26 February 2013

The most offensive verse in the Bible

by Dan Phillips

In the Sunday School class at CBC we're doing a series called Marriage, the Bible and You. In the second lesson of the series, I brought up the subject of secular talk shows and how they like to try to beat up on Christians of any size, shape, and significance about whatever topic they think is most embarrassing and controversial. Of course, at the moment it's "gay" "marriage," or the topic of homosexuality at all.

In the course of the lesson, I remarked that I think — from the comfortable quiet safety of my study — that I'd take a different approach.

When Piers or Larry or Tavis or Rosie or Ellen or The View or whoever tried probing me about homosexuality, or wifely submission, or any other area where God has spoken (to the world's consternation), I think I'd decline the worm altogether. I think instead, I'd say something like,

"You know, TaPierRosEllRy, when you ask me about X, you're obviously picking a topic that is deeply offensive to non-Christians — but it's far from the most offensive thing I believe. You're just nibbling at the edge of one of the relatively minor leaves on the Tree of Offense. Let me do you a favor, and just take you right down to the root. Let me take you to the most offensive thing I believe.

"The most offensive thing I believe is Genesis 1:1, and everything it implies.



"That is, I believe in a sovereign Creator who is Lord and Definer of all. Everything in the universe — the planet, the laws of physics, the laws of morality, you, me — everything was created by Another, was designed by Another, was given value and definition by Another. God is Creator and Lord, and so He is ultimate. That means we are created and subjects, and therefore derivative and dependent.

"Therefore, we are not free to create meaning or value. We have only two options. We can discover the true value assigned by the Creator and revealed in His Word, the Bible; or we can rebel against that meaning.

"Any time you bring up questions about any of these issues, you do so from one of two stances. You either do it as someone advocating and enabling rebellion against the Creator's design, or as someone seeking submissive understanding of that design. You do it as servant or rebel. There is no third option.

"So yeah, insofar as I'm consistent with my core beliefs, everything I think about sexuality, relationships, morals, the whole nine yards, all of it is derived from what the Creator says. If I deviate from that, I'm wrong.

"To anyone involved in the doomed, damned you-shall-be-as-God project, that is the most offensive truth in the world, and it is the most offensive belief I hold.

"But if I can say one more thing, the first noun in that verse — beginning — immediately points us forward. It points to the end. And the end is all about Jesus Christ. That takes us to the topic of God's world-tilting Gospel, and that's what we really need to talk about."

I mean, why quibble about minor offenses, when we know how to take them right to the mother lode of all offense — that God is God, and we are not?

Dan Phillips's signature


110 comments:

LanternBright said...

Now that's a YouTube waiting to happen.

Bill said...

Good thoughts. We have different foundations and look through different lenses. We possess, as Schaeffer says, True Truth, and they have lies. Inevitably leads to doing what is right in one's own eyes for there is no Another to whom we give account.

Nash Equilibrium said...

I like the idea of going on the offense, with something offensive but true. Well done!

DJP said...

The late, great S. Lewis Johnson said that if you believe the first verse, everything after that is completely believable. Reject it, the rest is problematic.

I'm taking it a step further.

Michael Coughlin said...

Sound like 'presup'

DJP said...

I suppose it does.

Michael Coughlin said...

Really, it is such a good post you may not generate many comments. Nothing really controversial or open ended.

DJP said...

Ah, but leaving a comment for a blogger is like dropping a coin in the street-musician's hat.

(c:

Richie said...

Not a big commenter, but big lurker. I have to break my silence and say, "Fantastic!" I'll be using this, given the opportunity (with your kind permission, of course).

DJP said...

Thanks, and yes please. The hope that I'm giving encouragement, instrution, armory and ammo is one of the things that keeps me going.

Marie said...

Nice. And then Oprah would open her eyes really really wide and sputter, "Yes....but....but....how does one really INTERPRET the Bile?? What I want to know is...how do you FEEEEEELL about it, Mr. Phillips, sir."

Jill Miller said...

:::drops silver dollar in Dan's hat:::

The reason we cannot get anywhere in a conversation with a non-believer regarding homosexuality is because we're working from polar opposite foundations. His is from the Enlightenment: science, reason, man's knowledge, fairness, equality. Ours is from the dawn of time: In the beginning, God created us, and gave us an instruction manual that predates and supercedes any human philosophy or "wisdom." There's no reconciling the two with some middle ground.

