How Do The Gospel Coalition, Jared Wilson and Doug Wilson Define Missional?

"And beauty immortal awakes from the tomb." James Beattie

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Well, the hoopla over the Doug Wilson quote has died down since Jared Wilson apologized and deleted the post.  I am glad that he did so and I think the apology was a nice touch. However, and with TWW there is always a however, I have a confession to make. Although I found the quote deplorable, I had far bigger concerns that went well beyond the quote. In fact, dare I say these concerns eclipse even the quote itself?

Here is the problem. After the brouhaha started last week, Jared, along with Doug Wilson, started responding in a perplexing way for those who claim to want to be missional, the latest “it” word in the Calvinista lexicon.  Jared tweeted "You can lead someone with poor reading comprehension skills to context, but you can't make them think. " (Tweet-7/14-presumably aimed at some of our readers who dared to disagree with him.)

I was really mad when I read it. In fact, I replied to his tweet : I suggest you read 1 Peter 3:9 “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

I want to clarify my response. I do not believe that our readers either insulted him or were evil. But, I think that this was how he, along with Doug, perceived the disagreement. In fact, On Wednesday I will show you that this is exactly how Doug Wilson felt. My response was meant to get him to think in a “Biblical” manner about his tweet and comments. Of course, there was no response.  (I am beginning to love this twitter stuff).

Today is Part One of this post. On Wednesday, Lord willing, I shall write Part 2. Today I hope to explain to you how Deb and I view blogging and why I think the “band of bloggers” over at The Gospel Coalition could “take a clue” from us. Yes, I am saying that the men can, and should, learn something from two women.

When I first became a Christian, at the age of 17 during an episode of Star Trek, it was like a light had invaded my dark and confusing non-Christian world in Salem, Massachusetts. I knew few Christians and my parents thought I went off the deep end. And so I began to search for Christian books to read. I found some at my local library. The Cross and The Switchblade made me cry. Then I found CS Lewis and, through his remarkable eyes, I began to understand more and more about this incredible life to which I was called. He rent the curtain over my eyes to reveal a world far beyond the present and physical. In a book of his quotes I read this and my life was forever changed.

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.” CS Lewis The Weight of Glory.

Suddenly, everyone who crossed my path became those immortal beings. I would look at the policeman, the cashier, the lady pushing her grocery basket as unimaginable immortals. To this very day, I think of people who cross my path in this way. Last year, my husband and I gave a talk for a large group of medical students. I presented this quote along with a challenge. I told them that there are many people who are on the periphery of their lives at the hospital such as the man who mops the floors and the woman who collects the dirty tray at the end of the conveyer belt in the hospital. These are the unnoticed ones. I asked them if they have ever tried to meet that woman behind the wall to see what she looks like or did they ever try learn the name of the man who sweeps the floors? Surely their name are known to our Father who dearly loves them. Why don't we love them as well?

I offered two $50 gift certificates to the first two people who could talk to one of the “overlooked” people and send me a picture of their encounter. Two hours later, a student texted me a picture of him standing with a smiling George, the man who collects the carts at Walmart. He texted that George is trying to earn enough money to bring his family to the States from Jamaica. He talked of his loneliness and, surprisingly (to the student) he said he really liked his job.  The medical student said, “You are right. George is not a mere mortal. I learned something tonight. Thank you for challenging me.”

My husband cringes when I walk into McDonalds during road trips. I usually end up meeting people and talking to them in the line. He knows that a 10-minute stop will often turn into 30 minutes. I love people and often try to imagine them as they will be. It is during these times I become missional in my thinking. I try to understand others, what makes them tick, and when and if, the time is right, I may discuss my faith in such a way as to intrigue, not to offend.

I, as well as Deb, look at our blog in the same way. We wonder about every last person who visits us and  imagine what they look like, what their story is and consider ourselves blessed to have encountered them, even the grouchy ones. Grouchy people may not know this but they have the ability to make us laugh, at times.  Our lives are richer for the presence of all readers, even if we differ on issues of the faith. People have shared a bit of themselves with us and we do not take that for granted, ever. Neither of us ever imagined such wonderful people wanting to dialogue with us. Thank you all so much!

This blog is not a place for us to merely pontificate although we are growing rather adept at that, much to the dismay of those we discuss. Yes, theology is important. Even more so is love, respect and honor. This is not a blog for certain kinds of Christians. It is a blog for all types of people. Hopefully, through our writings, you can understand who we are and why we love our faith so much that we want to protect it from those who might use it for their own selfish purposes. Never forget that all of you are prayed for and, sometimes, cried over. There is many a day in which I pace my kitchen, angry at those in the church who have hurt so many wonderful people.

That is why I have been stupefied by the responses of the very leaders of The Gospel Coalition.  These are the ones who have lectured all of us on becoming MISSIONAL and write books and attend conference after conference on being missional I do not know what the Wilsons were doing when they answered the comments of those who were hurt by the quote.  But I will say this loud and clear-Jared and Doug Wilson were NOT missional. And that is what I cannot comprehend.

But, I am beginning to think that they define missional very, very differently than we do at The Wartburg Watch. I will elaborate on what I think they really mean by missional on Wednesday.

However, in the short term, I want to make a strong statement. It was deplorable for the Wilsons and other commenters to tell the many people who disagreed with the infamous quote that they had poor reading comprehension or that they needed ESL. The ESL statement was particularly despicable since it has racial and cultural overtones. Since Jared writes a blog, I have to assume that this sort of response is the Calvinista version of missional. If so, I do not expect hordes to be dashing to join such churches in the near future.

Jared Wilson said he would be happy to take emails from people about this issue. I sent him one on Friday but, unfortunately, have not received an answer. I will do my best to represent the email here. I forgot to keep a copy since it was sent at his site. I end the post with this unanswered note.

Hi Jared,

I wanted to let you know that I am deeply disturbed about the responses you made to my readers who commented on your blog. In fact, I think these responses are far more important and concerning than the actual post. Your comments about their lack of reading comprehension were particularly troubling. The Gospel Coalition claims to emphasize missional but your responses were anything but missional.

I received an email from a man who said that your response to him demonstrates the reason that he no longer trusts pastors. For others, who have been deeply hurt by the church, your response was one more slap upside the head.

Richard Wurmbrand once said, “When you crush a flower, it rewards you by giving you back its perfume. When you crush a Christian, he rewards you by giving you back his love.” I pray that this will be the case in the future.

I wish you God's blessings.

Dee Parsons

Lydia's Corner: Malachi 3:1-4:6 Revelation 22:1-21 Psalm 150:1-6 Proverbs 31:25-3

 

 

Comments

How Do The Gospel Coalition, Jared Wilson and Doug Wilson Define Missional? — 151 Comments

  1. Dee –

    Thank you for this.

    To elaborate on my comment from the last thread, this site is a safe place to come and sit – and speak – and listen.

    And the blogs of the New Reformed are not. If I were so inclined to comment there, I would need to armor up.

    I hope Jared answers you. It’s amazing how snide and even cruel these guys and their followers can get in their comments and responses. It is one of the reasons that I am pretty much done with “church”. For me, I have yet to find a church that feels safe.

    As to the ‘missional’ label, you guys do far more to dialogue with a diverse group than they do. I’m not sure they can even imagine having a dialogue with people like you do.

    Their use of the term ‘missional’ highlights one of the reasons I am so tired of labels to describe everything…’missional’, ‘biblical’, ‘gospel’, ‘godly’, ‘plain meaning’….they use – or rather abuse – these terms so much they are losing their meaning. I think this loss of meaning is even happening within their own ranks so that they don’t even really always understand exactly what is being said when they talk amongst themselves.

  2. Hey, I knew we had something in common — C S Lewis was my first mentor in the faith too (I became a Christian sitting on my own in a room with a Bible, age 16 — long story) Even though there are a few areas where I disagree with him, I still believe that the early baptism of my imagination protected me from some of the more sterilising errors of evangelicalism.

    My suspicion, and I’m not too well acquainted with either of the Messrs Wilson, so it is a suspicion, is that this flows right from the heart of Calvinism on 2 levels:
    1) the elect are going to come to Christ anyway
    2) their understanding of ‘truth’ defines their understanding of love. I once had a church leader seriously tell me that the most loving thing he could do for other people was to tell them they were wrong. That he might be wrong in his assessment, or that the person might be more in need of comfort than condemnation, never entered his thinking

    Which leads me into something I can only give as an impression, but I am increasingly suspecting that the ‘God’ these people promote is first and foremost a doctrine policeman who is much more severe with people who fail to get their intellectual framework correct than He is with whether they are loving in any sense that a normal person would understand the word

    But what would I know? I’m a woman and one of those heretical egalitarians

  3. The word heretic is coming to the same end as the word gospel — both words have lost their meaning due to excessive over use.

  4. Dee: “My response was meant to get him to think in a “Biblical” manner about his tweet and comments. Of course, there was no response.”

    Of course. It’s that xtra X chromosome of yours – and, the fact that you are a member of the well-known discernmentalist diva mafia.

  5. Part of “Biblically Missional” may be to remember, “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply–and how good is a timely word!” Prov 15:23. I, for my part, forget this.
    Your Wurmbrand quote reminded me that we never really know which word we speak will be “timely” to someone else. I can quote only one thing from Wurmbrand by heart, which was not in his book proper, but the epilogue. Speaking of his own writings in that very same book, he said, “I wonder if you disagree with many of the thoughts expressed in this book. I, for my part, disagree.”

  6. Anon

    Thank you for reminding me of “discernment diva” and adding mafia. I shall add that to our list of What the World is Saying About TWW!

  7. Absolutely beautiful post. The internet is showing us how low class, base and shallow much of institutional Christianity really is. I have seen some really bad things come from the seeker movement but I never saw the crass insults toward people who may disagree as I have seen from the Calvinistas. They enjoy it too much which is a big red flag.

  8. I have avoided commenting on this “viral” blogging event on the Wilson’s thus far, but wanted to jump in on this.

    I don’t know much about Doug Wilson other than what was reported on here, and the quote Jared placed on his blog. I, for one, was no fan of the quote…The words, no matter if Doug intended them to mean other than what was implied. were extreme.

