Tim Challies / Cruciform Press in our ‘Cross’ Hairs

"I recall meeting Mahaney only one time and for no more than two or three minutes. To my knowledge we have never corresponded by email or any other media."

Tim Challies

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=22268&picture=fan-of-dollars

Fan of Dollars

Last week Tim Challies caused quite an uproar in the blogosphere when he attempted to explain his non-relationship with C.J. Mahaney.  In his post Thinking Biblically about C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries, Challies wrote:

"Before I begin, it may be useful for me to explain the nature of my relationship with C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries, though there is actually very little to explain. I recall meeting Mahaney only one time and for no more than two or three minutes. To my knowledge we have never corresponded by email or any other media. He and I have never shared a speaking platform and I have never spoken at a SGM event (though I did liveblog a couple of them several years ago). All this to say that I write as an outside observer rather than as a personal friend and write this article primarily for the benefit of other outside observers."

Upon reading Challies' explanation, a famous quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet came to mind:

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Queen Gertrude (Hamlet's Mother) in Shakespeare's Hamlet (Act III, Scene II)

Challies ends his post with these words:

"For this reason I have deliberately avoided learning too much. I have had to question my motives, especially since I have repeatedly been on the receiving end of scathing criticism for not using my platform to speak out against Mahaney. I have chosen to read the news stories, to understand the basic facts, but conscience compels me to stop there. To do more may not be spiritually beneficial, it may not reflect good time management, and it may not be loving toward those who are involved.

Conclusion

In a situation as difficult as this one, especially in a situation as difficult as this one, the Lord calls me, he calls each of his people, to pursue peace and love and unity. I take this as a call to consider carefully what information I learn, to keep in mind that none of us has access to all of the facts, that I am to believe and hope all things of every believer, and that there are important and wide-reaching implications for each one of us.

(Note: I have chosen to close the comments for this article.)"

The internet – a technology mastered by Calvinistas to propel themselves into the public eye – is such a wonderful research tool!   Brian Auten doesn't believe what Challies shared is the right way to measure his “relationship” with CJ and SGM.  Auten's 'measuring stick' is featured in a post over at The Boar's Head Tavern.  When he did an advanced search of 'Mahaney' on Tim Challies' blog, he came up with 26 pages of hits! 

Kris over at SGM Survivors had this to say regarding the Challies post:

"I’m glad Tim Challies is finally writing about something SGM-related that is not all sunshine and roses.  For me, his frequent mentions of SGM over the years hold a special personal significance, as his seeming endorsements of C.J. and SGM were one of the main reasons Guy and I stuck it out for as long as we did at our own SGM church.  I’d had such respect for Challies’ discernment about other matters that even after we’d noticed a lot of little things that seemed odd or “off” at our SGM church, I kept telling myself that we must just be crazy – that if Challies thinks SGM is good, then it must be good.

After we started this site and I became aware of all the stories of spiritual abuse, I even wrote to Tim Challies, confident that if he just knew what was going on, he’d use some of his powers of discernment to take a closer look at SGM.  While he was nice enough to answer to my email, his response was just a couple of noncommittal sentences.  Yet as you can see from the Boar’s Head list above, he continued to write very positively about SGM while apparently ignoring anything that might be cause for concern.  Because I remained a Challies fan, I wrote him again on at least two other occasions over the ensuing 3 or 4 years, to no avail…"

It's understandable that Kris held Tim Challies in high esteem.  After all, she probably saw announcements like this one on the WorshipGod06 website:

"Tim Challies will be live-blogging the event for the benefit of those who could not attend."

And Tim had this to say as he reflected on his live blogging experience at WorshipGod06:

"It (SGM) is primarily an organization that wishes to worship and celebrate the sovereignty of God as shown in His grace towards sinners. It is an organization that seeks to maintain biblical humility and seeks to serve the body of Christ, not just in word but also in deed. I mentioned to a couple of people at the conference that somehow, while sitting in that church and hearing praises rise to God, I felt a sense of home. I don’t quite know how to describe this or what I even really mean by it, but somehow the environment felt so safe and so familiar, even though this was my first time worshipping at a Sovereign Grace event. I was moved, I was stirred and I was challenged. And best of all, I was led to grow in my understanding of God, my appreciation of God, my love for His people and my ability to bring worship to Him."

Does anyone know whether Mahaney was present at this conference held in August 2006 at Covenant Life Church?  CJ doesn't appear to have spoken publicly at the event.

Then there is Tim Challies' affiliation with the Band of Bloggers.  He participated with this group at the first Together for the Gospel Event in April 2006 (four months prior to the SGM WorshipGod conference) and at the one held last year. (link)

He also attended T4G in 2010 and made a video to share on YouTube which shows the 'business angle' of the Together for the Gospel Conference. 

How does Challies manage to wear so many hats and juggle so many 'roles'?  Here is how he describes himself on his website:

"I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Aileen and a father to three young children. I worship and serve as a pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, Ontario, and am a co-founder of Cruciform Press."

The banner at the top of his blog states: 

"Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer."

Challies isn't kidding when he describes his website as his online home.  He spends A LOT of time blogging; however, you might be surprised to discover that he has also written A LOT of book reviews.  In fact, he has He has done 686 Amazon reviews, has received 22,680 helpful votes, and is ranked 317 among all Amazon reviewers worldwide.  Why? 

Oh, we failed to call attention to Tim Challies' remark that he is a co-founder of Cruciform Press.  What a clever name for a Christian publishing company.  Cruciform means "forming or arranged in a cross". 

Challies first announced Cruciform Press in an April 2010 post on his website.  In case you missed it, here's the exciting news:

"…let me tell you about an exciting new venture I am involved in. Let me introduce you to [insert drum roll here] Cruciform Press.

Cruciform Press is an alternative publishing company designed from the ground up to operate in the digital marketplace. And it officially launches today.

This is a collaborative effort between Kevin Meath (book editor extraordinaire who has edited books for authors like C.J. Mahaney, Paul David Tripp and Dave Harvey), Bob Bevington (an entrepreneur and optometrist who also happens to co-author books with Jerry Bridges) and me. Together we see the need for a model of publishing that begins with, not extends to, the new realities of this digital world.

As a publisher getting its start at the cusp of the digital age, our model is slightly different from traditional publishers. We are focusing on books between 10,000 and 25,000 words (roughly 50 to 100 pages) and will offer them at great prices in print-on-demand, e-book and audiobook formats. And we intend to publish a new book on the first of every month."

Cruciform Press Founders

As mentioned above, Cruciform Press was co-founded by Kevin Meath, Bob Bevington, and Tim Challies.  Meath serves as the Publisher and Editor hat, Bevington is the Executive Director, and Challies is Strategy and Acquisitions

We believe Kevin Meath is the Smoking Gun.  Meath's bio on the Cruciform Press website says it all.  Here's how it begins:

"Kevin has more than 25 years professional experience as an editor, including eleven years as chief editor for Sovereign Grace Ministries. He has worked on more than 40 book projects for the Christian market, and has edited for C.J. Mahaney, Paul Tripp, John Piper, Jerry Bridges, Joel Beeke, Richard D. Phillips, Scotty Smith, Dave Harvey, and many others. He has worked with Multnomah, Crossway, Reformation Trust, Shepherd Press, New Growth Press, Founders Press, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Revive Our Hearts, Focus on the Family, Desiring God, and others."

Meath also features testimonials by the likes of C.J. Mahaney, Paul Tripp, Bob Kauflin, Dave Harvey, and Gary Ricucci.  Also, you might be interested to know that Kevin Meath was heavily involved in the publication of Sovereign Grace Magazine.  He writes:

"Sovereign Grace magazine was published for more than 20 years, most of that time as a bi-monthly. I served as Editor for the final seven years.

When it came time to plan an issue, C.J. Mahaney and I would work together to identify the issue theme, as well as the lead teaching articles and their respective authors. I would then work with the authors of the teaching, news, and testimony articles to bring the issue to completion, although sometimes I was also tasked with converting a sermon transcript or book chapter into an article on behalf of the author… The issues shown here included articles that later contributed to several books, including C.J.'s Humility: True Greatness, Living the Cross-Centered Life, and Worldliness, and Bob Kauflin's Worship Matters."

According to the testimonials link above, here are some of the projects on which Meath has collaborated:

When Sinners Say "I Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage – Dave Harvey

Love That Lasts:  When Marriage Meets Grace – Gary and Betsy Ricucci

Songs for the Cross Centered Life – Sovereign Grace Music

Upward:  The Bob Kauflin Hymns Project – Sovereign Grace Music

Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God:  What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know – C.J. Mahaney

Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood (Foundations for the Family Series) – Wayne Grudem

Valley of Vision – Sovereign Grace Music

The Cross Centered Life (both editions) – C.J. Mahaney

Awesome God – Sovereign Grace Music

Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Becoming Man – Sovereign Grace Music

Preaching the Cross – Together for the Gospel by Mark Dever, J. Ligon Duncan, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., C.J. Mahaney (2007)

All We Long to Sing – Sovereign Grace Music

Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood (Foundations of the Family) – Wayne Grudem and Dennis Rainey

Why Small Groups? – C.J. Mahaney

Yes, we have Kevin Meath to thank for these 'gospelrific' projects.  Now you know the behind the scenes individual to thank…  As Cruciform Press gets established, you can be sure that they will be cranking out more of these kinds of projects.  Just what we need…

Getting back to Tim Challies, he established himself by riding the coattails of high profile Calvinistas like Mahaney.  Now that he's his own man and 'business' partner of SGM's former editor, he just doesn't want to know that much about the SGM mess.  After all, It's not good 'time management' and besides that, it's not good for 'business'

Lydia's Corner:   Joshua 13:1-14:15   Luke 18:1-17   Psalm 85:1-13   Proverbs 13:7-8

 

 

 

Comments

Tim Challies / Cruciform Press in our ‘Cross’ Hairs — 221 Comments

  1. Deb

    You nailed him. Challies is beholden to SGM. He has written about them, pushed them, reviewed them, etc. He has gone into business with a big booster. Kris, at Survivors, has written him. Shame on him! Why doesn’t he tell the truth?

