23 August 2011

Open Letter to Kent Shaffer

by Frank Turk


Dear Kent;

First of all, thanks for your e-mail this weekend about your new project, OpenChurch.  Your infographic to raise awareness for the huge race, gender, and geography gap among global Church influencers for the purpose of positioning OpenChurch.com is interesting as a representative of a few statistics, and also because somehow my name wound up on the same page as people like Mark Dever, Jack Graham, Kay Arthur and Doug Wilson.  What might be even more interesting is that names like Lisa Bevere, Phyllis Tickle, Don Miller, and Ed Young Jr. also appear on that page, but names like James White, Don Carson, Graham Goldsworthy and Greg Koukl do not.


Let's start someplace safe rather than dive right into the Cat-5 bandwidth devastation: I think you're about right when you say that "A $300 resource downloaded 10,000 times saves the global church $3 million … [money] to be used for orphans, widows, outreach, or creating new, free resources."  In my view of it, giving away $3 million in teaching resources will like cost a "rich" church something it could afford to give away, and provide "poor" churches with something they probably would never have thought to seek out.  It's actually probably much better that $3 million impact from a strict economic analysis.

And I also think you're right-minded here to say that there's a massive upside which the church can find when somehow the churches with resources are not mining other churches for reimbursement for their efforts.  The workman is certainly worth his wages, but there's a vast difference between, for example, James White charging what it costs to support his downloadable content literally at no profit while Benny Hinn …

The TBN Mod Squad
Um, wait a minute.  Benn Hinn is in your list of global influencers. The self-disgracing Eddie Long is in your list.  T.D. Jakes is listed along side Voddie Baucham as if these two men shared the same faith.  Tony Campolo is found right next to Kirk Cameron -- and I'd love to see the video of those two talking about Christ, one evangelizing the other.  Erwin McManus is there; Rod Parsley; Joel Osteen; Hal Lindsey; Jay Bakker.

Wow.

OK: let's say that $ 3 million is a lot of money in the Global church.  It would certainly be a lot of money to most local churches, but let's just call it a lot of money -- and consider that saving it would be a blessing to the church at large.

What if by saving the church at large $3 million, we taught 10,000 fledgling churches that the primary message of the Gospel was "Don't give into your emotions and let them keep you from God's blessings and promotion." (a classic from Osteen)  Would that have been worth the savings?  Would you be proud of that?

My gut tells me, "no."  I don't think you're a fool.  But look at your list -- look at the people you have listed as influencers without any filter  for whether they are presenting good or ill.  And, I think, it gets worse when we think about the trajectory you are mapping with your slogan that we should learn "from 100% of the church."  This worries me because when I think of 100% of the church, I can call out plenty of people with whom I agree with theologically whom I would hope never will get a global pulpit because they are lousy ambassadors for Christ -- and heaven forbid that people who can't even affirm the Nicean Creed would get a global pulpit to spread their free samples to people who, frankly, need something better than what those unorthodox rich people are selling.

Kent: here's my bottom line, and you can take it or leave it.  If you really think that the church benefits from an opensource approach to discipleship and theology, I can't stop you from doing what you're about to do.  But I can caution you from the authority you and I both believe has the authority to not only warn us, but reform us.

There are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers.  To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

People will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.  For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

Certain persons ought not to teach their different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

The church is supposed to be a pillar and buttress of truth, Kent -- not a wind tunnel where everything can blow through and is blown around.  While the call to offer more resources for free from reputable ministries is a great idea -- an idea long since past the tipping point in this digital age -- the question has to be what exactly is the message in the medium.    And your approach here intentionally does not (and perhaps cannot) ask that question well.

Be careful, my friend, that in seeking to open the doors to all whom God has gifted to teach you do not also open the doors to those who are servants of a lion who is looking everywhere for someone to consume.  To even give over one soul to that lion is not just unfortunate: it is complicity in the eternal death of a soul in God's image.

I hope this note finds you in good spirits, and able to receive what I mean here in good faith.  I honestly wish you well, and am praying for you.








58 comments:

Just Jules said...

An organization which lists Creflo Dollar as akin to John MacArthur, and Paul Crouch to R.C. Sproul will not be receiving $31 a month from me.

