Resurgence 2013 – Do We Really Need Another Conference?

"The Resurgence is largely known for its global reach. We host the largest Christian leadership blog, publish a half-dozen books annually, hold conferences around the country, and offer a master's level theological training program for leaders from around the world. We are working on everything a tiny team possibly can to train Christians and churches around the world to lead gospel-driven lives and ministries."

The Resurgence Team

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Space_Needle002.jpg

Space Needle in Seattle

What do Mark Driscoll, Rick Warren, Greg Laurie, James MacDonald, Matt Chandler, and Crawford Loritts have in common?  They are ALL speaking at the second annual Resurgence Conference.  The live event – called R13 – will be held next fall at Mars Hill Church in Seattle.  According to the conference website, "this is an event to equip young leaders, men and women who love Jesus"

For just $250 + $13.49 processing fee (through 1/31/13) attendees get to hear from these megapastors from 9:00 a.m. November 5 through 5:00 p.m. November 6, 2012.   You can buy your ticket and even see who is going here.  Keep in mind that travel, lodging, and food are not included.

If you don't have the funds to attend the live event, you're in luck if you live near one of these four cities – Orlando, Reno, Bellevue, or Albuquerque.  For just $99 you can attend the conference at these satellite locations where it will be broadcast.  In addition, they will have exciting live speakers at the four locations. 

The conference speakers who are still council members of The Gospel Coalition (TGC) are Matt Chandler and Crawford Loritts, who will both be speaking at the upcoming TGC conference in April.  Of course, Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald were once TGC Council Members but no longer "serve" TGC. 

Mark Driscoll invited Rick Warren to speak at the first Resurgence conference (held last October) and Warren will speak again in 2013.  Here is Driscoll explaining why he is excited about including Rick Warren.

As some of you may know The Purpose Driven Life just marked its 10th anniversary and has been republished with updates.  It will likely be plugged at the R13 conference along with Resurgence materials.  After all, Driscoll and gang are called to equip Christian leaders…

Last October during the first ever Resurgence Conference, I wrote a post which you can access here.  In that post, I quoted the following information from the Resurgence website:

Get Trained.

Millions of Christians around the world have come to the Resurgence for training. Our motto is “Get trained,” so our whole mission is to help you on the mission God has given you.

Look around. The Spirit is up to something. There is a resurgence of biblically faithful, passionate believers on board with the mission of spreading Jesus' name. This is a movement anchored by a theological foundation of four points.

1.  Gospel-Centered Theology

2.  Spirit-Filled Lives

3.  Complementarian Relationships

4.  Missional Churches

When I clicked on the link to these four foundational points in the prior post, the verbiage has changed on the Resurgence website.  Now the four points are: (link)

1.  JESUS-CENTERED THEOLOGY

2.  JESUS-MODELED RELATIONSHIPS

3.  JESUS-EMPOWERED LIVING

4.  JESUS' MISSION

'Complementarian Relationships' has been replaced with 'Jesus-modeled relationships', and those relationships are currently described as follows on the Resurgence website:

"God exists in a perfect community; we call this the Trinity. The three persons of the Godhead are all equal in power, glory, and righteousness, yet each is distinct with different roles. The Son submits to the Father, and the Spirit does the work made possible by the sacrifice of the Son. God calls for this kind of community in church government and Christian households."

It will be interesting to follow this conference as see how it evolves, as this change on the Resurgence website indicates.  For those who may not know much about Mark Driscoll's background, here he is describing where he grew up, how he and Grace met and married, and how Mars Hill Church began.  Much has happened since this video was produced…

Do we REALLY need yet another annual conference?  We would love for you to share your thoughts on R13.  

Lydia's Corner:  Numbers 15:17-16:40  Mark 15:1-47  Psalm 54:1-7  Proverbs 11:5-6

Comments

Resurgence 2013 – Do We Really Need Another Conference? — 217 Comments

  1. SMG,

    Just think, if Jesus had taken the conference route, it's no telling how many people groups would have been reached by now…

  2. Eagle,

    Crawford Loritts is very much in demand these days. Isn't he very much involved with Campus Crusade?

    Remember the blow-up about complementarianism at the *University of Louisville? It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out…

    ********

    * I erroneously typed "Kentucky" and Big Blue Fan in Asia pointed out the mistake, which has now been corrected.  :-)

  3. I thought it was pretty funny to see the change from “Complementarian Relationships” to “JESUS-MODELED RELATIONSHIPS” I couldn’t help but laugh.

    And if anyone wants to sponsor me for the conference, I’ll go and give a report back and even some video! Ha ha! I think it’s funny right now because we moved from North Carolina where I first started reading your blog invited by a friend, now we are here in WA not far from Seattle. I can’t believe I am that close to Mars Hill church and it’s not something I brag about at all.

    These conferences are truly about the money, I am shocked about the price! Let’s make money at serving the body of Christ. That seems like an Oxymoron!!

    Oh and that clip about Rick, I love how Mark puffs him up and says he gives back 90% of his income and lives off 10%, well I am sure I could live off his 10% too and have lots extra! So does that make him a better person or pastor? Not in my eyes!

  4. My husband pays less than that to go to specialist medical conferences!

    So, if I read their marketing hype correctly, you can’t be a “biblioally faithful, passionate believer” without their training? Odd how the church survived so long without them!

    Now if I could only get my brain to stop going into convulsions at the thought of Jesus modelling complementarian relationships …

  5. After watching the second video and thumbing through “Real Marriage’ at the book store I want to ask if his wife sleeps on her stomach any more.

  6. Deb,

    I missed the blowup you mentioned, but I did find the kerfuffle at Vanderbilt this year interesting to observe. The school adopted an "all-comers" policy which had been on the books, but a lawsuit forced a review of the 100s of student groups to see if they were in compliance. Vanderbilt loathes its history in regards to segregation and doesn't want to be associated with any discrimination. Therefore they believe any student admitted to the university should be able to join any student organization affiliated with Vandy. No student can be barred on the basis of race, sexual orientation or gender from joining any group (Sororities & Fraternities are the only exception) and here's the kicker: once a member they must also be allowed to run for leadership positions. The school believes the student groups on campus should not discriminate against any member of their group from becoming a leader within that group, and if a group has in place a policy of discrimination in that regard, they are in violation of university policy.

     The uproar over the university taking steps to enforce their policy came largely from religious groups. Their main argument was largely surrounding the notion that a non-Christian (the Christian groups raised the strongest objections) could run for election within the group. The Christian groups said they agreed with the all-comers policy in that they welcome everyone to join, but they limit who can be a leader to only those students who are professing Christians, and in some cases only those individuals appointed to leadership by the national organization's headquarters. Any restrictions placed upon a group by the university was viewed as discriminatory and an effort by the school to target Christian groups and "religious freedom."

    The university maintained that was not the case, that they would work with any group to help them understand and comply, but that they would would be making no exceptions to the all-comers policy. Groups who did not wish to comply were free to disagree, and could meet on campus, they but they would lose privileges as a university affiliated group. During the 3+ hour town hall meeting which I watched, Vandy officials took the time to clarify their policy and answer questions. The meeting was attended by students who were, for the most part, opposed to the school's policy, having judged it to be in violation of their religious rights. These students, in a show of solidarity, all came dressed in white shirts. While watching the discussion, it was interesting to observe, in my view, how closed minded the Christians were, how reluctant they were to adopt a non-discrimination policy. I also found it intriguing that none of the members of those Christian student groups came right out and admitted one of the reasons they couldn't comply is because they would not allow women members to run for positions of leadership within the student group – clearly discriminatory on the basis of gender. But the staff held their position. Any student can join any group and as a member they must be allowed to run for positions of leadership within the group, no exceptions.

    Vandy staff expressed their trust in the students to elect members who would best work to serve the mission of the group, but the electoral process must be open, democratic, and available to any member. During the 3 hour town hall meeting a large group of the Christians in white shirts walked out in protest. It was obvious they were not interested in complying, which I found disheartening. I was reminded that it was that same attitude that prevailed during the time of segregation, and a similar walk out would have occurred over the issue of admitting blacks to the school and allowing them to join the student groups. Same thing, different day. Still a shame.

    But kudos to Vanderbilt for sticking to their guns and for making no exceptions to their all-comers policy in the way other schools like Ohio State has done. Maybe its for this reason that CJ Mahaneys son Chad attends college on Ohio, so he won't be "sullied" by feminism, and can be a member of student religious group that doesn't have to allow women to run for positions of leadership. Just a hunch. But I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised, considering how militant the Mahaneys are about keeping woman subordinate to men within society. I'm sure they wouldn't want their son getting the wrong ideas in college, ideas that would undermine everything they have taught (brainwashed) him to believe.

  7. @ Deb:
    “Remember the blow-up about complementarianism at the University of Kentucky?”

    Deb,
    How could you??? The complementarianism mess in CRU was at the University of Louisville. Not the University of Kentucky. May you NEVER mix up the two again! And to think, I had gained so much respect for you two after reading, learning, and healing from this blog over the last couple of years.

    But while I’m on the subject, the big UK-UofL basketball game is at 4:00 Saturday afternoon. I’m seriously thinking about getting up at 4:00am to watch it live on Slingbox, even though Louisville is expected to win this year. :( Anyone else planning to watch it?

  8. WTH,

    I should have included that link in the post. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    This is one of the best parts:

    "They give the impression that there is a growing upsurge in passionate young evangelicals. This is particularly true when you see large crowds at various Reformed events, such as those put on by Desiring God, Together for the Gospel, The Gospel Coalition, Resurgence, Acts 29, Sovereign Grace, 9Marks, and so forth. However, if a decent percentage of those attendees are in fact conference Christians simply touring around like Deadheads used to, then we’ve got more of a crisis than an upsurge."

    Is Driscoll no longer a Calvinista since he names these specific organizations?  I guess he stayed on the bandwagon for a while but saw the writing on the wall. 

  9. Big Blue Fan in Asia,  My bad!!!  :-(

    It was late when I posted that comment, and I was thinking Louisville while typing Kentucky. Thanks for bringing that to my attention (I changed it in the comment so I don't throw anyone else off).

    BTW, the University of Louisville is now part of the Atlantic Coast Conference, so we will be seeing their sports teams quite a bit when they play our North Carolina teams.

  10. Big Blue Fan in Asia wrote:

    Deb,
    How could you??? The complementarianism mess in CRU was at the University of Louisville. Not the University of Kentucky. May you NEVER mix up the two again! And to think, I had gained so much respect for you two after reading, learning, and healing from this blog over the last couple of years.

    You’ll need to give these NC folks a pass. They really don’t understand that basketball may not be centered here. And many will likely think there is only one school past K12 in Kentucky. :)

    Those of us with Wildcat Blue in our blood know the truth. :)

    And yes, this game may be embarrassing for KY this year.

  11. 1. Am I the only one who finds it annoying when modern Christians try to come up with “fresh new” ways of describing the Trinity? (“Fresh new” usually = heretical, BTW.) Seriously, guys, the Creeds were enough. No need to reinvent the wheel here.

    Oh, whoops! The Athanasian Creed says that the three members of the Trinity are coequal…unlike the Resurgence description above. My bad.

    2. PDL is on it’s 10th anniversary?! Huh. I guess that means the 10th anniversary of my family’s journey out of the ELCA church is coming up soon.

    There are so many things wrong with Driscoll’s plug for Warren above that I can’t even begin to describe. How predictable that one of his finger-wagging moments was essentially “you’re not a pastor / professional so you don’t know what you’re talking about.” And I really got a laugh out of the “if you love the local church and you love Jesus, Rick Warren is like you!” How simplistic.

    Though in his defense, at this point, I’d take Rick Warren over Mark Driscoll.

    Basically: “So you got a church – that don’t impress me much”

  12. Addendum per the Trinity:

    “The three persons of the Godhead are all equal in power, glory, and righteousness, yet each is distinct with different roles. The Son submits to the Father, and the Spirit does the work made possible by the sacrifice of the Son.”

    1. This roles thing sounds like modalism. This was ruled heretical centuries ago.
    2. The Spirit only does work “made possible by [Jesus'] sacrifice.” So He didn’t have anything to do before the crucifixion (i.e., all those references to the “Spirit of God” in the OT are just made-up crap)?

  13. I read the post to which WTH provided a link. There are several valid points in it, and in fact you see the same kind of thing over here in the UK; there’s a great temptation for us as believers simply to seek out experiences in christian meetings and conferences on this type of healing or that type of prophetic whatever. It’s certainly easy to go through the motions of one’s preferred brand of Christianity – be it sacramental, emotional, intellectual, or any combination of those or anything else – for years, and never actually become more like Jesus. Paul wrote about people who were always learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth, and he might also have described people who are always undergoing healing but never become whole.

    Just one thing strikes me as odd, though, about the article.

    I notice it’s written by a chap whose name rhymes with Park Fiscal. I can’t help wondering whether that’s the same Park Fiscal who so roundly dismissed the UK church four or five years ago for not having enough (or any) well-known young Biblical Bible teachers. Or who has built a multi-site weekly motivational speaking business (which trades under the name of “Mars Hill Church” or something similar) in which, rather than train up multiple Biblical Bible teachers, he has video-links set up so that everyone listens to him teaching them what the Bible Scriptures mean.

    You cannot dedicate your life to creating a drone army of “believers” who cannot understand or read the Bible Scriptures for themselves, much less know the fellowship and leading of the Holy Spirit, without creating conference deadheads.

    There are sad echoes here of Amnon, David’s son, who fell in “love” with his half-sister Tamar, played on her – and David’s – kind nature to manipulate her into being alone with him, then overpowered and raped her. (It’s in 2 Samuel, for those who want to check my arithmetic.) Then, as soon as he’d taken want he wanted from her, he hated her for it; common enough in self-centred or abusive individuals, and probably a projection of his guilt onto her. But it’s a sad state of affairs when you seek followers and then despise them.

  14. Hey GBtC and Deb,

    Thanks for being good sports about my Kentucky comment. After posting it, I wished I’d put a smiley face at the end of the paragraph so that you’d know I wasn’t actually offended or upset. So this one’s for you: :)

    I really do appreciate all that you all (and Dee) do to make this blog happen.

  15. Evie wrote:

    I also found it intriguing that none of the members of those Christian student groups came right out and admitted one of the reasons they couldn’t comply is because they would not allow women members to run for positions of leadership within the student group – clearly discriminatory on the basis of gender.

