13 February 2012

The Antidote to Contemporary Evangelicalism's Addiction to Novelty

by Phil Johnson

"I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

n all of Paul's instructions to Timothy and Titus, there is not an ounce of encouragement for the person who thinks innovation is the key to an effective ministry philosophy.

Much less is there any room for the pulpiteers of today who like to exegete the latest movies, or preach on moral lessons drawn from television sitcoms, or build their sermons on themes borrowed from popular culture. You know what I mean: the kind of preachers who insist they are being "missional" when they are merely being worldly.

Still less is there any warrant for the celebrity rock-star pastor who continually makes himself the focus of his preaching. "For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake" (2 Corinthians 4:5). "Necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16).

Paul's focus is extremely narrow—stiflingly narrow for the typical young-and-restless church planter for whom "style" is everything; and whose style (let's be honest) is conspicuously dictated by secular fashion rather than by the worldview Paul was exhorting Timothy to embrace.

"Preach the word." That's the centerpiece and the key to everything Paul tells Timothy about how to shepherd God's flock. That command is followed immediately by a second imperative that simply makes the first one more emphatic: "Be ready in season and out of season." The Greek verb means "stand by," and it does have the sense of readiness. (In fact, in radio, that is exactly what the expression "stand by" means: "Be ready." But the word Paul uses is richer and stronger than that.) It also carries the connotation of expressions like: "take a stand," "stand upon it," "stick to it," "stand up to it," or simply "carry on."

Paul is urging Timothy to be absolutely, unswervingly devoted to the truth of the Word and to the task of proclaiming it. "Stand firm, and stand ready. Keep at the task, no matter what." That's the idea. And the proof is in the rest of the phrase: "Be ready in season and out of season"—literally, "when it's timely and when it's untimely": when it's popular and when it's not.

Or to contextualize the phrase for the current crop of evangelical fashionistas: Preach the Word even when preaching the Word seems hopelessly uncool and unstylish.

The expression is ambiguous as to whether Timothy or his audience is the barometer declaring what's "in season [or] out of season." It doesn't matter. Regardless of how you or your audience—or anyone else—feels about it, keep preaching the Word.

Preach the word whether the timing seems opportune or awkward. Preach it whether it's convenient or inconvenient. Preach it whether you feel like it or not. Preach it whether the door is open or closed. Preach it no matter how much resistance you encounter. Preach it whether or not people say they want it. Preach it—and make it the heart and soul of your ministry strategy—no matter how many church-growth experts tell you otherwise.

Paul goes on to give several more imperatives, and all of them expand on or modify this initial command: "Preach the Word."

In a follow-up post or two we'll look at the whole series of imperatives, and I think you'll see in a graphic way that Paul's ideas about ministry philosophy church growth run fairly contrary to the received wisdom of most who claim expertise in these matters today.

Phil's signature


Jerry Wragg said...


Tom Chantry said...

Prediction: at least one critic will show up in this meta and carry on at length about the illustrations of this post and how the demonstrate Phil's prejudices and general old-foggie-ness. Such critics will invariably ignore the words of the post.

Carry on.

In Russet Shadows said...

I wouldn't say old-fogieness, but I would say that the pictures he uses don't prove his point. The Rolling Stone cover was not created by the band and they likely had no input on it (Rolling Stone is not run by Christians, guys). The picture of the tattooed guy also doesn't mean anything, except that he wears tattoos. Why is there a default assumption that he's doing this in order to be trendy, and not because he wants to express himself that way or feels the desire to communicate the truth that way? I have read of more than one Christian who has tattoos for reasons of personal conviction. Generally, I still don't see how innovation excludes preaching the Word, or how creativity, largely speaking, is anti-gospel. That's the real problem, I think.

Kerry James Allen said...

I wonder if some people have enough self-awareness to finally figure out that they have fulfilled someone elses prediction?

candy said...