    I completely understand the reaction against it, and I don’t think Jared was being very “missional” in some of his responses to those who disagreed with him.

    However, I don’t believe Jared ever intended that quote to be taken the way it was (he obviously saw nothing wrong with the context of it, and saw a meaning in it that was not harmful, although many others saw it quite differently).

    Thus, instead of being quick to apologize when the disagreements started…He tried to defend it, all the while missing the hurt it caused some folks. In this moment, I believe he failed to be compassionate to those who saw it differently or even hurt by it…He chose to defend the “truth” as he saw it…trying to explain the “meaning” behind the quote.

    In my opinion, he messed up when he got frustrated over not convincing others…thus responding the way he did. He could have acknowledged he was not getting through, acknowledged the hurt that quote caused, and taken the post down.

    Instead, he chose to defend himself and Wilson.

    I will say, some of the comments directed towards him were not very “missional” either…and I can understand why he would be frustrated, yet he still should have responded differently.

    For me, what counts is he apologized… NOT just for the quote or the post but his comments as well! He did what others have shown never to do when called out, and I think his apology showed he was willing to take a more “missional” route in the end. Sad it was later than it should have been, but I believe he meant his apology.

    Dee, I hope Jared will respond to your post or email, but that remains to be seen. I don’t know Jared Wilson, so I can’t say exactly what “missional” means for him…but he showed a lot more than what the other Wilson did when he apologized for the hurt he caused..

    I think overall, Jared got caught up in the defense of the matter, got frustrated, and reacted in a not so missional way. He is not the first one to do so on the Internet (I have seen it on all types of Christian blogs, from various perspectives). In fact, it can become quite heated among commenters of various disagreements on this blog as well..When that happens, it is not unusual to see one move away from missional to sarcastic, snarky, and sometimes name-calling. That applies not just on here, but all types of Christian blogs.

    I believe we all miss valuable opportunities to be missional at times, and people like Jared are not immune to that either. But as people who love Christ and love the mission he has called us too, I bet we all try to accomplish that mission the best we can in our lives..

    I am eager to see your post Wednesday, but I am not entirely convinced Jared is against the mission (or is on a different one) you and I are on just because he failed to respond the way he should have done this past time..

    Just some thoughts,

    Seeker

  9. Has Doug Wilson actually claimed to be “missional”? I would’ve thought that he would eschew the word, with its emergent connotations…

  10. Sergius –

    😉 Rejecting other seminaries, this seminarian disseminates his seminal positions through seminars at his own seminary.

  11. Seeker

    One means of assessing character is the response to trials and tribulations. It’s how you act when thrown into the Coliseum. And this, is no tribulation like anything seen by the early Christians who went to their deaths singing hymns. He has not apologized specifically for the insults against our readers. Our door is open over here and he is welcome to do so. 

    There is a dark side to some of the members of The Gospel Coalition. It is becoming more and more apparent as we follow their escapades. As long as everyone smiles and agrees with them, all is well. But, the moment anyone goes off reservation, the vitriol comes out. 

    I disagree. I am not sure we are on the same mission and on Wednesday, barring any sort of appropriate response to my email, I shall discuss my growing concern at what lies underneath the word “missional” at TGC. And no cutesy, pretend we really are nice posts at Trevin Wax’s blog at TGC is going to convince me. The current post sounds “nice” but it does not define what I have observed either in this instance or in many, many others. It is theology without the actions. They can now say they all agree and keep on doing what they do.
    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2012/07/23/what-does-gospel-centered-leadership-look-like/

     

     
  12. JJ

    If one were to ask him if he wants to participate in the Great Commission, I would bet my cute sneakers he would say yes. However, there is a dark side to that yes and it can be seen by the things you have read here and looking into the “kirk”, Doug’s Scottish Disneyland.

  13. Dee, thank you for your remarks about how claiming someone needs ESL is loaded with racial and cultural overtones. I am an ESL teacher, and it was especially disturbing to me. There is already a huge uphill fight for those who are learning English. Wilson seeing it as okay to, at best, jokingly say people need ESL because they’re not reading things the way he wants them to does not help his case. It only marginalizes and makes fun of an already marginalized people in our society. Not funny. Not to mention, many ESL folks I know have better reading comprehension than many native English speakers!

  14. I sent Jared my own email about the way things happened on his blog, and specifically the fact that he didn’t admonish Doug for the insults he gave (specifically to me, but also to others). It was a couple of days, but I did get a response in which Jared apologised for not doing anything in response to those personal attacks. So for me, while I still don’t like how it was handled, I’m going to consider Jared’s participation water under the bridge. Doug, on the other hand, still has a lot to answer for (not that he will).

    Dee, I hope Jared does get back to you, I get the feeling he received a lot of emails so it might take a while to go through them all.

  15. Dee,
    You confuse the “mission” of the GC types with Christ’s Great Commission. Their primary “mmission” is enhancement of their authority, power and fame on the way to (or to continue to) pastor a mega-church and make Ed Young’s house look like a shack!

  16. Seeker at 2:57 AM today said:

    “In my opinion, [Jared Wilson] messed up when he got frustrated over not convincing others…thus responding the way he did. He could have acknowledged he was not getting through, acknowledged the hurt that quote caused, and taken the post down.

    “Instead, he chose to defend himself and [Doug] Wilson.

    “I will say, some of the comments directed towards him were not very ‘missional’ either…and I can understand why he would be frustrated, yet he still should have responded differently.”

    I believe you’ve landed on one of the deepest issues here, and it isn’t about misogyny or “gospel-centeredness.” It’s about the dominant ways that the Mssrs. Wilson and their respondents approach “conversation.” It’s about the ways God providentially “wired” us to process information, our learning styles, our epistemology.

    For those familiar with Myers-Briggs, this is a clash of the “T-Js” with the “F-Ps” – to the max. Both T/Thinking and F/Feeling are about abstract things … reading between the lines of the concrete things and experiences we encounter. Head and heart often clash – perhaps because we polarize them and act as if only one of them is totally trustworthy and the other really is not. J/Judge is about wrapping things up quickly, coming to closure. P/Perceive is about keeping things open, holding conclusions lightly not tightly. So …

    Those who predominantly Think and Judge value theoretical thought (start with correct theory and you will apply it in correct practices). This involves gathering details, analyzing, flowcharting, and coming to closure.

    If you’re really good at T-J, you know you can accomplish this all by yourself. Too many outside voices just means distraction. Silence means you’re processing things internally, thinking it through, mentally modeling options and excluding the ones that lead to false conclusions. You’re figuring out the closed system of “truth,” and the “right” answers will naturally be self-evident to others.

    Those who predominantly Feel and Perceive value action-reflection (start with experience and then process it holistically to see what you learn/think). This involves immersing in an event, listening to your heart and gut and head and other people, coming to some tentative ideas about the situation, processing it aloud some more, and closing in on clarifications over time.

    If you’re really good at F-P, you know you can never accomplish this all by yourself. You’ve got to give voice to what you’re considering in order for others to hear and reflect back. Silence means being stuck, not able to reason it out, not finding the holes in your conclusions by means of a “social CAT scan.” (Which is why authoritarian silencing of people is such an effective tool for shutting down F-P victims of abuse and keeping them from moving forward.) You’re wrestling with the open system of “wisdom,” and there may not be “right” answers, but progressively “wiser” answers.

    When T-J people don’t seem to be getting through in “convincing” others of the logic and rightness of their position, they can act like they assume others are deaf or stupid, and they repeat their points, only louder.

    When F-P people don’t seem to be getting through in “connecting” with others about their position or aren’t allowed to voice their experiences, they often act like they assume others are cold or heartless, and they get on an emotional rollercoaster and it makes them sound more whiney.

    I do not mean to imply that people who are dominant T-J processors are unfeelings or have no relative wisdom on disputable issues, or that those who are dominant F-P processors are unthinking or don’t care about absolute truth and morals. My key point is that the clash of processing styles means the whole form of conversation fails. It is polarized at the deepest possible level of how paradigms come together – integrated by ways we process information NOT by points of theology. T-Js engage in debate; F-Ps engage in dialogue. Both have an internal “logic,” but neither achieves the full picture.

    How can any of us claim to be “missional” (which, in my opinion, is about being cross-cultural in the host society of our sojourn) if we do not even contextualize our communications to those who claim to be in the same household of faith? We all fall short in this …

    I started with Seeker’s quote, I’ll end with Gossip – A.J. Gossip, that is, a old-time preacher who cared about making sure that people could fully engage in learning with their entire being, as design by God and in His image:

    “A basic trouble is that most Churches limit themselves unnecessarily by addressing their message almost exclusively to those who are open to religious impression through the intellect, whereas … there are at least four other gateways – the emotions, the imagination, the aesthetic feeling, and the will – through which they can be reached.” ~ A.J. Gossip (1873-1954)

    If you want to consider more about this perspective on conflict or collaboration based on information processing styles, I have two tutorial pages on my blog. Tutorial #11 is on Learning Styles. Tutorial #12 is on Transformational Teamwork (compositing a team of people with different styles).

  17. Dee,

    I’ve enjoyed so much about this blog and it is daily reading for me without much commenting.

    But I have to say that this post is one of those very rare posts on ANY blog I read that stirs me very deeply. You have captured the essence of what it means to truly share the Christian message much less be “missional.” This statement…”This is not a blog for certain kinds of Christians. It is a blog for all types of people.”…says it all.

    With this kind of heart the gospel message you continually give out through life, lips, words and ways, will be clothed in the kind of authority only the One who has “all authority” possesses. People will be drawn to “hear ye Him.” [Not you] That’s as it should be. Thanks!

  18. Paul,

    We are truly honored that you are reading our posts.  BTW, happy belated birthday.  😛 

    I have been remembering your blog post about living on borrowed time and our dialogue on your website from a couple of months back. Last Saturday (July 21) I thought a lot about my 40 year milestone.  I have been living on “borrowed time” since that horrific car accident when I was 12 years old, and I believe my life was spared for some specific reasons, perhaps even this open forum. 

     

  19. Brad, for what it’s worth, I’m a T/J, and I find Wilson incredibly offensive. But that could just be because I’ve witnessed firsthand the fruits of his teachings.