Sir Brass said...

Frank, you do yourself a disservice (refer to previous meta about Dan stealing your thunder (my words)) :P. This is about as slam-dunk awesome as this week's predecessors.

Also, can't go wrong with some good James White plugs :P

Thomas Louw said...

What nothing from, Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, Dalai Lama or Joseph Smith, I think I will pass.

Uni said...

The link in the article is to openchurch.ORG, which is a little website that sells tracts. The article is about openchurch.COM.

Frank Turk said...

So noted, Uni. Thx!

Robert Warren said...

Wow, all those names! The only thing missing is "Jerry Mathers, as The Beaver"

Frank Turk said...

Robert:

I'm letting you edit the letters going forward. That's awesome -- I should have put it in there.

Robert said...

When I look at his bio on the webpage I see the following groups that Kent Shaffer has been involved with:

LifeChurch.tv: they have a campus that meets entirely online and have decided to do away with church membership

Saddleback Church: enough said

Catalyst Conference: much of their focus is on relevance. One of their elements of a leader is being engaged in the culture

ChurchRelevance.com (his blog): some good stuff there along with some bad, just like what you received in the message he sent you

Church on the Move: just to stay in line with other posts this week, they promote baptism of the Holy Spirit which is accompanied by speaking in tongues, they also promote "divine healing".

So after perusing through all of this, I am not surprised by the inclusiveness of the Open Church movement and suspect that they don't close the doors (even when naming pastors/influencers for promoting their movement) for anybody claiming to be a Christian pastor. Christian just seems to be another in a long list of terms that people are redefining in whatever fashion suits them these days.

donsands said...

"The church is supposed to be a pillar and buttress of truth, Kent -- not a wind tunnel where everything can blow through and is blown around."

Excellent letter once again.

I wonder why some people don't seem to think the truth is that serious, but instead giving money to the poor is of more importance?

Paul said, "I can give all my money to the poor, and even burn my self up, but without love, it's worthless. This love must be defined within God's Word, the truth John 17:17.

Just Jules said...

Thank you for my morning chuckle, Robert.

Frank Turk said...

I'm hoping Kent will chime in with a response because I think he has a point of view -- which I disagree with, mind you -- that at least deserves to be heard out and reasoned through.

Kent - if you're able, please give us some feedback on your view of what unity ought to look like. Like I said: I may disagree with it, but I think we should hear you out on this one becuase it will make all of us a little better.

Johnny Dialectic said...

Aside from the heterodoxy problem, the business model raises. A look at their budget breakdown shows about 70% going to overhead (salaries, health insurance, rent, etc.) and a big chunk for "travel" (if I was on the board, I'd really focus on that item, but who is on this board? They say there are folks "specializing in technology, open source resources, and translation projects." What about proven spiritual leaders with business acumen who will ask the tough questions?)

I'd need to know what work is actually being done for the costs, etc.

Just Jules said...

I'd like to know how much they paid for that infographic. That was some serious type-setting.

Johnny Dialectic said...

"the business model raises some questions."

David Regier said...

We have always been at war with Oceania.

Frank Turk said...

Johnny --

You kill me. A project like this plays into all the sweet spots of your normal blustering, and today you're worried that the approach is not handling the money it doesn't have yet very well?

Awesome. Thanks for staying on topic.

Frank Turk said...

David:

War is Peace.

Johnny Dialectic said...

Whoa! You mean I can't even agree with you now? I offer a supplementary comment and you reach out to take a swipe at my "normal blustering"?

Ack!

For the record, I agree with all you said in the letter and just thought the financials were an equal concern. Which is why I researched it a bit. If you deem that off topic, okay.

Rob said...

"T.D. Jakes is listed along side Voddie Baucham as if these two men shared the same faith".
That's awesome!

Jay Beerley said...

I think we also have too much of this Paul guy dominating the New Testament. It's time to get more voices.

By the way, I saw Gloria Copeland on the list. Where were the Copelands yesterday rebuking the Virginia earthquake?! Might have prevented that chair from getting knocked over.

Solameanie said...

We used to have a television program aired locally here called "Fusion." It was the flagship program of the main local Unitarian Universalist church. The program logo was a synthesis of most key religious symbols, the cross, crescent moon, ankh, etc. (I might not have all of them accurately, it's been a while).

