T4G Cooks Up Gospel Ratatouille and Serves a Lukewarm Gender Gospel

"There is much debate on how to make a traditional ratatouille. One method is to simply sauté all of the vegetables together. Some cooks, including Julia Child, insist on a layering approach, where the eggplant and the zucchini are sautéed separately, while the tomatoes, onion, garlic and bell peppers are made into a sauce. The ratatouille is then layered in a casserole – aubergine, courgettes, tomato/pepper mixture – then baked in an oven"  -Wikipedia
wikicommons
Ratatouille-Wikicommons

Ken Ham, of Answers in Genesis has an interesting way of sucking people into his “interpretation” of Scripture. He claims that, if one does not see the age of the earth his way, one is in danger of denying the doctrine of the atonement. What question should a Christian ask at this point? We should determine what he means by the doctrine of the atonement. All orthodox Christians affirm the doctrine of the atonement which, simply put, is because mankind was helpless in our sin, we needed a Savior who could atone or make reparation for our sin. That, of course, is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

However, Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis here alludes that the age of the earth is part of that atonement. What is he really saying? That you are most likely not a Christian if you don’t buy his young earth  / doctrine of the atonement meld.

I met with some Mormons for 1-½ years, discussing their faith and mine. Early on, I learned to ask on a consistent basis what they meant by terms because their definition and mine were frequently different. When I would say that I believed in Jesus Christ, they would chime in: “Well so do we.” The devil was in the details. Their Jesus and my Jesus were not the same person.

Recently, when Campus Crusade changed their name to Cru, I asked a friend to explain why. He said that Cru had no meaning and so they could “infill” it with their own meaning. Could it be that these "brothers" are doing the same thing?

Recently, Chaplin Mike, of the Internet Monk wrote a fantastic article here on why he is banning the word “biblical” when he describes what he thinks the Bible teaches. 

“I made a New Year’s resolution this year: I will try my best to avoid using the adjective “Biblical” to describe what I think “the Bible teaches.” The use of this word as a prescriptive adjective to promote positions and convictions is rampant among Christians. The problem is, it usually obscures more than it enlightens, hurts rather than helps, and stops discussion dead in its tracks rather than promoting good conversation.”

Several TWW readers have brought up the recent T4G conference and the list of affirmations and denials on that organization's website here.

I decided to ask the question, “How does T4G define the word “Gospel?” Surely, they have a rigid definition on the website since they are all about the Gospel, right? Well, unless I am mistaken, I cannot find one definition of this important word on the T4G website. How could that be?  However, I did find the word "gospel" used 27 times on this page. And it was used in many different ways: “Recovering the Gospel” (I didn’t know it was lost) and “Gospel Church” are two such examples.

So, before I began to analyze their statements, I decided to try to find a definition of "Gospel” that might be appealing to this group of men. Since they are all into 9 Marks and Mark Dever (Mr. 9 Marks) is one of the featured four, I looked at the book,  What is the Gospel? (9Marks) by Greg Gilbert and D.A. Carson . You can see it at Amazon here

Because I am a woman, and I know these men do not believe that a woman should be elucidating theology, I decided to take a review on the site by a man who said the following:

“1. Finding the Gospel in the Bible.
2. God the Righteous Creator. Yes, God is loving, but He is also righteous and expects the same of us)
3. Man the Sinner. Sorry folks, good works or thoughts will not earn our way into heaven! We cannot be righteous in our own goodness).
4. Jesus Christ the Savior.
5. Response – Faith and Repentance. Turn from our evil ways and turn towards Jesus Christ and let Him transform our lives. Contrary to what many people believe, there is a literal hell for those who reject Jesus Christ).
6. The Kingdom.
7. Keeping the Cross at the Center. Do not add and subtract from what Jesus Christ did on the cross for us. Beware of any ear candy some preachers may try to feed you that minimizes or trivializes Jesus' death on the cross for our sins.)
8. The Power of the Gospel.”

Well, no surprise here for me. So, just to be sure, I went on over to see what Al Mohler, another of the four had to say here.

"The wonder of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is this — not one of us is worthy of adoption. In our sinfulness, not one of us has any claim on the Father’s love, much less a right to adoption. But, the infinitely rich mercy of God is shown us in Christ, in whom believers are adopted by the Father. And this adoption, thanks be to God, is eternal and irreversible."

Well, this all sure sounds like the Gospel that I know and love. So, understanding their definition of he basics of the Gospel, I looked, once again, at T4G’s Affirmations and Denials. Folks, I’ll leave this one up for your to decide, but it sure sounds to this “non-brother” that they mean a few more things than their leaders seem to indicate in their voluminous writings.  In fact, it sounds a whole lot like what Chaplain Mike was saying about the word “biblical.” The following quotes are taken directly from the T4G website.

1. Apparently the Gospel is primarily the concern of men.

“We are brothers.We are brothers in Christ united in one great cause – to stand together for the Gospel. We are convinced that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been misrepresented, misunderstood, and marginalized in many Churches and among many who claim the name of Christ. “

2. These men are going to band together and “recover” the church. What in the world are they recovering?

“Compromise of the Gospel has led to the preaching of false gospels, the seduction of many minds and movements, and the weakening of the Church’s Gospel witness.

We(men) believe that the answer to this confusion and compromise lies in a comprehensive recovery and reaffirmation of the Gospel – and in Christians banding together in Gospel Churches that display God’s glory in this fallen world.

We(men) stand together for the Gospel – and for a full and gladdening recovery of the Gospel in the Church. We are convinced that such a recovery will be evident in the form of faithful Gospel Churches, each bearing faithful witness to the glory of God and the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Except for one church, all churches that I have attended have been Gospel preaching churches. So, what do they mean when they say we have to recover this Gospel?

Haven’t there always been churches and movements that have deviated from the testimony of Jesus? I know I am just a woman, but didn’t the early church, which even had the apostles, have all sorts of heresies and issues? There were all sorts of false gospels floating around. The Gnostics had a field day.

Then there was the mess of the Middles Ages. Lots of Popes and lots of strange teachings about indulgences, the divine right of kings, etc. were floating around. Ah, then there was Renaissance and the Reformation. Luther wasn’t too keen on the Jews (racism, a no no according to T4G) and didn't like certain books of the Bible. Calvin fought hard to meld state and faith with varying results and a beheading and rules to keep people in line. 

Then there were the Puritans who weren’t keen on the Baptists and dabbled in hanging people they claimed to be witches who actually weren’t. Not exactly Gospel theology, was it?

Do we really need to go into the racism of a good part of the last century. I guess I shouldn’t bring up the shepherding movement of the 1970s with CJ Mahaney being on board. We must avoid remembering awkward things.

So, I guess these men are trying to usher in a new age of the unchallenged Gospel that hasn't been seen before. Doesn’t Scripture say something about false teachers always being around? Well, these "anointed" men must think more clearly than this non-brother, right?

3. Mentally handicapped need not apply to the Gospel club.

“We deny that there is salvation in any other name, or that saving faith can take any form other than conscious belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving acts.”

 

  Screen Shot of Article X – April 24, 2012

Every week, I volunteer with some teens and young adults at a center for the severely handicapped. These folks cannot eat, several are blind, they are essentially nonverbal and are fed through tubes in their stomachs. Since they are incapable of conscious belief, I guess they are not part of the “saved” club?

4. Faithful discipleship is limited to those who are in a Gospel Church.

“We deny that any Christian can truly be a faithful disciple apart from the teaching, discipline, fellowship, and accountability of a congregation of fellow disciples, organized as a Gospel Church.”

So, Paul in prison was not faithful? What about those who must practice their faith quietly in some countries who would kill them if they openly proclaimed the faith?

5. The Lord’s Supper cannot be administered outside of Church discipline?

“We further deny that the Lord’s Supper can faithfully be administered apart from the right practice of Church discipline.”

Huh? What is the “right practice of church discipline?” Is this another one of those “gospel” code words which means you are out unless you do it this way but they don’t tell you what this way means? Or, could it mean that one cannot participate in the Lord’s Supper if they are not a member of a church? Jesus said that somewhere, right? Could someone find that for me? Could it be that they want us all to go to Redemption Groups and confess all of our sins? Or maybe they just want to control us like the Catholic church used to in the Middle Ages by putting people under interdict? 

6. If your church has a woman elder, you will damage the witness of the Gospel.

“We affirm that the Scripture reveals a pattern of complementary order between men and women, and that this order is itself a testimony to the Gospel, even as it is the gift of our Creator and Redeemer. We also affirm that all Christians are called to service within the body of Christ, and that God has given to both men and women important and strategic roles within the home, the Church, and the society. We further affirm that the teaching office of the Church is assigned only to those men who are called of God in fulfillment of the biblical teachings and that men are to lead in their homes as husbands and fathers who fear and love God.

We deny that the distinction of roles between men and women revealed in the Bible is evidence of mere cultural conditioning or a manifestation of male oppression or prejudice against women. We also deny that this biblical distinction of roles excludes women from meaningful ministry in Christ’s kingdom. We further deny that any Church can confuse these issues without damaging its witness to the Gospel.”

Now, here is where the rubber meets the road. In fact, if one does not practice complementarianism T4G style, one is damaging the witness of the Gospel. And they know this how? Where are the stats? Surely they must have some careful research on the subject or maybe one of them had a vision? 

For those of you who claim that there is no such thing as the gender gospel, remember this statement. What they are saying is this – if you believe that women can be elders, the witness of the Gospel is shot because the Gospel supposedly hinges on the fact that men should be leaders. Any deviation of this is harmful.

This is not the Gospel. The Good News is effective whether or not women are elders. This is their addition to the Gospel. These men are just like Ken Ham who adds Young Earth to the Gospel. In fact, Al Mohler has also said that this Young Earth thing is so vital that he is going to emphasize it . So, for Mohler, the Gospel now encompasses both men in leadership and young earth creationism.

What makes this even worse is they all seem to disagree about what constitutes women in leadership or in authority. We have Mark Dever who allows women deacons. Others do not. Some let women teach alongside their husbands. Others do not.

Then we have John Piper and Tim Challies who believe that women cannot read Scripture out loud in their churches because it establishes authority. So, are the ones who let women read Scripture in church damaging the witness of the Gospel?

Some of them restrict when women can teach boys. Some say that a boy's baptism means women should no longer teach that boy. Are they better at not damaging the witness of the Gospel?

We had a woman write to us last week who stated that her church believes women should wear head coverings. Is that affirming or damaging the Gospel?

And, if the answer that all of them are honoring the Gospel, that honor is now contingent on not allowing women to do something. And this repairs the image of the Gospel to a watching world? Let this gullible and easily deceived woman offer up a prophecy. I think CJ allowed some women to prophecy now and then although he doesn't like to talk much about it anymore. If T4G is saying a woman has no place in church leadership and if they continue to address each other as brothers with no women in the mix, this Gospel will be rejected by a watching world. And well it should be. This is not the Gospel but merely a set of "preferences" and "thoughts" tacked onto the true Gospel. 

From this point forward, when someone claims they are in a Gospel Church, I will ask them to explain their Gospel. It is sad. The most precious thing in this world has been co-opted for someone’s doctrinal agenda. And I say that such a thing is destroying the witness of the true Gospel.

For those men who have read this post and have learned something – you now need to repent!

Lydia's CornerEzekiel 20:1-49 Hebrews 9:11-28 Psalm 107:1-43 Proverbs 27:11

Comments

T4G Cooks Up Gospel Ratatouille and Serves a Lukewarm Gender Gospel — 263 Comments

  1. I’m descended from Puritans; my ancestors came to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636. One of them was a midwife accused of being a witch who narrowly escaped execution. The Puritans also hung Quakers, and I’m a Quaker minister. One of my ancestors was very heavily fined for hosting a Quaker meeting in his home. I have a very mixed experience and mixed opinion of church discipline.

    Whoever says that Holy Communion isn’t valid outside proper Gospel Discipline is reproducing one of the major arguments of both the Reformation and the early church’s Donatist controversy. These folks’ hero St. Augustine, one of the early church leaders, solved the Donatist problem by saying that the sacraments were valid whenever they were performed with liturgical propriety, ex opere operata, the Latin phrase.

    Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it.

  2. Dee –

    Were you a wee bit miffed when you read their affirmations and denials? :) I was!

    You did a nice job picking up on the important issues. I thought it was almost comical (except that it is so detrimental to women) that the longest article was the one on the roles of men and women and the importance that plays in the Gospel going forth. Why so much verbage on that point? One that Jesus never addressed at all.

    The whole document was like reading the by-laws of an all male club with “Gospel” thrown in 27 times to substantiate and settle for all people, for all times, the brother’s authority. I hope these guys never decide to ban together to create a new denomination. I might have to start picketing street corners to warn the unsuspecting.

  3. “We deny that any Church can accept racial prejudice, discrimination, or division without betraying the Gospel.”

    Really?

  4. I guess the Church accepting of “other types” of prejudice, discrimination, and division won’t betray the “Gospel.” These guys will never win a “logic” award.

  5. “We deny that there is salvation in any other name, or that saving faith can take any form other than conscious belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving acts.”

    Wasn’t Ligon Duncan part of this group? I’m pretty sure the above sentence would have serious tensions with any of the reformed confessions if ‘conscious belief’ was read at face value.

  6. Chris
    Yep, Ligon is. But I think they had someone throw this statement to gather because it has a few issues.

  7. Bridget2
    Separate but equal is OK for women, not for race relations. That is their logic and some of them are reading this comment and going nuts.

  8. Barbara
    But these guys hold up the Puritans as role models. I am definitely opposed to that since, having grown up in Salem and being a bit feisty, I am sure they would level the charge at me.

  9. Yeah, I notice they left baptism alone since Ligon sprinkles babies. They have a rule for everything else.

    Also, this does not sound like Good News at all but a works “Gospel” whatever Gospel is for them.

    And why do I always get a mental image of someone getting a spanking before the Lords Supper when I read these guys? They LOVE the word ‘discipline’….I suppose because they are the big cheese authoritarian discipliners. But who disciplines them? oh, I forgot, they discipline each other. Like Dever did for Mahaney when he ran into to Dever’s arms after sgmwikileaks.

    They are such fakes and hyopcrites. They are literally making up their own religion to have power over people and feed their egos. It is shameful.

  10. To all
    Sorry for the typos in the post. I think I have them all cleaned up. I had to run out right after I posted and am embarrassed by the numbers of errors.Deb, thanks for cleaning a few up as well.

  11. “But these guys hold up the Puritans as role models. I am definitely opposed to that since, having grown up in Salem and being a bit feisty, I am sure they would level the charge at me”

    For these guys, Christianity started in the 1500’s. They interpret scripture from that lens. I am just glad that burning heretics or hanging witches is illegal now. I have a reason to say that because I know one Reformed prof at an SBC seminary who told a reporter that a woman who had disagreed with him publicly at a Christian conference about patriarchy was a “practicing witch”.

    Can you imagine a more cruel lie about a sister in Christ? That is how mean and hateful these guys are. Beware of them. He did not say that to her face but to the religion reporter who was astounded and told her what he said. These are not guys to fool around with. Always have a witness when you speak to them personally.

  12. Some of their practices sound like the Churches of Christ. I know that women can’t teach baptized boys in that tradition. My question is can a stay at home mom teach her baptized son or should she let him do as he pleases until dad gets home?

  13. “Again…I’d like to see John Piper and Tim Challies tell Margaret Thatcher that she can’t read scripture in their church. I’d buy popcorn, grab a lawn chair and in the spirit of Mark Driscoll pop open some beers and watch Thatcher lean into Piper and Challies.”