    And where does he find the time to do 686 book reviews, be a pastor, run a blog that pushes more stuff (especially lots of SGM stuff), and run a publishing company while enjoying his family?

  2. Great post, Deb. Let’s watch for some damage control. I took note of a couple titles: the book on Small Groups has been talked about quite a bit on SGMSurvivors. SGM folks would tell you that the small groups at SGM were used for sin-sniffing and group leaders would record the sins and send them to pastors. Ick.

    The other title I noticed was this: Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood (Foundations of the Family) – Wayne Grudem and Dennis Rainey.

    Ok, that says it all for me regarding Challies. He has drunk the SGM KoolAid regarding pastoral authority and male authority in the home.

  3. 2-3 Minutes with Mahaney But 1090 Hits On Challies website for “Josh Harris”

    I think you nailed it too, Deb.

    I don’t see evidence that Challies is lying about never meeting C.J. but he and Josh Harris are pretty buddy buddy. That’s a big SGM connection since Harris has been the head of CLC, SGM’s only mega-church, for almost 10 years and sat on the board of SGM until recently.

    I recommend going to Challies blog and typing in “Josh Harris.” Challies seems to make a lot of dough recommending Harris’s stuff.

    Challies is Right

    “Before I begin, it may be useful for me to explain the nature of my relationship with C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries, though there is actually very little to explain.”

    I agree that there’s little to explain, Tim. You won’t speak out against SGM, no matter how horrifying their conduct is, as long as you make a boatload of money hawking their products.

  4. In academia we have one word for this: BIAS. According to my handy dandy dictionary, bias means “a particular tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question; prejudice.” Seems like Timmy-boy needs a few refresher courses in basic life skills.

  5. Google truly is an amazing source of information sometimes. Tim Challies, ex-Starbucks employee turned neo-Calvinista sycophant, wrote this a while back about how fervently he can sell something he doesn’t even really believe in:

    http://www.challies.com/personal-reflections/how-i-write-how-i-live

    Given that SGM pastors love them some Starbucks, maybe this public disloyalty to the Green Apron is the real reason Tim couldn’t break into SGM’s inner circle, but why he keeps trying to. It’s irresponsible not to speculate.

  6. Oh, gosh, I don’t know where to post this — not meaning to sabotage the topic, but I just saw that Benny Hinn and his ex-wife tied the know again yesterday. http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/16943-bonnke-hayford-call-benny-hinn-remarriage-a-miracle

    Back to topic: I don’t doubt for a minute that Challies benefits financially from hawking the humility wares, etc. But I also have a gut feeling that he’d continue to gush over the Humble One even if there wasn’t a dime in it. He’s been blinded by the light reflecting off one-too-many bald heads. However, it could be that before too long, the shine is going to fade, and it’s so sad that all this will have been about protecting a man and an organization, and not about Jesus and His love for children. I watched the Boz Tchividjian videos (ironically filmed at Calvary Chapel in Philadelphia last month), and was so struck by Boz’ constant reminders of how Jesus loved, valued, and welcomed children, and that if our focus is on protecting a man or an organization, we’ve missed the point.

    It is surprising, refreshing and encouraging to find someone from the reformed camp who is speaking the truth about offenders & abuse, advocating for victims, and teaching pastors, churches, and Christians how to respond in a Christ-like way, loving and protecting those who have been injured. Thank God.

  7. And he’s a pastor — largely, as I understand it, on the basis of his blogging brand and Calvinista connections. As best I can recall, he has zeroformal theological training, no study in biblical languages etc, but he can be a pastor anyway. I find that strange

  8. Tim also has a gig at Christian Post and his latest post on Mahaney is cross posted and open to comments.

    I’m sure he is reading his own press so to speak, but since he didn’t allow comments at his blog, why not have a go at CP?

    As I write this, there is only one comment…;^)

    http://tinyurl.com/ams6p39

  9. From the site of his church, “Grace Fellowship Church”, Toronto http://www.gfcto.com/about/pastors
    Tim and his wife Aileen have been blessed with a son (Nick) and two daughters (Abby and Michaela). Tim has been a member of Grace Fellowship Church since 2005 and became an elder in 2010. He serves as Associate Pastor.

    Tim is known as an author, blogger and conference speaker. His blog (challies.com) is one of the most influential and widely read Christian blogs. Tim also edits Discerning Reader and is a co-founder of Cruciform Press.

    Even though Tim’s ministry is to an audience much broader than the local church alone, his heart is still for ministry in the local church. He is involved in leading GraceYouth as well as mentoring several of the young men and young couples from Grace Fellowship.

    Tim can be reached through the contact form on his website.

  10. “Let’s go see what else we can find…”

    Surprise, surprise!
    The Al Mohler & CJ Mahaney Table.

    Puh-leeze!

  11. If one’s motto is “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”, then I suppose when it comes to deciding to look the other way, one “gospel-excuse” is as good as another.

  12. I recall meeting Mahaney only one time and for no more than two or three minutes. To my knowledge we have never corresponded by email or any other media.

    Weasel words. Challies would make a great senator!

  13. Marshall/Eagle
    I believe that Tim Challies is playing a game. He may have “met” Mahaney once but he is up to his eyeballs in SGM. I am also not thrilled with his statement that involved no communication with Mahaney in the “media.” Can we talk book endorsements? Those things are a form of communication.

    Tim Challies pushes so much SGM stuff that he may as well be an adjunct member of the SGM ruling board. His answer recalls a certain president who parsed the meaning of the word “is.” Unless he comes clean about his relationship with SGM book peddling, then, from this point forward, I shall refer to his as Tim Challies “The Darling of SGM.”@ Marshall:

  14. AJG
    Tim Challies “The Darling of SGM” might be a new name for him. It has a Downton Abbey kind of ring.@ AJG:

  15. I went to the link at his church. So, besides running blogs, editing, writing books, running an SGM-no I mean, an independent publishing house and being a pastor, he also has time to “mentor” youth. Next we will hear that he also works out an hour each day and rescues kittens stranded in trees.

  16. I would encourage anyone so inclined to comment on The Christian Post about his financial ties to SGM.

  17. “And where does he find the time to do 686 book reviews, be a pastor, run a blog that pushes more stuff (especially lots of SGM stuff), and run a publishing company while enjoying his family?”

    I know what you mean, Dee. Not to mention how he said in the interviews I posted in the other thread about how he loves people, loves interacting with them, loves the discussion that blogging provides…how a true blog allows for comments. Oh?
    Then…was his blog a false blog on the 28th of February when he posted his biblical thinking/time management/no need to have an opinion article on SGM with no comments allowed? Something has got to be suffering here…I don’t think even Challies with his superior “time management” skills can do all that.

  18. I sent the following email to the editorial department of the Christian Post:

    To the editorial department

    I think it might be advisable, when printing an article by Tim Challies defending his stand on CJ Mahaney, that the Post reveal any relationship that he might have in Sovereign Grace Ministries. I believe that such disclaimers are not uncommon.

    Here is a good place to get started.
    http://boarsheadtavern.com/2013/02/28/36079/#more-36079

  19. From this link by Tim Challies
    http://www.challies.com/personal-reflections/how-i-write-how-i-live

    About his time at Starbucks

    “The facts were all true; it’s not like I was some kind of used car dealer covering up a vehicle’s flaws and hoping to make a sell to some poor sap who would be stuck with a useless hulk. I simply relayed information I knew was true.

    But I hated the product. Had I been entirely forthcoming I would have said this: “It mostly tastes like burning. When I drink it I detect mostly the flavor of charcoal mixed with dirt—and not the nice dirt I used to eat as a kid, either. It tastes like burned, charred, nasty, ugly hot dirt. It’s loaded with caffeine and I’m sure it’s going to shorten your life. If you enjoy the smell or taste of manure, I’m sure you’ll love it. Would you like me to grind it for you?”

    It always struck me as just a little bit odd that I would champion something I disliked so much.”

    Even then, it was about the money.

  20. “To my knowledge we have never corresponded by email or any other media.”

    Exactly. What’s the purpose of saying- to my knowledge? Would he actually forget emailing, speaking to, writing a letter to, texting or calling someone whom he admires to the degree he apparently admires Mahaney? I mean, wouldn’t it be a big deal to get a response from Mahaney in any media form (in Challies’ mind)? Surely that kind of correspondence would be something he would not forget. Why not just say…I have never corresponded directly with CJ Mahaney?

    As much as Challies admires Mahaney…even to the point of jealousy over Josh Harris having Mahaney as a mentor and Challies not having Mahaney as a mentor, I cannot imagine he would not know whether or not he corresponded by email or any other media. He makes it most unclear with his “to my knowledge”, in my opinion.

  21. dee wrote:

    AJG
    Tim Challies “The Darling of SGM” might be a new name for him. It has a Downton Abbey kind of ring.@ AJG:

    Oh, please don’t associate him with Downton Abbey. No, we can’t go there.

  22. I recall meeting Mahaney only one time and for no more than two or three minutes. To my knowledge we have never corresponded by email or any other media.

    Must have been at Starbucks or by phone then.

  23. We have seen evidence over and over this entire YRR movement is totally man centered. From Calvin to Jonathan Edwards to Piper to Mahaney to T4G ad nauseum. They revere humans and look to them for truth and for their behavior. Scary thought. Calvin had you burned for daring to disagree with him. Good thing it is illegal these days!

  24. @ Dee:

    “Next we will hear that he also works out an hour each day and rescues kittens stranded in trees.”

    He’s faster than a speeding bullet, can leap tall buildings in a single bound, and does 400 one-arm pushups before breakfast (Wheaties, of course)! ; )

  25. @ Deb:
    In the article, Briscoe says “Another is the teaching of the “Word” and how many pastors seem to build their sermons around what he considers “topical preaching.” “It seems they pick a topic and then find verses of scripture to go with the subject matter.”

    Well, I hate to tell him this, but expository preaching is no safeguard against wrong-headed doctrine. For quite a few years now, at my old SGM church, they almost exclusively practice expository preaching and they still manage to twist the Scriptures to prove what they want to prove.

