Young Restless & Reformed Superstars – Where Are They Now?

"If there is a flaw or a weak point to this book, it may be that its focus is more on today than on yesterday and tomorrow. This is to say that Hansen takes the reader through many of the current hot spots in this movement and shows how it has propagated itself, but he invests far less time showing how this movement grew up and predicting where it may be going."

Tim Challies

https://www.amazon.com/Young-Restless-Reformed-Journalists-Calvinists/dp/1581349408/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8Amazon

I-Pad photoThe first time I heard the phrase "Young, Restless, Reformed" was in the fall of 2006. I had just received the September issue of Christianity Today, and there adorning the cover was a T-shirt lauding Jonathan Edwards (Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Godsermon transcript) and blazing red words boasting about a resurgence of Reformed Theology (aka Calvinism). I have kept this issue for reference and am including a photo of it for those who may not have seen it. 

Collin Hansen, who at the time was serving as an Associate Editor at Christianity Today, wrote the article after traveling around the country visiting with pastors, theologians, and parishioners in the Reformed camp. Hansen himself is part of this younger sect — he was just 25 when he wrote this YRR piece. He now serves as editorial director for The Gospel Coalition, a position he began in July 2010.

I-Pad Photo

To understand the premise of Hansen's article, one need only take a look at the two-page spread pictured on the right. There you see John Piper (positioned just above the word 'RESTLESS') standing in a sea of predominantly young men. These 'Christian Hedonists', as Hansen described them in the article, were flocking around Piper for a once in a lifetime chance to meet him at the first ever Together for the Gospel conference earlier that year (April 2006) in Louisville.

In his CT article Young, Restless, Reformed: Calvinism is making a comeback–and shaking up the church, Hansen wrote:

Already, this latest surge of Reformed theology has divided Southern Baptist churches and raised questions about the future of missions. Its exuberant young advocates reject generic evangelism and tout the benefits of in-depth biblical doctrine. They have once again brought the perennial debate about God's sovereignty and human's free will to the forefront.

While we take issue with much of what Hansen shared in his YRR piece, we agree 100% with his remark about Reformed theology dividing Southern Baptist churches. If you have been reading here for any length of time, you know that this has been one of our hot button topics.

The following year Collin Hansen wrote an article for Christianity Today entitled Pastor Provocateur. I remember reading that one too and knew nothing about Mark Driscoll except that he was the pastor of some church in Washington State called Mars Hill. That would soon change…

For the remainder of the post, we want to focus on Collin Hansen's book Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist's Journey With the New Calvinists, which not surprisingly was published by Crossway in March 2008, a few weeks before the second Together for the Gospel conference. We wonder how many T4G attendees purchased Hansen's book (pictured at the top of the post).

During the fall of 2008 I remember listening to someone (can't remember who) on Christian radio interviewing Collin Hansen. Dee and I had just begun researching this movement, and anything we heard or read about YRR peaked our interest. At the time, we had no way to address our concerns publicly because we had not yet launched TWW. In fact, during this time we weren't sure our blog idea would ever become a reality.

In order to understand the outline of Collin Hansen's book, here is what someone shared in an Amazon review:

If you're familiar with Lee Strobel's investigative "Case for…" books, Young, Restless, Reformed (YRR) almost seems like a knockoff. In YRR, journalist Collin Hansen treks across the United States interviewing different folks as he attempts to discover whether his perception of a resurgence in Reformed theology among young Christians is, in fact, a new wave within American evangelicalism (pp. 13-14).

Hansen interviews several key pastors/theologians including John Piper, Al Mohler, Joshua Harris, Mark Driscoll, C.J. Mahaney, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan along with lay Christians and concludes that the Calvinist comeback is for real and widespread among 20- and 30-somethings – marking a generational dimension. (As an aside, the Reformed theology and Calvinism to which Hansen refers is primarily the TULIP variety and not the more comprehensive version that includes Covenant theology, pedobaptism, etc.)