    Exactly!

    A friend of mine said Mohler came to her church for Christmas eve service. She said if it had not been a candlelight service, she would have taken a picture of Mohler being served communion by a woman deacon and posted it on the internet!

  14. These men sound like they are trying to find a more pure church which is astounding because I don’t think the bible talks about that ever existing. It seems that the bible talks about the pure church when this age has come to pass. One phrase comes to mind… the wheat and the tares. I weep for the people who stay in these churches after the supposed tares have been done away with. How awful for those people because after going through the first purification they are now a part of wave two. This purification will cause many more to be labeled unregenerate. It never ever ends… cleansing after cleansing.

  15. Y’know, I just came over and read this straight after contributing to a discussion elsewhere about sexual harassment in the workplace. I had some nasty experiences when I was just 18, and it wasn’t even illegal way back then!)

    As I was reading this stuff on the gender gospel, I realised that my physical and emotional response to the two things is identical. These guys would be horrified if anyone accused them of any kind of sexual impropriety (whether verbally or physically); yet what they engender in any woman who is not sold out to their system is an identical sense of frustrated degradation. They have just created a discourse which depersonalises me for being a woman and reduces my unique, God-given humanity to the sum of my female body parts. And then they tell me that if I was a good girl I would like it!!

    I feel a little nauseous!

  16. Something that bothers me is that I thought a lot of these Calvinista guys would say that the comp view was secondary; yet they CLEARLY say the opposite in this document.

  17. If some of the “redemption group” stuff in previous posts sounds suspiciously close to the Scientology practice of “clearing” (cleaning out past lives through “confession”), then some of this “gender caste system” stuff sounds suspiciously close to the Mormon faith and practice where women can only attain whatever level in their heavens as their husband does … and only if in the final analysis, he calls her over beyond the veil to let her in.

    Hmmm … just sayin’ …

  18. SMG —

    My husband would beg to differ with you. Ratatouille is one of my signature dishes. He adores it. Just had it for dinner tonight.

    I don’t think these T$G … er … T4G guys know anything about ratatouille. Doesn’t sound like they know a whole lot about Christ’s Gospel, either, so they made up their own.

  19. Bridget2 to Dee: “The longest article was the one on the roles of men and women and the importance that plays in the Gospel going forth. Why so much verbage on that point?”

    They make this out to be a “pillar” of the “gospel.”
    It is NOT the Gospel.
    It actually DETRACTS from the true Gospel.

    With all the lip service to “winning the lost” – there are few things that could turn “the lost” off more than this divisive teaching, which involves secondary matters at best. It almost seems like Satan has gotten in there and sidetracked everyone from the true message of the Gospel to keep the Church continually infighting over secondary matters while the world just gets turned off to the REAL gospel because all they see/hear is a false gospel and they are sick of it. What is with these men? Are they so full of themselves that they have gone so far off course?

  20. I believe that the Bible does speak about differing roles for women and men, and that we can, in good faith, try to decide what they are. But I don’t see how this is an issue that affects the good news that Jesus died for our sins and rose again to life so that we who believe in Him have our sins forgiven and are born again to new life in the Spirit. I’ll do some research on what their arguments, if any, are for this belief.

    I mentioned on another site that the belief that faithful discipleship can only take place in a “Gospel Church” could be on a slippery slope that leads to something like the Catholic belief that one can only be saved within the Catholic church. This is still in their catechism, although they also say that they will “accept” those saved in other churches.

  21. Excellent article. I was pleased that you picked up on the mentally handicapped. I often think about this as we have a young lady with learning difficulties in our church – nothing as severe as the people you work with, yet her scope for belief is still very limited. God is not going to condemn these precious souls, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to do some serious rethinking.

    But the reason why the T4G crowd say things like “no salvation without conscious belief” is to avoid addressing the deeper questions, like how God will treat those who are incapable of belief, those who have never heard the gospel, and even those who have rejected a corrupted gospel. Once you realise that things are not as simple as you think they are, your neat fundamentalist worldview becomes untenable and suddenly there’s a lot of grey areas in your theology.

    T4G is basically the same as TGC – an effort to redefine the Gospel. I’m sure it is also a big ego-boost for the “four” and makes them a lot of money. It’s further proof that the conservative evangelical world isn’t as pure as it likes to claim it is, and perhaps even shares some of the less desirable characteristics of pentecostalism.

  22. I have heard a couple of sermons about the “headship doctrine” at my current church, or whatever name they give it over here. Hadn’t heard about “complementarianism” until I started reading TWW and other blogs.

    Sincerely, I haven’t completely made up my mind about it and don’t currently have a strong opinion on the issue. I know what the bible states in some places, like Paul’s letters, but then those points seem to be counterbalanced with other teachings… My instinct seems to go towards more egalitarian positions, though. In any case, I still consider me quite new in the Evangelical world, having been part of it for only 3 years, and I’m still surprised about all the “new” things you come to discover over time.

    Previously I had been in a denomination which is known for having a few made up doctrines, taking many verses out of context to seriously support their theological points of view. In my opinion, all those doctrines ended up muddling up the real Gospel in a pretty thorough way, and that was the main reason why I decided to leave and move into more “standard” Christian churches. Which wasn’t easy at all, because in that denomination your identity as a person and as a Christian was so ingrained in the beliefs and the institution itself, that for many to leave is nearly synonymous as to be lost.

    The question is that when I read and hear about complementarianisn, I get the same feeling of confusion as with those “made by men” doctrines from my previous church. It seems to me like they’re getting several verses here and there, mashing them up together and, if they don’t find water clear support in the scriptures, “read between the lines” and present some marvellous explanation that we didn’t know before (like the “eternal subordination of the Son”) and that they, somehow, were smart enough to find.

    Being a bit sarcastic, I’m amazed that I haven’t heard about anyone having visions from God explaining and supporting all those doctrines… Some seem to have visions, or so they say, but of more saucy issues.

    In any case, I’m thankful that my church doesn’t seem to make the “headship” a central issue and that it’s very infrequently proclaimed. Jesus seems to be the centre point. And I do believe that the real Gospel can shine through and save people despite all the things people may add, but not thanks to them as some would like to say.

  23. JeffB,

    “But I don’t see how this is an issue that affects the good news that Jesus died for our sins and rose again to life so that we who believe in Him have our sins forgiven and are born again to new life in the Spirit.”

    It could very possibly affect the way many view God, His Son, and His Word.

  24. Here is a link to the audio of the discussion by Russell Moore, Greg Gilbert, John Piper, and Ligon Duncan on complementarianism.

    Complementarianism Panel

    Where did the term complementarianism come from? John Piper explains that it was made up when they were putting together the Danvers Statement.

    Well, praise the Lord! John Piper admits at the 9:30 mark that you don’t have to be complementarian to be saved. But then he goes on to explain how egalitarians can get the gospel wrong.

    As an aside, Ligon Duncan confirmed during this session that Russell Moore is the chairman of CBMW, yet he (Ligon) continues to be listed at the CBMW Chairman. C.J. Mahaney is listed on the website as co-chairman, but he stepped down during last summer’s debacle. These guys really need to make it a priority to update their website since the board underwent changes last summer!

  25. Quite honestly, I am sick of all this talk about gender roles. Christ died for ALL of us. he imparts gifts to ALL of us and what those gifts are HE decides. It makes me sick that there are men who feel they know better than God what the role of women are. This topic is a hot button with me. I have had, and still have, this idea shoved down my throat. And because I disagree, I am being sinful and been accused of being “offended by the bible”. Yeah, a family member actually said that to me. Well, POPPYCOCK!!!

    All this just detracts from the Gospel and they will have to answer before God.

  26. I love this post and the valid critique of the T4G statements!

    As a pediatric nurse passionate about my profession, I would add to the mentally handicapped amazing people, those of children. In my 10 years of nursing I have sat with parents and wept with them as sometimes their children have tragically died (and I STILL maintain it is one of the most painful things – fundamentally against nature).

    But in those moments, I have sensed the most precious assurance of God (or whatever they believe) that those children/babies have been taken to His side. They are too young to make “conscious decisions” but HOW can they suffer anything more eternally when apparently in His sovereign design they have been taken when they were?

    I refuse to accept it.

  27. From T4G’s “affirmation” above:

    “We further deny that any Church can confuse these issues without damaging its witness to the Gospel.”

    Hmmm…I understand most of the T4G’s understanding to hold a complementarian viewpoint, although I am not completely sold on the whole idea yet.

    I get why they view this as important, in their own understanding. I see why they think confusing a comp viewpoint can affect the culture around them…I understand why they believe this to be a valuable thought process..

    BUT,

    I do not understand why they would even go as far to think confusing a secondary doctrine like comp could affect or confuse the actual GOSPEL.

    What does the atoning work of Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection have to do with a COMP viewpoint? I know they affirm the COMP viewpoint to be a picture of the Gospel, but it is not the GOSPEL itself.

    Dee, good article…and you bring up a lot of good points.

    I do have a question though. How are you making a connection on point number 3 to the mentally handicapped? Has any of the T4G leaders ever stated that those who are mentally incapable of thought are able condemned to hell?

    Just curious about that..would be concerned if they did..

  28. “All this just detracts from the Gospel”
    Everybody! Take some time and look through the 18-point gospel affirmation of t4g and look for some of the missing PRIMARY matters!
    The Love of God
    The Kingdom of God
    Eternal life
    The virgin birth
    The miracles
    The blood of Jesus
    The ascension
    Pentecost
    Life, fruit, gifts, fullness, power, counsel, conviction, and instruction of the Holy Ghost
    Election, Call, Sanctification
    Goodness and mercy
    Repentance (we see “Sinners are commanded to believe the Gospel” rather than “sinners are commanded to repent and believe the Gospel.”)
    The ongoing total authority of the risen, living Christ over all things FOR the church (real headship)
    Forgiveness of sins
    The second coming
    Resurrection of the dead, New heavens and earth, no more sorrow no more tears, the pearly gates, the streets of gold, the river of LIFE, the tree of LIFE
    Love one another forgive one another
    The love of God constrains us
    Repent! For the kingdom of God is near!
    For God sooooo loved the world….
    Love

    Christ’s

  29. Sounds like the T4G crowd needs to take the book of Galatians as seriously as they do the “complementarian” passages. Paul seems to get pretty irate with the idea of adding obligations from the Law to the Gospel, so much so that he doesn’t think eternal condemnation (1:8-9) or castration (5:12) is too severe a consequence. And what do the complementarians make of this passage from Acts 18:26: “When PRISCILLA and Aquila heard him [Apollos] preaching boldly in the synagogue, THEY took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.” Shame on you, Aquila, letting your wife help teach a man! Obviously the proclamation of the Gospel in Ephesus was compromised on your account!

  30. sigh. Okay. Well someone needs to explain to me what a “gospel” church is, and how most churches are not “gospel” churches. MOST CHURCHES BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL. Where are all these heretics they are talking about who have strayed away and added/subtracted to the Gospel? I don’t see it.

    The observer.

  31. sad observer,

    I believe the T$G guys would consider all of us in this forum to be heretics since we do not hold to their narrow view of the gospel, especially with regard to complementarianism.

  32. Great discussion everyone! There have been so many wonderful comments that it’s difficult to address each one.

    Welcome to those of you who are new to TWW – Chris E, Ian, Martin Romero, and perhaps others I missed. I would love to know how you stumbled upon our blog.

    And it’s great to hear from our friend Dan!

  33. Craig,

    Great point! These T$G guys are great at prooftexting in order to justify their narrow theology. I plan to write on this complementarian discussion, and i will be lincluding your excellent comment.

  34. Yes, Dave. They use much verbiage to explain what they are and believe, but they reiterate very little of what scripture declares to us about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and us. I think many of these Calvinista men are full of themselves and want to discover some new revelations from God to make a name for themselves (complementarianism) I think they are diminishing the Gospel in the eyes of the world as well.

    These men often decide that they need to “do something” based on fear, as stated on the sound clip above that Deb linked to. Fear is never a wise motivation. In just the first few moments of the clip Piper made several statements of sweeping generalizations that he had little or no “proof of” that were based on an experience with one woman.

    Why do they believe that a comp view and teaching will stop homosexuality or gender changes or a desire for such things? These issues have been around for ever (well, not gender changes), even in the times of the real Patriarchs when patriarchy was king. Did a male-centered world view stop these issues then? Do they not see how they put their trust in “their” doctrines instead of Jesus Christ and the power of the real Gospel?

  35. Dave AA

    You said:”“All this just detracts from the Gospel”
    Everybody! Take some time and look through the 18-point gospel affirmation of t4g and look for some of the missing PRIMARY matters!
    The Love of God
    The Kingdom of God
    Eternal life
    The virgin birth
    The miracles
    The blood of Jesus
    The ascension
    Pentecost
    Life, fruit, gifts, fullness, power, counsel, conviction, and instruction of the Holy Ghost
    Election, Call, Sanctification
    Goodness and mercy
    Repentance (we see “Sinners are commanded to believe the Gospel” rather than “sinners are commanded to repent and believe the Gospel.”)
    The ongoing total authority of the risen, living Christ over all things FOR the church (real headship)
    Forgiveness of sins
    The second coming
    Resurrection of the dead, New heavens and earth, no more sorrow no more tears, the pearly gates, the streets of gold, the river of LIFE, the tree of LIFE
    Love one another forgive one another
    The love of God constrains us
    Repent! For the kingdom of God is near!
    For God sooooo loved the world….
    Love ”

    Sounds like they have created their own religion!

  36. Brad
    I suppose some of them are paraphrasing Luther saying “Why should only Mormons have the juicy doctrines degrading women?”

  37. Anon
    YOu and I think alike. There are only a few people who will put up with this doctrine which leads to self important men saying women can’t read Scripture out loud in church. Wow-the world will race to sign up for this new view on things.

  38. It’s sad that they included that whole bit about ‘fully conscious’. I could be wrong but I don’t think that they imagine all the disabled people who can’t grasp religious concepts, and therefore can’t comprehend Christ’s death and resurrection, go to hell. I think that, actually, that they simply don’t ‘imagine’ disabled people at all when they think about the church. Just as they don’t imagine that women can be leaders in the church.

  39. JeffB

    I was content to let this comp stuff be one of those secondary issues until they started saying women can’t even read Scripture out loud in church. They have gotten into weirdness. And they are now incorporating the keys of authority in to the 9 Marks teaching. If one reviews Catholic theology, it most indeed is part of their doctrine. They do believe that they now have the right to declare who is saved and not saved. Listen, one of their acolytes told my friend that he was the child and the acolyte was his parent. How long before we start saying Father Piper and Father Mohler?

  40. Ian

    Your comment was an excellent assessment for the probably reason they placed conscious belief into the system. In the end, they have their little dispensations. For example, Piper believes that infants go to heaven which already negates their belief in conscious acceptance. Frankly, I find this statement absurd, putting them into the position of saying who goes to heaven and who does not. I side with CS Lewis who says their will be surprised in heaven. But then again, I trust God for this. they trust their doctrinal pronouncements.

    One of my pastors was at a meeting with a variety of clerics from different faiths. They put him on the spot during a question and answer period. They asked him if only Christians go to heaven. He wisely said something like this. I am a sinful man. I know one day I will stand before God and face judgment. I am relieved that Christ has forgiven me and I can say that because, without him, I do not think I could justify myself. As for everybody else, I leave that to God. It is above my pay grade.

    This pastor did an excellent job in pointing out the sin issue and the need or forgiveness in a clever way. He put the onus on others to think about what they do with their sin. He also left the judging to God.

