Is Tim Challies Perusing TWW?

"Have you ever had to read a long back-and-forth discussion where the subject is you? It is an odd and uncomfortable feeling…"

Tim Challies

who-do-you-think-you-are-book

Last Friday I wrote a blog post entitled Tim Challies Gives Accolades to Mark Driscoll in which I called into question Challies' favorable review of Mark Driscoll's latest book (pictured above). 

As I pen this follow-up, that post is approaching 400 comments.  There has been quite an open discussion about Challies' review of Driscoll's latest book, and it appears that it's not just the TWW faithful who are reading your comments. Here is an excerpt from Tim Challies' current post which he named When a Good Guy Writes a Bad Book.

"The other day I followed a link on Twitter and found a web site where various people were discussing something I had written. Have you ever had to read a long back-and-forth discussion where the subject is you? It is an odd and uncomfortable feeling (though, honestly, it didn’t devastate me; I felt very much like an outside observer). I had recently penned a book review and some were expressing disgust with me, telling others that I am merely a patsy, someone who is just a pawn in a greater agenda, answerable to some higher authority. Some were suggesting that I am desperately trying to curry favor with the Christian bigwigs, trying to ingratiate myself with the decision-makers."

Which website do you think he was perusing?  I highly suspect it was The Wartburg Watch, though he is careful not to name it.  The Calvinistas definitely don't want their followers reading over here… 

In recent years the world wide web has leveled the playing field when it comes to the dissemination of information, and there's no turning back.  I remember an e-mail Dee and I received last year from Sergius Martin-George in which he stated that while the posts Dee and I write are thought-provoking, what is really fascinating to him are the comments. 

We totally agree! 

What makes TWW somewhat unique in the blogosphere is that there are many voices represented here, even dissenting ones.  We do our best to allow comments from all of our readers.  It takes a lot to get your comment deleted from this blog!  On the other hand, it appears that comments are deleted (or not allowed) on Calvinista blogs with some regularity.   For example, JeffB, who alerted us about Tim Challies' latest post, attempted to leave a comment on Challies' blog this evening.   When it failed to get posted, JeffB shared it with us under our category – "My Comment Was Deleted". (link)

 Challies.com
“When A Good Guy Writes A Bad Book” (1/9/13)
Tried posting it about 8:15 PM on 1/9/13. Got a message that I’m not allowed to post on that thread – no doubt because sometime last year I tried several times to comment on Mahaney – haven’t tried again until now.
Comment is below:

"Mr. Challies – I will take your word for it that Driscoll’s book is solidly biblical. But does it not strike you as ironic that a book on Christian identity has been written by someone who has, over and over again, for years, publicly displayed grossly sinful behavior? He used to be called “The Cussing Pastor” – that seems almost quaint now. Have you heard his sermon on “The Song of Songs,” one of many instances of his obsession with graphic sexuality? Have you read all of his childishly macho statements, such as, “I wouldn’t respect Jesus if I could beat him up?” Do you know that on Facebook he solicited, for his own amusement, stories about effeminate worship leaders? There are many more examples.

His pattern is to apparently repent of his behavior, and then, after a short while, continue it. I’m sorry, but I think you do new and young believers a disservice by not mentioning these things in a review of a book on Christian identity. (“Who Do You Think You Are?” would be an appropriate question for Driscoll.) From what I read, most of his “fans” are young people, so they know about him already. Do you think they might be confused that so many mature believers treat him with kid gloves? I think that anything less than outrage would qualify as that treatment.

If the book is solid, then the best that could be said about him is that he’s a hypocrite – “Do as I say, not as I do.” I think that, in Driscoll’s case, criticism of his public life is legitimate in a review of one of his books, particularly one about this subject."

