Maintaining the status quo, going through the religious motions, while not really believing what you profess to believe...and even having a selective view of what constitutes Holy Writ, as well.

Tom Chantry said...

Stefan,

All true, but I thought he meant that they have such decided prejudice against miracle that, when confronted with the miraculous, they change the subject.

Steve Gentry said...

Frank. Since you decided to be obtuse and not engage in real conversation, I listened to Keller's sermon for myself. The answer to your question is, Jesus told John not to be offended because he brought his message to the poor, the violent, the needy (the non-respectable). He told John not to be offended that he didn't bring the immediate judgement that John had been preaching and expected.

Having listened to the whole sermon, I do see what you're trying to say. Keller's sermon was quite good; much better than the spin you tried to put on it to dis BioLogos.

All of us, including you and the rest of the TeamPyro team, have a problem with seeking respectability. The difference is that I don't think that the primary purpose of BioLogos is to seek respectability. I think they've weighed the evidence for an old earth and evolution and found it to be convincingly true and are tired of the literalists and young earthers trying to hijack Christianity for their own purposes.

This is why I appreciate Keller taking a stand with BioLogos and trying to encourage cooperation and working together to achieve a workable solution. The theologians I see contributing at BioLogos have a decidedly liberal bent which I'm not altogether comfortable with. That's why I would like to see more conservative theologians (like the Warfields and Machens of old) enter the dialogue and provide some balance.

The approach at TeamPyro and Grace to You provides nothing.

I think this thread is pretty well dead. I'll catch you on your next post. If you want to talk further, send me an email and I'll send you my phone number. These ongoing jabs don't accomplish much.

Frank Turk said...

Steve:

Jesus told John not to be offended.

John was offended.

Keller unpacks what you're "not really sure of" exactly the same way I did.

So your response is, to say the least, of limited use. You don't want to read what the passage says -- you want to be justified in your current beliefs.

To which I say: blessed is he who is not offended by Christ. Take heed of that.

Frank Turk said...

Steve also said:

This is why I appreciate Keller taking a stand with BioLogos and trying to encourage cooperation and working together to achieve a workable solution.

I'll bet Steve hasn't read Pastor Keller's paper at BioLogos. If he did, he's going to have some 'splainin' to do.

Robert said...

Tom/Stefan,

I was actually thinking of all that both of you stated and a little bit more. They didn't believe in miracles, resurrection, angels, etc...they were intellectual elitists...they sought and had influence with Rome (meaning the leaders of Rome)...they persecuted the apostles for preaching a message that should have convicted them. And I know there is a lot more that I'm not covering, but it just caught my attention how similar the two are. I don't care if I catch flack for saying it...it just seemed a bit plain in my eyes.