    I’d heard about these rule changes at Vandy but didn’t know all the specifics. Very interesting what doesn’t get reported in all the news stories. Thanks for sharing some of the details here, Evie.

  16. “The three persons of the Godhead are all equal in power, glory, and righteousness, yet each is distinct with different roles. The Son submits to the Father, and the Spirit does the work made possible by the sacrifice of the Son.”

    Ah yes, the Eternal Subordination of the Son ‘doctrine’. Even though Jesus is in some sense ‘equal’ to God, he is still subordinate to him. Thus, in the same way, while women may in some sense be ‘equal’ to men, they are still subordinate to them. It’s beyond belief that guys like Bruce Ware are so desperate to impose male supremacy that they come up with and try to foist a heretical ‘doctrine’ like this on us.

  17. Deb~

    That is interesting…the change to “Jesus-Modeled Relationships”. The next thing will be Jesus-Saturated Relationships.

    Gavin said~

    “Maybe they should hold a special conference on how to comfort the grieving. A rather shocking tweet from RCSproul.”

  18. Gavin

    That has to be on the sickest responses to Newtown that I have read. I will write a post in the near future. Thank you for the link.

  19. oops–continuing…lol

    When I first read that link I thought you meant RC sr…but I see it is jr who wrote the article.

    Why are you shocked? That’s about par for him. I would be more shocked (but only a little) if his dad had written it.

  20. Jeff T

    Heresy only if they teach a hierarchical form of doctrine rather than a relational structure; the latter is the long-established doctrine of the Church.

  21. Let’s see…the same RC Sproul Jr who was defrocked from his Presbyterian denomination for tax fraud. (Using some elses tax number, I think) I can remember reading stores of people moving across the country to be part of his cult church. Oh, and if you were not able to read his online bio before the Ligonier scandal, you were missing quite a read about the “white witch” who funded Ligonier in the early days. If I remember correctly her name was something like Doris Hooper or something. She has long since passed but wasn’t it lovely of him to refer to her as a white witch for supporting his family and giving his dad his start? Of course it all came down to scandal in living the high life off the donations to Ligonier. The most embarassing part was the grandson (Sprouls daughter and family who lived with them in their mansion) who had a webpage showing him guzzling alcohol and bragging about his Lexus and one day taking over the family business. Yep, thatgot taken down once the financial scandal became obvious.

    Right after Jr was defrocked he was speaking on daddy’s conference stage and of course, he was welcomed with open arms to Doug Wilson’s CREC. Sproul Jr is doing all he knows how to do and was raised to do. Trying to make a living off Jesus.

  22. Rick Warren is popping up in the strangest places. Remember a while back it was Desiring God conference where he bragged of his Calvinist bonafides. I really think Warren is trying hard to get back on top and the Calvinism gig is where the money is these days. He has a new book out I saw him promoting on the news.

    Which brings me to conferences. There are many reasons conferences are important to these celeb ministers. Yes, conferences are good money if attended well. However, more importantly, they are a very important part of bringing in new followers, selling books, etc. Think of it, Rick Warren followers will now be checking out Mark Driscoll’s books, sermons, etc, because he is new and approved. And visa versa. It is a way to expand your fan base, sell stuff and attract new donors.

  23. Yes Anon 1.

    I am not shocked that jr wrote that article. I would be shocked, say, if Dee or Deb wrote an article like that because I have read enough of them to know they would find that view horrendous. But if one has read not only about jr’s scandals, but his theology, one is not shocked.

  24. Diane, I once read a scathing blog post of his making fun of women who gained weight after having babies and not trying to look good enough for their husbands. He of course, took it down after the requisite outcry.

    Oh and another one claiming women who are on the internet are easily lured by Lotherios they might interact with online.

    BTW: Have you ever seen him? He has no room to talk.

    Many of these men are simply pigs who only know how to make a living off Jesus.

    Once again, I encourage anyone who thinks what I said is wrong about them, just read the Gospels for 3 years every day for 3 hours and then tell me how they remind you of Jesus Christ. You can spot a charlatan a mile away. The problem is people in these groups make these guys the norm. They only know their Jesus which is not the real one.

    Encourage their fans to make Jesus the norm!

  25. @Anon 1~

    Anyone, anyone closely associated with or promoting Doug Wilson (as jr was and/or still is) is the brightest stop sign red flag there is.

  26. Heresy only if they teach a hierarchical form of doctrine rather than a relational structure; the latter is the long-established doctrine of the Church. Gavin

    Heresy, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. I myself think the Bruce Ware, et. al., ‘doctrine’ of the ESS, with it’s emphasis on Christ’s status below that of God comes pretty close to the line, if not going over. I say this because the whole point of the ESS is to say that women are to be subordinate to men just as Jesus is subordinate to God – if how they promote the relationship of of men and women is supposed to be, and this is the relationship of Jesus to God, it is hierarchical and therefore heretical.

  27. Deb – Feel free to swap out the picture if you want. Or you can save it for a later post . . . . because we know they’ll be another MH post.

    Cathy – got your e-mail. Thanks!

  28. Deb, anytime you need something on Mars Hill or Mark Driscoll you should ask Julie Anne and I. I’m sure we would enjoy doing that.

    I am having a feeling Julie Anne and I would make a good team.

    @ Deb:

  29. Jeff T

    That’s the hierarchical view and they have tried to suggest that it was ‘invented’ only in 1977 to bolster their views on marriage and the church.

    Gavin

  30. @Anon 1

    easily lured by Lotherios

    Just want to take time out to acknowledge a turn of phrase the likes of which I have not seen since a B. Kliban drawing in the 1970s which bore the title “Cyril is pursued by savages.” But I digress.

    Press on.

  31. “Just want to take time out to acknowledge a turn of phrase the likes of which I have not seen since a B. Kliban drawing in the 1970s which bore the title “Cyril is pursued by savages.” But I digress.”

    Hee Hee. Sproul Jr reminds me of Don Quixote, anyway. Ever see the pic of him in his kilt while expounding on various bottles of scotch in his bar?

  32. We’re living in the spiritual equivalent of the Dark Ages here. Rick Warren almost seems to me to be the equivalent of a Tetzel. Lots of colors and lights and action, selling the Gospel as if it was a thing to sell. Driscoll is like poor Pope Leo, trying to build more castles, and in need of funds. So call out Tetzel and make the big bucks.

    They’re Finneys all, making a carnival of grace. If only Martin Luther could come back for a day and write a letter. What fire it would carry.

    Need more Reform!

    As for Sproul: I’ll defend this piece despite the tone that I abhor. We should not scape goat a wicked murdered like Adam Lanza and think that such behavior is so Other that we can demarcate lines of good (us) and evil (him) when that line runs through all of us. I think that was his point. Of course, what he wrote was totally insensitive and graceless without even a twinge of a pastoral nerve.

  33. @Dee

    Well, perhaps once I get the old ST back up to speed, we can hold the Breadman’s 2013 Conference and discuss the details.

    @Anon1
    Actually, I have seen the photo you’re referring to. Unfortunately, the memory now so invoked has effectively ruined my holiday spirit. Humbug!

    SMG

  34. Cal

    I am planning to do a post on what he said.Here is the problem with all sin vein equal. There is a difference between the damage that a Hitler caused and me breaking the speed limit.

  35. dee:

    You’re right, but the root is exactly the same between the two. Unlike Sproul, I wouldn’t say it’s just me trying to put myself on the throne of my heart (aka. rebellion). That’s a very Western, limited, middle-class understanding.

    Jesus tells us Sin is slavery. So whether I murder or hate in my heart, they are both symptomatic of the chains that are wrapped around man. Not everyone is Hitler, but we’re all sick with the same disease. Some are just much sicker and further along than others, some try and spread that disease.

  36. Need more Reform!

    “As for Sproul: I’ll defend this piece despite the tone that I abhor. We should not scape goat a wicked murdered like Adam Lanza and think that such behavior is so Other that we can demarcate lines of good (us) and evil (him) when that line runs through all of us. I think that was his point. Of course, what he wrote was totally insensitive and graceless without even a twinge of a pastoral nerve.”

    I, for one, am glad all these reformed folks are admitting they are potential Adam Lanza’s, too. I am hoping it will wake more people up and they will stop supporting them. I hope those who see themselves as having the same evil will simply turn themselves in now and get some help.

  37. “Not everyone is Hitler, but we’re all sick with the same disease. Some are just much sicker and further along than others, some try and spread that disease.

    You may not have heard of the Holy Spirit? In your understanding I am wondering exactly what the Cross was for if we cannot live as new creatures in Christ NOW. Are you suggesting we can live with dark hearts now as professing believers and only live as Christ in eternity?

    I am not even talking sinless perfection which is impossible but I am talking about hearts. Obviously we can have pure hearts because Jesus refers to those who do as being Blessed.

  38. Cal

    You will get no argument from me on the sin nature of man. But, when leaders make sweeping statements that there is no difference between sins it can lead to a problem in churches. For example, here is a trend that I have been observing. A pedophile is tried and convicted. A church sends pastors and all sorts of resources to “help”  the pedophile. However, they spend next to no time in intervening in the pain and suffering of the pedophile’s victims.

    I personally viewed a local church that gave all sorts of support and “atta boys”  to a pedophile, helping to move him out of his house in the neighborhood in which he plyed his foul deeds. Man after man walked up the driveway, hugging the pedophile, high fiving him etc. Meanwhile, I along with a dear friend whose son was hurt by a pedophile, stood in the cul de sac, amidst the families of the victims. Not one of the pedophile’s “assistants (from a church) acknowledged their existence. The pastor, when interviewed on TV about this guy did not mention the victims.

    Was it hard to meet the victims? No, my friend and I, earlier in the week, visited the neighborhood and walked around, introducing ourselves and making it known that we were so sad that these families had been harmed. i thne wrote a post on the matter.

    Perhaps it is cooler to reach out to a pedophile than the families who were affected? Or, since sin is equally shared between the pedophile and the families, we can ignore the sinful victims?

  39. Anon1

    Well, maybe I should take some more time to flesh everything out. I’m talking generally as capital-M Man. Yes, the Holy Spirit makes a huge difference! Yes the cross changes everything! We are united to Christ by His Spirit.

    But it doesn’t do any good to pretend that this communion is perfectly realized in the here and now. I’m all about following Christ, being serious about the commands we receive on the Sermon on the Mount and that the Holy Spirit perfects us in love.

    Doesn’t change the inward battle and imperfection of both will and action of man. We may have the cure (union with Christ) but we’re still recovering.

  40. @ JeffT:

    Just checking in – I haven’t researched ESS overly deeply yet – is the only difference between Ware and what preceded him, that Ware claims the Son submits to Father eternally, whereas “normal” doctrine states the Son submitted in the Incarnation? (Clearly no ones denies that He did submit in the Incarnation.) I would tend to agree with you that eternal submission (esp. when the term “subordination” is used) does sound awfully hierarchical.

    Interestingly, my denomination’s doctrinal statement (LCMS, and they are officially comp) says diddly-squat about the Son submitting…and it was written in 1932 when the LCMS was WAY more conservative than it is now.

    My bigger difficulty with the quote about the Trinity in the article was that it implied the HS only became active after the crucifixion.

  41. dee:

    That’s just bad then. To ignore the victim and tend to the violator is just wicked. Not that one should get out the pitchforks and torches and destroy the violator, but certainly not coddle. Going with the illness metaphor, just because one is sick doesn’t mean you don’t quarantine or apply harsh tasting medicine. Paul wanted the guy sleeping with step-mom cast out, but not out of need for punishment, but so that he may return truly repentant. Which is not just a “I’m sorry for being a baddie, we’re cool right?”

  42. Maybe the problem is when you teach sin is merely actions and equating them as the same. So fibbing and rape are the same things. The root is the same this is very true. However having a brown little bud on a plant and a rotten, monstrous piece of fruit are different and receive different actions, that ought to be explicit.

    It seems to be a balancing act. Treating sin as acts as the same leads to what you’re going against, treating sin as different gets the sort of hyper-obsession with the gays and relative indifference to nasty gossiping, lying, and inhospitable selfishness-called-stewarding.

  43. What a cup of strangebrew this is.The theological differences of these 3 men are wide.Calvinism-Arminianism and pop biblo-psycho-babble from the same pulpit.All for 250$.Made in America.

  44. c. 5th-6th c. A.D., the Athanasian Creed says (among other things


    And in this Trinity, no one is before or after, greater or less than the other; but all three persons are in themselves, coeternal and coequal; and so we must worship the Trinity in unity and the one God in three persons.

    So yes, ESS is definitely heterodox at best.

  45. @ Cal:
    Cal (et al) – one probably reason behind the rise of the “all sins are equal” idea is the sinners-prayer / altar-call model of church growth. With this model, one attempts directly to persuade hard-working and (by everyday standards) respectable people who don’t do drugs or commit violent crime that they’re vile sinners every bit as wretched and deserving of hell as those who do. Now, if you start to say that some sins aren’t as bad as others, then There’s A Very Real Danger™ that Some People might decide they’re not really sinners after all and therefore they don’t need Jesus.

    Now, I do get the theology behind this. “All have sinnedst and falleneth short unto the gloryeth of God thereof” is (if you remove the KJV parodying that I couldn’t quite resist this close to bedtime) in the Bible for a reason and it means something. And I don’t doubt that the majority of believers who take this approach to evangelism do so honestly. I could think of it this way: do I, as a Christian, believe there’s anyone out there for whom Jesus is superfluous? (Er – no, btw.) At the same time, I humbly submit this observation: Jesus seems to have responded far more to a person’s faith in him than to their wretchedness before him.

  46. A huge wake up call for me was reading Kevin Giles’ book about ESS and seeing that Bruce Ware and some other “scholars” had actually edited/twisted quotes from Athanasius in order to promote ESS as orthodox.

    I double checked it and will never trust these so called “scholars” at SBTS again. It still amazes me they got by with it.

    Cheryl Schatz did an entire DVD teaching on ESS and how it was being propagated by Ware, Denny Burk, etc.

    http://www.amazon.com/Trinity-Eternity-Future-Explaining-Exposing/dp/B001ID8582

    What is amazing is how close they get to Jehovah Witness teaching with it. And most Christianese cults tamper with the Trinity.