  20. I have to wonder if they are so insulated within their bubble, and anything beyond AMEN – due to being in the company of like minded people – throws them off so much they seriously don’t know what to do.

  21. @ JJ

    Touché. You got me there.

    I couldn’t afford to go to seminary. I did attend a top-notch ovulary, however, where my classmates included Rachel Held Evans and her husband Dan.

    @ Dee

    Sorry, Dee, but I’m under strict orders from the Doug to only discuss this with other men.

    @Brad/Futurist Guy

    From what institution did you take your degree? I ask because I was considering doing a second master’s in LING/ESL at NEIU

  22. Arce

    Now you’ve gond and done it! I plan to make a similar point on Wednesday! 

    Off topic: I cannot find any info on why Ed is selling his mansion. From what I understand, the jet and Miami condo are not on the block but who knows. Thoughts?

  23. Brad

    You can teach ESL? So how does that work if you are supposed to be in ESL according to Doug?

  24. Paul

    Thank you. It means a lot to me for you to say that. That quote has been part of my life since i was a teen and it defines how I see the world. 

  25. Dee/Deb – if you go to the Femina blog, read the article about the GOOD that can result when your husband is “slandered.” I think that THEY think that ANY critique of their beliefs is SLANDER.

  26. Perhaps it is not big enough or perhaps he got some pressure from somewhere after the recent appraisals came out (they would have become public about July 1).

  27. @ Leila. The trouble with any assessment system is that God designs each person to be far more than any one tool can profile. And any given person can defy the profile or balance it out with other dominant learning styles, spiritual gifts, and natural abilities.

    Part of what’s intriguing about looking at Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator is that it helps with capturing some *general* sources of communication conflict because of stark underlying differences in ways we process.

    However, I doubt that MBTI (or most other “type” tools) can explain what appears to be an utter lack of conscience … although some learning style theories can help understand that people who are heavily oriented to theory and theology are often also highly sarcastic. They can find the weak/vulnerable points in another person’s being and rip them apart. (A rather literal translation of sarcasm is chasm + sarx = “tear flesh.” So, is ripping someone’s soul apart Christlike? Compassionate? Missional?)

    Anyone with a conscience and compassion – especially one with Christlike character and empowered by the Holy Spirit – would certainly have some kind of repulsion or reaction against the damage inflicted by legalistic teachings that shrivel the soul and authoritarian actions that condition people for further psychological and spiritual abuse.

    Speaking of which, in my reading stack is a secular book on conflict and bullying in the workplace. The author suggests that people with high E.Q.s (emotional quotients) tend to be the conflict mediators and absorbers, but they can only take so much before they have a melt-down. Is it possible that the people who truly care about other people might be the mostly likely to suffer spiritual abuse, because they will assume too much responsibility for things that go wrong between them and authoritarian leaders? If high E.Q. people are clued in to relationships, are they likely to try to stay (too long) and work things out, or be “pimped out” by abusive leaders to encourage others to try to go along and get along? Lots of questions …

    Anyway, there you go, for what it’s worth.

    @ SMG. Well, no suggestions to offer as I have only a bachelor’s degree and, of all things, I earned it at Washington State University in Pullman, WA, just over the border from Moscow, ID, where I lived for 15 years in the milieu of Mr. [D.] Wilson’s earlier era.

  28. As the ESL angle is getting a lot of play here in this thread, I thought I might mention that we’ve uncovered an interesting development along those lines that will be revealed in Kelly Scarsbruck-Naslund’s feature piece on Wilsonx2Gate in the Steam Tunnel, which we hope to have posted by tomorrow evening.

  29. This ENTJ finds Douglas Wilson just plain wrong on certain things (not everything, of course) and pugilistic in character. He imposes his personal theories and patriarchalist concepts on Scripture and presents them as biblical mandates for everyone.

  30. What a great reminder to all of us in how we should treat others, for whom Christ died (for All)! I think Doug Wilson’s daughter’s post attacking Rachel Held Evans is the Worst example of responding to our critics that I have witnessed yet. It would be an embarrassment to associate myself in any way with this version of “missional”.(I would provide a link to this post if my computer skills allowed.)

  31. I really agree with what Tammy said. Part of what is difficult is how easy I find it to be upset with the current position someone holds, if they seem utterly unmovable and there is no learning arc that indicates the presence of at least some humility.

    Growth toward Christlike character is about trajectory. There’s a lot of action and motion for something that orbits around a fixed point, but there’s no forward trajectory. And someone’s life shows there is no such growth – despite how “orthodox” the positions appear to be – then it’s very possible that he or she is UNqualified for public leadership in ministry due to immaturity, or DISqualified from public leadership due to lack of character, soul-ripping and spiritually-abusive actions, overlording, etc.

    Meanwhile, anti-orthodox beliefs are mostly obvious (though evasive language can ooze and schmooze it’s way around the core tenets of orthodoxy), but we haven’t been so careful about anti-orthodox practices. That’s part of what is going on here, I believe. And these anti-orthodox practices – – lack of conciliation, agitating and logic baiting, aggression, extreme sarcasm, social coercion – – are what the world sees so no wonder if they don’t want to hear the our beliefs. These are not “missional.”

  32. dee and deb

    This is just a wonderful, and heart felt post. Really loved it when you said…
    “Suddenly, everyone who crossed my path became those immortal beings.” 🙂
    “I offered two $50 gift certificates to the first two people
    who could talk to one of the “overlooked” people.”

    Reminded me of Paul saying…
    “those members of the body, which **seem to be** more “feeble,” are necessary.”
    “those members of the body, which **we think** to be less honourable,
    upon these we bestow more abundant honour”
    “**but God** hath tempered the body together,
    having given **more abundant honour** to that part which lacked:

    WOW!!! BUT God… has given more abundant honor – to that part which lacked.

    Honourable – in Strongs is # 820 atimos at’-ee-mos.- dishonoured, despised, without honour.
    KJV – This is how it’s used in KJV – without honour 2, despised 1, less honourable 1; 4
    From Thayers – 1) without honour, unhonoured, dishonoured – 2) base, of less esteem.

    Seems to me – this Institutional Gang – this “Corrupt Religious System”

    Forgive me Lord – Am I about to sin???

    Lets just say – In my experience – they like to give honor – to one another, to the big names …
    BUT – NOT to – the feeble. NOT to – those *they think* to be less honouable, less valuable.

    AND – It’s very obvious they – Do NOT like to give – **more abundant honour**

    To those who disagree with them. 😉

    Thanks again for allowing so many voices a place to speak – And be heard – And be honored.

  33. i was just talking to my mom about this last night. i am shocked and heartbroken at the way i see christians treat each other and the world. every single person on the planet is somewhat Jesus DIED for. someone he LOVES. each one is priceless enough to him that he would purchase the whole field just to get one of them! how can we so easily, so nonchalantly belittle, insult, WOUND one another? how do we not tremble in our dealings with these precious, eternal souls? especially the ones that don’t know Jesus yet!

    it boggles the mind, and reveals the heart.

  34. Brad/Futurist Guy said:
    “Meanwhile, anti-orthodox beliefs are mostly obvious (though evasive language can ooze and schmooze it’s way around the core tenets of orthodoxy), but we haven’t been so careful about anti-orthodox practices.”

    Brad, your comment brings to mind Cindy Kunsman’s statement on her Under Much Grace blog — http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/ :

    “Of the 210 verses in scripture concerning false teachers, false profits, and Pharisees, 47% concern behavior, 31% concern fruit, 12% concern motive, and only 10% of those verses discuss doctrine.”

    In other words, 1st Corinthians 13:1.
    “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

  35. Dee – thanks so very much for this post, and for the message you sent them.

    As a former ESL tutor, I was very disheartened (though not surprised) by the ESL slam.

    I have met ESL students who were fluent in several other languages, not just one (as is the case for most of us here in the US). And those folks definitely *can* run rings around Doug Wilson, who is (imo) a racist, misogynistic bully.

  36. Brad – Your thoughts on Myers-Briggs and the recent conflicts were very interesting. I have found M-B to be helpful in understanding myself and others around me.

    I’m an INFJ and when I finally realized that so much more of my life made sense. I could never understand why I could clearly discern or see something about a person or situation and others couldn’t when it was as plain as the nose on your face to me. I’ve met people that I knew nothing about and immediately sensed in my spirit there was something seriously amiss. Over time I was proven correct, but often I think people thought I was being overly critical. I’m not. I don’t look for issues and insights. They just are there in living color.

    It would be interesting to know the M-B profiles of those who were most involved and vocal in the recent situation.

  37. Brad @ 10:41 am –

    Soooo . . . I’m thinking. It seems that like-minded people often tend to flock together. I think there is a high probability that many T-Js are drawn to Reformed thinking (cause that’s the correct doctrine – tounge-in-cheek) thereby dismissing (intentional or not) many of their brothers and sisters. From my observations, many pastors, in SGM anyway, love the studying and the history of Reformed theology. Many believe that they further understand Truth as they study Reformed theology. Truth, however, is revealed by the Holy Spirit, independent of any particular doctrine. God does not need man’s doctrines to reveal Himself or His mysteries. Doctrines are merely man’s vehicle to pass on what they believe.

  38. dee – Kudos for sending that email to Jared – Really cool.

    I appreciate Jared Wilson giving an apology – That’s an admirable path to follow. For ALL.
    Do I believe him? Do I trust him? Well, lets wait and see – Seems – a good test is a test of time.
    I’ve been deceived before – By the best of them. Seems, when checking out “Pastors who Abuse”
    They will often say one thing and do another. They know how to say what’s expected.
    They know how to use words – So they can control and manipulate. I hope I’m wrong.

    Mat 23:3 …but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

    *My people* hath been *lost sheep: *
    “their shepherds” have caused them “to go astray,”
    Jer 50:6

  39. dee – Right on – Very accurate.
    “There is a dark side to some of the members of The Gospel Coalition. It is becoming more and more apparent as we follow their escapades. As long as everyone smiles and agrees with them, all is well. But, the moment anyone goes off reservation, the vitriol comes out.”

    As you know – I’ve been banned from the main TGC blog.
    And – resricted – or NOT engaged with – on most of the other TGC sites.