Marie said...

Aack! That would be "Bible". Should have spell-checked.

DJP said...

Yep, Jill. "Is" doesn't lead to "ought."

Jules LaPierre said...

No argument from me.

Frank Turk said...

It's funny, but when you do presuppositional apologetics -right- it sounds so reasonable. It sounds like you're appealing to the person and not to the idol of debate.

Mike Towers said...

UTTERLY BRILLIANT!

Scott Welch (formerly Scooter) said...

I can just imagine TaPierRosEllRy's response, "But I make cars appear out of thin air! For every show guest! I make people happy!"

Solameanie said...

Well done! Five stars. (Sorry, One Star Hater)

Thom C said...

While I have thought along the lines of what you wrote, it never struck me as eloquently as you wrote it. Now I just have to memorize it and hope I get invited onto one of those shows! Nah, not really. I'm not well known enough. But this thought will become a regular part of my witness to those around me who always seem to ask questions about tertiary issues. Now I can eloquently take them straight to the root issue. Thank you!

Pensive said...

Absolutely fantastic! The problem is that we really are not speaking the same language anymore.

Steve Talas said...

Thanks, this is vital stuff, as the years go by I become more and more aware of just how foundational a firm grasp of Genesis is to the Gospel, and those who play fast and loose with it like the folk at Biologos are far from the smart and sophisticated proponents of 'reasonable Christianity'. To fail here is to bring the whole thing crashing down. As the Apostle Paul himself proclaimed, so do we, this is where the Gospel begins. Act 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein...

DJP said...

Right, Steve. In fact (prps worth a post of its own) we see here that Satan is a lot more strategic than we, because he's directed his heavy artillery against just this foundation.

It also answers the otherwise-baffling question as to why Biowafflos guys still don't get the respect they so desperately crave, despite every so many "Everything Must Go" sales. It isn't merely the specifics of recent-earth creationism that drives the opposition nuts. It's affirming a transcendent Creator (who isn't me) at all.

Mark Patton said...

Thanks Dan. I love that all your writings take the "deep" and make them knowable ....puttin' it on the bottom shelf for us "short" people. I especially was driven to consider how "beginning" points us to something more. What a great way to be reminded of the gospel. I will most definitely be prayerfully using this in the future. Thanks. Consider my coinage to have been thrown in the hat (because drummers obviously don't carry around guitar cases).

Matt Smethurst said...

Excellent. Thanks, Dan.

Steven A Mitchell said...

One of the problems I've seen in how Christian figures respond to media inquiries about homosexuality — or any other hot button issue — is their failure to follow Jesus's own example. Jesus was no stranger to being confronted with no-win interrogations from the cultural movers and shakers. Most famously, when asked whether it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, he skillfully side-stepped the question, answering, 'Render unto Caesar...,' leaving them without satisfaction. In fact, they marvelled at him.

Dan, this post is a great example of how to buck that trend of unwise and hasty responses in conversing with the world. It both answers the question without accepting the premise: that homosexuality is the real issue rather than just the tip of the iceberg. It recognizes that the issue isn't really homosexuality, per se, just as the issue for Jesus wasn't really taxes. As your response points out, it is always an issue of whether God is recognized as God.

Evangelism isn't easy, and sometimes brashly sermonizing is just as unwise and unevangelical as backing down. It takes a good ear to listen, prudence in redirecting, and knowledge of the truth towards which we are to point them.

HonestlyNow said...

Excellent post. May I add that none of its brilliance or effectiveness depends on holding any specific view on the age of earth or mankind or the universe as a whole. All science holds that there was a beginning and Gen 1:1 says "In the beginning, *God* created. .." - however He created, the offensive thing is that He did it, and that everything is therefore His. We do well to ignore the "how" question, and stay riveted on the "who" question.

DJP said...

Steven, you bring me another thought.

What was characteristic of Jesus in these situations was that He'd often answer a question with a question, something Randy Newman makes a lot of in his Questioning Evangelism.

So maybe, with my content in mind, a guest could ask:

"Let me ask you: who would have the right to answer that question? What would give him that right?"

...or something like that.

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...


Excellent, Dan!!!

Steve Drake said...

