Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife: Nate Spark and a Q&A With Dr Ruth Tucker

“The abusive man’s high entitlement leads him to have unfair and unreasonable expectations, so that the relationship revolves around his demands. His attitude is: “You owe me.” For each ounce he gives, he wants a pound in return. He wants his partner to devote herself fully to catering to him, even if it means that her own needs—or her children’s—get neglected. You can pour all your energy into keeping your partner content, but if he has this mind-set, he’ll never be satisfied for long. And he will keep feeling that you are controlling him, because he doesn’t believe that you should set any limits on his conduct or insist that he meet his responsibilities.”  ― Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men link

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I planned to write about the Nouthetic Counseling that Shauna received. However, our discussion was placed on the back burner yesterday when it was discovered that LBC Montgomery was planning to discuss the matter at an evening meeting. Shauna and I were concerned that they would attempt to hurt both and her Billy and we discussed how we handle this.

I then sent out some tweets warning folks that we would be listening in.Thankfully, I was told that Ken Ramey basically said that Billy was assaulted and the church tried to help her. Case closed. So, I need to have some discussions with Shauna regarding of the materials that she sent me. Hopefully I post about that on Wednesday. 

In the meantime, a few months ago, Ruth Tucker, who has commented on this blog, sent me a copy of her new book titled, Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife: My Story of Finding Hope After Domestic Abuse. I had planned to write a post about the book in March. However, Nate Sparks (and he is one firebrand when it comes to abuse) contacted me and asked if I could post this interview that he did with Ruth. Ruth was pleased with his questions and was pleased that I would post it here. 

I am so in awe of Ruth for transparently sharing her own experience of domestic abuse. Her own blog RuthTucker.com is amazing. I think you will find her resume quite impressive.

 Birth Date:  July 17, 1945

 Married: John Worst (Professor of Music Emeritus, Calvin College), 3 children, 4 grandchildren

 Church membership:  LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids

EDUCATION

 B.A.    1967 (History) LeTourneau University, Longview, Texas

 M.A.    1969 (American Studies) Baylor University, Waco, Texas

 Ph.D.   1979 (History) Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, Illinois 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  •  Associate Professor of Missiology, Calvin Theological Seminary, 2000-2006
  •  Visiting Professor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1982-1999
  •  Adjunct Interim Professor, Calvin College, 1987-2000
  •  Adjunct Professor, Fuller Theological Seminary, Summers 1990, 1993
  •  Visiting Professor, Moffat College of Bible (Kijabe, Kenya), 1985-1989
  •  Instructor, Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music, 1978-1987

BOOKS 

From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya:  A Biographical History of Christian Missions  (Zondervan,983, Rev. Ed., 2004)
Daughters of the Church with Walter Liefeld (Zondervan, 1987)
First Ladies of the Parish:  Historical Portraits of Pastors' Wives  (Zondervan, 1988; 1992) 
Guardians of the Great Commission:  Women in Modern Missions (Zondervan,1988)
Christian Speakers Treasury (Harper & Row, 1989)
Another Gospel:  Alternative Religions and the New Age Movement (Zondervan, 1989)
Stories of Faith (Zondervan, 1990)
Women in the Maze:  Questions and Answers on Biblical Equality (InterVarsity, 1992)
Multiple Choices:  Making Wise Decisions (Zondervan, 1992)
Family Album: Portraits of Family Life Through the Centuries (Victor, 1994)
Seasons of Motherhood (Victor, 1996)
Not Ashamed: The Story of Jews for Jesus (Multnomah, 1999)
Walking Away from Faith: Unraveling the Mystery of Belief and Unbelief (InterVarsity, 2002)
God Talk: Cautions for Those Who Hear the Voice of God (InterVarsity, 2005)
Left Behind in A Mega-Church World (Baker, 2006)
Leadership Reconsidered (Baker, 2008)
Parade of Faith (Zondervan, 2011)
Biographical Bible (Baker, 2013)
Dynamic Women of the Bible (Baker, 2014)
Extraordinary Women of Church History (Baker, 2016)
 

ARTICLES PUBLISHED in Christianity Today, Christian History, Missiology, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, The Banner, Church Herald and other periodicals.

SPEAKING includes women's retreats, mission conferences, and lectures at Bethel College, Indiana Wesleyan, Wheaton Graduate School, Whitworth College, Olivet Nazarene University, Tabor College, Messiah College, Seattle Pacific University, Bethel Seminary (San Diego), Asbury Seminary


Dr. Ruth Tucker has written a new book, Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife.  I have already written a review here, but for those unfamiliar I want to be sure to stress: this is a must read book.  Dr. Tucker has written a moving memoir, using her own story as a vehicle for promoting theological change in the evangelical church.  After reading the book, I reached out to Dr. Tucker, and she was gracious enough to agree to a Q&A interview regarding the book.  I want to thank her for her thoughtful and engaging answers. I think the reader will find her thoughts both inspiring and challenging.[1]

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  1. How would you sum up your personal story in just a few sentences? Why did you choose to tell your story at this point in your life?

A chance meeting of a charming young man at an upstate New York Island retreat led to a long distance love affair. Ignoring all the red flags, I accepted his marriage proposal less than six months later. During some twenty years of marriage his domineering demands, supported by the doctrine of male headship, spiraled into terrorizing threats and violent attacks. His rationale: I had provoked him.

I had to write the book. I simply had to. The moment I saw Ray Rice (on the television news) drag his unconscious fiancé out of an elevator, I vowed I would write my story.

  1. Some people may wonder why you would stay in such an abusive marriage for 19 years. How would you respond to them? I have often heard people say, “Why didn’t she just leave?”  Can you give some insight into the factors that discourage women from leaving abusive spouses in Western culture?

Back in the 1980s before the Internet age, the idea of an evangelical minister beating up his wife was virtually unheard of. My husband was articulate, intelligent, charming, and I assumed (rightly, I think) that few people would believe me and in the process I would be terribly humiliated. But more than anything else, I feared he would get joint custody of our adolescent son. But when the terrorizing threats became unbearable—and when Carlton turned thirteen, we escaped and he was able to testify before a judge. I was awarded full custody. The custody issue may very well be the greatest fear-factor for abused women.

  1. Why did you wait so long to write this book—long after your marriage ended?

I had been asked to write this story some years before I did, but the dread of recounting this terrible aspect of my life always held me back. Even now I feel dread as the book is released.

  1. What do you mean by Black and White Bible? Aren’t we supposed to read the Bible literally—absolutes expressed in black and white? What’s the alternative?

I’ve never known anyone who reads the Bible literally—as much as they claim to do so. For example, Paul’s letters admonish women not to cut their hair, to wear head-coverings and not to adorn themselves with jewelry. It’s true there are some Mennonites and Amish who follow these proscriptions, but certainly not the wives of the men who today speak the loudest in support of the doctrine of male headship. These men say women cannot preach and teach—that they must be silent, quoting 1 Timothy 2, while at the same time ignoring a much longer passage in 1 Timothy 5 that lays out how widows should be cared for by the church. These preachers and bloggers are picking and choosing their passages.

Of course we all do that to some extent, but I think we can come to a better understanding of biblical teaching by looking at the big picture and the major themes of Scripture—particularly the teachings and practices of Jesus and Paul.  We must pay close attention to the grand narratives, for example, those in the Hebrew Bible featuring the Patriarchs and their wives and Jesus and the woman at the well in the New Testament.

Do we sometimes interpret Scripture in light of present-day cultural norms? Sure we do—even as Paul did.

  1. You suggest that there is a relationship between domestic violence and the doctrine of male headship. What evidence do you have that so-called egalitarian marriages are any better?

The relationship between domestic violence and male headship would not exist if all husbands loved their wives as Christ loves the Church. But sinful human nature as it is can easily transform headship into domination and from there to domestic violence. A husband committed to equality in marriage may also become violent with his wife, but he has absolutely no doctrine of headship to fall back on. She provoked me simply doesn’t wash.

  1. Do you deal with the subject of wives abusing husbands? How common is that?

I touch on that matter, but the physically abusive wife is the exception not the rule, and therefore I don’t use the term spouse abuse. She may throw the dinner plates, but it’s unlikely that she could squeeze his arms so hard they turn black and blue and throw him against the kitchen counter and then onto the floor and kick him, as I suffered on many occasions. My ex-husband, at 6’2” was 8 inches taller than I and easily twice as strong. I didn’t stand a chance even if I had been inclined to go at it with my fists. That’s true across the board. A man who is the same height as a woman typically has 50% more upper body strength.