In Russet Shadows. Are you perhaps painfully carefully creative? Your pic matches your name and your quote about the creative spark. Maybe part of the point Phil is making is that there is a contrived self-conscious creativity that seems to permeate the landscape of many new and rising pastors, who emulate certain celebrity pastors. They might think they are highly individualistic in their presentation and approach, but almost clonelike many of them simply override the simple preaching of God's Word in favor of trends and fads. How many of these innovative creative preachers actually distract people by bringing more attention to themselves that to Christ. How many of them are like musicians looking for the perfect hook to the song to draw in an audience?

Ed Goode said...

Excellent stuff, as a young man in youth ministry in the Bible belt, i need to remember this every day... i do have a couple of questions/comments tho...

1) Is that TD Jakes thing for real? Or is it a new Teampyro po-motivator?

2) And In Russet Shadows, this 'rolling stone' cover is actually a cover of Relevant magazine, which claims to be about 'God, life and progressive Culture.' The fact that, at a glace, it appeared to be rolling stone proves Phil's point don't you think?

Linda said...

You do have a point Russet Shadows.

You're right it's not merely behavior outwardly or someone's appearance.There are many Christians who have tattoos etc and that doesn't tell us what's truly inside

It IS about having the right way of thinking-Romans 12:2. However,Right behavior even on the outside will follow a right way of thinking from the inside of a person when our thinking is set straight

If you look at Romans 12:2 Paul tells us to break away from this present age.

“Do not let the age in which you lie (force you) into (its scheme) of thinking and behaving"

Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold”-J.B. Phillips

Stephen said...

This is either a great encouragement or a great judge for those who had opportunity to preach the Word yesterday.

Robert said...

This is the second dose of this teaching that I've had today...and boy is it needed in today's culture! I heard Allistair Begg preaching through this section of 2 Timothy as I drove to work this morning. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the same points were made, and I expect the same will be true in the follow-up posts because both of you use Scripture as your foundation...which is what Paul is telling Timothy to do. And that is the model that Scripture provides for every pastor in every era.

In Russet Shadows,

I totally agree with Candy and think you might have missed some of what Paul was speaking about here:

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

When people look for somebody to suit their own passions that are outside of Christ, then we already see where they are heading. When the pastor steps into the pulpit, we should be hearing the voice of God speaking to us through His chosen means of presenting and teaching His Word. We shouldn't be distracted by the pastor's looks or mannerisms or by stories about him. Begg made the point that the pastor isn't supposed to be throwing out a sales pitch to overcome worldly resistance. Scripture doesn't make any type of appeal to pragmatism in preaching. That is a man-made contrivance that ignores the call to simply preach the Word in season and out of season...whether we feel great about it or are run down.

Tom Chantry said...


Do you have anything to say about the post? Do the pastoral epistles address our context at all - and if so, do they rebuke or confirm it?

Or we could just talk about tatts, whatever.

Frank Rue said...

The magazine cover is a Christian magazine. NOT Rolling Stone.

The "tats" guy is Jay Bakker, NOT just a random guy with tats.

And "He-Motions" is quite real—not a Pyro-made po-motivator.

All striking and painful realities that you CANNOT make this stuff up.

Robert said...

Frank Rue,

I'd say that pastors/teachers that follow the Biblical model can't make stuff like this up, but the pragmatic, money-grubbing, look-at-me type surely can (and do) make up anything and everything under the sun.

I'm not really disagreeing, but just adding to what you said and making the point that all of this "innovative" stuff that Driscoll, Furtick, Warren, etc. come up with are all inventions in their own minds and don't follow any Biblical model for preaching and teaching (which really aren't separate). It's all made up fluff to suit the passions of the lost.

olan strickland said...

In Russet Shadows: I still don't see how innovation excludes preaching the Word....

It doesn't! The Word excludes innovative preaching.

Stuart Brogden said...

What an excellent - and novel! - rebuke to a man-pleasing virus that is sweeping the body of Christ.

Anonymous said...

I was really hoping that the "Cool Church" sign was a joke...I found the website. It's not...ugh...

The Squirrel said...

FloydTheBarber asked...
"Is that TD Jakes thing for real? Or is it a new Teampyro po-motivator?"