Surprisingly, a negative comment did get through on Tim Challies' website a little while ago.  Francis Chanti had this to say:

"Gee Tim, I couldn't disagree more about your Driscoll logic. So here I am a new believer, or maybe a non-believer, and you've convinced me to read Mark's latest. And the scales fall from my eyes, and I see Christ in an entirely new way, and my heart savors to learn more.That's great, right? Maybe not. Maybe I'm so helped by Mark's book, that I seek out more of his teachings, and being young in the faith, or a seeking unbeliever, I drink his Kool Aid believing that he represents core Christian belief.

Just how does your review misguide a new believer… If I put Mark's book in the hands of a seeker, I'd feel culpable for the outcome. When there are so many better ways to bring someone to faith, why take Mark out of context and present him as a mature Christian?"

We will definitely be checking back to see whether it was deleted. 

Over on Amazon, Stephanie Drury wrote a detailed one-star review in response to Driscoll's book Who Do You Think You Are? which she cleverly called: 

Mark Driscoll is to biblical wisdom as Richard Simmons is to cage fighting (link)

"When I got an email from Thomas Nelson asking if I'd like an advance copy of Mark Driscoll's new book, I malfunctioned for a second and then deleted the message. Within a day or two I skulked back to my trash folder and sent them my address, knowing that if I read the book I'd have to write this review. Just know from the outset that words basically fail. Starting with the fact that I was sent a copy of anything by Mark Driscoll to review, I can hardly begin to explain my feelings about this book. But don't worry, I'll try!

Once I got past the denial stage of having a Driscoll book in my home and moved into the acceptance stage of reading it and writing this, I knew my involvement with the Seattle therapeutic community would inform the way I read him. I meet a lot of people who have significant spiritual and emotional wounding, and I've gotten to hear the stories of many people who have been involved at Mark Driscoll's church here in Seattle (Mars Hill). The stories out of there cause me so much concern. What I hear about gender roles and authoritarianism manages to surprise me and make me cry even after six years of hearing them on a fairly regular basis. (For more information and actual accounts of people who have been at Mars Hill Church, search these articles as Amazon reviews won't let me use URLs: "Jesus Needs New PR Mark Drisoll's church discipline contract," "Mark Driscoll's gospel shame: the truth about discipline, excommunication and cult-like control at Mars Hill," and visit Joyful Exiles dot com, and Mars Hill Refuge dot com.) It's not a secret that I feel Driscoll's teachings and his increasing popularity are a powerfully destructive epidemic in western evangelicalism. Having said all that, the writings of Mark Driscoll delight me in the way Tommy Wiseau's movie "The Room" delights me, which is the same way GWB's "Fool me once, shame on you" quote delights me, which is the same way the Miss Teen America contestant talking about maps and "the Iraq" delights me. Getting into the book I actually started to cheer up. When Driscoll reassures us "It's not a sin to purchase items or even to appreciate or enjoy them" (p. 8) and says "Ghandi…enjoyed having underage, nude, teenage girls share his bed" (p. 16), I defy you to bounce giddily in your seat.

We don't need another book like this. This book has been written thirty hundred times and is surely going to sell like crazy so, you know, why not. CHA-CHING THOMAS NELSON GET AFTER THAT GLORY TO GOD. It follows the typical premise of instructional Christian books: a pop culture analogy for a spiritual hunger/defect, numbered sections of steps to take and handy anagrams ("To help you understand idols, think of them in terms of Items, Duties, Others, Longings and Sufferings," p. 7), using the words "you should" on almost every page, and rushed transitions that make you stop and ask "did he really just say that?" Some of these nuggets include: "One popular Christian counseling book says, 'In a pinch you could do all your counseling from Ephesians'" (p. 19), "Paul's timeless words on reconciliation are as timely as ever" (p. 86), and "Rather than dating, relating and fornicating, you could be praying, serving and worshipping" (p. 194).