  26. Deb

    When I was a member of Bent Tree Bible, I can say that Peter champions the role of women in the church. He has a woman pastor on his staff and the church has not fallen into anarchy or marched lockstep with the Devil.

  27. This pretty much sums it up for me.

    2 Tim 3:2 For men will be lovers of self,lovers of money,boastful,arrogant…

    5 holding a form of godliness, although they have denied its power;avoid
    such men as these.

    13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and
    being deceived.

  28. Marge
    Abusers can misuse any sort of teaching. However, by going through the verses in each chapter, one can more quickly see that there is much more to consider.

    After listening to Pete’s preaching for years, I learned a very important lesson. Context is everything and that there are “A” issues and “B” issues. Both of those lessons have stuck with me and have, in general, protected me from falling into weird teachings. However, there are those who would disagree. :)

  29. dee wrote:

    You nailed him. Challies is beholden to SGM. He has written about them, pushed them, reviewed them, etc. He has gone into business with a big booster. Kris, at Survivors, has written him. Shame on him! Why doesn’t he tell the truth?

    Challies is to SGM what Harley Quinn is to the Joker.
    (Or Ayn Rand was to Duane Hickman.)

  30. Dee,

    To be fair, as an Episcopalian, Tim Challies and his ilk have never been a role model for me. However, I’m not unsympathetic to the struggle regular, everyday evangelicals are having. Please keep shining that light into those dark recesses. You are doing important work. God bless you.

  31. Hey Deb and readers

    I made a mistake thinking that brian had been contacted after my contact with The Christian Post. He posted this yesterday at 10:30. However, the rest of the comment stands. Brian Auten who posted the links between Challies and SGM at Boars Head Tavern issues a slight disclaimer

    http://boarsheadtavern.com

    ” My friend highlighted, as one example, Tim’s less-than-positive review of CJ’s Worldliness. ”

    However, Tim Challies gave the Worldliness book 3 stars which is hardly a major diss.

    http://www.amazon.com/Worldliness-Resisting-Seduction-Fallen-World/dp/1433502801/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362501389&sr=8-1&keywords=worldliness+c.j.+mahaney

    Three stars is NOT a pan. It means it is average and does not balance all of the glowing reports of Challies. Read the review for yourself and see if you think this is a bad review. I did. “Excellent” is one of the words mentioned.

    I am tiring of this. Someone needs to man up and issue a disclaimer. Period!

  32. Tim Challies’ book review site, Discerning Reader, appears to no longer be online. Before it disappeared, however, I recall reading a review of a Brennan Manning book which savaged both the book and the author. I subsequently viewed the site with suspicion. After all, it was Manning’s classic, The Ragamuffin Gospel, which helped get me back into church some years ago after an absence of several years.

  33. singleman

    Challies appears beholden to the Calvinista tribe. It is his theology and, as such, it appears to me  that anyone who doesn’t toe the line is panned.

  34. Diane
    You said this
    “I cannot imagine he would not know whether or not he corresponded by email or any other media. He makes it most unclear with his “to my knowledge”, in my opinion.”

    Challies “The Darling of SGM” has a real problem. He has been a major supporter of SGM via the book business. There is a reason that the “girls” at GirlTalk are so grateful for him.

    @ Diane:

  35. Eagle, I have a hard time listening to pastors or those who make a living in ministry anymore because they do not live in the real world and it starts to come out after a while how they are so clueless. They think they get it but they don’t. They are not really “in the world” at all when you think about it so they have a different perspective of being “in the world”. Everything they deal with is periphial. Most of the young ones I know only work until they get a “real ministry” job.

    They should make tents while they minister if they are really serious. How many of them would give up the income and still pastor as they go through life? I have a friend who did just that. He was a physical therapist who later went to seminary. He decided aftrer a few years to “pastor” in his profession.

  36. Deb– this was a really great post. I haz questions. Like when he says his interaction may not be loving for those involved, I’m wondering who he thinks “those involved” are? Because there are babies and children involved. So how could posting about child sexual abuse in a family of churches, warning others, showing grief regarding what happened to them, and supporting them NOT be loving? Oh, yeah. That’s right. It’s not the victims he’s concerned about or even thinking about when he imagines who “those involved” are. Apparently, “those involved” are also “involved” with his paycheck. But whatevs. Tim Challies’ is a coward–of the home-grown, compost fertilized, organic type. Just pure in all his glory–NARCISSISTIC COWARD. He is always blogging and writing because he thinks his relevance in this world is great and that people really give a damb about what he has to say–so much that every time someone disagrees with him, or posts about a topic about which he is involved, there goes his fingers a-typin’ away.

    To Tim Challies: Seriously, SIR! I’m done with you. And so are the rest of us. So SADDOWN! Where do you get the wherewithal to tell people every DANG day about how to think about stuff going on in this world? The nerve of you, SIR! The unmitigated GALL!

    Consider him vexed, because he is always pressed.

    For those of you who need it: 1. pressed: obsessed or attuned to a particular thing, idea, or person to an unseemly degree. Always used in the pejorative.

    Example: Damn, he’s pressed for some soda!

    Example: He called you 23 times last night? He is pressed.

  37. Eagle–

    I go hard for Starbucks. Like, they get me through impossible mornings at work. Seriously. I didn’t see his post about it. What did he say? You know, cause Challies wants to educate the world on his perspective always. He’s one of those people you get tired of hearing all the time, and you just tune to them without even thinking and yell “Man! Would you just SHUT. Up!”

  38. @ Marge Sweigart:
    Here! Here! I totally agree. I sat under expository teaching for almost 3 years at Dever’s church and yeah, there’s so much that this comment space wouldn’t allow for.

  39. @ Julie Anne:
    Oh, I second this one. For all that is holy and sacred, let’s keep Downton separate. Lord Grantham (my new Boo, who is uber fine, BTW) wouldn’t approve. I am his forever and ever. And what would Violet Crawley have to say about this? Amen?

  40. @ Tikatu:
    Well, he sold coffee that he didn’t like in order to earn money. (And to be fair, if you are in retail, you are going to sell stuff you don’t like. It’s the way he wrote about it that is so off-putting.) And now he blogs not just to express his opinions, but also to generate income, so it’s a yea from me. He CLOSES comments on his site, but posts his piece on other sites (like ChristianPost) so they get the negative feedback – but people still will link from there to his blog just to make sure the post is legit, so he still gets the numbers on his blog counter. (Or whatever it’s called.)

  41. Maybe We Could Do a Mini-Campaign to Report Challies to Amazon

    If nothing else, Challies is not complying with Amazon’s disclosure requirements because he doesn’t want people to know he’s running a big business on the back-end of his small publishing company. Perhaps we could stage a campaign to complain to Amazon about that.

    I know that’s a little like getting Al Capone for tax evasion yet many of Challies followers really don’t realize he gets commissions off the stuff he reviews and would benefit from an official statement saying what’s what.

    It would also show Challies that someone’s keeping an eye on his business practices.

    Part of the Associate Agreement Challies is Violating
    Part 10 of the operating agreement gives the exact wording that should appear on Challies site:

    https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/agreement

    10. Identifying Yourself as an Associate

    You will not issue any press release or make any other public communication with respect to this Operating Agreement, your use of the Content, or your participation in the Program. You will not misrepresent or embellish the relationship between us and you (including by expressing or implying that we support, sponsor, endorse, or contribute to any charity or other cause), or express or imply any relationship or affiliation between us and you or any other person or entity except as expressly permitted by this Operating Agreement. You must, however, clearly state the following on your site: “[Insert your name] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to [insert the applicable site name (amazon.com, amazonsupply.com, or myhabit.com)].

    Challies Associate ID
    His associate ID is dietobookwor-20

    The site through which to complain about him

    http://tinyurl.com/avrp2ua (the real links about 5 lines long

    Page on Which He’s Violating the Guidelines Most Egregiously

    Challies is violating Amazon’s terms on lots of pages but I’m limiting my complaint to this one rather than asking Amazon to search through his whole site:

    http://www.challies.com/resources/my-top-books-of-2012

    He’s got a gazillion Amazon links on this page but at no point issues the following disclaimer:

    ““[Insert your name] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to [insert the applicable site name (amazon.com, amazonsupply.com, or myhabit.com)].”

    Dee and Deb, if having an informal (e.g. anyone who reads this post can take a couple minutes to report Challies to Amazon) campaign to report Challies to Amazon is okay with you, I’ll put the above content into more manageable steps.

  42. Challies has been trying to cover for Mahaney for a long time.

    August 2011:
    In other words, let’s not talk about whether these serious charges are true or not…it doesn’t matter how bad the alleged behavior is; the real sinner is always the person who makes that behavior public – and people who listen to them or take them seriously. Or to put it in Challies’ words, “Let’s be sure that we do not begin to celebrate Christian whistleblowers. The truly Christian thing to do is just to look the other way.

    http://arewomenhuman.me/2011/08/17/tim-challies-on-sgm-nothing-to-see-here

  43. Marshall

    OK-I found out when he mentioned the Amazon Affiliate program and it was buried in a post in 2005.

    http://www.challies.com/general-news/the-diet-of-bookworms

    I have looked for his statement as required by Amazon and cannot find it on his site. I find this interesting because we have considered joining this program but have hesitated because we do not want anyone to think we would recommend a book so that we would benefit.We are still not there yet.

    The percentage take on the books ordered is 4.4%-8% which works out to about $0.64 for an $8 book. There is a limited time to make this money as well. So, he is hardly making major bank but I do not know how many people buy books through his link.

    A current link to JD Greear’s book which is being advertised on his site also takes you to Amazon and I wonder if he gets both ad revenues and the Affiliate fee for this.

    He wrote a piece on how great Amazon book prices are just before Christmas at this link.
    http://www.challies.com/resources/where-can-you-find-the-best-prices-for-books

    He started reviewing the Kindle back in 2008 at this link and also did one more recently. The 2008 piece looks like an infomercial but I may be misreading it.
    http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/review-amazons-kindle-reading-device

    Here’s what irritates me. i have no problem with him making some cash on the side so long as he alerts people that he is doing so. It also look really bad if he is making any money on SGM stuff and then writing supportive pieces about the group.