Then michelle said...
"I was really hoping that the "Cool Church" sign was a joke...I found the website. It's not...ugh..."

It's true, you can't even parody these guys anymore...


undaunted said...

You are full of opinions, but you are low on the spirit because the spirit is love, the spirit is peace, the spirit is kindness and the only kind of words you ever seem to speak bring death to the hearer and leave weakness in their wake.

You look like a todler drawing lines in the sand talking about how you are defending the truth and taking a stand, but for all of your hating and pontificating and stances and games there is no change.

Fall back. its a new day cause we are not looking for approval from you who give no respect and never neglect the chance to complain.

Are you going to critize or create?

Waste your time casting stones, breaking bones, belittling everyone you consider foes?

Kerry James Allen said...

Please see comment number two again...

Kerry James Allen said...

"Satan will be glad if you begin to blame the preacher when you ought to have blamed yourself." CHS

Phil Johnson said...


Well played. Here's the whole video. it's another classic example of the kind of thing this post decries.

Kevin Zuber said...

Let's not forget the elder "wanna-be's" (wanna-be 'rock star pastors') who may be too old to be "hipster pastors" but want to co-opt their popularity to aggrandize their own "influence" and "empire . . ." er . . . I mean "ministry."'

Those who encourage such "novelty" (even if they don't go as far themselves) contribute to the addiction.

Jason Dohm said...

In 2 Kings 16:10-17, King Ahaz visits Damascas, sees an interesting pagan altar, and has it reproduced and put into service in the temple. In the meantime, the altar prescribed by God is set off in the corner to make way for a man's great idea. Whenever we innovate, one important question is this: "What that God has given for the good of His people has been shuffled off into the corner?" The answer always reveals a bad trade and a profound loss for the people of God.

Robert said...

Hey, look! Furtick created an empty Blogger profile to come over here and comment. Don't y'all feel honored? Who'll be next to show up at the party?

Halcyon said...


Fo-shizzle, my-nizzle.

Mark B. Hanson said...

I will make a statement here that I challenge other writers to refute:

The church in any place has never "lost a generation" by preaching boldly the Word of God into that culture, but generations have been lost (in places like England and Germany, and in many U.S. denominations) by preachers that have lost faith in the power of the Word to reach their time, and have substituted some other method or means to "reach" them.

Jason Dohm said...

Mark B. Hanson: BINGO. There is no penalty for trusting in what God prescribes.

Jon Elliff said...

Is it just me or does every pic depict men wearing makeup?



Anonymous said...


I agree with you completely, except that I have come to think the problem in Evangelicalism is more systemic. Evangelical obsession with novelty and "relevance" seems to go back much further and down much deeper than just the current examples of irreverence and obscenity. Really, when has the movement not been characterized by such an obsession with novelty?

rwt said...

It's Love, Love
Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show.
Pack up the babies, and
Grab the old ladies.
Everyone goes;
Everyone knows
Brother Love's show.

--Neil Diamond

Anonymous said...

Lincoln looked to be without makeup... :)

Mark B. Hanson said...

The focus on novelty in Evangelicalism goes back at least as far as Charles Finney. One large section of his Revival Lectures is a defense of, and discussion of methods for, creating interest for meetings by doing something new and different.

Mark B. Hanson said...

[Disclaimer: I agree with R. C. Sproul that Finney was a heresiarch and full-fledged Pelagian]

Unknown said...

According to the time stamps on the comments, 29 minutes is all it took for Tom Chantry's prediction to come true. And the answering post even referenced TC's (which only makes it better). But then I'm sure I'm not the only one who noticed.

Tom Chantry said...


You're not the only one. The explanation for DJP's absence from this meta is that he is off in his study revising his cessationism to account for my prophetic status.

Nash Equilibrium said...

"In Russett Shadows" comment reminded me of an expereince from the late 1970s: Our university had an exchane program with a business school in France. Hence, many of my classmates were French. One of the hilarious complaints the Frenchmen made one time was "you Americans all dress the same - we French are very creative and express our own style." The hilarious thing was that you could spot a Frenchman from a mile away because they were the only ones who wore sport jackets and blue jeans.