    I was also asked – by Jared Wilson – before – he was at TGC – after he refused a comment…

    Jarreds responce was…
    “AAL, I am not permitting your most recent comment b/c it is hairsplitting ridiculousness.
    Take your soapbox elsewhere, please.”

    Well, at least he said please. 😉

    Here is the site – http://gospeldrivenchurch.blogspot.com/2011/02/un-conference.html
    Oh yea – There were a few, 3 or 4, privious blogs where he didn’t like my questions.
    This was just the last straw – that broke – the camels back – I mean Jareds YRR commitment.

    Here is what he refused to post…
    ——————
    “Jared

    You write…
    “AAL, read Hebrews 13. Must’ve skipped that chapter in your search for and not finding anyone referred to as a leader of a congregation.”

    That’s close – but not quite accurate – when searching the Bible…

    I found NO congregations “Led” by a “Pastor/Reverend.” Have you?

    I found NO verse that says a ‘Pastor/Reverend” is a “leader.” Or called “leader.”
    In the Bible, All “Disiples of Christ” called themselves “Servants.”
    NO “Disiples of Christ” called themselves “Leader” or “Servant-Leader.”
    Why isn’t “Servant of Christ” good enough?

    I found NO “Pastor/Reverend” being hired, or fired, by congregations.
    NO “Pastor/Reverend” going from one congregation to another.
    Most “Elders/Overseers” were known by the other believers when appointed.

    Is there one congregation, in the Bible, “Led” by a “Pastor?” With a “Title?”
    And, every “Pastor” I’ve met has the ‘Title” “Reverend?” Is that in the Bible?
    Are there any verses that say a “Pastor,” or a “Reverend,” is a “Leader?” 😉

    Jesus warned us, we can make “the word of God” of “non effect” – because of
    Commandments of men? Doctrines of men? “Traditions of Men?” Oy Vey!! 🙁

    Mark 7:13
    KJV – Making the word of God of “none effect” through your tradition…
    ASV – Making “void” the word of God by your tradition…
    NIV – Thus you “nullify” the word of God by your tradition…

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice;”
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice.’
    ——————–
    So – Instead of Jared admitting he could NOT answer the question – From the Bible…

    The question was – when searching the Bible…
    “I found NO congregations “Led” by a “Pastor/Reverend.” Have you?”

    He decided to call the question – “it is hairsplitting ridiculousness.”
    And tell me to – “Take your soapbox elsewhere, please.”

    NOPE – Jared Wilson does NOT get a gold star for working and playing well with others. 😉

  40. @dee,

    I agree that one way to judge character is how we respond under fire, and Jared did not respond in a missional way.

    Does this mean he defines missional differently? I am not certain that it does. I think all of our character can be less than missional at times, and this may be one of those times for Jared. He did apologize for the matter, and I assume his apology on his comments related to the insults toward TWW….it probably would be better to apologize specifically for his twitter comment as well.

    I could be wrong though..I may find myself agreeing with your post tomorrow. I truly hope he responds to you, that can at least give further insight to where he stands in being missional.

    I do appreciate your post, and your definition of being missional. This truly captures the heart of what it means to be a light in this world!

    @Brad

    Appreciate your explanation on all of this! I can see what you said applies to this situation.

  41. Dee,

    “And no cutesy, pretend we really are nice posts at Trevin Wax’s blog at TGC is going to convince me. The current post sounds “nice” but it does not define what I have observed either in this instance or in many, many others. It is theology without the actions. They can now say they all agree and keep on doing what they do.”

    This is just it. They talk the talk. They (sometimes) say the right things, but they often don’t act those things out. Their words and actions don’t line up.

    If I remember correctly, you mentioned in another comment that you wondered what a psychiatrist’s assessment of Doug Wilson would be. My bet is Narcissitic Personality Disorder. After reading through many of his writings and posts, following the blogs in the current brouhaha, and reading through some documents posted about his history, it certainly sounds like he has personality problems.

    Frankly, I don’t think anyone will ever get an apology. If Doug Wilson’s wife, daughters, son, church elders, and colleagues who have known and worked closely with Doug for many years were being honest, they would have to admit that he’s never apologized for anything. Someone with NPD cannot say I’m sorry. Sometimes, they make “fauxpologies” to manipulate others. Fauxpologies look something like this: “I’m sorry, BUT… YOU need reading comprehension skills.” Or “I’m sorry, BUT… YOU (did this or that).”

    People with Narcissitic Personality Disorder are excessively arrogant. They genuinely believe they are superior to others. They believe they are right, and anyone who disagrees is wrong or flawed. They refuse to consider another person’s perspective or opinion. They lack empathy for others, having no genuine understanding of the feelings of other people. They are on a constant mission to get their narcissistic supply and strive to always be the center of attention.

    From my description, it may sound easy to pick out a narcissist from a crowd, but it can be very difficult – even to those very close to the narcissist. Narcissists are masters at manipulation. Their words and behaviors are cunning and baffling. They say and do things, often insidiously, which are hurtful but which can easily be explained away. It’s up to you how to interpret what they’ve done or said, and then the results and consequences are on you.

    While I’m certain that Doug Wilson has felt angry and threatened throughout this brouhaha, he has also gotten plenty of narcissistic supply to feed his insatiable ego. Overall, this latest dust-up has worked to his narcissistic advantage. (Most telling are the plethora of posts he wrote about it over the past weekend.)

  42. @ Bridget and Seeker

    I think we ALL start out in life tending to think that The World And All Its People automatically see things the same way we do. It’s what’s on our radar, it’s what we know.

    Maturity involves, in part, letting people be who they are and our doing what work we can to understand as best we can how they see the world from their own internal perspective. We will never, ever be “missional” and cross cultural boundaries if we do not develop that skill. We’ll just stick with what we know, maybe do some good and righteous things, but not deeply connect because we do not listen to individuals. And if we don’t listen to individuals, however will we listen to cultures for what they need?

    We’ve all got “gaps” that need to be filled in, as with “spiritual spackle”; we’ve all got “excesses” that need to be filed off, as iron sharpens iron. We we designed to need others who are unlike us to see those needs in us, and to supply what we need in order to change. Sticking with only our own kind means we choose not to grow forward, but only stand in place or orbit.

    Related to what you said 1:49 pm, @Seeker, it would be kind to give Jared the benefit of the doubt. I’d hate to be judged fully on one single “snapshot” that froze some action forever in time and space, as if that were everything I had ever done or would ever do. I’d rather been seen and judged for the “video” of my life that shows where I’ve come from and where I’m going.

    Hopefully all our “videos” show we’re moving toward Jesus and becoming more like Him … and I think that will have “missional” impact in the long run, even as we learn to listen in stereo better to what people and cultures are telling us in one ear, and what the Scriptures and the Spirit are telling us in the other.

  43. Seeker

    My post tomorrow will focus more on Doug Wilson and others broadly associated with this movement.Doug Wilson’s influence over the Gospel Coalition, including the leaders, is very disconcerting. I believe that Jared, amongst others, will continue to make these sorts of “mistakes” so long as he is one of their boys.

    I am beginning to suspect that they define missional somewhat differently than I do.I would be scared to join Jared and Doug’s churches. Can you imagine if we disagreed on a point? Church discipline would rear its ugly head.  I will make my case tomorrow.  

  44. Wendy

    There are many words that have lost their meaning in this NeoGarbage. Love, biblical, gospel, servant leader, priesthood of the believer, auhtority, leadership, head… I am dismayed.

  45. A Amos Love

    I wonder, would Jesus have told the woman at the well to take her garbage elsewhere? Did He not turn her obfuscation into an opportunity for love?

    As for comment,s the vast majority of the posts at TGC get few, if any comments. Jared usually gets a one or two. So, this controversy put him on the map.

  46. Dee, you mentioned in passing last week you might be interested in a guest post from me about how Wilsonian theology played out at a classical Christian school my kids attended. I emailed you, but never heard back. Did you get my email?

  47. dee on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 02:22 PM said:
    “Wendy

    There are many words that have lost their meaning in this NeoGarbage. Love, biblical, gospel, servant leader, priesthood of the believer, auhtority, leadership, head… I am dismayed.”

    You left out grace. Sovereign Grace means “dictatorial with no grace, except for a few”.

  48. @Sallie 1:31 pm said: “It would be interesting to know the M-B profiles of those who were most involved and vocal in the recent situation.”

    I do find these tools to be helpful, as one stream of feedback for understanding better how we’re fearfully and wonderfully made. I’ve studied some other learning style factors and systems, and whether its Myers-Briggs or Witkin’s Cognitive Orientation or Multiple Intelligences or Gregorc Mind Styles [TM], it’s amazing to see how often people think that those whose profiles turn out opposite of their own are “stupid” or “just don’t get it.” I’ve also been in workshops were people whose profiles were the culturally marginalized ones put enough shame on themselves and thought they were stupid. It’s sad and insidious.

    I have to wonder if what we interpret as doctrinal conflict is in fact more often based in differing paradigms/processing styles and crossed wires when it comes to trying to communicate. We can easily assume it’s a lack of mental capacity and I.Q. when instead it’s about different capacitors and how we’re fine tuned. But when we assume a particular profile is The Superior One, we’re totally in for trouble.

    That said, there are perspectives that would just naturally attract people with certain profiles. What draws people in as fully-on-board members of XYZ organization or followers of ABC leader? I do believe it would be of interest to compare and contrast the sort of “corporate profile” of those who’ve been vocal in the recent events; plus those in The Gospel Coalition (whose corporate site hosts Jared Wilson’s blog) who are well known but have remained silent; and those outside TGC who posted various kinds of responses and reactions.

    No wonder there is such lack of clarity on what “missional” and “gospel-centered” mean. It’s the same problem as with the terms “emerging” and “Emergent” of 10 to 15 years ago. Parallax … looking at what appears to be the same phenomenon, but interpreting it in very different ways due to paradigms and mental models.

    Okay, enough rambling for the mo.

  49. AAL –

    That is not surprising at all. That is the way they respond when they have no answer. You see, they have “learned” all things “orthodox” which really means traditional. To them orthodox = correct and Biblical. They usually don’t question the premise of orthodoxy.