My biggest problem with this book may be the oversimplification of human identity. On page 18 Driscoll says "My goal is to take one massive need in your life, your need for identity, and connect it to one book of the Bible, Ephesians." Okay, I guess you could do that, but what is the benefit? To take one book of the Bible and attempt to derive something as core as an identity from it seems like a recipe for a primordial crisis. The stories of people I meet that were raised to derive their identity from the Bible in this way while leaving no avenues open for exploration, possibility or mystery tell me this is an incredibly dangerous approach to take. And Driscoll's not even talking about basing your personal identity on the premise that the entire Bible is inerrant, he's talking about ONE BOOK. My spidey sense is tingling.

On p. 52 he says "Why does God bless us?" and says Paul wrote that God's blessing is "to the praise and glory of his grace." Well, okay, but where is love? Where is space for that? Where is space for questioning and doubting? Where is attribution to mystery and the great unknown? I didn't find any of that in this book.

Driscoll has clearly been advised by his publicist to take his image in a new direction and has kept his thoughts on gender roles quiet for the most part. He says his usual stuff about loving your future spouse before you meet them, which he doesn't seem to view as unrelational or idolatrous. This is the kind of stuff that Mars Hill Church teaches that seems like it could have some merit, a good side to it, could possibly be a good point, and that veneer of goodness is what clouds the underlying aspects that cause people to deny their intuition and invalidate other ways G-d could speak to them.

He saves his Satan talk for the last chapter in which he says "Satan's goal is for you to take the bait without seeing the hook. Once the hook is in your mouth, he'll reel you in to take you as his captive" (p. 222) which is especially eerie for me in context of those I've known who have been involved at Mars Hill Church and have left. The good things on the surface drew them in. The shame and vying for absolution kept them there. But if Jesus said his yoke is easy and you are toiling under what you are being taught, is it possible something is wrong? If you are not allowed to bring your questions to your faith community, is it even a community of faith?

One frustrating thing about these kinds of nominally Christian publications is that the regurgitation of Things To Do cancels out so much possibility, makes the unspeakably complex so simplistic, and speaks with authority on subjects no one can have mastery of. The beautiful Story isn't handled with due reverence or curiosity, but with a posture of mastery and absolutism. And as I write this on the first Sunday of Epiphany it puts me in mind of the Magi with whom Epiphany begins, who were wandering and seeking that which they'd only inferred from the sky. How mystical is that? Why isn't such mystery given a place in evangelical Christian culture?

On p. 48 he says "Paul taught that God has chosen and predestined you to receive his love, enjoy his grace, and be his friend forever." He goes on to say "The doctrine of predestination can understandably bring to mind a host of questions. Why does God save some people and not others? Is God unfair and unloving to save some people and not others? Is there no hope of salvation for those who are not chosen by God? Sadly, the hard questions are often debated more than the divine truth of predestination is celebrated." Oh, there's that validation of doubt I was asking about. It's dismissed with a "Sadly,…" and shamed for not celebrating something Driscoll calls "divine truth of predestination." Nowhere in the text is the word predestination used and especially isn't called "divine truth." How dare YOU, sir."

There is a growing chorus of voices on the internet questioning whether Mark Driscoll is qualified to minister and author theological tomes.  It's not just your glam blog queens who are questioning the endorsement of Driscoll's writings.  We seem to remember that John MacArthur publicly expressed his problem with Driscoll, and that was before the Song of Songs debacle…

In case you didn't notice, the tiny print under Mark Driscoll's name atop the book states:   

"Author of the New York Times #1 Bestseller Real Marriage"

Looks like a year after its release, Real Marriage may capture the attention of those who choose to read Who Do You Think You Are? 

Keep those comments coming because the Calvinistas appear to be reading them…

Lydia's Corner:   Numbers 26:1-51   Luke 2:36-52   Psalm 60:1-12   Proverbs 11:15

 

Comments

Is Tim Challies Perusing TWW? — 57 Comments

  1. I love it!!! Thanks for this post.

    I hope Tim Challies is reading and other Calvinistas because at one point I turned to his blog about Wolves in the church. We had one and some of us realized it, passed around the post and then when the rubber hit the road, I was the only one standing because the others were afraid of being shunned and dismissed.