Tim Challies, who has probably written more Amazon book reviews than almost anyone on the planet, offered this glowing review of his buddy's book. (See screen shot of an excerpt from Challies' review below)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1XIVRWUJW50XI/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1581349408

I recently came to own a copy of Young, Restless, Reformed because I was ordering several used books online – one being the hilarious children's book A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck, and another being a Paula Deen cookbook. If I purchased a total of four used books, I could get the fourth one FREE (as well as free shipping on all four books). As I scrolled through the books being offered, I suddenly saw Hansen's book and couldn't pass up the opportunity to get it without spending a dime. 🙂

Since I had never read Hansen's book Young, Restless, Reformed, I couldn't wait to see which New Calvinists he interviewed as he trekked around the country. After discovering which ones he spotlighted nine years ago, I wanted to retrace Hansen's footsteps and give our readers an update on where some of these SUPERSTARS are now…

John Piper (Chapters 1 and 2)

When Hansen's book was published, John Piper was the pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church, where he had served since 1980. Four years ago he decided to retire and preached his final sermon on March 31, 2013 (Easter Sunday). He continues to speak at Passion Conferences, where he gained much popularity with young folks (primarily college students), as well as other conferences geared toward Calvinists such as Together for the Gospel, The Gospel Coalition National Conference, among others. He continues to be involved with his Desiring God ministry, which he founded, serves as Chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary, and he Tweets up a storm! Looks like there's no slowing down during his retirement years.

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Chapter 4)

Collin Hansen titled the chapter on the flagship seminary of the SBC Ground Zero for the Young, Restless, Reformed movement, and that continues to be the case. He provides a brief history of how Al Mohler came to be seminary president at the young age of 33. While there he took a tour of the pristine campus and got a history lesson from Tom Nettles. In this chapter he discussed Calvinism and missions. In the intervening years Southern Seminary has become known for its staunch stand for Reformed Theology. The Together for the Gospel conference is held in Louisville, and students are encouraged to attend and offered court credit opportunities if they do so. There's your built-in audience…

Covenant Life Church (Chapter 5)

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the title of the chapter that discussed C.J. Mahaney and Covenant Life Church (CLC). It was "Drug-Induced Calvinism".  Now that's a spin on Calvinism I have never heard before. As Collin Hansen explains how CLC began, he writes:

José and I sat down near the office of C.J. Mahaney, who founded the sprawling suburban church in 1977 and pastored it until 2004. (p. 95)

Oh really??? I thought CLC (formerly called "Gathering of Believers") was co-founded by Mahaney and Larry Tomczak. Now I see where some of the confusion originated.

In this chapter Hansen wrote:

C.J. Mahaney gave me the most difficult interview of my career thus far… He wouldn't stop asking me questions. (p. 96)

Hansen explained that he was finally able to ask Mahaney his one big question (see below):

How in the world do you explain the anomalous blend of Charismatic practice with Calvinist soteriology (salvation theology)? (p. 98)

C.J. Mahaney responded as follows:

This could be the fruit of my pre-conversion, drug-induced state. (p. 98)

A word to the wise… Don't go looking for C.J. at Covenant Life Church because HE"S NOT THERE! Mahaney, along with some of his closest friends and family, moved the headquarters for Sovereign Grace Ministries (which had been housed at CLC) and themselves to Louisville, Kentucky in 2012 for 'economic reasons' and to be at ground zero for the Young, Restless, and Reformed movement. Due to some of his purported attitudes including "various expressions of pride, unentreatability, deceit, sinful judgment and hypocrisy", Mahaney should have been disciplined by church leaders. Instead, he ran to Mark Dever's church to escape the treatment he so readily gave others who 'fell into sin'. CLC is now a skeleton of its former self because so many members have left. The church 'Mahaney founded' (according to Collin Hansen) withdrew from Sovereign Grace Ministries, and now this church-planting group is called "Sovereign Grace Churches (SGM)". Mahaney, who had been SGM president, now pastors Sovereign Grace Church in Louisville and occasionally speaks at conferences. He and other colleagues were named in a lawsuit several years ago, which was dropped on a technicality.