  41. Martin
    Good comment. The Gospel shines through in spite of them. They twist it to say that the Gospel is damaged if we don’t toe the line on their perspective of comp. Yet they have no proof. It is merely a scare tactic. I could just as easily say that their view damages the witness of the Gospel. Why are they right and why am I wrong? They have no proof. This, too, shall pass, just like to shepherding movement and the “left behind” mania.

  42. Scooter’s Mom
    Yes, they will have to answer for their unprecedented emphasis on a secondary issue. Could they be the ones damaging the Gospel? of course not, they have the best and brightest who agree with them. Well, the best and brightest as declared by them. CJ said Al Mohler is the smartest man on the planet. He should know, right?

  43. Dan

    These mentally challenged people have witnessed the Gospel to me as they reflect the image of their creator in their very lives. When I gaze into their eyes, I see Jesus gazing back. They challenge me to wonder at the work of God in their lives. Their very existence gives testimony to the understanding that life is given by a Creator. We believe we know what constitutes happiness or trust. Could it be that these people show us how to live a life of trust?

    I believe that this statement by T4G was a serious error on their part and i bet you anything they will try to clean it up. Until then, I intend to question anyone involved with this group about what they believe about the handicapped and how they could affirm such a statement. Shame on all of them for allowing such a statement to go unchallenged. This proves they all just sign up because all their idols have signed up and the statement of belief be damned.

  44. T4G ain’t the only ones. Tim Bayly is at it again, calling for a new declaration because “the Westminster divines were not intending their work to stand alone across time.” He thinks it’s needed because “The attack against Biblical anthropology–Scripture’s doctrine of the Image of God in man and the meaning and purpose of sexuality–is demonic and gaining ground across the Protestant, Reformed, and Evangelical Church. This attack against these doctrines is unprecedented across Church history and it requires the hard work of a new confession…”

    Translation: “too many people are getting smart about what the Gospel really is – or isn’t – and too many women are getting uppity. So we need a whole new confusing statement to keep everyone in line and under our authority.”

    See the whole post here:

    A new confession of the Image of God, the Creation Order, and sexuality

    (But be warned that Bayly’s blog is a pit of lies from the darkest recesses of Hell. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an angrier pastor in my life. If you’re a woman and disagree with him, he’ll delete you; if you’re a man and disagree with him, he won’t usually. Some of the best women theologian/bloggers on the internet have the distinction of being kicked off his blog.)

  45. Seeker
    They say this “We deny that there is salvation in any other name, or that saving faith can take any form other than conscious belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving acts.”

    They gave no caveats. Saving faith=conscious belief. So what do you think they mean?

  46. sad observer
    Their Gospel churches must mean something different than what we believe. You know you are in a Gospel church if you go to one of their churches. So CJ’s lovely SGM, “the happiest place on earth” is a “gospel” church, right?

  47. mot
    Good comment. They do seem to leave out some things, but they sure do not leave out the comp stuff.

  48. Sophie
    I agree. This was an error on their part. The people they think of are men, men again, and then men with families. They don’t really care about the others. Oh, they will give lip service to it but they sure as heck don’t remember them when they make up their gospel club statements. These people are the forgotten.

  49. Leila
    Those Bayly boys are quite strange. Maybe genetics plays a role? They even freak out some of the most impassioned Calvinistas.

  50. Leila,

    I have heard that the Baylys were involved in CBMW in the early days. Do you know if and how they were involved?

  51. Dee, they are indeed strange. A few years ago, a good friend of mine published an article in “The Priscilla Papers,” the scholarly magazine of Christians for Biblical Equality. It identified her as a member of a PCA church. She then got an unsolicited email from Tim Bayly, asking if she was the one that wrote that article, asked if her husband’s name was _____, and demanded the name of her pastor and her pastor’s phone number. Presumably so she could be disciplined. Very weird.

  52. Well, I’m going to answer my own question. Here is an article written by someone who used to be in my Sunday School class (before my family left the church).

    Appointed Presbyterian Pastor To Post In November

    Andreas J. Köstenberger

    “At its meeting on November 23 in Jackson, Mississippi, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood voted unanimously to appoint Mr. Tim Bayly as the first executive director in its history. Tim brings to this position a track record of unusual courage and conviction, a commitment to communicate clearly God’s design for biblical manhood and womanhood, and a knowledge of the evangelical community gained partly by growing up in Wheaton, but also by being the son of the late Joe Bayly of Gospel Blimp fame.

    Tim begins his tenure with a vision that, if fulfilled, promises to propel the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood into the twenty-first century as a viable, thriving organization, a major factor in the public debate and practical application of what it means to live as a Christian man or woman. Among Mr. Bayly’s priorities are: establishing a significant internet presence for CBMW; building a solid base of financial support for CBMW; and strengthening the Council’s ministry among local pastors and congregations…”

    Wikipedia indicates that Tim Bayly served as CBMW’s Executive Director from 1996 – 2000.

  53. Deb, my apologies, I called you Dee by mistake in a post or two above.

    Tim Bayly resigned from CBMW because they were not patriarchal enough.

  54. Me again. I am mixing up Deb and Dee by mistake today. Deb, I did not call you Dee by mistake. I think I need to learn to like coffee.

  55. I unearthed this old document – Tim Bayly’s “Ten Failures of CBMW.” There are more holes in it than swiss cheese, of course, but there’s so much more immediate issues we can take apart instead. BTW, Bayly is big buddies with Doug Wilson. Need I say more?

    Note, in particular, #1. Is this what he’s attempting to achieve with his latest attempt that I posted about earlier, “A new confession of the Image of God …”?

    1. Its name is false and self-serving. The one thing CBMW has never been is a true ecclesiastical council. Instead, it’s a self-appointed, self-referential group of individuals, the vast majority of whom cannot speak authoritatively for a particular church, let alone the Church.

    2. It’s ashamed of Biblical language. Instead of using the natural biblical term for the principle of father-rule, ‘patriarch’ (from the Greek, patria or father, plus arche or rule), CBMW manufactured the term of equivocation, ‘complementarian.’ How much better it had been if CBMW’s patriarchs had not rejected the Biblical term, ‘patriarch.’ Who has ever questioned the reality that the two sexes complement each other? Even feminists still need men to become pregnant. But how they complement each other–that’s the question. Sadly, it is precisely this question which CBMW’s founders have carefully begged.

    3. CBMW steadfastly refuses to engage culture with Biblical principles of patriarchy. Instead, it speaks only to the Church and the home. Where is its statement on women in the military? Where is its statement on father-rule in society? On this, CBMW lacks the courage of John Knox’s pinkie.

    4. CBMW refuses to see this as a battle for the souls of men and women. Academic collegiality rules all CBMW says and does. Within CBMW’s culture, the ultimate test of a prophet’s faithfulness is if he’s able to go out and sip a cup of tea with his opponent following the dialog.

    5. CBMW should not have women on the council. What council seeking to pronounce an authoritative word to the Church of Christ has ever included women?

    6. Rather than a cross to bear or a hill on which to die, the Biblical message of father-rule has too often been a means of personal advancement for CBMW’s founders.

    7. CBMW has carefully tailored its message and publications for an audience of scholars. Whenever CBMW has come close to addressing the average Christian, Council members have fled and leaders have sought to distance themselves and the organization from conflict.

    8. In consequence of CBMW’s self-referential nature, her leaders have refused to acknowledge the significant and faithful work of others in this battle. It would be hard to imagine a more significant book promoting father-rule than Doug Wilson’s classic, Reforming Marriage. Pastors across the country have turned it into a best-seller by their constant recommendation of it. Meanwhile, CBMW seems unaware that it exists, and senior CBMW leaders have consistently opposed utilizing Wilson, a champion of father-rule, in any CBMW venue.

    9. CBMW refuses to declare that evangelical feminists deny the authority, not to mention the inerrancy, of Scripture. No matter how tortured the exegesis or twisted the hermeneutic, CBMW will not seek to cast the wolves out. In fact, CBMW’s leaders seem not to believe in the existence of wolves within evangelicalism.

    10. CBMW has no doctrine of sexuality. It has many exegetical defenses of specific passages having to do with sexuality. It has many thoughtful points about sexuality. But it has never given itself to the development of a theology of sexuality that starts with the archetypal Fatherhood of God, working its way down to the universal patriarchy written on the heart of His Creation.

  56. Leila
    I have heard rumors that they did stuff like that. I wish they would try it with me. Would I have some fun.

  57. Leila
    I have heard that he thought CBMW was going down the tubes. i have a solution to the Dee problem. Just call me Mother Superior.

  58. Leila –

    Wow. Their “vision” seems to be “act like John Knox and wage a war cause we sure need a good battle.” Someone needs to explain to them that Jesus won the battle and he didn’t come to earth to be a governmental king.

  59. Leila
    This guy proves the point that it can always get weirder. (Bayly boys-report me to my pastor-please, please, please…… What a grand story it will make.)

  60. Leila,

    And of course, Doug Wilson and John Piper are great friends (2012 DG Pastors Conference and 2009 DG Conference).

  61. Dee,

    thank you very much for your warm welcome to TWW. I have been lurking around for a few weeks and just commented a couple of times before this in another article.

    If I remember well I found TWW after reading a reference on iMonk about the discipline cases in SGM. I had been offline for a while so I wasn’t sure what they were talking about, and I decided to do a little online search. I have to admit I quickly became quite interested and read a lot.

    As I previously mentioned, some time ago I left a denomination which, I think, presents certain abusive and cultic characteristics. When I decided to check for myself if what I believed was true, it all started crumbling down. I spent some time struggling with what I had been taught, all the new information I found online and what I was reading in my Bible. In the end I had to trust that God would take me somewhere safe, even if I didn’t know where it would be.

    Not easy, certainly. It hurts when you think about the people you leave behind, friends and family, still immersed in the system. The reactions to my leaving weren’t that bad though, especially when compared with other people, but still it’s tough as you don’t know what to do… In any case, I had to be honest with myself and with God, and things couldn’t continue as they were.

    So, to conclude a rather long post, through my experiences I developed an interest on issues related with spiritual abuse. I’ve got a bit of an inquiring and restless mind, so I wasn’t too surprised when I started questioning and researching other issues I found in my new faith as a ‘standard Christian’.

    On the other hand, it can be exhausting. When I started thinking that I finally ‘got there’ and could finally rest, this ‘new questioning’ left me with a feeling of slight frustration and thinking ‘when is it going to end?’ Maybe this is God, simply telling us that we have to find our real rest in Jesus and not in whatever system/programme/institution we may come across. I do believe He often has some funny ways of achieving His purpose.

  62. Oops! It was Deb who I was replying to… Sorry! Anyway, thanks Dee and Deb for providing this space here.

  63. dee

    Thanks for the quote from Imonk – about the word “Biblical.” Much agreement with…
    “The problem is, it (Biblical) usually obscures more than it enlightens, hurts rather than helps, and stops discussion dead in its tracks rather than promoting good conversation.”

    I’ve found the same with the words – “Clear” and “Clearly.”
    Often – When someone attempts to convince their interpretation of the Bible is correct…
    They will say – “This is – Clear – in the scriptures. – Or – ‘“Clearly Written” in the Bible.

    BUT - If all these affirmations, and doctrines, the Calvinistas have to write down…
    Are so “Biblical” and “Clearly Written” in the Bible., as they declare…

    Why don’t they – just quote the Bible?

    Why do these so-called leaders have to invent words?
    (Complementarism, Patriarchy, Church Discipline, etc.)

    Why are there so many (Thousands) of Denominations started by these so-called leaders?
    If the way they read the Bible is so – “Clear?” If their understanding is so – “Biblical?”

    Thought you all might enjoy this understanding of the word – “Clearly.” (A Weasel Word.)
    I found it in the dictionary on my computer.

    I now send this as a comment to those who disagree with me and answer my objections
    with, – “It is Clearly Written in the Bible.”

    clearly
    “Exaggerators” like this word, along with its cousins ( obviously, undeniably, undoubtedly, and the like). Often a statement prefaced with one of these words is conclusory, and sometimes even exceedingly dubious. As a result—though some readers don’t consciously realize it— clearly and its ilk are ‘weasel words’—that is, unnecessary words that supposedly intensify the meaning of a statement, but actually weaken it. (Stephen White, The Written Word; 1984.).

    To me this also works for the way – “Biblical” is often used today.

  64. Martin
    The best thing that ever happened to my faith is when i started questioning the foundations of my faith. It took my on a journey that ended up back at, to quote CS Lewis, Mere Christianity. Then God allowed me to see a terrible situation at one of these “gospel” churches. I began a new journey that resulted in this blog. Asking questions and then being willing to find the answers is all it takes. There was one thing i took with my on my journey. I believed that all of my questions had been dealt with through the ages. So, I looked for answers both from inside and outside the faith. The inside the faith answers won, hands down. But, I am far less dogmatic than I used to be.

  65. Dee,

    They say this “We deny that there is salvation in any other name, or that saving faith can take any form other than conscious belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving acts.”

    They gave no caveats. Saving faith=conscious belief. So what do you think they mean?

    I believe they first mean Jesus in the only “way” for Salvation.

    And I think they are probablly referring to conscious belief in the fact that the atoning work does not “automatically” occur on us. It requires belief. In the age of universalism, I am assuming they are trying to counter the latter because many are inferring these days that the atoning work of Christ is universal. If this was there intent, I understand.

    Honestly, I think they made a mistake here though. If they are going to say “conscious belief”, they need to elaborate on this. I would certainly never believe that these men would believe that the mentally handicapped are incapable of salvation.

    They dropped the ball on this one for sure in their explanation…

  66. They all stand in a circle and rub each others’ back. In doing so, they enable each others’ sickness. I remember reading a Bayly article about marriage. Tell me if this isn’t the product of troubled mind:

    “The young man who pursues marriage enters a foreign land where he wages war. On the hinges of that battle lie happiness or shame.

    But though a potential bride may be deeply loved, she’s also at some level the foe. To achieve victory the young man must not only win her, he must defeat her and her family, snatching her from their bosom, converting her to himself, breaking her natural bonds with father and mother, brother and sister, nurse and friend, dog and home. There’s little that’s tender about it. At funerals we cloak harsh reality in kind words and soft colors. So too, at weddings soft words and vibrant colors disguise a bloody truth. The wedding ceremony is really a mini-Versailles, an Appomattox-in-a-nutshell of capitulation and triumph, the surrender of one woman to one man, the victory song of groom over both bride and family.”
    http://www.baylyblog.com/2007/11/wooing-as-warfa.html

    Now, would you want your daughter marrying into such a family? I would fear for her life. One of the first things abusers do is seek to break the bonds between a woman and her family of origin.

  67. As the mother of two sons and two daughters, I find it not only horrendous but also sickeningly irresponsible. What if I taught my sons that to “woo” a wife they needed to do this? Sick, sick, sick. And we wonder why there is so much domestic violence among Christians!

  68. A lot of pastors/teachers contradict themseves with their own teachings and interpretations. They refuse to see their own contradictions because they see themselves as God’s right hand man or really, let the truth be known, GOD LIKE ….

  69. Coming from a very different headspace, I found it quite jarring when I read (or listened to?) John Piper’s statement about people with disabilities being saved. I guess the idea that it was something that might seriously be in doubt seemed completely strange to me at the time.

    To be fair, Bethlehem Baptist really does appear to grapple with issues of disability. I might disagree with some of the theology here, but there’s a lot of compassion in these posts: http://www.desiringgod.org/searches/disabled?utf8=✓

    Desiring God is putting on a conference about disability this November. It’s called God’s Good Design in Disability http://www.desiringgod.org/events/regional-conferences/2012-minneapolis …the title puts knots in my stomach, but hey.