    I am completely disappointed in Tim, I thought he spoke of truth but I will say his post on wolves in the church was spot on. So God used your writings for such a time as I was in. God is the creator and he moves the heart and the pen to which He may. Too bad Tim you can't see right now.

    Mark Driscoll makes my stomach sick because he is almost as bad as the tabloids that promote what a woman should be, how skinny she should be and how she should service a man, that's all she is designed for!! Are you kidding me?? I could take on Mark in the Ultimate fighting ring and embarrass him in 1 minute. I would be glad to do it and I am not just talking smack. Sometimes a good smack down will help things along. Ha ha!!

    Good night to you all.

  2. I follow Stephanie Drury, who reviewed the book above, on Twitter. Lately she’s been tweeting excerpts of the book – and driving people crazy – lol. I do not get the concept of removing dissenting comments. I reserve the right to remove comments on my blog when they become triggers to people who have been abused (and that’s a rarity), but Challies’ site is entirely different. It is not geared to abuse survivors. He should be able to handle comments like Jeff B.’s. It seems pretty weak to me.

  3. Julie Anne -

    It seems that once you are deleted on certain blogs you are never permitted to comment again!

    I guess that's the real definition of grace.

  4. … so, uh, Grace co-authored that best-seller, right? I suppose the marketing peeps figured it would be simpler to just not mention her but still … .

  5. Well this sinfully egalitarian woman (hey, I’m in the throes of sermon prep) finds Driscoll’s influence very chilling. I am amazed at how many ultra-conservative acquaintances are totally taken in by his flashy style and can’t see how shallow and regurgitated his stuff is when you strip away the shock jock trappings. To me he sounds like an immature youth leader who has done one seminar at a very Calvinist Bible College and now knows all the answers even though he’s still got all the old, self-centred, bully-boy attitudes. I can understand why the very young are attracted; that he can have so much appeal to mature believers (calvinist complementarians of course) bewilders and concerns me.

    Is there something in the mental gymnastics required to be a full-blown Calvinista that makes them susceptible to his approach? Seriously, it does seem to do something to people’s critical thinking skills — at least on my (admittedly limited) observation

  6. “Have you ever had to read a long back-and-forth discussion where the subject is you?”

    Uh… Tim? Every single woman in Christianity has had to do that. Numerous times. Let this be what I have heard Americans refer to as a ‘teachable moment’.

  7. I am just wondering why I don't get a flag? Do I need to sign up for one? Seems everyone but me has a little flag by their name – I, unfortunately, live in the same country as Tim Challies :( but, fortunately, live in the same country as Anne Voskamp :), Emergent Anabaptist, and Cognitive Discopants :) ( the last two are fun bloggers, who skewer Driscoll).

  8. I never ‘applied’ for a flag — I’m not sure whether the system tracks where I’m writing from, or whether it’s the au at the end of my email that gives the game away. Must try posting from the UK (134 days till I’m there!) and see what happens!

    Sophie, you nailed it!

  9. Sophie wrote:

    “Have you ever had to read a long back-and-forth discussion where the subject is you?”
    Uh… Tim? Every single woman in Christianity has had to do that. Numerous times. Let this be what I have heard Americans refer to as a ‘teachable moment’.

    Just felt this needs to be posted again.
    And on the flag thing, for me it depends which computer I’m on. This comment probably won’t have a flag. I think it depends on your ISP.

  10. Val,

    I am so sorry that you don't get a flag when you post. I have no clue about that. Maybe our Guy Behind the Curtain can figure it out.

    Rest assured, you are NOT being discriminated against here. :-)

  11. I think the flag (which is nice, BTW – I love me some flags!) depends on the ISP for sure. I get a nice Union Jack when I post at work as our VSAT system is through a U.K. company (though I am not located there) but on my plug-in USB modem at home, my posts are flagless.