  50. Leila

    I would love a post regarding this. I may have gotten you confused with 2 other people planning to do posts. My oversight, I am so sorry. 

  51. Can you find my email from 7/22 and respond to it? I had a few things I wanted to bring up privately. Let me know if you need me to resend it.

  52. @Eagle 2:56 pm. Totally agree. It was my favorite philosopher who said … okay, so it was Dana Carvey … “To label me, is to ignore me.”

    These terms have been used as LABELS to excuse the slammification of others (especially authoritarian, black-and-white, our-way-or-the-highway kinds of “leaders”). However, those who used the terms as their own ways of NAMING their groups or describing their own identity typically had something specific in mind that was positive and constructive.

    From my studies of how subcultures of substance (and not just new clothing styles) form, there are some kinds of values that an amorphous cluster of people hold in common that is missing from the mainstream. Those missing-link values serve as the magnet that attracts them together initially. There may be a sifting and shifting later as people realize that they overlap on some of the values, but there are other critical differences underneath that repulse them from the group they were initially attracted to. That’s normal.

    For instance, get a group of “complementarians” all together in one room to talk with that as their starting point, and eventually, you might find all the Mormon complementarians clustering together on one side and all the Christian complementarians on the other. Paradigms can overlap at the level of behaviors and culture, and yet have those overlap behaviors come from very different sources that are actually in opposition to each other on most other issues.

    That’s kind of the way it was, in my experience, in how many of today’s younger generation groups came to be. In the mid-1990s, there was no name for it yet. It started out as “GenX Ministry,” which then refocused to “Postmodern Ministry” in the later 1990s, which lead to “emerging” in the early oh-ohs, and that split into various streams, as have been noted and written about a lot in the mid-2000 decade. But at the beginning, they were present in – dare I use the prefix “paleo-” form after the ruckus of last week? – and from there they continued developing.

    * Emerging (more general ministry, some recontextualized for postmodern cultures and restructured to pass along to next generation leaders). Ended up more church-within-a-church and church transitions and mergers.

    * Emergent (which I saw as having a more theoretical-theological perspective along with experimental mentality on ministry methods and models). Ended up more social justice ministries,

    * Neo-Puritan/Neo-Calvinist “YRR” (more theoretical thought and theology oriented). Ended up with a lot of authoritarian celebrities, multi-campus franchises.

    * Missional (cross-cultural and neighborhood mindset, being missionaries in our own culture). Ended up more social enterprises, non-profits, parish churches.

    * Church Planting (sort of a mix of perspectives, but focused on new churches and new types of churches, often more next-generation friendly and frequently more cross-culturally contextual).

    There were more stages and steps, but somewhere in there, ALL of the terms ended up being shifted from self-identifying NAMES to demeaning, dismissive LABELS. Yes, at one point they were all buzzwords. But those are to be expected in the early, chaotic stages of a new movement where people are trying to figure out where they fit and who speaks their language. (Take a moment to think about what it would’ve been like for everyone in the first moments after the confusion of languages at Babel, screaming into the cacophony of voices, trying to identify someone – – anyone – – who could understand what you were saying.)

    And now, we find ourselves in a very different kind of cultural and linguistic battle, actually. One in which some people want to claim the NAME for the value of its “style,” rather than living out the paradigm of the group who forged the real values which drew together a people group that identified with the name.

    It’s back to what I said in some comments a few days ago about the cuckoo’s egg and an interloper trying to take over the host’s nest. It is reasonable to expect sparks. This is conflict over both substance, style, and words …

    For those interested in some of the history that led up to these various streams, check out former Associated Press reporter Steve Rabey’s historical book, In Search of Authentic Faith: How Emerging Generations are Transforming the Church. Mr. Rabey was one of the very few over-40s allowed into the first national gathering of what became known as GenX ministry in about 1996, and he tracked the development for the next few years in this book. You’ll find in there many people he interviewed whom you’ll recognize as being part now of some of the very distinct streams that this movement split into.

    http://www.amazon.com/Search-Authentic-Faith-Generations-Transforming/dp/1578563194/ref=la_B001IR3K8S_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1343158077&sr=1-16

    P.S. In all of that, and I was in this mix almost from the beginnings in the mid-1990s, I identified most with the people whose main name is “missional.”

  53. Well looks like Dougie has hit the big time. I don’t remember who introduced me to The Credenda Agenda. At the time I enjoyed reading far and wide in christian thought and had a subscription. ( 25+ years ago) Even back then Doug Wilson was less than gracious in the letters to the editor section. When I got married my husband read it a few times and said “this guy is an “:&& why do you read this stuff?”. So I cancelled it and never looked back until years later when I was starting to homeschool and he turned up in the Veritas Homeschool catalogue. It kind of squicked me out, but the people I encountered at Veritas were wonderful. I used their products all the way. It saddens me now that they are tied in with Mr. Wilson. He tends to taint most things he comes in contact with, in my opinion.

    And on a personal level. Many years ago my step-father (ordained episcopal priest at the time) met with Doug Wilson. I am vague at this point on what the purpose was but I do remember his encounter left a bad impression.

  54. Brad said:

    “it would be kind to give Jared the benefit of the doubt. I’d hate to be judged fully on one single “snapshot” that froze some action forever in time and space, as if that were everything I had ever done or would ever do. I’d rather been seen and judged for the “video” of my life that shows where I’ve come from and where I’m going.”

    I completely agree with this.

  55. P.S. Since Christian complementarians are an emerging subculture in the Church, part of what is happening right now, I believe, is that same process of sifting and shifting that typically goes on for a relatively new subculture. Because of recent events, perhaps the so-called “soft” complementarians will now see the ugly logical results of the “hard-core” complementarian views.

    In other words, the hardcores’ root paradigm is showing itself to produce some very rotten fruit. The softcore complementarians must then decide whether to shift away from that repulsive set of behaviors and the underlying logic from which it sprang, or not.

    And when we all start hearing implications that “if you aren’t complementarian, you don’t ‘really’ get the gospel right,” that’s about a half-step away from heresy. It turns complementarianism in gender roles as a requirement for salvation. That is why this is a crucial issue for the Church, and not just for complementarians. And that is why those who don’t subscribe to complementarianism have waited and waited and now are more openly challenging the silence from leaders in The Gospel Coalition:

    **Exactly which type of complementarians are you, and what does “gospel-centered” and “getting the gospel right” even mean anymore if these kinds of hardcore notions go silently uncritiqued and unchallenged, and their carriers continue on under your name unrebuked?**

  56. Anyone

    Ray Ortland – at The Gospel Coalition has a post about “The Religiously Wounded.”

    He says…
    “Or at least, the beginning of the end. A new era of shalom must start somewhere. The religiously-wounded must have somewhere to go, some place where they will be safe from attack, where they can heal through the gospel and live again.”

    Thought – after his love affair with – SGM – Act 29 – and the rest of the YRR

    Someone here might have a few words for him –

    And – before he removes my comment – like he has done in the past. 😉

    God really loves me.

  57. A. Amos Love –

    Is Ray Ortlund trying to say (in a vague way) that we should “love” our neighbors as ourselves? Can he not just come out and say this? It is Biblical afterall 🙂

  58. Just want to say something true and good here about Ray Ortlund. Though I do not know him personally I have visited his church several times as my son and his family are part of Immanuel. I am amazed at the sweet and gentle spirit in that congregation and have seen up close testimony of the love for one another both the pastor and the congregation demonstrate in word and deed. I have seen an awful lot of spiritual abuse in my day and know what oppression looks like. While I may not be on the same page with these folks on gender issues and perhaps others, I do know there is something good going on within that congregation.

  59. Off topic:

    I just saw on another blog that a guy named Azaiah Southworth (I think that is his name) on Monday, July 23, outed Jonathan Merritt, son of James Merritt, former SBC President, as gay.

    Have any of you heard or seen this?

  60. I’m glad for the apology, at least the second half of it, but Jared’s insistence that it was other people’s comprehension that was the problem is still making me embarrassed for him…simply because I’m absolutely sure he had no idea of the levels of education of thosse he was criticising. Maybe next time we should all sign off with our qualifications. Who exactly does he think reads online theology?

    I only wished I could have rung him & talked him through (in my beautiful educated British accent) exactly how poor Doug Wilson’s use of imagery was and how it had led directly to the misunderstanding…but he would have also twigged that I was a woman and hence globally incompetent due to my chrosmosomal make-up.

  61. Amos

    I saw a comment on Ray’s site a few weeks back from a Nel who asked him what to do about wounded people. He said it is a sin to stay wounded and that one should either get over it or leave the church. Perhpas he has thought better about it.

  62. Thatmom wrote: “I am amazed at the sweet and gentle spirit in that congregation and have seen up close testimony of the love for one another both the pastor and the congregation demonstrate in word and deed.”

    I want to echo thatmom about complementarian churches in general. Even though I am egal, we have been members of a PCA church for 20 years, and I, too, have experienced a congregation like thatmom has observed in Ortland’s church. While we would probably choose an egalitarian church were we ever to move away, it is the Christ’s love demonstrated in my local church body every single day that keeps us there. My pastor knows and respects our point of view, and it has never been an issue.

  63. Dee –

    Many of the Calvinista flavor seem to “change their minds/ views” but can’t seem to say things like a “I was wrong about what I said a few weeks ago.” Jared has come the closest of any.

    The problem now is that there were people who were asking the “theological questions” on Jared’s blog and they were quite civil but were dismissed. Some bloggers (the DW variety) are dismissing everyone who commented under the same umbrella. The DW variety didn’t even respond until RHE got involved. RHE seemed to be the straw that broke the camels back.

  64. As long as these guys are full of themselves, they will never be full of Christs love. And I don’t see this ever happening to anyone of them or anyone of the like. It’s all a facade. They all wear a mask of a Christian when in fact, they aren’t. It really just torks me…

  65. Wendy July 24 2:12, Exactly……..And it is easy for a pathological narcissist to hide in the “church” because a Christian is suppose to forgive and forget. They will use this “forgive and forget” to munipulate others. Therefore allowing the narcissist to get away with what he or she is doing to others. Their usual excuse is that “nobody is perfect.”