  70. Seeker
    Oh, I know what they will say. That is not the point. Why did this pass muster with the doctrine police?

    And all of these “brothers” who so carefully think through doctrine have signed this again and again. I guess if it is good enough for Mohler and Dever it is good enough for them….Meanwhile, it is Tuesday and I am off to spend time with my friends who cannot comprehend and who are often forgotten about when people write nice little statements while not considering those who are foremost in the mind of Jesus. “Whatever you do to the least of these….” (Does that include forgetting about them)?

  71. @Leila:

    Nice to identify a fellow TWW reader who enjoys the Bully Brothers’ Blog as much as I do.

    Though you did yeo-person’s work in breaking down the BB’s recent and not-so-recent activity, I have to point the following paragaph from their recent declaration of the need for a new confession:

    “Women are excluded from this work by virtue of their sex. This is intended to be an authoritative body of church officers working together to declare God’s truth authoritatively in the language of our time addressing the heresy of our time. It’s a reflection of how desperately this work is needed that it must be said that this council on Biblical manhood must be comprised of male church officers.”

    Well, you can’t fault them for being evasive or for employing euhpemism to cushion the blow, can you?

  72. >>A few years ago, a good friend of mine published an article in “The Priscilla Papers,” the scholarly magazine of Christians for Biblical Equality. It identified her as a member of a PCA church. She then got an unsolicited email from Tim Bayly, asking if she was the one that wrote that article, asked if her husband’s name was _____, and demanded the name of her pastor and her pastor’s phone number. Presumably so she could be disciplined. Very weird.

    For the sake of accuracy, here’s the text of the e-mail I sent to Ms. xxxxxxxxxxx. It’s the only e-mail I’ve sent her and she declined to respond to my questions because, as she put it, “I am not comfortable providing personal information to people I do not know…”

    Readers will note “Leila” did not tell the truth about this e-mail in her comment (11:30 AM) above. I did not ask Ms. xxxxxxxxxxx if she wrote the article. I asked about her husband because I was wondering if we had mutual friends. I did not ask for her pastor’s name. I did not ask for her pastor’s telephone number. I did not “demand” anything.

    The devil is in the details.

    Cordially,

    * * *

    From: Tim Bayly
    Subject: CBE and the PCA
    Date: January 2, 2003 2:37:13 PM CST
    To: xxxxxxxxxx

    Dear Ms. xxxxx,

    I’ve just received from a friend a copy of your article on the need for the PCA to move in a more egalitarian direction , and I have a couple questions I’d be pleased if you’d respond to.

    First, are you currently a member of the PCA? And if so, what is your home church?

    Second, is your husband Dr. xxxxxxxxx , and is he still working at the White House? And in connection with his work there, does he know my friend, Marvin Olaksy?

    Thanks for your assistance, and have a happy new year.

    Under His Word,

    Tim Bayly (Rev.)

  73. Everybody! Take some time and look through the 18-point gospel affirmation of t4g and look for some of the missing PRIMARY matters!
    The Love of God
    The Kingdom of God
    Eternal life
    The virgin birth
    The miracles
    The blood of Jesus
    The ascension
    Pentecost
    Life, fruit, gifts, fullness, power, counsel, conviction, and instruction of the Holy Ghost
    Election, Call, Sanctification
    Goodness and mercy
    Repentance (we see “Sinners are commanded to believe the Gospel” rather than “sinners are commanded to repent and believe the Gospel.”)
    The ongoing total authority of the risen, living Christ over all things FOR the church (real headship)
    Forgiveness of sins
    The second coming
    Resurrection of the dead, New heavens and earth, no more sorrow no more tears, the pearly gates, the streets of gold, the river of LIFE, the tree of LIFE
    Love one another forgive one another
    The love of God constrains us
    Repent! For the kingdom of God is near!
    For God sooooo loved the world….
    Love

    Dave you are exactly right!! One thing I have missed sooo much in the church is the preaching of the Fruits of the Spirit.

    Also, a BIGGIE!!!- HUMILITY and BEING A SERVANT PASTOR!!
    Where is it???!!!

  74. Dee,

    “Whatever you do to the least of these….” (Does that include forgetting about them)?

    I see where you are coming from, I just don’t see the evidence of where they are forgetting the disabled. As poor as this statement was, I think it was more of an attempt to attack Universalism rather than attack the ability of the mentally handicapped to be saved. They made a mistake, no doubt, but to assume that they have forgotten about the disabled is a bit of a stretch in my opinion.

    When I looked at the statement, I didn’t automatically assume they were trying to isolate the disabled from salvation in Christ. Sure, many may read this and see that (as you did)…and that is why they made a mistake on this statement.

    I am sure some of these T4G leaders have no compassion for the least of these. That has been established in guys like Mahaney and others. But some of the leaders associated with T4G have established compassion for the least of these, therefore, I find it a bit of a stretch to say that they have forgotten the “least of these.”

    Bottome line: They need to take a better look at these statements. If they want to describe salvation with vague statements that they have introduced, they need to further elaborate on this. That way, they will not be seen as forgetting the least of these. Until then, all is fair….

  75. Seeker, I hope they forgot about the disabled when they wrote this. Otherwise, they were thinking of them and concluded that they had no place in heaven.

  76. It’s ashamed of Biblical language. Instead of using the natural biblical term for the principle of father-rule, ‘patriarch’ (from the Greek, patria or father, plus arche or rule), CBMW manufactured the term of equivocation, ‘complementarian.’ — Leila

    I’d use the term “Newspeak” instead of “equivocation”. On a level with “Relocation/Resettlement”, “Liquidation”, “Pregnancy Materials”, “Re-Education”, “Useless Eater”…

  77. Leila –

    I didn’t realize that those guys really do view life through the lens of a battle. It is sickening what they say about marriage and a wife.

    If I was one to proof text then I would have to ask what they do with “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and the woman were both nsked and not ashamed.” Gen. 2:24-25. The man appears to be doing the leaving and needs to be encouraged to cling?!

    Jesus quoted this text as well, possibly as a means of showing what love looks like.

  78. Where’s baptism in the 18 t4 gospel a&d’s? All these folks for 2000 years getting sprinkled, poured on, or dunked, and it’s not even important enough to include in the t4 gospel? And the Lord’s supper only mentioned by the t4 gospel in the context of getting ex’d out through church discipline…
    Someone with more creativity and time than I have today— it would be interesting to see the 2nd chapter of Acts rewritten as t4g would have done– leaving out all they leave out and adding what they add….
    What if it had been Dever with the 9 instead of Peter with the 11?

  79. Rene,

    I believe they failed to elaborate on this statement like they should. No doubt on that…or they just assumed everyone would logically assume that the mentally handicapped are “excused” from making this conscious decision.

    OR…some of those guys really believe that the mentally ill will be held accountable, even though they cannot make conscious thought.

    The point is, when writing this statement, I think they were making an effort to counter Universalism…I don’t think they were trying to make a statement about the mentally ill..

    Like I said before…They dropped the ball..They need to take a closer look at these statements…They made a mistake in the language of what was presented..

    I just think it is a bit of a stretch to assume that they forget about the mentally ill..Saying that would imply that they have no interaction or compassion for them..and I think for many of these men..that would not apply.

  80. They all stand in a circle and rub each others’ back. In doing so, they enable each others’ sickness. — Leila

    I think they’re rubbing more than each others’ backs. As in “Mutual Masturbation Society”.

    But though a potential bride may be deeply loved, she’s also at some level the foe. To achieve victory the young man must not only win her, he must defeat her and her family, snatching her from their bosom, converting her to himself, breaking her natural bonds with father and mother, brother and sister, nurse and friend, dog and home. There’s little that’s tender about it. At funerals we cloak harsh reality in kind words and soft colors. So too, at weddings soft words and vibrant colors disguise a bloody truth. The wedding ceremony is really a mini-Versailles, an Appomattox-in-a-nutshell of capitulation and triumph, the surrender of one woman to one man, the victory song of groom over both bride and family.” — this God’s Anointed Bayly guy

    THAT is what happens when you reduce something to Power Struggle and Power Struggle alone. Kill or Be Killed, Dominate or Be Dominated. His boot stamping on her face or her stiletto heel stamping on his, and the only way to avoid the second is to make sure of the first. Forever.

    THAT is what happens when you see everything through the troll-shard lenses of Power Struggle. You become Draka. Dominate or Die.

    (Calvinista = God defined as Omnipotent Power —> God who is Omnipotent but NOT Benevolent. And His Faithful imitate Him.)

    “The only goal of Power is POWER.”
    — Comrade O’Brian, Inner Party, Airstrip One, Oceania, 1984

  81. It’s ashamed of Biblical language. Instead of using the natural biblical term for the principle of father-rule, ‘patriarch’ (from the Greek, patria or father, plus arche or rule), CBMW manufactured the term of equivocation, ‘complementarian.’ — Leila

    Also, doesn’t Screwtape speak about deconstructing/redefining words into “diabolical meanings”?

    “Nya Ha Ha, My Dear Wormwood…”

  82. Seeker –

    I have a problem with the fact that they do feel the need to attack anything. Many of their statements (even of faith) appear to be reactions to “something.” Can’t we just restate the purposes for which Jesus came to earth? Why not quote His words? Weren’t Jesus’ purposes the purposes of God? If Jesus and the Father are one, then aren’t Jesus purposes enough and clear enough, and wouldn’t His actual words carry the Truth more effectively than all their verbiage that is on the defense “against”‘something? Can’t they just stand in the Truth as given to us in Christ?

    I don’t see the value in confessions of faith or statements of faith that are complicated and/or written to appease man’s doctrines.

  83. At its meeting on November 23 in Jackson, Mississippi, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood voted unanimously to appoint Mr. Tim Bayly as the first executive director in its history. Tim brings to this position a track record of unusual courage and conviction, a commitment to communicate clearly God’s design for biblical manhood and womanhood, and a knowledge of the evangelical community gained partly by growing up in Wheaton, but also by being the son of the late Joe Bayly of Gospel Blimp fame.

    WTF? This Bayly guy is the Son of the guy who wrote Gospel Blimp? Son of the guy whose stories exposed and satirized similar Godly(TM) crapola among the Evangelicals of his time, like a low-key Christian South Park?

    Either we have a case of an idiot prince succeeding to his wise father’s throne, or a “How have the mighty fallen” situation.

  84. Seeker, I’m confused. You wrote:

    “I just think it is a bit of a stretch to assume that they forget about the mentally ill..Saying that would imply that they have no interaction or compassion for them..and I think for many of these men..that would not apply.”

    So they didn’t forget about the disabled? If so, then they have consigned them to hell.

    For the record, I think you’re right – they didn’t think this statement through. They are trying to put out the fires of universalism and inclusivism. But that’s appalling. They pride themselves on their academic prowess and ability to parse scripture. They feel that they are called to correct the Church. They are trying to lay down the definitive gospel. That calls for fasting, sloooow and deliberate thinking and studying and writing. Tons of prayer. And maybe some night sweats.

  85. Bridget2,

    I don’t particularly like complicated confessions of faith or statements of faith either…And the more complicated they are..the more they open themselves up to serious questions.

    Some of what they have written seems to lean toward appeasing their doctrines…but not all. Some of it is simply reaffirming Christ and what He has done.

    I would disagree when you say that you have a problem with their need to “attack” something. True, they could easily restate the purposes of why Jesus came…they could quote His words and so on..

    And your right..there is truth there.

    But people confuse the truth all the time. People confuse the truth of what Christ’s atoning work is into Universalism.

    That is a dangerous teaching, do you disagree?

    Heresies are confronted in scripture..the works of the gnostics are confronted in scripture…Paul and others saw fit to confront these situations, and they did not just “quote” the words of Jesus in doing so..

    They made an effort to bring clarity to the truth of Jesus that was confused by these groups.

    T4G should further elaborate their language on many of these affirmations… Especially Article X….but I see nothing wrong with their concern to describe saving faith in light of such heresies as Universalism..Ironically, in their concern to bring clarity, they failed to bring the kind of clarity that was needed.

    One more thing…they should have scripture embedded into these affirmations. They failed to include any passages where they get their “beliefs” from..and I DO have a problem with that.

  86. Tim Bayly,

    Thank you for your comment at 1:17 p.m.

    We appreciate your clarification about your prior communication with XXXXXXX on January 2, 2003.

    Perhaps there has simply been a misunderstanding.

    Blessings.

  87. Bridget2:

    You are so correct about Gen. 2 command for the husband to leave his parents (tribe/people) and cling to his wife (her tribe/people). This is nearly always interpreted as both leaving their parents. Not so. It’s really very clear. Her people/tribe/parents are her natural protectors and this arrangement greatly eliminates the possibility of abuse.

  88. “So they didn’t forget about the disabled? If so, then they have consigned them to hell.”

    Rene,

    They failed in their use of language to elaborate the way they should. They were affirming what scripture itself teaches..that people come to a saving faith in Christ through active belief. I believe they were affirming this because of the many heresies that teach against this.

    I don’t think they included an explanation about the mentally ill, not so much because they forgot, moreso because this was directed at those of us who are not affected by mental disease or young children.. In other words, you and I have no excuse. We are accountable. I believe they were “assuming” (wrongly) that people would see this, and that they would understand the mentally ill are an exception.

    They should have explained this further.

    To stretch this and imply that they “do not care” about the least of these and they “forget” them is a bit of a stretch as I said..This is my opinion..I just did not see them affirming a “exclusive” gospel apart from the mentally ill…I saw them affirming a gospel that teaches people are saved through belief in Jesus Christ..

    The scripture affirms the latter time and time again…Next time..they should think this through a little more and create a footnote for those who are incapable of such active belief…They should not assume people would understand what they are trying to say.

  89. Seeker –

    I think a “statement of faith” should be what you hold to — not what you deny. I didn’t say there was not a time or place to speak about deception in the Church or Universalism. I just don’t think the place is in your statement of faith. I think that scripture concerning Jesus and his words and instruction to us should be the main text of a statement of faith. I’m sure there are many thoughts on this. These are mine.

  90. “If I was one to proof text then I would have to ask what they do with “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and the woman were both nsked and not ashamed.” Gen. 2:24-25. The man appears to be doing the leaving and needs to be encouraged to cling?!”

    I’ve been thinking about how Bible verses are use to justify ‘father-rule’, as that weird guy calls it. The verse above is an interesting one because I was told several times at my last church that that is a verse that clearly establishes the groom as the head of a new family and the start of a new ‘chain of authority’, because he has left the old chain of command (family) and has started a new one by marrying, with him at the top. Yet if the verse said ‘therefore a woman shall leave her father and mother and cling to her husband’, it would never be interpreted to mean that she was now the new authority.

    The verse itself looks to me as if it’s actually describing mutuality.

  91. Bridget2,

    “I think that scripture concerning Jesus and his words and instruction to us should be the main text of a statement of faith.”

    I agree…As I said above..I prefer keeping it simple by focusing on Jesus in statements of faith as well…it keeps us from inputting our own opinions, etc…

    T4G decided to affirm/deny certain things in their “statement”..and I guess they had their reasons in doing so..

    I understand some of the reasons why they did, but like you, I think it would have been a bit better to include simplicity here.

  92. Seeker,

    I think you and I are interpreting their statement the same way. It just bugs me that we have to fill in their good intentions for them.

