Tim Keller to Step Down as Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian to Pursue Teaching Role

"I'm not retiring. Moving into a strategic role of raising up leaders and training the next generation."

Timothy Keller

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Timothy_Keller.jpg#filelinksTimothy Keller

Yesterday news broke that Dr. Timothy Keller, who launched Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City together with his wife Kathy, will be stepping down July 1st. The church began 28 years ago (1989), has three locations, and has grown to roughly 5,300 attenders.

In addition, Timothy Keller co-founded The Gospel Coalition with Don (D.A.) Carson almost a decade ago.

Bethany Jenkins, who attends Redeemer and is involved with The Gospel Coalition broke the news via Twitter (see Tweet below):

https://twitter.com/BethanyJenkins/status/835913689995833348Yesterday afternoon Keller Tweeted that he was driving around to all of the church services (presumably to announce in person his next step in his ministerial career).

Someone on Twitter assumed that Timothy Keller would be retiring, but Keller was quick to point out that he has other plans (see Twitter exchange below).

https://twitter.com/timkellernyc/status/836027146921463809An article in Christianity Today provides additional details (see excerpt below):

Later this year, Redeemer Presbyterian will no longer be a multisite megachurch in Manhattan, and Tim Keller will no longer be its senior pastor.

Keller, 66, announced at all eight Sunday services today that he will be stepping down from the pulpit. The move corresponds with a decades-long plan to transition the single Presbyterian Church in America congregation—which has grown to 5,000 members since it began 28 years ago—into three particular churches.

His last day as senior pastor will be July 1.

This move does not mean retirement for Manhattan’s most popular evangelical pastor and apologist; instead, Keller will work full-time teaching in a partner program with Reformed Theological Seminary and working with Redeemer’s City to City church planting network.

“Kathy and I are not going anywhere. New York is our home, and you are our people. We’re not leaving New York or the fellowship of Redeemer,” he assured the church Sunday. “I’m becoming a teacher-trainer …. There’s going to have to be a dramatic increase in church leaders in this city if we’re going to start all these churches.”

The CT article points out that Keller made an announcement that was published on the church website (see screen shot below):

https://www.redeemer.com/r/february_26_announcement

There are two interesting videos of Keller on the church website.

While many in the Redeemer Presbyterian congregation are going to miss their beloved pastor, Keller is (according to his wife)

“so wired” to teach seminary courses already, and is excited to dedicate himself to teaching the next generation of pastors.

The PCA's online magazine called byFaith provides even more details about Keller's transition to mentor of urban ministry leaders in its article Keller Shifts from Preaching to Teaching.

Here is an interesting Q & A from that article:

What are you trying to impart to these new leaders you are training?

“We want to form ministers and leaders who can minister the gospel in late modern culture and in urban centers. When it comes to our society today, some have argued that this one is harder to reach because it is post- and anti-Christian rather than simply non-Christian.  Getting across a concept of sin, or of self-giving discipleship, has never been more difficult.  Also a post- and anti-Christian culture does not simply oppose the gospel, but can also ‘colonize’ Christianity, producing hollowed out versions of the faith. All this presents unique challenges for ministry training that we want to address.  How do we preach, evangelize, and form solid Christians in such a culture?

When it comes to the urban environment, ministry here requires also a knowledge of urban life dynamics, urban social systems, cross-cultural communication, non-western Christianity, and many other subjects not covered in ordinary seminary programs. I also want to give more than the usual help on both expository preaching, on developing a life of prayer, on leading the church in an adverse cultural and financial environment, and on reading that provides cultural analysis and insight.  The combination of the M.A. (which in two years covers all the academic material, including languages and exegesis) together with the City Ministry Year will provide much more space for these than an ordinary M.Div. can.”

The Christianity Today article cited above reveals that…

Through the City to City church planting program, Redeemer has launched 381 churches in 54 cities worldwide.

Obviously, Keller plans to help grow those numbers in the decades to come as he invests much of his time and attention training the next generation of pastors. Thoughts?


Comments

Tim Keller to Step Down as Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian to Pursue Teaching Role — 558 Comments

  1. Tim Keller is a co-founder of The Gospel Coalition, a group of Reformed leaders from around the United States. wikipedia

  2. Keller has a complementarian view of gender that believes that the Bible teaches defined roles for both genders. wikipedia

  3. Lead on, O king eternal? There really is nothing more relaxing than humility, I suppose.

    When this story came out in August, I must’ve been bored and looked into the 1%, 5%, and 15% numbers and posted a comment on the Daughter of the Reformation blog:

    https://adaughterofthereformation.wordpress.com/2016/08/06/tim-keller-redeemer-city-to-city-and-the-rise-campaign/

    The numbers appear to come from here, and there’s certainly a lot to draw your own conclusions from depending on your assumptions of what constitutes a “gospel-centered” church in 1991:

    The numbers appear to come from here:

    http://www.thearda.com/rcms2010/r/c/36/rcms2010_36061_county_name_2010.asp

    Note how the decline of the Assemblies of God (Hillsong NYC) coincides with the rise of the PCA (Redeemer).

  4. “He will probably be speaking the same volume of words as he does now,” Kathy Keller said.

    ::eye roll::

    I’m sure we can still count on the daily one-liner Kellerisms via his Facebook page.

  5. Well, initial thoughts….
    *shrug* Another authoritarian pastor will start teaching young men to be authoritarian pastors. The cycle continues while their audience shrinks. Meanwhile, God continues to lead people into freedom.

    I know there are a lot of people who follow the GC and Redeemer, but that number has peaked (I hope). Although the GC crowd have succeeded in a takeover of the SBC and elements of the PCA, in doing so, they are shrinking the influence of these organizations. I think they will find they are the so-called big fish in an increasingly shrinking pond.

  6. Another short off-topic announcement. Shauna and her son Billy in Texas also are in need of financial assistance for rent, phone bill, and other basics. Shauna has a part-time job
    at a grocery store and is looking for full-time work. She has been sick lately too, so pray for her healing. And pray for her son Billy too. Thank you.

    from the Open Discussion thread.
    “Shauna on Sun Feb 26, 2017 at 09:33 AM said:
    Update: please pray for rent 654.10 left , phone is shut. off need 142.68 so billy and i can communicate(he stays after school everyday to get help from teachers), utilities 176.96, food and gas are always up in the air i just manage day to day with that basically its whatever funds are left it always seems to work out. Prayer for these things and extra work my manager hired two people and now im back to 20 hours. Its very upsetting but what can i do? Im trying to stick it out and pick up extra hours so far no luck. All but three people have dropped me from cleaning. The other 3 just all of a sudden dropped me without saying anything. These were people who are former members of the church who contacted me when they read our story. I have my sense of the intrest in us and hiring me but i will let you all decide. All i can say is this isn’t coincidental. Im going to keep moving forward and although it stings God is always consistent in providing and sheilding us from harm. Please pray for my heart as it doesn’t feel to good to feel like you were used . i hope im wrong but my prior dealings with anyone connected there have revealed agendas. Kicking myself as i should have known better. Anyways lesson learned i just dropped billy off at work and i go into work soon. We have no way of communicating so please pray i can somehow get work without a phone talk about a challenge. Im using open wifi where my son works right now.
    Please pray as im sick with a very vicious cold. Im taking everything to fight it i just hope i haven’t taken to many didferent cold medicines.”
    http://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

  7. JYJames wrote:

    Keller has a complementarian view of gender that believes that the Bible teaches defined roles for both genders. wikipedia

    Which is exactly what the Comps are losing so many people, as well as have a soaring divorce rate.

    Last year a woman Tweeted from her tractor on her huge farm in the Mid-West that she farms without a husband that Comp means precisely zero in her life. Another woman rancher from another part of the U.S. runs her ranch, also without a husband, and said same. Both are conservative women.

  8. JYJames wrote:

    Tim Keller is a co-founder of The Gospel Coalition

    I occasionally hear recommendations for his books but have serious reservations about his work given his relationship to T$C.

  9. Bill M wrote:

    I occasionally hear recommendations for his books but have serious reservations about his work given his relationship to T$C.

    I have serious recommendations about any complementarian because they don’t know how to handle never married people, particularly those of us who cannot be called “young” any more.

  10. Deb wrote:

    @ Velour:
    And then there was the recent announcement of Barnabas Piper’s divorce.

    Spot on, Deb.

    I had completely forgotten about that and the story you guys did.

  11. One has to wonder what all the PCA boys will do now since they won’t be able to preach any new Keller sermons (a good many pastors seem to use Keller as their primary source for sermon prep). Far too pastors have adopted the “Keller will lead us to success” mindsets, and far more have developed the bad habit of reading every book Keller writes and treating that book as if it is words spoken directly from God. Now that he doesn’t have sermons to write, Keller will likely crank out more and more books that the under 50 set will gobble up. And he’ll be freed up to speak at more conferences.

  12. @ Boyd:
    I just visited Keller’s official website. Everything, and I mean everything, on that site has a price on it!

  13. It’s worth noting that Keller does have some good points. (1) He’s a Presbyterian, so baptises babies. This forces TGC to accept diversity on the subject. (2) He supports theistic evolution so isn’t a young earth creationist. (3) He’s probably less extreme on gender roles than some.

    Without Keller, I think reformed Baptists would be far more dominant in US conservative evangelicalism.

  14. It just dawned on me that Mr. Keller is/was the co-founder of the “Gospel”®™ coalition. I don’t know why it never connected to me. I mean well “BARF”.

    Nice article lots to think on.

  15. Ian wrote:

    It’s worth noting that Keller does have some good points. (1) He’s a Presbyterian, so baptises babies. This forces TGC to accept diversity on the subject. (2) He supports theistic evolution so isn’t a young earth creationist. (3) He’s probably less extreme on gender roles than some.
    Without Keller, I think reformed Baptists would be far more dominant in US conservative evangelicalism.

    Good points, Ian.

  16. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ Boyd:
    I just visited Keller’s official website. Everything, and I mean everything, on that site has a price on it!

    The worship of Keller will only increase as he cranks out more books for building churches for all those Reformed church planters who want the Keller Secret to Success.

  17. And will Keller’s “urban” church planting material focus primarily on how to reach the young new urbanites? Will there be an increase in reformed churches planted by young pastors filled with young congregations with “Youngers” rather than “Elders”? Plus, if history is any I indicator, suburban church planters will eat up Keller’s ” sage” wisdom, too, and apply the urban tactics in non urban areas.

  18. Velour wrote:

    Ian wrote:
    It’s worth noting that Keller does have some good points. (1) He’s a Presbyterian, so baptises babies. This forces TGC to accept diversity on the subject. (2) He supports theistic evolution so isn’t a young earth creationist. (3) He’s probably less extreme on gender roles than some.
    Without Keller, I think reformed Baptists would be far more dominant in US conservative evangelicalism.
    Good points, Ian.

    That is a good point, my “barf” comment was a gag reflect whenever I see “TGC” tag. Now that he is retiring I wonder if they will push harder.

    Is it just me or do anyone else ever just scratch your head concerning “Reformed” Baptist considering what the Reformers did to baptist back in the good old days?

  19. brian wrote:

    That is a good point, my “barf” comment was a gag reflect whenever I see “TGC” tag.

    I hear you on the gag reflex about TGC. I have the same response too. One of the pastors/elders at the authoritarian, abusive, NeoCalvinist church that I went to and ordered my excommunication and shunning on some trumped up charge (along with two godly Christians before me including a doctor in his 70’s) also writes for TGC. His name is Derek J. Brown.
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/book-review-being-christian-and-being-disciples

  20. @ Ian:
    Indeed. There are some hyper fundamentalists who consider Keller a dangerous Marxist. I’m not joking. He certainly has some good points. And is not I think in the same mould as Piper or Grudem.

  21. Okay. I do not want to throw out the baby with the bath water. And I want to speak the truth in love.

    First, I accept my reformed brothers and sisters as fellow lovers of Christ. Even the so-called “New Calvinists.” After becoming a Christian, I received my theological training from P.C.A. pastors. In 1997 I began attending Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte. I intended to get my Masters in Biblical Studies.

    Second, as a Christian I have always been Baptistic. I think this has been the result of converting so late in life, and from the fact that I was converted out of Catholicism. I thought it right that I find a reformed Baptist church to attend. This would provide me with the best of both worlds: believers baptism and reformed theology. What I have come to discover is that the two systems do not work together, at least in my experience. I think the problem is that Baptist polity and Reformed teaching is a breeding ground for authoritarianism.

  22. Keller. False teacher of as false gospel. Retires. Who cares? Now he’s going to poison more minds with “teaching.” Worrying. The sooner the entire TGC explodes, the better for souls who are searching for the Biblical Jesus.

  23. Third, I do think that there is a hopeful movement within so-called “reformed baptists” that involves New Covenant Theology. This movement, in my understanding, holds to a reformed view of salvation, but without Calvin’s puritanical spirit and understanding of how one is sanctified.

    Fourth, I have serious issues with R.T.S. I was working toward my degree when I enrolled in a one week course that was to be taught by a visiting professor, Harold Brown. During the course, I discovered that Mr. Brown was one of the chief authors of the second E.C.T. document, The Gift of Salvation. I consider this document to be an assault on the gospel of Jesus Christ. I confronted him about it in my paper for the course. He said that he was “moved, but not totally convinced.” He gave me an A on the paper, but continued with his promotion of E.C.T. When Mr. Brown was hired on as a full-time professor, it made me so upset and disgusted with R.T.S. that it effectively ended my pursuit of my Masters.

  24. Velour wrote:

    Off-topic to Christiane.

    Did you see that the “White Helmets”, the documentary about the rescuers in Syria, was awarded an Oscar?

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/26/us/white-helmets-oscar/index.html?sr=fbCNN022717white-helmets-oscar1100AMStoryLink&linkId=34915273

    I did not watch the Oscars, but I am so very pleased to hear the news! They deserve the recognition ….. sometimes I grow weary of the hatred aimed towards Muslim people from some in the West and anytime I see signs that there is a respectful recognition of the goodness of such people, I am thrilled. I need this right now, as a lot of the news is ‘not good’. Thanks, VELOUR.

    🙂 (happy dance)

  25. Fifth, I commend the New Calvinists, including Tim Keller, for their zeal to share the gospel. What concerns me most, of course, are the authoritarian tendencies of this movement, as well as a degree of worldliness. I look at the motive behind the evangelical authors of E.C.T. and think that the gospel is commandeered to further a cause. Sometimes this cause is political conservatism. Or perhaps social action. And the methodology becomes pragmatic and worldly. And finally, the movement seems to me to be celebrity-led, with an unhealthy dose of idolatry.

  26. Christiane wrote:

    I did not watch the Oscars, but I am so very pleased to hear the news! They deserve the recognition ….. sometimes I grow weary of the hatred aimed towards Muslim people from some in the West and anytime I see signs that there is a respectful recognition of the goodness of such people, I am thrilled. I need this right now, as a lot of the news is ‘not good’. Thanks, VELOUR.
    (happy dance)

    Me too, friend.

    Dancing with you in celebration.

  27. @ Christiane:

    Lovely clip and his words were profound: dedicated to all of the rescuers around the world who save civilians.

    Thank you for finding this, Christiane. I just shared it on Facebook and Twitter.

    Hugs.

  28. @ Dale:

    I see New Calvinists in much more sinister terms than you do.

    But then I’m a woman and I think they pose a greater threat to us than to men.

  29. Regarding Keller and TGC, I agree that he appears more moderate and broad-based than many, and this has drawn condemnation from some (on the extremist side).

    But I don’t think he’s retiring from TGC so don’t expect changes there. The TGC council comprises 55 men. I neither have the time nor inclination to check them all out but I’d expect Presbyterians to be in a minority.

    The irony of “reformed Baptist” hasn’t been lost on me. All the great reformers baptised babies out of theological conviction, and, as Brian suggested, persecuted and even killed Anabaptists (the predecessors of Baptists).

  30. Velour wrote:

    I see New Calvinists in much more sinister terms than you do.
    But then I’m a woman and I think they pose a greater threat to us than to men.

    Yep, Velour, they are a danger, and they spit forth a false gospel too, claiming the “we are sisters and brothers” nonsense when it’s not even the same “Jesus” or the same “Father.” And they do pose, it’s proven daily, a threat to us women and children. DAILY, and yet they put on their pious faces and talk rubbish, yes, anti-biblical rubbish like Piper and his gang of liars. Am I upset yet? No, just wait.

    Ishy oftentimes describes this lot 100% correctly. Wish more people would take note of his comments and Velour’s excruciating experiences with this lot.

  31. Velour wrote:

    @ Dale:

    I see New Calvinists in much more sinister terms than you do.

    But then I’m a woman and I think they pose a greater threat to us than to men.

    New Calvinists, Southern Baptists, etc. Any of these groups that subordinate women IMO are sinister.

  32. mot wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    @ Dale:
    I see New Calvinists in much more sinister terms than you do.
    But then I’m a woman and I think they pose a greater threat to us than to men.
    New Calvinists, Southern Baptists, etc. Any of these groups that subordinate women IMO are sinister.

    Exactly, MOT.

  33. Velour wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    @ Dale:
    I see New Calvinists in much more sinister terms than you do.
    But then I’m a woman and I think they pose a greater threat to us than to men.
    New Calvinists, Southern Baptists, etc. Any of these groups that subordinate women IMO are sinister.

    Exactly, MOT.

    I am fed up with any group that does not allow women to use their God given gifts.

  34. Stan wrote:

    The numbers appear to come from here, and there’s certainly a lot to draw your own conclusions from depending on your assumptions of what constitutes a “gospel-centered” church in 1991:

    Well I’m sure he doesn’t include Catholic, Episcopal, or PCUSA churches. Those are the three largest denominational churches on the list.

  35. From the Blog Post, Interviewer asked Tim: What are you trying to impart to these new leaders you are training?

    “… Getting across a concept of sin, or of self-giving discipleship, has never been more difficult. Also a post- and anti-Christian culture does not simply oppose the gospel, but can also ‘colonize’ Christianity, producing hollowed out versions of the faith.”

    WHAT???????? The concept of sin?

    Not a word about Jesus?
    Or His love for us?
    Or hope?
    Nothing about “For God so loved the world.,,,”?

    It’s no wonder, as Tim said, that there are “hollowed-out” versions of the faith, when you leave out the substance of God’s forgiveness and Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice.

    Yes, I concede that in order to receive Jesus, we need to see our need for forgiveness for our sins, so a concept of sin is essential. But to start there instead of starting with the wonder of God’s love and provision of Jesus’ blood…

    Nit picky? Maybe. But to start with the hammer instead of the hope…

  36. Remnant wrote:

    From the Blog Post, Interviewer asked Tim: What are you trying to impart to these new leaders you are training?

    “… Getting across a concept of sin, or of self-giving discipleship, has never been more difficult. Also a post- and anti-Christian culture does not simply oppose the gospel, but can also ‘colonize’ Christianity, producing hollowed out versions of the faith.”

    WHAT???????? The concept of sin?

    Not a word about Jesus?
    Or His love for us?
    Or hope?
    Nothing about “For God so loved the world.,,,”?

    It’s no wonder, as Tim said, that there are “hollowed-out” versions of the faith, when you leave out the substance of God’s forgiveness and Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice.

    Yes, I concede that in order to receive Jesus, we need to see our need for forgiveness for our sins, so a concept of sin is essential. But to start there instead of starting with the wonder of God’s love and provision of Jesus’ blood…

    Nit picky? Maybe. But to start with the hammer instead of the hope…

    These folks can not speak of love because they have none and they certainly do not speak of Jesus because it strongly appears he does not know them and there is little to no evidence of him in their lives.

  37. Boston Lady wrote:

    Ishy oftentimes describes this lot 100% correctly. Wish more people would take note of his comments and Velour’s excruciating experiences with this lot.

    Ah, well thank you, though it’s not much of a happy thing. I do not believe the leaders of the neo-Calvinists can be called Christians, and want more people in the church to talk about it. They do not teach or preach Christ, and so are diametrically opposed to Christian theology. I think some of the followers are not so far gone, but are probably either deceived or afraid to leave. Unfortunately, a lot of other Christians run around on hush mode, either because they just can’t really believe they are that bad, or because they have selfish reasons to do so (like the SBC pastors who won’t address it for fear of losing their financial packages).

    BTW, I’m a “she”, so would really offend them, for you know, having opinions and actually saying them out loud and such.

  38. My one hope in life is that John Piper would stop tweeting.

    Tim Keller not tweeting would be a good first step, though.

  39. Stan wrote:

    Note how the decline of the Assemblies of God (Hillsong NYC) coincides with the rise of the PCA (Redeemer).

    Given the problems with Hillsong, this is one instance of sheep stealing I would actually support if indeed that is the case.

  40. ishy wrote:

    Unfortunately, a lot of other Christians run around on hush mode, either because they just can’t really believe they are that bad, or because they have selfish reasons to do so (like the SBC pastors who won’t address it for fear of losing their financial packages).

    Oh, I thought of one more reason: neo-Cals can be really scary and aggressive. On a very popular discussion forum I visit occasionally, there was a classical Reformed discussion area. The neo-Cals did what they always do–pretend to be normal and somehow get themselves in charge, then remove everybody else. They pretty much ban and block anyone who doesn’t post neo-Cal propaganda now, and even on other parts of the discussion forum, if you don’t toe their line, or if you are female, they will go after you with the fire of a thousand suns. They’ve gone to great lengths to harass a few people, and somehow avoid getting banned, to the point where I wonder if money has changed hands. Everyone there now will avoid even talking about Reformed theology or mentioning the word, unless they are cronies.

    I wish this were just true on the internet, but the neo-Cals I know in person are the same way. I mean, look at all the stories TWW has done about people like that.

  41. Remnant wrote:

    It’s no wonder, as Tim said, that there are “hollowed-out” versions of the faith, when you leave out the substance of God’s forgiveness and Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice.
    Yes, I concede that in order to receive Jesus, we need to see our need for forgiveness for our sins, so a concept of sin is essential. But to start there instead of starting with the wonder of God’s love and provision of Jesus’ blood…

    Focusing on Jesus would eliminate the need for TGC. They’ve styled themselves as the savior of mankind.

  42. mot wrote:

    “… Getting across a concept of sin, or of self-giving discipleship, has never been more difficult. Also a post- and anti-Christian culture does not simply oppose the gospel, but can also ‘colonize’ Christianity, producing hollowed out versions of the faith.”
    WHAT???????? The concept of sin?
    Not a word about Jesus?
    Or His love for us?
    Or hope?
    Nothing about “For God so loved the world.,,,”?
    It’s no wonder, as Tim said, that there are “hollowed-out” versions of the faith, when you leave out the substance of God’s forgiveness and Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice.
    Yes, I concede that in order to receive Jesus, we need to see our need for forgiveness for our sins, so a concept of sin is essential. But to start there instead of starting with the wonder of God’s love and provision of Jesus’ blood…
    Nit picky? Maybe. But to start with the hammer instead of the hope…
    These folks can not speak of love because they have none and they certainly do not speak of Jesus because it strongly appears he does not know them and there is little to no evidence of him in their lives.

    Nailed it, Remnant (sticking with the hammer analogy). In a PCA church like Tim’s, I was often taught that one cannot see Christ until they first realize what a low down, dirty, sinning, scoundrel they are (compared to God, who is perfect). There is a healthy place for repentance from actions that harm others, but when a tenet of one’s theology is that human life (at least of those not in the “club”) has so little worth, then… *shudder*

  43. ishy wrote:

    They pretty much ban and block anyone who doesn’t post neo-Cal propaganda now, and even on other parts of the discussion forum, if you don’t toe their line, or if you are female, they will go after you with the fire of a thousand suns.

    very few women comment (or are allowed to comment in my case) over at SBCvoices now

  44. The New Calvinist movement has always been about indoctrinating the next generation. New Calvinist churches in my area even have positions called “Next Gen Pastor” to equip young reformers at the local church level. Keller and Mohler have probably been talking about the importance of seminary training to get the next generation of reformed pastors in line to restore the gospel that the rest of the church has lost. Mohler has most likely convinced Keller that he could do so much more for the good of the movement than simply pastoring a church.