  1. In the book you discuss the phrase “legitimate rape”.  Is there such a thing as “legitimate” rape? Did your ex-husband ever rape you?

The term legitimate rape entered our American lexicon with Todd Akin, a member of the US House of Representatives from Missouri. While it is true that not every single accusation of rape is the truth, “legitimate rape” is preposterous, whether in a marriage relationship or not. I discuss this issue in a chapter titled “Fifty Shades of Rape,” and that title illustrates how difficult it is to define rape. For instance, Is it rape when a young woman successfully stirs a strongly resisting young man to have sex?

Was I beat up by my ex-husband? Yes, but not as badly as many women who have suffered broken teeth and jaws and internal bleeding. Was I raped by my ex-husband? Yes, I experienced the awfulness of rape but not in a physically brutal manner as many women have endured.

  1. In the book, you state that you feel responsible for what happened to your foster daughter.  Why do you blame yourself for the sexual abuse of your foster daughter?

I did not report my husband to law officers. I did not stand with my foster daughter; rather I arranged for her to leave our home.

  1. What do you hope to accomplish with this book? Who is your primary audience?

The audience I most desire to reach is the very influential segment of evangelicalism that supports the doctrine of male headship. I don’t expect to “convert” them in large numbers to the egalitarian position, but I do want them to reassess their position and how it plays out in practical terms. At the very end of the book I ask a series of questions. Here I will simplify in one question: Does the doctrine of male headship allow a husband to take the car keys or the cell phone away from his wife? It’s a very simple question and I believe that those who promote male headship must be forthcoming. A standard response is that no marriage should get to the point of fighting over phone or keys and if it does the husband must go to the male elders of the church. But that does not answer the question. What power and authority does the husband have over his wife? Keys, phone, I want an answer.

  1. You have devoted your career to discussing and advocating the equality of women in the Church.  How does this book fit into this vision?

All of my books in one way or another relate to church history, women’s issues and biblical themes. In fact, I wrote the Bible—The Biographical Bible, that isand a book on women in the Bible. Also Daughters of the Church (with Walter Liefeld) and Women in the Maze: Questions and Answers on Biblical Equality

I’ve taught courses and delivered lectures at conferences on those same themes. But never in my wildest imagination did I think I would ever write a memoir that featured the most humiliating aspects of my personal life. It is a memoir, but it’s far more than that. I bring biblical issues to the fore as well as historical and contemporary matters. Saint Augustine, Martin Luther and John Calvin find their place right alongside contemporary figures.

  1. In the book, you discuss the use of ezer kenegdo in Genesis 2.  How do you see this term mistreated in male-headship centered theologies?

At one point in the book I say that I know so well the biblical arguments for the doctrine of male headship that if assigned that side in a debate I might even prevail. I go on to say that the one claim I could not argue is that inequality is actually equality. Male headship proponents insist that women are equal but that all kinds of opportunities for leadership are denied them and that they don’t have equal decision making in the home. Plain and simple that is not equality no matter how you parse the terms.

I should have also added that I could not make the argument that ezer kenegdo in Genesis 2 in even a remote sense supports a wife’s submission or a husband’s headship. Claiming it does is nothing less than hermeneutical mischief. In the second account of creation in Genesis 2, God creates woman a “help meet” (KJV) or “helper suitable” for the man. It is downright dishonest to suggest that this term connotes subjugation. Time and again the term is used not only for God but also for strong men. King David, for example, is ezer to Israel (Psalm 70:5, Deuteronomy 33:29). There are plenty of other biblical passages I might use to argue against women’s equality, but surely not this one.

  1. Have you seen this video by John Piper?

Given your own experience of abuse, how would you respond to him?

John Piper is one of the contemporary figures who factors prominently in the book. Chapter 1 begins with a 1995 debate between the two of us at Pierce Chapel on the campus of Wheaton College. The topic was male headship vs. equality in marriage.

Whether you’re watching to the video or reading the transcript, you know immediately that this is vintage John Piper. He loves to put words of submission into the mouths of women.  Thus Piper insists that if a husband wants his wife to engage in group sex, his wife should answer, “Honey, I want so much to follow you as my leader.  I think God calls me to do that, and I would love to do that.  It would be sweet to me if I could enjoy your leadership.”  Followed by, “But if you would ask me to do this, require this of me, then I can’t – I can’t go there.”

Some might wonder if he should have cut to the chase and edited down his words in the mouth of the woman to just two: “Hell, no!” because that attitude is how she must respond to abuse. Piper’s “honey” business is simply not appropriate in such situations.

  1. What advice would you have for anyone currently experiencing abuse?

In most cases, the church is of little help. When I consulted with my minister (who fully supported equality in marriage), he was very reluctant to get involved. He encouraged me to escape with my son, which I eventually did. Churches who promote the doctrine of male headship typically channel John Piper on the matter of physical abuse: “Honey, I want so much to follow you as my leader. . . .”

As I say in the book, the term abuse is very difficult to define when it comes to personal relationships. If the husband is nagging the wife about her lumpy gravy or her failure to lose weight after one more pregnancy, is that abuse? If he’s giving her the silent treatment or playing poker every night with his buddies, is that abuse? If the marriage is in trouble over such things, the couple should seek professional counseling together, and if the husband refuses, a wife might seek out a professional counselor or a good friend for advice on how to cope. But if there is physical violence, she must take a selfie for proof, begin a journal, consult an attorney and report to law enforcement.

  1. What advice would you have for someone whose spouse is verbally, emotionally and spiritually abusive, but has never been physically violent?  When does one’s mental/emotional/spiritual well-being become just as important as their physical?

Actually, in my case, I would have preferred a beating to the terrorizing threats of my ex-husband. Knocking me against the kitchen counter and then onto the floor and kicking me tended to calm him down. But the terrorism remained in the air for days or weeks on end and kept me from sleeping at night.

Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse is not dependent on brute strength. It often goes both ways, and it often is sparked by strong differences of opinion, whether on religious, political, social or personal matters. One way to deal with such abuse is to talk with the spouse when things are calm and seek to avoid explosive topics. If that doesn’t work, I would suggest using a tape-recorder, then speak with a counselor and perhaps an attorney. No one–female or male–should live under such abuse.

15.  What lessons would you want your reader to walk away with?

More than anything else I would want them to see that a marriage of equality between husband and wife is biblical and safer and more fulfilling than a marriage based on inequality.

**Cover Image from https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DQqbSCb82lo/VrzIDfkyvxI/AAAAAAAAEHw/FZHw7aa0Xk8/s1600/B%2526W.jpg**

[1]For those interested, all of Dr. Tucker’s expansive library of work can be found here.  For those not familiar with Dr. Tucker, you can read her rather impressive resume here.

Comments

Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife: Nate Spark and a Q&A With Dr Ruth Tucker — 510 Comments

  1. @ js:
    Ah, the “everybody is guilty” or the “Mom, Bobby does it, too!” defense. Got it.

    The seeker megas I worked with were bad. Trust me on that. But the Neo Cals make them look like amatuers. Authoritarianism is inherent in Neo Calvinism. Just look at the history of their heros.

  2. js wrote:

    disagree with your assessment of them, simple as that. I believe they have mishandled things at times (Mahaney the worst of the lot obviously) but I don’t see this great conspiracy that so many here see. Nor do I think comp teaching if fundamentally immoral so I won’t fault them for that. I don’t see them as doing anything more than uniting to advance their views, which is what anybody with their salt would do. I don’t see them doing anything different than people in ministry have always done they just harnesses social media to do it. Which is probably why they also get more grief than others.

    Welcome to American Evangelicalism. The ends justify the means. Just like Jesus. Sigh

  3. js wrote:

    But let’s not forget that that deficit alternating was happening King before those yrr leaders change into their positions and they are the first leaders to really try to confront it.

    Sounds like DC. Actually, my guess it was strategy. Help Eliff save face (Platt was talking more missionaries but not layoffs AFTER hired in several public venues. Was he ignorant or just carrying out strategy?)

    Most career missionaries over 50 are not YRR. So several birds are killed with one stone using a crisis the trustees knew about. (Trustees are yes men)

    These are not men of character but men who have used a lot of deceit to build their brand. Choosing Platt was part of it. He only discovered “the beauty of the CP” after his appointment because his church was not involved. Which made him qualified, how? By celebrity.

    Then we have the deception he went along with in Dubai trying to make the fans at home think he was in danger.

    Nope. These types want to be the face of Christendom. They have no integrity or character. It is the new normal. You can buy into the party line. Not me. I will just Ile when called a Jezebel or Pelagian.

  4. Lydia wrote:

    will just Ile when called a Jezebel or Pelagian.