    In my opinion, black and white statements about people’s eternal destiny demand the utmost care (if they need to be said at all, beyond just directing people to read what Jesus said in the gospels). But I’m just a cranky inclusivist. :)

  93. Rene,

    I hear you! It bugs me too…If they want to have a statement of faith that represents the Gospel..then they need to tread carefully.

    They need to be careful not to use language that promotes secondary issues with primary ones’ such as the Gospel. If John Piper affirms that one can be saved and not believe in COMP doctrine..then he also must affirm that COMP doctrine will not CONFUSE the Gospel..not matter if they believe it shows a “picture” of the gospel.

    They also need to be careful to expalin in detail what they mean…

    If they are going to go beyond the words of Jesus and use a statement of faith..then they should be prepared to consider all angles..including the mentally ill, etc….

  94. With due respect, the author of this post has jumped to conclusions in her zeal to impose her feminist ideals onto the faith. After noting that she supposes that Ken ham thinks that one must affirm a young earth in order to be saved [when Mr. Ham is on record multiple times stating quite to the contrary that one can be saved and affirm millions of years], I’m tempted to ignore her on the basis of her observable lack of fact-checking [but never let the facts stand in the way of good hellfire-and-feminism rhetoric, eh?]. After noting the way that she erroneously and perniciously accuses these men (men) of condemning the mentally handicapped to hell because they’ve dared to invoke Romans 10:9 into their statements, I am compelled to remind her that God does indeed condemn false witness and that she is extrapolating well beyond the statements these fellows made in order to make her hellish indictment. As the father of several special needs kids with a great deal of experience with nonverbal issues, I both affirm Romans 10:9 and note that lacking omniscience that I don’t have all the answers so I cannot honestly tell you whether such dear souls go to hell or not. All I can say is will not the Lord of hosts judge righteously? I’d wager that the signers of this statement would respond similarly, if ythe author had bothered to ask them for clarification rather than translating their words in the worst light possible.

    The author of this post needs to repent of both her arrogance and for her false witness against these brethren in her zeal to refute them.

    Regards,
    Tony Breeden
    DefGen.org

  95. Sophie –

    You could also go look to see how that same verse is quoted elsewhere, including by Jesus, and what the context is in those instances.

  96. Enjoying the discussion as usual – not to take this in a different direction, but have you FABULOUS female bloggers ever done much on Ken Ham in the past? If so I’d love to see, since I’m rather new.

    He’s famous for lots of reasons in the homeschool circles but I will not buy his materials and attend his seminars for one reason – he basically believes in racism, in Jesus’ name. He has a ridiculous theory about the origins of color:

    He basically believes that all races/people originated from the children of Noah, with the “cursed off-spring of Ham, Noah’s son, being cast off as the people of Africa. He then twists and turns that argument into complete racism, to the point that mingling and intermarrying between races is akin to being unequally yolked.

    Sigh.

    And Tim Challies. UGH…. please don’t even remind me of that man. When he made the statement years ago that miscarried & stillborn babies didn’t go to heaven, he lost me as a reader forever. So the new ilk about not letting women read scripture aloud in church is not surprising to me.

    And, I love ratatouille. It’s a favorite dish here. Maybe that’s because I’m an evangelical feminist?

  97. Sophie –

    Everything I hear people saying about the Bayly men comes across in military terms. It’s odd and creepy.

  98. @Headless Unicorn Guy: “I think they’re rubbing more than each others’ backs. As in “Mutual Masturbation Society”.”

    HUG, you really should have posted a warning above your comment. I am still finding droplets of my beverage amongst the keys on my keyboard.

    They certainly do “get off” on power and authoritarianism.

  99. Sergius said: “Nice to identify a fellow TWW reader who enjoys the Bully Brothers’ Blog as much as I do.

    Though you did yeo-person’s work in breaking down the BB’s recent and not-so-recent activity, I have to point the following paragaph from their recent declaration of the need for a new confession:

    “Women are excluded from this work by virtue of their sex””

    @Sergius: I can’t say as I “enjoy” it but having friends who were spiritually abused by Bayly’s teachings, I keep an eye on it. “Bully Brothers.” Good one. And all too accurate. I did catch the comment about women being excluded. But it’s so cliche from him at this point it hardly bears worth mention anymore. Whatever. We women will just continue what we’ve always done, doing the day-to-day in-the-trenches work of living out the gospel while cocks like Bayly crow and preen and posture.

  100. “I believe they first mean Jesus in the only “way” for Salvation”

    Seeker, I pulled this one line out of yoru comment above but this really pertains to your entire comment. The biggest mistake I see out there are lots of people parsing the meaning of these “teachers of the Word”, words.

    These are people who are paid well to communicate publicly. It is their job to communicate such things. We should not have to parse their words or assume what they mean. That might happen once in while on a particular doctrine but this is quite a bit with these guys and on something very basic. And I see this parsing everywhere I go on blogs now on the words of those who are to make a living communicating such things.

    It is almost as if people think they are so great they automatically assume what they mean when they do not say it.

  101. “Readers will note “Leila” did not tell the truth about this e-mail in her comment (11:30 AM) above. I did not ask (name removed) if she wrote the article. I asked about her husband because I was wondering if we had mutual friends. I did not ask for her pastor’s name. I did not ask for her pastor’s telephone number. I did not “demand” anything”

    LOL!! Anyone who has read the Bayly blog for any length of time knows what the questions asked of this woman meant. I would never share any personal information with these bullies. But nice try.

    Liela, consider it a badge of honor for one of them to claim you did not tell the truth. Their sin sniffing of women makes CJ look like an amateur.

  102. I apologize for not reading through all of the comments but time is limited right now. I have a degree in Classics, with an emphasis on Ancient Rome/ Latin language. One of the things that was covered over and over is that Christianity spread in Ancient Rome through the women. They were given an identity in Christ outside of their fathers/ husbands for the first time, an important role to fulfill, valued for their mere existence for the first time by Christ. Mohler and cronies need to take a refresher course on basic history. Women were crucial to the spread of Christ and the Gospel according to the New Testament (not the Gospel according to Mohler/Mahaney/Dever).

    I would love to go into more detail but as I said, time is limited. My beloved neighbor will more than likely pass into glory very soon so that is my focus right now. If you think about it, please pray for his wife and family.

  103. “If I was one to proof text then I would have to ask what they do with “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and the woman were both nsked and not ashamed.” Gen. 2:24-25. The man appears to be doing the leaving and needs to be encouraged to cling”

    Just a side note. Katherine Bushnell does an intense exegesis on this passage in both the OT and NT that is worth a read. It is one of those passages that is often quoted but never really studied. For example, why isn’t the woman told to leave her father and mother and cling? Think about it. Historically and in general, that is exactly what women have done but not men.

    Bushnell’s teaching on this passage in God’s Word to Women is worth a look.

  104. Anonymous

    I will be praying for your neighbor’s family and you as you help care for them. Thank you for caring for them
    :)

  105. Tony Breeden

    I deeply disagree with you. Ken Ham has said that those who deny a young earth are in danger of denying Biblical authority and the doctrine of the atonement. That is as plain as day and I do not appreciate the verbal games that Ken Ham plays. He has done this with many people. I watched him do this to Hugh Ross and then he sits back and cries his innocence. He is as bad an actor as he is with the science he portrays on his site.

    Since you are defending Genesis, I can only guess what your agenda might be. I will state this quite plainly. I have found those who hold to a YE at all costs top be amongst the most divisive people I have met in Christianity.And your comment only serves to reinforce that viewpoint.

    And the fact that you need to say this is very sad.”As the father of several special needs kids with a great deal of experience with nonverbal issues, I both affirm Romans 10:9 and note that lacking omniscience that I don’t have all the answers so I cannot honestly tell you whether such dear souls go to hell or not. ” I will say this in defense of your children. They will be in heaven and given a glorious life in eternity.I am sorry that you do not have this confidence.

    Lastly, too bad that you don’t like what tT4G said. I quoted T4G directly, cut and pasted, from their website. “We deny that there is salvation in any other name, or that saving faith can take any form other than conscious belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving acts.” I stand by what I said here. Perhaps they need you to interpret their intent for them. Or maybe they need to get a better writer. It’s too darn bad that a woman has to tell them to watch how they present their doctrine.

    And as for arrogance….hmmmm

  106. True Words
    We have written extensively on Ken Ham and suffice to say we are not fans. Who knows, maybe Challies will need to keep quiet in heaven when the former still born babies sing the glorious praises of their Creator?

  107. Tim
    I could see how this comment might be misunderstood. “And if so, what is your home church?” Why was this information necessary? Secondly, have you ever, on your blog, ever threatened to contact a pastor over a comment? Lastly, do you really think CBMW has become liberal?

    I will leave the truthfulness of Leila’s comment open since I do not know either one of you and have no way to decide who is telling the truth.

    Thank you for your attempt to clarify the record.This blog is open to all comments within reason (even when we are accused of all manner of evil)!

  108. Rene
    I still cannot believe that all manner of “brothers” signed onto T4G and it took a woman to point out the problem. Dang women.

  109. Tony
    Could you tell me how you have come to the conclusion that I am a feminist? Please define your terms. Also, do you think my life is one that is non-traditional? I am sure you carefully read my bio. Or do you use that term for ny woman who disagrees with Ken Ham (whose wife , he has said, is very, very submissive).

  110. Dee,

    “If they haven’t down so, T4G should appoint you apologist for all things TGC and T4G.”

    Hmmm…. If you have taken the time to read half of what I state on here, I by no means apologize for ALL things TGC and T4G..but I guess you missed that somehow…

    I just don’t particularly agree with your conclusions on certain things…That is ok isn’t it?

    And I plainly state…Until they change their wording..all is fair to assume whatever people want to assume about them…I am not apologizng here..just stating fact..I just happen to assume some things differently than you…

    Nice response by the way…real classy.

  111. ”As the father of several special needs kids with a great deal of experience with nonverbal issues, I both affirm Romans 10:9 and note that lacking omniscience that I don’t have all the answers so I cannot honestly tell you whether such dear souls go to hell or not. ”

    Rev Breedan, can you honestly worship a God who might do that?

    If Jesus Christ’s death can’t even redeem people who are are, by virtue of being mentally incapable of understanding the difference between a right action and a wrong action, as innocent as humans can be, then how can it redeem someone like you, who knows how to judge right and wrong but still chooses to sin sometimes? Isn’t God a God of justice? Where’s the justice in that?

    (I’m not saying this because I take exception to you, I’m saying it because I think it’s really sad that you don’t feel completely assured that your kids will be OK.)

  112. Dee:

    Tony does not come across as a very nice person. It is hard to put that much judgment into one comment, but by gollies he did it.

  113. Funny that the term “feminism” (said, no doubt, with spittle flying and a sibilant FFFFFF) should come up. You are wise to ask how the other person defines it. My daughter had to learn the definition for her history class yesterday. Ready for it?

    “Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women.”

    Oooooh, terrible!

  114. Anon1,

    Seeker, I pulled this one line out of yoru comment above but this really pertains to your entire comment. The biggest mistake I see out there are lots of people parsing the meaning of these “teachers of the Word”, words.

    “These are people who are paid well to communicate publicly. It is their job to communicate such things. We should not have to parse their words or assume what they mean. That might happen once in while on a particular doctrine but this is quite a bit with these guys and on something very basic. And I see this parsing everywhere I go on blogs now on the words of those who are to make a living communicating such things.

    It is almost as if people think they are so great they automatically assume what they mean when they do not say it.”

    For the most part, I agree with you. They should have done a much better job of communicating if they are going to make an effort to have a statement of faith.

    Unfortunately, they didn’t…so questions are going to come out of their failure to communicate…

    But, in my onservation, they were simply affirming what scripture says without the footnotes of mental problems etc..

    They were communicating and affirming what passage after passage teaches in scripture in regards to belief…and many of those scripture have no mention of the handicapped and young children..

    We have to look much deeper in scripture to find those answers…and use a bit of common sense..

    My grief with T4G is their failure to go deeper in their statement of faith to elaborate these things, but I am not about to consider them people who are not concerned with the mentally ill, etc because of their failure in this..

  115. mot
    Tony is an excellent example of a particularly rabid YE brigade out there. I have been the recipient of their actions at a church and they are amongst the most ugly, angry, strange group of people who every flew under the banner of Christendom. Tony is my proof of the nonsense going on in this doctrinal wars today. They are experts of taking pure nonsense and pretending that it represents truth.

  116. >>I will leave the truthfulness of Leila’s comment open since I do not know either one of you and have no way to decide who is telling the truth.

    What you wrote misrepresented the facts and the e-mail is there as proof. Simple as that.

    Truthfully,

  117. Seeker
    All I am saying (misspellings and all) is that you have done an admirable job of defending (that is what I meant by the word “apologetics”) the NeoCals. And I mean what I say. They should get you to write some stuff for them. You come across a little less bombastic except for the “classy” comment.

  118. Seeker, As I said above, to “assume” what they mean or to parse their own words for them as to meaning when they are professional communicators and they seek to speak to large groups of people as a career, is not wise. They used the terminology “conscious belief in the Lord Jesus Christ”.

    I am simply not interested in parsing what they write or say. I take words at face value from the professional Christians who seek large followings and speak from stages or write for a living. One of the biggest hurdles to face in dealing with spiritual abuse is for people to stop “assuming” what the guys they like are really saying.

    This is just one example of millions out there right now. We can go back to “unsubmissive wives trigger abuse” or “I preach to a totally depraved congregation every week” or “If you want to see the nations rejoice for Christ, you have to no where else to go but New Calvinism” or “equal but different roles”. The examples are endless. I believe public communicators who claim Christ and make a living with it, should be accountable for what they say or write. We obviously disagree and that is ok.

  119. “Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women.”

    How shameful…. (sarcasm off)

    Would it be blasphemous if we added “religious” to that definition?

  120. LOL Tony. For a guy like you who probably drools at the sight or sound of Mahaney, to come here and mention humility is really just too funny.

    Side note: still can’t stop laughing that Mahaney wrote a book called “Humility.”

  121. Tim

    What did I say that misrepresented the facts? And you did not give me proof. You simply wrote what you purported to be an email. I have absolutely no way to know if it is true or not. Even if you were to give a time stamped email, I am not a forensic expert. I leave that in the hands of the Almighty.

    Have you ever reported anyone who commented on your blog to his/her pastor?

  122. Rev Tony Breeden. Coming to a church near you soon. The seminaries are churnging these types out like they are manufacturing robots.

  123. Why do they believe that a comp view and teaching will stop homosexuality or gender changes or a desire for such things? These issues have been around for ever (well, not gender changes), even in the times of the real Patriarchs when patriarchy was king. Did a male-centered world view stop these issues then? — Bridget2

    I can argue that a male-centered “Patriarchy Uber Alles” society would instead feel a strong pull towards the male homoerotic. After all, if women are nothing more than cooker/cleaner/breeder livestock, how else could a man have sex with a real PERSON? As one such pre-Christian society put it: “Women for breeding stock, Men for love, Boys for pleasure.”

  124. Tim, how are we supposed to know that you didn’t send two different E-mails, and now you’re here only posting one of them?

    Since you’re here, one more question for you. Why is the whole complementarain thing such a big deal to so many of you? It seems quite odd to me that you guys focus so much energy on an issue that Jesus (per the gospel writers) didn’t say one word about.

  125. Dee, I agree about his “representation” of an email as if we are to take his word for it. Who knows? But we do know that those who have read their blog for years know that they have a habit of demanding the name of a person’s pastor/church so as to report them for “discipline” for the things they said in comments. Usually for daring to disagree with the Baylys. Doug Wilson did the same thing and probably still does for all I know. It has been a while since I read either blogs. One can only take so much egomania.