    If you want to change the future of anything, just get enough young folks behind it and it will eventually happen. We see that taking shape in the Southern Baptist Convention as a wave of recent YRR graduates from SBC seminaries flood into church plants and church takeovers. The Millennials and Generation Xers are just waiting for old Southern Baptists to die off so their mission can be fully accomplished. The SBC non-Calvinist remnant now stands in the way of putting Calvin on the throne, but it will only take a few more years.

  45. Remnant wrote:

    WHAT???????? The concept of sin?
    Not a word about Jesus?
    Or His love for us?
    Or hope?
    Nothing about “For God so loved the world.,,,”?

    Sad, isn’t it? They’re so busy being anti-PCUSA or culture or whatever, they can’t focus on the whole point. Let’s just talk about sin. Sounds fun.

    The only thing I know about Tim Keller is some anecdote they like to tell about his wife throwing dishes.

  46. ishy wrote:

    Oh, I thought of one more reason: neo-Cals can be really scary and aggressive.

    People show their true colors on the internet sometimes, don’t they. How anyone can read some of this vicious stuff and still think well of some of these ‘pastors’ i’ll never understand.

  47. Dale wrote:

    Velour, I understand your feelings. I am trying to be charitable, especially toward the rank and file, among whom I was a card-carrying member. It is very disturbing and I am reminded of the saying, “The corruption of the best is the worst.” It is hard to see those who hold to much truth become abusive and corrupt. When Jesus returns, will He find faith…

    I understand, Dale. But I think it’s time to use a phrase called “Undue influence” and to understand the work of psychologist/author/expert in this State Hassan and Dr. Robert Jay Lifton (psychiatrist/researcher/author).

    Steve Hassan talking about the B.I.T.E. Model of Undue Influence
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pvpd6wCeM4

  48. Ian wrote:

    It’s worth noting that Keller does have some good points. (1) He’s a Presbyterian, so baptises babies. This forces TGC to accept diversity on the subject. (2) He supports theistic evolution so isn’t a young earth creationist. (3) He’s probably less extreme on gender roles than some.

    Without Keller, I think reformed Baptists would be far more dominant in US conservative evangelicalism.

    Good distinctions, Ian. Keller is a bit more reasonable than some of the other big names.

  49. ishy wrote:

    I do not believe the leaders of the neo-Calvinists can be called Christians, and want more people in the church to talk about it. They do not teach or preach Christ, and so are diametrically opposed to Christian theology.

    Correct, Ishy. And BTW, I’m so sorry for making you a “he.” ‘Pologies, I must have been sniffin’ nail polish! But I do enjoy your honesty when commenting.

    Max wrote:

    Tim Keller doesn’t need to be teaching young seminarians anything! He doesn’t even know the answer to “What is the Gospel?

    Yep, Max, this deceiver is as clueless as only a false teacher of a false gospel can be. He would not know the true Gospel even if it laid an egg on his face.

  50. Lea wrote:

    Jason wrote:

    Keller is a bit more reasonable than some of the other big names.

    That’s kind of a low bar, though.

    Maybe so. But, In comparison to Piper, he doesn’t grind my gears quite as much.

  51. brian wrote:

    It just dawned on me that Mr. Keller is/was the co-founder of the “Gospel”®™ coalition.

    It is not a Gospel coalition … it is a Calvinist coalition!

    When they say on their Facebook page that “TGC promotes gospel-centered ministry for the next generation”, they really mean TGC promotes Calvinism-centered ministry for the next generation.

    Webster defines coalition as “a group of people, groups, or countries who have joined together for a common purpose.” TGC’s common purpose is to install reformed theology as the primary default belief and practice of American Christianity in the 21st century by equipping and mobilizing a young army of new reformers to pull it off.

  52. I think it’s interesting that Keller waited until he wasn’t getting paid as ‘head pastor’ to split his church up into more manageable bits.

  53. Jason wrote:

    In comparison to Piper, he doesn’t grind my gears quite as much.

    It’s the good cop / bad cop routine to throw you off. The enemy of Truth can appear as an angel of light.

  54. Lea wrote:

    Jason wrote:

    Keller is a bit more reasonable than some of the other big names.

    That’s kind of a low bar, though.

    Maybe so. But, In comparison to Piper, he doesn’t grind my gears quite as much.Max wrote:

    Jason wrote:

    In comparison to Piper, he doesn’t grind my gears quite as much.

    It’s the good cop / bad cop routine to throw you off. The enemy of Truth can appear as an angel of light.

    I don’t adhere to either of their theologies. Their Neo trickery will not pull me in on either front 🙂

  55. @ Deb:
    There is a cultural (cult? or cult-like?) connection of Piper and Keller:

    – complementarian
    – setting oneself up as a Pied Piper leader of younger men, pastors and such, move out ahead of the pack image and others will follow
    – migration to the city or urban church or what Keller calls Center Church
    – lots of book publishing

  56. JYJames wrote:

    Keller has a complementarian view of gender that believes that the Bible teaches defined roles for both genders. wikipedia

    Keller has a rather confused view of comp theology. He has said his marriage looks egalitarian which confuses the heck out of the comp crowd.

  57. Ian wrote:

    It’s worth noting that Keller does have some good points. (1) He’s a Presbyterian, so baptises babies. This forces TGC to accept diversity on the subject. (2) He supports theistic evolution so isn’t a young earth creationist. (3) He’s probably less extreme on gender roles than some.

    Without Keller, I think reformed Baptists would be far more dominant in US conservative evangelicalism.

    All of that is true, and I’m glad you pointed out the bright side. I wish he were the solution to the main problem as I see it which is that the faith is being marketed and monetized and turned into a vehicle for personal glory. Issues like Complementarianism and young earth are marketing hooks and will be tossed aside as necessary. Just as Al Mohler did when he needed to back when. Actually just like he tossed aside ESS fairly recently.

  58. JYJames wrote:

    Tim Keller is a co-founder of The Gospel Coalition,

    He has be silent on many issues in TGC which makes me believe that he is quietly approving of all the nonsense.

  59. @ Stan:
    I am very interested in looking into these numbers that have been quoted. I am wondering if the number of Christians reflect a generic Christianity or Christians as defined by the new calvinists.

  60. Christiane wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    They pretty much ban and block anyone who doesn’t post neo-Cal propaganda now, and even on other parts of the discussion forum, if you don’t toe their line, or if you are female, they will go after you with the fire of a thousand suns.

    very few women comment (or are allowed to comment in my case) over at SBCvoices now

    David Miller and the other pastor boys just can not deal with the comments of a woman IMO. IMO all they have at voices is an echo chamber.

  61. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    I have serious recommendations about any complementarian because they don’t know how to handle never married people, particularly those of us who cannot be called “young” any more.

    I agree with you. Keller has lots of single women who are older in his congregation.

  62. Boyd wrote:

    a good many pastors seem to use Keller as their primary source for sermon prep).

    I have noticed that as well. Does he have some sort of deal that pastors can use his sermons if they pat a certain amount of money to his *ministry?

  63. Dale wrote:

    I think the problem is that Baptist polity and Reformed teaching is a breeding ground for authoritarianism.

    I would love to see you expand on this in a post.

  64. Dale wrote:

    And finally, the movement seems to me to be celebrity-led, with an unhealthy dose of idolatry.

    Yes. RTS is an interesting group of seminaries with a mix of instructors. You should probably look under the hood of New Covenant Theology with your keen mind. I don’t think it is the cure for authoritarianism, though.

  65. Dale wrote:

    Fifth, I commend the New Calvinists, including Tim Keller, for their zeal to share the gospel.

    The question for me is “How do they define the gospel?” It appears to me that it is tied up in all sorts of things like an insistence on the 5 points of Calvinism, the authority of the pastor, lots o rules for excluding women from anything close to leadership, a disdain for those who do not see grace in exactly the same way, an arrogant assurance that they are correct in all things….sadly a bit like unsuccessful little Calvins who wish they ruled Geneva.

  66. dee wrote:

    Fifth, I commend the New Calvinists, including Tim Keller, for their zeal to share the gospel.

    Dale, please define Gospel, because IMO they do not share a Gospel, they share a gospel.

  67. @ Clay Crouch:
    More and more Catholic Churches in my area are becoming evangelical in their approach, reaching out to evangelical churches and building ties.

  68. Remnant wrote:

    “… Getting across a concept of sin, or of self-giving discipleship, has never been more difficult. Also a post- and anti-Christian culture does not simply oppose the gospel, but can also ‘colonize’ Christianity, producing hollowed out versions of the faith.”
    WHAT???????? The concept of sin?
    Not a word about Jesus?
    Or His love for us?

    Love means discipline and doing things the *right * way.

  69. NJ wrote:

    Given the problems with Hillsong, this is one instance of sheep stealing I would actually support if indeed that is the case.

    I would agree about this group specifically. I am interested, though, in how they go after those who are involved in decent churches that are not Calvinist in their approach.

  70. Does anyone have any stories about discipline in I’m Keller’s church? I would tend to think they would have to be discrete. Can you imagine a Mari Notcheva or Karen Hnckley situation being covered by the NYT?

  71. dee wrote:

    Love means discipline and doing things the *right * way.

    As in the Ministry of Love, Airstrip One, Oceania, 1984

  72. JYJames wrote:

    @ mot:
    Exactly: Diminish half the human race… half the church … what good is that?

    If you’re in the other half who’s being Exalted…

    “Waddya mean, ‘the system isn’t working’?
    IT’S WORKING JUST FINE FOR MEEEEEEEEE!”

  73. Dale wrote:

    I think the problem is that Baptist polity and Reformed teaching is a breeding ground for authoritarianism.

    Feature, not Bug, if you’re the one on the Iron Throne holding the Whip.

  74. And just how does it help New York City to be more friendly and kind and just if more people think that some are elect and some are not? Does the gospel of God loves some of you solve urban issues? Does the NYC workplace become a better place for women just as soon as more people realize that women are born to be less than on the job as well as elsewhere? And of all things, how does promulgating the idea that the majority of professing christians in NYC are not on the right side of the gospel help anything at all?

    Apparently they are wiling to compromise on women in ministry, the doctrine of baptism, and manifestations of spiritual gifts just so long as people believe themselves to be helpless-to choose to follow Christ, or to resist grace, or to even know if they are elect/saved/born again/a real christian in the first place and mostly helpless against their own constant sin/sinned/sinningestness.

    That is not the gospel.

  75. Lea wrote:

    The only thing I know about Tim Keller is some anecdote they like to tell about his wife throwing dishes.

    I can’t find exact quotes because a person has to pay out of pocket for just about everything the Kellers say, but:
    Tim Keller has said that egalitarians have a very low view of scripture …….. part of a husband’s role is to sanctify his wife …….. In “The Meaning of Marriage”, Kathy Keller says that husbands represent the masculine side of Jesus, while wives represent the feminine side……….. marriage is a vehicle to help us become what God intends us to be.

    A low view of scripture – That puts us on a very, very slippery slope…….
    God gave men the authority and power to sanctify women – can single women not be sanctified? Masculine/feminine sides of Jesus – are singles spiritually incomplete? Marriage is a vehicle – are singles stuck in the mud?

  76. dee wrote:

    @ Clay Crouch:
    More and more Catholic Churches in my area are becoming evangelical in their approach, reaching out to evangelical churches and building ties.

    This is an interesting observation. My experience is that the Neo Cal churches feel they are the church solution to those whom spent their time in Catholic, Charamatic, Prosperity, or seeker type churches.

  77. Max wrote:

    It’s the good cop / bad cop routine

    I think you made typo there, Max; “good comp / bad comp”

  78. Having to fill the primary function of an elder was cutting into his available time for making backroom deals in the PCA. Now he LITERALLY has nothing better to do.
    Him teaching at RTS is a joke. I have heard him lecture in a seminary setting. He just says whatever comes into his head, and because of his naturally faster-than-yours synapses, it SOUNDS ridiculously brilliant.
    And finally, the last thing we need is the PCA overrun by social justice churches like Redeemer. He is now “strategically” placed to spread his aberrant theology and ecclesiology more effectively into other presbyteries.

  79. mot wrote:

    I am fed up with any group that does not allow women to use their God given gifts.

    In their world, women don’t have God given gifts. Our “gifts” are assigned to / foisted upon us by men.

  80. @ dee:

    I consider the term “Evangelical”, at least here in the south, to mean something different than “gospel based”. I would love nothing more than for mainline churches (I’m an Episcopalian) to reclaim evangelicalism so that it truly does reflect what I believe we are doing in proclaiming the gospel. I consider myself evangelical, though I don’t publicly identify as one because of the negative connotations associated with that descriptor.

    Our presiding bishop, Michael Curry, is an evangelical. There, I’ve outed him!

    http://www.anglican.ink/article/evangelical-elected-presiding-bishop-episcopal-church

  81. Nancy2 wrote:

    God gave men the authority and power to sanctify women – can single women not be sanctified? Masculine/feminine sides of Jesus – are singles spiritually incomplete? Marriage is a vehicle – are singles stuck in the mud?

    When coin in Keller’s coffer rings,
    Then the Wife to Sanctity springs!

  82. okrapod wrote:

    Apparently they are wiling to compromise on women in ministry

    Are they? I’m not sure PCA is all that welcoming of women in ministry. Certainly not like PCUSA. Maybe they leave it to individual churches?

  83. Nancy2 wrote:

    mot wrote:

    I am fed up with any group that does not allow women to use their God given gifts.

    In their world, women don’t have God given gifts. Our “gifts” are assigned to / foisted upon us by men.

    My goodness, they are so blinded by their maleness IMO.

  84. Nancy2 wrote:

    God gave men the authority and power to sanctify women – can single women not be sanctified? Masculine/feminine sides of Jesus – are singles spiritually incomplete? Marriage is a vehicle – are singles stuck in the mud?

    Usually, these types don’t like to talk about these things. Or if they do, they start blowing smoke. But I don’t know specifically what they believe. I just think that’s all nonsense.

  85. Nancy2 wrote:

    mot wrote:
    I am fed up with any group that does not allow women to use their God given gifts.
    In their world, women don’t have God given gifts. Our “gifts” are assigned to / foisted upon us by men.

    Honestly, I think they think that all women’s ‘gifts’ are to be spent on husbands or children.

    What I find creepiest about these comp types is that they clearly see women ENTIRELY through the lens of their interactions and support of men.

  86. Lea wrote:

    Usually, these types don’t like to talk about these things. Or if they do, they start blowing smoke. But I don’t know specifically what they believe. I just think that’s all nonsense.

    I think they know exactly what they believe, but they try to couch it in terms that would still attract followers. They want to be in charge of everyone. Making it theology gives them a way to order people around, but the promise of men under them ordering their wives around shuts them up and makes them complacent.

  87. ishy wrote:

    the promise of men under them ordering their wives around shuts them up and makes them complacent.

    Which is why they don’t care about single’s, unless they can ‘push them under their control’ I guess. But without the possibility of sex that’s probably not as much fun. (or maybe that’s what they are thinking, like tullian types)

    When they start telling single people they need to find a random dude to be their ‘head’ they start to sound pretty crazy to normal people.

  88. Lea wrote:

    Are they? I’m not sure PCA is all that welcoming of women in ministry. Certainly not like PCUSA. Maybe they leave it to individual churches?

    Check out the first link provided by Stan at 10:32 pm Monday. I think that is part of what was said.

  89. Lea wrote:

    Which is why they don’t care about single’s, unless they can ‘push them under their control’ I guess. But without the possibility of sex that’s probably not as much fun. (or maybe that’s what they are thinking, like tullian types)
    When they start telling single people they need to find a random dude to be their ‘head’ they start to sound pretty crazy to normal people.

    I have noticed that many complementarian married women often order me around or lecture me like I’m a child, even though I’m older than some of them. I wonder if it’s the same for comp married men and single men. So maybe that’s where singles sit in the hierarchy–on the level of children.

  90. @ dee:

    The Presbyterian polity in the P.C.A. generally offers more protection from a one-man show you might encounter in an independent bible or Baptist church. Appeal is possible. Of course they can still ask you politely to leave.

  91. @ Dale:

    It sometimes can go very, very wrong, unfortunately. I know of specific cases where the polity didn’t keep churches from doing some pretty awful stuff. I have a friend going through it right now, and it has not be a great experience.

  92. Lea wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    Apparently they are wiling to compromise on women in ministry

    Are they? I’m not sure PCA is all that welcoming of women in ministry. Certainly not like PCUSA. Maybe they leave it to individual churches?

    Keller has taken some heat in the PCA for having female deacons who are unordained. I believe this will be effectively squelched by Lig Duncan quickly. I am not the first to speculate that the PCA will split along the Redeemer-TR line. Keller represents the City SJW group and Duncan the Big Steeple TR traditional group. We shall see.

  93. Gram3 wrote:

    Keller has taken some heat in the PCA for having female deacons who are unordained.

    Ah. Thanks. That just seems so minimal to me now, and even that causes controversy.

  94. Jeff S wrote:

    I like Keller. Don’t see anything problematic in this move.

    I think one aspect of it is definitely good. It dismantles the video church model at least in NYC for Redeemer. That’s a start toward something more like a real church body, IMO. I wonder if each of the new pastors will start up their own video megas.

  95. Lea wrote:

    What I find creepiest about these comp types is that they clearly see women ENTIRELY through the lens of their interactions and support of men.

    Just like Wish Fulfillment Pornography.

  96. Nancy2 wrote:

    dee wrote:
    @ Nancy2:
    You have answered my question.
    Snort, salvation through vending machine alone?

    “When coin in Keller’s coffer rings…”

  97. mot wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    mot wrote:
    I am fed up with any group that does not allow women to use their God given gifts.
    In their world, women don’t have God given gifts. Our “gifts” are assigned to / foisted upon us by men.

    My goodness, they are so blinded by their maleness IMO.

    This is called “packing their brains below their belt”.

  98. dee wrote:

    @ Ian:
    This is a perceptive comment. I only wish he would speak out against issue of child sex abuse and domestic violence in the church. he has been most gracious to CJ Mahaney.
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/tim-keller-don-carson-speak-out-in-wake-of-abrupt-mahaney-harris-and-tchividjian-departures-from-the-gospel-coalition-120156/

    Regarding domestic violence, I think we’re all aware that complementarians tend to ignore women’s voices and minimise their pain.

    And regarding CJ Mahaney, he was just like Driscoll – someone with a big church who ticked the right theological boxes – these people get a free pass.

  99. Tim Keller is a dangerously mesmerizing communicator. I always nearly cry when I see pastors who claim to be 100 percent egalitarian refer to his work, and retweet his tweets. I say dangerous because then people will listen to the rest of his rhetoric. I have been taking online classes from a top AOG university (AOG ordains women and is Arminian). I switched to a psychology major from a ministry major there, in part because even they have been infiltrated by TGC. Part of my courses involved listening to lectures by Tim Keller and Wayne Grudem. While I did not disagree with the content of the particular subjects they were teaching on (Wayne on the importance of theology/Tim on the case for God’s existence) I was dumfounded that they would use those two.

  100. When Trinity Foundation accuses someone, you know they are OK!
    I don’t agree with all Tim Keller says or teaches, but I find him to be among the best preachers around. Very real, humble, and authentic. Thank God for TK.

  101. Nancy2 wrote:

    mot wrote:

    My goodness, they are so blinded by their maleness IMO.

    Written by Ronnie Floyd……. Upon reading the article, I realized that the title really should be “Men Change the World”. But, if I say that in the comment section, it will just get deleted.
    http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/people-change-the-world/

    He can say what he wants, but if he affirms the 2000 BF&M woman are just a side issue for ministers like him and only men can change the world. How sad on every level!

  102. @ Remnant:
    Yes, thank you for bringing that up, Remnant. That was my first thought too. He wants to teach about sin? Really? What about God’s love for you? For the world? Where is that?

    I can always tell a Neo-Cal pastor because sin is their core theology, not God’s love, not Jesus.

  103. For what it is worth:

    The Bayly Boys consider Keller to be weak on Homosexuality – and they may be part right.

    Keller’s association with the Gospel Coalition is disturbing.

    That said – his book ‘Making Sense of God’ is a good book. Perhaps the most erudite Christian popular book I have ever read (in the process of reading it). I got a library copy and I plan to acquire my own copy.

  104. Man, I have a great point and a link to thegospelcoalition.org to back it up, but it looks like they use Amazon Web Services. 😉

  105. ishy wrote:

    I have noticed that many complementarian married women often order me around or lecture me like I’m a child, even though I’m older than some of them.

    Got any handy strategies to share when you encounter this?

  106. My spidey senses are tingling. When Tim Keller encourages Christians to use a prayer rope while they recite the “Divine Chaplet of Mercy,” something is amiss to this evangelical.

    From the Divine Chaplet website: “Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you (1541). Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death (687). When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the Merciful Savior (1541). Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this Chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy (687).”

    http://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/chaplethistory.php

    Class taught at Redeemer Presbyterian, The Way of the Monk, back in 2010:

    May 5th – 7PM to 9PM – Prayer Rope. “We’ll begin by viewing a brief video that demonstrates the ‘Chaplet of Divine Mercy,’ a particular method of using a prayer rope… We’ll also cover history, purpose, technique, and devote ample time to actual practice and Q&A.”

    http://apprising.org/2010/09/09/the-way-of-the-monk-class-schedule-redeemer-presbyterian-church-of-tim-keller/

  107. L. Lee wrote:

    The Bayly Boys consider Keller to be weak on Homosexuality – and they may be part right.

    In my experience the conservative evangelicals who spent the most amount of time talking about gays did so to digress from ever looking inward at their own messed up lives and all of the changes that they need to make.

    I say to people, “Can you order someone to get a certain hairstyle?” They say, “no of course not.” Me: “If you can’t order someone to get a certain hairstyle, what makes you think you can order their sexual preference?”

  108. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    @ Jeannette Altes:
    @ Velour:
    Update – Thank you! I have almost all of the rent. Due to the fees GoFundMe tskes, it is almost there. Just need another $50.

    That’s great, Jeannette.

  109. @ Dale:
    thanks for that link, DALE

    I’m often amused that ‘the common good’ gets slammed as ‘socialism’;
    yet private businesses rely heavily on the public works of our highway system and infrastructure in order to make their profits

  110. Christiane wrote:

    I’m often amused that ‘the common good’ gets slammed as ‘socialism’;
    yet private businesses rely heavily on the public works of our highway system and infrastructure in order to make their profits

    And then there’s all of those corporate businesses that take government subsidies and don’t call it socialism. How convenient.

  111. john smith wrote:

    Why does you guys’s heading still say 2016. Its bugging me.

    Be patient ……. They are in the process of remodeling the website.

  112. @ Dale:
    Then you’re a heretic. Anyone who thinks Jesus as lunatic who ties half of humanity to a tree and says “come to me if you can! Hahaha!” Is not only a heretic, but probably a psychopath we’ll be reading about on the news someday “he was such a nice man, says the neighbor, how could he have done this?” Calvislam is how.

  113. Dale wrote:

    When Tim Keller encourages Christians to use a prayer rope while they recite the “Divine Chaplet of Mercy,” something is amiss to this evangelical.