  47. “conferences are business for these folks.” That’s how they make their money,sell books,etc..” Yep…Besides them being narcissists,that’s how they are able to overlook each others motives because their motives are all the same.

  48. But it doesn’t do any good to pretend that this communion is perfectly realized in the here and now. I’m all about following Christ, being serious about the commands we receive on the Sermon on the Mount and that the Holy Spirit perfects us in love.

    Doesn’t change the inward battle and imperfection of both will and action of man. We may have the cure (union with Christ) but we’re still recovering.”

    here is my concern, Cal with the Reformed view. A great way to excuse even heinous sin is to teach folks their very existence is sin (Imputed guilt/total depravity/total inability). That they cannot help but sin 24/7. It is their natural state.

    Scripture tells us to “take every thought captive” and that tells me that we can. There are tons of verses that tell us we can overcome with the help fo the Holy Spirit. We will never be perfect because we are born in corrupted bodies into a corrupted world. We are told to strive to be Holy. The Reformed view is that this is impossible.

    I guess I have read one too many Reformers writing that they are Adam Lanza, too.If we are still “evil” long after salvation then what was the point of the Cross and REsurrection? Is it to be comfortable with our sin until judgement and chalk it up to: oh that is just the way we are? or is it to walk in the light with the spirit of truth helping us along the way? There are some who actually believe that Jesus obeys for us now because we have no ability to reason.

    We have a lot of YRR guys running around saying they are horrible sinners. I do often wonder why that qualifies them for ministry. :o)

  49. Anon1:

    Your finding and making caricatures. Total Depravity, except in the most bastardized form, is not “my existence = sin, I’m sinning 24/7″.

    If people are making all the claims, they’re not Reformed or you’re misunderstanding their point. Driscoll et al. may be 5pts TULIP, but that don’t make them Reformed.

  50. “Total Depravity, except in the most bastardized form, is not “my existence = sin,”

    Cal, Logically the position of “total depravity” can be nothing else but your existence is sin. You are born “in sin” , totally unable and are guilty of Adams sin. It is just when we actually respond to what they are saying, they tell us we do not understand it. I hear that all the time from YRR/NC/Reformed folks.

    It always sounds a lot better when it cannot be debated.

  51. Eagle wrote:

    Of course, Mohler is very well educated compared to CJ, but that’s not saying anything.

    Made me laugh out loud, thanks lolol

    If both men were better educated they know that The Divine Right of Kings is no longer in vogue.

  52. @ Cal:

    Actually, sin is an archery term and means missing the mark. If you sin, you are not on target with God. We as humans have an “inclination” to sin (a disposition), but that mean we are constantly missing God. Christians have been described as having willing spirits and weak flesh.

    Murders, Pedophiles and the rich rulers who oppressed are called evil. Think of Herod.

    There is a wide gulf in the early believer’s understanding between a believer’s weak flesh and a murderer or political oppressor.

    It is something Calvin messed up, years later. Our weaknesses won’t separate us from Christ and his Kingdom, but the evil – those who once had Christ, but late rejected him for worldly gain such as murder or rape will be rejected by Christ.

    Hebrews fleshes this out well. Nothing (external) can separate us from God, but we can choose at any time to leave and walk to the dark side.

    What so few average Christians (and those seeped in Calvinism) miss, is that once you are saved, the stakes are higher. Walk from your salvation, and Satan will have a heyday with your life.

    Comparing a struggling believer to a predator pedophile in a church is useless (Calvinism lies on this one), the predator has turned himself over to Satan, the average believer who abhors this conduct has not. Could we go that way? not unless we, too, openly reject Christ for personal worldly lusts, something few believers would choose to do.

    Our flesh is weak, yes, but that is more about living out Kingdomly lives, not doing the good we know ought to be done, giving into fear or annoyance rather that doing what would be difficult. This stuff, although we need to give it to God and die more to self, is forgivable.

    Giving up on God in order to pursue evil desires – murder, sex (esp. with kids), gaining power and seeking to destroy any who threaten that power (King Saul, CJ Mahaney) are in a much more precarious position due to the CHOICES THEY MADE.

    Don’t fool yourself with (gnostic) teachings, we DO have agency – God gave humans dominion over this earth from the beginning of creation. The boot out of Eden was a removal from God’s presence and the result was broken relationships (human – God, human – human, human – creation), but our job description on earth – dominion- was never removed.

    Christ’s death restored the broken relationship between God and man. He also calls us to restore the broken relationship between humans, and humans with creation. He offers us his Spirit, he has completed the task. To refuse this, drop it, and go running after the broken things of the world is the unforgivable sin.

    The average Christian fails every day (weak flesh), but the average Christian has not rejected the Holy Spirit.

    Someone said it this way. If you sin, repent, if you cause others to sin, woe to you. That is why being a teacher is judged more harshly. The outcomes of sin matter A LOT to God. Being lazy is a personal failure, molesting a child wreaks a child’s life, so God will judge it more harshly.

    Comparing a child’s lie about a stolen cookie to a pedophile’s sin and saying both deserve the same fate isn’t well supported. Here’s why: we have little info on Hell in the Bible (in fact the early church had no notion of it), what we glean is there is a Lake of Fire, there is a place outside the City of God, and there is the Hades – described in a parable of the Rich man and Lazarus and there is Sheol. The translations don’t always differentiate.

    In Jesus’ day, and those after it, the immoral were the Rich. That seems unfair, however, to be rich in those days was equivalent being corrupt. In the Roman Empire, to have wealth and power meant getting in bed with Rome, something good Jews did not do. It is the case in many, many countries in the world today, that to be rich often means gaining it on the backs of the poor, so it is often very immoral to be rich. So, in the parable of Lazarus and the Rich man, the Rich man is right where the crowds expected him to be – in Hades. Lazarus is in the bosom of Abraham.

    So are there levels to hell? Satan is thrown in the Lake of Fire at the end, viewed a annihilation. Others, who remain outside the City of God – where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth – may be in the same position as the Rich Man in the Lazarus story.

    What about pedophiles? Try Matthew 18:6 or Mark 9:42 – where it says: “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

    That may not sound like Hell, but if we go back to the OT, the deeps are where Hell was believed to be (Mesopotamian view), Fire and Brimstone under the Earth is a Greek take. In fact, throwing one to the deeps was equivalent to annihilation in OT parlance and I don’t think that is lost on Jesus followers.

    One other point – Sheol, which was the Hebrew word for after-death residence, has been linked to untimely deaths. In other words, a child went to Sheol, or a solider, but those who died in old age rested with their fathers. The Jews viewed a wrongful/untimely death as something different, something needing God to help that person with – Jesus had a Sheol death.

    So, in my observation: 1) Jesus treats different sins differently, 2) the afterlife for those not with Christ seems to have levels, or differences, that are not made clear to us 3) saying we all deserve what a pedophile deserves is shaky at best, and not clear the way the Bible talks about the grave – ignoring, of course, the fact many don’t subscribe to penal substitutionary atonement to begin with – if we keep it on the discussion of RC Sprol, those kid’s in Newtown went to Sheol, not “resting with the Fathers”, so there is an unresolved injustice there. For Christians, the final Judgment day will put that all right, vindication, etc…but that is a while off (since the Mayan’s didn’t get the date correct :) ), in the meantime, saying they got what we all deserved is a lame argument, since the scriptures don’t even spell it all out.

    If you really want to wrap your head around all this stuff, look up historical takes on Holy Saturday, to get an early church perspective on death, after-life, places soul’s rest, etc. And remember, our punishments are not in how we die (unless you are Herod or Jezabelle or someone God specifically damned), rather, where we end up. According to God, no one should kill anyone else, as we are all made in the image of God – so, no, we don’t deserve to be shot down in a blaze of bullets. The Calvinists are wrong, dead wrong.

  53. Mark Driscoll is right up there on the “marquee” along with guess who?
    Chandler is still playing second fiddle to Big D.
    Has anything really changed?
    Just a shuffling of the deck – but the deck stays the same.
    Only now you have to pay more ca$h to play: $99-$250 a head.

    Just like yesterday,
    And I’ll get on my knees and pray -
    We don’t get fooled again.
    Don’t get fooled again!
    No, no!

    http://mattbredmond.com/2012/03/28/thoughts-on-mark-driscoll-stepping-aside-as-president-of-acts-29

  54. RE: conferences

    I wonder how many speakers will be serving up leftovers, repackaged for the occasion?

    In the past, I attended some such conferences — so many times I’ve had the distinct impression the speaker is not all that prepared with their material. Almost like they forgot they had this gig lined up, and remembered at the last minute with barely enough time to at least scrounge up something to talk about. Or, they came across as very bored with their content.

    All in all, I felt extremely ripped off. These conferences are not only expensive but entail a ton of life arranging to come to.

  55. “Your finding and making caricatures. Total Depravity, except in the most bastardized form, is not “my existence = sin, I’m sinning 24/7″.

    If people are making all the claims, they’re not Reformed or you’re misunderstanding their point. Driscoll et al. may be 5pts TULIP, but that don’t make them Reformed.”

    AND-

    “here is my concern, Cal with the Reformed view. A great way to excuse even heinous sin is to teach folks their very existence is sin (Imputed guilt/total depravity/total inability). That they cannot help but sin 24/7. It is their natural state.”

    Is Westminster a reformed seminary? Remember this, Anon 1, from their blog that Challies linked to and said, at the end of the quote, “Ain’t that the truth”

    “One of my colleagues here at the seminary likes to remind us, “We not only believe in total depravity, we practice it too!”
    http://wscal.edu/blog/entry/christians-are-sinners-too

    Goes on to say we shouldn’t be shocked/surprised at gross sin in the church.

    So-what does Westminster (and Challies) mean by we practice total depravity?
    Sounds to me like it means we sin sin sin and we are not surprised.

  56. @ Anon 1:
    I once attended SBTS. One of the reasons I left was the willingness of some on the faculty to promote heterodox (and in some cases, I think, heretical) teachings just to defend their complementarianism. A very disturbing turn of events, and disappointing that the administration hasn’t held them accountable.

  57. RE: conferences

    And the fact of the matter?

    These guys really aren’t that great.

    Very few speakers deliver the goods of “time well spent”.

    It’s been a number of years since I’ve heard anything at all with that “inspired” edge or sheen to it. Anyone else?

    The anecdotes might have some entertainment value, but the point of it all is like…. duh. Ok, you have a very nice speaking voice, very nice presentation skills, some charm that’s endearing…. but, i have to say…. this is old news.

    Or, this is just plain odd. An ideologial concoction the relevance for which I can’t quite figure out. It sounds so lofty therefore it must be dripping with enlightenment, as the nodding heads in the audience would imply. But really,… you’re just getting fanciful. You’ve stared at the material too long and journaled your mind down a worm hole, turning your brain inside out like a paper cup. Because of your brand name, people feverishly buy it, just like the latest in unnecessary technology gadgets.

    Just very disappointed.

  58. I’m of the opinion that the power of complementarianism that stands behind certain men (Mahaney, Driscoll, Piper, Grudem) and women (Nancy Leigh DeMoss) and their organizations is being diffused, as well it should be. I agree with others here who contend the ESS was designed to prop up hierarchy (lets just call it that, shall we?) and is, in the words of Gilbert Bilezikian “Hermeneutical Bungee-Jumping.”

    Hello hierarchicalists, Jesus set us free from the curse of the law. “Complementarianism” is just a man-made cover for the pathologies of the fallen nature. There’s no freedom from sin offered in the “doctrine” of the ESS, or conforming to the teachings of complementarianism. Its legalism, plain & simple.

  59. Val:

    You don’t seem to understand a lot of what the Reformed stream has taught outside some of the pop form that you can see in the Circus of American christendom which is really just hyper-calvinism.

    I really don’t want to have to type out and educate you on this. If you want a better idea, go read Calvin’s Institutes or some of the confessions (I recommend Heidelberg catechism and second Helvetic confession). I wouldn’t even consider myself Reformed except maybe in a loose way and so I’m not saying everything you find in Calvin is golden. He does have his moments though.

    Just so you know, while I’m a novice, I am read in early Church history. You’re cutting with the moralistic knife of the early Church, but lopsided in some of the beautiful writing on the effects of Incarnation by Irenaeus and Athanasius.

    Look, I love Tertullian’s weirdo moralistic rants, even if they are sometimes legalistic. He’s a kindred soul for the odd-man out ranter who lives in the modern day equivalent of the Roman Empire (aka. me).

    Diane:

    Total Depravity does not mean that every human being is totally evil and wants to just do evil things. The totality is in reference to scale not depth. Every part of humanity is touched by sin: our bodies, our thoughts, our wills, etc etc. This was against the Medieval teaching that man’s intellect and will remained beyond sin, though our bodies were not. Therefore the battle was for us to will the good against the evil. This was marked as mere Pelagianism and Christless. The Reformers (Luther et al.) fought this and this was played out in the Freedom of the Christian (Luther), the Freedom of the Will (Erasmus), and the Bondage of the Will (Luther again).

    Anyway, I think the WTS guy was too flippant with this but he’s right, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see sin in the Church. What’s more puzzling is the circus where certain pastors become dictators and demand authority. That’s a problem with the single-man/pastor model of many churches but that’s another discussion.

  60. @ Cal:

    The Circus of American Christendom… I like that. ; )

    Thankfully Christendom’s boundaries extend well beyond America. Though many American Christians don’t seem to realize that (exhibit A: all the “if we fall away then the light of the world is gone” rhetoric).

  61. “The totality is in reference to scale not depth.”

    Thanks Cal…yes, I do know that. Yet the WTS article states “even gross sin” should not surprise us. Used the term gross sin twice. That is depth. Gross as opposed to other lesser sin. So–I am not to be surprised by grossly deep sin in the church. Yet, I am. It is shocking to me to see pastors cover up pedophilia and support the perpetrator and not the victim.

    I am not surprised to see “sin” in the generic sense in Christians. I am surprised to see, for example, a deliberate planned sin like attempted blackmail of another pastor by a professing Christian pastor. I cannot not be surprised by that. I do not expect that. I am very surprised by that…perhaps that is just me and my problem and I am not understanding that we, as born again believers with a new heart that wants to obey God’s commands are all capable of blackmail, murder and rape and I should just not be surprised to see these gross sins in the church.