    Frankly, I found his asking for the name of her church totally unnessecary and wondered what for? To report the church to the ecclessiasitical courts?

  126. True Words

    Does Tim Challies really believe that babies are not saved?? I’m afraid to go searching for a link.

    Anyone in a pastoral role who would teach that sounds more like a high priest of Moloch than a servant of Jesus. Sacrificing children (and the hearts of grieving families) on the altar of “correct doctrine”. I know these are strong words, but that is deeply offensive.

    They have built pagan shrines to Baal, and there they burn their sons as sacrifices to Baal. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing! Jeremiah 19:5, NLT

  127. Tim Bayly
    Just in case you didn’t have the permission to use that purported email in a public forum, I have decided to remove the purported person’s and her husband’s name from your purported email. This comment in no way affirms or denies that such an email does or does not exist.

  128. Tim
    One other point, did you or anyone at your blog really say the following? “So too, at weddings soft words and vibrant colors disguise a bloody truth. The wedding ceremony is really a mini-Versailles, an Appomattox-in-a-nutshell of capitulation and triumph, the surrender of one woman to one man, the victory song of groom over both bride and family.”

  129. “Does Tim Challies really believe that babies are not saved?? I’m afraid to go searching for a link.”

    Rene, Back when I first started researching the Reformed movement, I found Challies which was the first “Christian REformed” blogger and had a large following quickly. I was appalled at what I saw in comments there that was taken as the norm by others. There were commenters saying things like: When babies are thrown into Hell God will be glorified.

    I kid you not. These are scary people.

  130. I wrote: “But I don’t see how [complementarianism] is an issue that affects the good news that Jesus died for our sins and rose again to life so that we who believe in Him have our sins forgiven and are born again to new life in the Spirit.”

    Victorious wrote: “It could very possibly affect the way many view God, His Son, and His Word.”

    This is intriguing. Would you elaborate?

    On the CBMW site, I found this: “Ephesians 5 calls husbands and wives to relate to one another as a picture of Christ and the church. The picture involves the humble, sacrificial leadership of the husband and the joyful, intelligent submission to that leadership by the wife. Husbands and wives who model this improperly portray a distorted and false picture of Jesus Christ, the Head and Savior of his bride, the church. Deviation from biblical teaching on manhood and womanhood hinders the advance of the gospel.”

    I’ll assume, since its own words are similar, and since there is overlap in the two groups, that T4G agrees with the final sentence. Though the way that husbands and wives are a picture of Jesus and the church is important, I’m still not sure how this is a first-order belief as it relates to the gospel.

    Whereas what IS a first-order gospel belief is that men and women are saved in the same way, as are Jew and Greek and slave and free: Baptism into Christ (Gal. 3:27-28). This is what should be of first importance.

    dee –

    Yes, not letting women read Scripture out loud in church is absurd. I’ll look into what you said about 9Marks.

  131. Tim Bayly: “2. It’s ashamed of Biblical language. Instead of using the natural biblical term for the principle of father-rule, ‘patriarch’ (from the Greek, patria or father, plus arche or rule), CBMW manufactured the term of equivocation, ‘complementarian.’ How much better it had been if CBMW’s patriarchs had not rejected the Biblical term, ‘patriarch.’ Who has ever questioned the reality that the two sexes complement each other? Even feminists still need men to become pregnant. But how they complement each other–that’s the question. Sadly, it is precisely this question which CBMW’s founders have carefully begged.”

    It is also too bad that both CBMW and the Bayly brother’s reject what Jesus has to say about Patriarchy and men wanting to push “father rule” as the way God wants to do things on earth.
    The words of Jesus Christ, Himself, opposes “Patriarchy” and said so in Matthew 23.

    Matthew 23:8-10 8 But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.

    Tim Bayly, you preach a false understanding of God and His views on gender. I hope someday that you will realize this and repent of teaching that God is a misogynist after your own heart.

  132. Jeff B:

    You said:”Yes, not letting women read Scripture out loud in church is absurd. I’ll look into what you said about 9Marks.”

    These guys are all about controlling “them women.”

    Also they are control freaks. I bet they are nice to be around when they are not in control which is always.

  133. JeffB,

    You just mentioned,

    ““But I don’t see how [complementarianism] is an issue that affects the good news that Jesus died for our sins and rose again to life so that we who believe in Him have our sins forgiven and are born again to new life in the Spirit.”

    Victorious wrote: “It could very possibly affect the way many view God, His Son, and His Word.”

    This is intriguing. Would you elaborate?”

    Complementarianism reduces and limits the humanity of a female in a number of ways. Of course it is at times dressed up in sweet and loving language to make the bitter pill go down nicely.

    It is quite plainly discrimination against women as ordained by God. This does nothing but implicate God in a most heinous way.

    There is nothing intriguing about Victorius’ comment at all. It is a plain and stark conclusion, with which I concur.

    After my brief encounter with complementarianism in a church, it took me a few years to get over the devastation that God himself would ordain such a thing as that. Perhaps my devastation was due to being female and thus the object of such limiting and restricting. It was utterly dehumanizing.

    You will simply have to take my word for it.

  134. Anon 1 –

    Thanks for the heads up on K. Bushnell’s teaching. I need to get that book. I have not studied that text in depth, but it came to mind and was quoted in other places in scripture and quoted by Jesus – seemed worth a look.

  135. Anon –

    Ha! I have seen that video. Some folks seem to take scripture to places is was not meant to go.

  136. “Seeker
    All I am saying (misspellings and all) is that you have done an admirable job of defending (that is what I meant by the word “apologetics”) the NeoCals. And I mean what I say. They should get you to write some stuff for them. You come across a little less bombastic except for the “classy” comment.”

    Dee,

    Not trying to be bombastic with the “classy” comment…maybe I misunderstood your intent…your previous comment to me seemed a bit “short” and maybe a bit “sarcastic” considering I did more than just defend T4G in this entire conversation….I shared many of the same critiques you had from your post…

    For the sake of clarity..I am not trying to defend T4G…I listen on occasion to two out of all the guys that were on the panel at the conference…and I had a few personal friends who attended it…other than the latter..I have no reason to “defend” T4G or TGC or any other NeoCal group..

    I see many of the same flaws you see, share some of the concerns you share, but I am not ready to jump to conclusions like “they don’t care for the least of these” or they are “excluding the mental handicap” from their “false gospel”….This does not make me an apologist of T4G, it means I see them in a different light…

    Guess I just come to a different conclusion than you on SOME things..The rest of your points from above I agree with..and because I agree with those points..I seriously doubt the NeoCal’s would appreciate anything I have to write for them…

    Anon1,

    “I believe public communicators who claim Christ and make a living with it, should be accountable for what they say or write. We obviously disagree and that is ok.”

    So when you say, “held accountable”, what are you referring too?

    If you are referring for them to revise their SOF to bring further clarity to the “salvation” statement in light of the Mentally Ill..Sure, I agree with you..they need to be held accountable.

    As far as the other things you mentioned…I guess you would have to look at who said it, when they said it, and what context they were referring too..

    It is not appropriate, imo, to take a soundbyte or chunk of writing from a book and draw conclusions just from that and take them at their word….In that case, their word is taken out of context.. We need to listen to an entire sermon, read an entire book, or consider the “larger context” before we decide to take them at “face value.”

    At least that is what I would want to do…If I cannot find clarity to their “statements” in the larger context..then yes..I will take them at what they say..

  137. “can argue that a male-centered “Patriarchy Uber Alles” society would instead feel a strong pull towards the male homoerotic. After all, if women are nothing more than cooker/cleaner/breeder livestock, how else could a man have sex with a real PERSON? As one such pre-Christian society put it: “Women for breeding stock, Men for love, Boys for pleasure.”

    LOL! You don’t have to argue it. History is replete with examples of Patriarchal societies being homoerotic. One of the shockers was all the homosexuality and pedophilia among the Taliban in Afghanistan. Even to the point they were having glamour shots taken together. This goes back to Sodom. It is the dirty little secret of Patriarchal societies. You know how they are always arguing a slippery slope if they allow women to become ministers? Next it will be homosexuals? Same could be argued for more Patriarchy taking the long view of history as an example. It is just hidden better in those societies.

  138. Seeker, I am wondering how you can read that entire definition of the Gospel and still wonder about “context”. But nevermind. I have been following those guys for a long time. So, I guess I know the game that is played and how.

  139. Anon1,

    I wasn’t referring to their definition of the Gospel in their SOF..

    I was referring to the other things you mentioned in your post.

    But “larger context” for me on the T4G SOF would probablly be what some of the T4G members have said about babies, mentally ill and their capacity to be saved outside of the SOF..

    But to be honest…as I have said before..it is fair to take them at face value on the SOF…they made the effort to put it out there..they should be able to explain it in full…

  140. Anyone who has ever lost a baby probably has a concern about whether or not they will see that child in heaven.

  141. Well, when the Bayly brothers bring their prestigious blend of bad exegesis and arrogance to your blog, then you’re doing something right…or at least pushing the right buttons.

  142. mot
    It is a game amongst the Calvinista set to show that you are such a good Christian that you can imagine God creating all sorts of atrocities and then say you “understand” which makes you better than everyone else and surely is proof about your salvation. This stuff turns my stomach. I once met a man who said, with little emotion, that, of course, all babies go to hell because they couldn’t accept Jesus. Totally weirded me out.

    There is a heart missing in these folks or even something worse, terrible fear. They must say this stuff to prove to themselves they are really, really good Christians. Some people in the Reformed movement have an unexpressed concern that they might not be one of the elect so they go into overdrive to prove that they are. It is most sad.

    Babies are loved and protected by the Lord who wishes that none may perish. Most Christians have no problem in this area-only Calvinistas.

  143. Mara
    Of course parents who lose a baby wonder this. That is why the remarks made by that man were so odious. They raise the question of a God who would condemn, for eternity, a little baby. He doesn’t even have the sense to understand how sad he sounds. What a way to view your kids and what a way to view God. Frankly, i was shocked by his confession but am glad he did it on this blog. It will be for used as a example of the extremes of this movement. He is one of the reasons we blog. May he come in form the cold.

  144. JeffB

    So what do you think of women being called gullible and easily deceived? Keep reading over there.And make sure you read the stuff about the ESS doctrine and the patriarchal stuff. It is most “uplifting.”

  145. Rene
    A fair number of Calvinistas like to play the babies aren’t saved game and I still believe God is so good. It is their way of playing a game called I am the best Christian anyone knows because I can believe that God could act like a monster and still believe He is good therefore I must be on of the elect, aren’t I? These are the saddest Christians that I know. Deep down inside they fear that they are not one of the elect and so they must go to these extremes to prove that they are.

  146. Dee, + 1000

    Not all Calvinist espouse this. There is a reason why many churches do infant baptism…

  147. Seeker
    They didn’t make much of an effort. I know what Piper and others think about the mentally handicapped. But they were too darn busy playing T4G to watch what they said about their own doctrine. These are the guys who presume to lecture the rest of us on how we are not as “pure” in our doctrine as they are. They didn’t do what they tell the rest of us to do. Why did it take a “woman” who isn’t supposed to even speak of doctrine in mixed company (according to them there purists) to point it out? Perhaps women are a bit more astute in theology than they give them credit for. I find this whole exercise amusing. I wonder what man’s man wrote it up. I bet it was an understudy because the big boys are too busy signing people up to check their “vaunted” doctrinal statement.

  148. Robin
    I know that many do not. But some do and there are far too many people who keep silent when they sound so self assured in their pronouncement. Sometimes I wonder if those people actually get the faith.

  149. Scott
    I am not doing enough right. I am dying to have them report me to whomever they determine my ecclesiastical masters to be. That would be the highlight of 2012 for me.

  150. In regard to females leading in a church, I realized that MD is breaking his own rules by having Grace write the book with him, go on tour, make TV appearances, and speak during Q&A at church. Also, since the blogs written by her and other pastor’s wives are visible for everyone to see, do they not realize that maybe, just maybe, men will read them to? MD even has his daughter blogging now. Just because Grace doesn’t have the title “pastor” doesn’t mean that she’s not teaching and discipling men. They say that a church is being “unbiblical” when they have female elders, but having Grace speak to millions of people is okay??? Seems like quite the double standard to me.

  151. Sleepless –

    Grace is submitting to her husband in all these things. That is the important part.

    Women can say and do whatever their husbands want them to say and do. If Mark Driscoll wants to write a book about marriage and talk about his wife’s sexual sin and fridigity, then she will write that book with him to lend him credibility. If she needs to go to one public venue after another to further discuss it, she will do that, too.

    I hope the people of TWW are still praying for Grace.

  152. Kathy Escobar has offered to do a special session of Walking Wounded for those who have left Mars Hill. It is a 4-week online workshop designed to help you move through the painful and confusing aftermath of a negative faith-based experience. Please comment or email Sophia if interested. I am looking to find out how much interest there is and then we will put it together.

    In the meantime, there is an amazing series of posts over at Kathy Escobar’s blog entitled Rebuilding after Deconstructing. For me personally, this is an answered prayer. I have decided to work through these posts on my other blog, http://sophiasavedbygrace.blogspot.com/. If anyone would like to join me, I will be spending more time there in the next few weeks. Please know that it is a safe space, and also if you are not ready to face questions about faith that others may have without criticizing or preaching then I ask that you do not participate.
    For more info:
    http://marshillrefuge.blogspot.com/2012/04/walking-wounded.html

  153. Anyone in a pastoral role who would teach that sounds more like a high priest of Moloch than a servant of Jesus. Sacrificing children (and the hearts of grieving families) on the altar of “correct doctrine”.

    “Correct Doctrine” or “Purity of Ideology”?

    The Soviet Union, Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, and Khmer Rouge made a LOT of human sacrifices on the altar of Purity of Ideology. (Enough to make Lord Left-Handed Hummingbird, Lord Smoking Mirror, and Lord Flayed One combined look like amateurs on the pyramids of Tenochtitlan.)

  154. I was appalled at what I saw in comments there that was taken as the norm by others. There were commenters saying things like: When babies are thrown into Hell God will be glorified. — Anon1

    How much of a stretch is it from there to “We Shall Glorify God” by killing babies?

    I kid you not. These are scary people.

    And if that is what God is like (And Who Are You To Disagree With GOD?), doesn’t that make Satan the Hero for rebelling against a God like that? Never mind Anton LaVey or Aliester Crowley, THAT is the essence of Satanism and Diabolism.

  155. For anyone to tell someone that their baby is possibly in Hell is beyond cruel. Who are these people that believe such things??

  156. Dee, you asked Tim Bayly directly yesterday evening “One other point, did you or anyone at your blog really say the following? “So too, at weddings soft words and vibrant colors disguise a bloody truth. The wedding ceremony is really a mini-Versailles, an Appomattox-in-a-nutshell of capitulation and triumph, the surrender of one woman to one man, the victory song of groom over both bride and family.””

    Here’s the direct link:
    http://www.baylyblog.com/2007/11/wooing-as-warfa.html
    It was in a 2007 post.

  157. Victorious Tue, Apr 24 2012 at 07:18 pm

    “Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women.”

    I would exchange two words and then endorse. For me, the first word should be “Egalitarianism” and the last should be “all people.”

  158. Tim Bayly says:

    “But though a potential bride may be deeply loved, she’s also at some level the foe. To achieve victory the young man must not only win her, he must defeat her and her family, snatching her from their bosom, converting her to himself, breaking her natural bonds with father and mother, brother and sister, nurse and friend, dog and home. There’s little that’s tender about it. At funerals we cloak harsh reality in kind words and soft colors. So too, at weddings soft words and vibrant colors disguise a bloody truth. The wedding ceremony is really a mini-Versailles, an Appomattox-in-a-nutshell of capitulation and triumph, the surrender of one woman to one man, the victory song of groom over both bride and family.”