Those of us orthodox Christians in these parts jokingly called the program "Confusion" instead of "Fusion." I see odd parallels (said in Haley Joel Osment's kid voice).

Solameanie said...

BTW, for Kent -- unity around truth would be a nice place to start.

DJP said...

Was the motto "Ankh if you love Isis"?

ba-dum bum

Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week. Try the veal!

trogdor said...

Veal is murder! Tasty, tender, delicious murder. Mmmmm.

Nick Rolland said...

Don't Grace To You and Desiring God pretty much already do this?

Marie said...

"Let's learn from 100% of the church."

No, let's learn from 100% of the Bible.

Frank Turk said...

Nick --

You make an interesting point. From my viewpoint, almost all reputable, orthodox ministries make available the whole library of their teaching available for free download. DG even has all books available to read on-line for free (and may have converted to free PDF downloads; I know Piper's book on the second birth is available as a PDF download).

Those which are not on this model are clearly moving toward it.

It's an interesting case study to see which sort of ministries are in the merchandising business -- selling books, merchandise and messages.

Jay Beerley said...

Frank, how about getting some people to put up a central posting of links for people oversees to get great, solid, biblical content?
For instance, Steve Wright's church offers their Treasuring Christ curriculum for free to people oversees (and it's super cheap for churches in the states. Good solution for children/youth sunday school needs). Anyway, who's got the time?!

Christina said...

Wow! Great letter.

"The church is supposed to be a pillar of truth...not a wind tunnel where everything can blow through and is blown around." Right!

Solameanie said...

Dan, that was actually pretty good! ;)

ANiMaL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kent Shaffer said...

Frank,

Thank you for writing this open letter. I find it splendid, loving, thoughtful, and gracious.

I will try to write an appropriate response for you and your readers within the next day or two.

I appreciate your perspective.

Frank Turk said...

I'm offended that Kent didn't also say "and contains all the USDA requirements for a healthy diet."

Not really. :-)

Looking forward to your response, Kent!

Coram Deo said...

Nice discernment blog, Frank.

In Him,
CD

the phantom of the bookstore said...

Did everyone see how small Canada's impact was on that info-graphic?

Tim Challies will be outraged.

Frank Turk said...

CD:

It's odd how the object of it didn't find me to be an anonymous jerk with an axe to grind. I must be doing it wrong.

Coram Deo said...

Point conceded. You're neither anonymous, nor pseudonymous, Cent.

In Him,
CD

DJP said...

Stupidest. Response. Ever.*

Coward's Castle just ain't what it used to be.

*In memory.

James S said...

Excellent open letter, Frank. Very well put.

And like previous people have said, this has already been done such as with Piper. But as a sermon listening junkie, I have not found any audio database comparable to the one at The Gospel Coalition's website.

Their resources have audio even of preachers that I thought had no audio available. Audio of Commentary authors like Leon Morris, Graeme Goldsworthy, Derek Kidner and Alec Motyer, not to mention my favorite preacher ever, Dick Lucas are in the database.

Even if Kent shaffer got all the money he needs, he couldn't even begin to have a worldwide resource database as huge as The Gospel Coalition.

Coram Deo said...

Is there a prize for that, DJP?

Everybody loves prizes!

In Him,
CD

CGrim said...

Somewhere, Carl Trueman is pinning this list on his wall, with one large word scribbled across it: "CELEBRITIES"

All joking aside, I am a bit surprised that some obvious names like James White, Russ Moore, and Phil Ryken didn't make the cut.

On the other hand, Frank Schaeffer has also been passed over.

CGrim said...

Team Pyro is represented pretty soundly, though...

Kent Shaffer said...

(PART 1)

Thank you for your open letter, Frank.

I appreciate your words of caution and your prayers. Unfortunately, few have questioned the theological consequences of what it means to try to unite much of the global Church in collaboration. Most only look at the surface details of ideas and free resources and make quick judgments on if they like or dislike the logistical concept.

The core team at Open Church actually moves cautiously thinking about what potential collateral damage may occur from each step we make. I realize that this is likely more unsettling rather than assuring to you given Pyromaniac’s opinion of even a beloved leader like Piper giving a significant platform to a speaker like Warren.