  62. Cal, while you may see yourself as a man living in the modern day equivalent of a fallen empire, I see myself as a woman living in an amazing time in history, quite possibly on the cusp of a new awakening.

    I tend to agree with Toynbee. When the “creative minority” is suppressed and their solutions to challenges ignored, then growth stops and deterioration sets in as things degenerate into the ways of the “dominant minority.” This is what happened inside the mini fiefdom of Sovereign Grace Ministries, led by a man who is not creative and admits to “never having had an original thought.” When a time of trouble came and he rejected any input that didn’t line up with his one-dimensional thought protocol, then its only been a matter of time before SGM, like Rome, crumbles.

    But there’s a new wave of thinking that’s capturing the imaginations of people all over the place. And I think its a mistake to look inside the walls of the church for signs of progress. If I did that, and lacked perspective, I too would fall victim to a sense of decay and loss of hope, assuming as it were that I was standing in Charn, the bell had been rung, and I had better not lose track of the ring in my pocket.

    No, a new age is dawning. Things are happening, and I’m excited. Its a great time to be a believer. I’m happy to see the fall of these Neoliths because its going to clear the way for a fresh wind of God’s Spirit to empower the true church!

  63. Diane:

    I think you’re reading too much into this post unless there is some crucial backdrop I’m missing. His point is that it should surprise anyone that there may/will be major sin in the Church. Not necessarily the elders, nor just the congregants, but amongst all of them. He also mentions that discipline is a factor. I don’t think he’s excusing gross sin, just being realistic about it occurring.

    Evie:

    The Empire I was referring to is my home country of the United States. Maybe we’re not reading the same newspapers.

  64. “His point is that it should surprise anyone that there may/will be major sin in the Church.”

    It should?

  65. Cal you are so snarky!

    And I’m sorry you’re so pessimistic in the face of so much progress happening here.

    Always amazes me how some people think the news fits into the confines of a newspaper smh

  66. Evie wrote:

    I also found it intriguing that none of the members of those Christian student groups came right out and admitted one of the reasons they couldn’t comply is because they would not allow women members to run for positions of leadership within the student group – clearly discriminatory on the basis of gender.

    It will be interesting when those young men leave college and enter the world of work where they will have at least one female supervisor in their life. They might get pulled over some day and get a speeding ticket from a female police officer.

    One thing that drives me nuts about the gender complimentarians is that even if you wish to share their sexist readings of the Bible, the submission or alleged limitations that the Bible speaks of really only apply in narrow circumstance: (1) marriage and (2) certain offices in churches.

    If you are like me, though, a never-married woman, the comps don’t know what to do with you. The Bible nowhere calls for an unmarried female to submit to anyone (outside of mutual submission to ALL believers, in a generic sense), even in the disputed passages about female roles in particular.

    I have seen some comps, who, regardless of the Bible no where hinting that unmarried females have to submit to any man, they insist, oh yes, female submission and limitation (I think they include Non Christian females, too) must extend to secular society too – a woman can never, ever lead a man not ever, not in any capacity anywhere, not even in a job, the military, where ever else.

    It’s at this point I think they really need to examine themselves and their selfish motives: they are clearly not about being faithful to the Scriptures or about being good, little obedient followers of Jesus, but in being sexist and power hungry.

  67. :-)

    And it’s possible I am not reading too much into the article and the view expressed is that flippant, to use your word, about gross sin. Hope not.

    If I should not be surprised by gross sins in the church, might not that possibly, over time, render me indifferent to gross sin?

  68. “They give the impression that there is a growing upsurge in passionate young evangelicals. This is particularly true when you see large crowds at various Reformed events, such as those put on by Desiring God, Together for the Gospel, The Gospel Coalition, Resurgence, Acts 29, Sovereign Grace, 9Marks, and so forth. However, if a decent percentage of those attendees are in fact conference Christians simply touring around like Deadheads used to, then we’ve got more of a crisis than an upsurge.”

    “O come all ye Grateful
    Deadheads to the concert;
    O come Grateful Dead fans
    And camp in the street…”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuqeP-UQEDs

  69. No, a new age is dawning. Things are happening, and I’m excited. Its a great time to be a believer. I’m happy to see the fall of these Neoliths because its going to clear the way for a fresh wind of God’s Spirit to empower the true church!
    ~ Evie ~

    I agree Evie. The old ways of thinking and believing since the time of Constantine are dying out. Their proponents are not going to go quietly either. They know full well that their enclaves are dwindling year by year, and they are desperate to hang onto what they’ve got.

  70. @ dee:

    Perhaps it is cooler to reach out to a pedophile than the families who were affected? Or, since sin is equally shared between the pedophile and the families, we can ignore the sinful victims?

    As I was saying in an earlier thread or two a few days ago, American Christians are terrible at weeping with those who weep, not just in terms of pedophilia and spiritual abuse in churches, but on any issue.

    And it’s not confined to just one church or specific denomination (so joining a new church is not the answer).

    I’ve seen the same skewed thinking by a lot of Christians in other areas of life, where the victim or hurting person is blamed or scolded.

    When I had depression for many years, some Christians either insisted there is no such thing (i.e., “real” Christians cannot have psychological problems), or (and this is big among ‘Word of Faith’ or extreme fundamentalists), it’s your fault if you are depressed (ie, it is said it is due to personal sin; not having enough faith for a healing; you’re not reading your Bible enough; there is un-confessed sin in your life, etc).

    If your loved on dies and you express hurt and pain over the death, most Christians will tell you to suck it up and tough it out, because other people have it rougher than you. (Or, the usual cliched advice: read your Bible more, have more faith, volunteer at a soup kitchen)

    One of my family members joined a 12 step program. He sounded weird to me and began blaming me for heartaches in my life, even though I was not to blame, so I looked up information about 12 step programs online.

    Many 12 step programs claim to be spiritual in nature, or loosely based on Judeo- Christian beliefs, yet these groups blame the victim, too (but show compassion to the perpetrators).

    If you visit former AA (Alcoholics Anonymous – 12 step group) member sites, you see how women and girls get raped by AA members at AA meetings or right after them (see “13 stepping”).

    One ex-AA group had a video with audio of an AA teacher guy, at an AA meeting, mocking an eight year old girl he saw on the news who was crying because she had been raped.

    He was mocking the little girl for being upset about having been raped, for she was not accepting her “role” in being raped, etc.

    In their warped view, you can never complain or express hurt over having been violated or hurt in some other way, because they believe you are trying to avoid personal responsibility and shift blame, yada yada, and so forth.

    Much the same insensitive trash is taught by Nouthetic (so called “Bible only) Counseling – blame the victim.

    It doesn’t matter if you were raped, have cancer, your loved one died, you were fired from your job, you suffer from depression, whatever your issue is, there are many Christians out there who refuse to offer you understanding and encouragement, but who will blame you for your own struggles.

    I have no idea how one lives in a world where someone is sinned against, and rather than helping or comforting the victim (which is where the priority should be), one blames the victim but oozes compassion for the perpetrator. But I see this sort of thing a lot among Christians.

  71. “one blames the victim but oozes compassion for the perpetrator”
    ***********

    i think an opportunity for 1 forgiveness that is the equivalent to 70×7 is quite tantalizing.

    Makes you look good to yourself, your peers, and to God. Whether or not one admits this. A spiritul fast-forward, to jettison out of spiritual doldrums and anonymity.

  72. Daisy – What you’ve just posted about people abusing others via their contacts in certain AA chapters is REALLY awful – but equally, I am not sure that *all* AA chapters are setups for abuse.

    anyone can game just about anything – but I would be very surprised to find out that all AA, NA (etc.) chapters, or even a fair number of them, are that messed up. Clearly, though, there is a huge need for the parent organization to step in and shut down certain chapters, weed out the people who are doing and saying such awful things, etc.

    Since AA is open to anyone, I can see how abusive people could gain a foothold via manipulation of others who go to the meetings.

  73. I never said ‘all’ AA groups, but based on the reading I did several months ago, abuse and “blaming the victim” sounds pretty typical.

    I know I get a heaping helping of “blame the victim” view from my AA brother, and I’ve never blamed him for his problems, even though much of them were brought on by his poor choices, which is not the case for me and the specific problems of mine I shared with him.

    Rapes, fondling, etc, are common among AA members/ after AA meetings, from what I read – they even dub the fondling/ rapes “13 Stepping”.

    Also, AA is not good at helping people stop drinking – they have like a 90%- some- odd failure rate, even according to one of their own studies (they hired some company to research it).

    I’m a teatotler myself, so I don’t have a problem with alcohol, but there is a lot of info out there by people who left AA and discuss how abusive it is to people.

    Stanton Peele is also a big AA critic.

    But, as I learned from personal research, and having been subjected to it first hand by a family member who is in AA, 12 step programs are notorious for blaming the victim for their pain, even if they are not to blame.

  74. Daisy wrote:

    I have no idea how one lives in a world where someone is sinned against, and rather than helping or comforting the victim (which is where the priority should be), one blames the victim but oozes compassion for the perpetrator

    Well, from personal experience, you dissociate, you wall off the “little girl being hurt” and live a dual life. I had mastered this by age three. The hardest part is, once you grow up and get away from it, learning how the reintegrate that walled off part. Six years and counting on that one….

  75. Daisy – It sounds like some people who are AA regulars twist things in order to hurt others.

    So very sorry to hear about your brother and what he’s done.

    But I do know people who have truly been helped through AA. I also think that temptation is ever-present for people who are substance abusers, no matter how long they’ve been on the wagon/clean.

  76. @ Anon 1:

    Maybe it was on that page I linked to higher up, but I was just reading somewhere a page where the author summarized points by another author who was pointing out flaws with ESS, one of which is that by saying Jesus is submitted (that His will is submitted eternally) to the Father, that the pro ESS teachers are inadvertently teaching that there are three separate gods, not One God who expresses Himself as three persons.

    I don’t know if I’m explaining it right, but the thought as I understood it was something about how the One God has only One will, not two or more wills, but the ESS advocates are making God out to have 2+ wills – which means you cease having One God but have 2 or more.

  77. numo wrote:

    Daisy – It sounds like some people who are AA regulars twist things in order to hurt others.
    So very sorry to hear about your brother and what he’s done.
    But I do know people who have truly been helped through AA. I also think that temptation is ever-present for people who are substance abusers, no matter how long they’ve been on the wagon/clean.

    It’s a similar conversation as to the church, pedophilia in the church, and spiritual abuse in the church.

    Yes, the church has done a lot of good, but there are also wolves in sheep clothing too, and downplaying or denying it is so doesn’t make it go away in the church any more than it does in any other group, such as AA.

    I wish I could remember all the ex-AA blogs I went to, but I don’t feel like looking them all up.

    Here’s one:
    Stinkin’ Thinkin’

    One of the ex-AA sites (maybe that one above, I don’t remember) is run by an ex AA woman who was in AA for years, and she is a lot like Deb and Dee at this blog: a crusader who publicizes the abuse that goes on at AA, and she helps people victimized by AA.

    This woman I am thinking of who has an ex AA blog also has a radio show that is also broadcast online, on “Blog Talk Radio,” where she interviews people raped at AA meetings, or family members of people killed by AA members, and other crimes.

  78. Daisy – Thanks muchly for the link and further info.

    It might be that AA needs an actual screening process to help prevent some of these flagrant abuses, though I’m not sure how that would work re. the openness to walk-ins and anonymity. It does sound like the system as is is ripe for abuse by people intent on harming others.

    It’s really not an area I’ve dealt with much, though I do know that there’s a lot of legit criticism and concern out there. Thanks again for making us (me!) aware of some of it.

  79. @ Cal:
    What Calvin wrote matters little, it is how it is being lived out now that counts. Today, Calvinist leaning churches are calling everyone a sinner and flattening sin (meaning missing the mark) to make a pedophile equivalent with some who says something snarky about a pastor.

    That is a huge problem. Holy Saturday is not hugely taught by some of those you listed, etc. you have to look at Eastern Orthodox and Catholic papers on it, but it is an interesting history. Our moder views on hell come largely from Dante (13th C. Catholic), not from the early believers. My issue with the Sprol post was his, and all the other Calvinistas scramble to be the first to say “every one of us deserves what happened to the kids at Newtown”.

    Since, again, the mode of death is rarely something considered “deserved” in Church history, rather where one ends up is what is “deserved” (not sure if Calvin is specific on this), not how they got there (gun, fed to lions, etc.) the issue I take with these comments is, and I will repeat, early death. Many are saying, and you seem to be supporting the notion we all deserve what they got because we are sinful. There are major historical problems with that view

    1) the early church’s roots were in 2nd temple judaism – they viewed untimely deaths differently than old age deaths – unjust vs. just

    2) the method of death is not a major factor in the Bible, except when God is taking down a leader

    3) Do we all deserve untimely deaths? For the wages of sin are death, and when Adam sins, it is written “on that day you will surely die”, the problem, of course is, Adam goes on (if you take it literally) to be the longest lived human ever – 900+ years, and dies of old age. Where, oh, where does the Bible say we all deserve untimely deaths for being sinners?

    So, in conclusion, no, these guys are wrong, weather Calvin backed them on this or not, (and frankly any guy who puts someone else to death for not agreeing with him (Serveritus), is not worth my time, as he is no spiritual leader of mine), untimely deaths are not the wages of sin, they are tragedies that are:
    a) a part of this broken world
    b) a part of this broken world we, as Christians, are supposed to be salt and light to.

    It would be a much wiser use of Piper’s platform if, instead of harking how we all deserve untimely deaths whenever a disaster occurs, he would use it to encourage Christians to better love their neighbour and be the salt and light (but that may make them busy and not able to go to his $300+ conferences, 4 or 5 times a year, so why would he bother?

  80. Big Blue Fan in Asia,

    I appreciated your earlier comment, and all is well (even without the smiley face :-) ).

    BTW, I pull for the other BLUE team – Duke. I think they are going to have an excellent year. They need it because they didn't even make it to the Sweet Sixteen last year. :-(

    Blessings!

  81. Val:

    You’re conflating tons of arguments. I said that Sproul didn’t have a single pastoral nerve in his post. How he phrased what he said was totally graceless.

    Anyway, you’re mostly tilting at windmills here. I know Calvinists/Reformed who wrote in a completely different vein than what you’re describing. Don’t poison the well with labels.

    As for views of hell and the early Church, read some comments by Minucius Felix and Tertullian. They had rather graphic imaginations.

