24 October 2014

Some here, some there — October 24, 2014

by Dan Phillips

Well, another week! Got my beautiful wife back from helping with my beautiful granddaughter, Zoé Isabelle Allen... oh, what's that you say? Do I have another picture? Mm, let's see, I'm sure there's one here somewhere... Ah:

Ahem. Now to business. Remember to check back at day's end for updates.
  • Let me say at the outset: one of the sites that refers me to great posts and articles is The Aquila Report. I tend to use their links and read the articles at the sites, and when I use the articles, I link to that site. But I'm putting The Aquila Report in our blogroll prominently, and commend it to you.
  • You probably will have heard by now that Mark Driscoll's elders, who notably softballed the process as it was by excluding should-be issues, have shared that he resigned rather than submit to any process of restoration. No price too little to pay, evidently.
  • Joel J. Miller is not even evangelical, and he gets what many don't. Miller's apparently Eastern Orthodox and, to be as candid as you expect me to be, I'll say I think that's a bad thing. Yet Miller gets what some evangelicals don't as clearly seem to see: that there are points on the line between wishing Mark Driscoll hell and destruction on the one hand, and wanting to see him restored to pastoral ministry on the other. Restore him? Yes, says, Miller, who then asks, "...but to what?" For instance, "what’s wrong with Driscoll becoming a lawyer or waiter or what have you?" Further:
Since when does welcoming someone back to fellowship mean that you have to welcome him back to a post he abused? What’s wrong with a pew, even up front if he wants it? But just a pew? Laity, as the kids might say if the idea ever entered their heads, rocks!

...The truth is that Paul’s criteria for pastoral leadership are pretty stringent. I daresay few of us really qualify. Maybe Driscoll is simply not pastoral material.

That’s not bad or shameful. Some would say it’s just blisteringly obvious. I don’t know. I just don’t see any point in crucifying him—or giving him back the keys to the building. That’s a bogus choice.

Having said that, I’d be happy to sit with him anytime.
  • Miles Mullin draws an extended parallel between Driscoll and another living, breathing cautionary tale, the trainwreck that is Bill Clinton, and makes application to what we should (and shouldn't) look for in church leaders (h-t Aquila Report).
  • Now, I won't even bother to link to any of the posts saying "Stop gloating" and all that. Instead, let's observe the process.
  1. Some warn of the impending disaster.
  2. They are shushed, criticized, ignored, blacklisted.
  3. The disaster happens. Even enablers are forced to take some small note.
  4. Almost immediately, the former enablers say "Don't gloat! Maybe we were wrong, but you were wronger (because: tone)! Move on!"
  5. Any suggestions of preventative systemic change are thereby snuffed out a-borning.
  6. Nothing changes.
  7. Cue the next slow-mo train wreck.
  • Seemed like a simple enough question. But she never answered it. Snif! When I brought it up, she asked what I was talking about, so I linked her to my tweet with the question. She never responded. I mean, unless this is in the place of a response...
  • No, you're not missing a tweet where I myself called her a name or treated her like, um, bad stuff. I asked a question, then noted I wasn't answered. So, there you go. It's like...
  • In this edition of SHST, I discussed with you dear brother Doug Wilson's lamentable attempts to tone down the content-aspect of "saved by grace alone through faith alone." Well, God help him, he's trying again. I actually think he makes it worse by doubling down. 
  • Most of us gladly allow that there are saved people attending RC churches who don't yet get how opposed Rome is to that Gospel and Savior in which they savingly trust. But Doug now specifically indicates instructed, faithful-to-Rome Roman Catholics, and says they're saved if they believe the version of the Gospel he gives. He says it's the Gospel that matters, not so much our response, saith Doug.
  • However, Doug seems to be aware that Galatians tears that theory all to heck. Specifically Galatians 5:3. Can we really think that the apostle who said "if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you...you are severed from Christ...you have fallen away from grace" (Gal. 5:2, 4), would not equally say "if you accept a sacramental, works-system of salvation, Christ will be of no advantage to you," and all the rest, including 1:8-10? Indeed, we are saved by grace, through faith — and not just any "faith."
  • Glass strength: check.
That's it for now. Be safe.