    Christians must be above reproach and this whole affair calls into question Challies’ motives on many levels. It would be so easy to make this go away. He needs to tell his readers that he is making money, however little, on his blog. If he writes a nice piece about the good prices at Amazon he should divulge if he is doing this out of the goodness of his heart or if he is getting any fees.

    He should have issues a disclaimer on this post about CJ if he, or anyone else associated in a business venture with him, is making money from SGM materials.

  44. @ Anon 3:54
    “Or to put it in Challies’ words, “Let’s be sure that we do not begin to celebrate Christian whistleblowers. The truly Christian thing to do is just to look the other way”

    I guess it takes Calvinista hermeneutics to realise that the priest and the Levite were the real heroes of the parable of the Good Samaritan

  45. If Timmy was faithful he would have stuck with Lassie.

    Whoops, wrong Timmy and wrong big DAUWG…

  46. TRina,

    I don’t know….Lord Grantham was all set to invest in the new Ponzi scheme to make money after losing Cora’s fortune on the Canadian railroad scheme. But my hero, Matthew, the middle class steady eddy with tons of integrity, too, nixed that and opted for the harder route. Too bad he had to be killed off.

    But now, when my kids think I should pick up their clothes or wait on them I say, If you want a lady’s maid, marry Lord Grantham! We have enjoyed Downton here. It has been kinda fun cos we never watch tv. I even got my daughter a Free Bates button!

  47. My worthless opinion is that this NC resurgence is imploding. They will fight tooth and nail to keep the followers and gravy train rolling. They built it on social media and now social media is unraveling it.

  48. Anon 1 wrote:

    Eagle, I have a hard time listening to pastors or those who make a living in ministry anymore because they do not live in the real world and it starts to come out after a while how they are so clueless. They think they get it but they don’t. They are not really “in the world” at all when you think about it so they have a different perspective of being “in the world”.

    I believe this is called “Of the World but Not In It.”

    Everything they deal with is periphial. Most of the young ones I know only work until they get a “real ministry” job.

    And again, the Heresy of Clericalism — that only Clergy (Priests, Monks, Nuns, Pastors, Missionaries, Full-Time “Real Ministry”) are “Spiritual” and the rest of us are “Pay, Pray, and Obey” Lukewarms and Apostates. And how many of these Clericalists would denounce Catholic Priestcraft?

  49. Eagle wrote:

    Tim Challies reminds me more of Oliver North at times. I can see him testifying before the Iran-Contra commission.

    Naah. Ollie North at least had brass balls — shredding papers while the investigators demanding said papers were in the same room. That takes some nerve. Would Challies show the same nerve if he wasn’t safely out-of-range on the Internet?

  50. Challies is NOTHING like Oliver North. He just tried to make us think he has little relationship to SGM and that thinking about SGM abused children and how they were treated is bad time management!

    Ollie was proud of what he did so he could fund the contras.

  51. @ Eagle: My reaction to his comments about working at Starbucks are pretty much the same as yours.

    A job is a job, and work is work – and everyone needs a decent income (which is not exactly what all those hardworking baristas are getting). Service occupations pay poorly, and people in service occupations are often slammed by those who’ve never held jobs in that sector.

    It makes me ill.

  52. @ Trina: Have you seen “Lost in Austen”? He’s (blanking on actor’s name) in that, and, imo, is FAR more handsome and appealing there.

    I’m a heretic on Downton Abbey – while I like some of the cast (Maggie Smith especially), I think it’s not nearly as good as Upstairs, Downstairs. (Which might be nostalgia speaking.) Upstairs, Downstairs could be pretty soapy/melodramatic at times, but there were some really insightful scripts and it was, overall, far less worshipful of the British upper classes.

    I watched the opening 2 episodes of this season’s round of “Downton” and went straight to the Guardian’s recaps, since I just couldn’t take any more, Maggie Smith or no Maggie Smith.

  53. Dee & Deb,

    Last I heard, North Carolina and Amazon had some kind of dispute about taxes and North Carolinians were not allowed to have Amazon affiliate links. Be sure to check that out – perhaps it has been resolved but I would hate for you to get in trouble.

  54. Kari
    Thank you for letting us know. I am not wanting to go down that road anyway. It just feels a bit icky to me.

  55. @ Dee & Marge:

    I definitely agree that any kind of preaching style can be used to promote agenda. Nonetheless, in my experience YRR types used expository preaching as a kind of badge – kinda like, “At our church we do expository preaching – also known as REAL PREACHING to all y’all topical WUSSYPANTS who never actually quote the Bible!” It’s never stated that explicitly, of course…

  56. I Think That Something Freaked Challies Out

    Challies seems to have written the SGM post about Mahaney, while stressed out, given how many silly statements and arguments he makes. He’s not a great writer but you can usually figure out what he’s saying, logically speaking.

    It’s also interesting that the rumors about Mahaney’s resignation came up at the same time as Challies distancing-myself-from-CJ post was published.

    I think Mahaney and crew’s decision to use the First Amendment defense is a big problem for the SGM/SBC-Mohler community.

    Even if Mahaney is eventually charged and convicted with an actual crime in addition to losing a civil suit, his supporters will just say that the jury was unfair, secular America hates Evangelicals, etc. etc.

    But this supposed “First Amendment right to let pedophiles operate in your Church because you’re a clergy-person” defense makes all Mahaney’s supporters look really bad because it brings up a broad issue with big PR implications. This scandal isn’t just about a personal matter that can be subjected to arguments about what’s in someone’s heart or any other flowery Piper-esque BS anymore.

    If Evangelical Churches go with the Catholic Church’s approach to defending itself, they’ll likely create a scandal on par with the Catholic Church scandal.

    The secular world is already making jokes about how Catholics and Evangelicals can at least agree about one thing.

    I think there’s lots of panicking in the Mahaney/Mohler world right now, and SGM wants to disassociate itself from the Mahaney team’s defense argument by saying that it had no control over its churches. That will go over better than “donate money so we can protect our Pastor’s rights to not protect your kids.”

    SGM may not have hard assets yet its copyrights for music, books, and other media probably have a lot of residual value that lots of folks want to preserve.

  57. numo wrote:

    I’m a heretic on Downton Abbey – while I like some of the cast (Maggie Smith especially), I think it’s not nearly as good as Upstairs, Downstairs. (Which might be nostalgia speaking.) Upstairs, Downstairs could be pretty soapy/melodramatic at times, but there were some really insightful scripts and it was, overall, far less worshipful of the British upper classes.

    Numo, I’m glad I’m not the only one! I’ve enjoyed Downton, but Upstairs/Downstairs was much better, IMHO.

  58. Marshall
    I think Deb is going to write a post about this on Thursday. After that, let’s strategize on how to get the info out. Maybe we can push him to admit to his Amazon affiliation.

    @ Marshall:

  59. To all
    Tomorrow will be an important post about a pedophile and an SGM church. I will try to get it up in the late morning. Then I am going to stay away from all windows. Perhaps this is a good time to visit Antarctica?

  60. well, it is late summer in Antarctica , so not a bad time at all. But I think you’d find Sydney quite distant enough for your purposes, especially since lots of people round here have never heard of SGM

  61. I may be just simple minded – however – doesn’t everyone meet another person once? I mean once you have met them, do you re-meet them? Is there such a thing as re-meeting them?

  62. Marshall, I am fascinated by this, because I think what people are making jokes about is very indicative of what people are thinking. Can you be more specific?

    Marshall wrote:

    The secular world is already making jokes about how Catholics and Evangelicals can at least agree about one thing.

  63. “Numo, I’m glad I’m not the only one! I’ve enjoyed Downton, but Upstairs/Downstairs was much better, IMHO.”

    The Remake?

  64. “I think there’s lots of panicking in the Mahaney/Mohler world right now, and SGM wants to disassociate itself from the Mahaney team’s defense argument by saying that it had no control over its churches. That will go over better than “donate money so we can protect our Pastor’s rights to not protect your kids.”

    The Nuremburg defense?

    Throw the big guy under the bus in the process? He was head Apostle. We erred in believing him?

    This is always the danger in being the big authority guy if the yes men turn on you, you are toast.

  65. “SGM may not have hard assets yet its copyrights for music, books, and other media probably have a lot of residual value that lots of folks want to preserve”

    Exactly. I have been sorta surprised to learn how much of their music is entrenched in all sorts of churches.

  66. Page Count: “Is Knowing About SGM, Now ‘Bad4Business’? ”

    HowDee,

    hmmm…

    Tim Challies  just doesn’t want to know that much about the SGM mess.  

    Un-deniably Understandable.

    “After all, It’s not good ‘time management’ and besides that, it’s not good for ‘business’…”

    Certainly.

    …Compromising publishing venture? 

    $ure Tim… $ure.

    “…Money, get back. I’m all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack! ” -Money, Pink Foyd

    (grin)

    hahahahaha

    One little, two little, three little Calvinestas…

    Four little, five little, six little Calvinestas…

    Pied Pip’pen Quick Sand?

    could b

    Sopy

  67. I was at WG2006 and I talked with Tim Challies there. I’m pretty sure CJ was there, too. He snuck into one of Bobby K’s choir sessions until BK had the wag removed.

    (Aside: a year or two earlier, Challies was looking for a few folks to read books and write about them for his site. I was interested and corresponded with him about the opportunity. A heavy academic load saved me from pursuing that error.)

    (As an aside: WG06 may have been one of the “last” classic SG conferences. Aron Osborne did a session on the charismatic gifts. Mark Mullery did a break-out on public praying. I think Craig Cabaniss did one of the plenary sessions as did MM.)

    I was at the Pastors’ Conf the next spring and stayed at the same hotel as another blogger – Tony Reinke, whom I met and talked with at length several times. Tony, of course, went from blogger to ghostwriter/assistant to CJ before donnin a golden parachute to work for Piper/DG. Tony was derided in public by CJ’s BFF and “pastor”, Mark Dever, for claiming to earn a living as a blogger.