    Hee hee. I meant smile when autocorrect wrote lie. Does Mohler have control of my phone, too? He already has my church! :o)

  5. BL wrote:

    50 years ago you would not have had stories of elderly church members (who measured their membership as active for decades) being ‘dis-membered’ for failure to tithe or attend.

    In one takeover by Ezell's church that required a vote, they would not allow long time member shut ins (who still tithed!) to vote by proxy. There were lots of them because it was an old church. The vote only won by a few. These charlatans know exactly what they are doing. They go after debt free churches.

  6. js wrote:

    church planting scene for thirty years, long before the rise of the neo-cals

    Ahhh … but the current church planting movement is more about planting reformed theology, than churches. A brilliant strategy by SBC’s New Calvinist leadership to bring the Millennials and Generation-Xers into SBC ranks, indoctrinate them, and within a generation full Calvinization will be accomplished, due to the attrition of older non-Calvinist members.

  7. js wrote:

    I come here because I believe exposure to a different take on things sharpens my thinking.

    Then listen carefully, js. You seem like a fairly intelligent person.

  8. BL wrote:

    People who had managed to walk in unity for decades were driven out for being *divisive*.

    Yes, even many of the conservatives within SBC were upset by the way the moderates were treated during the Conservative Resurgence. We had no idea back then that “Conservative” to some of the CR architects really meant “Calvinism”. SBC used to be such a harmonious bunch (from my 60+ year snapshot of them). Forty-five thousand SBC churches were on the same page in theology and ecclesiology and cooperated to field the greatest mission effort on the planet, the envy of other denominations. A Gospel message for ALL people was proclaimed from its pulpits in many corners of the earth. So why should us old folks who have known a better day in SBC be concerned that a handful of prominent old guard Calvinists (e.g., Al Mohler) convinced a gullible young army of reformed and restless to do their dirty work of taking over the denomination?!

  9. js wrote:

    But let’s not forget that that deficit spending was happening long before those yrr leaders change into their positions and they are the first leaders to really try to confront it.

    Yes, it appears that poor financial management at IMB was occurring under Platt’s predecessor Tom Elliff. Mr. Elliff’s theological persuasion has been elusive. I can tell you that his brother Jim Elliff is about as reformed as you can get! And, we can’t forget that Tom Elliff played a role in Al Mohler’s dismissal of long-time librarian at Southern Seminary, Paul Debusman, just shortly before Paul was due to retire. It seems that Mr. Debusman expressed a concern about Mr. Elliff’s chapel address where he lauded the changes toward “conservatism” that occurred at Southern when Dr. Mohler took charge and started swinging the axe to fire most of the seminary staff! Southern is now ground-zero for New Calvinism … perhaps Paul Debusman saw that coming. Anyway, that’s a long story to paint the picture you may not have seen, js.

  10. Velour wrote:

    js wrote:
    Nor do I think comp teaching if fundamentally immoral so I won’t fault them for that.
    The Eternal Subordination of the Son argument (emphasis as someone posted before on “eternal”) is a Semi-Arian (not Aryan) Heresy used to bolster the Comp argument. The SBC has been actively promoting this heresy. Result? The SBC has the highest divorce rate in the nation, even higher than atheists.

    The high divorce rate is not the result of ESS teaching! I just don’t see how you can’t understand that. The divorce rate among SBC was high years ago. That Barna study is not new. You are arguing that high divorce rates resulted from something that most SBC preachers and people in the pews can not even define with precision and that came along long after the problem of divorce was well-entrenched in SBC circles.

  11. @ Max:
    IOW, it used to be bottom up instead of the top down it is today. That means the splits were local not devised by national leaders as they are today. The past president of our state convention, a Mohler loyalist, split 2 churches before he was ushered in to that job. He went on to alienate Campbellsville U who finally told them, we don’t want your 1 million. What was it really over? Not giving a Cal Prof tenure.

  12. @ js:
    You are not connecting dots. ESS maps the Trinity pecking order to human pecking order in family/church. That was the purpose for this heretical doctrine. Sadly, ingrained comp doctrine cannot boast fewer divorces. Atheist boast the lowest divorce rate. So what is the real problem?

  13. @ Max:
    Yes. The 33 year old Mohler fired the 64 yr old Debusman something like 8 mOS before retiring because he dared disagree. I think Debusman was made an example and it worked. No one thought Mohler was that cruel. But he was. And everyone was scared.

    I wish social media had existed back then.

  14. BL wrote:

    js wrote:
    If you think people in the southern Baptist convention walked in unity before the neo cals came on the scene you are very naive.
    Great misreading of what I posted.
    INDIVIDUALS who had been ACTIVE MEMBERS for DECADES in a SINGLE CHURCH were found to be DIVISIVE within a couple of years of the new pastor’s arrival.
    Does that help?
    Caps for emphasis, not for yelling.
    In your rush to diversion, you failed to address my response to why people are leaving:
    Blessed subtraction.”
    There has been a purposeful, ongoing winnowing to eliminate those members who won’t bow down and acquiesce to the pastor’s ‘new vision.’
    Were you unaware of this?

    In your original post, you not only referenced individuals but you referred to a better time in church life where unity was the norm. That was a general statement and is quite false to SBC life in most of the circles I’ve known.

    This principle of so called “blessed subtraction” is as old as the hills. In southern lingo we talk about the people running off the preacher but there has always also been plenty of members who get disgusted with one thing or another and hit the road. This happens in SBC churches of all stripes. When the members don’t jive with the pastors and deacons, they hit the road, and sometimes with lots of bad things to say about the church in the community. This is nothing new. Just church politics 101. It has been happening for decades. Sad but true and no evidence of a master plan to grow by subtraction, a principle which doesn’t make a lot of sense when you think about it.

    Now if you are talking about the purging of church rolls, then I say, Amen. If it is done in an effort to locate and reconnect those who have stopped attending, the purging of the rolls is a great ministry to the church and to the member who has stopped attending. It makes no sense for someone in good health living in town who hasn’t been to church in 20years to remain on the church roll. A church running 200 with 700 on the roll has a problem. They also have an opportunity for evangelism starting right there with their own membership. This is not about getting a group of people who can be controlled, it is about calling for the church to be a real representation of the active members along with those who are unable to attend because of health.

  15. js wrote:

    he divorce rate among SBC was high years ago. That Barna study is not new. You are arguing that high divorce rates resulted from something that most SBC preachers and people in the pews can not even define with precision and that came along long after the problem of divorce was well-entrenched in SBC circles.

    Before or after Danvers?

  16. Lydia wrote:

    js wrote:
    disagree with your assessment of them, simple as that. I believe they have mishandled things at times (Mahaney the worst of the lot obviously) but I don’t see this great conspiracy that so many here see. Nor do I think comp teaching if fundamentally immoral so I won’t fault them for that. I don’t see them as doing anything more than uniting to advance their views, which is what anybody with their salt would do. I don’t see them doing anything different than people in ministry have always done they just harnesses social media to do it. Which is probably why they also get more grief than others.
    Welcome to American Evangelicalism. The ends justify the means. Just like Jesus. Sigh

    Yes, cooperating with others who share your views to proclaim the gospel is the essence of American Evangelicalism. As old as Christianity Today and the modern Missions movement and campus ministries and family ministries and a hundred institutions of higher education and other associations. They are doing nothing different than all these groups have done they are just doing it in a new medium.

  17. @ js:
    Everybody has been doing it.
    ..it’s just that the YRR are more organized, stealthy and have the financial backing of the leadership.

    Is that it?

  18. Lydia wrote:

    @ js:
    Ah, the “everybody is guilty” or the “Mom, Bobby does it, too!” defense. Got it.
    The seeker megas I worked with were bad. Trust me on that. But the Neo Cals make them look like amatuers. Authoritarianism is inherent in Neo Calvinism. Just look at the history of their heros.

    Not at all. Just don’t pretend that coffee shops and worship bands and funky church names started with the YRR, like an earlier poster implied. That kind of approach is right out the seeker sensitive handbook. Fine to criticize it but is more of a thing adopted by the YRR rather than a thing created.

  19. Lydia wrote:

    @ js:
    You are not connecting dots. ESS maps the Trinity pecking order to human pecking order in family/church. That was the purpose for this heretical doctrine. Sadly, ingrained comp doctrine cannot boast fewer divorces. Atheist boast the lowest divorce rate. So what is the real problem?

    Maybe atheists are a smaller sample of the general populace and of a higher economic level (and economics plays into divorce often). It will be interesting to see what happens to atheist numbers as their percentage in the population rises. I expect we shall see it change and not for the better.