    Other than the recitation of one Hail Mary what is it in the chaplet of the divine mercy that you find outside of evangelical christian theology?

    http://www.praydivinemercy.com

  114. @ ishy:
    I think many married people in the church believe they are superior to singles, because /snark/ “Marriage is the God’s best way of maturing you.” When in reality, a lot of married people use marriage as an excuse to get lazy and feel entitled and, worse, whine to others.

    I matured a lot more through the workplace than through my marriage. In fact the workplace knocks the rough edge off much faster.

  115. Friend wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    I have noticed that many complementarian married women often order me around or lecture me like I’m a child, even though I’m older than some of them.
    //
    Got any handy strategies to share when you encounter this?

    Nothing that works consistently. The belief that single adults are not whole, mature adults who are capable of making their own decisions is rather ingrained in these people.

    A few started just avoiding me when they realized I could counter all of their patronizing with the Bible, and others have lightened up some when I’ve just been straightforward about it. I think the latter really didn’t realize they were doing it. Some readily agree with me when I’ve talked about it openly, then went right back to doing it. But there’s a good number who really want me to stay in “my place”, treating me like their husbands treat them.

  116. Janey wrote:

    I think many married people in the church believe they are superior to singles, because /snark/ “Marriage is the God’s best way of maturing you.” When in reality, a lot of married people use marriage as an excuse to get lazy and feel entitled and, worse, whine to others.
    I matured a lot more through the workplace than through my marriage. In fact the workplace knocks the rough edge off much faster.

    I agree, but I think it’s even worse with the heavy complementarian/patriarchy crowd, because that philosophy is all about appeasing selfish desires. Men have wants (most are NOT needs despite their claims), so women are supposed to meet their every whim. Women get frustrated and angry, so they take it out on other women.

    If anything complementarianism drives people away from Christ and away from maturity, because men never learn sacrifice and submission to God. Women often end up forming abuse survivor mentalities, which hinders them from seeing God as a loving God and developing a trusting relationship with anyone, much less Him.

  117. @ ishy:

    Why do you continue to be involved in a church/churches that do this? What is it about such a church that makes it worthwhile to stay?

  118. okrapod wrote:

    Why do you continue to be involved in a church/churches that do this? What is it about such a church that makes it worthwhile to stay?

    My church has a female pastor, so is quite egalitarian, but hard to avoid everyone who’s like that. And a couple people in my life didn’t used to be like that, but changed along with the rise of the neo-Cals.

  119. Nancy2 wrote:

    A low view of scripture – That puts us on a very, very slippery slope…….
    God gave men the authority and power to sanctify women – can single women not be sanctified? Masculine/feminine sides of Jesus – are singles spiritually incomplete? Marriage is a vehicle – are singles stuck in the mud?

    Nancy, thanks for saying this. These men forget how many adult women are not married these days. Since 2009, over 50 percent of American women are not married. They may be single, divorced, widowed or living with someone else, but they’re not married. And this “gospel” of complementarianism (not a word) doesn’t recognize us at all.

    Jesus didn’t make marriage a requirement of his teaching. Paul didn’t say he preached marriage and marriage above all. He instead said that he only preached Christ and him crucified. Keller, the Gospel Coalition and the rest of that gang would do well to dwell upon that!

  120. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Jesus didn’t make marriage a requirement of his teaching. Paul didn’t say he preached marriage and marriage above all. He instead said that he only preached Christ and him crucified. Keller, the Gospel Coalition and the rest of that gang would do well to dwell upon that!

    Preach it!

  121. @ okrapod:

    The concept of incomplete justification. The false vision of St. Faustina that depicts the salvation of a city based on her prayer. The nature of repetitive prayer as a defining characteristic of meditation. The Roman Catholic phrase “body, blood, soul and divinity” as referring to the Catholic host and by implication the sacrifice of the mass.

  122. john smith wrote:

    Why does you guys’s heading still say 2016. Its bugging me.

    We are starting to undergo a major revision of the blog. Hang in there.

  123. Dale wrote:

    My spidey senses are tingling. When Tim Keller encourages Christians to use a prayer rope while they recite the “Divine Chaplet of Mercy,” something is amiss to this evangelical.

    Babylon Mystery Religion(TM) or just too ROMISH in general?

  124. ishy wrote:

    If anything complementarianism drives people away from Christ and away from maturity, because men never learn sacrifice and submission to God. Women often end up forming abuse survivor mentalities, which hinders them from seeing God as a loving God and developing a trusting r

    Even in the best of circumstances, Complementarianism teaches men that they are benevolent dictators ….. prophet, priests, and kings …….. while it teaches women that God wants to keep us at a distance ……. He made us not good enough to be as close to Him as men; or to do the many of things that men do, even though we’re perfectly capable of doing those things. …….. sometimes better than the men who do them!

  125. L. Lee wrote:

    For what it is worth:
    The Bayly Boys consider Keller to be weak on Homosexuality – and they may be part right.

    So who’s STRONG on Homosexuality besides Ted Haggard and Fred Phelps?
    STRONG on Homosexuality preachers have this strange ability of getting caught with a rentboy.

    Christians have so tunnel-visioned on Homosexuality as The Unpardonable Super-SIN they’re completely ignoring their own. (Feature, not Bug?)

  126. I don’t want to overwhelm with the super pastors/neo-Calvinists. But the John MacCarthur mutual appreciation society is meeting for three days and Shep herd CONference. I can’t stand these people, I am really trying to. I want to much to understand but I just can’t stand these people. They are so pious yet blast everyone who is not on their very small express train. Massive book sales, massive “preaching” expositing on a few verses and adding all sorts of well rhetoric. Seriously I have listened to the sermons and they all are the same, well consider the source. I actually need prayer in this because I really cant stand what these folks do to women, other faith groups, people who are gay, kids generally abused children in particular, etc.

  127. Velour wrote:

    I say to people, “Can you order someone to get a certain hairstyle?” They say, “no of course not.”

    “That will have to wait until we take the Seven Mountains and establish a REAL Christian America. Then we will enforce God’s Hairstyle.”

  128. L. Lee wrote:

    The Bayly Boys consider Keller to be weak on Homosexuality – and they may be part right.

    The Bayly Boyz also call the Kellers “soft feministists”. I guess Redeemer has their gurlz on too long a leash.

  129. brian wrote:

    I don’t want to overwhelm with the super pastors/neo-Calvinists. But the John MacCarthur mutual appreciation society is meeting for three days and Shep herd CONference. I can’t stand these people, I am really trying to. I want to much to understand but I just can’t stand these people. They are so pious yet blast everyone who is not on their very small express train. Massive book sales, massive “preaching” expositing on a few verses and adding all sorts of well rhetoric. Seriously I have listened to the sermons and they all are the same, well consider the source. I actually need prayer in this because I really cant stand what these folks do to women, other faith groups, people who are gay, kids generally abused children in particular, etc.

    I think it is a prerequisite to be hateful in order to be considered as a minister for the MacArthur group and many other religious groups.

  130. @ Dale:

    Dale, please don’t take this the wrong way, but after reading your testimonials re: your evangelical church membership experiences, I don’t think you should be calling the kettle black. Sincere believers are found everywhere, even in the Catholic church.

  131. ishy wrote:

    Nothing that works consistently. … there’s a good number who really want me to stay in “my place”, treating me like their husbands treat them.

    Have you ever tried putting your hand delicately over your heart, gasping, and staring? It’s both scary and irreproachable. (Might not work, but might be fun to try.)

  132. mot wrote:

    I think it is a prerequisite to be hateful in order to be considered as a minister for the MacArthur group and many other religious groups.

    So true, MOT. And members in John MacArthur-ite churches [like my ex-church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley] are supposed to become haters too.

    I have never seen more dishonest, unethical, lying men than those that have trained in the MacArthur way. Any lie will do for these men. The ends — controlling people — justifies the means (lying, manipulating, unethical behavior).

    John MacArthur has nothing, and his followers, have nothing to teach me about The Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Love of God is NOT known to these people. They study the Scriptures, and don’t find God.

  133. brian wrote:

    Massive book sales,

    The men who go to the Shepherds’ Conference, at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Southern California, are given bags of free books to take home.

    I used to be envious, when I went to my former church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley, that the men would return with bags of free books. Now I realize that the books were all a bunch of spiritual rot and it’s just as well I never got them for free.

    I have since taken all of my John MacArthur books, ripped them to shreds, and tossed them in the recycling.

  134. mot wrote:

    I think it is a prerequisite to be hateful in order to be considered as a minister for the MacArthur group and many other religious groups.

    By the way, I saw a troubling story on another blog of a Christian evangelical mother whose daughter goes to John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Southern California. The daughter severed ties to her own mother…for volunteering in the Los Angeles area with Catholics!
    JMac runs a hateful church with hateful practices.

    The daughter ordered her mother to stop doing volunteer work…with Catholics.
    Just despicable in my opinion that church (GCC) would place this young woman under Undue Influence and tell her to cut off ties to her mother.

  135. L. Lee wrote:

    Keller’s association with the Gospel Coalition is disturbing.

    Keller is not only associated with TGC … he founded it! TGC Council members represent a roll call of TWW blog subjects who have come into the world for such a time as this to disrupt the Church – they include Mark Dever, Al Mohler and John Piper. Other New Calvinist notables with past TGC association have come under a cloud of one sort or another: C.J. Mahaney, Mark Driscoll, Darrin Patrick. Yep, The Calvinist Coalition is quite a crew.

  136. Dale wrote:

    Clay Crouch wrote:
    I don’t think you should be calling the kettle black. Sincere believers are found everywhere, even in the Catholic church.
    Clay, I am concerned about any religion that claims to hold the keys. That includes the Roman Catholic religion, of which I am a former member. I call both kettles black.

    I am with Clay on this one. Sincere believers are found in every denomination, including the Catholic Church. It was a 98 year old Catholic woman who loved Jesus and made me want what she had. She breathed the love of Jesus Christ in everything she did.

    I don’t think the Catholic Church is claiming “the keys” — excommunication and shunning — like the NeoCalvinists are doing/9 Marxists.

  137. Dale wrote:

    Clay, I am concerned about any religion that claims to hold the keys. That includes the Roman Catholic religion, of which I am a former member. I call both kettles black.

    Or who claims to stand in any way in the place of God or as a mediator in any way or lays any burden of law or adds to the pure gospel in any way. Doesn’t matter what the label says or what the brand is. Or what No True Scotsman argument is proffered. There are fine true Christians among some churches that are truly awful in certain ways we talk about here. That doesn’t make those churches any less truly awful in those ways. It also does not mean that those churches do not do some things that are very fine along with the truly awful things, as commenters usually are quick to tell us.

  138. Velour wrote:

    I don’t think the Catholic Church is claiming “the keys” — excommunication and shunning — like the NeoCalvinists are doing/9 Marxists.

    I think they have learned to do it more discreetly. Before Vatican II it was a very different. I have never been a member of the RCC, but I do remember pre-Vatican II pretty well and the consequences of not marrying within the RCC or baptizing a child withing the RCC or, God forbid, leaving the RCC.

  139. Velour wrote:

    a woman Tweeted from her tractor on her huge farm in the Mid-West

    I just love this imagery, Velour. Thanks for making my day.

  140. Velour wrote:

    Sincere believers are found in every denomination, including the Catholic Church. It was a 98 year old Catholic woman who loved Jesus and made me want what she had. She breathed the love of Jesus Christ in everything she did.

    Ditto.

  141. Dale wrote:

    He claims to be head of the Church, usurping the real head, Jesus.

    I am not a Catholic but I know the history of the Catholic Church’s abuses.

    Protestant evangelical churches are committing the same abuses — from spiritual abuse to sexual abuse, “usurping the real head, Jesus.”

  142. JYJames wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    a woman Tweeted from her tractor on her huge farm in the Mid-West
    I just love this imagery, Velour. Thanks for making my day.

    Welcome!

  143. Velour wrote:

    Protestant evangelical churches are committing the same abuses — from spiritual abuse to sexual abuse, “usurping the real head, Jesus.”

    Yup.

  144. Nancy2 wrote:

    part of a husband’s role is to sanctify his wife

    What? Savior-in-chief? So, why did Jesus die on the cross, or is this trickle down sanctification from Jesus to men to women?

  145. Boyd wrote:

    Will there be an increase in reformed churches planted by young pastors filled with young congregations with “Youngers” rather than “Elders”?

    Well said.

  146. Velour wrote:

    The daughter severed ties to her own mother…for volunteering in the Los Angeles area with Catholics!
    JMac runs a hateful church with hateful practices.

    The daughter ordered her mother to stop doing volunteer work…with Catholics.

    Voltaire was right. This is what happens when you worship a cruel and petulant god.

  147. @ Velour:
    …and don’t forget gossip. They are the kings of gossip. They undermine good Christians in their own churches with maliciousness backstabbing.

  148. Janey wrote:

    @ Velour:
    …and don’t forget gossip. They are the kings of gossip. They undermine good Christians in their own churches with maliciousness backstabbing.

    Oh yes. How could I forget “gossip”, Janey.

    And “unity”. For all that these pastors/elders talk about “unity”, they are the least likely to be able to get along with other people. (By the way, “unity” for them usually means “uniformity” for us in the pews.)

  149. Gram3 wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:

    I like Keller. Don’t see anything problematic in this move.

    I think one aspect of it is definitely good. It dismantles the video church model at least in NYC for Redeemer. That’s a start toward something more like a real church body, IMO. I wonder if each of the new pastors will start up their own video megas.

    I’ve been to Redeemer’s Upper West Side location. It’s about 1 block west of Central Park- Columbus & 86th, I believe. No screens, at least not not as of 2014 and at least not at that location. He shuffles between three locations and doesn’t announce which location he will be preaching at on a given Sunday so that, IMHO, the “groupies” don’t overwhelm things. He is either off stage until it’s time to preach, or in a taxi traveling between locations while the rest of the worship service is occurring.

  150. brian wrote:

    I don’t want to overwhelm with the super pastors/neo-Calvinists. But the John MacCarthur mutual appreciation society is meeting for three days and Shep herd CONference. I can’t stand these people, I am really trying to. I want to much to understand but I just can’t stand these people. They are so pious yet blast everyone who is not on their very small express train. Massive book sales, massive “preaching” expositing on a few verses and adding all sorts of well rhetoric. Seriously I have listened to the sermons and they all are the same, well consider the source. I actually need prayer in this because I really cant stand what these folks do to women, other faith groups, people who are gay, kids generally abused children in particular, etc.

    Yes, I spotted this as well. 5000 men have made the pilgrimage to California for a four (not three) day audience with Pope MacArthur (women are banned). I find it quite ironic that a ministry called “Grace To You” demonstrates so little grace towards those who understand the Bible differently to them.

  151. Dale wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    I don’t think the Catholic Church is claiming “the keys” — excommunication and shunning

    The Pope certainly claims the power of the keys. He claims to be head of the Church, usurping the real head, Jesus. Historically, popes have excommunicated many people, and even entire nations (look up “interdicts”…

    9 Marx also claims to hold the keys to the kingdom – they see the church as gatekeeper and it’s the job of the local church to validate your faith by granting you membership, after checking you out of course. Sounds like the Spanish inquisition under another name!

  152. Velour wrote:

    mot wrote:

    I think it is a prerequisite to be hateful in order to be considered as a minister for the MacArthur group and many other religious groups.

    By the way, I saw a troubling story on another blog of a Christian evangelical mother whose daughter goes to John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Southern California. The daughter severed ties to her own mother…for volunteering in the Los Angeles area with Catholics!
    JMac runs a hateful church with hateful practices.

    The daughter ordered her mother to stop doing volunteer work…with Catholics.
    Just despicable in my opinion that church (GCC) would place this young woman under Undue Influence and tell her to cut off ties to her mother.

    It’s not well-known that, around 1983, John MacArthur fired a number of married ladies who were working as secretaries. He said the Bible teaches that husbands are to be the sole breadwinner.

    MacArthur’s empire has a slick and polished public face, but I’m sure it’s a different picture behind the scenes.

  153. @ Ian:

    No argument from me about the similarity between 9 Marx and Rome, Ian.

    But the logic reminds me of a funeral joke I’ve heard. A man’s brother died and it was time for his funeral. Now his brother Raymond was an evil man, but his brother wanted the pastor to say good things about him at the eulogy. So he handed the pastor some money with this request and the pastor agreed.

    “You all know Raymond was a womanizer. He cheated people out of their hard earned money. He beat his wife and children. But compared to his brother, he was a saint!

    So, yes some evangelical churches are abusive…

    The pastor got up and began the “eulogy.”

  154. Well the word order got messed up on that previous post. That’s what I get for entering text from my ancient cellphone.

  155. Ian wrote:

    It’s not well-known that, around 1983, John MacArthur fired a number of married ladies who were working as secretaries. He said the Bible teaches that husbands are to be the sole breadwinner.

    Thanks for the info! This stuff is so crazy.

  156. Dale wrote:

    Well the word order got messed up on that previous post. That’s what I get for entering text from my ancient cellphone.

    I think we can all decipher it.

    I don’t feel comfortable with the way you said “So, yes some evangelical churches are abusive…” with the implication that catholics are more abusive.

    This relativizing approach is a way of deflecting attention and minimising the problem. A molested child isn’t concerned if a protestant minister or catholic priest was the perpetrator. Likewise for a battered wife who is told to go back to her violent husband. Or the more subtle forms of authoritarianism and bullying in the church. The victims’ suffering is the same.

    There is enough evidence to confirm that abuse was and is widespread within evangelicalism, and I believe there needs to be change at all levels. We have a problem and we need to fix it. Claiming we aren’t as bad as other groups isn’t going to help this task.

  157. @ Ian:

    That was my point, Ian. The tendency to point the finger at other abusive churches and away from another abusive one. This logic borders on hypocrisy.

    I understand our desire not to offend others or their beliefs. But it is my opinion that abuse should be spotlighted wherever it is found. People should leave abusive systems. Others should be warned about the system. And those who participate in abuse should be warned.

    Christians who are caught up in legalistic, authoritarian congregations should be helped especially by those who have left the abusive system.

  158. Ian wrote:

    Yes, I spotted this as well. 5000 men have made the pilgrimage to California for a four (not three) day audience with Pope MacArthur (women are banned). I find it quite ironic that a ministry called “Grace To You” demonstrates so little grace towards those who understand the Bible differently to them.

    Exactly.

  159. Ian wrote:

    It’s not well-known that, around 1983, John MacArthur fired a number of married ladies who were working as secretaries. He said the Bible teaches that husbands are to be the sole breadwinner.

    I did not know that. It figures.

    MacArthur’s empire has a slick and polished public face, but I’m sure it’s a different picture behind the scenes.

    Yes. It’s a sick, closed system that John MacArthur runs. No different than Scientology, in my opinion, in its destruction.

  160. Ian wrote:

    9 Marx also claims to hold the keys to the kingdom – they see the church as gatekeeper and it’s the job of the local church to validate your faith by granting you membership, after checking you out of course. Sounds like the Spanish inquisition under another name!

    I was ordered to be excommunicated and shunned, on some trumped up charge, by the pastors/elders at the 9Marxist/John MacArthur-ite Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley.

    I was even banned from church property, like the good doctor before me in his 70’s!
    I consider it to be an honor to be on the same list with such a classy, good man.

  161. Velour wrote:

    Ken F wrote:

    Here is an interesting twist related to recent posts here: https://www.imb.org/2017/02/28/why-healthy-churches-in-every-context-practice-church-discipline/. Keller’s TGC posted this IMB (Platt) article this morning, written by Leeman from 9Marks. Platt was recently named interim head pastor of McLean Bible Church. Stand by McLean, 9Marks is coming your way…

    Jonathan Leeman is full of it.

    I have gotten the impression Platt is the man to run the IMB off of the cliff. Missions used to be the glue of the SBC, but not any more.

  162. Jonathan Leeman seems to be only able to sing in one “key.” Everything is about the importance of church and it’s purity. He apparently is now a monthly contributor to Tabletalk, where he constantly fulminates on 9 Marks churchism.

  163. Actually “fulminates” is not the word I meant to use. It means to “rail against.” He doesn’t rail against 9 Marks.

  164. mot wrote:

    Ken F wrote:
    Here is an interesting twist related to recent posts here: https://www.imb.org/2017/02/28/why-healthy-churches-in-every-context-practice-church-discipline/. Keller’s TGC posted this IMB (Platt) article this morning, written by Leeman from 9Marks. Platt was recently named interim head pastor of McLean Bible Church. Stand by McLean, 9Marks is coming your way…
    These guys love to discipline other people. It must make them feel like a god.

    Indeed they do. It’s Salem Witch Trials II at 9 Marxist churches.

  165. Velour wrote:

    Yes. It’s a sick, closed system that John MacArthur runs. No different than Scientology, in my opinion, in its destruction.

    Preach it, Velour! What gets me is the number of women who worship that false teacher (and friends), his vicious false gospel, his faulty and “seminary” clone-factory, his absurd, ungodly “Biblical” counseling nonsense and ACBC connection, etc. Many outright call Scientology a cult; I call MacArthur and his lot’s movement the same.

    What good has EVER come of it? The free books and stuff are just part of the indoctrination process, and that’s out in the open. Slowly but surely the wicked wall around (Neo) Calvinism is beginning to crumble. Over the past three years or so, so many have seen the light! There is NO salvation in there; only chains of all kinds.

  166. Boston Lady wrote:

    What gets me is the number of women who worship that false teacher (and friends), his vicious false gospel,

    Ok, question. Is MacArthur mostly big on the west coast or something? I don’t know anybody outside of this site that talks about him.

  167. Boston Lady wrote:

    What good has EVER come of it? The free books and stuff are just part of the indoctrination process, and that’s out in the open. Slowly but surely the wicked wall around (Neo) Calvinism is beginning to crumble. Over the past three years or so, so many have seen the light! There is NO salvation in there; only chains of all kin

    So true, Boston Lady.

    I am freed from Egypt-land, i.e. NeoCalvinism/9Marks/John MacArthur franchisee.

  168. @ Lea:
    He is big everywhere there is the Internet, where one of his “clones” is in charge of a “church”. He is big in other countries too, Lea. Had friends in Canada who drooled over him and his false gospel but who did not know the Gospel that Jesus himself gave; we ended a friendship on that! Yes, he is being worshiped by a multitude of women and it is very disturbing, because, IMO, he is a glib liar. He is not worth listening to and those who have destroyed his books, CDs, whatever, did a wonderful thing.
    MacArthur is not “big”; he is a fake. Beware.

  169. Boston Lady wrote:

    Yes, he is being worshiped by a multitude of women and it is very disturbing, because, IMO, he is a glib liar.

    That sounds like a TeeTee-like Serial Playa PUA playing The Game.

  170. Lea wrote:

    Dale wrote:

    Jonathan Leeman seems to be only able to sing in one “key.”

    Yes! Maybe this is all he knows.

    “When all you have is a hammer…”

  171. mot wrote:

    Ken F wrote:

    Here is an interesting twist related to recent posts here: https://www.imb.org/2017/02/28/why-healthy-churches-in-every-context-practice-church-discipline/. Keller’s TGC posted this IMB (Platt) article this morning, written by Leeman from 9Marks. Platt was recently named interim head pastor of McLean Bible Church. Stand by McLean, 9Marks is coming your way…

    These guys love to discipline other people. It must make them feel like a god.

    Remember the Roman Empire.
    To the Romans, nothing said “Authority” as the power of the Roman State to maim and kill.
    Remember the Fasces, Roman symbol of Authority: An axe for beheading bound with rods for beating.

  172. Boston Lady wrote:

    IMO, he is a glib liar. He is not worth listening to and those who have destroyed his books, CDs, whatever, did a wonderful thing.
    MacArthur is not “big”; he is a fake. Beware.