    These guys are buffoons and make me glad to be an ex-SGMer, ex-calvinist, and post-evangelical.

    Other than that I have no opinion,
    Former SG Pastor

  68. Hey all, have to meet a deadline so may not post for a little while but will answer pre-existing questions real quick. By the way, like Dee, I am flattered that people are interested in what I write. Thus I try to respond to every comment I get. If I don’t respond it’s either because someone was a troll or I didn’t see the comment.

    Feel free to re-ask!

  69. @ Phoenix:

    The joke’s implication, to me, is that Catholics and Evangelicals take potshots at each other over which group represents true Christian moral authority and claim there’s a big difference between being a Catholic and being an Evangelical, but at least they agree about one moral issue: clergy should be allowed to cover-up sex abuse as a fundamental constitutional right.

    SGM has provided the joke with much fodder.

  70. @ Pam:

    I don’t always agree with Sydney either, but I agree that was a very insightful article. The danger is that the word “Gospel” assumes an autonomous life of its own.

  71. FSGP,

    Challies talked about the Charismatic aspects of SGM in that reflections post from 2006. I guess that was a turning point.

    Kevin Meath left SGM in May 2007 and Tony Reinke came in 2008. I am assuming Tony was Kevin’s replacement. Any clue why Meath left SGM?

  72. @ Marshall:

    “The joke’s implication, to me, is that Catholics and Evangelicals take potshots at each other over which group represents true Christian moral authority and claim there’s a big difference between being a Catholic and being an Evangelical, but at least they agree about one moral issue: clergy should be allowed to cover-up sex abuse as a fundamental constitutional right.”

    That’s exactly what it means. Ironically my dad just had his whole office insist to him that child sex abuse is ONLY A PROBLEM IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!!!!! Maybe I really do live on a different planet because of reading here and keeping up with church news/scandals, but I’d really hoped that the average person was not that unaware and uninformed…

  73. “These guys are buffoons and make me glad to be an ex-SGMer, ex-calvinist, and post-evangelical”

    They really are. It is almost like if you can’t make it in Hollywood or as a real CEO then become a mega church pastor or leader of a parachurch ministry. They really really do think you are blessed to get to spend time with them even if only for 2 minutes.

  74. Anon 1 wrote:

    “Numo, I’m glad I’m not the only one! I’ve enjoyed Downton, but Upstairs/Downstairs was much better, IMHO.”
    The Remake?

    Anon, ugh, no, the remake was quite disappointing. I was referring to the original series from the 1970′s.

  75. As a former Calvinist who came out of the reformed community this does not surprise me. They talk about grace but the reality is they will throw people under the bus the moment they get a chance. Usually that is, I guess cj got a special dispensation because of the money trail. So much of the Calvinista movement is about appearance and one puma ship. They are the quickest people I know to dismiss people

  76. Speaking as a Brit, I have to confess that I don’t watch period dramas! Upstairs, Downstairs or Downton Abbey…. still, I have to concede that they are very popular.

    Re Hester’s comment, I don’t think expository preaching itself is a bad thing – it goes back to John Chrysostom if not before. However even with expository preaching there is always (I suspect) the temptation to insert a favourite hobby-horse, whether doctrinal or other.

  77. @ Kolya:

    I did read that Gospel article and it was good, though I don’t know much about the Sydney Anglican thing. What struck me as amusing was the slight tone of surprise, as if it had really never occurred to the author that “Gospel” could be overused.

    Someone really should make a “gospel” parody of that video about the many uses and meanings of the F-word, since “gospel,” like the F-word, can now be used as almost any part of speech…

  78. @ Leila: Oh, thank goodness you posted! I sometimes feel like I’m some sort of Luddite, since there’s so much adulation for this show in the US. (In England, the results are mixed.)

    I just haven’t seen – from day 1 – why Downton Abbey has attracted so much attention, while other costume dramas that PBS has shown have been far, far better. Not sure what kind of advance PR was done, but that might account for some of the buzz… along with the fact that people *do* like soaps, and watching one that’s done in period costume allows people to get around the “I’m watching a primte-time soap” admission, since they can always says it’s a “historical drama” or some such.

    To my mind, there’s no comparisons between what Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins did with Upstairs, Downstairs and what Fellowes is doing with Downton Abbey. for one, both Marsh and Atkins had relatives who’d been in service, and relatively recently at that.

    Fellowes… I dunno. I liked his screenplay for Gosford Park, but I doubt Robert Altman would have accepted a script that was at all slanted toward the aristocracy. He seems too honest – and too American/too much of a populist – for that. One of the good things about that movie was that various characters were brought in from “outside” – like the singer/pianist (based on Ivor Novello) who could comment on the behavior and actions of the guests at the house party.

  79. @ dee:

    Challies, Thanks, and It Takes a Lot For Me to Get Scary About Compliance Issues
    Sounds good. At this point Challies likely won’t add the disclaimer out of spite/stupidity. However, if 100 people complain to Amazon about him and Amazon gets on his case, I think he’ll make the choice that’s in his best financial interest – i.e. write the disclaimer rather than have his Amazon account canceled. I’ll put together a clear step-by-step process for complaining to Amazon and probably just e-mail it to you, Dee and Deb.

    Also, I’m not normally this scarily legalistic about everything, TWW folks. :-) It takes a lot for a business person like me to report anyone to the IRS, for example. I only go into compliance mode as a last resort when people prove that all they care about is their bottom line and their bottom line affects me. If Challies opened up his blog to comments or responded to FaceBook requests for disclosure of his business relationships with several entities that aren’t acting in the best interest of the public, I’d ask him my questions directly and cut him some slack.

    But if he’s going to make money publishing outrageous things and ignore people’s good faith questions about his views on covering up sexual abuse, I say we let him accept the consequences of his actions. Non-disclosure that you’re running a business that harms others as opposed to a Biblical labor of love = people getting on your case about your business practices.

    His non-supporters are not as powerless as he thinks they are. We don’t have to bother to get his direct attention. We can take our case to his hidden business partners.

    Even if Amazon doesn’t get after him at least folks who feel as I do can have the satisfaction of making our views heard. :-) Trust me, it feels good.

  80. @ Leila: Eileen Atkins was very upset with the way the 1st series of new episodes was handled, and refused to come back for series 2.

    Given that she was one of the original show’s creators, I think that speaks volumes. If she and Jean Marsh had been given creative control, it might have been an entirely different thing…

  81. So I’m in the dark on some of Challies’ history mentioned/alluded to in this post and the last one about him. Does he have some kind of rags-to-riches backstory thing going here? I keep seeing Starbucks mentioned. I guess I thought Challies was a pastor, but reading these comments I realized I know basically nothing about him.

  82. dee wrote:

    Anon1
    Did you know that the Dowager Countess now has her own twitter account? Actually there are several Here is the one I like. https://twitter.com/TheDowagerSays Here is a typical tweet.
    “The problem with being true to oneself is the assumption that oneself is intelligent.”
    @ Anon 1:

    I’ve been following her for a while now on Twitter – such fun! My 18-yr old daughter and I adore Maggie Smith. We demand that everyone stay quiet in the house when she speaks (still have a houseful – former part-time Quiver-full here). If you miss something she says, you probably have missed an gem of a comment. She cracks me up.

  83. Deb -

    Didn’t know Meath but it appears he is involved with … Cruciform Press. His squarespace page includes an invitation to view testimonials from Paul Tripp, DHarvey, and Chuck Jo Mahaney (can I please receive credit for “Chuck Jo” if this is the first usage?)

    Chuck Jo gives Meath props for his “invaluable work” on the Cross Centered Life, a little volume I think you may be familiar with. Be advised that “invaluable work” from Chuck Jo is prolly a euphemism for “he wrote the whole thing”.

    Cheers,
    Former SG Pastor

  84. Marshall, I totally agree with you concerning compliance issues. Last resort but there and is there for a reason. And these ARE men who make a living tell other people how they should live and believe. Seems reasonable to expect them to be above board in all things.

  85. Another thing about Challies is he’s in nearly 1,500 Google+ circles, which means, for example, that when you do a Google search for CJ Mahaney now, his recent blog post appears high on the list.

    Google+ is actually a very powerful business tool when you know how to use it correctly. It can help you make connections with the right types of people and using it will also add a highly visible profile to Google search results in for your personal brand and business. The key to success with Google+ lies in mastering your circles.

    There’s no doubt Challies understood his post would appear when people searched for his CJs name. He did CJ a favor and he knows it. It also points outs that is a matter of business as usual for Mr Challies.

    http://socialmediasun.com/google-plus-circles/

  86. Hey all: I just came across the best article I have ever seen on SGM and the culture of submission that leads to abuse. It is excellent!

    Girls grow up under the sexualizing gaze of men who are free to comment on the sexual response female bodies “provoke” in them. This early training in feminine responsibility for the sexual response of men makes it difficult to recognize and name abuse, and causes further trauma with the implication that being a victim of sexual violence makes a woman “impure.”

    http://t.co/PE1SaAuNFD

  87. Speaking of BobbyK and the WG franchise (mostly because I’ve tired of Mr Cha-lees): looks like the Piano Man (has he told you lately he was in Glad?) is going with quantity over quality by launching two WGs this year featuring retreads, a B-lister or two, and a bunch of no-names. Maybe CJ can play a drum with Enfield like he did at one of JMac’s conferences. Bob or Devon can tweet it. Heck, Tim Cha-lees and TGC can start a blog campaign and CJ can do the Reformed conference tour as a drummer!

    Can’t imagine that either of Bob’s host sites will remotely match the one thing SG at CLC did best – run conferences. Of course, CLC provided scores of volunteers who provided enormous amounts of unpaid labor. That provided a big plus for the profit margin.

    He don’t won’t to work, he just want to bang on the drum all day,
    Former SG Pastor

  88. FSGP,

    Speaking of free labor at conferences, isn’t CLC helping out at The Gospel Coalition conference in April?