That's kinda like the guy with tattoos: the first guy who did it might be creative or expressive. The thousandth guy, not so much.

Rubin O. Wits said...

Me thinks In Russet Shadows is of the hip and trendy, seeker-sensitive ilk.

jbboren said...

Maybe I'm naive. Tell me if you think so. But I really don't lose much sleep over these guys. Galatians 6:7 keeps me from worrying that the sky is falling.

Seriously, if this is a naive way to go, I need to know.

donsands said...

Preach the Word. The Bible is incredible! I was just overwhelmed by the truth of God's grace toward me. What a Savior! And Jesus said in John, actually John recodred our Lord's prayer, and He prayed: "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth."

John 17:17-19

Aaron Snell said...

Thanks funny: Abe Lincoln ended up looking a bit like David Crowder

Nash Equilibrium said...

JBB - I think it's probably just a matter of defending the faith as we're commanded to in the Word, whether it's opposing those who are arguing against the faith, or opposing those who are misrepresenting it.

Aaron Snell said...

Paul's focus is extremely narrow—stiflingly narrow for the typical young-and-restless church planter for whom "style" is everything; and whose style (let's be honest) is conspicuously dictated by secular fashion rather than by the worldview Paul was exhorting Timothy to embrace.

I think this observation - and distinction - is key to heading off some of the objections to Phil's posts - both this and the last one. It's not that these pastors have a style. We all have a "style." It's that style is THE dominant element; there are men who have themselves made it front and center.

Aaron said...

@Mark B. Hanson:

I would argue exactly the same thing. The "innovation" of today is natural progression of Arminianism/Pelagianism. The entire seeker sensitive movement, for example, is based on the principle that people choose their own outcomes so therefore, it makes sense to market to them to make Christianity as initially palatable as possible. The natural result is a church marketing plan with various target groups.

@Chantry: Watching a group of kids playing on the freeway and predicting that one will get hit by a car doesn't exactly make you a prophet. Besides, even if it did, you didn't use the magic words. ;)

FX Turk said...

In Russet Shadows:

You are right -- that you don't see how this works is the real problem.

Mizz Harpy said...

Hasn't this problem come about because for at least the past two generations, maybe more, the only criteria for being called a Christian was that you needed to 'accept Jesus in your heart' live a moral to somewhat moral life? Some of these pastors remind me of the clowns from high school youth group who were always joking around except now they've grown up, become pastors and are leading churches. It's all 'spiritual' as along as the requisite tear inducing quiet time, lowered lights and voice is included. Right? Isn't this all just modern American Folk Christianity reflecting American folk culture?

Kerry James Allen said...

On the subject of tattoos, if memory serves me, Cher was one of the first well-known personalities to sport one. I also remember reading that she was having hers lasered off because they became passe when everybody was getting them. Perhaps once the cool pastors ("Come as you are!," "No perfect people allowed!," "Hot coffee!" "Relevant messages!") realize they have actually become a joke this farce of "relevance" will end. As one reviewer of Madonna said recently, "It must be exhausting to attempt to always be 'in the moment' for 30 years." Be advised, cool pastors, you have a never ending, exhausting task in front of you.

Caleb Kolstad said...

Phil and Kerry Allen- Spot on.

Sonja said...

Is this a direct response?


James L said...

From Today's Ryle Quotes


Is the Bible the Word of God? Then let us all resolve from this day forward to prize the Bible more. Let us not fear being idolaters of this blessed book. People may easily make an idol of the Church, of ministers, of sacraments, or of intellect. People cannot make an idol of the Word. Let us regard all who would damage the authority of the Bible, or impugn its credit, as spiritual robbers. We are traveling through a wilderness: they rob us of our only guide. We are voyaging over a stormy sea: they rob us of our only compass. We are toiling over a weary road: they pluck our staff out of our hands. And what do these spiritual robbers give us in place of the Bible? What do they offer as a safer guide and better provision for our souls? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Big swelling words! Empty promises of new light! High sounding jargon; but nothing substantial and real! They would willingly take from us the bread of life, and they do not give us in its place so much as a stone. Let us turn a deaf ear to them. Let us firmly grasp and prize the Bible more and more, the more it is assaulted.