Joshua Harris (Chapter 6)

The author of the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye", which topped the charts in 1998, Joshua Harris, was hand-picked by C.J. Mahaney to become his successor at Covenant Life Church. Harris moved from Oregon to Maryland, living in the Mahaney's basement the first year. Over the years Harris was groomed to become senior pastor of Covenant Life Church, and that transfer of pastoral authority took place in 2004. Years earlier Harris began New Attitude Conference which became quite popular with young people. That conference ran its course and came to an abrupt end. Also, in January 2015 Harris resigned as Senior Pastor of CLC to attend seminary. He has been keeping a low profile since then.  Other Christian leaders were discussed, in this chapter, but Harris has the most name recognition.

Mars Hill Church (Chapter 7)

And last but certainly not least, there's the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church, Mark Driscoll. According to Hansen, Driscoll has a 'missional mind-set'; however, we all know the rest of the story…

While in Seattle, Collin Hansen attended a Boot Camp as well as a Sunday service. The day Hansen visited, Driscoll did not preach. Instead…

he opened his pulpit to Bruce Ware, professor of systematic theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Ware had flown out to Seattle to lead a Resurgence Conference. There is so much we could say (and have said) about Mark Driscoll and is antics.

Then in 2014 Mark Driscoll Resigned from Mars Hill Church after nearly 20 years as founding pastor. At the end of 2014 the unthinkable happened — Mars Hill closed its doors forever.

Looks like the New Calvinists aren't all they've been touted to be…

Dee and I have written extensively on most of these individuals and institutions that Collin Hansen praises. In a mere nine years, some dramatic changes have taken place in the Neo-Cal world. When will we ever learn to keep our focus on Christ alone?

Comments

Young Restless & Reformed Superstars – Where Are They Now? — 215 Comments

  1. Didn’t Paul say something about people accumulating teachers to get their ears tickled (II Timothy 4:3)?

    I wasn’t part of the YRR wave (too old), but When I was deeply steeped in conservative Evangelical culture, that is exactly what I did. Filled my bookshelves with Christian books by reputable teachers, and devoted all 10 plus hours a week on the road playing sermon tapes, attended 2-3 weekly Bible studies for hours of “solid teaching.” Don’t get me started about retreats and conferences.

    Nobody accumulates teachers like reformed types do. They use II Timothy 4:3 to throw barbs at liberal Christians. Ask any liberal Christian to list their favorite teachers. You will get a blank look.

  2. The YRR is a movement that will eventually run its course, like so many other movements. With all the damage this movement has done, hopefully the end is near.

  3. Bruce Ware. along with Wayne Grudem, is a strong proponent of the heterodox doctrine of the Eternal Subordination of the Son, which they use as a tool to enforce their patriarchal views. They see the subordination of women as extending into eternity. (Arianism – or close to it). The psychology of this leads, in my view, to the sexual troubles experienced and covered up in many churches.

  4. Paul D. wrote:

    Didn’t Joshua Harris recently disavow his misconceived dating book and the harm it has caused?

    “”It’s like, well, crap, is the biggest thing I’ve done in my life this really huge mistake?” asked Harris, who stepped down as lead pastor at Covenant Life last year to pursue graduate studies at the evangelical Regent College in British Columbia.”
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/abstinence-author-pastor-joshua-harris-apologizes-for-telling-christians-not-to-date-in-i-kissed-dating-goodbye-168650/

  5. @ Max:

    Perhaps, but all of this was so new to me way back then that I didn't recognize the interviewer. Looking forward to listening to this interview.

  6. The book of James provides a blueprint of the last days apostasies that would beset the church. On the bright side, James provides the encouragement that we are to consider it all joy by suffering through these trials, since this builds up our faith.