Dan,
You are one offensive dude, man. To think that I can't start with myself and reason myself to conclusions about the world I live in, what my senses and experience are telling me, what our 'corporate consciousness' dictates in terms of mores, is just plain imbecilic. What rock did you just crawl out from dude?

To think that I am responsible to this Another, created in His image, derivative and dependent on Him, is way out there man. You must still be hitting that juju weed. I am the master of my destiny, the captain of my ship, and no one can tell me different.

For those who don't understand that I'm speaking the above tongue in cheek and for purposes of contrast, Gen.1:1 is indeed the most offensive thing we believe. It all starts with the understanding of the Creator - creature distinction. Human autonomy is what Eve and then Adam regretably chose, vis-a-vis the Serpent's lie, in the Garden. Good post brother.

David Regier said...

*Drops $5 in the guitar case.

"Do you know any Genesis?"

Sheldon Clowdus said...

My Sunday school class is probably getting tired of hearing me tell them that every issue and every question of morality is at its heart a theological one.

But I am amazed at how many professing Christians do not realize that fact. Ultimately the issue of homosexuality and everything else is settled in Gen 1:1.

Well said Dan.

thinkingkids said...

Brilliantly said.

Bweez said...

End of speech, silence...And the drummer goes DA-DOOM! Great answer. Now let's see if you can get it to happen. I'll watch it.

tobekiwi said...

Outstanding!! Will read this over and over till it's permanently etched. I'd give you ten coins or ten stars if I could!

jmb said...

It's likely you'd get the response: "Well, if God created everything, he created homosexuality, so what could be wrong with it?" It seems that, at that point, you'd have to discuss the fall of mankind, Adam and Eve, etc. Is this what you were getting at when you wrote, above, "Is" doesn't lead to "ought"? Any suggestions as to how to deal with this possible response?

DJP said...

Thanks, tobekiwi.

In lieu of coins in the hat, you know every time someone appropriately and politely links to one of our posts in one of those blogs that seldom if ever seem be able to see see our work, an angel gets a Pyro mug and rejoices.

Shane Dodson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DJP said...

Discuss the post, or don't comment.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

DJP: "So any time you bring up questions about any of these issues, you do so from one of two stances. You either do it as someone advocating and enabling rebellion against the Creator's design, or as someone seeking submissive understanding of that design. You do it as servant or rebel. There is no third option."

Release Barabbas!! Crucify this Pastor Phelps, I mean, Pastor Phillips guy! So very offensive in both what he says and how he says it. Crucify him!!

Just kidding. Brilliant post. Good "segway" to a hopefully Seed-planting Worldview Clash.

Jordan Randall said...

Love it

Frank Turk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
newcenturion said...

Wow a great reponse to the "burning" issues the world throws in our faces Dan! Can I use that brother?

Mike Riccardi said...

Dan, this is why I love you. Thanks for reminding us of that fundamental divide: we are either humble slaves of God or rebels against that truth that He reveals.

I doubt it could have been put in a more straightforward manner.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Steve Drake: "For those who don't understand that I'm speaking the above tongue in cheek and for purposes of contrast, Gen.1:1 is indeed the most offensive thing we believe."

Well, at least we have Young-Earth Creationists, Shades of Old-Earth Creationists, Intelligent Designers, and Theistic Evolutionists who all agree with the fundamental theological proposition in Genesis 1:1.

(Jus' teasing Steve! No need to reply.)

Steve Drake said...

TUAD,
Yes, I suppose it's Gen. 1:2-2:4 where they all go astray :-) Never mind the 1800 years of Church history for the calendar-day view, and that the theological implications of any 'but' the calendar-day view is extremely problematic, a destruction of the gospel itself, but don't get me started :-)

Good to see you alive and kickin' TUAD!

DJP said...

Stop, back to the post, boys.

allen said...

A laser through the fog, this post is!

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

From now on...

I'm a Gen 1.1 Offender!

Pour worldly shame and secular disgust upon my unrepentant soul.

Bill said...

jmb
Homosexuality is not a thing to be created. It is a behavior (by sinful fallen man).

Kurt said...

Home run post. :-)

Needs a poster, like the pomos,
so I can print it and hang it on my wall.

Steven A Mitchell said...

Dan, I agree that answering questions with a question is a great way to converse, but I don't know that challenging one's 'right to ask a question' is all that helpful. After all, it is a talk show hosted by the questioner. Such a question is more likely to end a conversation than steer it.