    Sophie wrote:

    Uh… Tim? Every single woman in Christianity has had to do that. Numerous times. Let this be what I have heard Americans refer to as a ‘teachable moment’.

    Awesome.

    Also – hi Tim!!! :)

  12. Rafiki,

    I think you're right about the ISP. A few years ago when I was using a Blackberry, a Canadian (or was it British?) flag would appear by my name when I commented on the blog, even though I was very much in the USA. I got a chuckle out of it!

  13. Deb wrote:

    Rafiki,

    I think you’re right about the ISP. A few years ago when I was using a Blackberry, a Canadian (or was it British?) flag would appear by my name when I commented on the blog, even though I was very much in the USA. I got a chuckle out of it!

    Yes, Blackberries are made by the same friendly folk north of the border who brought us touques and Chesterfields!

    So, Deb, are you saying you want to BLAME CANADA??? (That’s a very juvenile South Park reference, sorry but I couldn’t help myself :) )

  14. Feathers always seem to get ruffled when your own discernment is questioned. I had a comment on a Facebook page deleted (didn’t report it here since it says “blogs”), but I indirectly questioned the discernment and warned a small group study about Driscoll at the local church’s Facebook page (Atlee Scottsville, if anyone wants to see). The Jan. 6th sermon, the pastor stated that he wanted to see more people get into scripture, but all of their small groups at the Scottsville plant are on the latest “christian” publication. I posted “66 books in the bible and not a single study from it?” in the recommendations box (It was later deleted by them), and then posted a warning under the “Real Marriage” announcement (in a nutshell, stating that the book was nothing more than a glorified sex manual), and that was also deleted. Also got a message from them, in essence, saying that they don’t discuss these things publicly and that the local leadership had carefully chosen the small group studies. Really disgusts me how people can be so under the influence of these non-scriptural idea.

    On a lighter note, thank you TWW for all that you report! And reading the comment section is just as fun as the article!

  15. @ Rafiki: Sorry off topic but are Chesterfield's a cigarette brand or something different? I ask because my father emigrated from Scotland to Cape Breton, to the US but always smoked Chesterfield cigarettes.

  16. Hi Lin!

    A “chesterfield” is a sofa or couch!

    (BTW if there are any “Canucks” :) here perhaps you can tell us how this term came into use?)

  17. Deb & Dee:

    What I wrote to you in that e-mail has never been more true–though now that the average TWW post draws 300+ comments, it’s a little bit harder to indulge that fascination. Of course, the comments wouldn’t be so plentiful and rich if it weren’t for the yeoperson’s job the two of you are doing in cranking out all these terrific posts.

    SMG

  18. Rafiki,

    My hubby and I were watching Jeopardy a few nights ago, and that was one of the questions.

    Chesterfield – Sofa/Couch

    I never knew!

  19. Lola

    You should know us by now! You can post any comment removed from any media anywhere. I would love to see what they deleted. Welcome to commenting at TWW. As you can see, it is making an impact.

  20. Sophie wrote:

    “Have you ever had to read a long back-and-forth discussion where the subject is you?”
    Uh… Tim? Every single woman in Christianity has had to do that. Numerous times. Let this be what I have heard Americans refer to as a ‘teachable moment’.

    What a great comment!

  21. When I think of Driscoll I think of the verse “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles on (your) account.” A verse Driscoll has made his “lifes’ verse”. Shame.

  22. Sophie wrote:

    “Have you ever had to read a long back-and-forth discussion where the subject is you?”
    Uh… Tim? Every single woman in Christianity has had to do that. Numerous times. Let this be what I have heard Americans refer to as a ‘teachable moment’.

    I luvs Sophie too!

    I don’t get a flag either. We did, however, recently get a new couch.

  23. justabeliever wrote:

    When I think of Driscoll I think of the verse “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles on (your) account.”