Dan Phillips's signature


Robert said...

RHE needs to grow up. When you put yourself on a platform (essence of celebrity culture) as somebody with some great new understanding of the Bible and how it applies today, you're going to be held accountable for what you say. And that means you need to be able to answer the big girl questions. Abraham was able to take on that question head on because he had faith in God.

The problem with RHE is that she doesn't feel that the Bible is authoritative...she believes that her heart's rendering of Scripture is authoritative. We have enough ammunition from the Bible itself to know not to trust our hearts. Instead of just trotting out Jeremiah 17:9, I would like to go to a historical example. 1 Samuel 15:6...Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel away from David. David conquered foes and established Israel in a position of strength (because God brought it about). Yet, in a few years, Absalom managed to turn their hearts. All he had to do was manipulate them. Just like her heart directs her to manipulate Scripture in order to make her feel good about ungodly behaviors and attitudes so that she can receive praise and respect from the masses.

DJP said...

I shouldn't be surprised, yet still am, at how often this plays out. A person seeks a public platform, and perhaps achieves it by challenging (that's the nice word) truths of God's Word. The stance they pose is that of a bold, courageous, unafraid explorer, ready to ask the hard questions.

But ask them just a well-chosen question or two, and it all collapses. Instead of straightforward responses, let alone admissions of error and change, one hears cries of abuse, condescension, meanness, and of course hate.

It's a pattern. I should make a flow-chart sometime.

Frank Turk said...

"At least atheists don't call me names and treat me like crap."

Because how one treats RHE is the gold standard for ... what?

Robert said...

The article on pseudogamy was great. Regardless of how society or the government chooses to redefine a term, Christians hold to God as the authority and He has spoken to us through His Word. That battle is never lost and the overall war is always in His hands. He gave us the book of Revelations (as well as prophecies from Christ and the Apostles recorded in Scripture) so that we can hold on to that hope and know He is going to wipe out sin in the end. Our hope isn't in redeeming culture, but it is in Him.

Robert said...

@Frank...They treat her well because she tickles their ears.

And I don't see how she can honestly make a case for being mistreated here. Again, when one makes a case for something (as RHE always does), they should expect people to examine their arguments. And that should lead to fruitful discourse as the person examines and is either able to build solid support for their argument or changes their point of view based upon the evidence laid before them. That requires intellectual effort and integrity, though...both of which are severely lacking in our day and age.

Frank Turk said...

The only thing that would have made that safety video more epic would have been DJP wielding HIS sword in the midst of it.

Frank Turk said...

The problem with the world as we know it is that everyone thinks they are entitled to their own opinion, but no one else is entitled to disagree. THEY can be utterly daffy or completely misinformed or obviously lying about some fact which is necessary for the existence of all of civilization -- but to call them out on it? Untoward. Hateful. Worse than unbelief.

Frank Turk said...

All comments so far: on-topic.

Happy Friday, DJP.

Frank Turk said...

Re: Sartwell's confession.

Yes? What about this fellow Jesus. It bothers me that someone with this much impact on all of history and civilization seems to you to be the same as how you feel about having eggs for breakfast.

DJP said...

"On-topic." I know. I'm pinching myself. It's surreal.

As to opinions: absolutely. How else to explain the omnipresence of opinion polls? As I've often said, I want these polls weighted; I'd like to know how many of the opiners have the slightest notion of the facts of the issue on which they're opining. They're "pro-choice," are they? Do they know a thing about fetal development on the one hand, or the real state of the law on the other?

It's the heresy of democracy: all opinions are created equal. It doesn't matter whether there's anything to or behind your opinion. Just the fact that you have it is enough to validate it.

And if you "feel it deeply in your heart," well then, it's Gospel.

DJP said...

...and if you can mix in a little "victim-sauce," then my goodness, why are we even discussing it?

Robert said...