Perhaps a better way to question the questioner in such an instance — and get at the same point as your Gen 1:1 response — is to say, 'Let me respond by asking this: is there an ultimate arbiter of morality and if so, who?'

One advantage of such a question is it can help develop a conversation in the right direction: is the questioner an advocate of quasi-postmodern relativism? or is it a matter of morality which is inscrutable? or is it a matter of interpretation of revelation? Once you know that, then you can avoid throwing out strawmen due to mistakenly assuming the questioner's position.

The key to any apologetic is to know who you're conversing with. Throwing out formulaic arguments is one of the easiest ways to lose someone. But if you show real interest in understanding what the other person believes, then you can better respond and engage them with the gospel.

Steve Drake said...

Back to the post I go DJP. Sorry for the distraction.

The doctrine of Creation which you refer to in the post, is fundamental and foundational to our Judeo-Christian system of thought. Our whole spatio-temporal world owes its existence to the 'will' of God in creating ex nihilo everything that exists. The universe did not get its existence from any other source but from God.

All non-Christian, unregenerate thought, whether it be in the area of morals (homsexuality, abortion, gun control, property rights), knowledge, or being, takes for granted that we can intelligently think of this universe as being self-existent, with its meaning in itself.

I'm not sure one can say that Gen.1:1 and 'everything it implies' is the most offensive thing one believes, and limit ourselves to discussion only about Gen. 1:1, as if what follows doesn't have bearing on our answer to the Rosie's and Larry's and women of The View's of this world.

The 'rest of the story' as Paul Harvey used to quip is just as important to our answer as the fact that 'In the beginning God', don't you think? :-)

@JoelBarret said...

Very well put, DJP. I appreciate your insight. The central dichotomy between Creator and Creation unravels any form of idolatry, including the cult of progressivism.

I would add that part of submitting to the Sovereign Creator and fulfilling his design for us is to participate with him as creative culture-makers who are made in the image of our creator and entrusted with authority over the created order. We DO create meaning and value through the work that God has appointed us to do as humans, which is why we cannot concede this important concept to the progressives who distort the phrase and thus can't seem to understand why their zero-sum econcomics always fails, or why the fiat currency that they worship keeps losing value.

I especially appreciate how you observe the inherent link between God's work of creation and his work of redemption. Without either of these well in hand, we are something other than Christians. The central concept of the gospel is that "the Creator is the Redeemer." It is only in the context of the dynamic work of redemption that we can effectively answer the false charge that a belief in God's sovereignty requires that birth defects and tragic illnesses and even people's sins, are God's fault, or that God makes people gay. Interesting, how the godless and the extremely religious tend to agree with those charges.

Now that I've put a coin in your hat, will you take a request? I'd love to read your thoughts on the ministry of common grace, a concept which I think would help correct the erroneous political outlooks of both liberal progressives and conservative theonomists, which are at bottom, like all moral errors, theological.

Jim G. said...

Dan,
In a reply to Jill, you wrote:
Yep, Jill. "Is" doesn't lead to "ought."

I've always thought that there is one place where it does. When the Lord said, "I am that I am," that particular "is" leads to all objectively real "oughts." Which of course echoes the sentiment of your post (I think). His existence and perfection is the foundation of all truths about how we should live. In other words it is the one positive statement (what is) from which all correct normative statements (what ought to be) flow.

Chris Brannen said...

Here are your coins, good sir. Keep doing what you do.

trogdor said...

How many times have we seen the TaPierRosEllRy dynamic play out, even in these comment threads? They raise some objection to Christianity, you answer it, and they just move on to something else. You could spend your entire life answering objections, and they'd never budge an inch, just keep changing the topic, eventually circling back through them again as if they weren't sufficiently answered before.

The issue they're objecting to is never the real issue. The real issue is rebellion against the creator; the issue of the moment is just their most convenient excuse.

trogdor said...

This is my favorite part of the post:

"You do it as servant or rebel. There is no third option."

This needs to be shouted from the mountaintops - or better yet, taught from the pulpit - to dispel the myth of moral neutrality or 'basically good' people. Nonsense. We are either obeying the Lord, or rebelling against him. In this cosmic war, there's no moral Switzerland. We're either for the dominion of darkness or in the kingdom of the beloved Son.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Trogdor: "In this cosmic war, there's no moral Switzerland. We're either for the dominion of darkness or in the kingdom of the beloved Son."