    James warns of double-mindedness, pride in position (lead pastor?), hedonism, worldliness, hypocrisy, personal favoritism, puritanical (judgmental) spirit, party spirit, legalism, self-deception, wordiness (twittering?), selfish ambition, pastors who live in luxury by shearing the sheep, authoritarianism, false humility, arrogance, presumption, improper excommunications, and above all, improper oaths.

    New Calvinism does not hold a monopoly on these characteristics, but the movement definitely displays more than its fair share.

  7. David C wrote:

    Don’t get me started about retreats and conferences.

    Over the last few years, I keep seeing people attend retreats and I’ve always been puzzled as to the point.

    Max wrote:

    “”It’s like, well, crap, is the biggest thing I’ve done in my life this really huge mistake?”

    I am SO glad I was too old to get caught up in any of this. I mean, I went to public high school (and college) so maybe I wouldn’t have regardless but still.

    I know a couple people who were raised with some sort of courtship deal and they have said they aren’t raising their kids that way because it didn’t work. (one had multiple divorces, another just got divorced).

  8. Deb wrote:

    I didn’t recognize the interviewer

    Your excellent piece today deals with the initial “generals” in the New Calvinist movement. They depended on “lieutenants” in social media, like Timmy Brister, to spread the word. New Calvinists have mastered social media. Without the blogosphere, Twitter, etc., the reformed movement would have fizzled out by now. On the other hand, those same tools may very well do them in. Stay after them TWW!

  9. Deb wrote:

    Looking forward to listening to this interview.

    The third part of the interview about New Calvinism and the SBC provides some insight into what reformed leaders were thinking as they launched their attack on the largest non-Calvinist denomination on the planet. For example:

    “What do you think is happening with the current spike of controversy of Calvinism within the SBC” (Brister)

    “There are resources at stake here” (Hansen)

    Pure and simple, the New Calvinists want the stuff! Since that interview, most SBC entities have come under New Calvinist control (leading seminaries, mission agencies, publishing house).

  10. So this Colin Hansen guy who wrote this is the same one who the article Dee linked on twitter about the lady who let a criminal into her home to prey on her children?

    Interesting.

    Regarding the article, the ‘where are they now’ answer seems to be that they are all still kicking around, even if a couple got actively kicked out of their churches and had to start new ones.

  11. Deb, I’m glad you got this book as a freebie and took the time to read it. I think it’s an interesting time capsule of the YRR in 2008 and where they are now.

    As pretty much everyone knows, I have a *thing* for Mark Driscoll. As in, I wish he had not brought his teachings and baggage to the Valley of the Sun. However, this book is an EXCELLENT example of the kind of attention being paid to Driscoll at the time, and the fact that he was seen as a standard-bearer for the YRR. So when articles, like that one wrotten for TGC a couple of weeks ago kind of gloss over Driscoll, we can point to Collin Hansen and say, uh hey, waitaminute, you just can’t send Mark Driscoll down the memory hole. We know better.

  12. As for Joshua Harris, I don’t want to cut him any slack. “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” messed up a lot of people. I read on Twitter that Harris is working with a woman he filmmaker setting up a Kickstarter to fund a “documentary” called “I Survived ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye.'”

    Here’s the Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/ISurvivedIKDG/

    Let’s just say that not everyone is jumping for joy over this. All I can say is that I was 38 and living in Salt Lake City when Harris’ book came out, so I was pretty close to not affected by it. (And Scientology was my thing in 1998, so there’s that.)

  13. Max wrote:

    “”It’s like, well, crap, is the biggest thing I’ve done in my life this really huge mistake?”

    He wouldn’t be the first and/or only one to say that.

    I think in his Paradiso, Dante had a theologian in Heaven whose specialty in life was detailed Angelology. And now that he was in Heaven he realized all his speculation and theology of angels had been dead wrong from day one. And he was getting quite a laugh out of the situation.