  82. Since we’re on about early church and misogyny, here’s some Tertullian. I love the man at some points, but this is a representation that men are fallible and even the early Church authors made some bad errors:

    To women:

    “Do you not know that you are Eve? The judgment of God upon this sex lives on in this age; therefore, necessarily the guilt should live on also. You are the gateway of the devil; you are the one who unseals the curse of that tree, and you are the first one to turn your back on the divine law; you are the one who persuaded him whom the devil was not capable of corrupting; you easily destroyed the image of God, Adam. Because of what you deserve, that is, death, even the Son of God had to die.”

  83. Cal,

    Yes, but if you keep quoting, he undoes it by next stating how great Mary is…

    “What had been laid to waste in ruin by this sex,” Tertullian wrote, “was by the same sex re-established in salvation. Eve had believed the serpent; Mary believed Gabriel. That which the one destroyed by believing, the other, by believing, set straight.”

    He attempts to match Eve to Mary as Christ to Adam here.

  84. Cal,

    We all know Calvinists who aren’t like the present lot (TGC and SBTS group), but those are the loudest in the ring and the ones that are influential right now, those are whom I am addressing – I already mentioned this in past comments.

    No, I’m not conflating arguments here, every time there is a disaster one or the other of this Calvinista gang rush to blog about how we all deserve it, we don’t, innocent people (as in those who didn’t do something foolish or reckless) don’t “deserve” to dye young. I am conflating nothing, the early Christians viewed untimely, early deaths differently then dying of old age. These guys are ignorant of that.

    We will all die, true, but dying as a child is not something people deserve. God chose, “in the garden” if you’re literal, to let us live despite our sinful nature. It is a mute point weather we deserve life or not, we got it. Adam only got death in his old, old, old age, and he is the one made an example of.

    on Tertullian:
    “However, unlike many Church fathers, he was never canonized by the Catholic Church, as several of his later teachings directly contradicted the actions and teachings of the apostles.”

    And, I have read Tertullian, Ireanus, and you forgot Origen, but so? They aren’t Calvinist and don’t support a “we all deserve to die as kids ethos”.

  85. John wrote:

    The lady at the gym let me stay past closing to watch the game (I don’t have a tv). We won. :-D

    Oh, John. You are so mean! I just watched the game on tape. (insert crying face here) Congratulations to you! Glad you were able to “borrow” a tv and watch it live.

    Deb wrote:

    I pull for the other BLUE team – Duke. I think they are going to have an excellent year.

    Yes, they already beat us earlier this year. And I never thought I’d be able say this, but . . . just for you, Deb . . . let me try . . .GO dUKe! :)

  86. Muff Potter wrote:

    No, a new age is dawning. Things are happening, and I’m excited. Its a great time to be a believer. I’m happy to see the fall of these Neoliths because its going to clear the way for a fresh wind of God’s Spirit to empower the true church!
    ~ Evie ~
    I agree Evie. The old ways of thinking and believing since the time of Constantine are dying out. Their proponents are not going to go quietly either. They know full well that their enclaves are dwindling year by year, and they are desperate to hang onto what they’ve got.

    Muff / Evie – I’m sure you’ll both be immensely relieved to know that I agree too.

    :-)

    Er – but seriously now, I have heard a number of commentators use the word “reformation” to describe what God is now doing in the church. And I think they’re right. Not only that, but I think the Resurgence [sic] of hard-line neo-Calivinoid fundamentalism is a counter-reformation.

    Much could be said, but Lesley is throwing me off the Mac on the (reasonable) grounds that I said I was going to the gym two hours ago.

  87. Val:

    Thank you for correcting me on the Tertullian quote.

    Now we are a ways away from what we were originally talking about. My original corrective is that Calvinism is a very wide label and you can’t damn everyone under a label for one guy. I don’t think even Keller, head of TGC, would ever write something like this. Did you know NT Wright is a Calvinist? It’s a very wide label.

    Again, I’m not defending Sproul’s presentation, or even some of the content, only the nugget of truth about the universality of sin.

  88. “most Christians will tell you to suck it up and tough it out, because other people have it tougher than you.” Yep, this is most in the church on any issue. As far as I’m concerned, the people who do this are just plain self-centered and lack a conscience. Those who know Him have compassion and empathy. Those who lack empathy and compassion don’t belong to God and are there for their own self-serving reasons. Jesus is full of compassion. How can one say they know Him and lack this core trait. They can’t.

  89. “Did you know NT Wright is a Calvinist? It’s a very wide label.”

    Hee Hee. He is also a conservative and a liberal. I have seen some claim he was not a Calvinist. I think the whole point with Wright is he disdains the labels. You might want to say he agrees with Calvin on some things. Don’t we all.

  90. @ Gavin @ 8:11~~

    I am curious– why you picked those particular blogs when there are others that provide the facts of the cases? Was it to downplay the offenses? Not edifying? Lol–are we only to read edifying things? If so…why?

    Here are some that you might find less disturbing to read, yet provide the facts.

    http://www.co.stevens.wa.us/sheriff/sexofflist/sitler%2012-21%20thru%2027th.pdf

    (Shoot–high risk to re-offend- yet Wilson married him off last year anyway.)

  91. You don’t seem to understand a lot of what the Reformed stream has taught outside some of the pop form that you can see in the Circus of American christendom which is really just hyper-calvinism.

    “I really don’t want to have to type out and educate you on this. If you want a better idea, go read Calvin’s Institutes or some of the confessions (I recommend Heidelberg catechism and second Helvetic confession). I wouldn’t even consider myself Reformed except maybe in a loose way and so I’m not saying everything you find in Calvin is golden. He does have his moments though”

    Cal, Val’s earlier comment was excellent. After reading it, I am a bit shocked you think you need to “educate” her. You might disagree with her representation of Calvinism but quite frankly, she has done her homework.

    Do you notice how your comments tend to back your position up with Creeds or writings of people? See, I would argue the Heidlburg Confession is dripping in determinism. But I don’t want to, that is not the point. I have read the Institutes and find most of it appalling and am thrilled I do not know that God whom I believe is a short walk to Allah.

    It is impossible to discuss scripture with a Calvinist because of the Augustinian filter they bring to the table. The common words we use are defined totally different.

    What thrills me is that more and more scholarly information is coming out about the problems with the Calvin/Augustine ST filter from EX Calvinists.

    You have tried to make the argument that what we are seeing today from the YRR is not real Reformed. I beg to differ. it is more real than what we have historically seen since the Puritians. Historically you see from history that the purer forms “practiced” tend to die out and a softer gentler Calvinism/Reformed will emerge for a while that keeps it from going to it’s logical conclusions we saw with it’s practice in Europe, Early America, South Africa, etc. It either dies out or goes more liberal. Read history and see.

  92. “Today, Calvinist leaning churches are calling everyone a sinner and flattening sin (meaning missing the mark) to make a pedophile equivalent with some who says something snarky about a pastor.”

    This is so dangerous. it means no real definition for bad/evil. it is whatever those who are in charge say it is. Disagreeing with the pastor is evil because it is rebellious and wicked. The same with Adam Lanza who killed children. We are now the same in evil importance.

    If I plead that I am not like Adam Lanza then I am bragging and claiming I have sinless perfection. Kind of makes it hard to have any discussions which is the point, I think.

    But then when we see abuse in the church or by a spouse, we must first look at our own sin. Why? Why can’t we point and say, that is wrong? That person should not be treated that way? Because we are just as bad in that Calvin/Augustine filter.

    We cannot even have convo’s on levels of sin or evil anymore. It is all the same. None of us do anything good because we have NO volition. God has to FORCE us to do anything good.

  93. ” disagree that Al Mohler is “very well educated”.”

    I agree, Eagle. It is a very narrow education for a seminary president. There are faculty who are much better educated than him.

    The reason the “genius” label was given is because he was chosen to be President at age 33. I believe it was more political in nature and I do think Mohler is brilliant in strategic sort of way. Very political. I also think giving him that much power so young is one reason we see all the problems and arrogance now. He was not mature enough to handle it and now he thinks he has the right to say some people should be “marginalized” in the SBC for daring to put forth a another view from Imputed guilt. His followers made much of calling them Pelagian/semi Pelagian heretics. Mohler even said their views leaned that way while he is busy hanging out and bringing to SBTS such doctrinal luminaries as Mahaney who think 3 year olds who were molested should be forced to forgive their tormentor. After all, they are both just as evil, right?

    Kind of shocking an employee of the SBC would say such “marginalizing” things about his learned colleagues. But why not? They have been grooming him for pope since he was 33. Now he thinks he is. And he is the pope of the SBC.

  94. Mahaney often commented on tweets and at conferences about Mohler’s geinus and brilliance . . . amazing how a few well placed people can scratch each other’s backs and make something that isn’t appear as if it IS.

  95. Diane
    I suspect you could start a fight in an empty house. However, to answer your questions.

    I didn’t ‘pick’ the websites as such. I saw the first one on Sproul which referred to the Wilson one. I submitted both. Obviously, these cases might be better known in the USA but I was shocked by them. That leads to your ‘edifying’ remark. Of course that was not what I was suggesting. Similarly the idea that I was going to use them to somehow belittle – What? Who? – is ridiculous. On the other hand, you’ve demonstrated your own fine ability to do so yourself.

    Regards
    Gavin

    PS. I read through your links. Apart from the benefit of reading the court record, they demonstrated a degree of vindictiveness in the commentators remarks.

  96. Anon 1 – wondering if you are making your way through that book we linked to? I am to chapter 18. It is fascinating to me as I have never found so many explanations about my concerns documented so completely in one place. I’m even reading through all the footnotes and finding them very helpful as well. I actually want to get a hard copy of it so I can mark it up.

  97. Bridget – I’m assuming you mean Calvinism: A Closer Look. I want to thank you for sharing the link the other day. I’ve been reading it and am now on chapter 12. It is very interesting and so helpful to me. Thanks again!

  98. Gavin~

    “I suspect you could start a fight in an empty house.”

    Gavin, you are funny. Why? Because I questioned your links? :-)

    “I didn’t ‘pick’ the websites as such. I saw the first one on Sproul which referred to the Wilson one. I submitted both.”

    You chose them to post here. How is that not picking? When I was researching Wilson, I read countless sites. I picked the sites to post here last summer when TWW did their story (not the first ones I saw) that were not so much emotionally charged, (and there are many of those) but factual.

    “Obviously, these cases might be better known in the USA but I was shocked by them. That leads to your ‘edifying’ remark. Of course that was not what I was suggesting. Similarly the idea that I was going to use them to somehow belittle – What? Who? – is ridiculous.”

    You wrote “Dearie Me!” That is belittling, imo, unless you always use that phrase in your every day conversation.

    “On the other hand, you’ve demonstrated your own fine ability to do so yourself.”

    Nope—I do not accept that. I am not belittling anyone. I am providing better links for you without a “Dearie Me!” added to them. They are more edifying, as that is important to you, and less emotionally charged.

    “PS. I read through your links. Apart from the benefit of reading the court record, they demonstrated a degree of vindictiveness in the commentators remarks.”

    In your opinion, you mean. How horrible to read something with a degree of vindictiveness in it. :-) Maybe people are shocked and sickened. Maybe they are disgusted and express that.

  99. Anon1:

    Ouch. Clearly you’re missing my point. From a scholarly point, I meant educate as in understand the nuance of what they teach.

    I’m not arguing my position, I’m just shooting for a balance in criticizing. I know, I was there. I use to think all Calvinism was just crypto-Islam. It is much more complicated than that. The fact that you label Calvin and Augustine as equivalent is testament to this. Any well read Catholic would snort at this comparison, to them the Reformers misunderstood Augustine. I won’t get into this debate.

    Part of all this is method. This is totally beyond the bounds of the conversation here, but let me say that when one does theology (i.e. talks about God), where you start determines everything. Calvinism is a very wide descriptor and covers everything from Barth to Owen.

    I’m not trying to claim the Reformed label but merely engaging in the futile effort to clarify the complexities of tossing labels around carelessly. This is from someone who thought Calvin and all Calvinists were teaching a fake Gospel.

  100. It should also be stated that Wade Burleson, who deb and dee post for the sunday E-church, is Calvinist. It’s a wide label. It’s a strawman to say all Calvinists are teaching pedophiliac rape is equivalent to lying.

  101. Bridget -I’m reading that book too, but have to take it slow as I can get very depressed even thinking about this subject in any way. Thanks for posting :)

  102. Cal, Sorry I have not been more clear.

    “Ouch. Clearly you’re missing my point. From a scholarly point, I meant educate as in understand the nuance of what they teach.”

    And here lies is one of the problems. It becomes about the “teacher” or “scholar” from history to present. I am simply not willing to allow present or historical scholars and teachers to define for me. That is ulitmately the Holy Spirit’s function. The problem is we have made that impossible and because we focus on doctrine to the exclusion of people, it becomes a unifying problem. And why we have had so many denominations. The early Christians simply focused on living like Christ did. When the doctrinal meetings started early on so did the wars and power grabs. Augustine is where most of this leads to because of his prolific writings in Latin melding the Neo Platonic view of the world with Christianity. Calvin and Luther both picked up on that. This is over simplifynig it but basically all material world is evil. Only the spiritual can be good. And I think a lot of this goes back to a wrong interpretation of the fall. Basically ignoring what happened with the “knowledge of good and evil” and what was exactly cursed.

    “I’m not arguing my position, I’m just shooting for a balance in criticizing. I know, I was there. I use to think all Calvinism was just crypto-Islam. It is much more complicated than that. The fact that you label Calvin and Augustine as equivalent is testament to this. Any well read Catholic would snort at this comparison, to them the Reformers misunderstood Augustine. I won’t get into this debate.”

    The whole point is that salvation is NOT complicated. We have complicated it with all our ST and experts from history. Calvinism is reworked Augustine systematized. The Reformation was about political power, too. No way Luther would have been left alive had he not had backing from the princes and electors. And you cannot read the Institutes without seeing just how much influence Augustine had on Calvin.