How deeply offensive!! You're basically shouting: "You're either In or You're Out! Turn or Burn!!"

So offensive and such a turn-off to Non-Biblical Christians. Mean-Spirited Judgmental Pharisee! Repent of your self-righteous condemnation!

(Tongue-in-Cheek).

I hear ya' Trogdor.

DJP said...

Jim, yes, you're absolutely right. When I wrote that, I knew I was making it awfully brief. I do unfold it more in chapter 14 of TWTG, where I note "#5 We Mustn’t Reason from 'Is' to 'Should.'"

This is a broken world, not functioning as it ought. We can't "poll the sinners frolicking below," as one of my profs liked to say, to determine the moral imperative.

jmb said...

Bill - God created human sexuality (a thing) and decreed how it should be employed (with the opposite sex and in marriage - behaviors). My point was merely that, if someone responded the way I surmised, one would have to go further - to explain the Fall, for instance. Dan, in his 1:55PM comment, answered my question by saying that he knew he was being brief, and that we can't argue from "is" to "ought."

The Squirrel said...

Great post!

Thanks, Phil!

Squirrel

DJP said...

There y'go.

I read over at Sharper Iron that Phil wrote some really terrific stuff about Elephant Room 2, too. Really great guy, Phil. Love his stuff.

Jeri Tanner said...

"The hope that I'm giving encouragement, instruction, armory and ammo is one of the things that keeps me going." Absolutely; excellent, Dan. Thanks.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Dropping a coin and a big AMEN.

Clears all the haze right up, doesn't it?

Julie

inchristus said...

Whoa! Now THAT is a most excellent response! Any invites from The View yet?

ApologiaNZ said...

So how about all readers post a link to this blog post on their Facebook page of google+ page or email it to a friend...?

The Beerleys said...

Did not feel like trudging through the comments, but, man, that was awesome.

Succinct and powerful.

Consider my drop in the hat of the paper variety.

DJP said...

inchristus, just checked my Inbox. Not yet.

Bryce said...

The biggest problem I have with this is figuring out who Tavis is without googling. That lazy. lol Good stuff Dan. As always, I appreciate your candor.

Jeffrey Hudson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Reed said...

Kevin DeYoung had a very similar post today. It's basically a "what should we do" if confronted about homosexuality on public tv. I don't think there is a way for us to somehow be more clever or nice about this, and it to be of any effect. Has anybody ever heard of someone on the other side saying, "You know I disagree with you, but I respect what you have to say?". The softer you try to be, the more likely you are to deviate from the Bible, and from what I've seen, the more our opponents try to rip you to shreds.

Also, another thing that really bothers me when conservative pastors talk about homosexuality is that they will often have a line like "everyone is bad" or something to that effect. It's a right doctrine, but the complete wrong application. First, our opponents quickly see through this ruse. They will quickly say, "Wait, don't you believe that God is going to send you to heaven while sending these other people to hell? And if you're no better, aren't you a hypocrite then?" And the bigger point is that it's unbiblical. While the Bible does say that all men fall short of the glory of God, it does clearly make a distinction between righteous and unrighteous men. The doctrine of the Depravity of Man degenerates into a "Nobody-is-perfect-so-don't-worry".

Jenny Piirto said...

Love.

Christy, The Simple Homemaker said...

Love also!

Adam Ford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dawn Paoletta said...

Oh my - Let me count the ways you just blessed my socks right off of my feet. Thank you. ABout to aggravate my liberal friends (who I love, yet frustrate at times) by hitting share. Now. Thanks.

DJP said...

I really, really appreciate the kind and encouraging words.

For you new visitors: Welcome! This is what we do, week in and week out. Make it a regular stop. Browse the archives.

Glad to hear others are working at this, and thanks to you who do as I suggested for those who seem unaware of this post, or what we do regularly here.

Eric said...

Actually, the most offensive thing you believe is that it's OK to call your neighbor a "worm."

DJP said...

Where's that in the post?

Daryl said...

Late to the party...

I used the idea of this post last night with my 2 youngest boyd (4&6). We read the creation story in their Bible-story book and I used your post as a way of talking to them about how Genesis 1 is the most important part of the Bible because it tells us who owns it all and who gets to make all the rules.

Comparing God's creation to their Legos...very helpful and fun.