~ J.C. Ryle

Tract: Inspiration

Phil Johnson said...

Sonja: "Is this a direct response?"

Hard to tell if it was MEANT to be a direct response. If so, it's a major fail, because he doesn't address a single aspect of the argument we are making here. He seems to assume that when someone denies that an obsession with stylishness a vital prerequisite to ministry, that person is essentially arguing against being "on mission." It's a fatuous argument delivered ineptly. But the way he grinned his way through his little tirade made it worth watching anyway. Thanks for the link.

O Young said...

Joh 7:17 "If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.
Joh 7:18 "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Seems that the line has been blurred by many between "innovation" and self exaltation.

Kerry James Allen said...

Question from Undaunted: "Are you going to criticize or create?"
Answer from Spurgeon: "Do men really believe that there is a gospel for each century? Or a religion for each fifty years? Will there be in heaven saints saved according to a score sorts of gospel? Will these agree together to sing the same song? And what will the song be? Saved on different footings, and believing different doctrines, will they enjoy heavenly concord, or will heaven itself be only a new arena for disputation between varieties of faiths?"

Deb said...

Awesome article, Phil!! Thank you. (and way to call it early on, Mr. Tom Chantry.) TeamPyro is right on, as usualy.

Anonymous said...

"His watchmen are blind;
they are all without knowledge;
they are all silent dogs;
they cannot bark,
dreaming, lying down,
loving to slumber.
The dogs have a mighty appetite;
they never have enough.
But they are shepherds who have no understanding;
they have all turned to their own way,
each to his own gain, one and all." Isaiah 56:10-12

Notice our Shepherds have turned to their own gain...They have worried more about their salaries from larger congregations than making sure their sheep have been properly cared-for and protected.

They should be preaching the word and allowing the Lord to bring the His increase of Sheep not Goats!

Solameanie said...

Since I saw Jay Bakker's picture, I might add that he embraces homosexuality as perfectly acceptable to God, continuing the downward trajectory that began back in 1987 with his folks. One could argue that it began before then, but you get my point. Tammy Faye even co-hosted a television show with an open homosexual before her death from cancer. If the gaping maw of eternity wasn't enough to jerk their chains and encourage them to reverse course, I don't know what will.

Well, I do...but you get the idean.

Solameanie said...

Sigh. I mean "idea." Not "idean.' I think an idean is the Asian version of a DeLorean.

As an aside on the tatting thing, I can't help but wonder if it IS in fact a symptom of something going on internally with many people. As I've noted before, I detest the practice, but also recognize that Christians are not under the law and having a tat will not keep one out of heaven. Some believers may well be motivated by some desire to be a witness through having one (although I think it's a misguided desire).

I am probably more old fogie in my thinking and have been since the age of two at least. I have a hard time understanding why someone would want to go through life looking like a cave painting, but that's just me. As a middle-aged, short, chubby, balding man with glasses, a flat Welsh face and earth-toned clothes that would blend in at the latest senior center, I'm sure I look just as hideous to the more hip and trendy with their multi-colored hair and skin (not to mention all the metal studs hanging on them like Christmas tree ornaments).

Whatever we are doing, and however we are doing it, WHY are we doing it? And is honoring God really at the heart core of it? Is being faithful to Scripture at the center? Isn't that supposed to drive our actions more than what our current culture dictates as appealing? Unless I totally misread Phil, I think that's what he's largely saying, with no intent to be a curmudgeon and rain on everyone's parade. Leave that to me.

Besides, all of these "novelties" are only so much dust in the wind if the Holy Spirit isn't acting to draw people to the Lord through the accurate preaching of His Word. And that's our problem within evangelicalism today. We're so cocky we think our cleverness, edginess and being on the cutting edge of societal evolution (sorry, Rush) is actually having an impact saving souls. The last time I checked, that's God's sovereign role, although He graciously uses us through the foolishness of preaching.