    We try to hard to make the reformation it about theology when it really wasn’t. Theology was purely political and we both know it. Why folks cannot grasp this, I will never know. The sacraments as front and center were replaced with one guy preaching and being the most important aspect of worship. And they overcorrected to the point Luther questioned the validity of the book of James and claimed “reason” was a whore. Man has no real volition at all in their paradigm. (Except for the leaders, of course)

    “Part of all this is method. This is totally beyond the bounds of the conversation here, but let me say that when one does theology (i.e. talks about God), where you start determines everything. Calvinism is a very wide descriptor and covers everything from Barth to Owen.”

    I totally agree where we start is everything. That is why I think it is impossible to have any meaningful convo’s with those immersed in the Determinist God filter. They take Pslams (man talking to God) and interpret it as literal even when it contradicts other passages. They tend to ignore the Jewishness of Jesus and what that means in terms of the book of Romans, ironically. They view the Soveriegnty of God in such a way as to make God not Sovereign over his own Soveriegnty overriding most of His other obvious attributes. I call it the narcissist god who only wants glory for himself. Not the patient, long suffering God, Who in the flesh wept over Jerusalem.

    “I’m not trying to claim the Reformed label but merely engaging in the futile effort to clarify the complexities of tossing labels around carelessly. This is from someone who thought Calvin and all Calvinists were teaching a fake Gospel.”

    Cal, go back and read your comment about agreeing with Sproul about the evil that runs through us… that we are all sinners like Adam Lanza. That is the Reformed paradigm. If I say I am not evil like Adam Lanza, in the Reformed paradigm I am a heretic who somehow thinks he is sinless perfection. We do not see evil dealt this way in scripture from our Holy God. There is an unforgivable sin. There are even lists in 1 Corin, Galatians and Rev written to BELIEVERS of practices that would keep them from eternal life. If all sins are the same, including our bad thoughts, then why the lists?

    Doctrine drives behavior and from a long time historical view, that does not bode well for the Reformed or the Catholics.If we are all evil while saved then there is no difference between Adam Lanza and CJ Mahaney. Nither one can help it.

  103. Cal,
    I couldn’t care less what Pastor Burleson’s beliefs are. He’s a kind and good man. In my book, deeds count way more than beliefs.

  104. “Anon 1 – wondering if you are making your way through that book we linked to? I am to chapter 18. It is fascinating to me as I have never found so many explanations about my concerns documented so completely in one place. I’m even reading through all the footnotes and finding them very helpful as well. I actually want to get a hard copy of it so I can mark it up.”

    Yes! It is excellent. And I am so glad he did a chapter on the book of Job. But he gets it right. It is about definitions being different and how quoting scripture passages to prove a position does not work when we have different filters. It is a huge waste of time. That is one reason I focus on the historical aspects of this belief system. Of course history has been rewritten to make the Puritans “pure”, Calvin a “man of his time” with the bannishments, tortures, drownings, etc. All in the name of Jesus, of course.

    I simply cannot understand this following of humans that goes on to understand when we have a perfect Savior and the Spirit of
    Truth promised us.

    I have another book on my kindle waiting to be read by another long time former Calvinist who is an SBC pastor. http://bookstore.crossbooks.com/Products/SKU-000503070/Reflections-of-a-Disenchanted-Calvinist.aspx

  105. ” In my book, deeds count way more than beliefs.

    Me Too! Wade has put it on the line for those who have been abused and victimized.

    There are many who believe what is considered the orthodox truth who are wolves. So what do we do with those “right beliefs”?

  106. Cal

    The Calvinist lable is broad. i can assure you that CJ Mahaney and Wade Burleson have nothing in common. Hence, our invention of the word Calvinsta to describe the former individual.

     

  107. Anon 1 wrote:


    I also think giving him that much power so young is one reason we see all the problems and arrogance now. He was not mature enough to handle it and now he thinks he has the right to say some people should be “marginalized” in the SBC for daring to put forth a another view from Imputed guilt.

    When Mohler first became president of SBTS, didn’t he fire a professor who was just a semester away from retiring because of some doctrinal disagreement? Because if he did, I don’t think this marginalizing thing is something he’s, er, grown into as power has consumed him. It sounds like it has always been part of the Mohler package.

  108. Anon 1 wrote:

    The whole point is that salvation is NOT complicated. We have complicated it with all our ST and experts from history.

    Anon1,

    Sorry, I think I missed something along the line. What is ST?

  109. @ Daisy:

    Daisy, Thanks for the shout out. I wrote that article for exactly the reason you guys are talking about. Some (though certainly not all) in the conservative Reformed camp began “re-imagining” the Trinity a few decades ago specifically to prop up complementarianism. And to put a better face on it, they’re now acting as if this has always been the classic understanding of it. The above description of the Trinity from the Resurgence website is a perfect example of the pretense that ESS is nothing new.

    After talking to a lot of people about it, however, I’m convinced that there’s a huge contingent of faithful Christians that see right through this. It may remain a celebrity movement for a little while longer, but I’m dubious that it will have any lasting impact.

  110. Anon1:

    Yikes. Ok, I’ll take the blow on the chin and bow out. I would not disagree with you that the Holy Spirit is The Teacher and that following Christ in both word and deed is more important than to theorize.

    The Good News about Christ Jesus is simple that even a youngster can understand it. And yet, it has limitless depth that even if I spent 12 lifetimes focused on this I wouldn’t plumb the depths of what it means to be a disciple.

    However, you’re taking a very, very simplistic and one sided view of the Reformation, Calvinist and Reformed teachings, distinctions etc., and Church history overall.

  111. It is almost as if some Regurgence trolls have deliberately hijacked this blog. It clearly started out as a legitimate discussion of Regurgence 2013, et al, and now it’s gone on a rabbit trail about Doug Wilson, RCS, Jr., who is or is not a Calvinist, paedophilia, ad nauseaum. The fact is, if you have followed Driscoll at all, you will discover that he is not a “hyper-Calvinist” and actually has leveled some of his most biting invective towards hyper-Calvinists. He does not condone paedobaptism at all. He has declared that Spurgeon has been his greatest influence (along with Chris Rock and Billy Graham), so go figure. And save the lambasting of Wade Burleson for another thread – it has no place on this one. Perhaps the last few commenters should actually read Deb’s post above.

    >rant over<

  112. ‘Perhaps the last few commenters should actually read Deb’s post above.’

    >rant over<

    TedS,

    Ouch. All blog articles bring lots of nuances depending on experience, filter, etc.

    I agree with you about Driscoll and Calvinism. In fact, I will go a step further and proclaim Calvinism has very little to do with any of the stuff we are seeing out there. That includes MOhler, Mahaney, etc, etc. Calvinism, Reformed, or whatever you want to call it, is simply the battle cry now for the young troops to rally around. It is more about power and garnering followers. (Some folks saw the trend and jumped on the bandwagon like Driscoll (former Emergent) and Mahaney and yes, even Mohler way back when).

    Calvinism says: we have the "real Gospel". We are the serious Christians who really understand God and you don't. We are the intellectual Christianity. It is complicated so let us explain it to you because you cannot understand it.

    I think it will pass in it's current form because historically it is cyclical in it's raw form. There is a reason Geneva is liberal now and the Puritans died out and even the Presbyterian church USA is liberal. But there will be tons of wounded left in the YRR wake.

    BTW: I worship with Calvinists who are very irenic and we disagree in love but they are also concerned about the YRR and what it is doing to Christendom.

    Sorry if my rabbit trail offended you. I certainly did not mean to.

  113. “When Mohler first became president of SBTS, didn’t he fire a professor who was just a semester away from retiring because of some doctrinal disagreement? Because if he did, I don’t think this marginalizing thing is something he’s, er, grown into as power has consumed him. It sounds like it has always been part of the Mohler package.”

    Well, lots of people were booted. There are websites that list the folks. You might be thinking of Paul Debusman:

    http://mainstreambaptist.blogspot.com/2007/09/whatever-became-of-paul-debusman.html

  114. @ Beakerj:

    Sorry to hear that it is difficult to broach this subject. It is having a different effect on me. I find it enlightening and freeing. I don’t know that I agree with every word, but I probably wouldn’t agree with every/ word of any one I read.

    Just read at your own pace. There is a lot to take in.

  115. No, we don’t need another conference. What we need is ordinary Christians serving God and loving their neighbors consistently where they are in their everyday mundane lives. Conferences generally promote the opposite of that and raise unrealistic expectations, followed by the inevitable letdown for most. The Christian life becomes equated with the spectacular, with greatness, and often with worldly success. Just look at how much of the second video clip above echoes the themes of a Horatio Alger American success story.

    God’s grace is present to all who ask, whatever their station or situation. And scripture demonstrates to us that the weak and the outcast and the poor are a particular concern of God’s. I wish these conference organizers would read a bit of Frederick Buechner, or better, Shusako Endo’s, works, particularly “Wonderful Fool.” God’s strength is made perfect in weakness, not in hype.

    American evangelicalism largely lacks a theology and an ecclesiology for the ordinary.

  116. TedS, if Resurgence trolls had really hijacked the blog we’d see more stuff from folks like joe and not rants against the evils of all things Calvin (without Hobbes).

  117. Appropos of C&H anyone else heard that there’s a documentary on Bill Watterson that may get some kind of release in 2013? If we’re going to talk about derailing threads a gratuitous reference to Calvin & Hobbes should do the job. :)

  118. TedS

    I think most people see Resurgence 2013 for what it really is – a money making get rich quick scheme for the chosen few (©MMurdock).

    Learning about the background of people like Sproul and Wilson has been very interesting.

    As for MD citing his influences – he is nothing but a joke. He’s not fit to be in the pulpit and I doubt if he’s funny enough to be a comedian.

    Gavin

  119. The status of quite a few books in the NT has been disputed, including Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Revelation and, as mentioned earlier, James.

    And all of the objections I’ve read about make a great deal of sense to me, especially regarding Jude and Revelation. Jude refers to non-canonical works that are a bit weird (cf. the names of the Egyptian magicians) and is on the whole pretty cryptic and (imo) weird.

    As for Revelation, I think it has some truly sublime passages, but for the most part is ultra-cryptic and sometimes chilling (like the part where the martyrs demand blood). It’s an extremely problematic text and I wonder if it was truly understood in its own time.

  120. Jude and Revelation employ apocryphal literature or apocalyptic tropes in a way that have been badly mishandled by futurist/dispensationalism. Jude’s use of non-canonical apocrypha/apocalyptic literature makes the letter difficult to interpret in a few areas but its place in the canon is ultimately what it is, settled. I came to appreciate both Jude and Revelation quite a bit more once I cast off American evangelical propensities to read it through a futurist/dispensationalist lens. The most basic problem many Christians have in interpreting Revelation is presuming that because it’s in the canon it has to be for “me” and not for its first recipients. The next basic problem stemming from that first basic problem is a propensity of Christians to read apocalyptic idiom as a rationale for whatever social or political or racial paranoia grips them these days. Exhibit A would probably be Hal L. over the last fifty years.

    A lot of people don’t want to run with the idea that the variants of the number of the beast point to Nero because then Revelation stops being a book that’s “for me”. The possibility of connecting the mark of the beast to the symbolic association of observing Passover as a mark on the right hand is not something I see people doing at a lay level, possibly because then the mark of the beast stops being something you can easily identify as a UPC code in a grocery store or an easily observed rite you can refuse because the mark stops being about s9omething literal and becomes a matter of what kind of cultural veneration of a lord signifying citizenship compromises your Christian life. After all, what if the mark of the beast somehow turned out to not be some chip implant but turned out to be being able to buy on credit? :)

  121. TedS

    Driscoll, along with the reformed Baptists, do not practice infant baptism. In fact, the problem with these guys have little to do with basic Calvinism and everything to do with an over emphasis on certain aspects of Calvinism which have been morphed into Neo-Calvinism-authoritarianism, gender restriction, etc. There is a reason that John Piper said he “loves Mark Driscoll’s theology.”

  122. WTH – I think a lot of us want sci-fi and fantasy in the Bible, so Jude, the apocalyptic passages in Daniel – and above all, Revelation – become that.

    coming from a Lutheran background, I was totally flummoxed by all the dispensationalist stuff – and still am, even though I spent many years in evangelical/charismatic-land. On the whole, the older churches (RC, Anglican, Lutheran) seem to have a much better grasp of the reality of ancient texts like Revelation being about things that were happening at the time the book was written. I only wish that US evangelicals would take that tack, though to be fair, some do and have for a long time. But they’re generally not the ones who are getting airtime.

  123. numo, yeah. I first heard that there ways of interpreting Revelation besides futurist/dispensationalism from a Pentecostal youth pastor. I was grateful to have heard there were other ways of interpreting apocalyptic literature in my teens. Other folks I know were steeped in the futurist approach and didn’t hear there were even alternatives until they’d bailed on Protestantism altogether.

  124. @ Gavin:

    “Learning about the background of people like Sproul and Wilson has been very interesting.
    As for MD citing his influences – he is nothing but a joke. He’s not fit to be in the pulpit and I doubt if he’s funny enough to be a comedian.”

    You’re right – MD’s not funny, at least not that I’ve ever heard. Crude and obsessed with sex – but not funny. Wilson isn’t funny either, but I think he cracks himself up so let’s not tell him. ; )

  125. @ WTH & Numo:

    Yeah…count me in as another one who’s unsure that Dispensationalism (at least in its present Left Behind-esque form) is doing Christendom any favors. Sometimes the theology looks a bit too much like a video game to take seriously.

    Though I’m not sure I’d equate Dispensationalism with all futurism. Unless my definition of futurism is wrong (futurism = everything that’s not preterism)?

  126. In my book, deeds count way more than beliefs. Muff Potter

    I agree. I would go a step further and say that deeds are a reflection of one’s beliefs. One can talk the talk but if you don’t really believe it, your deeds will betray you.

  127. Hester, it’s ture there are people who subscribe to dispensationalist theology but are not futurists on apocalyptic literature. The historicist position is still an option. A lot of Calvinists in the US tend to be historic postmillenial if memory serves (and it may not but I heard it from Steve of Triablogue quite some time ago and I’m willing to trust he knew what he was talking about when he mentioned this years ago).

    I’m pretty opposed to modern futurist interpretation of apocalyptic literature. To me it’s nothing more than a rationale for the paranoia of American Christians left and right who dread that the other people will get too much political power. That’s concern enough without having to warp apocalyptic literature out of it’s very “then” context and concerns to tell people who they have to vote for now.

    Some view Revelation as a description of the historic church and that’s neither futurism or preterism. Some read Revelation as an allegory of moral conflict that is not necessarily even anchored to any specific time or place. There are a lot of schools of thought on the book.