    What kind of insanity is this?

  159. Leila
    I asked him directly in order to start a conversation. There was no response to that one and, as you have demonstrated, it is true. He also twice ignored my question “Have you ever reported anyone who has commented on your blog to their pastor?” If he had not done such a thing, I believe he would have said “Of course not.” Let’s see if he responds today.

  160. Moniker
    First ESS, now this. The Internet Monk is correct. We are living in a post evangelical wilderness.

  161. “breaking her natural bonds with father and mother, brother and sister, nurse and friend, dog and home”

    Does anyone else think it’s particularly weird to include the word ‘nurse’ in there?

    It’s quite distressing to see women in the comments section taking no issue with this description of marriage.

    “a long journey by a man and an espoused virgin with none accompanyine them, with no protection for the woman’s virtue save the man’s honor”.

    It’s always comical to me to hear these courtship types describe things in knights-and-dragons terms. I live down the road from a very ancient castle but no one round here talks that way! It doesn’t bestow the legitimacy or biblicality on their way of life that they think it does.

  162. Sophia:

    You said:”It’s quite distressing to see women in the comments section taking no issue with this description of marriage.”

    One can only imagine what would happen to the woman who shows up at this site, gives an opposing opinion, and her identity be known so she could be tracked down and disciplined.

  163. Sophie

    The poor women who write in on his blog are true believers. I have met the type in my 3 years of blogging. Frankly, you can find people to sign up for any nonsense that you can think up, both within the faith and out. There is a reason so many people killed themselves in Jonestown.

    Nurse? I think someone has been reading Gothic romance novels and taking them to be fact. Oh, she can’t take her dog with her? Hubby must be allergic or, since he is so manly, perhaps he keeps attack dogs. Another strange thing, why is the women the virgin alone? Why is this not mentioned for the manly man?

    I think some of these guys live such mundane lives that they need to think up a Christian form of Dungeons and Dragons and live in the story. There is an old saying amongst mental health workers. “Hypochondriacs build castles in the air; Neurotics see them, Psychotics liven them.”

  164. Wondering if anyone else has read Frank Viola’s essay, “Reimagining a Woman’s Role in Church“ It’s very good and makes a lot of sense to me. He does a masterful job of explaining the historical context of the two “limiting passages” pertaining to women in the church (1 Cor. 14:34-35 and 1 Tim. 2:11-14). If you have the time, I’d encourage you to read it. Here’s the link: http://frankviola.org/role.pdf

  165. I think some of these guys live such mundane lives that they need to think up a Christian form of Dungeons and Dragons and live in the story.

    I wish somebody HAD turned these guys onto D&D instead of Calvinism/ Complementarianism/ End Time Prophecy/ YEC/ Spiritual Warfare/ fill-in-the-blank. They’d be more honest about their role-playing. They could HONESTLY play 20th-level Wizards & Clerics fighting demons and monsters without forcing all the rest of us into their LARPing as zero-level NPCs and Orcs, free for the ant-stomping.

    Hmmm… Think all the “DEE AND DEE IS SAY-TANN-IC!” panic was about killing off the competiton?

  166. P.S.

    With some of the Spiritual Warfare types, I can’t tell what ruleset they’re LARPing — D&D Manual of the Planes or Call of Cthulhu.

    And the End Time Prophecy/Culture War types? Toss-up between D&D and Warhammer 40K.

  167. Moniker –

    Jon Zens has a good book called “What’s With Paul and Women” that is excellent as well. It has a forward by Wade Burleson. :) This little book delves into the same scriptures.

  168. Dee: I was once asked the same question your pastor was asked at a NCCJ Conference for Seminarians. The Chicago Statement had just been published and the Jewish NCCJ representative organizing the conference asked me if I thought she was going to hell if she didn’t accept Christ. A fast prayer to the Holy Spirit produced the correct answer. I replied,”my job as a minister is making Jesus attractive to everyone I meet. That’s how I’m going to be judged when I stand before God. I’ll be judged on how well I did it.” She accepted this statement and said, “I wish every evangelical had your attitude.” I apologized for the number of times she’d been hurt.” Kudos to your pastor. Keep blogging sisters.

  169. elastigirl –

    My point was that complementarianism, whether one believes it or not, is NOT a gospel issue. I read Victorious’s comment as saying that it WAS a gospel issue, so I asked for elaboration. My apologies to Victorious if I am mistaken.

    I’m appalled that you, as a woman, were in any way treated as not as valuable as a man, and you have my sympathy. However, I don’t think that the Bible always treats the roles of men and women as interchangeable. I realize, though, that this belief can be abused to demean women, and that is reprehensible. An example of this is not allowing women to read Scripture out loud during a service. And there are much worse ways, I know.

    I agree with dee that it is a secondary issue, at best, that some are trying to make into a primary one. What I consider to be primary is what I mentioned in my comment: That men and women are saved in the same way (e.g. Gal. 3:27-28). This, I think is a genuine gospel issue, and one that they ignore. I wouldn’t mind some feedback on this.

  170. Well, Dee it looks like the Bayly brothers blog now proves that Driscoll isn’t the most absurd person out there. Who knew?

    The Bayly quote about women leaving their families is a bit off base since the bible talks in terms of a man leaving his family and cleaving to his wife. It isn’t the other way around. Do these guys think women should be cut off from their families to be grafted into his?

    As for patriarchal societies… how did that work out? Should men start having concubines and multiple wives again? If we are going to go Old testament then let’s go all the way folks! Stop choosing which thing you can keep or do away with. Let’s bring back concubines, multiple wives, and while we are at it we can all go on the Jerry Springer show because who doesn’t think some of David’s mishaps aren’t aired DAILY on daytime trash talk shows?

  171. Robin,
    That’s the whole point with the Baylys.

    In their own minds, they truely believe that they are defenders of (banned word alert!) ‘biblical’ truth.
    The problem with their ‘biblical’ truth is that they have to ignore large portions of the Bible that say otherwise. And much of what they ignore are the very words of Jesus Christ, Himself.
    They rob Jesus, subverting His words, in order to twist Paul’s words and support their false, self-serving doctrines.
    They are greatly deceived and work tirelessly to bring as many into the darkness of their deceptions as they can, believing that, somehow, they are pleasing God in all of their efforts built on sand.

  172. I’m new here but I’ve been reading alot and just had to chime in on this use of the word “Gospel.” Hubby and I are making a quick exodus from our local SGM church of 10 years and I cannot tell you how many times I sat in a service and wondered what in the heck they meant by “Gospel.” It was used so much in so many ways that the word itself was treated like a holy sacrament or something. Its meaning seemed relative to whatever seemed important in the pastor’s mind, that maybe by adding “Gospel” it would somehow make it more important. Lots of emphasis on the word “Cross” as well and very little on the empty tomb. I always thought the gospel was the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord. Period.

  173. Wizer,

    Welcome to TWW! We are here for the those who have been hurt, and that’s the gospel truth! Sorry, couldn’t resist…

    I wholeheartedly agree with your comment. The word “gospel” has been overused and misapplied by those whom we call Calvinistas. That’s why we are harping on it.

    You wrote:

    “Lots of emphasis on the word “Cross” as well and very little on the empty tomb. I always thought the gospel was the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord. Period.”

    Since you are new to our blog, I want to recommend the following post, which you likely haven’t seen since it is buried in our archives.

    Living the Cross Centered Life: A Deficient Gospel

    Please continue to chime in!

  174. I’ve been lurking around for a while, & may even have commented before…I found out about you through Eagle & HUG over at iMonk (hi guys). It’s a relief to know that others feel the same way I do about the Calvinistas & their ‘ideas’. Seriously, the post from the Reverend who doesn’t know if his disabled children will go to hell is full of ultimate sadness, as well as being totally chilling. As long as I live, the acceptance of these ideas, even the glorying in them, will never be comprehensible to me.

    Why would anyone have children if this was the case? It has something to do with why I’ve never had any.

    Keep up the good work ladies, or as Chaplain Mike joked the other day (in a great post) vexatious vixens. I can see t-shirts coming on.

  175. Beakerj,

    Welcome! Eagle and HUG are special to us, and they add so much to our discussion.

    Thanks for alerting us about the post where Chaplain Mike uses the terminology Vexatious Vixens. Here the link to the I-Monk article which I highly recommend.

    Esau Christianity

    What an accurate description of “Masculine Christianity”.

  176. Caleb,

    Thanks for the link to the T4G Band of Bloggers discussion. Just remember…

    EDIFY, EDIFY, EDIFY!!!

  177. Last night I couldn’t stop thinking about this part of the T4G Affirmations and Denials:

    “We further deny that any Church can confuse these issues without damaging its witness to the Gospel”

    Now. I think a fair case can be made that Luke 4:16-20 reveals Jesus’ personal mission statement (his version of “Affirmation and Denials”, if you will).

    16He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

    18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to preach good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
    to release the oppressed,
    19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”e
    20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

    I think this is a pretty great description of the Gospel. It sure is good news!

    Going back to that bit plucked from the T4G Affirmations and Denials:

    “We further deny that any Church can confuse these issues without damaging its witness to the Gospel”… in light of Jesus’ own “mission statement” (and taken out of the original T4G context) what would you guess these damaging issues to be?

    Maybe putting women back under the oppression of patriarchal systems? Denying grieving families the assurance of God’s overwhelming love and care for their little ones? Perhaps it could be creating a hierarchy where we are refused access to the body and blood of Jesus (the Lord’s Supper) unless we put ourselves back under the authority of men?

    Does any of that sound like Good News to you? To me, it just looks like the fruit of people who have confused the issues and are damaging the witness of the Gospel.

  178. Rene asked: “Does any of that sound like Good News to you?”

    No, so much of what these guys teach is what I now refer to as the “sucks to be you” gospel. It may look like good news to them because they have all the power and authority, but they haven’t a notion of what it’s like to be the “least among you.” And unless it’s good new for the least, it isn’t good news at all.

  179. Mot – (and others who may have the same question)

    I have lost 3 babies through miscarriage and the idea of those three very real, very wanted CHILDREN not being with me in heaven is very sad. That’s why it matters. To moms like me.

    I also have 3 living children. One of which is disabled. It matters to me very much when people say that the mentally handicapped cannot choose Christ, and are therefore locked out of the kingdom of heaven. I choose to believe that even those children/adults who cannot consciously “choose” Christ meet with HIM in some personal, sweet way. Only God knows how, but I believe in a merciful God who knows so much more and is capable of so much more than the box we’d like to put Him in.

    And yes, the comment above from the so-called father of a handicapped child chilled me to the bone. I cannot fathom.

  180. True Words
    Every Tuesday I go to school, for me. These handicapped, nonverbal young adults and teens teach me about Jesus. As I look into their eyes, I see Him gazing back out at me. I believe that the least of these will reign in heaven and some of these self assured Calvinistas will spend eternity serving them.

  181. Deb
    Some of our readers should go over there and leave the inane comments that they desire. How wonderful! How great your writing is! How incredible! It’s all so very, very nice. So sweet.Indubitably! Totally and thoroughly and absolutely concur. You are right, always right.

    They are rather dull, wouldn’t you say? No iron sharpening iron in this group. They are so nice that they are dull. No sharp edges allowed.

  182. HUG – re. you D&D reference, I think that “prayer walking” and various types of “strategic-level spiritual warfare” actually are a “real life” form of D&D amongst their adherents.

    It’s a lot like belonging to an authoritarian (well, totalitarian) political movement – gives meaning and purpose (supposedly) to those whose lives are otherwise pretty ordinary.

    And it’s hella SCARY. (Been there, done that re. certain aspects of Third Wave-ism, though at times, I remember feeling like the whole deal was a complete sham and actually quite similar to the rituals of many “pagans – am using that word in an almost sarcastic manner – whose beliefs the “spiritual warfare” people claim to deplore… something that many who identify as Wiccan, pagan etc. have been quick to point out – and correctly so!)

    [/sigh] I’d better stop ranting about this; it’s all part of my time in D.C. and I am so very glad I’m both physically and emotionally removed from the environments where I encountered these weird beliefs.

    Combine with calvinista-ism and KA-BOOM!!! (I saw that happening in the early 00s, before I left town for where I’m now living.)

  183. HUG – forgot to say that it would truly be a better world if the people who are so gone on spiritual warfare would take up My Little Pony fandom. (*Not* meant sarcastically!)

  184. One other thought – that whole “conscious choice” thing makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.

    Who is to say that those who cannot communicate – or respond in any way that’s apparent to our eyes – have no awareness of God? (Or of many, many other things besides?)

    I feel that it’s presumptuous at best to make those kinds of claims. We know so very little about the workings of the brain – and mind – as it is; are we now at the point where we can dissect consciousness (and souls) in the same way that beginning biology students do with frogs?

    My answer to that is absolutely NOT.

    I know that any evidence I could submit is anecdotal and thus not scientifically verifiable, but I suspect that there are many in the scientific community who would clearly state that there is little on this earth that can be verified (vs. the amount of things that cannot be).

    Besides all that… are we now some kind of almighty god(s), that we can claim to know what only God can know?

  185. SMG –

    Thanks for the feedback. My only point is that, when it comes to the gospel, what Scripture emphasizes is the equality of men and women. These guys attach “gospel” to so many things, it would be nice if they attached it to gospel things also.

    Yeah, I saw Pyro. I even valiantly submitted a comment, which was, of course, deleted. What’s maddening is that Turk’s post, which I think is pretty good, is not that different from my comment a while ago that got Turk to call me a “conspiracy theorist.” It even involves the same two people! Oy!

  186. Dee and Deb –

    I noticed on the Band of Bloggers audio that the guys were all excited about an academic paper (don’t recall the author) that is being written on blogging. That should be interesting.

  187. HowDee YaAll,

    “The author of this post needs to ‘repent’ of both her ‘arrogance’, and for her ‘false witness’ against these brethren, in her zeal to refute them…” -Rev Tony Breeden, aka blogger: “siriusknotts”

    With all due respect, when the smoke clears this time Reverend Tony , remember what the Bear in the wood, preciously asked: “You’re not REALLY here for the hunting, are you?”

    hmmm…

    …I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a more… ‘sirius’ case of pastoral cognitive disequilibrium.

    (sadface)

    S㋡py
    ___
    Comic relief: Eddy Arnold-“Smokey The Bear Song” 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goEozOAQ6yI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Bonus: “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt?”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kw4j8noltU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Lead brain alert: “I guess pastors don’t really havta make any sense?” Whatz da protocol anyway?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3r4eeqYu-Q&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  188. Bridget2
    The “academics” will decided it is a sin and will condemn those who do it. They will prove that they are right in disciplining bloggers.It will be the ESS of the blogging world. Yawnnnnn,

  189. Has anyone read “Blight in the Vineyard”? It stretches your thinking and analyzing of church experiences, giving you new ideas about what is going in the church these days.

    Eagle –

    I hope you’re doing okay with everything right now.

    I think you would enjoy this book and it might help you put some of your church experiences in perspective, while also giving you some new ideas to chew on.

  190. Dee –

    Well . . . if they do that, they will all need to stop blogging as well, since they all have blogs. I thought it was amusing that someone needs to write a paper about it.

  191. Bridget2
    It will be a Ken Ham peer reviewed paper. You see, Ken allows papers to be peer reviewed by those who agree with him. Totally misses the point. The Calvinista review board-soooo academic, sooo impartial.