And all too many today in the church consider preaching just that. Foolish. Sorry to say, they are the fools.

undaunted said...

Church is all about the numbers.

The number of lives that Jesus can permeate and penetrate with the gospel.
The number of marriages that can be restored.
The number of teenagers following the Lord.
The number of depressed people that can find hope in Jesus.
The number of dads who don’t give their kids any attention who will learn to order their lives by the Word of God and start prioritizing their families.

What else matters? What else should we be about?

This might come as a shock to a lot of people, but measuring numbers and putting an emphasis on them isn’t a new phenomenon. 2000 years ago, Luke by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote:
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (Acts 2:41) And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47)

You might be averse to numbers for a number of reasons.

Maybe you don’t like the idea of big crowds. If that’s the case, you wouldn’t have liked the New Testament Church. And you really won’t like heaven.

Maybe you think it steals away from discipleship. It’s possible. But it’s just as possible for that to happen in a church of 10 people as it is in a church of 10,000.

The truth be told charismatic churches have the numbers that show evidence of the Holy Spirit. Many of you good people here don't like Spirit Filled churches and that is really your unspoken issue.

Solameanie said...


You might want to read the passage of Scripture you cite a bit more closely. The Lord added those numbers through the faithful preaching of God's truth by the Apostles. Not the Apostles' trendiness and faddishness. And the numbers were not cited as a clarion call to build a megachurch or hold a First Century Woodstock in Jerusalem. They were cited to demonstrate how God was confirming the Word being preached.

I'm afraid you missed the point badly.

Tom said...

"Church is all about the numbers."

The church is all about bringing glory to God. However, I will concede that this can be manifested in numbers.
However, I have a question for you. Why do you think that anyone on here has a problem with numbers as numbers? Is it not possible that their problem is with large numbers of people possibly being fed an incomplete or false version of Christianity?

“You might be averse to numbers for a number of reasons.”

Again, the problem is not with numbers as numbers, the problem is with the means used to acquire those numbers, and the automatic assumption that large numbers=faithfulness. The biblical passages you cite do use numbers, but they are numbers gained using the same methods advocated in this post.

“Many of you good people here don't like Spirit Filled churches and that is really your unspoken issue.”

That’s a very bold assertion and a serious charge, to claim that the folk here don’t like the presence of the Holy Spirit. Do you have evidence of this? In actuality, what most of the folk here don’t like is the tendency of some in the charismatic movement to place the “word” given to people while they are in spiritual ecstasy equal to or above scripture. I would also like to know whether you mean to imply that non-charismatic churches lack the Holy Spirit, also a very bold assertion and serious charge.

Mizz Harpy said...

"What else matters? What else should we be about?"

What about:
Jesus said, "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." John 17:2-4

Many pray a prayer or sign a card giving intellectual assent to the idea of the Gospel but how many truly desire to know the Father and the Son not only for salvation but because He is God and supremely desirable even if He should decide to destroy them? Large numbers would be great if all were truly born again and being conformed to the image of Christ but unfortunately the history of the Church through the ages says it's been anything but that.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me brains of theology for any misspelling or bad grammar I'm just kidding. I completely agree with the post and find myself to be on the biblical side of truth and am unwaveringly emphatic about correction and difference of any misspoken and misrepresented truths of my/our King. I am also riddled with tattoos(certainly hope this doesn't validate Mr. Chantry's prediction or cause the turning of ears). As thoughtful and biblicaly studious as i try to be I like all you sinners will always fall short of ...fill in the blank.
Looking some what similar to the illustration minus those cool specs. I understand i am undoubtedly sensitive. I do take that into consideration. I forfeit to any defense that I chose to look this way. My reasoning is not assumable. It does not compromise me in the eyes of the Lord, nor am I saying that is what the illustration is trying to say. Now, it does seem to "Me" it's a have you seen this man idea. Look out for this guy. "SEEMS". I can assure you that we would more than likely fundamentally agree on truth claims(Based on what ive gathered from past post and what seems to be a RIGHT HEARTED DESIRE FOR ACCURACY). I thank all of you so much for your attempting to guard and uphold our Holy word of the Lord.
P.S. I write this trembling before the Lord and a mild intimidation of y'all.