    In my (now informed) opinion, I believe MacArthur is teaching a false gospel. For those who can stomach it, here is the blog post featured on his site today: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B170228.

    Some notable quotes:

    In recent years a handful of well-known writers and teachers on the evangelical fringe have emphatically rejected the biblical claim that the death of God’s own Son on the cross was a propitiation—labeling the idea “cosmic child abuse.”

    Indeed, this is practically the whole crux of liberal religion: It stresses the love of God to the exclusion of His righteousness and His wrath against sin. Liberals therefore typically take the position that Christ’s death on the cross was nothing more than a noble act of exemplary martyrdom.

    This is the principle of penal substitution, and it is vital to a right understanding of the gospel. Christ bore the penalty of our sins.

    He follows the common mis-translation of “hilasterion” as propitiation (propitiation requires changing an unchangeable – not possible), and creates false dichotomies between liberal and conservative (you are one of those nasty liberals if you don’t agree with him), and tries to balance eternal attributes of God as in a way that makes no logical sense. For example, if one has to balance God’s love with his justice, it means that God can act in ways that are loving but not just, or just but not loving. This is a Greco-Roman view of God, not a Hebrew/Christian view of God. God’s wrath is real, but it’s not what Johnny thinks it is. His gospel is no gospel.

  173. Ken F wrote:

    typically take the position that Christ’s death on the cross was nothing more than a noble act of exemplary martyrdom.

    Maybe they get that from stuff like “and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor.”

    Crazy, right?

    Boston Lady, that is interesting. I’m just saying I don’t think I could pick that MacArthur guy out of a lineup. The real danger with some of these gurus who aren’t popular enough to be in front of a camera is that they can do a lot of sneaky damage when their acolytes go start their own churches.

  174. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    That sounds like a TeeTee-like Serial Playa PUA playing The Game.

    Yep, but in his case, it’s “spiritual,” “theological,” and whatever new phrases he conjures up, and not knowing ladies in the “biblical sense.” (I can’t speak for his little Mac clones and blind disciples and “manly” worshipers; anything is possible with that lot, and it has been proven so many times that it should have a permanent slot on every news bulletin before the weather report.)

    In the end, it’s the same thing. Which is worse? It’s a hung jury, HUG, both causing death somehow.

  175. Jonathan Leeman also teaches a false gospel. In article I cited above is this quote: “The gospel is only for people who feel shame for their sin. If you have nothing to be ashamed about, the gospel is not for you, because shame is what the gospel addresses.”

    Yes, the gospel addresses shame (more accurately, guilt), but where does the Bible say what he wrote here? The main point is to rescue/deliver/redeem us from death, sin, and evil; to give us life and relationship with him. But Leeman has shrunk it down to a shame problem. That’s not the main point.

    He also states this: “Indeed, this is practically the whole crux of liberal religion: It stresses the love of God to the exclusion of His righteousness and His wrath against sin. Liberals therefore typically take the position that Christ’s death on the cross was nothing more than a noble act of exemplary martyrdom.”

    Like what I wrote about MacArthur above, Leeman’s quote means he believes that God can do things that are loving but not righteous, and he can do things that are righteous but not loving. God’s attributes are not in some kind of dynamic tension – everything he does is loving, everything he does is just, everything he does is righteous.

    These people are leading folks astray, but their focus on shame is a great tool for enforcing the 9Marx.

  176. Lea wrote:

    Maybe they get that from stuff like “and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor.”
    Crazy, right?

    I bet that is it. And then there is the next step closer to what one does not want to believe…I beseech you …present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your reasonable service…Who wants to hear that? This idea of sacrifice is just not necessary. Choose a different idea, I say.

    But everything could have all just been swept under the rug and forgotten long ago if Jesus had just not done that thing about this is my body and this is my blood and you all remember that every time you do the bread and wine thing. He at least could have come up with something nicer, like maybe this food and this drink remind you that God makes rain fall and sun shine of the just and the unjust (which is true). But, no, He had to get gruesome about it. Why would He do that? Broken body, shed blood, for us? You got to be kidding.

    Need I say that this is sarcasm.

  177. Velour wrote:

    Ian wrote:

    It’s not well-known that, around 1983, John MacArthur fired a number of married ladies who were working as secretaries. He said the Bible teaches that husbands are to be the sole breadwinner.

    I did not know that. It figures.

    It is stated in a book called “No Time For Silence – Evangelical Women in Public Ministry Around the Turn of the Century” by Janette Hassey, page 146-147 in my copy. The book was published in 1986 and I’m sure JMac would have made a fuss if it wasn’t true.

    It’s an interesting book – it shows how women had quite a prominent role in evangelicalism in the years around 1900. Few people know about this, especially as it doesn’t do complementarianism any favours. It’s very useful for when dealing with claims that the desire for gender equality in the church is a product of women’s lib in the 1960s. Recommended if you are interested in the subject.

  178. Ken F wrote:

    Jonathan Leeman also teaches a false gospel. In article I cited above is this quote: “The gospel is only for people who feel shame for their sin. If you have nothing to be ashamed about, the gospel is not for you, because shame is what the gospel addresses.”

    Having read a bunch of Brene Brown’s books (well, 2) about shame and how it is different from guilt and pretty much a very bad thing, this is sort of maddening.

    okrapod wrote:

    Need I say that this is sarcasm.

    I got that 🙂

  179. Lea wrote:

    I’m just saying I don’t think I could pick that MacArthur guy out of a lineup. The real danger with some of these gurus who aren’t popular enough to be in front of a camera is that they can do a lot of sneaky damage when their acolytes go start their own churches.

    Lea, I got you first time round, smiles. But your point is precisely the danger! This dude is like a “god” in his movement. He says something in his “church” on Sunday, and the same day the twitter-verse explodes and people make vows and become militant about his statements. (Take 2 hours from your day and check out this guy). In fact, he is worldwide and his minions are doing irreparable damage everywhere.

    As Ken F has stated above, Mac loves playing word games (debating techniques). He has been doing it for years and years. And the astounding knowledge that he sucks out of his thumb is amazing! People have said that God has a meeting first with Mac every morning before the day begins…to get his approval. Lea, this guy, his church, and everything that flows from it is pure poison.

    And women everywhere worship him as though he is Elvis. Our sisters cannot see the dangers of this man’s false gospel and other-worldly theology. And here’s a little proof of his “godliness”…please see how people (women too) leap and froth at the mouth in defending Mac when someone dares to speak out against him and his destructive caravan. (Just ask Velour).

    People want to worship someone? Hey, worship Jesus, who has guaranteed eternal life to all those who call on His name and accept His gift of salvation. Worship and call on Mac and his movement and you’ll get free books, CDs, DVDs, lessons in how to debate to get the opposition to feel guilty even though they are right, horrific counseling (go do the research about the youngster who died after some “biblical counseling” from Mac’s church), and you’ll get rotten fish that you would not be even able to eat. And, lastly, spiritual death.

    Blessings, Lea!

  180. Ken F wrote:

    His gospel is no gospel.

    MacArthur’s gospel is classical Calvinism wrapped in a package of his own errant views of the Cross of Christ. He has found enough common ground with the New Calvinists to get invited as a speaker to some of their CONferences. This whole movement of celebrity pastors from the reformed world does not present the Gospel of the Bible – it diminishes the message and ministry of Christ. As noted earlier, Gospel = Calvinism to the new reformers. I stand amazed that so many otherwise intelligent people are following them.

  181. @ Ian:

    My grandmother lived in Rochester and was very active in the women’s suffrage movement in the early 1900’s. I don’t know if she was associated with Susan B. Anthony but it wouldn’t surprise me.

  182. okrapod wrote:

    But everything could have all just been swept under the rug and forgotten long ago if Jesus had just not done that thing about this is my body and this is my blood and you all remember that every time you do the bread and wine thing.

    Ever notice it’s the ROMAN Catholic and Eastern Orthodox church who take that literally and put a LOT of emphasis on “the bread and wine thing”?

    NOT the Truly Reformed or Born-Agains; if it’s on their radar at all, it’s as an afterthought after Correct Doctrine and/or the Altar Call. Under the Rug…

  183. Boston Lady wrote:

    Yep, but in his case, it’s “spiritual,” “theological,” and whatever new phrases he conjures up, and not knowing ladies in the “biblical sense.”

    “I did not know that woman in the Biblical Sense.”
    — Douggie ESQUIRE, regarding keeboarping his Commander’s Handmaid

  184. Ian wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    Ian wrote:

    It’s not well-known that, around 1983, John MacArthur fired a number of married ladies who were working as secretaries. He said the Bible teaches that husbands are to be the sole breadwinner.

    I did not know that. It figures.

    It is stated in a book called “No Time For Silence – Evangelical Women in Public Ministry Around the Turn of the Century” by Janette Hassey, page 146-147 in my copy. The book was published in 1986 and I’m sure JMac would have made a fuss if it wasn’t true.

    It’s an interesting book – it shows how women had quite a prominent role in evangelicalism in the years around 1900. Few people know about this, especially as it doesn’t do complementarianism any favours. It’s very useful for when dealing with claims that the desire for gender equality in the church is a product of women’s lib in the 1960s. Recommended if you are interested in the subject.

    Velour: For better or worse I have read lots ob books on the Women’s Missionary Union in the Southern Baptist Convention. There have been many times that these women through their fund raising efforts kept the SBC financially a float. Now the SBC leaders basically tell these women they are sub humans and do not need them. There only job is to submit to men–baloney-baloney-baloney. These men make me so angry!!!
    My two daughters want nothing to do with the SBC. I raised my two daughters explaining to them God uses whoever he wants to regardless of gender. That makes me a heretic in the SBC world. It does not bother me anymore.

  185. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    NOT the Truly Reformed or Born-Agains; if it’s on their radar at all, it’s as an afterthought after Correct Doctrine and/or the Altar Call. Under the Rug…

    Not everything is so black and white here. Most people treat communion respectfully, regardless of whether they believe in transubstantiation. My reformed church certainly does.

  186. Boston Lady wrote:

    Mac loves playing word games (debating techniques).

    The New Calvinists – and old Calvinists like MacArthur – love to debate. It reminds me of the Athenians who Paul encountered – they spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas in religion (Mohler Moments, Piper Points, Dever Drivel, etc.). Well, debating is not preaching the Gospel, so Paul presented Truth to them. The New Calvinists struggle to teach Truth, just as the Athenians struggled to know Truth. So Paul set both straight when he proclaimed “As I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship — and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.” As I watch the New Calvinists spread their “gospel” to Millineals and Generation Xers, I have to think that they don’t know the God I know – His name is Jesus!

  187. Lea wrote:

    Ok, question. Is MacArthur mostly big on the west coast or something? I don’t know anybody outside of this site that talks about him.

    He’s massive everywhere. He’s like a pope to Calvinists, he’s written loads of books, and he rules over a huge kingdom including a school, college, seminary, megachurch, and media empire.

    I think he’s probably the most influential person in conservative Christianity around today.

  188. Lea wrote:

    Not everything is so black and white here. Most people treat communion respectfully, regardless of whether they believe in transubstantiation. My reformed church certainly does.

    Absolutely. So do we. I was, of course not talking about procedure but rather about meaning.

  189. Ian wrote:

    I think he’s probably the most influential person in conservative Christianity around today.

    Many mainline (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptists hold him in high esteem as “The” teacher who they listen to and trust. It amazes me that they don’t know that his core theology doesn’t agree with their belief and practice. Heck, many of them carry MacArthur Study Bibles, which is loaded with Calvinist commentary! Bottom-line, most church folks don’t have enough Word in them to discern Truth from error. Southern Baptists used to be called “A People of the Word”, but few read the Bible and pray as they ought these days.

  190. Max wrote:

    Southern Baptists used to be called “A People of the Word”, but few read the Bible and pray as they ought these days.

    I have heard it say that you will hear more Scripture read at a catholic mass than you will at the average Southern Baptist service!

  191. Max wrote:

    Many mainline (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptists hold him in high esteem as “The” teacher who they listen to and trust. It amazes me that they don’t know that his core theology doesn’t agree with their belief and practice. Heck, many of them carry MacArthur Study Bibles, which is loaded with Calvinist commentary! Bottom-line, most church folks don’t have enough Word in them to discern Truth from error. Southern Baptists used to be called “A People of the Word”, but few read the Bible and pray as they ought these days.

    My husband studies the Bible, Bible commentaries, and reads Christian books and magazines constantly. He attended Clear Creek Baptist Bible College (not Calvinist). I don’t know if he has read any Johnny Mac – I haven’t seen any of his stuff laying around. But, still. ….. some other man can say: Here, read this book by John Piper or Thom Rainer or Tony Evans or Paul Washer or Rick Warren or Bruce Ware ……… He’s great! My husband gets the books and jumps right in. He has books by every single one of the men I’ve listed, and then some. ……. He has CDs by Ray Comfort. This stuff is scattered all over our den.
    My husband says he’s not a Calvinist. He says that he hasn’t really noticed the attitudes toward and comments about women at our church ~~~ prolly just because he’s a man. (Uh huh) ……… But, I’ll tell ya what: his study material collection really makes me wonder! How can he hear and read all of that stuff and not know?

  192. Ian wrote:

    … he’s written loads of books, and he rules over a huge kingdom including a school, college, seminary, megachurch, and media empire.

    And I forgot to say, John MacArthur’s various activities make him a lot of money.

    Here’s a couple of links:

    http://www.thewatchmanwakes.com/John-Macarthur-salary-GCC-corporation-Larry-King.html

    http://baylyblog.com/blog/2014/01/john-macarthur-revisited

    Some of the figures are estimates, others come from public filings, but it looks like his annual salary is $500K to $1 million.

    Plus a number of his relatives are employed in his various ministries. A nice little family business.

  193. @ Boyd:
    Thank you for that info, especially about the way that he intentionally tries to avoid the groupie phenomenon.

  194. Dale wrote:

    Christians who are caught up in legalistic, authoritarian congregations should be helped especially by those who have left the abusive system.

    The hardest part is getting people to be willing to even contemplate the possibility.

  195. Ken F wrote:

    Platt was recently named interim head pastor of McLean Bible Church. Stand by McLean, 9Marks is coming your way…

    How in the world can Platt do two full-time jobs effectively? Or which job is he shorting? Surely there is someone somewhere who is qualified to be the pastor of McLean Bible other than David Platt? Or is there some other reason that a man with a full-time job as head of the SBC International Mission Board needs to fill that slot as well? Is McLean Bible SBC now?

  196. Gram3 wrote:

    How in the world can Platt do two full-time jobs effectively?

    There seems to be a lot of double dipping going on out there. I guess Keller is to be commended for actually stepping down from his full time job before taking up another.

  197. Gram3 wrote:

    Dale wrote:
    Christians who are caught up in legalistic, authoritarian congregations should be helped especially by those who have left the abusive system.
    The hardest part is getting people to be willing to even contemplate the possibility.

    Let me ask, and I am not being contentious here. Who determines what is ‘legalistic’ and what is ‘authoritarian’ and what is ‘abusive’? Are there specific established guidelines, or is it more a matter of individual preference? I admit that I am thinking that perhaps one size does not fit all and that would be one issue in trying to convince people to leave their church or tradition for something else.

  198. okrapod wrote:

    Let me ask, and I am not being contentious here. Who determines what is ‘legalistic’ and what is ‘authoritarian’ and what is ‘abusive’? Are there specific established guidelines, or is it more a matter of individual preference?

    It is very much like beauty. It is all in the eye of the beholder.

  199. Ken F wrote:

    He follows the common mis-translation of “hilasterion” as propitiation (propitiation requires changing an unchangeable – not possible), and creates false dichotomies between liberal and conservative (you are one of those nasty liberals if you don’t agree with him), and tries to balance eternal attributes of God as in a way that makes no logical sense.

    From the perspective of an average person errant theology reminds me of conspiracy theories, there are alternate interpretations for just about everything. It is no use arguing as they are heavily invested in their alternate reality and have a far greater mastery over all the arguments. When you start with the conclusion, logic becomes very malleable.

  200. okrapod wrote:

    Who determines what is ‘legalistic’ and what is ‘authoritarian’ and what is ‘abusive’?

    We could likely develop a common definition but I would add that ‘abusive’ is usually an outcome of ‘legalistic’ and ‘authoritarian’.

  201. @ Ken F:

    If his case was improved by saying what this young lady actually did, provided this exchange it actually happened at all, he would say it.

  202. @ okrapod:
    I think one size definitely does not fit all. AFAIK there is nothing written down about what constitutes abuse, but the Potter Stewart rule works for me most of the time. In our extended family, there was a person involved in an abusive relationship who denied that the relationship was abusive. Everyone else could plainly see that it was. That person finally had a tragic aha moment yet even after that had difficulty seeing certain things as abusive. Only a very few people in my most recent former church see that church leadership as abusive. Yet it is very similar to many stories told here. What would it take to get any of those people to even consider that the leadership is abusing them?

    Legalism in a church setting is also, I think, largely in the eye of the beholder. Since Lent just started, is that a legalistic requirement added to the Christian life or is it a spiritual help toward sanctification (if such help is needed?) Is a church covenant a sign of commitment or a legalistic chain?

    You ask some good questions, but I do not have good answers. Generally, I think it is best for people to ask difficult questions about those in their own households, which in my case would be those of the conservative evangelical credo-baptistic household. And there is much to question in that household. There are other issues to question in other religious households, and I have learned a lot from many here.

  203. Sorta off topic but quite amusing.

    http://sbcvoices.com/sebts-forms-new-society-for-women-in-scholarship/

    From the post:

    “But back to the question asked by Bob Allen in his article at BNG. “Can Southern Baptist seminaries maintain gender restriction for pastors while encouraging women theological scholars?” He’s likely suggesting that he thinks the answer is no. But I believe the answer is a resounding yes! In fact, women who receive sound training in our seminaries will be more prepared to combat the egalitarian mindset that pervades our culture and often our churches.”

    Lol!

  204. Lea wrote:

    When they start telling single people they need to find a random dude to be their ‘head’ they start to sound pretty crazy to normal people.

    Not only that, they also (as Daisy and others have mentioned) make “Christian” marriage sound extremely unappealing.

  205. Lydia wrote:

    Sorta off topic but quite amusing.

    http://sbcvoices.com/sebts-forms-new-society-for-women-in-scholarship/

    From the post:

    “But back to the question asked by Bob Allen in his article at BNG. “Can Southern Baptist seminaries maintain gender restriction for pastors while encouraging women theological scholars?” He’s likely suggesting that he thinks the answer is no. But I believe the answer is a resounding yes! In fact, women who receive sound training in our seminaries will be more prepared to combat the egalitarian mindset that pervades our culture and often our churches.”

    Lol!

    Supposedly the issue is these women can not be pastors as the only restriction of the 2000 BF&M. I think the restrictions in practice are much broader than this. For SBC men there can not be a woman in leadership position they would have to submit. I would love to know of even 1 woman in a leadership capacity in the SBC.

  206. @ mot:
    You reckon one of their female PhD’s will ever be hired to teach male seminarians bible stuff at SEBTS?

    I guess it’s fine if the female wants to teach Calvinism in an all female SS class. But isn’t that what the Gospel Project is for?

    Their female theologians must have money to burn and no need to earn?

    Oh well, they will be armed to combat the scourge of egalitarianism!

  207. mot wrote:

    Supposedly the issue is these women can not be pastors as the only restriction of the 2000 BF&M. I think the restrictions in practice are much broader than this. For SBC men there can not be a woman in leadership position they would have to submit. I would love to know of even 1 woman in a leadership capacity in the SBC.

    My last SBC church had a female discipleship “director”, which was equivalent to an assistant pastor. She may have done more than the lead pastor when it came to actually running the church. It was a fairly large church, too. I just looked on their website and she’s not there anymore, but they have a few other female “directors”.

  208. Lydia wrote:

    Their female theologians must have money to burn and no need to earn?

    They are not going to get any paying jobs in the SBC. They are just wasting their time and money IMO.

  209. @ Lydia:
    Wow! Give women the education to ………. teach women that we are second class beings that are marginalized by God?
    How encouraging …… not.

  210. okrapod wrote:

    Let me ask, and I am not being contentious here. Who determines what is ‘legalistic’ and what is ‘authoritarian’ and what is ‘abusive’?

    I’ve been reading up on abuse this last year, and I think the thing that clicked for me was something about patterns of control. Because if you look at the list of things that might be abusive, sometimes you throw up your hands and say everybody is abusive by these definitions. But not so. So maybe it’s like that?

    I myself don’t believe most polity is in and of itself abusive, although there are types that lend themselves to problems. I think abusive and control are heart issues. Probably true of legalism too, because it’s about what motivates people.

  211. Stan wrote:

    @ Ken F:
    If his case was improved by saying what this young lady actually did, provided this exchange it actually happened at all, he would say it.

    Goodness Stan, now you made me look! I’m guessing it was either premarital sex or she was a lesbian.

  212. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    When they start telling single people they need to find a random dude to be their ‘head’ they start to sound pretty crazy to normal people.

    Not only that, they also (as Daisy and others have mentioned) make “Christian” marriage sound extremely unappealing.

    Don’t they just! Especially the ‘you married him, now you’re stuck with him no matter how terrible he is’. If I really believed that, I would have to say Pass.

  213. @ Lydia:

    Complementarians have not always done a good job of encouraging women in their educational pursuits and leadership opportunities.

    No Kidding!!!

  214. Lea wrote:

    Don’t they just! Especially the ‘you married him, now you’re stuck with him no matter how terrible he is’. If I really believed that, I would have to say Pass.

    And, if the husbands changes (direction in life – career, location, friends, associates), the wife has to change, too …… Or at least put on a good act.

  215. ishy wrote:

    they have a few other female “directors”.

    This is a big part of what drove me out of the SBC for good. They will give women the work but not the title. It’s like the people who believe permanent separation is better than divorce. It’s all talk.

    It’s actually a great example of what I think of when I hear ‘legalism’. True in name only, not actuality.

  216. Lea wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    they have a few other female “directors”.

    This is a big part of what drove me out of the SBC for good. They will give women the work but not the title. It’s like the people who believe permanent separation is better than divorce. It’s all talk.

    It’s actually a great example of what I think of when I hear ‘legalism’. True in name only, not actuality.

    Heaven forbid there be a woman Pastor in the SBC. I am barely a SBC, and the treatment of women is all wrong IMO.

  217. mot wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Their female theologians must have money to burn and no need to earn?

    They are not going to get any paying jobs in the SBC. They are just wasting their time and money IMO.

    I have a suspicion this is more about another marketing niche cloaked in lofty idealist language. It was the same strategy for the seminaries that added 4 year colleges. They need new batches students.

    After all there is not much danger if they are indoctrinating the females and bringing in money at the same time. They will graduate not only knowing their place but advocating the same for other females. :o)

  218. Gram3 wrote:

    Sounds to me like SEBTS needs a separate-but-equal means of generating female Ph.D.s to flood ETS with right-thinking female Female Subordinationists.

    Aunts Shepherding(TM) the Handmaids.

  219. Lydia wrote:

    Oh well, they will be armed to combat the scourge of egalitarianism!

    With electric cattle prods?

  220. Bill M wrote:

    From the perspective of an average person errant theology reminds me of conspiracy theories, there are alternate interpretations for just about everything. It is no use arguing as they are heavily invested in their alternate reality and have a far greater mastery over all the arguments. When you start with the conclusion, logic becomes very malleable.

    The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.

  221. Ken G wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    Let me ask, and I am not being contentious here. Who determines what is ‘legalistic’ and what is ‘authoritarian’ and what is ‘abusive’? Are there specific established guidelines, or is it more a matter of individual preference?
    It is very much like beauty. It is all in the eye of the beholder.