  192. I’m new here so bear wih me but i just don’t understand Sopwith’s cryptic posts. Is that by design or am I missing something? Maybe I’m not Wizer after all,

  193. Wizer
    Sopy has a unique way of communicating. Look carefully and you will some very interesting stuff. Sopy knows more than many about the ins and outs of certain Calvinistas.Plus, Sopy cares very deeply.

  194. Dee, Deb and all

    People talk about so much “reformed theology” these days. What is it? The only reformation I know is of Martin Luther a few centuries ago.

    Please help me understand. Thanks.

  195. Jedidiah, like most code words, “Reformed Theology” has a special meaning. (Otherwise it would just be protestant theology, since all forms of Protestantism have their roots in the Reformation. No, Reformed in these circles refers specifically to Calvinism, and fairly “high” Calvinism at that, i.e. a form of Calvinism that puts a strong emphasis on God’s sovereignty as His most important attribute (as a non-Calvinist I would say it was His love). It is very important to them that nothing in any way should limit God’s absolute rule, so they believe strongly in predestination and that salvation is 100% of God and 0% of man’s free will. Hence the acronym TULIP commonly used to summarise this position:

    T–total depravity (man in his wickedness cannot save himself
    U — unconditional election (God chooses who He wants to save on a completely arbitrary basis)
    L — limited atonement (Jesus only died for the ones that God has chosen to be saved)
    I — irresistible grace (when God chooses to save you, you’re saved — you have no power to refuse
    P — perseverance of the saints (you can’t be un-saved, once you’re in you’re in)

    hope that helps, I’ve tried to be fair, though I’m sure others could improve :)

  196. Lynne –

    I was just thinking about the the connection of God’s sovereignty and Calvinism this morning. Many Reformed believers, and specifically those who adore Calvin, have taken this one attribute of God and elevated it to “first importance.” They tend to negate or rank His attributes as if one will carrry more weight than another. For Piper, God’s sovereignty, glory, and holiness, seem to be the ranking to the detriment of God’s other attributes some of which are his love, mercy, and justice. For me, one of the mysteries of God is how all his attributes work together perfectly to display his perfection. If I ranked his attributes, love would rank high considering the love God displayed toward man in his saving act on the cross.

  197. Lynne Tait
    You wrote an excellent comment to help Jedediah. I am at a meeting and I appreciate you providing this info since I am trying to listen to speaker and respond to comments. Thank you.

  198. I was just thinking about the the connection of God’s sovereignty and Calvinism this morning. Many Reformed believers, and specifically those who adore Calvin, have taken this one attribute of God and elevated it to “first importance.” They tend to negate or rank His attributes as if one will carrry more weight than another. For Piper, God’s sovereignty, glory, and holiness, seem to be the ranking to the detriment of God’s other attributes some of which are his love, mercy, and justice. — Bridget2

    Result:
    A God who is Omnipotent but NOT benevolent.
    Just like Islam.

  199. Lynn Tate,

    Thanks for your reply. Does this TULIP thing come from John Calvin himself? or some folks just tag it onto his name over the years? I personally believe in human responsibility; we all have to be accountable to our actions. Why is the so-called “reformed theology” band so controversial? and confusing, to me?

  200. Jedidiah – I highly recommend Michael Horton’s book “For Calvinism.” He knows the difference between the real thing and the false one.

    Lynne Tait – Since you humbly said “others could improve”: God doesn’t do anything that’s arbitrary. He always has a reason, even if we don’t know what it is.

    It’s true that when God saves you, you’re saved. But “you have no power to refuse” doesn’t mean that He drags people into the Kingdom kicking and screaming. (I know you didn’t say this, but it could be inferred.) When people are made alive by the Spirit, they see the goodness of God and they choose Him.

    Interestingly, Calvin never stressed the importance of predestination; Luther did. And the Five Points were drawn up by Calvin’s supporters after his death to counter the followers of Arminius. This is not to say that Calvin didn’t believe in these things. He just didn’t make them the main things. Calvin was more “mainstream” than people think. He was more an organizer than an innovator.

    Also, the word “Calvinism” was coined by supporters of Luther who disagreed with the Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper, which was mainly drawn up by Calvin. “Reformed” refers to the views of others besides Calvin, though Calvin is at the forefront. And, yes, God’s sovereignty is given high value in Reformed thinking, but it also believes in man’s free will. And it doesn’t pretend that it knows exactly where one ends and the other begins.

  201. I wrote my last comment before I saw the two preceding ones. Looks like the Holy Spirit integrated mine with the others.

  202. JeffB, thanks for your post.

    Would you or anyone else explain the difference between Luther and Calvin concerning the Lord’s Supper or Communion? Thanks.

    I have got a lot to learn.

  203. HUG said
    “Result:
    A God who is Omnipotent but NOT benevolent.”
    For the record— in the 18 affirmations and denials about the “Good News” by T4 “gospel”, there is not one– nada–zip–null-and-void affirmation or indication that God is GOOD – in any way, shape, form, or synonym.

  204. dee –

    Your remark at 4/24 10:57 PM is interesting. Sometimes it does seem like Piper, particularly, likes to point out the worst things (from our pov) that God allows.

    Yet we can’t deny that, for His own purposes, which we may not always see, God does sometimes allow these things. Like Psalm 137:9 (which came to my attention via, natch, Piper): “How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock.” This speaks of retribution for Babylon’s doing the same thing to Israel. And, of course, God’s commands to Israel to destroy even the children of the Canaanites for their parents’ idol worship. Now, of course, we are commanded to love our enemies.

    Concerning babies in hell: I recall reading Dante’s “Inferno,” and coming to the passage where Dante and his guide, Virgil, are touring the outer ring (least bad) of hell. They come across crying babies, and Virgil calmly explains that they are babies who died before they were baptized. At that point, I closed the book and threw it against the farthest wall. Never opened it again, masterpiece or not.

  205. Dave –

    I found that entire T4G a&d document dreadfully depressing and cold. It was as if there was no real relationship between God, mankind, and believers conveyed. It was just the “letter of the law” me.

    Jesus came to proclaim the Good News (the Gospel) and went about doing good while on earth!

  206. JeffB
    What God allows and what God desires may not be the same. I believe that Piper and his devotees play a game of “I am surely elect because I accept the worse thing one can imagine, say God ordained it, and I have no problem accepting it.” Sometimes, it appears to me that Piper creates a heinous God who destroys bridges and people so that John Piper will repent. (he did say this). Piper is the Howard Stein shock jock of Christendom.I believe that it could stem out of a fear that perhaps he may not be one of the elect. So, he goes to extreme lengths to prove his devotion so that, for sure, he is one of the elect.
    I ueed to like Piper in the early 90s. I now think he has gone too far down the road. He sometimes appears just a little mad to me.

  207. I would like to caution those who have been injured by Calvinistas against creating strawmen of Reformed Theology. My brother, once a Calvinist, was run out of two churches for simply being a youth ministry. No discussion of TULIP. No discussion of predestination. The reason he was ran out of the churches (SBC, btw) was simply because of a gargantuan misunderstanding of Reformed Theology coupled with fear of the unknown, salted with a dash of ignorance.

    Arminian theology, in my own personal experience (SBC/UPC/AG), is just as capable of warping theology. For instance, salvation is many times based on how you feel at a given moment about God, which is why altar calls and revivals are so important. I’ve been told hundreds of times, “If you just 99.99% sure, then you’re not sure.” Emotional manipulation is not a good thing.

    Michael Horton’s book “For Calvinism” is fantastic. The “Against Calvinism” is also good, but I find Horton to be a better writer.

  208. Jedidiah, JeffB –

    Michael Horton’s book “For Calvinism” has a companion book, also published by Zondervan – “Against Calvinism” by Roger Olson.

    I haven’t read either one, so this is just a FYI. (I do like Roger Olson a lot, however.)

  209. JeffB Rene
    I, too love Roger Olson. I also like Horton. I think these two books would be great to read together.

  210. Concerning babies in hell: I recall reading Dante’s “Inferno,” and coming to the passage where Dante and his guide, Virgil, are touring the outer ring (least bad) of hell. They come across crying babies, and Virgil calmly explains that they are babies who died before they were baptized. At that point, I closed the book and threw it against the farthest wall. Never opened it again, masterpiece or not. — JeffB

    Dante Aligheri was reflecting a widespread theological belief of his time. The belief was that without being Baptized, you could not enter the presence of God. (This was the rationale behind infant baptism, based on the Western-Rite idea of “Original Sin”. Required Baptism could often cross the line into superstition and get really weird.) These “babies in Hell” were those who died unbaptized; they were not in Hell per se, but “Limbo” (in Dante’s cosmology the outermost circle of Hell) with the Virtuous Pagans and others who were righteous in human wisdom but unbaptized. The only “torment” in Limbo was those virtuous pagans and unbaptized babies could not see the face of God or enter Heaven proper; other than that there was nothing bad happening to them.

  211. HUG –

    Of course it will be. If they want a real review they could send it to Dee and Deb. They haven’t the courage, though, to ALLOW God to use women to speak to them.

  212. Mara — feel free to use anything you like!

    I spent 20 years in a Calvinist church (Presbyterian Church of Australia) Mostly I encountered ‘soft’ Calvinists, who were very nuanced in their application of these principles. The internet Calvinistas tend to be a different breed — much fiercer and less nuanced, and much more likely to take the sovereignty of God all the way to a reductio ad absurdum (i.e. take the trajectory as far as they can push it, no matter how silly their end point is. Very sad.Soft Calvinists tend to be human and compassionate, hard Calvinists are very scary.

    Having said all this, the point where I finally broke with Calvinism was when I went to the funeral of a new born baby, and the whole sermon was on the perfection of God’s ways, without a word of comfort for the grieving parents. That, for me, was the beginning of a massive rethink, and basically turning away from over-systematised theology.

  213. HUG
    I cannot imagine how anyone can say that such a paper is peer reviewed and keep a straight face. But there are suckers born every minute and some of these groups know it and pander to them.

  214. Birdget2
    Hmm, like the idea “If they want a real review they could send it to Dee and Deb.” Dee and Deb’s Peer Review is now officially open for business.

  215. Lynne Tait
    The perfection of God at the funeral of a baby? These guys are doctrinally fixated and have lost their hearts just like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz-“If they only had a heart”

  216. It was the Tin Man that needed a heart.
    The Scarecrow needed a brain.

    But I agree. God is love. God has a heart. It is too bad that these Calvinists are not imitators of God in this area.

  217. HUG-

    Thanks for the clarification. I vaguely recall that Virgil assured Dante that he would go to heaven. In light of the babies not going to heaven, this particularly annoyed me because Dante was supposedly a womanizer who cheated on his wife countless times. Since works was (is) figured to be a component of salvation in the Catholic church, Dante seemed to be absurdly, but not surprisingly, complacent about his salvation. True?

    dee and Rene –

    I read “Against Calvinism.” I agree with Red. Even allowing for my bias, I think it’s clear that Horton’s book is better written. I commented about this earlier on another post: Olson makes some good points, but, like Dave Hunt, he often resorts to emotion, saying, basically, “God can’t mean this because I can’t accept it!” At one point, he writes that, if it were revealed to him without any doubt that God was the way that Calvinists saw Him, he would not worship Him! (p. 85)

    dee –

    You wrote “What God allows and what God desires may not be the same.” I should have written that. The “old” Piper wrote an excellent essay on the subject.

  218. Very sad.Soft Calvinists tend to be human and compassionate, hard Calvinists are very scary. — Lynne Tait

    Hard Calvinists always remind me of classic Communists. Purity of Ideology, to which reality must submit.

    Having said all this, the point where I finally broke with Calvinism was when I went to the funeral of a new born baby, and the whole sermon was on the perfection of God’s ways, without a word of comfort for the grieving parents. — Lynne Tait

    Again, Purity of Ideology, The Party Line without regard to insignificant details such as the grieving parents.

    I cannot imagine how anyone can say that such a paper is peer reviewed and keep a straight face. — Dee

    Again, Ees Peer Reviewed, Comrades. Ees Party Line, Comrades.

    That was a good explanation of Limbo. — Dee

    Actually, that was how I understood Dante wrote it. What I understand of Limbo was that it was a theoretical state to explain the status of unbaptized babies. (Remember the meme of Baptism as a necessary part of Salvation.) It was always theoretical, and in the last century the Church abandoned the idea. (“I wonder what happened to all the babies in Limbo? I hope they got promoted.” — George Carlin) I think now the idea is that unbaptized babies and virtuous pagans are under God’s mercy in some unknown manner.

    I vaguely recall that Virgil assured Dante that he would go to heaven. In light of the babies not going to heaven, this particularly annoyed me because Dante was supposedly a womanizer who cheated on his wife countless times. Since works was (is) figured to be a component of salvation in the Catholic church, Dante seemed to be absurdly, but not surprisingly, complacent about his salvation. True? — JeffB

    I know little of Dante’s personal life. However, in Inferno most of the denizens of Hell that are picked out in the narrative were personal and/or political enemies of Dante — as Christian Monist put it once, Inferno is Dante’s personal shit list.

    And Martha of Ireland once remarked in an Internet Monk guest post that Dante put one Pope — St Peter — in Heaven, another in Purgatory, and all the rest in Hell. (Televangelists, Calvinistas, and other Protestant Popes and wanna-be Popes take notice.)

    Everybody: Inferno is only the first book in Dante’s Divine Comedy trilogy. The other two volumes are Purgatorio and Paradiso, covering Purgatory and Heaven. However, Inferno is the juiciest so that’s the only one anybody remembers.

  219. HUG – great take on Dante!

    He’s definitely worth reading, but it helps to have a well-annotated translation, so that some of the nuances HUG mentioned come through. (If you read the notes, natch! ;))

  220. Also, JeffB, where did you get the bit about Dante cheating on his wife “countless times”? (am being serious, not sarcastic.)

    He did fall in love with Beatrice Portinari when he was a very young man, but he barely got to exchange two words with her throughout his life, and he and his wife, Gemma, were contracted to each other by their parents while they were still children. (A common marriage strategy at that time; about social standing and alliances with other families, not about what we think of as romantic love at all.)

  221. I keep wondering which level of the inferno I shall be confined to when all is said and done. If Neo-Platonic and Medieval theology are indeed the Almighty’s revelation to humans, I’m fucked.

  222. oops – Dante met Beatrice when they were both young children.

    (These things happen, y’know.)

  223. numo –

    I was thinking of this sentence from Harold Bloom’s book, “Genius”: “Dante, who has Francesca and her Paolo down in Hell for adultery, was widely noted for his venery, in regard to women very different (in his view) from the sacred Beatrice.”

    I also recall reading something similar elsewhere (can’t remember where), with the added observation that Dante treated his wife as little better than a servant.

    An Internet search hasn’t turned up anything except that little seems to be known about his private life.

    HUG –

    Interesting, and funny, info about Dante. Thanks.

  224. Thanks for recommending the two books on Calvinism for me, one by Roger Olson and the other by Michael Horton. I will check these out to learn more.

    Again, thanks for your help.

  225. HUG – great take on Dante! — Dee

    Something else about Dante’s Inferno I just remembered (and which may have bearing on today’s Evangelicalism):

    All the damned in Hell want to talk about to Dante is POLITICS, POLITICS, POLITICS. Specifically, the Hot Juicy Political Gossip regarding Italian City-States of the period. (Anyone remember that nowadays?) They even prophesy to Dante about near-future Italian City-State Politics and nothing else.

  226. HUG – possibly because Dante was very involved in politics himself? (And exiled from Florence, too.)