  89. Pingback: Deceptive Disclaimer? - SGM Survivors UNITED STATES

  90. Julie Anne wrote:

    Girls grow up under the sexualizing gaze of men who are free to comment on the sexual response female bodies “provoke” in them. This early training in feminine responsibility for the sexual response of men makes it difficult to recognize and name abuse, and causes further trauma with the implication that being a victim of sexual violence makes a woman “impure.”

    The Ayatollahs and Talibani would agree.

  91. Hester wrote:

    That’s exactly what it means. Ironically my dad just had his whole office insist to him that child sex abuse is ONLY A PROBLEM IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!!!!!

    i.e. Those ROMISH Papists, not God’s True Church (i.e. MY Church).

  92. On the period dramas discussion, I saw the first season of Downton and liked it, but it took so long before the second series was put on TV here that I’d lost interest. I did, however, love the BBC’s series The Hour, with Romola Garai, Dominic West, and Ben Whishaw, and was so sad it hasn’t been renewed for a third season.

  93. Deb -

    If CLC is involved in any significant way with TGC that is an indication to me that there is still way too much post-Mahaney/post-SGM dysfunction in Gburg. Chuck Jo is doing a workshop on the doctrine of adoption. Given that he has spoken on this topic frequently in the past, it seems that the road less taken to Louisville has left Chuck Jo with little time to plumb new theological depths. At least he won’t be speaking on “The Dearest Place on Earth”.

    Conference free since 2008,
    Former SG Pastor

  94. “If CLC is involved in any significant way with TGC that is an indication to me that there is still way too much post-Mahaney/post-SGM dysfunction in Gburg.”

    As much as many love Josh and think he is the anti-CJ, he has been on the conference gravy train most his life. He grew up in it. I don’t expect him to go cold turkey. And I am sure the money at CLC is not exactly flowing freely these days.

  95. Dan from Georgia,

    Yes, several commenters mentioned the reposting of the Challies piece over at The Christian Post. It’s good that there’s a place to leave a comment that won’t get deleted (at least so far). :-)

  96. Deb -

    Wow. The gall! Give up your time and pay your way to “serve” at a conference where you might run into Chuck Jo and his enablers. This is too much!

    This is the way it was PRIOR to the SG/CLC break up. I worked along side an army of CLC volunteers (plus some from other SG churches) at national events, paying my own way. Yes, you might not have to pay a registration fee but YOU ARE WORKING and it can be hard to work and sit at the feet of Chuck Jo. Unless you are BobbyK.

    Anon 1 – Conference-free, podcast-free, drug-free (sometimes), lint-free, but more important – GUILT-FREE.

    Anon 1, I don’t think Josh is anti-CJ. But I did expect him to find more productive use for the people-power he is directing to TGC. Maybe their motto should be “To sacrificially serve those who are already well-served”. “To boldly go where everybody else is”. Sheesh, the think tank at CLC can’t come up with a better way, as a church, to demonstrate and live MISSIONS than to open doors and usher friends of Chuck Jo to their seats at a resort?

    Seriously, Josh, think about SERVING those outside the club. There are hungry people you could feed. Sick and dying people you could comfort. Prisoners you could visit. Illiterate children and adults that you could help read. Parent-less kids you could play with. None of these people will be at TGC.

    (Maybe you can get a sense of why I had to escape.)

    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills,
    Former SG Pastor

  97. Cruciform Press. Pressed into the Cross, is it the Cross’s fame being used for the gain of another’s name? Or are we to merely be impressed with such a lofty name as this? I’m very impressed with the Cross, but He who died and rose from it, has carried me farther than, into Life Himself. I cannot stay at the Cross’ foot, once I have seen His face of living Love. And so, I move, and so, I too, love.

  98. @ FSGP:

    No kidding!! Take the 300-400 dollars they need for you to serve them (somethins wrong here) and support a child in a developing country for a year. Or, feed a hungry family in your town.

  99. @ Pam: I just started watching The Hour and am very sorry to hear that there won’t be a series 3.

    It’s a good show indeed! Re. Romola Garai, I remember when she was around 20-ish and was cast as the ingenue in various period dramas. (Like “Daniel Deronda.”) Nice to see her in a very different kind of role.

  100. @ Pam: I do think the spy stuff is a little outré, but the period + focus on changes in broadcast journalism fascinate me.

    To me, this show is *far* more appealing than “Mad Men.”

  101. @ numo:

    True, but I think it manages to make the spy stuff believable within the show. I saw a season and a bit of Mad Men and quite liked it, although it was frothier and soapier. Then I missed something like three weeks and never caught up.
    Not sure how far through you are with The Hour, but there’s a couple of scenes – one in each season that stand out – where Marnie shows herself to be more than the delicate little housewife she seems. All the performances are great, but I thought the way Oona Chaplin shows the hidden depth and strength in Marnie was particularly excellent.

  102. ✿*´¨)
    ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•`  ¤On Da Lightside: “Whistle’n While You Work?”*´¨)

    HowDee,

    hmmm…

    Wartburg; “Folks, don’t you know we need you now!, in the desperate fight against this SGM monster…”

    Lord Ceege: “Wartburg, your puny little band, is no match for the proverbial power of the SGM snarkside…Haaaaaaaaaa!”

    Wartburg: “When you pray to the God above, it will take you very far, everything that you pray for will come before His throne of grace, in the hour of need…”

    Lord Ceege: “…Foiled again, dang you!, Wartburg!!!”

    Wartburg; “hum, hum,hum…Folks, don’t you know we need you now!, in the desperate fight against these Calvinesta  monster(s)…”

    hum, hum,hum…

    (grin)

    YeeeeHaaaaa!

    Since our fight is not with flesh and blood, but powers and principalities in the heavenly realm, the weapons of our warfare are nether carnal, nor malicious, but powerful in prayer, and godly in deed, pulling down nefarious ‘typical’ tyrannical strongholds to da glory of God!

    Whew!

    (…all in a dayz work?)

    $ure.

    Whom shall separate us from the tender love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord!

    nobudy, nada, zip…zilch!

    -snicker-

    hum, hum, hum…
    ♪♪♪♫♪”“Whistle” while you work…”

    do da do da do-do-do…

    (grin)

    hahahahahaha

    S“㋡”py

  103. Dan from Georgia

    Welcome to TWW. I have requested that the editors of The Christian Post consider placing a disclaimer on this post due to Challies’ involvement with extolling all things SGM. Please read Monday’s post on financial considerations. Several people have commented that they have already left comments over there. Thank you for the information.

  104. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Hester wrote:
    That’s exactly what it means. Ironically my dad just had his whole office insist to him that child sex abuse is ONLY A PROBLEM IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!!!!!
    i.e. Those ROMISH Papists, not God’s True Church (i.e. MY Church).

    Sorry, but still finding myself smh

  105. Hey FSGP, what do you think of this? – ”Tim Challie$”

    It’s supposed to leave you with a certain, shall we say? Impre$$ion.

  106. FSGP wrote:

    Seriously, Josh, think about SERVING those outside the club. There are hungry people you could feed. Sick and dying people you could comfort. Prisoners you could visit. Illiterate children and adults that you could help read. Parent-less kids you could play with. None of these people will be at TGC.

    This is exactly what bothers me the most about YRR and, in fact, virtually all of the world of celebrity pastors. 'Love your neighbor' is pretty much entirely missing from their 'teaching'. And even when they do preach some type of service, it typically means free labor for the cult. Or, if it's some outside service, the focus is on some huge self-sacrifice (such as missionary work) what it does for your glorification, and nothing to do with doing it out of love. Moreover, it seems most of these are to be done on your dime and what you can beg from others – celebrity preachers have bigger fish to fry with the money they rake in. If your church does not have the following as the absolute core of what it's all about, find a different one because it's not Christian: Matthew 22:37-40 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang [b][i]all the law and the prophets.’[/b][/i]

  107. Evie wrote:

    Hey FSGP, what do you think of this? – ”Tim Challie$”
    It’s supposed to leave you with a certain, shall we say? Impre$$ion.

    and his preaching of the Go$pel

  108. Eagle wrote:

    Julie Anne-

    Mark Driscoll would be VERY disappointed in you young lady! :-P Don’t you know the only official alcoholic beverage is beer? In copious amounts too! :-P

    Why am I thinking of The Man Show right now?

    Or that old Frank Zappa piece that was a regular on Dr Demento, “Titties and Beer”?

  109. We can speculate about connections and money, but at the end of the day, people’s values are revealed in their words and actions. Chillies, Mohler, TGC – they have made it abundantly clear to the entire world that they value defending one of their own more than they value the safety of children or the testimony of Christ.

  110. @ Pam: Ah… something to look forward to!

    The 2nd series hasn’t been shown here in the US as yet (not sure why), so I’ll either have to buy a non-US-made DVD, or resort to less legal means in order to see it. (It’s not scheduled to air until November, which is crazy!)

  111. @ Pam: Re. Mad Men, one thing that troubles me is that it’s all too accurate re. how women were treated in the workplace at that time (and for some time thereafter). I’m old enough to have caught the very tail end of that, so… for me, that aspect of the show is difficult. Apparently there are a lot of women older than me – who went through it all – who feel much the same.

  112. @ numo:
    Yeah, I am sure there are better shows, etc… There a,ways are. But sometimes I think it is good to enjoy things for what they are, without comparison, just to relax and enjoy them. I think it is a great show but I don’t really compare it to others that are similar. It is what it is. I saw an article trying to compare Scandal with the newer House of Cards, and while there can be comparisons, my question is why even compare? Can’t we just watch and enjoy? I kinda keep it simple. That’s all.

  113. @ Julie Anne:
    Ha! My family in the UK doesn’t even watch it. Lol. And they don’t watch half the shows I watch on BBC. I think it’s funny. Yes, I follow the Dowager Countess on Twitter and it cracks me up. So,some posted a photo that said WWDCD, What Would the Dowager Countess Do? And I screamed. It was a hilarious photo of Mags givin mad shade!