    And if you’re the abuser holding the cattle prod, IT IS NOT ABUSE.
    (“BZZZZAP!!!!”)
    IT IS NEVER ABUSE.
    (“BZZZZAP!!!!”)

  222. Gram3 wrote:

    Dale wrote:
    Christians who are caught up in legalistic, authoritarian congregations should be helped especially by those who have left the abusive system.
    The hardest part is getting people to be willing to even contemplate the possibility.

    The threat of Eternal Hell is quite a motivator.

  223. @ Gram3:
    I did not think of that. But now that you mention it talk of women theologians/scholars presenting/not presenting at ETS was a topic in certain circles last year. Hmm.

  224. mot wrote:

    Supposedly the issue is these women can not be pastors as the only restriction of the 2000 BF&M. I think the restrictions in practice are much broader than this. For SBC men there can not be a woman in leadership position they would have to submit. I would love to know of even 1 woman in a leadership capacity in the SBC.

    And it still hasn’t dawned on the Southern Baptists why they now have the highest divorce rate in the nation (higher than any other denomination and higher than atheists) and why 200,000 living Southern Baptists a year are leaving the denomination and have “had it”.

  225. Thanks Ian for the book recommendation about evangelicals, including that page about John MacArthur firing women secretaries at his church.

    I have copied your comment to the top of the page here under the Interesting tab, the Books/Movies/TV, etc. tab so that people can refer to it at a later date if they are interested in reading it.

  226. ishy wrote:

    they have a few other female “directors”.

    The latest from from 9Markism’s own Dear Abby:

    https://9marks.org/mailbag/53/

    Advice columnist Jonathan Leeman tackles the real-life dilemmas 9Marxist comrades ‘Stephen’ and ‘Cody’ have over women voting in business meetings and children’s ministers.

    Leeman warns that the title Children’s Minister is very problematic, because people could think she’s a pastor or elder.

    He concludes: “I’d suggest (i) giving them a title like “director” or “administer” and (ii) making sure an elder oversees anything they do pertaining to teaching.”

  227. Jerome wrote:

    He concludes: “I’d suggest (i) giving them a title like “director” or “administer” and (ii) making sure an elder oversees anything they do pertaining to teaching.”

    I would suggest that the women step aside and let the men do everything, including appointing a man as the minister of nursery diaper changing.

  228. Jerome wrote:

    He concludes: “I’d suggest (i) giving them a title like “director” or “administer” and (ii) making sure an elder oversees anything they do pertaining to teaching.”

    See! This is legalistic nonsense. But if you tell these guys this, they would just tell you to kick the women out of ministry altogether.

    I repeat, this kind of nonsense is a big part of the reason I am no longer Baptist.

  229. Lydia wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    I did not think of that. But now that you mention it talk of women theologians/scholars presenting/not presenting at ETS was a topic in certain circles last year. Hmm.

    Maybe I’m just old and cranky. Or experienced. I just don’t see a real need for a “special” center. They did not get what they wanted at ETS. They have not totally conquered NOBTS. They do not give up. Grudem and Piper and Mohler and Dever are political (among many others.) This is their life’s work and their legacy. IMO, the younger generation or their children will give up Female Subordinationism if they see it threatening their livelihoods once the old guard passes on.

    Back on topic, I wonder if Keller will begin stepping away from Complementarianism. The PCA and TgC need Keller more than he needs them, ISTM.

  230. mot wrote:

    Velour: For better or worse I have read lots ob books on the Women’s Missionary Union in the Southern Baptist Convention. There have been many times that these women through their fund raising efforts kept the SBC financially a float. Now the SBC leaders basically tell these women they are sub humans and do not need them. There only job is to submit to men–baloney-baloney-baloney. These men make me so angry!!!
    My two daughters want nothing to do with the SBC. I raised my two daughters explaining to them God uses whoever he wants to regardless of gender. That makes me a heretic in the SBC world. It does not bother me anymore.

    Thank you MOT for sharing about these dear souls, women missionaries in the SBC.

    As the problems added up in my ex-church (9Marks/John MacArthur-ite/NeoCalvinist) that women couldn’t and shouldn’t do important church work because “the Bible says so”, I began to feel a rising tide of anger. I remembered as a girl meeting my Presbyterian grandmother’s women missionary friends, some of them were doctors, who carried The Gospel, taught, practiced medicine in villages and did other important work in countries around the world. Some women were pilots. I met many of these women at my grandmother’s Presbyterian church. (My grandmother died at 102 years old, was university educated, went to university in the 1920’s, had a degree in the hard sciences, and was the first woman to be a dean of a public college in our state, California.)

    When the NeoCal boys said that Christian women “couldn’t”, I would silently reply, “Oh really? Then how come grandma’s friends were strong Christians and they did it? It worked too. God used these beautiful souls to advance the kingdom.”

    You are a good Papa and I am glad that your daughters have your support. Ditto for other women.

  231. Jerome wrote:

    Advice columnist Jonathan Leeman tackles the real-life dilemmas 9Marxist comrades ‘Stephen’ and ‘Cody’ have over women voting in business meetings and children’s ministers.

    I have a question for Jonathan Leeman: How well will these churches do without womens’ money? (Let alone their time and talents?)

  232. @ Velour:

    Actually Leeman basically said women could vote. FWIW.

    “In other words, people in the ancient Near East both voted and knew how to explicitly restrict their voting to one gender. These Christian documents didn’t.”

  233. Gram3 wrote:

    I think one size definitely does not fit all. AFAIK there is nothing written down about what constitutes abuse, but the Potter Stewart rule works for me most of the time.

    I do think we know something about how abusive systems function as research has been done about it:

    *former Air Force psychiatrist/researcher Dr. Robert Jay Lifton, now at Yale University,
    and his work, found on Brad/FuturistGuy’s blog:
    https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/the-hunger-games-trilogy-5a/

    *psychologist/author/Undue Influence expert Steve Hassan, who was mentored by Dr. Robert
    Jay Lifton and Steve got out of the Moonie cult in the 1970’s, has the BITE Model
    (Behavior Control, Information Control, Thought Control, and Emotional Control about how authoritarian groups work)

    http://old.freedomofmind.com/Info/BITE/bitemodel.php

    *Dr. Ron Enroth’s book Churches That Abuse (available for FREE online),
    here: http://www.reveal.org/development/Churches_that_Abuse.pdf

    *Dr. Ron Enroth’s book Recovering from Churches That Abuse (available for FREE online),
    here: http://www.reveal.org/development/Recovering_from_Churches_that_Abuse.pdf

    In Recovering from Churches That Abuse Dr. Ronald Enroth lists eleven questions from LaVonne Neff “Evaluating Cults and New Religions” in a Guide to Cults and New Religions, pages 27-32. I would go to that page of the book and read the very good questions.

  234. Jerome wrote:

    Advice columnist Jonathan Leeman tackles the real-life dilemmas 9Marxist comrades ‘Stephen’ and ‘Cody’ have over women voting in business meetings and children’s ministers.

    Surely someone could make one of those meme things with a martyr scene with one of these ridiculous questions on it to show how utterly and insanely self-absorbed and narcissistic these man-children are.

  235. Gram3 wrote:

    to show how utterly and insanely self-absorbed and narcissistic these man-children are

    “I’ve just been sitting around mulling over the ways I don’t think women have been restricted in church enough for my taste…can I run them by you, Jonathan?”

  236. My Roman Catholic parish is only about a block and a half from this guy’s church downtown so one Sunday on the way to mass I decided to pop in. I’m about 60 and like many New York Catholics don’t dress up too fancy for mass. I didn’t feel that welcomed. I saw few older people. Most older members appeared to be elderly relatives of Asian members. I count that in their favor as a culture. But I got the feeling older members were not the top priority there. I contrasted that to my (very progressive Jesuit parish) where there really are people of all ages. And the elderly are valued. Our pastor, himself not young, introduced a nun visiting that day, who had been his teacher. (Our assistant pastor is quite young, so there’s a role for everyone.)

  237. Velour wrote:

    I remembered as a girl meeting my Presbyterian grandmother’s women missionary friends, some of them were doctors, who carried The Gospel, taught, practiced medicine in villages and did other important work in countries around the world. Some women were pilots.

    “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:13_

  238. Dew wrote:

    I’m about 60 and like many New York Catholics don’t dress up too fancy for mass.

    I’m a senior and I wear jeans to Mass. Nobody stares, nobody cares. We are there for something far more important than a fashion show and we know it.

  239. Christiane wrote:

    Dew wrote:

    I’m about 60 and like many New York Catholics don’t dress up too fancy for mass.

    I’m a senior and I wear jeans to Mass. Nobody stares, nobody cares. We are there for something far more important than a fashion show and we know it.

    Tattered polo jacket,dress shirt frayed, no tie, dress pants and comfortable tennis shoes. Everyone did seem dressed up. I think that’s partly middle class Protestant culture but I think he’s also aiming for younger with at least some money. But who knows. I may be wrong about the money thing. There are cultural differences.

  240. Gram3 wrote:

    There already is a society for evangelical scholarship where women can participate: the Evangelical Theological Society. Sounds to me like SEBTS needs a separate-but-equal means of generating female Ph.D.s to flood ETS with right-thinking female Female Subordinationists.

    The neo-Cals don’t want women in ETS and have been throwing a fit about it the past few years. That’s a reason they’ve been trying to take it over (like everything else).

    While it says women founded it, I wonder if the seminary had other motives for taking it up, such as keeping women out of ETS and “men groups”.

  241. Jerome wrote:

    He concludes: “I’d suggest (i) giving them a title like “director” or “administer” and (ii) making sure an elder oversees anything they do pertaining to teaching.”

    I know for a fact that church believes in female pastors as I’ve discussed that very issue with the pastor, but they’d be kicked out of the SBC if they called a woman “Minister”. Personally, I don’t think being kicked out of the SBC is a bad thing, and thinks they should have disassociated with them a long time ago. I don’t think half that church even knows they are Baptist, it’s so non-denom in style.

  242. Lea wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Actually Leeman basically said women could vote. FWIW.
    “In other words, people in the ancient Near East both voted and knew how to explicitly restrict their voting to one gender. These Christian documents didn’t.”

    He recants everything when it’s convenient. I don’t expect his stance on permitting women to vote will last for very long. I could be wrong. But I’ve watched him cave too many times. He doesn’t know what The Gospel really is all about.

  243. Christiane wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I remembered as a girl meeting my Presbyterian grandmother’s women missionary friends, some of them were doctors, who carried The Gospel, taught, practiced medicine in villages and did other important work in countries around the world. Some women were pilots.
    “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:13_

    Thanks, sweet Christiane! You are always an encouragement to me.

  244. ishy wrote:

    I wonder if the seminary had other motives for taking it up, such as keeping women out of ETS and “men groups”.

    Apart from gender segregation, there is no need for a separate female program. It already exists. We cannot know their motives, but we can wonder why they would create an unnecessary program. If there is so much excess cash floating around SEBTS, why don’t they send it to IMB?

  245. @ Velour:
    I believe that Leeman and 9Marks are talking about women voting in congregational meetings. They have always said that women members should vote in those meetings. I’ll give that credit to them. Doug Wilson and the Federal Visionists are the ones who say/said that women should not vote in meetings. Only the Heads of Households can vote in their meetings.

  246. I was wrong. I have been advised this is not a program by SEBTS, which is what someone actually said above. Reading comprehension. These women are theological students who are Complementarian. Possibly in the course of their advanced studies these young women might take a sharper and more rigorous look at Danvers and see how sloppy it really is. I had no idea until I actually read it!

  247. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Velour:
    I believe that Leeman and 9Marks are talking about women voting in congregational meetings. They have always said that women members should vote in those meetings. I’ll give that credit to them. Doug Wilson and the Federal Visionists are the ones who say/said that women should not vote in meetings. Only the Heads of Households can vote in their meetings.

    Considering that Mark Dever is in a Baptist church with that type of polity/congregational vote, I would expect him and co-pilot Jonathan Leeman to pay lip service to its importance. They’d have a fight on their hands if they didn’t respect this Baptist tradition.

    Since everywhere in his books Mark Dever espouses elder-led churches, without congregational votes and he seems to despise the priesthood of believers, I expect him to get rid of congregational votes any way he can.

  248. Gram3 wrote:

    Possibly in the course of their advanced studies these young women might take a sharper and more rigorous look at Danvers and see how sloppy it really is. I had no idea until I actually read it!

    I liked the discussion you and Ken F. had about Patriarchy in 2016. I saved it at the top of the page under the Interesting tab/Books/Movies/TV/ETC tab for future reference.

    ******
    Gram3’s post on June 4, 2016:
    Denny says:
    …we must not fear making a claim that is disturbingly counter-cultural and yet strikingly biblical, a claim that the less-than-evangelical feminists understand increasingly: Christianity is undergirded by a vision of patriarchy.
    First, class, pick out the assertions which are embarrassingly naked of argument. Second, class, spot the “attack on the person” fallacy (hint: the “f” word.) Third, class, identify the emphatic and prejudicial language concealing a lack of facts and argument. Extra credit: Explain reasonably and concisely what “vision of patriarchy” actually means. Extra extra credit: Explain reasonably and concisely how said “vision of patriarchy” undergirds Christianity (must explain the structural engineering metaphor to receive all points.)
    That’s a taste.

  249. And here was Ken F’s response to Gram3’s challenge on June 5, 2016:

    Ken F. posted this on June 5, 2016, in response to Gram3’s challenge to TWW posters.
    ++++++++++
    What an assignment – pretty stiff challenge because the statement is such a mess of vague terms. They can wiggle words to say just about anything when they don’t define them. I’ll give it a stab:
    “reclaim” assumes that complementarians once had the upper hand. When was that? Evidence? It’s a nice word to throw in becase it preys (prays?) on people’s loss aversion (people’s tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains – from Wikipedia). The reality is they have nothing to reclaim because complementarians have never been in the majority. Pure spin.
    “the debate” makes it sound like there are two sides and that one side can win. It pushes the discussion into extreme views: one is either a complentarian with all that baggage, or one is a liberal feminist who denies all gender differences. The reality is at neither extreme. And there is no true debate because there are no official groups who are taking the two extreme sides. It’s an attempt to spin facts in order to whip up frenzy and make it sound like there is something to win, or at least something not to lose.
    “we must not fear making a claim” – This is a funny statement. I would think they would want to say “we must not fear standing for the truth.” It’s almost like this is an admission to making up something new.
    “disturbingly counter-cultural” – How does one define counter-cultural in a multi-cultural environment? “Counter-cultural” is just a buzz word that has almost no meaning. It’s meant to sound brave and heroic, but they forget that all the heretics were counter to the normative church culture. “Disturbingly” is a disturbing word to describe a Christian movement. More spin in an effort to sound heroic.
    “yet strikingly biblical” is another meaningless phrase. First, the word “yet” contrasts “biblical” with “counter-cultural.” Isn’t Christianity already supposed to be counter-cultural? So it sounds like this is setting up a double-negative. It seems like “and” would have been a better word choice. Unless they mean to upset the current Christian culture, which is what they are doing. Inserting “strikingly” makes no sense other than to inflate the language.
    “less-than-evangelical feminists” – What does “less than evangelical” mean? Is it assuming that no feminist can be fully evangelical? What do they mean by feminist? If it’s someone advocating equal pay for equal work, that hardly disqualifies a person from being an evangelical. What does it even mean to be evangelical? There is no clear definition for evangelical. So this is a nearly meaningless string of words.
    “understand increasingly:” What evidence does he have that “less-than-evangelical feminists” are increasing in their understanding of his conclusion? I think it’s the opposite. It’s spin to make it sound like complementarians are gaining ground.
    “Christianity is undergirded by a vision of patriarchy.” – This is the point they have yet to prove. But say it enough times and it begins to sound true. Christianity has been infected by it too often in the past, just like it has been infected by lust for the power of the state. But it’s not the “Biblical” norm.
    I have to skip the extra credit points – I cannot begin to imagine how to answer.

  250. @ Velour:
    The way it works is that the elders propose and the congregation votes on what the elders propose. I have never seen a vote go against an elder proposal. There really is not a practical difference between elder-led and elder-ruled. I have been in both types of churches, and the one I liked best was elder-ruled. Because the elders were themselves very godly men. That is what makes the difference, I think, not the particular form of polity. Don’t care much for hierarchy above the congregational elder, though. If I can’t corral them around the coffeepot with a donut… 🙂

  251. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Velour:
    The way it works is that the elders propose and the congregation votes on what the elders propose. I have never seen a vote go against an elder proposal. There really is not a practical difference between elder-led and elder-ruled. I have been in both types of churches, and the one I liked best was elder-ruled. Because the elders were themselves very godly men. That is what makes the difference, I think, not the particular form of polity. Don’t care much for hierarchy above the congregational elder, though. If I can’t corral them around the coffeepot with a donut…

    I see.

    I will never step foot in elder-ruled church again. Period.

    I realize that things can go wrong in churches with congregational votes, and no form of polity is immune from abuse. But today’s elders seem about being spineless yes-men, nepotism, etc.

    What type of polity did the church have that “keyed” you and Gramp3 out?

  252. Velour wrote:

    without congregational votes and he seems to despise the priesthood of believers

    Very strange.
    Recently there was a TWW post about donating to a church that is not transparent about finances, which is a deal-breaker for most.
    Here is the case where a member has no input, but one assumes they will nevertheless ask for and take one’s money? Seriously?

  253. JYJames wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    without congregational votes and he seems to despise the priesthood of believers
    Very strange.
    Recently there was a TWW post about donating to a church that is not transparent about finances, which is a deal-breaker for most.
    Here is the case where a member has no input, but one assumes they will nevertheless ask for and take one’s money? Seriously?

    Yes, seriously.

    People — women and men — should slam their wallets shut!

  254. Nancy2 wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Quoting Denny Burk: Christianity is undergirded by a vision of patriarchy.
    Meh, so is Islam.

    Spot on, Nancy2.

  255. Dale wrote:

    Okay. I do not want to throw out the baby with the bath water. And I want to speak the truth in love.
    First, I accept my reformed brothers and sisters as fellow lovers of Christ. Even the so-called “New Calvinists”.

    Some of them do know Jesus and love Him, but are simply misguided, got in with the wrong crowd, will learn their lesson. Others not only don’t know Jesus, but absolutely hate Him and work this hatred out by persecuting and destroying those who truly love Him. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, but don’t drink the bathwater, either.

  256. @ Velour:
    Sorry, I wasn’t clear. We were keyed out of an elder-led church. We have also been in churches that were one pastor with deacons and congregational voting (traditional SBC.) I guess we’ve seen all kinds of variations of elder/deacon/congregation polity. Churches with female deacons and churches with no females at the front of the the church (slight exaggeration.) As I’ve said before, I’m a slow learner. Polity isn’t the answer, IMO, because messed up people can mess up anything. 🙂

  257. @ Velour:
    I was talking about a specific church and not a specific polity, so maybe that is how I created the confusion. This was a pretty small church with a few elders who were humble men. They “ruled” by serving. This church was an exceptional one in many ways, and we look back on those days with fond memories. That church was not exceptional because it was elder-ruled. That was just the way it was. The elders were just great guys. Their wives would have been great elders, too. 🙂

  258. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Sorry, I wasn’t clear. We were keyed out of an elder-led church. We have also been in churches that were one pastor with deacons and congregational voting (traditional SBC.) I guess we’ve seen all kinds of variations of elder/deacon/congregation polity. Churches with female deacons and churches with no females at the front of the the church (slight exaggeration.) As I’ve said before, I’m a slow learner. Polity isn’t the answer, IMO, because messed up people can mess up anything.

    Got it.

  259. Gram3 wrote:

    This was a pretty small church with a few elders who were humble men. They “ruled” by serving.

    Nice.

    My ex-pastors/elders in the beginning seemed “nice” to me and competent. Then that all changed as we were ordered into meetings and screamed at and falsely accused. Also having elders and pastors dictate everything from one’s home decor to what one fed the children to a choice in friends.

    I am a slow learner too.

  260. Velour wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Supposedly the issue is these women can not be pastors as the only restriction of the 2000 BF&M. I think the restrictions in practice are much broader than this. For SBC men there can not be a woman in leadership position they would have to submit. I would love to know of even 1 woman in a leadership capacity in the SBC.

    And it still hasn’t dawned on the Southern Baptists why they now have the highest divorce rate in the nation (higher than any other denomination and higher than atheists) and why 200,000 living Southern Baptists a year are leaving the denomination and have “had it”.

    The SBC leaders do not seem to be concerned with the 200,000 each year leaving or the reduction of the missionary force by 1,000. They are going to eventually get to the purity state they are seeking–being sarcastic.

  261. Deb wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    I will never step foot in elder-ruled church again. Period.

    Me either!

    I think the concept has been poisoned beyond recovery by this current crowd who cannot utter one sentence without “authority” in it. Not sure what the answer is.

  262. mot wrote:

    They are going to eventually get to the purity state they are seeking–being sarcastic.

    So true, MOT.

    They are washing the outside of the cup, but not the inside of the cup, as Jesus said.

  263. Gram3 wrote:

    I think the concept has been poisoned beyond recovery by this current crowd who cannot utter one sentence without “authority” in it. Not sure what the answer is.

    Perhaps the “answer” is getting back to the real Gospel, which these elitists haven’t encountered.

  264. Gram3 wrote:

    Polity isn’t the answer, IMO, because messed up people can mess up anything.

    This is my opinion as well. (although I definitely have preferred versions – I think its nice that my pastors step out of the room when the congregation votes on their salary, even if it’s massively unlikely anyone will raise an objection no matter what they do – sometimes the proper thing should be done).

  265. Velour wrote:

    This was a pretty small church with a few elders who were humble men. They “ruled” by serving.

    ‘They “ruled” by serving.’ and ‘were humble men’

    both these phrases go together and point toward the Way of Our Lord as He was when He was among us

  266. Velour wrote:

    Gram3’s post on June 4, 2016:
    Denny says:
    ‘…we must not fear making a claim that is disturbingly counter-cultural and yet strikingly biblical, a claim that the less-than-evangelical feminists understand increasingly: Christianity is undergirded by a vision of patriarchy’.

    Actually, those words echo from an article by Russell Moore (2006), this:
    http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/49/49-3/JETS_49-3_569-576_Moore.pdf

    “f complementarians are to reclaim the debate, we must not fear making
    a claim that is disturbingly counter-cultural and yet strikingly biblical, a
    claim that the less-than-evangelical feminists understand increasingly: Chris-
    tianity is undergirded by a vision of patriarchy. This claim is rendered all the
    more controversial because it threatens complementarianism as a “move-
    ment.”

  267. Christiane wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Gram3’s post on June 4, 2016:
    Denny says:
    ‘…we must not fear making a claim that is disturbingly counter-cultural and yet strikingly biblical, a claim that the less-than-evangelical feminists understand increasingly: Christianity is undergirded by a vision of patriarchy’.
    Actually, those words echo from an article by Russell Moore (2006), this:
    http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/49/49-3/JETS_49-3_569-576_Moore.pdf
    “f complementarians are to reclaim the debate, we must not fear making
    a claim that is disturbingly counter-cultural and yet strikingly biblical, a
    claim that the less-than-evangelical feminists understand increasingly: Chris-
    tianity is undergirded by a vision of patriarchy. This claim is rendered all the
    more controversial because it threatens complementarianism as a “move-
    ment.”

    Excellent research, Christiane.

  268. @ Velour:
    not really …. just stumbled on it trying to fine Denny’s original context, so typed in phrase and this site came up

    I’m sorry Denny stopped allowing comments on his blog. I thought he was ‘irenic’ or at least more so than most of his associates. I guess when he ascended to a higher position in his world, something had to go, and the comments were it. Oh well.