  66. Dee, thank you so much for this post. It may well be my favorite of all the ones I’ve read on TWW. What a concept, huh? Treat people with respect. Yes, every person you come into contact with. People matter to God (as individuals), so they should matter to us. Wow, who knew? I find that often, we need to be reminded of simple/basic concepts.

    This one idea (that individuals matter) is probably the sole reason I’ve left behind the mega churches / “missional” / TGC type “churches.” While I sure wouldn’t say that I was hurt or wounded, I grew weary of “pastors” who had no time for people and who only cared about two things: the number of butts in the seats and the amount of dollars in the offering. I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for a response from Jared. He’s an important person you know, and you’re just a lowly pion like the rest of us. We’re actually quite lucky that he allows all of us to partake of his infinite wisdom by reading his blog.

  67. To be fair, I didn’t think Trevin Wax’s post (which our TWW queens linked to in this thread) on “gospel-centred leadership” was that bad, apart from (a) using gospel-centred yet again, which he himself acknowledged is becoming all-pervasive, and (b) the idea that “gospel-centred” leaders would be talking/thinking/singing about the gospel all the time.

    Beakerj, I live in your part of the world and hadn’t guessed you were a woman – so it just goes to show! Perhaps I should have tried to see how easily I could deceive you 😉

  68. This INTJ gal thinks Doug needs to take a walk.

    Long-time lurker, first time commenter, BTW.

    Brad, not all TJs are the same. As an INTJ, I’m more “big-picture” than other TJs (and STJs, for that matter). I prefer the “whole sweep of Scripture” (a la N.T. Wright) to Reformed folks arguing about infra- and supralapsarianism. 😛 Heck, I think N.T. Wright might be one of us Masterminds, but I digress.

  69. This seems unusual… But…a prayer request. Our neighbor just asked for prayer for her 36 y o son Chris, who’s in the hospital with apparent acute appendicitis. That she asked us is perhaps significant because, like the majority of our neighbors, she’s LDS. I suppose the whole “stake”, which is gathered right now for Pioneer Day at the end of the block, wll be praying, but I do think they’re on a different mission than most of us here.

  70. Brad
    The article I was referring to is at feminagirls, but is written by Rebekah, and titled, “Them’s Fightin’ Words”. Dated July 18. Vicious and ugly.

  71. @ androidninja (great name, by the way … you read William Gibson?)

    Yup, Myers-Briggs profiles never do explain everything, but do seem to be helpful indicators on larger trends of what’s on our radar.

    My MBTI is i-N-f-p. So all the correlations for introvert, feeling, and perceiving are weak except iNtuitive which was strong. But another tool, the Mind Styles[TM] Delineator created by Dr. Anthony Gregorc, indicates I have a lot of concrete perception, which is similar to the S for sensory in MBTI, to counterbalance the N. And the Witkin Cognitive Style/Field Orientation tool shows me as having maximum Analytic ability, which rounds out the T in MBTI Thinking and counterbalances the F.

    Sighhh … I can’t quite figure out … does this mean I’m a mystery – or a mess? (Both most likely.)

    I used to do the scoring on the MBTI profile tests for the doctoral program I worked for as administrative assistant (we are the infrastructure who Keep All Else Going) (!). That’s when I found out that this system was devised based on American culture, where the preferred profile culturally is ESTJ. So, if the score for a particular element ends up a tie, the tie-breaker automatically goes the opposite direction, to I, N, F, or P. The originators of the system calculated that those with I-N-F-P who live in American culture typically stretch themselves to fit in, and so their more natural ways of processing are on the opposite of the E, S, T, or J. Interesting stuff, and helpful as long as we don’t try to make it be our all in all.

    An intriguing book the doctoral program used was *Personality Type and Religious Leadership* which contains percentages for each of the 16 MBTI profile combinations.

    http://www.amazon.com/Personality-Type-Religious-Leadership-Oswald/dp/1566990254/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1343178379&sr=8-2&keywords=mbti+and+ministry

  72. @ androidninja: “but I digress.”

    As do I, every chance I get.

    Part of what you describe about the big-picture approach may be a clue to why there’s been conflict this past week. It has to do with being “global” (needing the big-picture in order to then work down toward the details) versus being “analytic” (need the details in order to then work up toward the big picture). It’s the forest versus the trees thing.

    Is it possible that very analytic people with a very strong need for closure cannot comprehend when other people ask them to step back from their commitments to minute details for a moment and consider the impact – the logical conclusion – of their overly detailed doctrine? Hence, it would make sense that they keep repeating the DETAILS they’ve analyzed, maybe with a degree of rephrasing, when the others keep asking them to shift to the THEMES that extrapolate out from that set. Isn’t that part of what we perhaps saw last week in response to challenges to the doctrinal details and their implications?

    Is it possible that very analytic people with a very strong need for closure on their thinking also are the most likely to create “bound sets”? In other words, they draw circles in the sand in the middle of which they take their stands. And either you are in, or you’re out, based on whether you stand inside the circle with them or not – on every little detail. It creates a very static situation, with lots of drama created by “casting out” others when an authoritarian leader of system decides the circle in the sand needs to shrink even smaller.

    And is that circle-shrinkage what is happening with boundaries like “missional” and “gospel-centered” that differentiate who and what are in or out?

    This is why I don’t think it’s just doctrinal stuff and questions of orthodoxy going on here. It’s deeper epistemological stuff, dealing with how we process information AND who we choose to put in control over “gatekeeping.” And that makes it about orthopraxy too.

  73. Dave A A,

    I will be praying for your neighbor’s son as well.  Please keep us posted.

    You are kind to ask for prayer.

     

  74. Dave AA, prayers, definitely.

    *in whiny voice* Brad, just give me a summary, not the details. Just kidding.

    That’s awesome. I’ve been a bit of an MBTI geek since I moved into my new job (in science!) Lots of Ns (like my boss and his big ideas), but many Es, a fellow INTJ (yes, we’re close) and my fellow assistant is an ENFP. She feels I think too much and I sweat the details; I think she should brainstorm more than asking for precise details.

    I also agree about the details vs big picture divide in orthodoxy and orthopraxy. Analytical, detail-oriented folks tend to draw circles and lines in the sand, and it doesn’t surprise me that there are many Reformed folks like this. You shared a lot of insight, and I’ll be thinking more on all of you’ve said in the coming days.

    I took the Mind-Styles quiz, and I’m a Concrete-Random, followed by Abstract-Sequential. It’s fascinating, but my brain wants me to take a break and think on all of this. 😛 Peace.

  75. @ androidninja. When you’ve recuperbraintated (I’m dominant Concrete Random also), you might find this link of interest, since it appears you have a lot of paradoxical thinking with the combination of dominant Concrete Random plus Abstract Sequential. You’ve got a lot going on!

    http://futuristguy.wordpress.com/interpolators/

    And if you were designed to be multidisciplinary, you may be a polymath as well.

    http://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2007/11/30/polymathology-welcome-to-my-world/

    Final thought: A quote from someone whom I’ve come to understand a lot better after I learned more about MBTI. A very strong TJ said, “I show my passion by what I think.” That was around the time that I challenged them to be sure they balanced things out on their team with some … umm … FP type people so they could also be aware that they don’t draw too many lines in the sand and hurt people thereby.

    Bottom line summary point (which we Very Analytic types finally get to at the END of our thinking, not at the beginning) that ties all this learning style stuff in with Dee’s post above: Learning styles provide us a great tool for learning to listen to those who are unlike us, and respect how God has fearfully and wonderfully made them … just as He has fearfully and wonderfully made us.

  76. @ Mara. That was a way helpful metaphor to both show and tell principles together with practices. Cool! Thanks for sharing that! Sad story of overlording abuse that went with it, though …

  77. Brad and all,

    Speaking of gatekeepers, has anyone ever seen a biological family, other than Michael Jackson’s, that so fiercely defends the patriarch’s actions? At the femina blog, Doug Wilson’s wife, two daughters, and daughter-in-law are going crazy writing one post after another attacking his critics and claiming that they’re being persecuted for the name of Christ. They’re also commenting on several other blogs. Doug Wilson has linked to their posts on HIS blog. I haven’t seen anything like it. What in the world??

  78. Mara,

    Thanks for sharing. I appreciate your words about God disliking a false balance.

    Brad,

    I’ve had some folks say I’m a polymath, but I don’t know. I do have a grasp on languages, but I’m not a polyglot. I hate algebra, but love calculus. Love open-ended exams and hate standardized tests. I have many varied interests and a wild imagination. I don’t feel that I’m smart as much as I feel that I like to learn new things. I’m more of a jack of all trades, and I pray my (God-willing) future neuro research would reflect that.

    We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. I may have my own self-esteem woes, but God is teaching me that I am made in His image — every quirky, introverted cell in me reflects Him.

    Oh, and my username is a spin on one of my favorite characters from the Metal Gear series, Cyborg Ninja.

  79. @ Wendy
    methinks they do protest too much (and where is all that anger and angst coming from?) It would be mean to say Stockholm Syndrome (I don’t know these people or anything about their private lives), but it all has that slightly creepy feel — like Look, see how free and fierce and un-oppressed we are!

    But does anyone else find it ironic that the Great Patriarch is defended by so many women going into battle?

  80. Stromy

    Many prey on the good will and passivity of Christians in churches. I once had a leader tell me to “trust” him. I asked, “Why?” A position does not imply gifting and this individual was just another run of the mill Calvinista. And Calvinistas are addicted to authority and leadership. Many of them would have failed miserably in the workplace so they enter a ministry in which people are expected to kowtow. There are many good preachers out there who I do trust but there are quite a few I wouldn’t. If a leader must insist that people follow him, he isn’t much of a leader.

  81. Wendy

    We plan to look at the Wilson women as well.  These are sad, marginalized people who must pretend they are suffering for Christ instead of their own stupidity.  When I make a terrible error, I do not believe I am suffering for Christ. I am glad, instead, that Christ suffered for me, a frail human being.

  82. Lynne T

    I think TGC should unleash Doug to do his bit as they seem intent on doing. Perhaps it would help cull the ranks and leave the “true believers” who will be laughed out of most normal church environments.