Ben said...

"The truth be told charismatic churches have the numbers that show evidence of the Holy Spirit."

I spluttered over my breakfast when I read that. I wonder whether the same metric can be applied to Mormonism, or to the Roman Catholic church. And if not, what are the scriptural marks of the work of the Holy Spirit; and do relative numbers of followers have any bearing on the question at all?

Ben said...

"...what are the scriptural marks of the work of the Holy Spirit?"

Hint: they don't include claims to replication of apostolic sign-miracles two millenia after the foundation of the NT church. And extra-canonical "revelation" won't help in providing the answer.

Robert said...

Boy, all those centuries of pastors who didn't exercise sign gifts to fill up the pews...those guys didn't like their churches to be filled with the Holy Spirit...[/sarcasm]

DJP said...

On Ref21 Jeremy Walker uses Bridges to reflect on fruit and numbers in a Gospel ministry.

Solameanie said...


For the record, the last thing in the world I'd want to do is intentionally hurt or wound someone like you. In my own church, we have several people who have tats, including one particular fellow who is literally covered in them from head to toe, face, ears, hands, everything. I have no idea whether he got them before salvation or after salvation, or whether he's even saved for sure, because God alone knows the heart. If you know the Lord and have saving faith, then you are His. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

As an aside, I see this particular gentleman walking around church with a small boy in hand (probably between 4-5 years old). I hope you won't blame me for hoping the child doesn't follow suit in his father's body art. ;)

Doulos Christou said...

Anybody besides me think that "Undaunted" is Mr. Furtick (or at least someone parroting his logic)?

By the way, did anyone see the Elevation documentary called "This is how WE change the world" (emphasis added)? I'll acknowledge their zeal, but suggest that its "a zeal not according to knowledge." But it underscores the view - in practice - that they, not the Lord, are the prime movers in getting ministry done.

Anonymous said...

It gets worse everday what world am I in

Russ said...

In Russet Shadaows (3rd post):
"Why is there a default assumption that he's doing this in order to be trendy, and not because he wants to express himself that way or feels the desire to communicate the truth that way?"

Is that not the trendy thing to do???

"I have read of more than one Christian who has tattoos for reasons of personal conviction."

Is that not the trendy thing to do???

"Generally, I still don't see how innovation excludes preaching the Word, or how creativity, largely speaking, is anti-gospel. That's the real problem, I think."

"Inovation"? or Is that not the trendy/relevent thing to do???

The comment plays into the article.

Great article Phil!

Sir Brass said...

Has anyone else noted that "undaunted" has only been on blogger since... *shock* February 2012, and his/her profile is utterly anonymous?

Tom, you may have the gift of prophecy... at least... according to the low bar set by Grudem, et al ;)

Ebeth said...

Yes, Phil, yes.

Bob Dalberg said...

Hard to believe but "The Cool Church" is not made up.....watch the sermon(http://thecoolchurch.com/) all about how Jesus wants us to be successful with four principles on how to be successful in any area of your life... dude......arrrgh.

Why is so much "church" just like bad youth group? It must take him at least as long to do his hair as it takes to prepare his "message".

Darlene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I think the new thing should be *gasp* preach the Word in and out of season, and *gasp* live the word no matter what. I find those who live according to God's word, who preach truth without fear to be the most authentic, dynamic, loving people. Hey it takes love to preach the true gospel, (word of God) it really does and for those who think not,, well read the bible for yourselves instead of allowing some to spoon feed you little bit of truth here and there. Even satan uses a little truth. Great article although it grieves me that it should even be written. Only in America would we be so bold as to think we can make a buck off of God... Shame.

Anonymous said...

church is weird many times and we might be able to figure why our country is sliding so fast too.It seems to be a race.growing up in the 50s,saved in the 70s,it seems i have been in 3 christian eras. Thank God Jesus does not change.