  269. Christiane wrote:

    @ Velour:
    not really …. just stumbled on it trying to fine Denny’s original context, so typed in phrase and this site came up
    I’m sorry Denny stopped allowing comments on his blog. I thought he was ‘irenic’ or at least more so than most of his associates. I guess when he ascended to a higher position in his world, something had to go, and the comments were it. Oh well.

    They are all a thin-skinned bunch, aren’t they. Not permitting comments.

  270. Gram3 wrote:

    Polity isn’t the answer, IMO, because messed up people can mess up anything.

    Good polity may not guarantee safety but bad polity opens the gates to abuse.

  271. Velour wrote:

    Perhaps the “answer” is getting back to the real Gospel, which these elitists haven’t encountered.

    strange these men haven’t encountered the ‘real’ Gospel as a version of it is encapsulated in sacred Scripture from the hand of St. Paul, this:
    ” 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,6 Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, Chapter 2)

    Maybe that verse does not have meaning for them?

  272. Christiane wrote:

    Maybe that verse does not have meaning for them?

    I think these abusive men read plenty of Scripture. And it has NO meaning for them.
    They are clanging bells. They are “know it alls”, devoid of the primary ingredient to be a follower of Jesus: Love.

  273. Velour wrote:

    In my experience the conservative evangelicals who spent the most amount of time talking about gays did so to digress from ever looking inward at their own messed up lives and all of the changes that they need to make.

    Velour,

    Thank you for saying that. As someone who is gay (I believed the traditional dogma that it was an abomination and prayed to be "cured" to no avail) I experienced abuse at the hands of evangelicals. When I walked away they said that I had "rebelled against God" whilst they were selling books by Piper, Mahaney and the Go$$$pel Coalition, despite being given all the evidence about their abuses. 20 years ago I met a guy who stopped going to church and he said "church leaders have their own agendas". At the time I wasn't sure what he meant but now it all makes sense.

  274. Deb wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    I will never step foot in elder-ruled church again. Period.

    Me either!

    I can relate. Maybe it’s my background in org development but I think polity matters more than we think. Every org has a culture and people tend to go along with the prevailing culture without thinking too much about it. Especially if they were raised in it.

    I can remember elder led was foreign to me. I never got used to it. It seemed like an unnecessary middleman to me in the Body. In mega commercial Christianity it’s a must Because of size. And it’s a whole other church at that level that few in the pews ever know about.

    If one starts attending a church where it is the normal that the congregation makes the decisions, they will have much more of a tendency to participate in such. (This is not saying there are not group dynamics involved but, IMO, it’s still better to have a voice without official heirarchy, than not)

    In top down closed systems you either go along or leave. You are more of a spectator than participant in the operation of the Body. Some people prefer that.

    One of the things the YRR did when they took over my former church was to either put a new YRR staff person or seminary volunteer on committees or disband committees. Formerly, The non church staff committee’s usually presented to the congregation for broader discussion and maybe a vote if ready. The YRR did not want pew sitters with that much input. Within two years, the culture dynamics changed totally to top down.

    The culture and dynamics are different when it comes to polity. It’s whether those dynamics are important to an individual or not.

    Yes people can mess up anything. But if a basic principle pervades that every adult in the Body is valued, equal and has input, it’s messy and frustrating as can be but much better than the alternative.

    I totally agree with Mara about human hierarchy in the Body.

  275. @ Lydia:

    That is the best and most balanced information that I have heard on the issue of polity so far. What caught my eye is that more than once in the comment you mentioned the idea that not everybody thinks or feels the same way about elder led.

    In the past, of course, the baptist board of deacons had some level of power which they seem to have lost. While this was not to the level of a board of elders it was nevertheless a designated body of people who made recommendations to the congregation which pretty automatically got voted for. I am thinking this was an intermediate level between having masses of committees (which my former UMC church had) and having only a board of elders.

  276. Lydia wrote:

    . But if a basic principle pervades that every adult in the Body is valued, equal and has input, it’s messy and frustrating as can be but much better than the alternative.

    Thanks, Lydia, for your insights.

  277. @ okrapod:
    In my experience, the Deacons often carried out the results of the vote. It was less of a power position than a service position. And of course they were elected. It wasn’t as glam as it might be today as if you were, say, the Deacon assigned to grounds or maintenance, you might well end up mowing on Saturday or fixing the kitchen sink. :o)

  278. @ okrapod:

    As to the matter of some prefer one sort of polity and some another, let me make a plea for those of us who do not have the motivation or the talents or the spiritual gifts or the life style to function well in a setting where there is no or minimal structure and where it is up to us.

    When I first went into radiology it was almost totally a hospital based specialty, and we were paid based on whatever agreement (contract) we had with the hospital. The non-physicians in the department were hospital employees just like the nurses and others. We were not their employers. Then the government passed some laws and we all went onto ‘separate billing’ which meant hiring people and setting up an office and which meant changing the relationship between the radiologist and the patient to a business relationship and not just a mediated transaction based on knowledge. This was part of the shift in medicine from a knowledge based system to a business model. Other’s people’s ink has been spilled on this. So I set up an office, hired some people, billed the patient, and despised every minute of it and began looking for ways to get out of radiology and back on salary somewhere. Eventually that happened for me when the hospital collapsed and I went on salary for a branch of the federal government.

    I hate and despise decision making in a business organizational model. I hate and despise having to try to motivate other people either by some participation on some committee or else in a direct supervisory role much less as their employer. But I sure could tell somebody 27 different things that might have explained unilateral erosion of the petrous tip. When that ceased to be top value, and how much money can one extract from the sick and traumatized did become top value, I began to despise the practice of medicine and wallow in my own shame and disgust. Not to mention that if one does the dual jobs of the practice of medicine plus a parental role in a family that is all that some of us can effectively do all at the same time.

    Translate that to church vocabulary. There are those who like church stuff, who are good at it, who like being in charge, who thrive on #$%^ committees, who are born organizers and socializers, who see setting up and functioning in churches as their role in the kingdom, who understand and are comfortable with methodologies of organization, and who feel good about themselves while doing it. Bless them. I highly respect them and value who they are and what they do.

    Punch line. The world needs people like me, and the world needs people like them. But we are not they and they are not we. We each have our uses. I am very comfortable in a church that is packed full of people with strong ideas and distinct preferences and many with some significant success in the world to show for it but who also have chosen to co-operate in a system where there is an aspect of follow the leader and co-operate with the system. IMO, it takes all kinds.

    Peace

  279. ZechZav wrote:

    I experienced abuse at the hands of evangelicals.

    ZechZav,

    I am sorry that you were abused by evangelicals, but I am not the least bit surprised. They can be very abusive people.

    I wearied, at my former church, at the constant attacks on gays. I work a job in the real world. I have a gay boss and gay colleagues. We’re expected to get along and do our jobs. And we do. My gay boss is a far nicer, more ethical,more decent human being than ANY of the pastors/elders at my ex-church.

    Hugs to you from across The Pond,

    Velour in California

  280. @ okrapod:
    I agree with everything you said. It’s basically the 80/20 rule. I would just hope the 80 percent values a vote as part of the Body.

    In the Body of Christ, my view is that following a leader is not good for us and is certainly not good for the leader. Every believer is a priest.

    I tried for years to map business/org leadership principles to the Body of Christ. I came to the conclusion it has been a disaster much like the state church and similar in polity. But it is the normal.

  281. Bill M wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    Polity isn’t the answer, IMO, because messed up people can mess up anything.
    Good polity may not guarantee safety but bad polity opens the gates to abuse.

    I think when you really need to be wary is when someone comes in wanting to change to something that suits them better.

  282. okrapod wrote:

    In the past, of course, the baptist board of deacons had some level of power which they seem to have lost. While this was not to the level of a board of elders it was nevertheless a designated body of people who made recommendations to the congregation which pretty automatically got voted for. I am thinking this was an intermediate level between having masses of committees (which my former UMC church had) and having only a board of elders.

    Presbyterians have apparently both masses of committees and a ‘session’ full of elders to make decisions. But we also vote on some things.

  283. @ okrapod:

    So here is my thought on this. Say you’re a person who has no interest in committees, but you see something going awry at your church because the people who ARE interested have a different agenda. Then you have to get involved or have some like minded people get involved or the only people whose thought are heard are the involved ones.

    This is also a problem if some new person has unknowingly stacked the decks like Lydia mentioned.

  284. So let me say, that the model most of you all prefer (congregationalism) is much like a democracy. Our model shares some similarity with a constitutional republic. From the outside the RCC seems to be more like a monarchy.

  285. mot wrote:

    The SBC leaders do not seem to be concerned with the 200,000 each year leaving or the reduction of the missionary force by 1,000.

    Evidence of a curse within SBC ranks. For over 150 years, Southern Baptists were all about reaching as many folks as they could for Christ … they were growing, not declining. For over 150 years, Southern Baptists put as many missionaries as they could on foreign fields … they didn’t bring them home in great numbers. For all the hype that New Calvinists are throwing about, they have not restored the true “gospel” to the SBC. If they had, souls would be added to the church daily and the mission force would be expanded. The SBC is not blessed right now; it is under a curse.

  286. Lydia wrote:

    if a basic principle pervades that every adult in the Body is valued, equal and has input, it’s messy and frustrating as can be but much better than the alternative

    Amen Lydia! After 60+ years in Southern Baptist life, I have observed church congregations arguing over everything … from the color of the carpet to the color of the preacher! But, at the end of the day, congregational polity brought balance to the Body. We were members of an SBC church years ago where the pastor did a remarkable thing. When it appeared that a certain issue brought before the church for a vote might prove contentious, he called for a season of prayer until God touched each heart to bring them to unity. When adversaries meet at a prayer altar in humility, prayer and repentance, it’s amazing how minds and hearts are changed! There may be less weeping and gnashing of teeth when an elder team makes all the decisions, but it ain’t as much fun for the members ;^)

  287. Max wrote:

    For over 150 years, Southern Baptists put as many missionaries as they could on foreign fields … they didn’t bring them home in great numbers.

    Is any of this shift impacted by the Lausanne movement and it’s shift of emphasis on some mission techniques. Is the IMB perhaps leaning more to funding indigenous evangelists as opposed to keeping the money in the hands of the sent missionary from the U.S.? Back in the fifties when I spent a little time in Africa this issue about who controls the money was an issue among the people on the field at that time. Do you have any information along this line?

  288. Max wrote:

    mot wrote:

    The SBC leaders do not seem to be concerned with the 200,000 each year leaving or the reduction of the missionary force by 1,000.

    Evidence of a curse within SBC ranks. For over 150 years, Southern Baptists were all about reaching as many folks as they could for Christ … they were growing, not declining. For over 150 years, Southern Baptists put as many missionaries as they could on foreign fields … they didn’t bring them home in great numbers. For all the hype that New Calvinists are throwing about, they have not restored the true “gospel” to the SBC. If they had, souls would be added to the church daily and the mission force would be expanded. The SBC is not blessed right now; it is under a curse.

    How is Platt allowed to have two jobs? I would think the IMB would need his full attention.

  289. mot wrote:

    How is Platt allowed to have two jobs? I would think the IMB would need his full attention.

    Don’t worry – the Calvinist God has everything under control. Whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see … Que sera, sera … What will be, will be.

  290. okrapod wrote:

    … shift of emphasis … Do you have any information along this line?

    The only information I have in hand is the fact that New Calvinists are taking over the SBC as rapidly as they can! My views are based on an objective perspective, with a dab of subjective opinion. The new reformers now control most SBC entities (seminaries, publishing agency, mission agencies). SBC’s seasoned missionaries being removed from foreign fields have been predominantly non-Calvinist in belief and practice. Reckon what flavor they will be when IMB starts restaffing?

    The “shift of emphasis” you inquire about appears to be more about planting theology than planting churches on home and foreign fields, rather than indigenous vs. career evangelists. By the way, evangelism is not a term I would use in regard to New Calvinist mission efforts.

  291. Max wrote:

    By the way, evangelism is not a term I would use in regard to New Calvinist mission efforts.

    Being the trouble-maker than I am (Elijah ‘troubled’ Israel), I asked an SBC-YRR church planter in my area why he did not give an altar call or invitation for lost folks to receive Christ at the end of his sermon. His reply “If I did that, people would come forward to be saved. That is not in my program.” Program?! This is the same guy who responded to a tribe on a mission trip to West Africa when a young man asked “What must I do to be saved?” His response “You don’t have to do anything. God’s grace has been extended to you.” How about repentance? How about accepting Jesus? I fear that we have a new breed of “evangelists” getting in place within SBC that are not evangelists at all. Evangelism to a New Calvinist is harvesting the elect, not reaching the lost … that’s a different sort of preaching … that’s another gospel.

  292. Max wrote:

    mot wrote:
    How is Platt allowed to have two jobs? I would think the IMB would need his full attention.
    Don’t worry – the Calvinist God has everything under control. Whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see … Que sera, sera … What will be, will be.

    “In’shal’lah… Eh, Kismet?”

  293. mot wrote:

    The SBC leaders do not seem to be concerned with the 200,000 each year leaving or the reduction of the missionary force by 1,000.

    Because those who remain after the Purges will be True Believers, Ideologically Pure.

    Until the next round of Purges.
    When there are no more Infidels, start on the Heretics.
    When there are no more Heretics, start on the Apostates.
    When there are no more Apostates, start on the Lukewarms.
    op cit Taliban and Khmer Rouge.

  294. Velour wrote:

    My ex-pastors/elders in the beginning seemed “nice” to me and competent.

    NPD Sociopaths usually are.
    Until the instant you Outlive Your Usefulness.

  295. okrapod wrote:

    there is both an objective component and a subjective component to justification, the objective being Christ’s substitutionary death and the subjective being the human response in faith to receive that justification

    Total depravity to a New Calvinist (from the TULIP acronym) really means total inability. They firmly believe that the human mind is so totally depraved that a person cannot exercise free will to receive or reject Christ – so sovereign God does that for them … saving some, but damning most before they were ever born.

    Scripture speaks much about the sovereignty of God. Scripture speaks much about man’s free will. It all works together in a way that is beyond human comprehension. To put the mind of God into a neat systematic theological box is to stand in arrogance before Him.

  296. Max wrote:

    There may be less weeping and gnashing of teeth when an elder team makes all the decisions, but it ain’t as much fun for the members ;^)

    Or growth for individuals. Still, it is all voluntary. That is key.

  297. Max wrote:
    “There may be less weeping and gnashing of teeth when an elder team makes all the decisions”

    Lydia wrote:
    “Or growth for individuals”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<

    Or gifts of the Spirit, certainly no need for peacemakers in a highly controlled environment. When we are all relegated to that of a mere pawn, leadership thinks us uppity and presumptuous if we dare exercised our gift. Authoritarian leaders don't just quench the Spirit, they bind Him and hustle Him out the door.

  298. Max wrote:

    Scripture speaks much about the sovereignty of God. Scripture speaks much about man’s free will. It all works together in a way that is beyond human comprehension. To put the mind of God into a neat systematic theological box is to stand in arrogance before Him.

    In all their talk about God’s sovereignty, the YRRs don’t believe it. Probably because they don’t understand how normal rules of math breakdown when dealing with the infinite. For example, any finite number subtracted from infinity equals infinity. No matter how much you try to reduce infinity you cannot even scratch it. One can even subtract infinity from infinity and still get infinity, such as the case of subtracting a line of infinite length from a plane of infinite breadth. When they write about our free will diminishing God’s sovereignty, they are admitting to believing in a god of finite sovereignty. Their view of God is way too small.

  299. okrapod wrote:

    How is Platt allowed to have two jobs? I would think the IMB would need his full attention.

    While Dean at SBTS, Moore was the pastor of Highview. That is Ezell’s (now NAMB prez) former mega church with satellite locations.

    I have never understood the double dipping of entity leaders for several reasons. First, they make a big deal of males leading the family. Family time? Second, Perhaps they don’t have enough to do in their day job? Or finally, is it about amassing wealth? These sorts of churches pay well, too. Their Six figure day job not enough for them?

  300. Christiane wrote:

    from the inside, it’s more like family

    I dare say. But the RCC itself has made an issue specifically and even using the very words that the church is not a democracy. So if one chooses a political analogy based on organizational structure, monarchy is as close as I can come. Do you have a better political analogy?

  301. Max wrote:

    Max wrote:

    By the way, evangelism is not a term I would use in regard to New Calvinist mission efforts.

    Being the trouble-maker than I am (Elijah ‘troubled’ Israel), I asked an SBC-YRR church planter in my area why he did not give an altar call or invitation for lost folks to receive Christ at the end of his sermon. His reply “If I did that, people would come forward to be saved. That is not in my program.” Program?! This is the same guy who responded to a tribe on a mission trip to West Africa when a young man asked “What must I do to be saved?” His response “You don’t have to do anything. God’s grace has been extended to you.” How about repentance? How about accepting Jesus? I fear that we have a new breed of “evangelists” getting in place within SBC that are not evangelists at all. Evangelism to a New Calvinist is harvesting the elect, not reaching the lost … that’s a different sort of preaching … that’s another gospel.

    This church planter does not know Jesus IMO. I really do not believe the people in the SBC pews understand this is where their cooperative giving goes.

  302. Christiane wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    From the outside the RCC seems to be more like a monarchy.
    from the inside, it’s more like family

    For you it might be.

  303. Bill M wrote:

    Authoritarian leaders don’t just quench the Spirit, they bind Him and hustle Him out the door.

    LOL. So true.

  304. okrapod wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    from the inside, it’s more like family
    I dare say. But the RCC itself has made an issue specifically and even using the very words that the church is not a democracy. So if one chooses a political analogy based on organizational structure, monarchy is as close as I can come. Do you have a better political analogy?

    The Catholics I know are on all kinds of committees and vote on all kinds of things in their local churches.

  305. mot wrote:

    This church planter does not know Jesus IMO.

    Too many SBC church planters are getting their tickets punched by simply obtaining a seminary degree. The old system of putting a fresh graduate under a senior pastor for a period of time in an associate capacity to be mentored was such a better model … but I guess that process was just too traditional and slow for these young whippersnappers biting at the bit to reform the church! Now they hit the field running as “lead pastors” with no ministerial experience. Put a 20-30 year old lead pastor with an “elder” team in their 20s-30s and you have an accident waiting to happen.

  306. Max wrote:

    . Put a 20-30 year old lead pastor with an “elder” team in their 20s-30s and you have an accident waiting to happen.

    Ditto for the lead pastors in their 40’s and the elders in their 40’s.

  307. Bill M wrote:

    Authoritarian leaders don’t just quench the Spirit, they bind Him and hustle Him out the door.

    Agreed. But, speaking from a 60+ year Southern Baptist experience, the pew has done their share to grieve and quench the Spirit and relegate the third person of the Trinity to the back pew. In the absence of the Holy Spirit, authoritarian leaders can more easily set up shop to rule in the flesh, not the Spirit.

  308. Max wrote:

    Now they hit the field running as “lead pastors” with no ministerial experience.

    And no bishops with authority over them. Just cast overboard with a raft. Probably not the best idea that anybody ever had.

  309. Max wrote:

    the pew has done their share to grieve and quench the Spirit and relegate the third person of the Trinity to the back pew

    When you’re sitting on the back pew, it’s much easier to slip out the door when you don’t feel needed.

  310. okrapod wrote:

    And no bishops with authority over them.

    This is definitely a problem within SBC right now. Southern Baptists operate with local church autonomy. As long as a church adheres to the Baptist Faith and Message, they can set up shop and operate independently with no oversight. It’s a system that has worked well in the past where spiritual men served the Body of Christ … but no one is accusing this wave of young reformers as being spiritual.

  311. Velour wrote:

    Ditto for the lead pastors in their 40’s and the elders in their 40’s.

    Agreed. If they were young and reformed in their 30s, they probably haven’t matured spiritually in their 40s.

  312. Max wrote:

    Put a 20-30 year old lead pastor with an “elder” team in their 20s-30s and you have an accident waiting to happen.

    Except that it’s worse than an accident (because it’s intentional) and it’s already in progress (not waiting to happen).

  313. Max wrote:

    it’s much easier to slip out the door when you don’t feel needed.

    You may be onto something there. In your opinion/experience do you think there is a lot of needing to feel needed that is a factor is people’s satisfaction or lack of it in church? I never thought of it that way.

    I think the fact that my entire life I have been almost dragged down to the grave so to speak by people who needed me. From childhood when I had a sick parent to now there has been no time when I did not feel like I could barely keep on keeping on for the weight of other people’s needs. I feel carved out like a halloween pumpkin by other people’s needs.

    Which I why I think you may be on to something. I am absolutely sure that one of the things I want from church is just the opposite-a place to escape from the suffocating necessities of never ending human needs. Church and the shower have been my only escape.

    I just bet you are right.

  314. Max wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Ditto for the lead pastors in their 40’s and the elders in their 40’s.
    Agreed. If they were young and reformed in their 30s, they probably haven’t matured spiritually in their 40s.

    Exactly, Max.

  315. Ken F wrote:

    Max wrote:

    Put a 20-30 year old lead pastor with an “elder” team in their 20s-30s and you have an accident waiting to happen.

    Except that it’s worse than an accident (because it’s intentional) and it’s already in progress (not waiting to happen).

    There is no way these young boys can be seasoned. All they are going to do is cause harm to people and the Gospel IMO.

  316. Max wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    And no bishops with authority over them.

    This is definitely a problem within SBC right now. Southern Baptists operate with local church autonomy. As long as a church adheres to the Baptist Faith and Message, they can set up shop and operate independently with no oversight. It’s a system that has worked well in the past where spiritual men served the Body of Christ … but no one is accusing this wave of young reformers as being spiritual.

    You better not violate the 2000 BF&M as far women goes-or the SBC authorities will test your churches autonomy.

  317. mot wrote:

    You better not violate the 2000 BF&M as far women goes-or the SBC authorities will test your churches autonomy.

    But, other than that it’s pretty close to anything goes.

  318. Nancy2 wrote:

    mot wrote:

    You better not violate the 2000 BF&M as far women goes-or the SBC authorities will test your churches autonomy.

    But, other than that it’s pretty close to anything goes.

    You can do any thing you want with the 2000 BF&M except ordain a woman, call a woman as pastor, be welcoming and affirming and no one will challenge your autonomy.

  319. okrapod wrote:

    Max wrote:

    Now they hit the field running as “lead pastors” with no ministerial experience.

    And no bishops with authority over them. Just cast overboard with a raft. Probably not the best idea that anybody ever had.

    Mohler, Piper and such are the defacto Bishops/heirarchies. That is who they seek to not only please but get their attention, too.

    And besides, if the Bishops above those in an organization agree with the behavior, look the other way (as they have been want to do in other systems) or want to save the reputation of the system….What good are they, really?

  320. okrapod wrote:

    In your opinion/experience do you think there is a lot of needing to feel needed that is a factor is people’s satisfaction or lack of it in church?

    When the Body of Christ comes together, they all should recognize and affirm each other as a necessary member of the Body. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul reminds us “Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.” A healthy church knows that each Christian is an equal part of the body of Christ! Every believer is a priest – every believer is in ministry! Only a dysfunctional church sees it otherwise. It is the (super)natural thing to do in Church – to need others and feel needed.

  321. Lydia wrote:

    And besides, if the Bishops above those in an organization agree with the behavior, look the other way (as they have been want to do in other systems) or want to save the reputation of the system….What good are they, really?

    This is why you can’t fix things with polity. You can only fix them by changing the people and the hearts of the people in the system. (although I think people who want to change existing polity to gain control are putting up a big red flag)

  322. Lydia wrote:

    Mohler, Piper and such are the defacto Bishops/heirarchies.