    There is a Yiddish term for this:
    SHANDA FUR DIE GOYIM.

  24. Rafiki wrote:

    Yes, Blackberries are made by the same friendly folk north of the border who brought us touques and Chesterfields!

    De Great White North, eh?

  25. I sometimes have a flag, but not every time. I like my wee Canadian flag, when it is there. :)

  26. Flags

    We use a WordPress plug in for this. It takes the IP address that you use to connect to our blog and does a look up in a table. This table is not official and not complete. And it’s not an easy table. A country might have 100 or 1000 or more distinct ranges of IP addresses that are supposedly located within it. People using VPNs or other routings may show up as from the location of their routing server. Which is why Blackberrys from North America that are NOT using a company BES appear to be from Canada. Others will show up as from about 1/2 dozen locations around they world as all none BES serviced Blackberrys go through those servers. Oh, and a large ISP such as Time Warner or AT&T in the US will periodically re-assign IP addresses to non Static IP customers which can cause your flag to go away or suddenly appear.

    Simple? I thought so.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled debate. :)

  27. I am at once ashamed, delighted, and saddened as we observe the hot mess that is the Calvinista movement.

    I’m ashamed because they, through their foolish, immature, and harmful leadership tactics, have hurt people “in the name of Christ.” It’s like a member of the family has gone off their rocker and is shaming our Father as well as the rest of us.

    I’m delighted because I think that it has been tremendously damaging to the work of the Kingdom. Their behavior is not sustainable and it will eventually cause massive implosions. I believe we are already seeing this happen.

    I’m saddened because I know that, in such an implosion, more casualties are unavoidable. I hope and pray that the damage caused by the Calvinistas is limited as much as possible and put to an end as soon as possible.

  28. @ GuyBehindtheCurtain: Speaking of ISPs and IP addresses, last night I was using a VPN and couldn’t comment (until after I turned it off) because whatever filter systems you’re using thought I was a spammer.

    That kind of surprised me, as I’ve used VPN IPs here in the past and had no problems posting…

  29. @ numo:
    It could be that the VPN service is on a blocking list due to past activity.

    A trick that SPAMers use is to sign up for a “trial” account at VPN type services and use them to bypass normal checks. Then walk away in a week or so after throughly poisoning the reputation of the service they used.

    Do me a favor. Send me an email of the VPN service and the EXACT message you got when blocked and I’ll look into it.
    GBTC

  30. Eagle wrote:

    I only bite at those from the YRR and reformed tradition. So to most people here, and other blogs as well as most Christians I don’t bite. But if you are involved in Acts 29, SGM, or are a John Piper follower…beware!

    Because those churches and movements have become destructive.

    I have a friend who is a Care Group Leader in SGM. I’ve been twisting his balls and hammering them asking if he is writing up reports of our conversations and turning them in to SGM. He denies it and says there is no such thing. So all the SGM Survivor blogs including TWW must be incorrect.

    Just like KGB, Stasi, or Scientology Guardians’ Office.

  31. “Have you ever had to read a long back-and-forth discussion were the subject is you? It is an odd and uncomfortable feeling…”

    Nah,I don’t believe him. Someone like himself who is well known(puts himself out there) and even has his own blog, loves the attention. These guys are not able to be honest with themselves. They play the game of let’s pretend I’m being honest,humble and am really concerned about God’s kingdom.

  32. Just now reading this post. Thanks for printing my comment. I’d rather have it posted here than on Challies.com anyway, though it would be nice if it helped to change the mind of even one of his readers (doubtful, I know). I’m giving at least some of them the benefit of the doubt by assuming that they are ignorant of the full extent of Driscoll’s outrages. If only we had someone of the authority of Spurgeon today to put Driscoll and the other little boys in their place.

  33. This reviewer’s words sum up so much of what makes me uncomfortable about the entire neo-Calvinist movement, actually.