I think often of James 3:1 – “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” I realize that in giving someone a platform, we will share in the responsibility of what is being taught. It is a warning I do not take lightly.

I also think often of Martin Luther’s preface to his Works of 1539 – “I would gladly have seen all my books forgotten and destroyed; if only for the reason that I am afraid of the example. For I see what benefit it has brought to the churches, that men have begun to collect many books and great libraries, outside and alongside of the Holy Scriptures; and have begun especially to scramble together, without any distinction, all sorts of ‘Fathers,’ ‘Councils,’ and ‘Doctors.’ Not only has good time been wasted, and the study of the Scriptures neglected; but the pure understanding of the divine Word is lost, until at last the Bible has come to lie forgotten in the dust under the bench.”

Ideally, I want Open Church’s content to be extremely rich in Scripture with proper context. But by the very nature of collaborative discussion, I know we will fall short.

The infographic isn’t a lineup of who is contributing but rather a quasi-research project showing the gaps in race, gender, and geography among most of the current most influential global Church leaders. However, I would be interested in hearing insights from all of them (gasp!).

The benchmark for ideas on Open Church is primarily quality thought leadership that is in alignment with the gospel, the Great Commission, and the 2 love commandments. Naturally, anyone with reasonably cemented convictions and faith will be uncomfortable with some perspectives on cultural, methodological, and theological levels.

The goal isn’t buffet Christianity. The goal is for people to see 5-10 differing yet qualified perspectives on one topic and then encourage them to study the Bible for themselves to establish an opinion (influenced by divine revelation) rather than just believing the first thing some so-called expert tells them.

Despite our hyperconnected world, we live in walled gardens. Think about what diet of Biblical and ministry ideas you are ingesting. Where does it come from? As the infographic shows, most ministry thought leadership comes from white American men. There are good ideas there, but what can we learn from a Chinese house church network that has 30,000 baptisms every day? What can we learn from how torture has strengthened the faith of an African pastor?

When juxtaposed against the U.S. Church, the passion and growth and faith and selflessness of many churches in Africa and Asia put the American Church to shame. Stereotypically, the Western Church has more academic knowledge of the Bible, but the churches of emerging economies mirror the life of Christ more clearly.

I believe and pray that when the vast scope of global Church perspectives are curated at a central hub, that the weak ideas (the chaff) will blow away and the Gospel-centric ideas built upon the rock of God’s Word will stand out and hopefully convict the comfortable to live for Christ in a sacrificial way.

I pray this is true, but I also know that the road is narrow (Matthew 7:14).

Kent Shaffer said...

(PART 2)

I am equally cautious about the resources, in fact, perhaps more so. Resources such as curriculum and training materials pose an enormous risk to colonialize not just theology but also culture and methodology. Consequently, it is important to also offer a vast scope of perspectives for resources so that users will see the differences and more easily recognize (1) these are man’s interpretation of God’s Word and not God’s Word directly and (2) they must study and identify what they believe and what is best for their audience. Ultimately, we want to help local pastors create Scripture centric resources for their culture by their culture.

I, like you, stick close to my spiritual convictions, but I also realize that I don’t have everything theologically figured out. Christians criticize so much the gap between an esteemed theologian and the spiritual dunce, but let us be careful to not become prideful in what we know or think we know. Let us not forget that the gap is even greater between the brightest theologian and the foolishness of God. Let us not forget 1 Corinthians 1:25 – “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

I do not have it all figured out. And I pray deeply that Open Church makes no missteps to lead someone astray. But I also recognize that virtually every ministry risks collateral damage.

Speaking from my own experience, I do not completely agree with any one theology or ministry methodology, but I often see strengths and insights in each one. And the more I study a broad scope of perspectives, the more easily it becomes for me to see what is Biblical and what is cultural.

For those of you who feel qualified to teach spiritual or ministry insights, please consider contributing ideas to Open Church.

For all of you, please pray for Open Church. Pray for our team to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Pray that man gets out of the way, so that God can guide Open Church as He wills. Pray that egos and politics and strife and greed and agendas stay far away from Open Church and corrupting it. Pray that Scripture stays centric. Pray that God stays centric.