    I can connect the theological dots, I just think most of you are too invested to see that teaching about ESS is inconsequential in its overall impact on this issue. When most people out there could not even articulate what it means, how can it be some great poison that is infecting the evangelical world?

  20. Lydia wrote:

    @ js:
    Everybody has been doing it.
    ..it’s just that the YRR are more organized, stealthy and have the financial backing of the leadership.
    Is that it?

    I don’t know. I suspect they got a jump by being early adaptors of technology. I wouldn’t underestimate things like desiringgod making all Piper’s sermons available online for free and MacArthur following suit later. I know lots of people here think TGC is garbage but in my view it competes favorably in appearance and content with well-established news sites, Christian and otherwise. I suspect, even though many of you think otherwise, that many Christians believed there was a real need in church life for reform, and that the 9Marks approach seemed to be a way to meet that need. Perhaps the seeker sensitive movement was leaving a lot of people empty and wondering if this was all there was and along comes this movement which seems to emphasize robust theology and a high view of God. That is attractive to many people. Perhaps the traditional church model which was already being buried under the seeker sensitive model and was reeling under the weight of cultural change was in need of renewal and this was what the YRR were trying to do.

    But nobody really knows why the YRR have become ascendant. And no one knows when they will be replaced by some other movement, but that will more than likely happen. Movements come and go.

  21. js wrote:

    I just think most of you are too invested to see that teaching about ESS is inconsequential in its overall impact on this issue. When most people out there could not even articulate what it means, how can it be some great poison that is infecting the evangelical world?

    Grown women are being told to “obey” and to “submit” their husbands in all things based on this Eternal Subordination of the Son heresy in these NeoCal churches.
    They live out Patriarchy in all of its misery. With arrogant husbands “lording it over them”. With children so angry at what they’ve seen in their families that they are leaving the faith.

    Unbelievers scoff because they have more sense than this NeoCal rhetoric.

    Christians don’t need to articulate ESS to come to the conclusion that it is a lie and a failure.

  22. js wrote:

    I suspect, even though many of you think otherwise, that many Christians believed there was a real need in church life for reform, and that the 9Marks approach seemed to be a way to meet that need.

    Having exited a 9Marks church, I will never step foot in one again. Mark Dever, pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist in Washington, D.C., and founder of 9Marks,
    decided to make up authoritarian rules to deal with problems. Binding Membership Covenants to deal with things like “members leaving through the back exits”. Dever plays a constant blame game. OK, Mark, they don’t like you and your leaders if they must flee quietly via the back exits. It’s you, Mark, not them.

    Membership rolls. Dever was concerned about people being on the membership rolls but not appearing at church. Has the man no common courtesy and problem-solving skills? No phone? Simple. Call them up and say, “We have you on the membership roster, you haven’t been here in awhile, would you like your name on the membership roster or for us to remove it?” Easy. Problem solved.

    Church Discipline. Salem Witch Trials II. More authoritarian control over members’ lives about everything. Dissent and thinking are punished with threats of church discipline and excommunication, which is now done for any reason.

    Elder-rule. Another authoritarian control by an elite group over members who are treated like children. There should be a congregational vote by all members, men and women, about the decisions of the church.

    Communion. Mark belives in a closed communion and for members only. Wow. Just wow. The Body of Christ is a Body. Visiting Christians should be able to have communion.

    Mark Dever strikes me as a man who lacks love. A modern day Pharisee. He has brought so much damage to so many Christians, churches, lives, reputations, friendships.

  23. Lydia wrote:

    I think Debusman was made an example and it worked. No one thought Mohler was that cruel.

    Mohler’s War at Southern included the firing of Dr. Diana Garland, Dean of the Seminary’s Carver School of Church Social Work. Do you reckon that had anything to do with Mohler’s theology about female subordination and Dr. Garland’s gender in regard to her leadership role at Southern? Of course, Dr. Garland had publicly criticized the young Dr. Mohler’s leadership, complaining about his bull in the china shop style of managing people. Sometimes a woman just needs to stand up … I keep waiting for thousands of young women trapped in New Calvinism to rise up and declare “Wait just a darn minute here!”.

  24. js wrote:

    I disagree with your assessment of them, simple as that. I believe they have mishandled things at times (Mahaney the worst of the lot obviously) but I don’t see this great conspiracy that so many here see.

    Mahaney “mishandled things”!? That might turn out to be the understatement of the decade. Not only did he preside over the debacle of SGM (and most likely covered up sexual abuse of kids), he blackmailed one of his own colleagues. He even admitted to it. In what way could a man like this possibly be qualified as any kind of leader, let alone a pastor?

    On top of all that, he ran for the hills when his congregation tried hold him accountable. And Dever sheltered him in clear violation of the principles of church discipline that 9Marx and Acts 29 espouse. Which makes Dever a hypocrite. What do you think the chances are that he’d let Hurit or Shauna worship with him, now that they’re being “lovingly disciplined” by their churches?

    js wrote:

    I don’t see them as doing anything more than uniting to advance their views…

    I see much more than that. I’ve seen DeYoung, Carson and Taylor sign their names to a pack of lies in defence of Mahaney. And in the few years since then, they’ve failed to correct or retract their falsehoods. More hypocrisy.

    I still see Mahaney’s name on the council of CBMW. This is a group that claims to be better at preventing abuse and protecting victims than non-complementarians. You’d think that Mohler & Co. would have the sense to dump this fool, if not out of sensitivity to his victims, then at least for public relations. Instead, they keep him around, basically spitting in the faces of everyone hurt at Covenant Life and other SGM churches. More hypocrisy.

    “Uniting to advance their views”… I wonder if that’s the excuse that RCC officials told themselves to justify their sheltering of pedophiles. (Seen the movie “Spotlight” yet?)

    I can’t see the actions of the Reformed Big Dogs as anything other than a conspiracy. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

  25. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    I can’t see the actions of the Reformed Big Dogs as anything other than a conspiracy. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

    The New Calvinist movement may have begun as a conspiracy of sorts, but it’s out in the open now! Bless their hearts, the new reformers truly believe they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the Gospel that the rest of Christendom lost for centuries. Dr. Mohler puts it this way:

    “Where else are they going to go? If you’re a theological minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches, your theology is just going to end up basically being Reformed, basically something like this New Calvinism, or you’re going to have to invent some label for what is basically going to be the same thing, there just are not options out there, and that’s something that frustrates some people, but when I’m asked about the New Calvinism — where else are they going to go, who else is going to answer the questions, where else are they going to find the resources they are going to need and where else are they going to connect. This is a generation that understands, they want to say the same thing that Paul said, they want to stand with the apostles, they want to stand with old dead people, and they know that they are going to have to, if they are going to preach and teach the truth.” (Dr. Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

    There just are not options out there?! Only the reformed “preach and teach the truth”?! The rest of us don’t want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ?! Such arrogance!!

  26. Velour wrote:

    They live out Patriarchy in all of its misery.

    I have visited SBC-YRR church plants near me. It doesn’t take a spiritual giant to discern the oppression on young wives – you only have to look closely at their countenance. Submitting to authoritarian patriarchal systems requiring unBiblical subordination does not appear to be producing peace and joy in their lives.

  27. @ Max:
    That was the school that had the counseling degrees. Now they have Nouthetic Counseling at SBTS. No state certification. This means counselors in that program will only likely be able to work in churches were they will be controlled. I wish young people had better mentors. They will be sorry one day.

  28. @ js:
    Oh, I agree most Pew sitters do not know the terminology. They are too busy working 50 hours a week to help pay the preachers salary and did not realize they needed to study ST to make sure they were not being taught bizarro world doctrines.

    Passionate bold delivery by someone with a title behind a pulpit goes a long way. An example would be teaching only one theory of atonement as the biblical one and mapping it often in sermons. Just use the word “biblical” and it often works. One way the Neo Cals (most were indoctrinated in seminary) prop up ESS is they rarely quote Christ. Hardly mention the Holy Spirit unless it is about them being led. Their focus is on an imbalance with Gods Sovereignty which ends up trashing His attributes.

  29. @ js:
    It is strange how you always focus on the cosmetic. Of course they ended up adopting those accoutrements. They work for the young. And gets them signing the membership contracts and going along with the rules of pimply faced “elders”. Reminds me of the young Mormon elders that come to my door. :o)

  30. Lydia wrote:

    That was the school that had the counseling degrees. Now they have Nouthetic Counseling at SBTS. No state certification.