  14. Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:

    As for Joshua Harris, I don’t want to cut him any slack. “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” messed up a lot of people.

    The only slack I cut him is that he was very young when he wrote it and the actual problem was that people, grown people in positions of ‘authority’, actually LISTENED to him and pushed it. Because I don’t think Josh Harris himself, alone, writing this stupid book could have caused all that harm.

  15. Mae wrote:

    Their own plantings have failed. Concentrate on the SBC….lots of assets to grab and own.

    This whole ‘re-plant’ thing is so Orwellian!

  16. Mae wrote:

    @ Max:
    Agree.
    Their own plantings have failed. Concentrate on the SBC….lots of assets to grab and own.

    Where the Prey gathers, the Predators will swarm.

  17. Lea wrote:

    Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:
    As for Joshua Harris, I don’t want to cut him any slack. “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” messed up a lot of people.
    //
    The only slack I cut him is that he was very young when he wrote it and the actual problem was that people, grown people in positions of ‘authority’, actually LISTENED to him and pushed it. Because I don’t think Josh Harris himself, alone, writing this stupid book could have caused all that harm.

    I also wonder if there was someone in his life that was profiting from it, like his parents or that church.

  18. I find this post interesting from a historical perspective.

    In the 1980’s and 1990’s it really seemed that so-called “conservative” Christianity was on the political ascendance with groups like the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition seeming to have a fair bit of political influence.

    By the early 2000’s I really think that the Christian far right figured they were on the way to some form of American theocracy given the Bush administration’s faith based initiative office. I think it was in the early 2000’s you had that book about Christians conquering the seven mountains of society (New Apostolic Reformation) – something like that.

    Anyway that didn’t happen. Turns out Americans kind of like all those freedoms built into the Constitution(even conservative “born again” Americans), so evolution wound up being taught in schools (in 2004 Frontline did a great documentary “Evolution on Trial”), gay marriage was upheld in the courts, women and minorities continue to make inroads into “non traditional” fields.

    It seems 2007-2008 was when all those kids who were promised the keys to the kingdom back in the 90’s didn’t get them so you have a resurgence in reformed theology – with its assurance that “the world” was doomed anyway so we’ll bunker down and concentrate on keeping “our” women and children in check. Hence you wind up with thugs like Driscoll picking up steam – forget all that love crud – let’s get out and kill something – Time to party like it’s 1999 …. BC that is!

    2007-2008 also seems to be when the “angry atheist” books came out – Hitchen’s “God is Not Great”, Dawkins “The God Delusion”.

    There seemed to be a bit of rejection of “conservative” values. I think everyone was a little burned out by it all. Maybe the financial meltdown at that time put bigger agendas onto people’s plates. I was facing job loss at that time – who’s loving who really doesn’t matter when you’re looking at a cardboard box for your next house.

    Anyways around 2004 was when I noticed a change in tact for the church I was attending at the time. Big push to covenant (a la “Purpose Driven Life”), emphasis on Young Earth Creationism as THE christian worldview (no “a” christian worldview, “the”), a lot of intolerant sermons against other faiths and denominations. It was then that I realized this really wasn’t my bag and quit attending church.

    Great post, really shows that nothing happens in a vacuum.

    Oh and really enjoying e-church. Though I’m currently “no fixed religion” – I’m finding a new peace through prayer. It’s helping bring some much needed balance to my perspectives. – Thanks!

  19. ishy wrote:

    I also wonder if there was someone in his life that was profiting from it,

    I have wondered if he wasn’t mostly the ‘face’ of that book, and maybe it was, if not ghost written then highly sketched out at least by someone else.

  20. Lea wrote:

    Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:
    As for Joshua Harris, I don’t want to cut him any slack. “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” messed up a lot of people.
    The only slack I cut him is that he was very young when he wrote it and the actual problem was that people, grown people in positions of ‘authority’, actually LISTENED to him and pushed it. Because I don’t think Josh Harris himself, alone, writing this stupid book could have caused all that harm.