I realize that we probably still disagree, and I admire and respect your convictions.

Lovingly in Christ, Kent Shaffer

@Just Jules
Thank you for the “serious type setting” compliment. I designed the infographic. I paid $0 but spent a lot of time.

@Johnny Dialectic
Since February, my family, blog, and business have funded all the necessary costs. Currently, we have not spent any donation money. As a homebody, I’d prefer to do Skype over travel, but sometimes travel is necessary to develop relationships with resource contributors.

Andrew Perriman said...

Good response, Kent. I thought Frank's mistake was rather obvious—that your list of influencers was not intended as a list of contributors. Still, I couldn't find anything on openchurch.com that sets theological parameters for the material solicited. I would have thought that to be consistent with the objectives of the project you need to acknowledge the particular theological interests of the global church. It doesn't really make sense to let all those white American males set the agenda in this respect. Bring on the global Pentecostals.

DJP said...

CGrim: "Team Pyro is represented pretty soundly, though..."

I hadn't even really looked. I read this, then looked, and read "...DAN PHILLIPS JOHN PIPER..."

First laugh of the day. Thank you!

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

Kent Shaffer said: "The goal isn’t buffet Christianity. The goal is for people to see 5-10 differing yet qualified perspectives on one topic and then encourage them to study the Bible for themselves to establish an opinion (influenced by divine revelation) rather than just believing the first thing some so-called expert tells them."

So, if I get what you are saying, we are given a garden-variety menu of sorts, pick and choose theology, of some pretty picayune and unscrupulous characters, who teach things like “men are little gods” (Kenneth Copeland). And simply by way of comparison of a variety of men’s theological conclusions, this should be sufficient enough to help us in our quest to unscramble truth from error? When did pick and choose theology come into vogue? The only book that establishes truth from error is the Bible. Lean on anything else and you don’t have a leg to stand on.

So, it is more adventageous to discover error first, and then as a last resort go to the only source of all truth.

Your statement above gives the Bible as a LAST resort---“and THEN encourage them to study the Bible.” Makes little sense to me. I hope Frank Turk addresses this issue.

Johnny Dialectic said...

Kent, thanks for taking a stab at my query. I brought it up only because I have been on the board of a start up missionary "vision" before, and eventually had to resign because it became clear the head guy wanted a rubber stamp board (a year later, he was forced to resign). You simply must have some on your board who are qualified to ask these tough questions. May God give you abundant wisdom as you seek to do His will.

Kent Shaffer said...

@Johnny Dialectic

Much agreed. Our goal is to meet all http://www.ecfa.org operational guidelines by 2012.

The biggest accountability guideline we miss right now is having only 3 board members (including me) rather than 5.

However, in the startup phase, I wanted a very nimble board that could meet often, so I chose two members who can offer sound technical advice as well as good spiritual insights. They both also happen to be my spiritual, moral, and personal accountability partners. I wanted a board that can hold me and Open Church accountable. It also helps that all 3 of us our penny pinchers.

I use a group of informal advisors to also challenge me by asking tough questions as well as think diligently on all the feedback given here.

@Mary Elizabeth Tyler

We can debate on the basis of idealism or reality.

Of course, the Bible should be first. The Bible should be 90%+ of everyone's informational diet including mine. But how often is it?

Even more worrisome is how often people confuse the "authority" of holding a microphone and standing on stage as being God's Word directly.

If people are going to do drive-by spirituality and rely on someone else to interpret the Bible for them, I would much rather confront them with the reality that so many of the "experts" disagree and can't all be right, so that they might then hopefully realize they need to study God's Word for themselves.

People need to read Scripture, but most don't.

Pardon me if my bluntness comes across disrespectful.

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

Dear Kent:

This comparative approach to gaining some tiny semblance of truth is dangerous. It is like comparing one rotten apple to another rotten apple. The unbelieving Jews did this. They lowered the standards of truth in order meet the standards.

We, as Calvinists, know the real reason people are not reading their Bibles. So to circumvent this issue, we are to concoct a different strategy??? My friend, God is capable of drawing people to the truth; more than capable.