    Yes, the program administered by Dr. Garland at Southern was, at that time, the nation’s only accredited master’s in social work run by a seminary! She “left” Southern to join Baylor, serving on the faculty there for nearly 20 years; she developed a school of social work there that now bears her name. She died last year from pancreatic cancer.

    I’m a conservative I suppose … but darn it, SBC lost some truly remarkable people during the Conservative (Calvinist) Resurgence which sent too many gifted servants of God packing. The whole ordeal didn’t seem very Christian to me … and SBC is now paying the price for treating believers like that. Granted, there were some liberals in the ranks that were looney-tune off-track theologically … but many that weren’t were severed for simply challenging the young Dr. Mohler. They had enough sense and fortitude to speak up at a time when he could have been dethroned … too late to do that now; he is the new SBC.

  31. Lydia wrote:

    … rarely quote Christ. Hardly mention the Holy Spirit … Their focus is on an imbalance with Gods Sovereignty which ends up trashing His attributes.

    That, in a nutshell, describes the New Calvinist sermons I have been following on podcast at SBC-YRR church plants in my vicinity. No message of the Cross of Christ for ALL people, no altar call, no call to repentance, no sinner’s prayer, no accepting Jesus. Reformed theology is a misrepresentation of the very character of God. What love is this?!

  32. Lydia wrote:

    @ js:
    So it is about cosmetics and tech savvy for you?

    I don’t know how else to say this . . . you are a bad reader. My comment was simply a guess as to why the YRR have become popular, not my personal endorsement of any of it.

  33. @ js:

    It seemed you were attempting to convince they are no different than other groups by focusing on the cosmetics instead of the cruelty and evil.

  34. Max wrote:

    I’m a conservative I suppose … but darn it, SBC lost some truly remarkable people during the Conservative (Calvinist) Resurgence which

    Did you see the OP Voices did on Baylor about sexual predator atheletes? An article that needed to be written but has no credibility at SBCVoices because they have not only refused to write about SGM, child molestations but have shut down anyone who mentions it.

    Yet they totally eviscerate Baylor acting shocked and outraged. Why? Because they consider Baylor liberal.

    This is my pet peeve. If we believe abuse is horrible and victims worthy then we don’t protect, try to play it off or make excuses for it when it comes from a side or group we agree with politically or doctrinally. We simply don’t protect or ignore evil at the expense of victims. .

    Their Baylor piece might not have looked so contrived (look! We really are outraged at sexual abuse-see!) if they had first believed and cared about SGM victims….at all.

  35. Lydia wrote:

    Did you see the OP Voices did on Baylor about sexual predator atheletes?

    “I THANK THEE, LOOOOOOOORD, THAT *I* AM NOTHING LIKE THAT FILTHY SEXUAL PREDATOR ATHLETE OVER THERE…”

    (Can somebody tell that Rabbi from Nazareth I’m getting one helluva lot of mileage out of that imagery of His?)

  36. Lydia wrote:

    @ js:
    It seemed you were attempting to convince they are no different than other groups by focusing on the cosmetics instead of the cruelty and evil.

    As did many Red Fanboys during the Cold War.

  37. Max wrote:

    That, in a nutshell, describes the New Calvinist sermons I have been following on podcast at SBC-YRR church plants in my vicinity. No message of the Cross of Christ for ALL people, no altar call, no call to repentance, no sinner’s prayer, no accepting Jesus

    “Sermons fit for a Mosque”?

    (And “altar call and accepting Jesus” one-note sermons also have their problems.)

  38. Lydia wrote:

    Welcome to American Evangelicalism. The ends justify the means.

    Citizen Robespierre and Comrade Pol Pot would agree.

  39. Max wrote:

    Do you think “js” might really be David Platt or Kevin Ezell … or maybe even Al Mohler?!

    More likely one of their True Believer fanboys.

    I saw similar “My One True Way (and its pastors/idols) Can Do No Wrong” among starry-eyed young True Believers during the late Cold War, except then it was Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Fidel Castro instead of David Platt, Kevin Ezell, and Al Mohler. (And the Inevitable Marxist-Leninist Dialectic of History instead of Reformed Theology.) Couldn’t change their minds and wouldn’t change the subject.

  40. Velour wrote:

    You said up thread that the 200,000 member loss last year that the SBC had was due to those who have died. That is not true.

    But that is The Party Line.

    If a person were running a company and 200,000 customers left, they’d have been fired.

    Not Double Down and SCREAM LOUDER!

    (Or maybe that would be the reaction — there’s a lot of pointy-haired bosses out there.)

  41. Lydia wrote:

    Reminds me of the young Mormon elders that come to my door. :o)

    Except those 17-year-old Mormon Elders have a sense of humor about it.

  42. Lydia wrote:

    @ js:
    Ah, the “everybody is guilty” or the “Mom, Bobby does it, too!” defense. Got it.

    Most memorable time I heard a high-pressure “Everybody’s Doing It!” the “it” was homosexuality and the mouthpiece was a sexual predator trying to groom his way into my pants.

  43. BL wrote:

    In the past, the pastors served the members. Now the members serve the pastor.

    “Once the Tong served the people. Now it is the people who serve the Tong.”
    — line from an old Kung Fu episode

    And when those members can no longer service the pastor in the way he desires to be serviced, then those members are eliminated.

    They have outlived their usefulness.

  44. BL wrote:

    In the past, the pastors served the members. Now the members serve the pastor.

    “Once the Tong served the people. Now it is the people who serve the Tong.”
    — line from an old Kung Fu episode

    And when those members can no longer service the pastor in the way he desires to be serviced, then those members are eliminated.

    They have outlived their usefulness.
    Lydia wrote:

    He might like SBCvoices. They simply pretend the last 10 years never happened and don’t allow comments they don’t like about Neo Cals.

    “Ees Pravda, Tovarich!”

  45. Max wrote:

    A brilliant strategy by SBC’s New Calvinist leadership to bring the Millennials and Generation-Xers into SBC ranks, indoctrinate them, and within a generation full Calvinization will be accomplished

    “And then we WILL achieve True Communism!”

  46. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Cold War, except then it was Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Fidel Castro instead of David Platt, Kevin Ezell, and Al Mohler. (And the Inevitable Marxist-Leninist Dialectic of History instead of Reformed Theology.) Couldn’t change their minds and wouldn’t change the subject.

    Any chance these guys will trigger a revolution and then turn on one another?

  47. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    What do you think the chances are that he’d let Hurit or Shauna worship with him, now that they’re being “lovingly disciplined” by their churches?

    Ask those in the mass graves in GULAG or Cambodia’s Killing Fields, “lovingly disciplined” by The Party.

  48. Nancy2 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Cold War, except then it was Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Fidel Castro instead of David Platt, Kevin Ezell, and Al Mohler. (And the Inevitable Marxist-Leninist Dialectic of History instead of Reformed Theology.) Couldn’t change their minds and wouldn’t change the subject.
    Any chance these guys will trigger a revolution and then turn on one another?

    When there are no more Heathen, start on the Heretics. (Burn Baby Burn!)
    When there are no more Heretics, start on the Apostates. (Burn Baby Burn!)
    What do predators eat after they’ve killed off all the prey?

  49. js wrote:

    I don’t know how else to say this . . . you are a bad reader. My comment was simply a guess as to why the YRR have become popular, not my personal endorsement of any of it.

    I must not be as a good of a reader as I thought, because during my first reading of your comment @Lydia questioned, my impression was that you were attempting to persuade, not just present information — partly because of your use of parenthetical phrases about what you suspect the majority at TWW do/don’t believe. I took your structure of comparison and contrast as one of analytical critique of TWW and endorsement of at least some of the other “I suspect” items. On a second reading, though, I can see that the majority of what you posit makes sense as your list of possible factors in the ascendance of YRR.

    In case interested in some of the personal, social, and cultural factors I perceive behind the pathological end of the YRR movement, I posted this article a year and a half ago: “Set-Ups for Being Picked Off by Authoritarian Leaders – Part 1: Susceptibilities to Seduction by Those with No Conscience.”

    https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/set-ups-for-being-picked-off-part-1/

    My initial list of susceptibilities to being sucked into the vortex of people of pathology includes the following, and I think we can interpret these as being part of the magnetic draw of Neo-Calvinism/Neo-Puritanism.

    * Fatherlessness. [I’ll post another link later that delves into that a bit more.]

    * Power and prestige.

    * Perfectionism and pseudo-intellectualism. [In my personal interactions with adherents to YRR ideals and practices, I’m left with a clear impression that I.Q. and theological erudition is excruciatingly important to them. Unfortunately, their ways of processing information seem so conjoined with dividing things down into details that they lose the ability to perceive the whole, which leaves a dissected and detailed system, but one without any real life to it.]