It's not exactly what you were driving at, but still, they got the point and, at that young age, it all makes so much sense to them.

DJP said...

Ah, you used the Sunday School instruction. Terrific, very glad to hear it.

Well, my secret is that I'M SLOW. By the time I get something, I'm ready to explain it to anyone who's willing to hear!

Doug Blackley said...

Well said, well presented, well done!

Eric said...

Dan,

Other Eric here. I think Eric (with avatar picture) was referring to this quote: "I think I'd decline the worm altogether".

I think he misunderstands what you meant, but I'll leave it to you to explain.

By the way, "nice post".

DJP said...

Then I'll leave it to other-Eric to ask.

(c:

Eric said...

Fair enough, just thought I'd make note. I think other-Eric has already reached the conclusion he wants to reach, so I don't expect him to seek clarification (and I'm quite sure you don't either).

Have a great day.

DJP said...

Yeah, but I'm here for him.

Deb W. . said...

Nice way to redirect the discussion! I like your approach. For myself, I think I would use this one, rather than the Genesis quote (both are poignant to be sure):
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23

Robert said...

I've only seen one pastor (John MacArthur) handle these types of questions very well on these types of shows. Maybe you'll be the second if you ever get invited to one. I don't trust the media enough to think that will really happen, though.

Larry Geiger said...

Our Father who art in heaven...
In the beginning...

Our Father who is somewhere else, not in this universe, before time, above this universe. Yet, our Father, maker and creator of this universe and of us. Jesus prayer starts at Genesis 1.1.

hallowed be thy Name...
In the beginning, God...

Holy, consecrated, sacred, revered (Merriam Webster).

gerard said...

I must be missing the point here.

But how does this fix one "servant" calling another "servant" a "rebel"?

Why does it matter if it is called "discovering" meaning or "creating" meaning when practically speaking it is the same thing? A married couple who disagree about trying to get pregnant are not going to argue about discovering God's will (they already disagree about what that is), they are going to argue about using condoms or not. Likewise, there is no arguing what words the NIV uses (that much is obvious), but what they mean and this article does not shed any light there."

DJP said...

Yes, the single article that anticipates and answers every possible askable question to the satisfaction of every possible questioner continues not to have been written yet.

David J. said...

@ Paul Reed: "Also, another thing that really bothers me when conservative pastors talk about homosexuality is that they will often have a line like "everyone is bad" or something to that effect. It's a right doctrine, but the complete wrong application. First, our opponents quickly see through this ruse. They will quickly say, "Wait, don't you believe that God is going to send you to heaven while sending these other people to hell? And if you're no better, aren't you a hypocrite then?" And the bigger point is that it's unbiblical. While the Bible does say that all men fall short of the glory of God, it does clearly make a distinction between righteous and unrighteous men. The doctrine of the Depravity of Man degenerates into a "Nobody-is-perfect-so-don't-worry".

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your point, but nothing in the quoted paragraph is right. Everyone IS bad ("There is none righteous, no not one.") We don't believe (or, more accurately, God doesn't say) that God is going to send us to heaven and others to hell based on the absence or presence of homosexual behavior (or any other behavior), but by grace through faith in Christ. The distinction in the Bible between righteous and unrighteous men is not based on their conduct (their righteousness) but on the righteousness of Christ imputed to unrighteous persons by grace through faith (which imputees will then evidence growth in grace but will still never get close to perfection in this life and are still quite capable of gross sin). The doctrine of depravity means "nobody is perfect so everyone needs the substitutionary atonement of Christ."

Instead, it sounds dangerously like you're saying that homosexual behavior is a unique form of unrighteousness that a genuinely saved person could never commit -- and that's simply not true/biblical.

Deb W. . said...

This is a great quote too, BTW:
"You do it as servant or rebel. There is no third option."
As a reminder and a mantra. Thanks again Dan! Time to get out the TWTG and get a refresher.

Colin Watson said...

Very encouraging post. I've been wrestling with this same idea for some weeks now as this is a hot button issue at my college. The gospel is so full of offensive things, from creation to the incarnation and the idea of a dead guy coming back to life? I'm surprised that they aren't as up in arms about that. Maybe because Christians aren't? In any case, thank you for the encouragement!

thenface2face said...

Made a great conversation starter at dinner, thanks! Was so proud of one of my sons who answered the way you did, to "What is the most offensive verse in the Bible?"