    I am a far cry from believing that all neo-Cals have bad intentions; in fact, I know many with very good intentions. But I see many of the same troubling dynamics in their approach to faith and Christian living that this reviewer has pointed out in Driscoll’s book.

    And, by the way, both of the comments that you posted from other readers of Challies’ blog are right on the money. I like that they are able to raise questions without irrational attacks. I don’t see a reason to attack Challies at all, but I do think he’s missing some pretty valid concerns about whether Driscoll should be held up as an example.

  34. I have a friend (female) who is a personal trainer and a champion mixed martial arts competitor. She is currently the World Champion for her weight division in both Legends MMA and Freestyle Cage Fighting.

    She is also somewhat shy and very sweet in everyday life.

    I wonder what Mark Driscoll would make of her? Declare her sinfully unfeminine since only real men like him and Jesus get to beat people up? What mixed-up circular reasoning he uses to define desirable male and female qualities by himself and his sensibilities and preferences.

    But I bet my little friend could kick his sorry butt in a minute!

  35. JeffB

    I am grateful for your comment, and we appreciate your posting it under “My Comment was Deleted”.

    I believe your being banned from posting comments by Tim Challies speaks volumes about the New Calvinism movement. It’s ‘my way or the highway’.

    The truth is slowly but surely being revealed.

  36. This is according to the free dictionary:

    “According to Craig M. Carver in American Regional Dialects, the word probably comes from the name of a 19th-century earl of Chesterfield and originally referred “specifically to a couch with upright armrests at either end.” It appears to have come into use in Canada around 1903 and in northern California at about the same time.”

    And believe it or not, there is a survey result on the University of Toronto website from the Journal of English Linguistics looking at use of the word chesterfield, and the decline of it’s usage in the Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario – (Niagara Falls and Toronto would be familiar to most of you:^)
    http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~chambers/couch.html

    I use the term chesterfield, and wasn’t aware it was Canadian.
    You learn something new every day eh?

  37. @ Deb:
    Thanks, Deb. Surprisingly, Frank Turk has not deleted a comment I made a few days ago. To be as brief as possible (this was written about on TWW at the time):

    Early last year, I think (maybe earlier), when Turk deleted negative comments about Mahaney, I, and a couple others, complained. I asked him not to go the way of J. Taylor and Challies on this. He accused us of being “conspiracy theorists.” I told him that these were facts that were easy to check out, and, I think, sent him proof from Challies’ editor. He let his “conspiracy theory” comment stand and deleted all my comments related to that. Next day he even twittered a “conspiracy theorist” “joke,” and I twittered that he was a coward who deleted evidence that contradicted him. This led to some private emails between us in which he remained his snarky self, basically saying at one point that who cared about SGM since they were all charismatics anyway. (Which didn’t stop him from hero-worshipping Mahaney.)

    He wrote some (pretty good, imo) posts earlier this week about “Passion 2013.” He answered one comment with this: “Everybody knows for a fact that I am the first one to retract things I post when they are proven factually incorrect.”

    I wrote: “Now that’s funny!” Then I wrote that I thought his post was good.

    After a few days, my comment remains. No one, including Turk, has referenced it. Maybe he missed it, or let it stay because I complimented him, or because I did not outright call him a liar. Or, maybe, he’s changing.

    I’m sure many remember his famous Saturday post at Pyro wherein he solicited comments about Mahaney and then deleted most of the negative ones.

    Don’t have the source, but, some months ago, a blog reprinted, with his consent, one of his posts. He was so rude to some of the commenters that the blog mistress told him to stop commenting, which, I think, he did. I’ll try to find it.

  38. @ JeffB:

    I commented about Mahaney on that famed Saturday. My comments remained, I believe because I kept to issues and concerns that everyone could see (were public). I had a few exchanges with someone named “Jimmy” who had recently changed his moniker. He came after me every time I commented. I immediately knew who he was. Other than that time, I have never commented on that blog as I can’t stand its tone.