    No doubt about it. The young reformers look daily to the elite for ministry guidance. They tweet and retweet words of wisdom from the New Calvinist icons. They have demonstrated little ministry skills of their own – they need the big boys to tell them what to do when they get up in the morning. They borrow sermons from each other and parrot the hierarchy. To advance the movement, everyone must be on the same page; this is New Calvinism.

  323. Lydia wrote:

    Mohler, Piper and such are the defacto Bishops/heirarchies. That is who they seek to not only please but get their attention, too.

    A *very* important point. Add Dever to that list as well. They don’t wear the uniforms or have the titles, but they have the office and the Authority.

  324. Speaking of de facto popes, I’m waiting for Keller’s announcement that he is stepping away from his TgC and PCA responsibilities so that he can focus on Redeemer’s City initiatives. I am repeating myself but only in an attempt to get back to Keller. 🙂

  325. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Bill M wrote:

    I occasionally hear recommendations for his books but have serious reservations about his work given his relationship to T$C.

    I have serious recommendations about any complementarian because they don’t know how to handle never married people, particularly those of us who cannot be called “young” any more.

    I think that is common in most churches – older never married people are at least looked down upon and not seen as fitting in. From there it can get worse, with people making all sorts of assumptions.

  326. Gram3 wrote:

    I am repeating myself but only in an attempt to get back to Keller.

    Oh yeah, Keller. It’s hard to talk about one of them, without bringing up the whole sad crew. Speaking of Keller, he is still struggling to define the gospel. He tweeted today “The gospel is an exclusive truth but it’s the most inclusive exclusive truth in the world.” The New Calvinists love lines like this; I’m sure it has been retweeted a million times today across cyberspace.

  327. Max wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:

    I am repeating myself but only in an attempt to get back to Keller.

    Oh yeah, Keller. It’s hard to talk about one of them, without bringing up the whole sad crew. Speaking of Keller, he is still struggling to define the gospel. He tweeted today “The gospel is an exclusive truth but it’s the most inclusive exclusive truth in the world.” The New Calvinists love lines like this; I’m sure it has been retweeted a million times today across cyberspace.

    His tweet makes about as much sense as my 18 month old granddaughter’s gibberish.

  328. Max wrote:

    He tweeted today “The gospel is an exclusive truth but it’s the most inclusive exclusive truth in the world.” The New Calvinists love lines like this; I’m sure it has been retweeted a million times today across cyberspace.

    Sounds like somebody on drugs. Being incoherent is supposed to be impressive?

  329. mot wrote:

    “The gospel is an exclusive truth but it’s the most inclusive exclusive truth in the world.” (Tim Keller)

    His tweet makes about as much sense as my 18 month old granddaughter’s gibberish.

    We have to remember that to a New Calvinist, Calvinism = Gospel. So if you substitute “Calvinism” for “the gospel” in his tweet, it makes perfect sense: “Calvinism is an exclusive truth.” While reformed theology may be exclusive (predestined elect – all others are excluded), it is not Truth.

  330. TKNY trades in nebulous platitudes about an enlightened state of mind so you can interpret them as meaning what you already think. And that you are very good at this enlightened state of mind, and other people in your church are very bad.

    Keller’s writings are mostly fine provided their antinomian implications are balanced by the working faith of a sincere believer. But he’s an example of a movement that became a business that became a racket. It becomes very difficult to believe something other than these two possibilities: he agrees with everything that has been said and done by Piper, Driscoll, Mahaney, Dever, etc., or he’s a huckster on a gravy train. Either way, he’s not the intellectual iconoclast challenging any and all evangelical zeitgeists that hold back the next great revival he gets sold as.

  331. Max wrote:

    While reformed theology may be exclusive (predestined elect – all others are excluded), it is not Truth.

    Nor is it inclusive. By definition, it is very exclusive.

  332. @ Ken F:
    I keep coming back to how does anyone that is Calvinistic know they are one of the elect. Is it simply they hope they are one of the elect?

  333. Lea wrote:

    This is why you can’t fix things with polity. You can only fix them by changing the people and the hearts of the people in the system.

    I promise you I am not trying to be contrarian. I honestly believe the “systems” are a big part of the problem in the Body. Why do we assume, as adults, other adults should be in charge of us or our spiritual growth? I am not talking about responsibility for tasks or service in the Body or even learning from others. But the concept of any “authority” except Christ. I don’t think we need a “system”. That does not mean others should give theirs up, either. It’s none of my business unless they are shoving it down throats or misrepresenting a system in the public square. Then it’s open for discussion, I hope. :o)

  334. mot wrote:

    @ Ken F:
    I keep coming back to how does anyone that is Calvinistic know they are one of the elect. Is it simply they hope they are one of the elect?

    They can’t know. The Calvinist God even sends false assurance of Election to the Reprobate.

    So Calvinists always have to keep PROVING to themselves that they are REALLY Elect. And More Elect than Thou. In the past this proof was Getting Rich. Now it’s Perfectly-Parsed Theology and Utterly Correct Doctrine.

  335. Stan wrote:

    Either way, he’s not the intellectual iconoclast challenging any and all evangelical zeitgeists that hold back the next great revival he gets sold as.

    He’s a hybrid of Elron Hubbard and the “Deep Thoughts” guy from Saturday Night Live.

  336. Velour wrote:

    Max wrote:

    He tweeted today “The gospel is an exclusive truth but it’s the most inclusive exclusive truth in the world.” The New Calvinists love lines like this; I’m sure it has been retweeted a million times today across cyberspace.

    Sounds like somebody on drugs. Being incoherent is supposed to be impressive?

    Look at Flutterhands Piper.

  337. mot wrote:

    His tweet makes about as much sense as my 18 month old granddaughter’s gibberish.

    Merlin Ambrosius!
    Stop practicing the Curse of Babel!
    Don’t you have a banquet at N.I.C.E. to go to?

  338. Jacob wrote:

    I think that is common in most churches – older never married people are at least looked down upon and not seen as fitting in. From there it can get worse, with people making all sorts of assumptions.

    “Assumptions” as in “Fag” or “Pedo”?

  339. Max wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    Ditto for the lead pastors in their 40’s and the elders in their 40’s.

    Agreed. If they were young and reformed in their 30s, they probably haven’t matured spiritually in their 40s.

    “If a man isn’t a Socialist at twenty, he has no heart. If he is still a Socialist at forty, he has no brains.”
    — Winston S Churchill(?)

  340. Lydia wrote:

    I promise you I am not trying to be contrarian.

    Ha. I think systems can be bad or less bad, but no system is proof against error. And all of the systems ultimately are ‘vote with your feet’ for the most part, because if no one comes they would collapse.

    That’s not to say we shouldn’t be doing the church version of an RCA when things go wrong and working on the faulty points. But usually the fault is more with the attitude behind the decisions made, no matter who makes them.

  341. Max wrote:

    mot wrote:

    This church planter does not know Jesus IMO.

    Too many SBC church planters are getting their tickets punched by simply obtaining a seminary degree. The old system of putting a fresh graduate under a senior pastor for a period of time in an associate capacity to be mentored was such a better model … but I guess that process was just too traditional and slow for these young whippersnappers biting at the bit to reform the church! Now they hit the field running as “lead pastors” with no ministerial experience. Put a 20-30 year old lead pastor with an “elder” team in their 20s-30s and you have an accident waiting to happen.

    Since this post was about Keller, and to echo Gram3’s comment about getting back to that, I’ll throw this out there.

    The PCA (which is Keller’s denomination) has figured out that turning 24-26 year old loose on a congregation is problematic, at least that is my guess. The practice the PCA tends to follow, at least it seems to me, is to take men who’ve finished undergraduate college at age 22, give them 2 years of seminary, and then direct them into RUF (aka Reformed University Fellowship) where they get to practice being the sole authority-most students who get involved in RUF do so in their freshman or sophomore years (ages 18-20). Undergrads frequently don’t have the spiritual maturity to tangle with this 25-28 year old “man” who is quoting this or that Scripture or this or that Reformer or this or that blogger. The undergrads often follow blindly. The RUF Minister (and these men are all ordained before being setting up on a college campus)is at least put in a position to be tempted to being unchallenged and having lots of control, even though there is probably a PCA church nearby. The RUF Minister (and his wife) may worship with others at the local PCA church, but he is often a king of his own campus kingdom, reporting to RUF higher ups, sure, but getting lots of opportunity to “rule.”

    So when the RUF Minister transitions to being a church planter around age 28-30, he often hasn’t spent lots of time seeing how churches actually operate, except hearing slightly older church planters talk about all the “problems” brought on by members who won’t get on board with church planters’ visions for reaching people with the gospel. Many of those church planters are only a few years older (early 30s) than the RUF Minister. They have set up shop in urban or suburban areas (almost exclusively white and middle to upper middle class) and target young families with kids, who mirror the life stage of the church planters.

    Conferences, blogs, celebrity books and seminary texts, and podcasts are likely the primary sources these church planters tap into, plus other young church planters and seminary professor/faculty.

    Most pastors have spent little to no time being mentored by an older, more mature pastor who has spent years dealing with … adults. Or finances. Or church dynamics.

  342. Velour wrote:

    I am sorry that you were abused by evangelicals, but I am not the least bit surprised. They can be very abusive people.
    I wearied, at my former church, at the constant attacks on gays. I work a job in the real world. I have a gay boss and gay colleagues. We’re expected to get along and do our jobs. And we do. My gay boss is a far nicer, more ethical,more decent human being than ANY of the pastors/elders at my ex-church.
    Hugs to you from across The Pond,
    Velour in California

    Thanks again Velour. I can relate to that experience and your boss sounds like a great guy.

    Hugs to you too.

  343. Max wrote:

    He tweeted today “The gospel is an exclusive truth but it’s the most inclusive exclusive truth in the world.”

    What on earth is that supposed to mean?

  344. Max wrote:

    Scripture speaks much about the sovereignty of God. Scripture speaks much about man’s free will. It all works together in a way that is beyond human comprehension. To put the mind of God into a neat systematic theological box is to stand in arrogance before Him.

    And there are other truths to bring into the equation. At my previous Calvinista church I was not impressed with how the pastor exalted God’s “absolute sovereignty” and cancelled other Biblical truths: God is LOVE, God is faithful and true to his word, he is righteous and just, he is kind, compassionate and merciful. There are some things that God cannot do. For example he cannot lie and he cannot commit injustice.

  345. Velour wrote:

    By the way, I saw a troubling story on another blog of a Christian evangelical mother whose daughter goes to John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Southern California. The daughter severed ties to her own mother…for volunteering in the Los Angeles area with Catholics!
    JMac runs a hateful church with hateful practices.
    The daughter ordered her mother to stop doing volunteer work…with Catholics.
    Just despicable in my opinion that church (GCC) would place this young woman under Undue Influence and tell her to cut off ties to her mother.

    This sounds very familiar. MacArthur also advocates that Christian parents alienate and cut off their children for being gay:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWYAwknMlH4

  346. ZechZav wrote:

    Max wrote:

    He tweeted today “The gospel is an exclusive truth but it’s the most inclusive exclusive truth in the world.”

    What on earth is that supposed to mean?

    In order to be “winsome,” it helps to be hard to pin down-keeps people from saying, “You said X,” because you can claim that X is not what you meant.

  347. And yet MacArthur fails to follow his own teaching with regards to CJ Mahaney despite his enabling of child abuse!

  348. @ ZechZav:

    Yes, John MacArthur is a big advocate of cutting off anyone — family, friends, neighbors, coworkers — not in lockstep with his and his followers’ beliefs.

    Someone who can so callously cut off one person is capable of treating everyone else badly too.

    I learned. I was ordered to be excommunicated and shunned on some trumped up charge at a John MacArthur-ite church by one of his Master’s Seminary graduate. Before me, it was a doctor in his 70’s, faithful husband for nearly 50 years and loving Papa to his grown children. Before the good doctor, a middle-aged woman who works in finance and volunteers with the mentally ill and the elderly in convalescent hospitals.

    None of us could meet The Standard, contorting ourselves to suit their whims.

  349. ZechZav wrote:

    And yet MacArthur fails to follow his own teaching with regards to CJ Mahaney despite his enabling of child abuse!

    Spot on.

  350. @ ZechZav:

    It’s a sad, hateful video of John MacArthur telling people to have nothing to do with their children.

    Here is a story from my blog. I couldn’t reconcile as a Christian the hateful practices of being in a John MacArthur-ite church (by one of his graduates) with what Jesus commands me to do as a Christian — the Royal Law of Love. Here’s a story about a young man named Sean.
    https://gbfsvchurchabuse.org/2016/09/01/the-royal-law-of-love-includes-loving-a-gay-neighbor-and-not-shunning-him-when-hes-dying/

  351. Velour wrote:

    I learned. I was ordered to be excommunicated and shunned on some trumped up charge at a John MacArthur-ite church by one of his Master’s Seminary graduate. Before me, it was a doctor in his 70’s, faithful husband for nearly 50 years and loving Papa to his grown children. Before the good doctor, a middle-aged woman who works in finance and volunteers with the mentally ill and the elderly in convalescent hospitals.
    None of us could meet The Standard, contorting ourselves to suit their whims.

    I am so sorry to hear that Velour. It is a horrible way to be treated. I think you are better off away from that kind of environment. I have lost a few friends because of these issues recently. I hoped to stay friends but they kept being silent when I brought these issues up or taking the easy way out with comments like “I will look at this when I get some free time” or “I cannot comment on that” but they had the facts for over a year. Some of my “friends” were elders in an evangelical church and they went to the Shepherds Conference at MacArthur’s church. Another sells books by Piper and Mahaney. Needless to say I am having difficulty trusting them and their silence has spoken loud enough.

  352. ZechZav wrote:

    I am so sorry to hear that Velour. It is a horrible way to be treated. I think you are better off away from that kind of environment. I have lost a few friends because of these issues recently. I hoped to stay friends but they kept being silent when I brought these issues up or taking the easy way out with comments like “I will look at this when I get some free time” or “I cannot comment on that” but they had the facts for over a year. Some of my “friends” were elders in an evangelical church and they went to the Shepherds Conference at MacArthur’s church. Another sells books by Piper and Mahaney. Needless to say I am having difficulty trusting them and their silence has spoken loud enough.

    Thanks for your kind words, ZechZav.

    You are right. I am better off out of that environment.

    I think the world is a bigger and better place and there are kind, loving, people who can be our friends, leaving the people of that small-minded world behind.

  353. Velour wrote:

    Here is a story from my blog. I couldn’t reconcile as a Christian the hateful practices of being in a John MacArthur-ite church (by one of his graduates) with what Jesus commands me to do as a Christian — the Royal Law of Love. Here’s a story about a young man named Sean.
    https://gbfsvchurchabuse.org/2016/09/01/the-royal-law-of-love-includes-loving-a-gay-neighbor-and-not-shunning-him-when-hes-dying/

    That is lovely. I think your actions to Sean spoke much louder to him than any sermon ever could. It communicated love and compassion.

  354. ZechZav wrote:

    That is lovely. I think your actions to Sean spoke much louder to him than any sermon ever could. It communicated love and compassion.

    Thanks ZechZav. It was an honor for me to meet Sean and that night changed my life.

    By the way, where are you in the U.K.?

    I live in California. I worked for Yorkshire Cricket one summer. I got the job through an English relative.

  355. 😀 I am in Yorkshire.

    Was it Headingley you came to? I used to live there a few years ago but I have since moved a bit further out (still in Yorkshire though).

    By the way, I have just written another blog post on the mentality of MacArthur-ites and others titled “But The Bible Says…”. My blog is about my struggles with singleness and sexuality and recovering from evangelicalism. When I have friends who are widowed, divorced and heterosexual never-married friends and it was refreshing to see how our experiences were similar.

    https://challengingchurchtradition.wordpress.com/articles/but-the-bible-says/

  356. ZechZav wrote:

    I am in Yorkshire.

    You are in Yorkshire!?!

    I traveled with the team all around England. I didn’t have an important summer job.
    I sold team merchandise from their traveling trailer.

    To this day, I still don’t understand cricket!

    But I loved the food. And people were very kind and gracious.

  357. @ ZechZav:

    You have done a wonderful job covering serious topics in the church and in our lives as Christians…and all that don’t fit the “family” mold.

  358. Thanks for the encouragement Velour.

    I don’t understand cricket either. In football there is some action and it has a time limit of 90 minutes. When people say “nothing lasts forever” I think “except cricket!” But some of my friends like it – each to their own 🙂

  359. ZechZav wrote:

    Thanks for the encouragement Velour.
    I don’t understand cricket either. In football there is some action and it has a time limit of 90 minutes. When people say “nothing lasts forever” I think “except cricket!” But some of my friends like it – each to their own

    Welcome.

    LOL about cricket.

  360. Velour wrote:

    @ Dale:
    I see New Calvinists in much more sinister terms than you do.
    But then I’m a woman and I think they pose a greater threat to us than to men.

    DITTO, Velour. As far as I’m concerned, whether one uses the word Calvinist or Reformed does not matter one bit. A theology by any other name would still stink. They both believe in the TULIP. That, folks, IS there gospel. Their Doctrines of Grace don’t amount to grace at all, but to a god who is a bit finicky about who He elects, but unconcerned about who He damns. Calvinism….Reformed….I’ve no interest in the lot of it.

  361. okrapod wrote:

    And just how does it help New York City to be more friendly and kind and just if more people think that some are elect and some are not? Does the gospel of God loves some of you solve urban issues? Does the NYC workplace become a better place for women just as soon as more people realize that women are born to be less than on the job as well as elsewhere? And of all things, how does promulgating the idea that the majority of professing christians in NYC are not on the right side of the gospel help anything at all?
    Apparently they are wiling to compromise on women in ministry, the doctrine of baptism, and manifestations of spiritual gifts just so long as people believe themselves to be helpless-to choose to follow Christ, or to resist grace, or to even know if they are elect/saved/born again/a real christian in the first place and mostly helpless against their own constant sin/sinned/sinningestness.
    That is not the gospel.

    YOU NAILED IT, Okrapod!

  362. okrapod wrote:

    @ Velour:

    Maybe Christiane can come up with a better political analogy.

    well, for me, it IS ‘family’ 🙂

  363. Darlene wrote:

    They both believe in the TULIP. That, folks, IS there gospel. Their Doctrines of Grace don’t amount to grace at all, but to a god who is a bit finicky about who He elects, but unconcerned about who He damns. Calvinism….Reformed….I’ve no interest in the lot of it.

    You’re so right, Darlene.

    Last night I went to a local Eastern Orthodox church’s website. It was refreshing to read.
    I noted that their (married) EO priest was raised in the Reformed (Protestant) tradition and left it; ditto for his wife. It was just nice to read about life and about our Lord from an entirely different perspective.

    By the way, could you please recommend an EO Bible to me? Thanks. Either here or on the Open Discussion thread.

  364. Christiane wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    @ Velour:
    Maybe Christiane can come up with a better political analogy.
    well, for me, it IS ‘family’

    Yes, there are many sweet saints in the RCC denomination.

    A 98-year old Catholic woman brought me to Christ, and many others too.

  365. Lydia wrote:

    @ Christiane:
    Patriarchal family.

    I don’t think that’s accurate, having been in many RCC churches and having many RCC friends.
    There are lots of women that run the RCC churches and services, serving in many roles.
    It’s completely different than many Reformed Protestant churches where women are silenced and not permitted to participate.

  366. @ Velour:
    Facts are “mean”, right. They have a Holy Father human and only male Cardinals, Bishops and Priests. How is that not patriarchal? Why try to pass off a system as something it’s not? I don’t get that. Perhaps it’s mean not to pretend it’s something it isn’t? Can we do that with Neo Cal systems, too?

    People are free to be a part of whatever they want.

  367. Lydia wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Facts are “mean”, right. They have a Holy Father human and only male Cardinals, Bishops and Priests. How is that not patriarchal? Why try to pass off a system as something it’s not? I don’t get that. Perhaps it’s mean not to pretend it’s something it isn’t? Can we do that with Neo Cal systems, too?
    People are free to be a part of whatever they want.

    ???

    Have you been in Roman Catholic Churches and services? Do you know RCC’s who are actively involved in their churches?

    The hierarchies of all of the major religions are male denominated. That’s not a surprise to any of us.

    But just because it’s male-dominated at the top doesn’t mean that is true at the local level, and particularly in the Roman Catholic Church where women have major roles in just about everything.

  368. Lydia wrote:

    I don’t get that.

    I don’t get it either, LYDIA. All these ‘patriarchal’ men examined the writings of a little dead cloistered nun who wanted to become a priest. Did they criticize her or disown her?

    No.
    They made her a Doctor of the Church. Go figure.

    Like I said, I don’t get it, either. 🙂

  369. @ Velour:

    The catholic church is not ashamed of its hierarchical structure and in fact says that the identity of the true church in its fullest expression is determined by apostolic succession. A quick google will explain apostolic succession. I see no reason or justification to try to say that this is not what they believe. In fact, they (the church) make determinations about the rest of us based not on issues of women or committees or such but rather on the validity or lack of it of any claims to apostolic succession. They recognize the Orthodox hierarchy as valid based on apostolic succession. One will sometimes note the use of the term ecclesial communities for what protestants call churches or denominations.

    The issue of identifying the organizational structure of a particular faith tradition as hierarchical has nothing to do with whether that hierarchy may be either oppressive or benign. It only has to do with what is the structure. And the catholic structure is strictly hierarchical with one person being the ‘first among equals’ and this is based on apostolic succession.

    I do not condemn them for this. This is what they claim for themselves. They believe that what Jesus said to Peter is being lived out over the centuries in this way. It would be dismissive and derogatory to say that they really don’t mean it or believe it.

  370. okrapod wrote:

    One will sometimes note the use of the term ecclesial communities for what protestants call churches or denominations.

    I use the term ‘faith communities’ frequently, yes.

  371. @ Boyd:

    Very interesting, thank you for sharing. I think it’s sort of traditional for young pastors to be put over a younger group (college students/kids) and maybe that leads them to thinking they have more authority than others but at least with kids you’re dealing with parents and learning something from that. And in a church setting you would get to deal with finances, meetings, etc, that would not be an issue on a college campus.

  372. okrapod wrote:

    A quick google will explain apostolic succession. I see no reason or justification to try to say that this is not what they believe.

    Thanks, Okrapod.

    I do know what the RCC’s believes. Despite whatever they believe about church hierarchy, there are lovely Christians carrying out the Christian faith in the local churches. I know them to be my brothers and sisters in Christ even though I am not a Roman Catholic.

  373. mot wrote:

    I keep coming back to how does anyone that is Calvinistic know they are one of the elect. Is it simply they hope they are one of the elect?

    Well, I suppose if they persevere (the “P” in TULIP), they ‘know’ they are surely the elect. If they persevere the teaching errors of reformed theology … if they persevere authoritarian rule over them … if they persevere a belief and practice contrary to the rest of Christendom … then they must be one of the elect!

    You never hear a New Calvinist talking about being born-again or being a believer. How does one know he is born-again? A born-again believer has the testimony of the Spirit within him testifying that he is a child of God: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16). You know it because it is in your knower!

    You know you are saved ‘if’ you believe that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 5:1). You know it if practicing righteousness comes naturally to you (1 John 2:29) and that practicing sinning is contrary to your new nature (1 John 3:9-10). You know you are in the family of God if you love others (1 John 2:9; 1 John 4:7-8). Whoever confesses the Son knows Him and that God abides with those who believe (1 John 4:15). You won’t hear any of this preached at a New Calvinist church; since God is sovereign, you don’t have to do anything but persevere their ministry!