    * Idealism and romanticism.

    * The search for security.

    * False identity.

    * Naïve overtrust of authorities who are authoritarian.

    From research writing I did 20 years ago on the formation and emergence of new subcultures, I concluded that such movements catalyze in part in reaction against the current dominant cultures. But coupled with this is a proactive draw toward values seen as missing in the mainstream. [With “values” defined as those beliefs and practices considered important enough to embody/live out in everyday life, not mere theoretical ideals of the ways things should be.]

    I believe that differing sets of values and approaches to how to process information were key to the sifting and sorting that eventually broke the “emerging ministry movement” of the 1990s into at least five different streams — one of which was the Young-Restless-Reformed submovement exemplified by its key celebrity figure, Mark Driscoll. I believe the subsequent history of Mr. Driscoll and Mars Hill Church demonstrate the worst of the toxic possibilities in the spiritual DNA of all YRR individuals and entities: authoritarianism, patriarchalism, exceptionalism, monetarism, etc.

  50. @ brad/futuristguy:

    As the saying goes, “My best editing happens after I hit [ENTER].” How about “I must not be as good of a reader as I thought […]”

    Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s the link for “Set-Ups for Being Picked Off by Authoritarian Leaders – Part 2: Dynamics of Fatherlessness and Susceptibility to Substitutes.”

    https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/set-ups-for-being-picked-off-part-2/

    It gives some of my take on why males seem to be particularly susceptible to the YRR syndrome, given the state of physical, emotional, and social absence of fathers in the past few generations.

    In my opinion, when we understand the wounding that absence of fathers can leave, and see the emerging generational dynamics that amplify those wounds, the attraction to patriarchal systems makes more sense. However, when there are deeply flawed ideals about what fathers should be/do, and the residue of wounding personal experiences clouds our radar, counterfeit fatherhood can get embraced as if it were the real thing. And it seems to me that the kind of “masculinity” and “fatherhood” projected in a lot of what I see in Neo-Calvinist/Neo-Puritan function is cold and severe, dictatorial and punitive — despite the warm, brotherly, bromancerly language that sits on the surface.

  51. Bridget wrote:

    The way you keep framing life for comos is as if comps are under attack and have a difficult time finding a church to participate in. When the exact opposite is the reality! Most churches preach and teach complementarian structure for marriage relationships. Try to be in a church when you believe something different. You will have no friends, and go bonkers listening to the constant reference to it in sermons and Bible studies. Goodness, you make it sound like comps are under persecution.

    I completely agree. If you are egalitarian but relatively conservative in other ways theologically, it is virtually impossible to find a church.

  52. Lydia wrote:

    Patriciamc wrote:
    If you don’t like what we say here, then I’m sure you’d feel at home on Puritan Board. Regardless, you’re not going to change anyone’s opinion here.

    He might like SBCvoices. They simply pretend the last 10 years never happened and don’t allow comments they don’t like about Neo Cals.

    “I REJECT YOUR REALITY AND SUBSTITUTE MY OWN!”
    — Mythbusters intro (though there it’s said as a joke)

  53. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    Max wrote:

    IMB was spending in the red for years (unbeknownst to the SBC millions who kept sending them money).

    … to the tune of $210 million over a six-year period, wasn’t it? What would happen in a business if they overspent by nearly a quarter BILLION dollars in that amount of time, with that kind of annual budget? And expect no consequences …

    Again, “I REJECT YOUR REALITY AND SUBSTITUTE MY OWN!”

  54. Max wrote:

    js wrote:
    I come here because I believe exposure to a different take on things sharpens my thinking.
    Then listen carefully, js. You seem like a fairly intelligent person.

    And a True Believer.
    Defender of the Faith.

    His basic core axiom of reality is “Mohler and the YRRs Can Do No Wrong. PERIOD.”

    Once you realize that, everything he writes falls right into place.

  55. BL wrote:

    There has been a purposeful, ongoing winnowing to eliminate those members who won’t bow down and acquiesce to the pastor’s ‘new vision.’

    Were you unaware of this?

    Like Reichsminister Albert Speer, JS has “arranged his mind” to not be aware of this. To not see anything wrong.

  56. Lydia wrote:

    In fact, if saddens me that such a quest for those groups promoting rules, roles and formulas are so popular. It tells us a lot if we are paying attention.

    Once you follow all the proper rules and say the right incantations with the right formulas, reality will change to What You Want.

    Remember that best-seller The Secret?
    And before that, Ritual Magick? “Let the Sorcerer recite the proper incantations…”

  57. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    And it seems to me that the kind of “masculinity” and “fatherhood” projected in a lot of what I see in Neo-Calvinist/Neo-Puritan function is cold and severe, dictatorial and punitive — despite the warm, brotherly, bromancerly language that sits on the surface.

    Remember the TV Trope of “People’s Republic of Tyranny”:

    The more adjectives about Democracy there are in a country’s official name, the nastier a dictatorship it is.

  58. And while we’ve spent hundreds of comments arguing with JS, the sound of male fist against female face continues without interruption, Praise Calvin.

  59. Velour wrote:

    Grown women are being told to “obey” and to “submit” their husbands in all things based on this Eternal Subordination of the Son heresy in these NeoCal churches.

    Which can be stripped of spiritual-sounding theobabble and summarized in six words:
    “BOYZ RULE! GURLZ DROOL! GOD SAITH!”

  60. BL wrote:

    And when those members can no longer service the pastor in the way he desires to be serviced, then those members are eliminated.

    You know “service” also has a sexual definition, don’t you?
    As in a Prostitute “servicing” a John or a sex slave “servicing” her owner.

  61. Lydia wrote:

    I always said Al Mohler missed his true calling in DC. He built a strong Coalition with guys like Piper, Grudem TGC, T$G. Lots of starry eyed young men have pledged allegiance in the last 15 years.

    As previous generations of “starry eyed young men” pledged alleigance to National Socialism, Marxism-Leninism, and Talibani Jihad.

  62. js wrote:

    It is interesting that a stealth movement would put the whole plan online for free.

    Nice little indirect passive-aggressive slam there.

  63. js wrote:

    But nobody really knows why the YRR have become ascendant. And no one knows when they will be replaced by some other movement, but that will more than likely happen. Movements come and go.

    “There is none so blind as He Who Will Not See.”

  64. Patriciamc wrote:

    Max wrote:
    but on any given day, I can find the SBC-YRR church planters in my area at local coffee shops, rather than visiting sick folks in hospitals and nursing homes, canvassing neighborhoods to reach the unchurched, going into jail cells with a word of hope in Christ…

    They’re also purposely planting their new churches in upwardly mobile neighborhoods because that’s where the money is.

    In the words of a little momento from classic Doctor Demento:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg2iKxbeucQ

  65. js wrote:

    I warned people about Doug Phillips before it was cool.

    Now I’m curious about your identity. I warned people about Doug Phillips starting in 2006 and yeesh did I get pushback since I was one of the only people willing to do so online.

  66. @ brad/futuristguy:

    Hi, brad/futuristguy. totally unrelated question here.

    never heard of a futurist before. so curious — what kind of people/businesses hire the services of a futurist? is it for information to help them plan for the ‘future’? is it also to shed light on the past & present, for the purposes of planning for the future?

  67. elastigirl wrote:

    Hi, brad/futuristguy. totally unrelated question here.

    never heard of a futurist before. so curious — what kind of people/businesses hire the services of a futurist? is it for information to help them plan for the ‘future’? is it also to shed light on the past & present, for the purposes of planning for the future?

    A key thing about the kind of “strategic foresight” work that I’m involved with is it isn’t so much predictive about what will happen, or answering an individual’s or organization’s question about “What should I/we do?”, but leading them through a process of figuring out for themselves what they WANT to do in the face of options to respond to their current conditions and trends that are changing what the future will look like, explore WHY different options/scenarios are there, and follow through to DECIDE and DO it.

    Actually, in some ways being this kind of futurist is *very* relevant to the kinds of the discussions here at TWW. A lot of my comments involve discerning paradigms shifts and global cultural trends that no one can control, helping people understand how those could affect the ways the future unfolds for them, and equipping them to discern and decide for themselves what is the most preferable route forward to take given what seems to be at least possible.

    Because of personal experiences as a survivor of spiritual abuse, plus much research writing about it, I can offer scenarios of both the constructive and destructive possibilities in a theological system and the trajectory forward that’s inherent in its “spiritual and cultural DNA.” I feel like sharing that distinctive body of knowledge serves the Body of Christ in safeguarding it for the future. I also feel it’s part of the “redemptive edge” the Lord’s provided to restore something positive out of the suffering of being subjected to theological and psychological terrorism from a series of malignant “leaders” in churches and ministries over the years.