  114. @ Trina: I hear you… and I’m cool with that. It’s the people who go around saying that Downton Abbey is the best TV they’ve ever seen that drive me nuts. (And believe me, there are more than a few of them.) At least Brits – including those who enjoy the show – know that it’s a soap. ;)

  115. Pingback: How Tim Challies Got "Thinking Biblically" Wrong (and How We Can Do Better) | Joy in this Journey UNITED STATES

  116. JeffT wrote:

    virtually all of the world of celebrity pastors. ‘Love your neighbor’ is pretty much entirely missing from their ‘teaching’. And even when they do preach some type of service, it typically means free labor for the cult. Or, if it’s some outside service, the focus is on some huge self-sacrifice (such as missionary work) what it does for your glorification, and nothing to do with doing it out of love.

    It’s the same song different building in our Calvary Chapel experiences. It was communicated to us by the assistant pastor, in our neighborhood, that our time would have been better spent at the physical church building 20 hours a week, instead of the time we were investing in normal neighborhood relationships. After a few years, when 4 couples all decided at the same time they were going to look for a church, they said they’d try every church but NOT the assistant pastor’s CC church.

    The lack of love, lack of normal neighborhood kindness, clued the neighbors in that something was seriously amiss in that church.

  117. Pingback: If Speaking Out Against Church Abuse Is Wrong, I Don't Want To Be Right | Joy in this Journey UNITED STATES

  118. Balanced Sanity: “Breaking Wind, Or Breaking Ranks�”

    HowDee,

    hmmm…

    “Genuine & Authentic Historical Calvinism is a very balanced theological system and its devoted adherents are not shaken easily by one Charles Joseph Mahanry breaking wind.” -Sopy

    (grin)

    hahahahaha

    “Greater is He that is within us than he that is in the Pulpit.” -Sopy

    ✿*´¨with joy,

    S“㋡”py  >

  119. I haven’t been to CLC since december. Before that Josh was talking up helping out at one of the conferences (I get confused with the different names and initials) he also said something about desiring God for woman conference. No one knows more about CJ’s wrongs than Josh, I think. He doesn’t have to say bad things about CJ, but he shouldn’t say anything good either. Josh has said “we love CJ” and this is wrong, in my opinion.

  120. turtle wrote:

    No one knows more about CJ’s wrongs than Josh, I think. He doesn’t have to say bad things about CJ, but he shouldn’t say anything good either. Josh has said “we love CJ” and this is wrong, in my opinion.

    All I have to say about that is the last four words of 1984 by G.Orwell:

    “HE LOVED BIG BROTHER.”

  121. Deze T4$ men have a “free” pass?

    $ure.

    …you have made it a den of thieves?

    hmmm…

     >-((S㋡py((º>

  122. Did anyone notice Challis’ tweet?

    “Well this is awkward, reviewing a book I helped publish!”
    chlli.es/Z12neC

    Conflict of interest?

  123. Nice to see believers attacking other believers on the web where non Christians can continue to make fun of us. You all are sick and I look forward to the day when God makes all your sins public. These sites all make money for printing this trash and they want to act like its reporting..It’s trash..and no I am not anybodies friend or making money. Pray before you speak…or you have serious judgment coming down on you.

  124. Rob wrote:

    These sites all make money for printing this trash and they want to act like its reporting.

    I can’t speak to other sites but this one has had no income since day one. All moneys at TWW are on the expense side.

  125. Rob wrote:

    Nice to see believers attacking other believers on the web

    The people you refer to as being “attacked” I refer to as being called out. And their behavior makes it questionable as to whether they should even be considered “believers.” “For the time has come for judgement to begin at the house of God . . .”
    Non-Christians will mock us for allowing our leaders to commit crimes and not holding them accountable. I believe those of us who fight for justice will find respect in the eyes of non-believers. Most of them “get it” in regards to child molestation better than most believers.

  126. Rob wrote:

    Nice to see believers attacking other believers on the web where non Christians can continue to make fun of us. You all are sick and I look forward to the day when God makes all your sins public. These sites all make money for printing this trash and they want to act like its reporting..It’s trash..and no I am not anybodies friend or making money. Pray before you speak…or you have serious judgment coming down on you.

    Any non-Christian who would make fun of Dee and Deb et al for their efforts here to expose the ugliness of professing Christians is pretty unlikely to ever want to become a Christian, so I can’t see that TWW is doing any harm at all there. Meanwhile, pretty much every non-Christian I know — far from “making fun” of Dee and Deb — would be far more likely to be impressed by their honesty and integrity, and far more likely to take the claims of Christ seriously, because of the efforts of TWW.

  127. Rob said,

    “These sites all make money for printing this trash and they want to act like its reporting.”

    Good one, Rob!!! As our tech guy (GBTC) explained, we make no money from our efforts. Everything we do – all the research and writing – is done because we have a deep love for the body of Christ.

    Your criticism should have been directed at those whom we are calling to account because they are the ones making bank off their blogging efforts.

    Thanks for the laugh!!!

  128. Grateful wrote:

    Did anyone notice Challis’ tweet?
    “Well this is awkward, reviewing a book I helped publish!”
    chlli.es/Z12neC
    Conflict of interest?

    I don’t know what happened to me, but I sat on my hands when I saw that. A weak moment, I guess.

  129. Rob

    I rushed home from my pedicure because The Guy Behind the Curtain called me and told me that you said we were making money. My husband is so excited! Could you help me figure where it is? I have no shame and will be happy to collect it.

    Please call me “stat” on our Wartburg Watch line at 919-792-8632. Heck, I’ll even give you a 10% cut.

    @ Rob:

  130. @ Rob:

    I never heard anyone on this site say that they hadn’t sinned. And just curious, did you pray before you posted that comment?

  131. Rob
    Are you like John Piper who knows the reason for tornadoes destroying stuff? I learned, over at 9 Marks, that local churches hold the keys to the kingdom. I guess that means judgement as well.
    Since you appear to have the inside skinny on when the wrath of God is upon us, could you give me a heads up?

    Think of the money we could make. We could warn folks in Kansas that God is sending a tornado because they use The New Living Translation. They could pay us to tell them the time of the strike.

    @ Rob:

  132. .
    What makes Challies’ words so devastatingly effective is his ability to not simply move the guilt away from those who have created the problem and place it on those calling them to account. Effective though that is, what makes it so powerful in a Christian context is the way he turns critique, an amoral and often healthy practice, into nothing short of sin. The absurdity of this is stunningly profound, if not altogether repugnant.

    More: http://theamericanjesus.net/?p=9119

  133. In regards to Rob from Romania …

    We should all stop and think about this. Rob just called down God’s judgement on us. That’s a very serious thing. In the OT, if a person accused another person of something that they could not prove they did (and if you are not guilty then it’s pretty hard to prove ;) ) then they had to take the punishment that would have been for the one they accused had they been found guilty.

    So Rob, be very careful when you call down God’s judgement on us. You could be calling it down on yourself?

    Or, maybe we should all just step aside and not call out the leaders who are unrepentant? That way we could empower them so they can continue to abuse others. Oh, wait … but then we have another problem … we’d be sinning because we are told to call them out:

    1 Tim 5:20 “Those who sin (referring to “elders,” should be reprimanded in front of the whole church; this will serve as a strong warning to others.”

    Ephesians 5:11 “Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.” (I’d say not protecting kids who were sexually abused in your churches is evil.)

  134. Rob wrote:

    Nice to see believers attacking other believers on the web where non Christians can continue to make fun of us. You all are sick and I look forward to the day when God makes all your sins public. These sites all make money for printing this trash and they want to act like its reporting..It’s trash..and no I am not anybodies friend or making money. Pray before you speak…or you have serious judgment coming down on you.

    Wanting churches to take allegations of child abuse seriously = sick
    Wanting churches to take allegations of child abuse seriously = trash
    So I guess that means dismissing allegations of child abuse = healthy and moral

    Just wanted to be clear on what it is you’re saying here, Rob. Looks really awful when it’s written like that, doesn’t it? Well, that’s what your comment says.
    What was that Jesus said about causing little ones harm?

  135. Grateful wrote:

    Did anyone notice Challis’ tweet?
    “Well this is awkward, reviewing a book I helped publish!”
    chlli.es/Z12neC
    Conflict of interest?

    He should not review that book. Huge conflict of interest.
    I’m almost finished my PhD and am starting to think about potential reviewers for my thesis. The rules are very stringent on who can be a reviewer. It can’t be someone I’ve worked with, it can’t be someone I’ve published with, it shouldn’t be someone I know well, and it can’t be someone my supervisors have worked or published with in the last 5 years. All this is specifically to avoid any potential conflict of interest. Challies reviewing a book he’s been involved with is complete conflict of interest and unethical.

  136. “Challies reviewing a book he’s been involved with is complete conflict of interest and unethical.”

    Challies guesses there may be some bias. His disclaimer:

    “(Let me again disclose that I am a part-owner of Cruciform Press, the publisher of this book. I have written an honest and voluntary review, but I guess there may be some bias. I haven’t quite figured out how to express enthusiasm for a book I was involved in publishing but truly believe in.)”
    http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/killing-calvinism#more

  137. Rob wrote:

    Nice to see believers attacking other believers on the web where non Christians can continue to make fun of us.

    And here is another Christian’s two cents:
    I think you have little to worry about Rob. If you ever happen to visit “the world” (better yet…if you happen to visit the little world of state school academia that I live and breathe in…), you might observe that what non Christians are really laughing at is the deafening silence and hypocrisy of professed Christians in the midst of abuse.

  138. Dee and Deb -

    You’re making $$ on this site? Please send my royalty check for the use of “Chuck Jo” ASAP. I’ll expect it to arrive in the mail with an advance copy of Chuck Jo’s “Humility for Dummies” and a long-awaited confession/apology from Steve Shank (written in crayon, no doubt).

    Headed to the mailbox now so I beat the rush,
    Former SG Pastor

  139. FSGP,

    Why don’t we start our own publishing company? We can self-publish and endorse our own books honestly and voluntarily (and with humility, of course). :-)

    Think of all the undiscovered talent we can make famous through our endeavor. Anyone want to submit a manuscript 10,000 – 25,000 words long?