  83. An answer to a question from last week

    Christopher Hitchens brother is not married to Doug Wilson’s daughter. However, Peter Hitchens is a believer and a member of the Church of England. he and his brother did not see eye to eye but I believed they reconciled towards the end of Christopher’s life. Funny how God never lets go. Christopher Hitchen’s best friend in the end was Francis Collins and his  borther is a believer. Who knows?

  84. Wendy, Yes, from my personal experience, there is the head narcissist/s who dictates how things are to be done. The others follow suit. They are what I call minions or co-narcs because they end up just like the “head” narcissist. You either go along or you become the enemy. The reason why the others will go along is that they have their own agenda and get payoffs. It usually is money, favoritism, fame,etc. These people end up just as delusional as the “head” narcs and that’s why they end up defending the head narcissist.

    What it interesting is that if you watch families like this, they all have the same similarites. I’m thinking of the Paul and Jan crouch situation with their granddaughter who outed them. She’s now the enemy because she wouldn’t go along like the others have done.

  85. Wendy,
    Doug W at one point responded to an accusation of misogyny with “The Wilson women love me.,”
    And the Wilson men? Not the same rabid “fandom” from them. Note the different spirit in this latest post from Jim Wilson:
    “There is still another way to have a normal and natural heart obedience. (to the Word of God) In a father-son relationship there are three causes of the son being like his father. The first, is genetic inheritance. He looks like his father. The second, is a command/obedience relationship. The third is imitation. It is this one that is another way. The Bible makes reference to it several times. Here are few of those instances.

    But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, . . . Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:44&48 (NIV)

    Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 1 Corinthians 4:15&16 (NIV)

    Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:32-5:2 (NIV)”
    http://rootsbytheriver.blogspot.com/2012_07_01_archive.html
    Imitation of the Father, rather than command/obedience!

  86. thatmom

    Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 05:16 PM – You wrote some nice words about Ray Ortland.
    At least – nice words about Immanuel – And the folks you met there.

    I was in “Leadership” – What goes on Sun Morn – Is the show. It’s rehearsed. NOT real.
    I could be wrong – IMO – It s NOT what takes place behind closed doors – the rest of the week.
    One of the reasons I left “The Corrupt Religious System” is the politics, the secrecy, the acting.
    The saying one thing and doing another. These guys know how to say the right things.

    Ray might be a nice guy – He might even be saved – I’ve been online with him at the same time on his blog – Right after he – Removed – a comment I left the day before – And I had just reposted it… 😉

    He must have been on his computer and Ray replied back quickly after the repost. We had a nice disscussion – And it was a discussion about “Spiritual Abuse.” He was familiar with abuse having suffered at the hands of someone over him with authoriy. We went back and forth about a few things and I thought I was making a friend.

    Someone I can have an honest discussion with. *Conflict has a benefit* causes us to go deeper.

    But alas – The differenses to him were too great to leave our discussion on his Blog.
    Yes – He removed the whole thing.

    And he did it again – today – The comment left yesterday is now gone. 🙁

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/rayortlund/2012/07/24/all-i-want/?comments#comments

    Maybe you can read his short post – And I’ll also let you read the comment…
    I thought the info was in agreement – and helpful for – Protecting – “The religiously-wounded.”
    ————————
    Ray

    Much agreement when you say…

    “Or at least, the beginning of the end. A new era of shalom must start somewhere. The religiously-wounded must have somewhere to go, some place where they will be safe from attack, where they can heal through the gospel and live again.”

    I would like to see that in my life time. There is NO excuse for Abuse.

    I’ve had the privilege of ministering to many who have been…
    Burnt – Burntout – Kicked out – and – Crawled out – of Todays “Abusive Religious System.”

    One recommendation for those looking to heal…
    Is – To check out those – who say they are – God Ordained Authority.

    “Pastors that Abuse” want you to “obey” – And speak a lot about Heb 13:17
    But don’t spend a lot of time with, or ignore, or twist, other verses.

    Every believer has this right – to check out the Pastor and the Elders.

    And we beseech you, brethren, **to know them**
    which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord,
    and admonish you;
    1 Thess 5:12 KJV

    Every believer is responsible *to know* –
    If your Pastors/Leaders/Elders – Qualify…. To be an “Elder/Overseer.”

    I had to learn this the hard way. Many years and many tears.
    Before trusting a “Mere Fallible Human”
    I now recommend the wounded folks to observe, and to ask…

    1 – Are they living examples of – NOT lording it over “God’s heritage?” 1 Pet 5:3 KJV
    2 – Are they living examples of – lowliness of mind? Phil 2:3 KJV
    3 – Are they living examples of – esteeming others “better” than themselves? Phil 2:3 KJV
    4 – Are they living examples of – submitting “One to Another?” Eph 5:21 KJV, 1 Pet 5:5 KJV
    5 – Are they living examples of – prefering others before themselves? Rom 12:10 KJV
    6 – Are they living examples of – being clothed with humility? 1 Pet 5:5 KJV
    7 – Are they living examples of – NOT “execising authority” over “Disciples of Christ?” Mark 10:42-43.

    If they don’t like you asking – Run, Run for your life.
    ——————

    Can you see anything worth removing?

  87. I don’t see any problem and I would have left those comments if you left them on my blog…shoot, have said the same things myself many times! There have been times when I have removed comments for various reasons that others didn’t understand and that is part of being the blog owner. Have you emailed and asked why he removed them?

    My nice words were not only about Immanuel but about Ray as well coming from firsthand testimony of his good and true personal ministry to those in his congregation. I hope that if he has truly been on the receiving end of spiritual abuse himself in the past that he is able to consider these things daily from the other end.

  88. Dee, I agree. They prey on those who are easy targets. The easy targets become their victims. But the victim will either eventually see what is happening and go against their abuse or become part of the problem by going along with it. Therefore, not being the “victim” of narcissist anymore.

    As far as “pastors” go, I’m assuming that there are some out there who are for real but the ones I know(which are many) are very narcissistic and so are their wives. The majority of those in a leadership position of any kind are usually narcissistic.

  89. But your post is contrary to the GC narcissistic “pastor is the authority in the church, the head of the local congregation and is above reproach” or questioning. Note that “above reproach” in their lingo means that no one can reproach them, they have been appointed by God and so any one who would reproach them is going against God. You stepped over that line to suggest that the pastor can be questioned by a mere member or potential member.

  90. Arce

    Yes – I stepped over the line… BUT – He had to read it – to delete it… 😉

    And – Just maybe – one or two others read it also.

    Thank You Jesus…

  91. thatmom

    Yes – I asked – the first time – Why the comments were removed.
    The first comment below – is the last comment that appeared on his blog.
    I go back to continue the conversation – And it has been removed. 🙁
    I emailed him to ask why. He emails back with his answer.
    Ray said something like – “what was said wasn’t edifying for my readers.”

    The second comment below is my response to his email answer.

    ————-

    Ray

    Yes… Jesus loves you. And I love you too. No really.

    L. O. V. E.

    The – L.angusge O.f V.ictorious E.ternity – is Love…

    From reading your other blog posts, this one included, (liked it a lot,)
    If we met in different circumstances I believe we might find we have a lot in agreement.

    {{{{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}}}

    I’ll take the blame, haven’t commented on those post’s I’ve thought excellent and worthy.
    I love it when you’re “Lifting up” Jesus and His word.

    As you can tell, I have a hard time with “Today’s Religious System.”

    Not with you. 😉

    We wrestle not with flesh and blood…

    I’ve seen the dangers of “Titles” and “Position.”
    I’ve seen the dangers of “Control” and “Manipulation” by “Leaders?”
    I’ve seen the damage done to “Leaders” and those “Being Led” 🙁

    **Today’s** “Pastor/Leaders,” and their families, pay a horrible price also. Yes?

    Been in “Leadership” 🙁 Don’t believe that’s the answer for “His Body.”

    I believe Jesus has, and is, “The Answer.” If we can just figure out “His Way.” Yes?

    The only folks Jesus gave a hard time to were “The Religious Leaders” of the day.
    He hung out with the sinners and the tax collectors. Thank you Jesus.

    And, that was the “System” he set up. Those were His priests. Oy Vey!!! 😉

    Be blessed in your search for Truth… Jesus.

    ———

    Ray

    Thanks for the reply and the explanation.

    Sorry you didn’t find our disagreements, “Iron sharpens Iron,” edifying for you or your readers.

    I was beginning to enjoy the “deepening conversation,” the communion, koinonia, fellowship.

    Doing this all in remembrance of Jesus.
    Remembering His death, burial and resurrection until he comes.

    Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:
    and the LORD hearkened, and heard it,
    and a book of remembrance was written before him
    for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
    Malachi 3:16

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall **hear My Voice; **
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice.
    If Not Now, When?

    Jesus… Our Lord and Our God…

    ————–

    It’s his blog and he’s free to manage his site his way.

    I just find it interesting that most of the TGC cabal…
    Do NOT except well, or put up with differences, very well.

    I can’t wait for someone to disagree with me. 😉 Most of the time. 😉
    Gives me an oppurtunity to keep the conversation going.

    Be Blessed in your search for truth… Jesus…

  92. Amos,
    Though Ray seems like a nice guy, and your hard time is not with him, his heart must be saying,”thus saying thou reproachest us also.” from Luke 11:45
    Any cracks in the “system” threaten him with unemployment.

  93. Stormy

    This has been my experience also…
    “You either go along or you become the enemy.”
    “The majority of those in a leadership position of any kind are usually narcissistic.”

    In my experience with “Pastor/Leaders” and having been ordained… Ouch!!! 🙁
    No matter how loving… eventually…
    No matter how humble… eventually…
    No matter how much a servant… eventually…

    The Pastor/Leader – will lord it over God’s heritage – (A No, No – 1 Pet 5:3 KJV)
    And “Exercise Authority” like the gentiles. (A No, No – Mark 10:42-44 KJV)

    And that is always the beginning of “Spiritual Abuse.”

    “Pastor/Leader” = exercise authority = lord it over = abuse = always

    *My people* hath been *lost sheep:*
    “their shepherds” have caused them “to go astray,”
    Jer 50:6

  94. Hi Dave

    You write…
    “Any cracks in the “system” threaten him with unemployment.”