    More like his father pushed it…keep the business moving along. Josh was held as a big example for all home schooled children. As he became an adolescent, new material was needed to hawk at the big Home School conventions.

  21. Max wrote:

    “What do you think is happening with the current spike of controversy of Calvinism within the SBC” (Brister)
    “There are resources at stake here” (Hansen)
    Pure and simple, the New Calvinists want the stuff! Since that interview, most SBC entities have come under New Calvinist control (leading seminaries, mission agencies, publishing house).

    They can only keep the stuff as long as people in the pews keep on Tithing, tithing, tithing. Stop the tithing and all those resources and assets will vanish.

  22. Jack wrote:

    There seemed to be a bit of rejection of “conservative” values.

    I think americans like a bit of push and pull in politics. Your guys wins, Horray! Your guy loses, everybody freaks out. Maybe the mistake was assuming it was only about religion to began with? Maybe they thought they had more power than they did.

  23. What we see here in our small town is this: God calls us out of the cloister and into the world to confront evil, the devil, his minions, and unbelief head on.

    News flash: if you successfully survive that it will still be a pretty hairy scarey life. Tons of hard work. Very little glamour. I mean, you might get in the paper taking sandwiches to the homeless under the bridge but I doubt seriously you will for faithfully packing your kids’ lunches. You might be famous for writing a book on marriage but not for just being a good husband or wife.

    If you manage to teach the Word accurately or lead someone to Christ all hell could break loose against you. It might break loose just for having a positive attitude and a smile on your face, especially during tough times.

    It is just so much easier to tell the world how chosen you are to be saved than it is to live the faith. Pays better too! And if your message gets rejected, you can just write off the naysayers as non elect.

    When the local SBC fell to the Calvinistas they were convinced to hire a guy for full time pay, benefits, and parsonage on the agreement his sole duty is one sermon a week, period. So he can finish his PH.D. and is open probably move on.

    What kind of koolaid are Southern Baptists drinking these days?

  24. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    James warns of double-mindedness, pride in position (lead pastor?), hedonism, worldliness, hypocrisy, personal favoritism, puritanical (judgmental) spirit, party spirit, legalism, self-deception, wordiness (twittering?)

    or writing book after book after book?

  25. Jack wrote:

    Oh and really enjoying e-church.

    The E-Church is a wonderful option for people who have been alienated from other Church settings because of abuses ….. that Wade and Dee and Deb have put it together for those who need it is a work of Christian mercy. E-Church is the kind of ‘service’ that Our Lord asks of us: that we help bear the burdens of others. E-Church nurtures the people who are healing.
    It’s a caring ministry indeed.

  26. Max wrote:

    New Calvinists have mastered social media.

    I think that we’re on to New Calvinists like 9Marks and Tim Challies and scores of others who are such cowards that they don’t permit any comments or rigorous debate on their blogs.

  27. Jack wrote:

    2007-2008 also seems to be when the “angry atheist” books came out – Hitchen’s “God is Not Great”, Dawkins “The God Delusion”.

    Add Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation to that list. I read that book in 2006 since it was lying around my son’s home. He had de-converted from the Christian faith in 2005 after being a zealous Calvinist for about 9 years. He fell hard and became bitter and intent on converting other Christians to his point of view. Dawkins was his role model back then and he went to a speaking engagement of his with a book signing afterward. Since then he has mellowed quite a bit in his approach, but still does not believe in God because “that god” (the one he learned about in Calvinism) is a monster, and he cannot bring himself to believe in such a “god” anymore.

  28. Question. Slightly off- topic; sorry.

    We live in rural NC. Our home is just north of Winston-Salem, but this area gets rural just a few miles outside the city. (We love it!) Anyway, there’s pretty much a Baptist church on every corner. But they’re little country churches, by and large. Not the large, imposing, big-city-type churches. No megas. Just charming little country churches nestled amid woods and meadows. Some are IFB, but most appear to be SBC.

