04 November 2006

The end of a busy trip

by Phil Johnson

have part 3 of Gary Johnson's review queued up and ready to go, but I'm holding it till Monday because weekend traffic at the blog is sometimes low, and I don't want the end of that series to get overlooked.

For the second time in three weeks, Darlene and I are in Tampa on a Saturday morning, on our way back to Los Angeles. I'll catalogue as many BlogSpotting entries as I can in the limited time I have, but it'll be a comparatively short list:


Finally, I don't always remember to read the comments in the Where I am Right Now® column of the right sidebar, but today there is this doozy from "Deacon Harry":

I found your blog and I was amazed at the title. As a fervent Christian and a retired fire investigator I find anyone (or group of people) that would pride themselves as "Pyromaniacs" to be tragic. Yes I understand our God is a consuming fire. But the redemptive fire of God's love and mercy does not equate in any way to the tragedy and destruction caused by arsonists. I have witnessed too much evil destruction and death wrought by.."pyromaniacs". The deaths of the 5 firefighters this past month is mocked by your sad title.

Uh, no.

For the umpty-gajillionth time, the blogtitle is a reference to Jeremiah 23:29 ("'Is not My word like a fire?' says the LORD")—not the fires of hell, flamewars on the Internet, James 3:6, or even Charles Spurgeon's Sermons in Candles.

Anyone looking for reasons to pick a fight or accuse us can surely do better than making us complicit in the deaths of firefighters just because there are pictures of matches on our blog! My advice: Read the blog for a day or two. There's bound to be something you can legitimately disagree with. Then tear into us all you like.

Anyway, see you tonight from home, Lord willing.

Phil's signature


FX Turk said...

I'd like to go on-record and say that there is nothing on this blog which someone can legitimately disgaree with.

Including this particular comment. All disagreement is illegitimate because we are the Christians and the rest of you ... pheh.

Steve said...

You might have to retract that, Frank. Surely we can legitimately disagree with TeamPyro's typos, including those on T-shirts...

Thanks, Phil, for blogspotting the catechism item on the Trinity.

As for those who contend we shouldn't "judge" Ted Haggard, they may need a refresher course in God's expectations of church leaders as stated in 1 Timothy 3:2,7; 4:12; Hebrews 13:7; and 1 Peter 5:3.

FX Turk said...


No. Even our typos are infallible and unquestionable, and I think your complaint is illegitimate.

See -- in my Bible Jer 26:23 says, "Is not My word like Fire?". Your Bible is wrong -- my t-shirt is right.

And when I changed the t-shirt to say "Jer 23:26", your Bible will have been justified. Period. End of story. Don't be unreasonable -- you got your refund.

Jeff Wright said...

Man, the hits are rolling in at my blog. Thought I'd better clarify:

1. This is indeed an indication of the apostasy of the church.

2. Current evangelicalism is indeed in need of reformation.

My point was only that at a time a brother falls into gross sin we should see that as calling for mourning and prayer moreso than an opportunity to discuss the elements above.

We've plenty of other examples which prompt discussion on those elements. This one should break our hearts for a brother who walked into sin.

Not sure if that clarifies - might have made it worse. I just thought I should make an attempt.

Keith Schooley said...


You ignored the fact that I also cast aspersions on the "Excuse the Sinner" response, and that I found Haggard's very limited admission of guilt ridiculous.

Yes, Haggard himself needs to be held to a higher standard because he is a leader. But when you try to make him into an emblem of Everything That Is Wrong With Evangelicalism Today, you're making precisely the same mistake as those who wrongly idolize him as a larger-than-life figure.

Phil Johnson said...


Oddly enough, while you were commenting, I was reviewing and revising (and expanding) my comments about your blog. I'm literally on the plane in Tampa now, and can't respond in depth, but I will say this:

Haggard is a perfect emblem of much that is wrong with evangelicalism. If I'd said nothing about it before his moral meltdown became public, I'd feel like a hypocrite. Since I've been saying it for years, I'd feel like a coward if I said nothing now.

DJP said...

So... you're saying... I didn't tick anyone off this week? Except ticking Adrian off by not saying anything?

Sticklebats. I'm losing it.

Caleb Kolstad said...

Your don't throw the baby out with the bath water analysis was so spot on (in reference to Chris B). Throw out the bath water and save the baby!!!

You da man

Kim said...

I find anyone (or group of people) that would pride themselves as "Pyromaniacs" to be tragic.

Maybe we should advise the Dictionary Authorities, or the Word Usage Police Service and ask them to ban the world altogether.

GB Hoyt said...

Thanks for the blogspot, I'll be keeping myself posted on what you guys say more often...
G. Brandon Hoyt -- Positive Activist.

Adam Omelianchuk said...

I stand by what I said because:

1) You said, "The current scandal is only a symptom of that much deeper problem." (Which is what? See the following)

2.) You opened up your thought saying the evangelicals need to retool their methods and see that this is the evil fruit of pragmatic and market-driven "spirituality."

3.) You made a call to Christians (meaning, those like yourself) who have a concern for the glory of God and the authority of Scripture to abandon the "NAE/Christianity Today-style 'evangelicalism'"

In my estimation whenever I hear a blogger talk about pragmatic market-driven spirituality they are talking about a kind of methodology that allows for seeker sensitive churches. To be sure, this is what you were talking about. For MY readers who may not know what you are talking about I included the seeker-sensitive style as an example of such. Besides, I find it quite unlikely that you disagree with the assertion that the seeker model is an example of the kind of pragmatic market-driven spirituality you want to see repudiated. If you did you would be at odds of the premise of John MacArthur's book Ashamed of the Gospel--something I would find hard to believe.

Either way, I still disagree with your tying of Haggard's sins to a particular kind of Christian methodology. It has much more to do with the depravity of his heart than it does with those he is associated with. I don’t think any amount of “retooling” would cure such ills (incidentally, I applied this same point to those evangelical feminists who blame Haggard’s on patriarchy)

Thanks for the link, though. I invite you to clarify for me what you meant.