    Anyway, if you’re interested in a more detailed and semi-technical look, here’s the link to my tutorial on “So What’s a Futurist?”

    https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/tutorial-10/

  68. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Max wrote:
    js wrote:
    I come here because I believe exposure to a different take on things sharpens my thinking.
    Then listen carefully, js. You seem like a fairly intelligent person.
    And a True Believer.
    Defender of the Faith.
    His basic core axiom of reality is “Mohler and the YRRs Can Do No Wrong. PERIOD.”
    Once you realize that, everything he writes falls right into place.

    Nope. I have no trouble at all acknowledging that they have all done and said stupid things, some of them sinfully so. I just don’t think they are the second coming of Marx and Lenin.

  69. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    js wrote:
    I warned people about Doug Phillips before it was cool.
    Now I’m curious about your identity. I warned people about Doug Phillips starting in 2006 and yeesh did I get pushback since I was one of the only people willing to do so online.

    I’m nobody anyone here or in the YRR world would know and I can believe that you got pushback on Phillips. I felt some of that too.

  70. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    js wrote:
    It is interesting that a stealth movement would put the whole plan online for free.
    Nice little indirect passive-aggressive slam there.

    I encourage you to hold yourself to a similar standard to what you are holding me. Consider that some of your assertions above cross the line.

  71. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Max wrote:
    Do you think “js” might really be David Platt or Kevin Ezell … or maybe even Al Mohler?!
    More likely one of their True Believer fanboys.
    I saw similar “My One True Way (and its pastors/idols) Can Do No Wrong” among starry-eyed young True Believers during the late Cold War, except then it was Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Fidel Castro instead of David Platt, Kevin Ezell, and Al Mohler. (And the Inevitable Marxist-Leninist Dialectic of History instead of Reformed Theology.) Couldn’t change their minds and wouldn’t change the subject.

    Ridiculous comparison.

  72. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Max wrote:
    A brilliant strategy by SBC’s New Calvinist leadership to bring the Millennials and Generation-Xers into SBC ranks, indoctrinate them, and within a generation full Calvinization will be accomplished
    “And then we WILL achieve True Communism!”

    Absurd and offensive comparison.

  73. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    BL wrote:
    And when those members can no longer service the pastor in the way he desires to be serviced, then those members are eliminated.
    You know “service” also has a sexual definition, don’t you?
    As in a Prostitute “servicing” a John or a sex slave “servicing” her owner.

    A shameful insinuation.

  74. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And while we’ve spent hundreds of comments arguing with JS, the sound of male fist against female face continues without interruption, Praise Calvin.

    All because of Piper and the neo-cals, apparently.

  75. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Max wrote:
    A brilliant strategy by SBC’s New Calvinist leadership to bring the Millennials and Generation-Xers into SBC ranks, indoctrinate them, and within a generation full Calvinization will be accomplished
    “And then we WILL achieve True Communism!”

    Absurd and offensive. Communists killed millions of people.

  76. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    @ js:
    It seemed you were attempting to convince they are no different than other groups by focusing on the cosmetics instead of the cruelty and evil.
    As did many Red Fanboys during the Cold War.

    Ridiculous. JD Hall has nothing on you.

  77. @ brad/futuristguy:

    “…but leading them through a process of figuring out for themselves what they WANT to do in the face of options to respond to their current conditions and trends that are changing what the future will look like…”
    ++++++++++

    thanks for the explanations. still kind of murky for me. but in light of this line (above), would you say that at least part of what you do is help your clients change the future themselves in their pocket of the world by their choices now?

  78. js wrote:

    I can connect the theological dots, I just think most of you are too invested to see that teaching about ESS is inconsequential in its overall impact on this issue. When most people out there could not even articulate what it means, how can it be some great poison that is infecting the evangelical world?

    I don’t necessarily think it’s some great poison in terms of overall effect, because it’s not that common a belief, but in terms of what it teaches, it is extraordinarily harmful to the faith of one who embraces it. Anything that diminishes Jesus now or at any point in time, even vis-a-vis the Father, is not of the Lord and is absolutely evil. The one common denominator amongst cults is this very thing: make Jesus less.

  79. js wrote:

    exposure to a different take on things sharpens my thinking.

    Indeed, sir, your thinking could use it.

  80. elastigirl wrote:

    at least part of what you do is help your clients change the future themselves in their pocket of the world by their choices now?

    That’s a good way to put it, actually. I definitely believe in God’s providence in our situations, and also in the importance of exercising our discernment and decision-making. I rather doubt this approach has the full support of people whose theology leans toward the deterministic side of the spectrum where human choice is not particularly valued …

  81. js wrote:

    I can connect the theological dots, I just think most of you are too invested to see that teaching about ESS is inconsequential in its overall impact on this issue. When most people out there could not even articulate what it means, how can it be some great poison that is infecting the evangelical world?

    I would add the following thought to @Law Prof’s response a couple comments earlier: If this doctrine of ESS is truly inconsequential in its impact, how is it that it seems to keep showing up — primarily among those who espouse complementarianism and particularly at the more patriarchal end of that spectrum? That’s just an intuitive hunch, based on the conversations I’ve had and statements I’ve read. But, since it is specific enough of a doctrine, it certainly would be researchable, to see what the actual correlations are. Surely some good indicators are available … however, measuring the infectious impact would be another matter …

  82. Law Prof wrote:

    . Anything that diminishes Jesus now or at any point in time, even vis-a-vis the Father, is not of the Lord and is absolutely evil. The

    That is a good way to put it.

  83. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    If this doctrine of ESS is truly inconsequential in its impact, how is it that it seems to keep showing up — primarily among those who espouse complementarianism and particularly at the more patriarchal end of that spectrum?

    Because it gives Cosmic Justification to “Boyz Rule, Gurlz Drool!” (Or more accurately, “*I* RULE, YOU DROOL!”) Because “EVEN GAWD DOES IT! GAWD SAITH! SEE? SEE? SEE?”

    “If you question what I say to you
    YOU REBEL AGAINST THE FATHER TOO!”
    — Steve Taylor, “I Manipulate”

  84. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    I definitely believe in God’s providence in our situations, and also in the importance of exercising our discernment and decision-making. I rather doubt this approach has the full support of people whose theology leans toward the deterministic side of the spectrum where human choice is not particularly valued …

    And everything is “IN’SHAL’LAH… ”

    “Since I gave up all hope
    I feel a lot better!”
    — Steve Taylor

  85. js wrote:

    Absurd and offensive. Communists killed millions of people.

    That’s just because they had Absolute Political Power.

    Just like “Take Back America and Establish a REAL Christian Nation(TM).”
    One Nation Under Calvin, Led by the Predestined Elect?

    Absolute Power plus Utter Righteousness is a Real BAD Combination.

  86. JS,

    I notice how you’ve taken umbrage at HUG’s remarks. I can understand that. I’m sure I would hate to have my colleagues compared with Communists and other villains of history. At the same time, I think that the Reformed Big Dogs have brought such comparisons upon themselves. When they force members to sign away their civil rights for the sake of “unity” and “membership in a local church body”, and support the superficially repentant at the expense of the truly suffering, they invite such criticism. It’s hard to blame HUG for seeing the parallels with history. No, Mahaney and his buddies have not come close to the worst acts of Communism. But I fear they’re on that trajectory. And the sooner they change course, the better it will be for them and those under their care.

    May I make a suggestion? If you find it so offensive for the YRR leaders to be compared to totalitarians, you might try to contact them and ask them to stop acting in totalitarian ways. First and foremost, to get rid of the membership contracts. Now. They are utterly unnecessary, and serve no purpose that I can see but to keep the little people under control. And to dump Mahaney from anything resembling leadership. He disqualified himself from that a long time ago.

    Incidentally, I recall that you offered (on Nate Sparks’ blog a while ago) to contact Kevin DeYoung, and ask him to address the untruths in the statement that he co-signed in support of C.J. Have you done so? If you have, has he responded? If DeYoung were to retract or correct his statement, that would be a good first step — it would show a willingness to listen to someone outside of the “inner circle”. On the other hand, if he doesn’t listen a fellow pastor, I’m not sure he’ll listen to anyone.

  87. js wrote:

    I just think most of you are too invested to see that teaching about ESS is inconsequential in its overall impact on this issue.