    Are these little churches also being targeted by the New Calvinists? Or do the YRRs consider small rural churches beneath their notice — too little, obscure, and non-wealthy to be worth taking over? Will the YRRs not bother with congregants who live in double-wides and drive beat-up pickup trucks? With all their talk about “revitalizing” the SBC, are they really interested *only* in those plum, prize Baptist churches, the ones with well-heeled congregants, high-dollar real estate, and lots of visibility?

    If so, I’m glad the little country churches are safe from the New Calvinist incursion!

  29. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Are these little churches also being targeted by the New Calvinists? Or do the YRRs consider small rural churches beneath their notice — too little, obscure, and non-wealthy to be worth taking over? Will the YRRs not bother with congregants who live in double-wides and drive beat-up pickup trucks? With all their talk about “revitalizing” the SBC, are they really interested *only* in those plum, prize Baptist churches, the ones with well-heeled congregants, high-dollar real estate, and lots of visibility?

    Absolutely. And… I’m sorry. 🙁

    Winston-Salem is not to far from Southeastern Seminary. And you better believe SEBTS is sending out Calvinista baby pastors to take over even small churches. It’s definitely the case in Raleigh. It’s a basic case of there being way too many baby pastors for the big church jobs. Now, most of them may not have intentions to stay there long, but they will take small churches. Same reasoning for socioeconomic strata…it’d be a jumping off point to a richer church. They also may value the land more than the congregants.

  30. Young Restless & Reformed Superstars – Where Are They Now?

    Purged and thrown under the bus by the Next Generation of Young Restless and REALLY TRULY REFORMED?

    That seems to be the way of True Believer Mass Movements.

  31. Max wrote:

    New Calvinists have mastered social media. Without the blogosphere, Twitter, etc., the reformed movement would have fizzled out by now.

    Don’t they say the same about al-Daesh/ISIS?

  32. Velour wrote:

    I think that we’re on to New Calvinists like 9Marks and Tim Challies and scores of others who are such cowards that they don’t permit any comments or rigorous debate on their blogs.

    Velour, I think Tim Challies of the Fundamentalist stripe. I say that because of the conferences he speaks at. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see some of the speakers of the G3 Conference: Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham, Todd Friel, Martha Peace, just to mention a few. One of the regular speakers in that conference, Dr. Steven Lawson, is a zealous Calvinist having written a slew of books, one being The Expository Genius of John Calvin (A Long Line of Godly Men Profile). And he is Professor of Preaching and Director of Doctor of Ministry at The Master’s Seminary – ground zero for John MacArthur.

    Me thinks if anyone does some simple digging on our friend Google, they will discover a web of connection between all of these New Calvinists. And I’m not just talking about the big-wig celebrities but the wanna-be ones as well.

    Here’s that G3 link.
    http://www.g3conference.com/

  33. Darlene wrote:

    Here’s another interesting thing about Dr. Steve Lawson. He resigned from Dauphin Way Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama in 2003, along with all of the full-time pastors. From reading the article, me thinks it was an unsuccessful attempt at a Calvinista take-over. Here’s the article, titled Calvinist Pastor Resigns Baptist Church:
    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.christnet.calvinist/JsxzI5DLuPM

    Okay….I’ve been surfing around the lovely web and learning more about Dr. Steve Lawson. Apparently, that church split at Dauphin Way Baptist Church was connected to Lawson’s Calvinism from what I can tell. Here’s a blog that critiqued Collin Hansen’s book Young, Restless, Reformed back in 2011. He addressed some of the points Hansen made in the book such as:
    #1. Calvinism (in its evangelical form) reflects traditional Christianity.
    #2. Calvinism is the only form of “theology” available to evangelicals.
    #3. Theology is more significant than the life of the community.