We don’t need to devise another path that has great potential to turn things foul. If we use this comparative approach, then that too easily becomes the standard to go by. This is very harmful.

And, no, you are not being contentious, nor am I. Just concerned about truth.

Robert said...

Kent,

I saw that you talk about covering many different groups, but I was wondering if in your group of advisors/board members if there is anybody over 40 years of age. It seems like most of the ministries you have been involved with are all along the lines of the "relevance movement" and I am just wondering if you feel like there is no need for input from the older generation. I'm in my 30's, so this isnt an attack from an older person with an axe to grind, but just a concern that I have with some things I see in ministry these days.

Frank Turk said...

Andrew:

Which white Americans are leading the global church astray, do you think?

Frank Turk said...

Kent --

Splendid response. Thanks again for taking the open letter in the spirit it is intended, and also as a platform to air out some of the differences the contributors/readers of this blog might have with your approach.

I think the point made that somehow a church under deep persecution has something to say to middle-class Americans is a great one. I wonder how the dynamics there work to not make things worse for them politically and socially as they tell us to get over being fat and happy. (a message, btw, I think is long overdue)

I offer my services as a consultant on your project. I wonder how it will differ from theopedia, and what it contributes that the major media ministries do not already contribute.

Coram Deo said...

Yes, every Mordor needs its Isengard.

CD

REM said...

Thanks Kent for the Luther quote. But his words are both & and when it comes to books. Luther also said:
"If we neglect the literature we shall eventually lose the gospel ... No sooner did men cease to cultivate the languages than Christendom declined, even until it fell under the undisputed dominion of the pope. But no sooner was this torch relighted, than this papal owl fled with a shriek into congenial gloom ... In former times the fathers were frequently mistaken, because they were ignorant of the languages and in our days there are some who, like the Waldenses, do not think the languages of any use; but although their doctrine is good, they have often erred i the real meaning of the sacred text; they are without arms against error, and I fear much that their faith will not remain pure "

and

"It is a sin and shame not to know our own book or to understand the speech and words of our God; it is a still greater sin and loss that we do not study languages, especially in these days when God is offering and giving us men and books and every facility and inducement to this study, and desires his Bible to be an open book. O how happy the dear fathers would have been if they had our opportunity to study the languages and come thus prepared to the Holy Scriptures! What great toil and effort it cost them to gather up a few crumbs, while we with half the labor— yes, almost without any labor at all—can acquire the whole loaf! O how their effort puts our indolence to shame"

But he and we can wish.

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/biographies/martin-luther-lessons-from-his-life-and-labor

Kent Shaffer said...

@Robert

Excellent question. We're keeping our group of advisors very loose at the moment as we filter through who really has the time bandwidth and wisdom to advise.

So far the oldest individual is 73 years old.

To over-generalize, I find that advisors in their 20s-40s are usually best at logistical advice, particularly in terms of technology. And advisors in their 50s-100s are treasure troves of historical and theological insights. Again, this is an unfair generalization.

Bottom line is our ever changing group of advisors needs to be more diverse. It is urgently important to us, but we will not make someone an advisor for the sake of diversity.

I think we will need at least a hundred advisors in order to properly reach a barely satisfactory understanding of the perspectives and needs of the global Church across race, gender, geography, denomination, age, ministry role, ministry model, denomination, theology, and Myers-Briggs.

Personally, I am a 27 year old white American male raised in Peru and with roots in Methodist, Vineyard, Charismatic, Baptist, Non-denominational, and Evangelical Covenant Church institutions but with a strong appetite for Reformed theology and an ENTJ Myers-Briggs.

@Frank Turk

I accept your services as a consultant! (pro bono right?)

@REM

So true. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. It is a good reminder that we can't reduce complex subjects to simple black and white formulas.

The language of God is complex and full of mysteries and tensions between things that can seem opposite.

The right behavior is more about heart attitude than it is about black and white religious action steps.

donsands said...

"Let us not forget 1 Corinthians 1:25 – “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”"-Kent

Good verse for us all.

Paul's thought just before this is: "For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. ...we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are Called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God."
Amen to the Cross. Galatians 6:14.

Frank Turk said...

I am anti-Bono, but I can work for free if the commitment level is at hobby levels.