    I’m inclined to agree in the context that ESS is one of the symptoms rather than the cause. The idea of subordinating Jesus in an attempt to prop up a systematic theology indicates there are some bad initial assumptions. Those bad initial assumptions lead back to some equally bad motivations.

  88. Bill M wrote:

    I’m inclined to agree in the context that ESS is one of the symptoms rather than the cause. The idea of subordinating Jesus in an attempt to prop up a systematic theology indicates there are some bad initial assumptions. Those bad initial assumptions lead back to some equally bad motivations.

    I think at an even deeper level of this paradigm is a style of information processing that must have everything as an either/or proposition. Therefore, all people, things, ideas, values, etc., get dissected, divided, categorized, and classified — and then declared as *THE* perfect system of understanding all things, just as God intended.

    It’s a similar deep-epistemology to what resulted in such doctrines the medieval “Great Chain of Being,” and gnostic systems of aeons, and Eternal Subordination of the Son, and such valuation divisions between people as leaders/laypeople, men/women, adults/children, this race/that race, etc.

    To “fix” the abuses that pool on the surface, we have to go deeper to the types of thinking that create our whole systems — go from the fruit to the root. It’s harder to do this, but if we don’t then “changes” are probably just going to be cosmetic.

  89. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    May I make a suggestion? If you find it so offensive for the YRR leaders to be compared to totalitarians, you might try to contact them and ask them to stop acting in totalitarian ways. First and foremost, to get rid of the membership contracts. Now. They are utterly unnecessary, and serve no purpose that I can see but to keep the little people under control.

    Bravo, Serving Kids!

    Additionally I’d add to getting rid of membership covenants:

    *get rid of excommunications/shunnings (and meetings with the pastors/elders
    for any kind of thinking,disagreement, questioning, dissent or anything they want to control about your life)

    *get rid of elder-led and have a congregational vote (including one in which the pastors/elders can be voted out)

    *permit women to use the gifts the Lord gave them in all areas of the local church, including leadership

    *get rid of anything that smacks of authoritarianism

    *stop controlling adults’ lives and interfering in things that are none of your business

  90. At bottom they don’t really think all that highly of Jesus but they think very highly of themselves.

  91. @ Bill M:

    “The idea of subordinating Jesus in an attempt to prop up a systematic theology indicates there are some bad initial assumptions”
    +++++++++++++++=

    hmmmm….. I didn’t start hearing about ESS until some years after I first heard about CBMW and the wonderful news of ‘headship’. 😐 (blank stare, here)

    my impression (which I’ve never articulated to myself) is that the comp powerbrokers invented their new doctrine first, and then subsequently (in response to being challenged) found ESS to help prop up their new doctrine.

    is there credence to my impressions?

  92. @ elastigirl:

    wow, 😐 generates an emoticon! it’s not quite right, though. the mouth needs to be a bit lower, maybe a tad more narrow, to give it a kind of ironic, ‘yeah, right’ look.

  93. elastigirl wrote:

    my impression (which I’ve never articulated to myself) is that the comp powerbrokers invented their new doctrine first, and then subsequently (in response to being challenged) found ESS to help prop up their new doctrine.
    is there credence to my impressions?

    I agree. And with continued challenges came the resurrection of “servant-leader,” the “equal but different”, “God-ordained roles,” “gospelly (s?) women” etc. Ugh!

  94. elastigirl wrote:

    my impression (which I’ve never articulated to myself) is that the comp powerbrokers invented their new doctrine first, and then subsequently (in response to being challenged) found ESS to help prop up their new doctrine.

    is there credence to my impressions?

    The concepts behind Eternal Subordination of the Son do go all the way back to the early Church — check out this Wikipedia article.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subordinationism

    However, it would seem a lot of the earlier *applications* dealt with power structures other than gender — for instance, the creation of a papacy — and maybe that’s because so many ancient civilizations had patriarchal cultures. In which case, the declarations of the Apostle Paul that women and men were equal in Christ would be considered quite shocking.

    I haven’t studied the history of CBMW and related movements and its founders to find out if their apparent justifications based on ESS were novel or had a long-standing tradition within Western theologies.

    But, in the section on “Evangelicals,” that article includes a note on George Knight’s book from 1977 which includes the “economic” subordinationalism, a spin on ESS that allows Jesus and the Father to be equal in substance, different in function … which fits right in with the claims of some pro-complementarians that men and women are “equal in value, different in roles.” So that “economic subordination” view may be relatively new … would need to check into that, but maybe someone with more expertise in theology of the Trinity and/or gender relations issue could do that and post findings.

  95. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    I completely agree. If you are egalitarian but relatively conservative in other ways theologically, it is virtually impossible to find a church.

    This is definitely where I’m at. 🙁

  96. elastigirl wrote:

    …my impression (which I’ve never articulated to myself) is that the comp powerbrokers invented their new doctrine first, and then subsequently (in response to being challenged) found ESS to help prop up their new doctrine.
    is there credence to my impressions?

    Just my gut impression, for what it’s worth, is you’re 100% correct. The tail’s wagging the dog. They want power over women and indisputable control over both churches and their spouses, and that is their God (and a shabby, pathetic god it is). Since their feelings about the Lord are at best ambiguous and at worst hatred, they have absolutely no compunction about denigrating that Lord, about making Jesus second fiddle. One has to think that if they truly knew Him at all, the last thing they’d think to do is to subordinate Him to anyone, even the Father.

  97. @ Bridget:

    yeah, that would do it. I’ve experimented with all punctuation & other marks…. nothing to simulate anything but a unibrow. I clearly don’t want to do chores at the moment.

  98. Law Prof wrote:

    Anything that diminishes Jesus now or at any point in time… is not of the Lord and is absolutely evil.

    I agree, which is why – and I’m sorry to go on about it – the aberrant doctrine of the Sufficiency Of Scribshrr (or SOS, to go with ESS) is such a big toxic spillage to my mind.

    SOS panders to fallen humanity’s age-long desire to create its own gods, in order to worship something that it can (at a minimum) see, and perhaps (ideally) control. The thing is that in practice it always goes further than “God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Scribshrrs”. SOS does not simply cast the Holy Spirit out of the church; it casts Jesus out as well, because whilst scribshrr itself declares Jesus to be God’s ultimate act of self-disclosure and the holder of all final authority, SOS replaces him with scribshrr. Nor is there even any real room for the Father; we have only a cultural cartel of preachers, interpreting scribshrr together and thereby defining what “God” is.

    I’d put it as strongly as this: in the logical conclusion of SOS, its most passionate and diehard adherents will want no other choice than to march into hell shaking their fists at the God they have always, in truth, hated.

  99. Law Prof wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:
    …my impression (which I’ve never articulated to myself) is that the comp powerbrokers invented their new doctrine first, and then subsequently (in response to being challenged) found ESS to help prop up their new doctrine.
    is there credence to my impressions?

    Yes. Every few generations, when whatever the current defenses of gender comp are shown to be weak, the gender comps scramble to find new defenses.

    This pages discusses it:
    Reflections on a New Defense of Complementarianism
    http://steverholmes.org.uk/blog/?p=7507

  100. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    which fits right in with the claims of some pro-complementarians that men and women are “equal in value, different in roles.” So that “economic subordination” view may be relatively new

    And women are ……… foreign currency ……. not of much worth in the current market.

  101. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    But, in the section on “Evangelicals,” that article includes a note on George Knight’s book from 1977 which includes the “economic” subordinationalism, a spin on ESS that allows Jesus and the Father to be equal in substance, different in function … which fits right in with the claims of some pro-complementarians that men and women are “equal in value, different in roles.” So that “economic subordination” view may be relatively new … would need to check into that, but maybe someone with more expertise in theology of the Trinity and/or gender relations issue could do that and post findings.

    Oh gee. I had happily forgot about this. There was a time the teaching was focused on words like ontological, economic and such to describe the relationship of the Trinity and related gender pecking orders. You can’t get more Pagan than by claiming ones spiritual being is equal but ones material existence is not. That is right out of the Greek chain of being.

  102. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I’d put it as strongly as this: in the logical conclusion of SOS, its most passionate and diehard adherents will want no other choice than to march into hell shaking their fists at the God they have always, in truth, hated.

    And lock the gates from the inside, sealing out all contamination.

    Didn’t Screwtape write about how Our Father Below washed his hands of and marched away from The Enemy in all Righteousness?

  103. Lydia wrote:

    You can’t get more Pagan than by claiming ones spiritual being is equal but ones material existence is not. That is right out of the Greek chain of being.

    A Chain of Being belief (the lord in his palace and the serf in his hovel forever) that was also universal throughout Medieval Christendom.