    You don’t really think that his possibly losing his…
    Power – Profit – Prestige – Honor – Glory – Reputation – Recognition…
    That comes with his “Title/Position”…

    Has anything to do with removing those comments – do you? 😉 😉 😉

    Jesus loves us this I know… And sets us free.

    Where the Spirit of the Lord is – there is liberty…

  95. Wonder how a system of election by the people for a period of 4 yrs. would work for pastors…with a limit of serving 2 terms similar to the presidency. Might that curb (or eliminate) spiritual abuse?

  96. Yesterday Bridget wrote, “The problem now is that there were people who were asking the “theological questions” on Jared’s blog and they were quite civil but were dismissed. Some bloggers (the DW variety) are dismissing everyone who commented under the same umbrella”
    Feeing like– one of those.
    A Amos Love said, “I was beginning to enjoy the “deepening conversation,” the communion, koinonia, fellowship.”
    Feeling like that, too. I was beginning civil conversations with both Wilsons, but both ended prematurely with lack of response from the other end of the line, then ridicule of the whole blessed umbrella, then closing of comments.

  97. Victorious,
    That was the original concept behind the three year tenure of Methodists pastors, which is generally practiced in most of the U.S., but with some exceptions for the larger congregations who have some “influence” over the bishop to convince him it is in everyone’s best interest for the pastor to stay, given the church’s contributions to the district.

  98. Arce and Dee, What are some good books and web sites on church history? I’d like to find out how scripture has become so distorted over the years. Like the whole thing with the King James Bible. I know these people have done it for their own gain but I want to read the progression of it.

  99. Victorious,
    I might even be able to think of biblical precedents, or at least proof-texts, for pastoral term limits. If we ran with this, we could form a new denomin… Er…Family of Churches. 🙂

  100. Dave, such a system would reap a number of benefits I would think. Elimination of abuse for one and the need for congregants to lean so heavily on the pastor’s every word. They might have to learn to utililze and recognize the giftings of other members of the body to a greater extent. In other words….more “one anothering” in the body as in 1 Cor. 14. The pastor would not exert so much time and effort into building “his kingdom.”

  101. Stormy
    Here is my favorite book Link It is easy to read and gives a great overview.

    Also, I subscribe to Christian History magazine and have all of the back issues. Link There is a great back issue on the role of women in the early church.

  102. Dave

    Perhaps “Humble Apostles” should be the name of the organization!!!

    But I think that all positions in the church should have a four year tenure, renewable twice for one year each, by 2/3 secret ballot vote of the congregation six months before the end of the term. Persons paid to be in “service” or “leadership” must leave the congregation and go somewhere else for at least four years before returning.

    Any lay person should not serve in any position of possible leadership in that congregation for at least two years following their four year term.

    No amendments to the bylaws can be approved to change the above and affect the present persons in paid roles. And any amendments must be approved by 2/3 vote of the congregation who must sign in and state that they have read and understood the change to be made.

    An exception could be the church secretarial staff.

  103. Eagle said:
    “If someone like John Piper spent 4 years working in a bank….etc”

    Or how about volunteering with a men’s anger management group or in a battered women’s shelter?

  104. Dee and Deb,

    I am very interested in reading your thoughts and information on the Wilson women and their vicious and bizarre defense of Doug Wilson’s beliefs and behavior. Obviously, there is a lot at stake for them personally and psychologically (and in their minds, spiritually) to NOT go on the attack when questions about their husband/father are legitimately raised.

  105. Acre,
    Since I’m not “big” on formal local church membership, I might suggest an alternative to voting to set apart the new humble apostles to their calling. Maybe worship, listening to the Spirit, fasting, prayer, and laying on on of hands? (Acts 13:2-3) Too impractical, for sure, and some would likely say “not for today”, “unbiblical”, or “egalitarian”.
    Dee and Deb
    A look at other Wison men would also be educational.

  106. @ androidninja “…I hate algebra, but love calculus…”

    Unless one has the grey-cell moxie of say Gauss & Euler, good algebra skills are indispensable for success in the Calculus.

    As any of us lesser lights will surely attest, try differentiating (or even worse) integrating a particularly nasty rational function without them.

    But then again, you said nothing whatsoever about liking algebra.
    ===> (smiley face goes here)

  107. The more I read from Doug Wilson, the more concerned I become. I think this is the blessing of the internet. Nothing remains hidden for long. I would never have known this nor our deep association with him as Southern Baptists had this not been brought out. I hope we distance ourselves from him or at the least stop him from being thought of as a leader or speaker. It’s beyond my scope of understanding why we have been associated with him for this long. Thank you to all who have had the courage under immense fire to bring this out. I hope my denomination heeds this information. It’s beyond sinful. I hate to use the word Satanic in nature, but my thoughts are certainly in that direction his words have been so horrible.

  108. But does anyone else find it ironic that the Great Patriarch is defended by so many women going into battle? — Lynne T

    Expendable Handmaids.

  109. Stormy –

    Benson Bobrick’s Wide as the Waters: The Story of the English Bible might be just the ticket.

    Also, there are several books on the origin of the KJV, and on how it was translated. ONe of those is Adam Nicolson’s book, God’s Secretaries. (I don’t want to link to it, but only because a 2nd link will probably mean that my comment will get stuck in the “moderation” queue.) Just plug the title into a bookstore or library search engine and I’m sure you’ll be able to find it.

  110. The Penguin History of the Church is really good – I linked to Vol. 1, but there are more.

    If you want to go the scholarly route, Jaroslav Pelikan is terrific – and he can be very readable, though his history of the church is probably not the place to start for ease of reading.

    On the whole, I’m more partial to reading church history written be folks who are disinterested – or largely so – regarding agendas (their own or others’). It’s very easy to fall into all kinds of biases when writing about the history of religion – any religion.

  111. Sergius – I’m gonna wait ’til the midnight hour…” 😉

    There’s nobody quite like The Wicked Pickett!

  112. Pingback: Linkathon 7/25 » Phoenix Preacher | Phoenix Preacher UNITED STATES

  113. I am a frequent reader of your blog, but not a poster. I had to say thank you Dee and Deb for opening up these discussions. They are much needed for the Christian community to see what is taking place under the guise of Christianity. We can see clearly what is said in Scripture with 2 Tim.3:10-17:

    10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    We have the ability to think and reason brothers and sisters and know that this kind of behavior is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. I believe that the Lord has brought a time as this to sharpen and mature Christians to seek Him and His Face, not the pastor or his doctrines. I am so proud of the brothers and sisters on the blogosphere today. And you who are not believers in Christ I am also glad to hear your voice too and pray that you know that He loves you very much.

    Eagle I had to make a comment about your narcissists and co-narcs; that is a good one- CO-NARCS….lol Will have to use that one.

  114. Actually, I believe the technical term for the supporters and enablers of narcissists is ‘inverted narcissist’. But I think I like Co-Narcs better too!

  115. With my musical/poetic ears like 3 parsecs of neutron star, I had to force myself to stop thinking about the “War Against The States” and the guy who charged, when I read “Pickett”.
    In case anyone is unclear, the Wilson men I have in mind are Jim and Evan, from whom the silence as they DON’T rush to defend Doug is telling. As a non-egalitarian in some ways, I think there’s some gender difference in play here.

  116. LOVE Wilson Pickett! And soul music in general!

    I’d rather listen to him than Doug Wilson…but that was never in question 😉

  117. Victorious

    Note: he is their to save “civilization.” He is not interested in individuals. He is going to save the world. This is a Napoloeon complex and frankly, seems like he has a pretty high opinion of himself and his little “kirk” in Moscow. This is a little frightening, especially since TGC is buying into this.

  118. Matter of fact Lynn, if you want to get more technical, let’s call them Codependent narcissists.

  119. You are welcome Dee 🙂
    This Scripture is so encouraging because it does give us power through the Holy Spirit to be able to KNOW Scripture without the POPE.

  120. I live and serve in a neighborhood of ESL folks and folks non ESL but who indeed struggle with reading comprehension.

    They are believers who bring me the firewood I need to heat with, food from their gardens, trees, and specialties of their native lands.

    They show up to check on us if there is bad weather or trouble in the neighborhood or town.

    They willing care for family members with dementia, physical disabilities, addictions, and mental illness.

    No one around them will go hungry or unhoused–even if they give you their own meal or sleep in their own vehicles to help you.

    Now THOSE are the greatest church leaders I know, despite the fact they are no longer attending Baptists and lapsed Catholics.

  121. @ Muff:

    I don’t know. Something about calculus clicked for me (I loved the applications, especially in physics and architecture).I didn’t say I failed algebra; I just hated it. 😉 I was a very average student in it, but picked up calculus really quickly and did well in it.

    Sorry for the silence. I’m moving, and the last place I want to be is near a computer. Prayers needed as I transition.

  122. Note: he is their to save “civilization.” He is not interested in individuals. He is going to save the world. This is a Napoloeon complex and frankly, seems like he has a pretty high opinion of himself and his little “kirk” in Moscow. — Dee

    Ah, Citizen Robespierre’s Republique of Perfect Virtue! The Cause so Righteous it justifies any evil whatsoever to bring it about! The Perfect Omelet that always requires cracking more and more eggs! The distant stare, eyes always on the New World on the horizon! The Collective World, not the Individuals in it!

    I find it appropriate that his HQ is in a town called Moscow.

  123. Amid the dismaying and sickening stuff TGC and Doug Wilson put forth in this incident, this is a spot of sunshine:

    “I usually end up meeting people and talking to them in the line. He knows that a 10-minute stop will often turn into 30 minutes. I love people and often try to imagine them as they will be. It is during these times I become missional in my thinking. I try to understand others, what makes them tick, and when and if, the time is right, I may discuss my faith in such a way as to intrigue, not to offend.”

    The friendly, welcoming part is my husband to a T. I love people, but I’m much quieter and tend to hang back, trying to understand what makes them tick. Between us–without any need for any colonizing (seriously space alien, there, Doug)–we make a pretty good team. Almost like God intended us to live as partners, or something.

  124. C.L. Dyck

    I liked your term “We make a pretty good team.” Seems to sum up the whole gender thing, doesn’t it?