Yes, I still lurk here -- just thought I'd put a coin in the hat, to say you're doing a fine job.

And thanks for pointing me to https://twitter.com/search?q=%23DonnaBrazileMysteries, too! Best laugh in a long time.

Karen

Ned Kelly said...

Thanks for the great post. May I go a little off topic and say that I am saddened when people quote "there are none righteous" out of context to make the point that we are all bad? The text continues: "there are none who seek after God", and if you go back to the psalm, you see that it starts with "the fool has said in his heart there is no God". The Gospels tell of righteous people, Zacharias and Elizabeth for example, and whilst I cannot be sure of why Paul quoted that psalm, you cannot ignore "none seek after God" as a qualifier of "there are none righteous" as that is the context of the psalm.
Sorry to be a bother.

Paul Reed said...

@David J

We don't believe (or, more accurately, God doesn't say) that God is going to send us to heaven and others to hell based on the absence or presence of homosexual behavior (or any other behavior), but by grace through faith in Christ"

Yes, but the evidence that you have abiding faith is Christ can be seen in how you live you life. If you think faith just involves an intellectual assent, then ask if not even the devil and demons believe that Christ is Lord.

glory said...

Gary Anderson
"That is, I believe in a sovereign Creator who is Lord and Definer of all. Everything in the universe — the planet, the laws of physics, the laws of morality, you, me — everything was created by Another, was designed by Another, was given value and definition by Another. God is Creator and Lord, and so He is ultimate. That means we are created and subjects, and therefore derivative and dependent."

Dependent is a very key word here. Christ is so smart that in His blueprint of the design of man he laid out the dependent aspect of the design. He makes the very life of man dependent on food/water and air so that man has no life within himself but is as a branch that must receive live from a source, the vine. He is the true vine and we are the branches.

In order for man to reject Christ as creator he must have life within himself to do so. Therefore he doesn't have to eat/drink nor breathe air. In the design we see a colorful picture of dependence on Christ for life. Every time one eats food, drinks water and breathes air he proves the creator real.

Christ is the living bread, the living water and the breath of life.

Eric Fugitt said...

I hope it encourages you that Doug Wilson utilized this idea last night in his debate with Andrew Sullivan at the University of Idaho. They debated "Is Civil Marriage for Gay Couples Good for Society." You can now regard yourself as "quoted" in a formal setting if you have not already been. Congrats.

DJP said...

Seriously? Yeah, that would definitely encourage me.

And it's only fair: I've used Doug Wilson a great many times.

St. Lee said...

Wow. I don't have a chance to come here for a couple of days and I nearly miss one of the greatest posts ever. Outstanding. Here is my farthing. (don't turn up your nose at it ...it's all I have :-)

Helen said...

I was thinking the same thing David J was.

Bobdak said...

John 14:6 - is a close second if not the most offensive - Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. I heard people are offended over God the Father because he is sovereign, over Jesus because he is exclusive and over the Holy Spirit when he shows up...

Gregg Vermeesch said...

This reminds me and relates to a young man that I have been ministering to for quite a while. He told me that his god allows him to smoke pot. I paused for a moment and replied to him that he has a god that must agree to his rules which in the end makes him more powerful than his own god. I continued to tell him that my God makes the rules for me to follow and that He doesn't bend them for me or anybody. He didn't have an answer to my statement, I know that he will give our conversation some thought. This response can also be applied to anyone that claims to be a Christian and thinks that God is OK with their sin... He's not.

orthodoxradical said...

Very grateful for this fresh perspective. It's amazing the creativity and thoughtfulness derived from acknowledging Him as Lord. Liberation follows this initial step. When initiated by the triune God, salvation frees us and keeps through the onslaught of a double minded world.

ron morales said...

I am a newbie here @ pyro, and I want to thank God for your ability to write so wonderfully!! God bless this community

Rebecca said...

I love this approach to getting the Gospel out there. Unbelievers can get you all over the board. And sometime we pander to the dead horse they keep beating. The keep going back to the same topics and we keep answering. Nothing is as powerful as the Gospel. I'm going to use this stun gun approach.LOL With gentleness and respect, of course.

DJP said...

There's my next book-title: "The Stun-Gun Approach!"

Rebecca said...

Dan, I'd like an honorable mention.

DJP said...

It's only fair.