  374. Lea wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    They made her a Doctor of the Church.

    Is that like the Catholic equivalent of making her a ‘Director’ in Baptist churches?

    no, it means something like ‘teacher’ 🙂

  375. @ Lea:

    Ummm. No. I am thinking that I really don’t intend to launch into some explanation of what ii means if someone is a Doctor of the Church but it is something that people ought to understand. If protestants were to agree with each other and pool their resources they would by now have proclaimed both Luther and Calvin to be doctors of the protestant church based on the perceived value of their teaching.

    There is nothing analogous in protestant practice; that is as close as I can come to an analogy.

  376. @ Lea:
    Knowing that her death was near, she shared that she thought it was merciful that she passing before reaching the required age for the priesthood

  377. Christiane wrote:

    I can predict that Martin Luther will some day be named a Doctor of the Church by the Catholic Church

    Wouldn’t that be something.

    About the other issue, that the RCC restricts holy order to males. I have heard all I ever want to hear about that out of those protestant ranks who deny the validity of holy orders in the first place. Why ‘blame’ the RCC for not having women priests when they themselves have no priests at all? The logic of that escapes me.

    And no, the priesthood of the believer(s) is not analogous to holy orders, nor does anybody to claim it to be, because if it were understood to be analogous then the idea of soul competency would have to be discarded. Never mind that the word priesthood is used both ways. The only reasonable position for those who deny the legitimacy of ordained priesthood (holy orders ) concerning the restriction of holy orders to males in the RCC would be ‘well they should not be doing it at all, but at least they have not dragged their women into that travesty’. I have yet to hear that from any protestant.

    We. have. got. to. move. on. This is not worth sacrificing one’s credibility over.

  378. @ Christiane:
    How kind of the Catholic male patriarchs to give her a bizarre title. Is that like an honorary PhD?

    But, let’s not pretend it’s not patriarchal heirarchy while you wring your hands over the horrors of others outside your system practicing patriarchy. Like the SBC not allowing female pastors. What’s the difference, really when we strip away all the flowery diverting Christenese?

    Just sayin’

  379. @ okrapod:
    I am not a Protestant. But I agree it would be good to hear from them on Holy Orders which I assume is akin to ordination?

  380. Lydia wrote:

    How kind of the Catholic male patriarchs to give her a bizarre title. Is that like an honorary PhD?

    Ho, now. You have talked much about understanding the history or things, how thing have been historically and such. Do you really want people to believe that you do not know about this issue of Doctors of the Church, what it means, who they have been over the centuries, all that stuff? I find that hard to believe.

  381. okrapod wrote:

    There is nothing analogous in protestant practice; that is as close as I can come to an analogy.

    OK.

    okrapod wrote:

    The only reasonable position for those who deny the legitimacy of ordained priesthood (holy orders ) concerning the restriction of holy orders to males in the RCC would be ‘well they should not be doing it at all, but at least they have not dragged their women into that travesty’.

    Wouldn’t that depend on your opinion of the concept of priests or ordination to began with? I would hardly say that all protestants believe they shouldn’t exist.

  382. Christiane wrote:

    she thought it was merciful that she passing before reaching the required age for the priesthood

    Wait, what is the required age for the priesthood? How old was this nun?

  383. @ Christiane

    Lydia said: “But, let’s not pretend it’s not patriarchal heirarchy while you wring your hands over the horrors of others outside your system practicing patriarchy. Like the SBC not allowing female pastors.”

    She has a point. The catholic hierarchy does practice patriarchy. And that is no different than what many protestant denominations do. It is not okay to criticize one and not the other. Either patriarchy is all well in good in some circumstances or it is not.

    And yes, I totally agree that the RCC has had far and away more opportunities for women than the conservative reformed churches, for example, but that does not change the fact that the official decisions and guiding principles as to who (male/female) may do what are made by men.

  384. okrapod wrote:

    And yes, I totally agree that the RCC has had far and away more opportunities for women than the conservative reformed churches

    This is true of the conservative branches mostly, but it is not true of all reformed or protestant churches. And then you have the pentacostal/AoG types who vary.

  385. Lea wrote:

    Wouldn’t that depend on your opinion of the concept of priests or ordination to began with? I would hardly say that all protestants believe they shouldn’t exist.

    That is why I said ‘for those who deny the legitimacy of the ordained priesthood…”.

  386. Lea wrote:

    This is true of the conservative branches mostly

    That is why I said ‘conservative reformed churches’.

  387. okrapod wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    This is true of the conservative branches mostly

    That is why I said ‘conservative reformed churches’.

    Yes, but I’m making the point that it varies in the wider protestant world. So when you see compare and contrast Catholic/a very specific conservative neocal church, that leaves a lot of stuff out. Which I see done frequently (particularly with reference to ‘reformed’). So I like to include the others. I wasn’t disagreeing with you.

  388. Holy orders does include ordination, but it also includes the fitting into the hierarchical system which is not seen in, for instance, ordination of a Baptist preacher or becoming board certified for a physician. The concepts are similar but not identical.

  389. @ okrapod:
    I think most of church history (both Protestant and Catholic) is mainly political with a Jesus fish slapped on it. That is the position I come from. I bet there is a statue or piece of jewelry I can purchase of this female ‘doctor of the church’ in the Vatican gift shop.

    Don’t forget, Augustine is a doctor of the church, too. Nuff said.

    Sorry but I just can’t go down this road with you. I find it all a bit too bizarre.

    I think all believers are saints and priests. Including Catholics and Protestants.

  390. Boyd wrote:

    Most pastors have spent little to no time being mentored by an older, more mature pastor who has spent years dealing with … adults. Or finances. Or church dynamics.

    Thank you for that overview. Not a wise course, IMO.

  391. @ Lydia:
    A Doctor of the Church is someone who has made a great contribution, in a specific area, to the understanding of theology in the Church.

  392. ZechZav wrote:

    Max wrote:

    He tweeted today “The gospel is an exclusive truth but it’s the most inclusive exclusive truth in the world.”

    What on earth is that supposed to mean?

    I think that whatever it means, the word “inclusive” is going to set some Reformed teeth on edge.

    I think that Keller is setting the stage for a soft exit stage left.

  393. Lydia wrote:

    I think most of church history (both Protestant and Catholic) is mainly political with a Jesus fish slapped on it.

    I’ve been listening to The History of Rome and just got to Constantine. Definitely interesting stuff.

  394. Christiane wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    A Doctor of the Church is someone who has made a great contribution, in a specific area, to the understanding of theology in the Church.

    Yes. Like Augustine and his pagan concept of “original sin”. Got it.

  395. Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    I think most of church history (both Protestant and Catholic) is mainly political with a Jesus fish slapped on it.

    I’ve been listening to The History of Rome and just got to Constantine. Definitely interesting stuff.

    If one can separate the political from the spiritual, I can’t find it in mist of church history. I take heart our Founders were reading Locke not state church Calvin or “Doctors of the Catholic state church”. :o)

  396. @ okrapod:
    I doubt the concept would ‘translate’ to Lydia/Lea, but I do appreciate you trying to take that on, as you have understanding of both worlds, so to speak.

  397. Christiane wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    A Doctor of the Church is someone who has made a great contribution, in a specific area, to the understanding of theology in the Church.

    And the bar is set pretty high. According to Wikipedia, there have only been 36 Doctors of the Church over the past 2000 years, the majority of them from the first couple centuries. Two are women: St Teresa of Avila and St Catherine of Siena.

  398. Christiane wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    I doubt the concept would ‘translate’ to Lydia/Lea, but I do appreciate you trying to take that on, as you have understanding of both worlds, so to speak.

    Why so many digs like this Christiane?

    I appreciate okrapods comments because they are generally meant to interact or inform.

  399. okrapod wrote:

    The catholic hierarchy does practice patriarchy. And that is no different than what many protestant denominations do. It is not okay to criticize one and not the other. Either patriarchy is all well in good in some circumstances or it is not.

    Thank you for stating the point concisely and well and eliminating the diversions.

  400. Lydia wrote:

    If one can separate the political from the spiritual, I can’t find it in mist of church history.

    This particular podcast is about the political, not from a religious perspective mostly. Very detailed. I find that history podcasts are very open about what we know, what we think, what we are trying to figure out through biased history, source issues, etc.

  401. Christiane wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    What is your perception of Augustine’s concept of ‘original sin’, Lydia?

    These days I wonder if it was Augustine’s baggage showing through, from his previous life as a Manichaean horndog. And got adopted at face value on the strength of his other insights. Has anyone gone back and tried to figure how much Auggie’s prior career and surrounding culture may have influenced his writings?

  402. Christiane wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    What is your perception of Augustine’s concept of ‘original sin’, Lydia?

    Sorry. Not interested in going there today.

  403. Her name is Therese of Lisieux. She died at 24 of tuberculosis. Her autobiography is “Story of a Soul.”

    Here is something she said. “What matters in life,” she wrote, “is not great deeds, but great love.”

    And here is something somebody said about her Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love. She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love. Therese’s spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

    It is called The Little Way, IIRC.

    Who could possibly object to this?

  404. @ Lydia:
    Some time, if you care to share your own understanding of the origin of evil, I should be interested to hear it.

  405. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Has anyone gone back and tried to figure how much Auggie’s prior career and surrounding culture may have influenced his writings?

    Yep. Paula Fredriksen whom I have mentioned before. It took her about 15 years, and if it is as good as her lectures, then it is probably a real winner.

  406. @ okrapod:
    @ Lea:
    Things don’t ‘translate’ well when terms are used that have different meanings in both worlds, Lydia. I know because I myself have become confused and not comprehended well, and Okrapod was kind enough to listen to me and share because she has the benefit of knowledge of both worlds and CAN translate concepts from one to the other to help with understanding.

    No ‘dig’, just VERY thankful to have her here. She has the patience to listen and to respond. This is a gift she shares with us all.

  407. okrapod wrote:

    Her name is Therese of Lisieux. She died at 24 of tuberculosis. Her autobiography is “Story of a Soul.”

    Thank you. So was it required that priests be 25? IIRC in the story I saw of Bonhoeffer that was case in Germany (albeit, for Lutherans).

  408. Lea wrote:

    So was it required that priests be 25?

    I have no idea, but from what Christiane said it would have been greater than 24. I am assuming that she just meant that she would be spared the disappointment of being turned down because she was female. As to whether she would have been accepted were she male, I have no idea. Nor do I know what the educational and personal requirements were at the time for men aspiring to be priests.

    So I am sticking with the ‘spared the disappointment’ theory for now.

  409. okrapod wrote:

    I am assuming that she just meant that she would be spared the disappointment of being turned down because she was female.

    Yes, I got that. I was just curious about the details.

  410. okrapod wrote:

    I am assuming that she just meant that she would be spared the disappointment of being turned down because she was female.

    I have no doubt she would have been ‘turned down’ and I also have no doubt that she felt called to serve.

  411. Lea wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    No ‘dig’, just VERY thankful to have her here.

    If that is the case, you should just say that.

    I should just say what?

  412. If it’s ok to get back to the topic of Keller, here is the lead article on Founders today: http://founders.org/2015/08/28/eight-reasons-why-we-need-the-puritans/

    It quotes Keller:

    “Clearly, the Puritans rested their counseling approach on Scripture. In many ways the Puritans are an excellent laboratory for studying biblical counseling, because they are not influenced by any secular models of psychology. Many of those today claiming to be strictly biblical in their counseling approach still evidence the heavy influence of Maslow or Rogers or Skinner or Ellis. But the Puritans had the field of ‘the cure of souls’ virtually to themselves; they had no secular competition in the area of counseling. Thus we need to consider very seriously their counseling models.”

    This opens up so many possible discussion paths, including:
    – pros and cons of going back to puritanical ways
    – Keller’s association with Founders
    – Keller’s association with Biblical Counseling
    – TGC’s association with Founder, puritans, and Biblical Counseling
    – The role of Biblical Counseling in a culture that does have “secular competition”

  413. @ Ken F:
    As to biblical counseling, I wonder if you are familiar with the work of Viktor Frankl. His work in counseling therapy is unique and is respected by many in the professon. It bears no resemblance to any casual use of the bible to counsel a troubled person, no. His work touches on themes that are very much helpful to survivors of terrible abuse.

  414. Ken F wrote:

    “Clearly, the Puritans rested their counseling approach on Scripture.

    Because when I think of Puritans, the first thing I think of is how awesome they were at counseling!!! Oy.

  415. @ Ken F:
    I cannot tell from that snippet if Keller is merely stating the obvious point that the Biblical Counselors are influenced by modern psychologists (though they might deny it) and the equally obvious point that the Puritans were not influenced by people who came centuries after them. Or if he is saying that the Puritans’ laboratory is a great one to study the limitations of “pure” Biblical counseling so that Biblical Counseling can be fixed somehow. I really do not want to give them a pageview since I have been burned by a young Founderbot who had all the answers.

  416. @ Christiane:
    The male hierarchy decided. Right? Doctor of the church is a big deal to you. I get that.

    I stress that I think all believers are saints and priests. All. Including you.

  417. @ Ken F:

    Historically, as seen in the early years of puritanism in the Church of England, the opposite of puritanism was catholicism. They wanted to ‘purify’ the C of E of any lingering shreds of catholic thought. They did not succeed, but they did make headway. I don’t see U. S. protestantism taking up catholicism in order to combat puritanism. So, I am wondering what is there that U S protestantism might use to resist the inroads of puritanism in this country?

  418. okrapod wrote:

    So, I am wondering what is there that U S protestantism might use to resist the inroads of puritanism in this country?

    Sane women and men who believe and practice the real Gospel.

  419. Gram3 wrote:

    I think that Keller is setting the stage for a soft exit stage left.

    The PCA will likely split at some point in the future. Between The New Perspective on Paul, Padeocommunion, Federalism, Third Way Approach (accepting but not affirming) a myriad of women’s roles, plus a whole host of other things that divide the traditionalists & progressives within the PCA, staying whole will become more difficult. So, you may be correct that Keller is trying to make an exit before things get to the point where he has to OFFICIALLY come down on one side or another on various things.

  420. Christiane wrote:

    @ Ken F:
    As to biblical counseling, I wonder if you are familiar with the work of Viktor Frankl. His work in counseling therapy is unique and is respected by many in the professon. It bears no resemblance to any casual use of the bible to counsel a troubled person, no. His work touches on themes that are very much helpful to survivors of terrible abuse.

    The same Viktor Frankl who survived Auschwitz?

  421. okrapod wrote:

    Her name is Therese of Lisieux. She died at 24 of tuberculosis. Her autobiography is “Story of a Soul.”

    St Therese of Lisieux, “The Little Flower”.

    And her autobiography was originally bowdlerized by her order to make her look more conventionally Holy (i.e. Pious Plaster Statue). It wasn’t until the unabridged original was released that she was canonized on its strength.

    Here is something she said. “What matters in life,” she wrote, “is not great deeds, but great love.”

    And here is something somebody said about her Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love. She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love. Therese’s spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

    It is called The Little Way, IIRC.

    All about encountering and finding sanctity and holiness in everyday routine.

    Who could possibly object to this?

    “NO POPERY!” Jack Chick Christians, who else?

  422. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Who could possibly object to this?
    “NO POPERY!” Jack Chick Christians, who else?

    I would like to point out, there was never a question of people here objecting to her. That’s not what the conversation was about.

  423. Lea wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Who could possibly object to this?
    “NO POPERY!” Jack Chick Christians, who else?
    I would like to point out, there was never a question of people here objecting to her. That’s not what the conversation was about.

    Evidently the RCC is off limits.

  424. Boyd wrote:

    The PCA will likely split at some point in the future.

    I think so. The interesting question is whether Keller will leave the PCA or will the PCA leave Keller? What everyone in denominational leadership must surely know is that a split up PCA is going to be a lot of very small Presbyterian denominations, and who will care what denominational leaders think then? Ligon who? Keller is the whale in the PCA casino, I think.

  425. JYJames wrote:

    1?

    Velour wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    Dorothy Day

    A 98 year old Catholic woman brought me to Christ. Dorothy Day was one of her friends!

    O my goodness! Your friend knew Dorothy Day? She has been proposed for sainthood (I know, someone with a personality like that :)) but she is now carrying the title of ‘a Servant of God’ and is being seriously considered

    I look at Day, and also at Therese Lisieux, and I am amazed at the depth and the breadth of how love is expressed among the women of the Church …. those two, so different, and yet not in the ways that mattered most

  426. Lydia wrote:

    Evidently the RCC is off limits.

    oh relax, that still leaves the other fifteen rites of the Catholic Church

  427. Gram3 wrote:

    What everyone in denominational leadership must surely know is that a split up PCA is going to be a lot of very small Presbyterian denominations, and who will care what denominational leaders think then?

    Good point.

  428. Christiane wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Evidently the RCC is off limits.

    oh relax, that still leaves the other fifteen rites of the Catholic Church

    I meant the entire system. :o) Evidently, I am a follower of Jack Chick and Ayn Rand. I would not have known that.

  429. Gram3 wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    That’s not what the conversation was about.

    Right. I thought it was about Tim Keller.

    Threads go off track all the time. Only politically incorrect when it’s the RCC? Got it.

  430. Lydia wrote:

    Threads go off track all the time. Only politically incorrect when it’s the RCC? Got it.

    I’m a prime offender when it comes to getting off-track, and in this case I agree that it seems that the RCC is getting a patriarchy pass, so there’s my contribution to the OT conversation. 🙂

  431. Funny thing.
    Most people just say “Catholic” or “Catholic Church” and everyone knows which one it means.
    The times I’ve heard “ROMAN Catholic” or “RCC”, it’s had a 50-50 chance of being followed by a bashing or hatchet job.

  432. Christiane wrote:

    O my goodness! Your friend knew Dorothy Day?

    Yes, my friend Cath knew Dorothy Day. They were long-time friends.

    Cath had worked as a social worker at Catholic Charities for many decades. She, at one time, supervised the graduate School of Social Work at U.C. Berkeley’s students when they did their hours.

    I just posted Cath’s Penuche (Italian Brown Sugar Fudge) recipe at the top of the page under the Interesting tab/the Cooking tab, if you ever get a sweet tooth and would like to make an easy candy recipe.

  433. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    These days I wonder if it was Augustine’s baggage showing through, from his previous life as a Manichaean horndog. And got adopted at face value on the strength of his other insights. Has anyone gone back and tried to figure how much Auggie’s prior career and surrounding culture may have influenced his writings?

    I have wondered same, H.U.G.

  434. @ Boyd:

    Very interesting. The Dever intern that placed a police restraining order on me worked at campus ministry before spearheading the church replant in Charlotte. You nailed the church dynamic – college students and young adults make up the bulk of the congregation.

  435. Gram3 wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    That’s not what the conversation was about.
    Right. I thought it was about Tim Keller.

    We also have been discussing the polity of NeoCalvinist churches. And someone asked Christiane, a Catholic, about her church’s hierarchy.

  436. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The times I’ve heard “ROMAN Catholic” or “RCC”, it’s had a 50-50 chance of being followed by a bashing or hatchet job.

    Exactly, it’s like your mother calling you by your FULL legal name. You know trouble is going to follow.

  437. Dale wrote:

    @ Boyd:
    Very interesting. The Dever intern that placed a police restraining order on me worked at campus ministry before spearheading the church replant in Charlotte. You nailed the church dynamic – college students and young adults make up the bulk of the congregation.

    Wow. I am not surprised by that crowd of NeoCalvinist bullies.

    I was threatened with same at my ex-NeoCalvinist gulag. Ditto for the doctor before him (in his 70’s!). And a godly woman in finance before him.

  438. Christiane wrote:

    As to biblical counseling, I wonder if you are familiar with the work of Viktor Frankl.

    I have heard of him but have not read his works. I’ve heard he was brilliant.

  439. Gram3 wrote:

    I cannot tell from that snippet if Keller is merely stating the obvious point that the Biblical Counselors are influenced by modern psychologists (though they might deny it) and the equally obvious point that the Puritans were not influenced by people who came centuries after them. Or if he is saying that the Puritans’ laboratory is a great one to study the limitations of “pure” Biblical counseling so that Biblical Counseling can be fixed somehow.

    The author of the article used that quote by Keller when he was making this point: “Long before our dear brothers Jay Adams and David Powlison pioneered a movement, the Puritans excelled in biblical counseling. They saw God’s Word as sufficient for the Christian’s every need, including counsel.” I did not read the rest of Keller’s work that the author quoted, but the article implied that non-Biblical counsel is unneeded. Given what I’ve read on TWW about Biblical counseling, this raised an alarm in my mind.

  440. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Here is what we are dealing with.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_(term)

    If that did not give you a migraine nothing will.

    A problem likely to arrive here is the idea that the issue of the puritans will come up again, and the fact that the puritans were opposing catholicism in the church-and in that sentence none of it refers to you guys. The catholicism they were opposing was in the church of england which at a time when henry and the pope had already gone their separate ways. So in that sentence ‘catholicism’ meant a set of beliefs and practices and ‘church’ mean the church of england.

    Today there is a resurgence? renewed interest? in catholicism (a set of historical beliefs and practices) in the larger anglican communion including TEC in this country but also in anglican churches which have pulled away from TEC and formed their own denominations and are anglo-catholic. So there are anglo-catholics in a number of current or former groups (churches) in or previously in the anglican communion. At the other end of the spectrum there are evangelicals including calvinists in some TEC parishes. It is trying to be deja vu all over again. No way this won’t come up for discussion.

    In addition, and I don’t know if you know this or not, some protestant churches will not say the creed for several reasons but one is the use of the word catholic (meaning universal) because it sounds too catholic (meaning you guys).

    Sometimes, I wish I had never heard the word, frankly. I get really tired of explaining something every time I say something because it is all so complicated.

  441. @ Ken F:
    Well, if his reading of Keller is correct, then Keller’s comment is concerning. The Puritans, like everyone else at that time, did not know a lot about a lot of things that we know, so I wonder why he thinks they should be considered a laboratory. Were they pristine and uncontaminated by worldliness?

    I am weary of truth being determined by Banner of Truth and Crossway.

  442. Ken F wrote:

    Jay Adams and David Powlison pioneered a movement, the Puritans excelled in biblical counseling. They saw God’s Word as sufficient for the Christian’s every need, including counsel.” I

    Those men, in my opinion, are arrogant and have frequently crossed the line — and encouraged others to do same — into the Unauthorized Practice of Medicine (and other professions).

    There is a reason that we require education and licensing of professionals and not have
    some nit wit give advice.

    I have never seen so much damage done to so many peoples’ lives as “Biblical Counseling”.
    My ex-senior pastor at the NeoCalvinist/9Marxist/John MacArthur-ite gulag has a $299 “Ph.D.” from a diploma mill in Independence, Missouri, for any think he’s not qualified to “counsel them” about everything from memory problems to alcoholism to other major medical problems. And he gets it wrong, wrong, wrong.

    He insists on being called, “Dr. McManis”, because after all he has a fake Ph.D.

  443. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    I hope I do not use it that way. I try to use it to distinguish it from the Universal Catholic Church (The Body and Bride of Christ) which I hope we can all agree is not the same thing as the Roman Catholic Church. I do not see the Pope as a father figure, but I have Roman Catholic friends who do see him that way, and I can understand how they can see him that way though I cannot see any way that I would ever see him that way. Those friends are very good Christians and very good people. Maybe better people than I am. We simply disagree and see things differently and try to do the best we can.

  444. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Funny thing.
    Most people just say “Catholic” or “Catholic Church” and everyone knows which one it means.
    The times I’ve heard “ROMAN Catholic” or “RCC”, it’s had a 50-50 chance of being followed by a bashing or hatchet job.

    Not from me HUG. I’m a dyed in the wool syncretist who sees admirable traits in all religions and social traditions.