  128. I spent 30 years of my life going to conferences. They were to make me a better teacher, a better educator, a person who better understood a teen’s mind.
    In truth, I can’t tell you one conference I ever attended that taught me a thing I ever used, and trust me, I tried.

  129. WTH,

    As a Dispensationalist I heartily agree with your criticism on the “for me” interpretation of Revelation, et al. The thing with Revelation when viewed through a Dispensational lens is, it still isn’t for me, that is for any Christian living in this age. The mark of the Beast does not enter the picture until mid way through the seven year Tribulation period, which no Christian alive today will be in, so while it isn’t for the first recipients personally, it also isn’t for any Christians in this dispensation either, but for a future group of faithful believers. This gets lost when sensationalism is introduced and a “for me” attitude is assumed. There are lots of people out there who abuse prophecy by sensationalizing it and using it to titillate. According to Dispensationalism, no Christian today will ever know who the Antichrist is nor will they ever see what the mark of the Beast would actually turn out to be. Anything suggested is mere speculation, and irresponsible and leads to just the kind of conclusion you were led to. Prophecy of any age was not given for our entertainment but for God’s glory when it is fulfilled inasmuch as He knows and has declared the end from the beginning.

    Our job is to seek the things that are above, where Christ is, not concern ourselves with how or when prophecy is to be fulfilled. Failure to adhere to this rule has led to such egregious errors as date setting, which has obviously been a predictable epic fail. No self respecting Dispensationalist would set a date and the credible ones warn against it, yet we see it all the time. It’s sensational and titillating and of the flesh. 88 Reasons why Christ will Return in 1988!!!!! Oh brother.

  130. TedS, your criticism of TWW postees is what I love most about it. I learn so much. Up hill and down dale we go!

  131. @ Anon 1:
    “You have tried to make the argument that what we are seeing today from the YRR is not real Reformed. I beg to differ. it is more real than what we have historically seen since the Puritians. Historically you see from history that the purer forms “practiced” tend to die out and a softer gentler Calvinism/Reformed will emerge for a while that keeps it from going to it’s logical conclusions we saw with it’s practice in Europe, Early America, South Africa, etc. It either dies out or goes more liberal. Read history and see.”

    Well stated Anon 1, well stated.

    I would add… to the point that the members of those liberal denominations would be shocked to know their founders were a lot more like the YRR leaders than their own pastors, not due to being “a long time ago” but due to the literal interpretation of ‘total depravity’.

  132. Anonymous

    Thank you for your interesting comment at 10:27 PM. I used to be dispensationalist in my view but after reading some other points of view, I am currently in the partial preterist, amillenialist camp although I cannot say if I will remain there for the rest of my life. These things have a tendency to be fluid in my life.

    However, I am most curious about our readers. Where does everyone fit in the “last days” paradigm? This would make for an interesting post-exploring our views on the end times. Also, it is my perception that many of the Neo-Calvinists are amillineialists. Is this correct? 

    BTW-there is no one right answer. Until it all comes about, we will not know for sure. Just like Jesus didn’t fit the paradigm of the religious leaders in Jerusalem, I have a sneaking suspicion that we might be in for a few curveballs in the Second Coming department.

  133. dee wrote:

    However, I am most curious about our readers. Where does everyone fit in the “last days” paradigm? This would make for an interesting post-exploring our views on the end times.

    Currently Partial Preterist/Amil. (In the sense that a lot of Prophecy also describes patterns that will repeat throughout history.)

    Got my head messed up by the Gospel According to Hal Lindsay back in the Seventies (when “We might not have a 1978!!! Or even a 1977!!!!!”).

  134. anonymous wrote:

    This gets lost when sensationalism is introduced and a “for me” attitude is assumed. There are lots of people out there who abuse prophecy by sensationalizing it and using it to titillate.

    Prophecy Porn for the Pious?

    According to Dispensationalism, no Christian today will ever know who the Antichrist is nor will they ever see what the mark of the Beast would actually turn out to be.

    Because God will beam them up before anything bad could personally happen to them. Saw this dynamic at work with “Christians for Nuclear War” in the Seventies.

  135. anonymous wrote:

    88 Reasons why Christ will Return in 1988!!!!! Oh brother.

    Ah, yes. Edgar Weisenhaunt’s Christianese Best-Seller. Followed a year later by the sequel, “89 Reasons why Christ will Return in 1989!!!!!!!”. Sales of the sequel tanked for some reason.

    But the 88 Reasons Rapture Scare does mark a turning point. I have not had any anxiety attack flashbacks since around that time. And it cured my writing partner of End Time Prophecy OCD.

  136. WenatcheeTheHatchet wrote:

    A lot of people don’t want to run with the idea that the variants of the number of the beast point to Nero because then Revelation stops being a book that’s “for me”….

    And that “I Am Living In The Prologue To Left Behind — Isn’t It EXCITING?”

    The possibility of connecting the mark of the beast to the symbolic association of observing Passover as a mark on the right hand is not something I see people doing at a lay level…

    And that the repetition of plagues — seven trumpets, seven thunders, seven seals, etc — might be the classical Hebrew literary trope of parallelism for emphasis, instead of a chronological checklist (check… check… check…).

    The subject came up a couple years ago on Internet Monk, where Chaplain Mike chimed in that it might be due to the Industrial Revolution (which was superseding the Age of Reason about the time Darby came up with “the Secret Rapture”). That the mindset had become one “of wheels and metal” and the Bible was viewed as an engineering manual/instruction book of Fact, Fact, Fact. (Check… Check… Check…)

    After all, what if the mark of the beast somehow turned out to not be some chip implant but turned out to be being able to buy on credit?

    Funny you should say that, WTH. I remember a credit card commercial on TV some years ago. It was the checkout line at a busy store, done as a Busby Berkely musical-dance number, with all the Shiny Happy People swiping their cards in sync to the music — until one Goldsteinist Traitor Thought-Criminal pulls out a wallet instead of The Card and tries to pay in cash. Dance, music, everything stops DEAD while the Goldsteinist Traitor Thought-Criminal fumbles with his cash under the dirty looks of all the Shiny Happy People. Finally the intestinal obstruction clears and the Shiny Happy People brandish their Cards and resume the dance number.

    Every time I saw that commercial, I wanted to overlay an ending voice-over by James Earl Jones or Morgan Freeman — “And no man could buy or sell except he had the Mark of the Beast.”

  137. Anon 1 wrote:

    The reason the “genius” label was given is because he was chosen to be President at age 33. I believe it was more political in nature and I do think Mohler is brilliant in strategic sort of way

    Wasn’t 33 the traditional figure for Christ’s age at the Crucifixion?

    Hmmmm….

  138. I don’t really have a view about the end times stuff, except to say that I don’t think anyone but God knows, and I don’t see anything of value in trying to figure it out – as if you could, anyway! Pre-trib, post-trib, amillenial, Pre-millennial, etc etc – just another way to label and alienate brothers and sisters from each other. Who cares, and what difference does it make?

  139. Dear all
    As the year ends may I wish you all a Happy Hogmanay and a Prosperous 2013. Thank you for putting up with me! :-)

    And here is a Gaelic poem with translation from Scotland’s greatest modern poet, Sorley Maclean

    Calvary

    My eye is not on Calvary
    nor on Bethlehem the Blessed,
    but on a foul-smelling backland in Glasgow,
    where life rots as it grows;
    and on a room in Edinburgh,
    a room of poverty and pain,
    where the diseased infant
    writhes and wallows till death.

    Calbharaigh

    Chan eil mo shùil air Calbharaigh
    no air Betlehem an àigh
    ach air cùil ghrod an Glaschu
    far bheil an lobhadh fàis,
    agus air seòmar an Dùn Èideann,
    seòmar bochdainn ’s cràidh,
    far a bheil an naoidhean creuchdach
    ri aonagraich gu bhàs.

    Best wishes
    Gavin

  140. Moniker

    I agree. It makes zero difference but it does provide good fodder for a fun discussion at dinner.

  141. @ Bridget:
    Hey Bridget – I’m really liking the tone of this book, it’s just that I find even the idea of the calvinist position infinitely depressing & it’s what really tormented me when my Mum was dying..so I just take it slow….I’ll get there, or maybe just build some kind of den under the furthest corner of my bed :)

  142. @ HUG:

    “Christians for Nuclear War”? Oh dear.

    “I remember a credit card commercial on TV some years ago. It was the checkout line at a busy store, done as a Busby Berkely musical-dance number, with all the Shiny Happy People swiping their cards in sync to the music — until one Goldsteinist Traitor Thought-Criminal pulls out a wallet instead of The Card and tries to pay in cash. Dance, music, everything stops DEAD while the Goldsteinist Traitor Thought-Criminal fumbles with his cash under the dirty looks of all the Shiny Happy People. Finally the intestinal obstruction clears and the Shiny Happy People brandish their Cards and resume the dance number. Every time I saw that commercial, I wanted to overlay an ending voice-over by James Earl Jones or Morgan Freeman — ‘And no man could buy or sell except he had the Mark of the Beast.’”

    I think I remember this commercial. A Mufasa voiceover would indeed be awesome. : )

  143. Quite a few years ago I set out to decide for myself on the end times rapture doctrine. The Bible’s ‘apparent’ contradictions proved to be too much for me so I read other’s works on pre,mid, and post.
    While studying each one, each one seemed correct. I did finally have to throw my hands up in the air and say, I just don’t have a clear opinion on it. Each view has a root theology or doctrine that affects each conclusion.
    I still find it comical to reminisce the chapel scenes of my non Calvinist Baptist school in the Pacific NW when our sweaty southern Baptist shouting guest preacher would spit out “Doanchya’ wanna get say’yuvd, and escayup the tribulashiun!?!” while my friend and I from the Christian Reformed church would look at each other and smirk about how we’re going through it anyway, and since we were elected anyway, what’s to listen to here?
    As far as my own studies go on Calvinism today, I am not a Calvinist but not quite an Arminian either. I do not believe in election but I do believe in everlasting security. So tribulation or no, no matter.

  144. @ Dee:

    “However, I am most curious about our readers. Where does everyone fit in the ‘last days’ paradigm? This would make for an interesting post-exploring our views on the end times. Also, it is my perception that many of the Neo-Calvinists are amillenialists. Is this correct?”

    Count me into the eschatological census! ; ) Basically amillenialist. Intrigued by but haven’t had time yet to research partial preterism. Ambivalent toward non-Dispensationalist premillenialism; not a fan of Dispensationalism though I don’t object to all of its elements per se (like a personal Antichrist/some sort of tribulation period). Can’t quite wrap my brain around postmillenialism as it’s always seemed to obvious to me that things will get worse before they get better. (Looking For You’s stories from Reconstructionist postmillenial churches really don’t help, either – it seems lots of postmillenialists are Reconstructionist these days.)

    Haven’t done super-deep eschatological studies – the above is basically my “gut” position after I figured out that the popular Left Behind-style Dispensationalism I was taught in AWANAs was mostly silly and sensationalist.

    And yes, most Neo-Cals are amillenialist, though I think MacArthur is a Dispie.

  145. “…one blames the victim but oozes compassion for the perpetrator.But I see this thing a lot among Christians.”

    I’ve been pondering this lately. My thinking is that this appeals to the people who don’t want to take responsibility for their own wrong doings to others. For the ignorant, they have been brainwashed into this kind of thinking.This mindset permiates our society.

    I do believe that this whole thinking began with the sociopaths,narcs,etc.Being able to munipulate others into thinking that the victim doesn’t deserve compassion but contempt. They are the real “victims” so they are the ones who deserve compassion and forgiveness even though they have never shown remorse or compassion in their life. The whole mindset of someone showing compassion to the perp than the victims is completely delusional and warped…

  146. HUG,

    If I ever organize a midnight buffet for interesting people, you will be the first on my guest list. I love your comments! :o)

  147. As to the end times discussion. Please. LaHaye will never be able to spend the billions he made romaticizing an Indiana Jones style left behind from the rapture in installments for 20 bucks a pop. He should have named it: Adventures with the Anti Christ.

    That was a very low point for Christianity in America.

  148. Dee: “There is a reason that John Piper said he “loves Mark Driscoll’s theology.”

    Ya just gotta luv that video!

  149. To join in with the straw poll, to the degree that I care about millennialness, I’m an amillennialist. I should probably clarify, since I bet there are as many types of amillennialism as there are amillennialists to amillennialise them. I believe the kiloyear referred to in Revelation does not refer to a literal kiloyear but rather to the church age we’re living in. I know, of course, that many good people believe differently, and I wouldn’t go to war over it.

    One of the best observations I’ve heard on millennialism was from Ern Baxter, oddly enough, who proposes (slightly tongue-in-cheek, I should add) a variant he called pan-millennialism. This is the belief that it will all pan out in the end.

  150. “…Every time I saw that commercial, I wanted to overlay an ending voice-over by James Earl Jones or Morgan Freeman — “And no man could buy or sell except he had the Mark of the Beast…”
    ~ HUG ~

    I’m with ya on the prophecy craze, but I think that instead of Jones or Freeman for voice-over, I’d pay Jeremy Irons to do it. In my opinion, I think he’s the better choice.

  151. Gavin,
    I was genuinely moved in the heart with Sorley Maclean’s poem. Thanks for sharing it!

  152. Dee–
    “Where does everyone fit in the “last days” paradigm?”

    I fit into the paradigm of living each day with an eye to using my talents to leave the world a more peaceful & cleaner place, making room for happiness & relaxation along the way.

    Time spent pontificating the cosmic future is time wasted (beyond a few minutes of honest entertainment value as relief from the burden and pain of life). The “God” factor makes it no less wasteful.

    I used to be very intrigued by it all when I was a kid. Sort of like, “You mean there’s more to this than the boring & corny sunday school material? Science fiction become fact?!? Wow!!” I had a plan to put all my stuffed animals in a big trash bag and keep it by my bed, so that if I felt a sudden pulling upword in the night I could grab it and take them all with me.

    And then I heard the 1988 guy in person present his research a few days before it was all supposed to happen. How exciting the idea was — all my personal problems at the time (which were heavy) would be instantly resolved! I was pretty excited at the prospect.

    And then some years later I heard my then-pastor give his Revelation message, in which he presented his stunning conclusions which every other “biblical scholar” missed. He served up this sermon at least 6 times a year.