Anderson's piece on the action (or inaction) of the Supreme Court is great. Glad that he brings up no-fault divorce and doesn't just dump it all on those looking to redefine marriage. Also good that he addresses protection of conscience from all forms of discrimination (tax, employment, etc.). And great that he says we need to defend the truth at all costs. There is a whole world of people who don't know what the truth is and we need to be truth bearers.

Every time I hear about these judges overturning the laws the majority of people have voted in favor of, I can't help but to think of the Bible speaking of people calling evil good, and good evil. And the fate of such persons isn't something anybody should desire...I doubt that thought has entered their minds, though.

Tom Chantry said...

Any comments on Hillsong?

(Because, frankly, 100% on-topic commment threads at Pyro just might be the third sign of the apocalypse.)

Tom Chantry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DJP said...

Yes, what would an SHST be without someone commenting on the absence of something from the post?

Tom Chantry said...

Wow. I even dropped in an eschatological reference, and that comment still got published. I better quit while I'm ahead.

Rowdie Jones said...

One thing I appreciate about you, DJP, is that if someone has already addressed a topic (like Driscoll) and has addressed it very well, you don't reinvent the wheel. You quote them.


David Alves said...

Incidentally, Dan, one of my former pastors preached at the DBTS conference (this is the church I was a member of during college). His name is Jim Newcomer. I love him dearly and cannot speak well enough of his insights into Scripture and his reverent handling of the Text. He is deeply committed to the sufficiency of Scripture in counseling and has a real pastor's heart. I haven't had a chance to listen to thus conference audio but I am very sure it will be excellent.

So, if you ever find yourself on vacation in Virginia Beach and would like to visit a church which will have a word from God, find Colonial Baptist and tell them I sent you. And then marvel that such a place is a mere ten minutes up the road from Regent University. :)

christianlady said...

Church discipline is still lacking if they want to restore Driscoll to ministry. If he is not repenting, then how can he be restored to anything anyway?

Terry Rayburn said...

1. Best comment so far:

Turk: "Because how one treats RHE is the gold standard for ... what?"

2. Regarding the snails:

The painting of the snail with the McDonald's motif is brilliant, combining the delicious, but painfully slow, Escargot with "fast food".

3. Just a reminder that even "the most honest atheist in the world" is still dishonest, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18-20).

I hope it's not perverse that I kind of enjoy telling them that, from time to time, just to get the conversation going.

It VISIBLY jars their confidence, for two reasons, I believe:

1) it's true, and self-evident in the Creation itself; and

2) they never thought of that before, and they tend to be arrogantly quite sure they have already thought of everything, whereas lowly I have not.

Doug Hibbard said...

Meandering thought on the Abraham/Isaac and sacrifice point:

That was really the breaking point over here in Southern Baptist land back in the 60s/70s that got the pendulum trying to swing back to actually reading the Bible. There wasn't much outcry about professors (and the pastors who learned from them) adopting all sorts of views regarding evolution and even miracles in the NT, but when there was a book to point to that said Abraham must have imagined the command of God to sacrifice Isaac, that was the matchstrike.

It's really a point where you have to decide: Does God get to tell us to do stuff that is unpleasant, or not? It's past the point that some can dismiss as "early Hebrew mythology" so you have to figure, does it really mean what it says?

And once you decide that, no, there are some things that God cannot command of me because I don't like them, that's it. You're in charge of God and not the other way 'round. Which is not the direction to go.

I can readily say that I would have great difficulty obeying that command, and may have turned Jonah and run off, but God retains every right to command it.

Kevin said...

Thanks for the kind words about my alma mater, DBTS. As a long time reader (but rarely a commenter) my feeling is mutual toward the work you do here at this blog, which is often a nearly lone voice defending and applying truth and righteousness.

Just another plug for the MACP resources.

Dr. Mark Snoeberger's breakout session on The Gospel and Sanctification is a must-listen/read. Getting this right is so pivotal for so many reasons!

Curt said...

The article on Competing Wisdom was awesome, Dan! Succinct and bang-on! Blessings to you, brother.

DJP said...

That's very kind of you; thanks!

Rowdie Jones said...

I do wish Blogger would offer "Like" buttons in the comment threads. So many good comments.