  140. Deb -

    Good idea but you know if the book isn’t endorsed by JI Packer, Piper, Mahaney and a cool young pastor wearing jeans and retro eyewear (pick any of a couple dozen of the young cussers), it just ain’t worth reading. Plus, Al Mohler has to have read it and blogged on it.

    I think the real and easy dough will roll in once we start a conference circuit. If we can get CLC to provide free hosting volunteers …

    My old idols prefer mammon,
    Former SG Pastor

  141. Yep, the conference circuit is how they make their big money.

    AMWAY kingpins figured out that system of promotion decades ago, along with selling books and tapes. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Calvinistas met with them years ago to learn all the secrets.

  142. It will have to “tend the garden of the Borg soul”, will have to believe the best, be gospelfully-gospel-centered, cross-centered and approved lock, stock and barrel by an Apostle, you totally depraved worm, you. LOL

  143. Whatever happened to pastors spending their time caring for the people? In a church of 50 people, I’d be seriously busy. How is is these guys have so much time to be online, read hundreds of books to review each year, prep and attend conferences, study and preach, make churchy decisions, AND actually know and be known by the people so one can actually care for their souls?

    Just curious?

  144. How many jobs in the world are there in which a hobbyist can pose as a professional and be taken seriously?

    What is with these Calvinistas and their lack of formal education? It’s almost like a point of pride, at some points. So strange.

    Thank goodness for denominations that still have minimum educational standards for pastors.

    (On a related note, I was discussing this very trend with a friend and we both came to the conclusion that its only a matter of time before Mars Hill/Acts 29 attempts to create an accredited graduate program with M.A. and MDiv programs).

  145. Grateful said~

    Whatever happened to pastors spending their time caring for the people? In a church of 50 people, I’d be seriously busy. How is is these guys have so much time to be online, read hundreds of books to review each year, prep and attend conferences, study and preach, make churchy decisions, AND actually know and be known by the people so one can actually care for their souls?

    Just curious?”

    Not to mention their families!! With all the loving their wives sacrificially, and leading their families, and being the spiritual head, and teaching their kids ala Deut 6-that surely takes up a lot of time. It is a wonder how they do it all.

  146. @ Julie Anne~ "I need to start a list of people blocking me on Twitter. @Challies is the newest blockage. lol

    But, no worries, I still tag him" You make these guys look ridiculous and call out things they do not want to spend time thinking about…calling it poor time management. I appreciate all you are doing!

  147. Hey the Mars Hill/M.Div. gambit comes as no surprise.

    Piper has a school. Mahaney/Mohler have a school. Sproul has a school. They probably should do it. But they need to be independently accredited and most of these pastors colleges operate at a GED or AA level.

    I have first-hand experience, having attended one a couple of decades (more!) ago, I'm still waiting for Chuck Jo to get his honorary degree(s) from MacArthur U or Mohler Cemetery.

    If Chuck Jo gets to resign from SG maybe he could take a real class. Might I suggest Ethics 101? They don't need no education, they PROVIDE the thought control Former SG Pastor PS – mad props to theologians before their time, Pink Floyd

  148. Diane wrote:

    AND actually know and be known by the people so one can actually care for their souls?

    Hanging out with the Totally Depraved is such a drag.

    Besides, only pastors, elders, and specially-designated Super Christians are the truly Unconditional Elect. Why bother with anyone else?

  149. @ Diane: I must confess that I’m extremely puzzled by this, too… if only because where I grew up, the title “pastor” is applied to people (in the Evangelical Lutheran Church) who actually *do* pastoral work, boots on the ground. Like, y’know, visiting the sick and dying, trying to help people facing difficulties of all kinds, and generally being involved in their community (in addition to their church).

  150. @ Caleb W: It’s true.

    On another note… Dee and Deb a big, heartfelt THANK YOU for allowing commenters of all beliefs (and none) to post here.

    I really appreciate your openness to different – and differing – points of view.

    TWW is an oasis, no question!

  151. Grateful wrote:

    In regards to Rob from Romania …

    Please ignore (don’t make much of) the fact that he’s from Romania. :-) So am I – and I don’t think this blog is trash or sick. It’s been very useful for making me think in a deeper way on a number of things. In some regards, my way of thinking has changed as a result of being challenged. In some others, not… Yes, there are things that I don’t agree with… and at times there are things (tones, attitudes) that bother me and that I don’t think are helpful at all… but I would not say that on the whole it is trash or sick… or seeking to make money. :-) It takes all sorts, you know… Romania is full of all kinds of people, just like any other place on the face of the earth.

  152. @ numo:

    @ numo–

    I am puzzled AND amazed. I think pastor means something else to these apparent superman types who author books, blog, blog every day even, have pod-casts, live-blog at conferences, attend conferences, speak at conferences, read lots of books, write scads of book reviews, are elders, assoc pastors, husbands of the dying to self sacrificial love type, displaying the gospel to others via their marriages has GOT to take some time, fathers, teachers of their children ala Deut 6, leaders, heads of the home, spiritual heads of their families, etc. Did I leave anything out? How do they find time to counsel properly, or get into the lives of their congregants? Surely something has to suffer.

    Pastor must mean they get to preach the word to us eveery Sunday. You know, like CJ says…it’s the most important event of the week. They are the word deliverers.

  153. “Pastor must mean they get to preach the word to us eveery Sunday. You know, like CJ says…it’s the most important event of the week. They are the word deliverers.”

    Diane, the more I read about the results of the Reformation from then till now, the more I am convinced that a big part of it was (unconsciously?) was taking the sacraments off center stage and putting a human on center stage.

    I hear this sort of thing all the time about listening to a human preach is the most important thing. It’s not at all. If we look at the model in the NT, most of the “preaching” was done “out there”. We have no model specifically showing that the ekklesia meeting was around “preaching”. I have no doubt there was some of that. But what do we do with women prophesying in 1 Corin 11? What about the love feasts? Was that not part of the meeting? I fear we have made humans center stage instead of Jesus.

  154. @ Caleb W:

    That saddens me. At least down here education and qualifications are still fairly highly valued and required for ministry jobs. Of course, we still largely have the big institutional denominations rather than independent and semi-independent evangelical churches.

  155. Anon 1 wrote:

    “Pastor must mean they get to preach the word to us eveery Sunday. You know, like CJ says…it’s the most important event of the week. They are the word deliverers.”
    Diane, the more I read about the results of the Reformation from then till now, the more I am convinced that a big part of it was (unconsciously?) was taking the sacraments off center stage and putting a human on center stage.
    I hear this sort of thing all the time about listening to a human preach is the most important thing. It’s not at all. If we look at the model in the NT, most of the “preaching” was done “out there”. We have no model specifically showing that the ekklesia meeting was around “preaching”. I have no doubt there was some of that. But what do we do with women prophesying in 1 Corin 11? What about the love feasts? I fear we have made humans center stage instead of Jesus.

  156. Sorry, I hit send before I was ready …

    Anon said, “I fear we have made humans center stage instead of Jesus.”

    I agree. I’m going through the NT to revisit my notions of church. What can we know? What emphasis can be seen? But I’m looking at it from a broad view since I spent way too many years so far in the weeds (detailed Bible study) that I think I missed the point, often.

    The difference between the experience of church at a liturgical church vs. a non-liturgical helps us to imagine the NT church may have been very different from our notions of church. In visiting an Anglican church, I found there was room for individuals to stand up and pray for various themes (God’s awesomeness, Repentance, Thankfulness, Provisions, the Sick and Shut-ins, etc…;) a reading from the NT, a reading from the OT; a guided time of reflection and personal repentance; worship in song and in giving; and more… Oh, and there was a 15 minute homily.

    My point? I was surprised at how I felt like I’d walked through a refreshing time with God in a corporate setting. I was not just sitting and absorbing, I was participating. My focus was on God. There was no man to vie for my attention on stage. Even the worship singers/musicians were off to the side, as a part of the congregation. I’m not selling the Anglican church, just relating how the experience I had in one opened my eyes to just how much we focus on a man due to the way regular Evangelical churches tend to order their services. Just a thot …

  157. Grateful – I was raised Catholic and there is something missing from non-liturgical churches and you just nailed it for me. I used to lead the “folk group” which today means praise and worship team and we were always off to the side, never front and center on a stage. The Praise and Worship team I sometimes sing or play piano with now is front and center in the church. It drives me crazy. It feels like we are performing. I’d rather be off to the side inviting corporate worship.

  158. A church I have been in has the choir sitting in the congregation and coming forward to sing the choir number and return to their seats.

    I prefer a less formal service. I prefer a lower platform rather than a higher one. And I would put a worship team in the back (like many old churches had the choir) or to the side and not in front. And I would put the preacher to the side or, if the seating slopes up to the back, on the floor level of the front rows of seats, rather than on a platform. All God’s children are equal, loved by him, and called to serve him. We should elevate Jesus and not the messenger!

  159. @ dee:
    How do find time to pick apart your brother in Christ? Before you sit down at your chair and look to find dirt on the redeemed of the Lord(I assume you are one as well), did you pray for him in love? Did you pray that Tim’s voice – which is heard all over the world – would speak only truth? Did you pray for his encouragement?

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  162. Challies has close guys to SGM I think in fact I had a conversation with him at New Attitude-when he was liveblogging

    Additional buddies of Challies:
    Tim Kerr is the pastor of the local Sovereign Grace church in Toronto:
    http://www.challies.com/search/google?cx=006311167884800022839%3Ajcs6rz6z3lw&cof=FORID%3A11&query=tim+kerr&op=Search&form_build_id=form-e600e47ff3be5d16cf8e61adf477bee4&form_id=google_cse_searchbox_form

    Here is Paul Martin Challies’ pastor referencing various SovGrace music-he’s a TMS guy but we know the relationship John MacArthur has had with Mahaney:
    http://preacherthoughts.blogspot.com/search?q=sovereign+grace

  163. sb

    Thank you for this information. It is time that all of these bloggers transparently show their relationships.

    Better yet, I want these guys to show us where we lied, told half truths, etc. Gee, it must be so awful when people actually read the “about me” pages.