    And then I realized how pointless it all is. As pointless as the hundreds of hours I volunteered to keep the machine of church running, and then it died. Kaput.

    I’ve further realized that I can spend my life doing things that have the appearance of bearing the God stamp of approval, but which are of very little to no consequence. While being very unhappy in the process. And then I die. A life lived on principle, regardless of how worthwhile it was and how lacking in happiness. What’s the point of that?

  153. I’ve further realized that I can spend my life doing things that have the appearance of bearing the God stamp of approval, but which are of very little to no consequence. While being very unhappy in the process. And then I die. A life lived on principle, regardless of how worthwhile it was and how lacking in happiness. What’s the point of that?
    ~ elastigirl ~

    Sounds like Jean Paul Sartre sans the atheism after a spot or two of absinthe just to get into the mood. I can relate. Back in the early to mid 70s, prophecy was all the rage with the Calvary Chapel set. Chuck Smith could pack them in and hold them in thrall just like C3PO regaling the ewok kids.

    Even back then, Smith, Hal Lindsey, and Chuck Missler were all bosom buddies in the prophecy racket, and as far as I know, they still are.
    Lindsey & Missler got exposed as plagiarists, but it was just a little bump in the road for them. They still turn a decent buck as prophecy pimps to this day.

  154. Hester wrote:

    “Christians for Nuclear War”? Oh dear.

    No skubalon. That was the attitude I picked up from End-Time-Prophecy fanboys in what was essentially the mid-Cold War period.

    1) In the mainstream, Superior Intellects were all lecturing us about the Utter Certainty of Human Extinction before the Year 2000 due to the Inevitable Global Thermonuclear War. It’s All Over But The Screaming.

    2) Hal Lindsay interpreted ALL the plagues of Revelation as Nuclear Weapons Effects and Aftereffects, based on his FACT (not theory) that Revelation was God essentially showing John a movie of the 1970s EotW and leaving John to describe it as best he could.

    3) Put the two together and you get Christians for Nuclear War. It’s Coming, It’s Inevitable, Gog & Magog are the USSR, COMMUNIST China are the Kings of the East, It’s Prophesied, It’s Prophesied…

    4) “GOD’S JUDGMENT FOR AMERICA’S SINS SITS READY AND WAITING IN THE NUCLEAR MISSILE SILOS OF THE SOVIET UNION!!!!” — actual radio preacher of the period

    5) But fear not, if you are REALLY Saved God will Rapture you up to Heaven as the first ICBM warheads cut atmosphere over their targets and their thermonuclear detonation sequences begin. Look Up, For Thy Redemption Draweth Nigh.

    Need I say just how hopeless and flat-out DANGEROUS that attitude is?

  155. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Hester wrote:
    “Christians for Nuclear War”? Oh dear.
    No skubalon. That was the attitude I picked up from End-Time-Prophecy fanboys in what was essentially the mid-Cold War period.
    1) In the mainstream, Superior Intellects were all lecturing us about the Utter Certainty of Human Extinction before the Year 2000 due to the Inevitable Global Thermonuclear War. It’s All Over But The Screaming.
    2) Hal Lindsay interpreted ALL the plagues of Revelation as Nuclear Weapons Effects and Aftereffects, based on his FACT (not theory) that Revelation was God essentially showing John a movie of the 1970s EotW and leaving John to describe it as best he could.
    3) Put the two together and you get Christians for Nuclear War. It’s Coming, It’s Inevitable, Gog & Magog are the USSR, COMMUNIST China are the Kings of the East, It’s Prophesied, It’s Prophesied…
    4) “GOD’S JUDGMENT FOR AMERICA’S SINS SITS READY AND WAITING IN THE NUCLEAR MISSILE SILOS OF THE SOVIET UNION!!!!” — actual radio preacher of the period

    You know what’s funny HUG? There is a very little known non celebrity Dispensational pastor in New England I have corresponded with once or twice who said he was very leery of ever calling any calamity God’s judgment. His view was we live in a fallen world where bad things are going to happen until Jesus comes again and that is just par for the course. I think he is right about that.

    Unfortunately, what you are describing is far more typical.

  156. most neo-Calvinists are amillenial? Which ones are those because at Mars Hill the few people I recall making committments on the topic split into futurists and theonomistic post-mil (until they were sorta drummed out around 2002).

  157. @ HUG:

    Isn’t it funny how Lindsey-style Dispensationalism can just morph to fit the current news environment. I bet the “kings of the east” = Ahmadinejad and Khamenei now.

  158. @ WTH:

    All the ones I read said they were amillenialist.

    Just a clarification – what exactly is the technical meaning of “futurist”? Is it that ALL of Revelation must be in the future (i.e., no present or past fulfillment at all); or does anything that’s not some form of preterism (most or all of Revelation was fulfilled in 70 AD) qualify as “futurist”? I always thought it was the latter. I suppose, though, if it’s the former, then amillenialism would fall somewhere between futurism and preterism.

    That’s really scary, BTW, that there are theonomists at Mars Hill. Not surprising, but scary nonetheless. Just what we need – loudmouth macho cage-fighting theocrat wannabes. Though I think Gary North was the one who said that “turn the other cheek” only applied before Christians took dominion…once we’re in power we’re supposed to hit the guy back and haul him before the magistrate.

  159. Are we all Bimillenial? One thing we know for sure is it’s been about 2000 years now and counting.
    @ gavin white:
    A Gaelic Happy New Year for Gavin!
    Bliadhna  mhath ur!

    From Calum and Rory MacDonald:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rTjqWjA5Ys&feature=youtube_gdata_player
    Da Mhile Bliadhna  (Two Thousand Years)
    Fo na gealachean
    Air rathad da mhile bliadhn’
    Co chreideadh na dh’ fhairich sinn
    ‘S na chunniac sinn ri ar linn
    Dh’ fhas am fasach suas
    Far an do chuir sinn siol ar naire
    Dlieab mor nan daoine
    An t-acras is am pathadh
    Anns an aineolas
    Chaidh ar gairdeachas air chall
    Da mhile bliadhna
    Air an rathad lethainn mhall
    Tha mi direadh a’ chnuic as aird’
    Airson sealladh, dhan an talamh
    Air cul a’ ghlinne waobh eile thall
    Air sraidean baile a mhaireas
    An la nach criochnaich is nach gluais
    Tro na h-aireamhean
    Mar fharadh theid sinn suas
    Anns an dealachadh
    Atharraichidh sinn an am priobadh suil
    Chorus:  Thoir dhuinn an aireamh nuadh
    Na laithean buan

    –oOo–

    Below many moons
    On a two thousand year old road
    Who could have believed all that we have seen
    And suffered in our generation
    The wilderness has grown
    Where we have sown the seeds of our shame
    Hunger and thirst
    The legacy of our population
    In our ignorance
    Our joy has lost direction
    Two thousand years
    On the slow broad way
    I am climbing up the highest hill
    For a sight of the landscape
    Behind the other side of the valley
    On the streets of the everlasting city
    Day will not end, time will not shift
    Up through the numbers
    We will rise like stepping on a ladder
    In the parting
    We will be transformed in the blink of an eye
    Chorus:  Give us the new number
    The eternal days

  160. Hester, the theonomists basically got shown the door ten years ago and Mark referred to paedobaptist members who used to be at the church up until 2002 as “dead weight” even though some of them played very significant roles in the early history of Mars Hill. Formally the leaders have repudiated postmillenial theonomistic thinking but in terms of how they want to get “upstream” and “influence culture” it might end up being a distinction without a difference.

    Futurism, a bit roughly, is that Revelation refers in many (though not all) cases to events that had not happened at the time the book was written. In practice it often leads to “Revelation is about us right now” view. Amillenialism is simply a specific approach to the 1000 year reign passage, which may fit into a number of other larger approaches like futurism, historicism, partial preterism (because the full preterist view would have to claim Jesus had already returned), and moral conflict theories.

  161. And for the New Year I want to offer a suggestion to our Calvinista brethren – how about having a constant conference, called Constant Conference, or Con Squared (don’t know how to do the symbol). I’m sure Serge could do you some lovely advertising to go with it…

  162. Gavin, You’re welcome! I’ve started taking classes to learn that “Auld” language.
    Beakerj, the Con squared people could then put out a blockbuster movie: “Conned!”

  163. anonymous wrote:

    You know what’s funny HUG? There is a very little known non celebrity Dispensational pastor in New England I have corresponded with once or twice who said he was very leery of ever calling any calamity God’s judgment. His view was we live in a fallen world where bad things are going to happen until Jesus comes again and that is just par for the course. I think he is right about that.

    Unfortunately, what you are describing is far more typical.

    Note that Points (2) and (3) are just a Christianese “ME TOO!” version of the secular Point (1). Preying on pessimism and hopelessness to sell that Fire Insurance with bonus Rapture Boarding Passes.

  164. Muff Potter wrote:

    Back in the early to mid 70s, prophecy was all the rage with the Calvary Chapel set. Chuck Smith could pack them in and hold them in thrall just like C3PO regaling the ewok kids.

    Which is a real kicker when you realize that Chuck Smith HATED Star Wars. Judging from his Seventies radio sermons, CS had a pathological hatred for anything to do with Star Wars.

    Even back then, Smith, Hal Lindsey, and Chuck Missler were all bosom buddies in the prophecy racket, and as far as I know, they still are.

    I’ve experienced Hal Lindsay, and know about Chuck Smith, but who is Chuck Missler?

    And which one(s) of them invested all the $$$$$$ from End Time Prophecy bestsellers in long-term securities?

  165. I grew up with Hal Lindsey as a ‘theologian’ to be listened to. His books were on our coffee table. I never read them, but with my mom, I didn’t really have to. This teaching was responsible for a great deal of my fear as a child. My mom is (as far as I know since we don’t talk anymore) still a great fan as well as receiving the Missler’s newsletter (which she used to send to me). And let’s not forget Jack and Rexella van Impe……sigh.

    Being raised in it, I used to be into it as well. I don’t have the stomach for it anymore. When Missler devoted one whole newsletter to attacking Eugene Peterson and The Message – calling it blasphemous, that was a big step for me recognizing the warped perspective these guys – and those who follow them – have.

    To be honest, there are still some vestiges of fear from that teaching lingering in the corners of my soul. Sigh. The detox process can take a long time. I’m finding that I’m still dismantling things… There was a two year period where I could not even read the bible because all I heard were the voices of fear, condemnation and accusation that I grew up with and that I got in the cult of a church I was in. When I did start to read it again, it was the Message – it had a completely different cadence than what I grew up on which helped quell the triggers. I can read any translation now without flashbacks, but the memories will always be there.

  166. Nicholas wrote:

    http://www.examiner.com/article/chuck-missler-the-nephilim-ancient-cities-ufos-and-the-electric-universe

    Nephilim…
    Ancient cities….
    UFOs…
    “Electric Universe”…
    This sounds like Kookarama on the level of Koresh Teed or David Icke.

    Koresh Teed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_Teed) and “Electro-Alchemy” and David Icke (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Icke) except with Nephilim instead of Reptoids.

    All painted over with Proofs from SCRIPTURE(TM).

    This guy belongs in the next printing of Kooks: A Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief.

  167. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    I grew up with Hal Lindsey as a ‘theologian’ to be listened to. His books were on our coffee table. I never read them, but with my mom, I didn’t really have to. This teaching was responsible for a great deal of my fear as a child.

    Only a “theologian to be listened to”, Jeanette? I’ve seen Hal Lindsay as the Fifth Evangelist, close to the Fourth Person of the Trinity. It’s Prophesied, It’s Prophesied…

    And a Bible only 3 1/2 books long: Daniel, Revelation, the “Nuclear War Chapter” of Ezekiel (the half), and Late Great Planet Earth. Bible Studies(TM) where the only book ever opened was the last of these 3 1/2. It’s Prophesied, It’s Prophesied….

    Mix in a borderline-Aspie’s ultra-literalism and a Twilight Sparkle-level runaway worst-case imagination and, well, once you’ve been assimilated into the First Church of Borg, it takes a LONG time to come back.

  168. Why doesn’t Rick Warren just take a smaller salary if 90% goes back to the church? Would hope he would give more of it to empowering the poor than another church institution. Advertising one’s giving seems more like a marketing ploy than a good example.

  169. Hey Dee & Deb,

    You might want to take a look at this blog. I was a little taken back but I guess you always have some that want to take up for those that come under fire. Sometimes I think women can be easily lead to go to the a man’s defense if they may be attracted to any so called leader. Fyi, I am a woman so I am speaking for my own sex. ;) I kind of got a chuckle when reading the blog and the comments. Just interesting and thought it would go great with this post.

    http://modernreject.com/2012/02/mark-driscoll-is-my-new-best-friend/#comment-14611

  170. HUG, now your comment made me laugh more because that was the kind of thing I was talking about!! Lol

    Exactly my thoughts, the blog dropped of “Oh poor Mark Driscoll”
    I thought to myself, is he not bringing attention to himself and what he says? He is the one who wants the fame and attention. And, I am allowed to disagree with what he says, preaches and teaches!!

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

  171. @ Free:
    I sent and read the Mark Driscoll article. Here is a comment that followed it (written by a woman who attends Mars Hill)

    “The church is large, so it is set up in community groups. I have had my community group call out sin in my own life. In a time when I was suffering from cancer and undergoing chemotherapy, I was treating my husband disrespectfully. The rest of the world told me I was justified in it. Even my medical team told me I was justified in it. My community group, however, called me out. And it hurt. Heck, yes, it hurt. SIN SHOULD HURT!”

    Yes. Yes. That is right. At Mars Hill respecting the husband is the most important thing in the world. Never never disrespect the husband.

    I’m glad there will be a Resurgence 2013. We simply cannot get enough of the “respect the husband” teaching.

  172. Free –

    The author of that blog is entirely wrong. Elie Wiesel, again:

    “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

    -Elie Wiesel

    Don’t tell me there’s no humiliation or suffering going on under Driscoll at his church.

  173. Anyone not sure what “overspiritualizing” looks like?

    “In a time when I was suffering from cancer and undergoing chemotherapy, I was treating my husband disrespectfully.”

  174. Mark Driscoll literally turns my stomach.
    He needs to be stopped. He is ungodly and leading many in the wrong direction.