  39. @ JeffB:
    Lol. I do hope no one here actually believes Pyro is a Christian blog. Turk and, especially, Dan Phillips, do not display anything like Christianity in their posts. Arrogant, rude, narcissistic, and condescending – they don’t look a thing like Jesus. They are not known by their love. They do not display the fruit of the Spirit. Peace, patience, kindness, gentleness – they are scorned. I used to frequent that site because it fed my young, seminary trained ego. As I grew in faith, I began to see that the site was not merely nothing like Christianity, it was actually hindering my walk with Christ and damaging my soul. That was two years ago, and I haven’t been back since.

  40. Val wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    OK, this post hit it out of the ball park for me:
    http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/complementarianism-hierarchy-outside-home
    Roles of women: John Piper vs. the Bible

    I have touched on that issue myself – I can’t remember if it was here or another blog where I post.

    I’m a woman who has never married – so much of the gender complementarian teachings don’t even apply to me.

    As far as I can tell, other than telling women they can’t teach in church, and trying to say the Bible teaches wives are to submit to their husbands, the gender complementarians don’t have any biblical grounds to say that all women every where, regardless of marital status, should have to submit to any or all men.

    But I have seen a few complementarians online attempt to do this.

    The Bible does not even hint that all women on all occasions must submit to any/all men.

    You can debate the passages that talk about roles in marriage (personally I am an egalitarian in view), and about women in church, but that’s as far as that goes. There is nothing in the Bible at all about secular life and employment, and so on.

    To quote from RHE’s page:

    Similarly, J.I. Packer suggests that “a situation in which a female boss has a male secretary” puts strain on the humanity of both.

    Oh please! That is really stretching it.

    I have long suspected that traditional, narrow gender roles based on one or two Bible verses is less about being genuinely concerned for fidelity to the Scriptures and more about men maintaining control and power over women as much as they can, where ever they can.

    RHE quoting Piper about Sarah Palin:

    I don’t think that biblically a woman should be the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. And so that puts her in a very awkward position for me.

    God put a woman, Deborah, as military / political leader over all Israel! So why does Piper take issue with a woman leading the USA?

    Skimming down RHE’s page some more, I see that she raised the example of Deborah too. :)

  41. John

    Good for you. We need more people to speak out against purported Christian blogs. When theology trumps love, something is sadly wrong.

  42. The first couple of times I saw this post and comments, I thought the title had the word “pursuing” in it. OOPS.

  43. “Lol. I do hope no one here actually believes Pyro is a Christian blog. Turk and, especially, Dan Phillips, do not display anything like Christianity in their posts. Arrogant, rude, narcissistic, and condescending – they don’t look a thing like Jesus. They are not known by their love. They do not display the fruit of the Spirit. Peace, patience, kindness, gentleness – they are scorned. I used to frequent that site because it fed my young, seminary trained ego. As I grew in faith, I began to see that the site was not merely nothing like Christianity, it was actually hindering my walk with Christ and damaging my soul. That was two years ago, and I haven’t been back since.”

    John, Bingo!

  44. @ John:
    They do not display the fruit of the Spirit. Peace, patience, kindness, gentleness – they are scorned. I used to frequent that site because it fed my young, seminary trained ego. As I grew in faith, I began to see that the site was not merely nothing like Christianity, it was actually hindering my walk with Christ and damaging my soul.

    John – This is such a good point. People elevate these guys to a church leader status because of their RBD connections. A blog reader of mine sent me a link to a comment he left on Pyro blog several years ago. He asked an innocent question and was taken to task by Phil J. and then a whole bandwagon of Phil worshippers. When I read the dialogue, I was shocked at the way he was treated for asking an innocent question. It reminded me of what goes on in abusive churches: if you question the beloved leader, the whole support gang comes in to defend the leader and to set you straight. The leader always has it right in their eyes.