    Under #3 the blog writer asserts that Dr. Steve Lawson’s stint (my word) at Dauphin Way Baptist Church illustrates how theology and preaching were more important to him than being a pastor among the people. Quote from the pastor who stepped in after Lawson’s resignation: He was distant… from everything in the church except preaching. Lawson was at that church for 8 years and I wonder if he ever connected closely with the people as pastor. But what’s interesting is that Collin Hansen spins the story in his book and makes him a hero because “he valiantly stood for his beliefs.” This is a man, who after the church split, took 400 members from Dauphin Way and started a rival church in the same neighborhood!

    I think the Deebs should do a TWW article on this Lawson preacher. I bet it wouldn’t be difficult to find some of those from Dauphin Way Baptist Church who were there during Lawson’s tenure.

    Here is the blog article:
    https://restlessyoungandreforming.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/subtle-themes-in-young-restless-reformed/

  34. Lea wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:
    http://founders.org/2017/06/11/five-things-to-remember-when-transitioning-to-elder-plurality/
    1. Just become a Presbyterian instead of a Baptist, since that’s obviously what you want.
    2. Realize that deacons function a bit little elders in a Baptist church and to some extent you are stupidly creating huge fights over semantics.
    3. Don’t.

    These SBC Calvinista Mutiny pastors would never become Presby. They abhor paedo-baptism. That alone makes me wonder why they even associate with Presbies, such as Ligon Duncan. Perhaps after they’re done purging SBC churches of non-Calvinists, they’ll work on purging paedo-baptism from the Presbyterian churches. 🙂

  35. Deb wrote:

    @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
    Yes. Nothing is off limits.

    Which makes me think that the Calvinistas have more church take-overs in mind than just SBC. I think they want the whole kit and caboodle. Meaning, I think they have a long range goal of transforming ALL evangelical churches Calvinist churches. The SBC and its entities proved to be the best launching pad and soon they will be coming to a non-SBC church near you!

  36. Deb wrote:

    @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
    Yes. Nothing is off limits.

    Until there is no “Christ”, only CALVIN.

  37. Oh my, I feel like a sleuth today and yet I still have to go out and shop for a mother-of-the-bride outfit. But I found it! What, you ask? The split at Dauphin Way Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama back in 2003 when Dr. Steve Lawson was the pastor there, was due to….drum roll….CALVINISM!

    At a Calvinist blog titled Hip and Thigh: Smiting the Theological Philistines with a Great Slaugter, (get load of that name!) the blog writer (Fred Butler) states the following, after having attended The Shepherds Conference in 2006 (third paragraph):

    The real highlight of the Q and A panel was Steve Lawson’s re-telling of his heartbreaking trial with Dauphin Way Baptist Church and how the congregation essentially kicked him out of the Church for being Calvinistic.

    This blog article was written in March 2006 and what is quite interesting is the writer’s foretelling, so-to-speak, of the effect Calvinism will have on SBC churches (and implicitly other Evangelical churches) in the future. Here he states the following:

    And on the note of Calvinism, I met many pastors who are at odds with their Churches over this issue of Calvinism. I can see the doctrines of grace being a major factor in church life in the years to come. Obviously, it has become a dividing line among Southern Baptists. It is not as though these men are forcing the doctrines on the people and telling them if they don’t believe and embrace those doctrines, you might as well just leave. They are preaching through the Bible and when the pastor’s exposition brings him to a passage affirming any one of the five points, the opposition in his church get out-of-sorts.”

    I call hogwash on Fred Butler’s POV. Read the article in it’s entirety and its quite telling about the Calvinist Movement back in the epitome of its YRR days. (2006) Butler goes on to rave about Tim Challies and bemoan the persecution of Calvinist pastors who are just preaching the Bible. Sigh…

    Here is the link:
    http://hipandthigh.blogspot.com/2006/03/shepherd-conference-highlights-i-had.html

  38. Darlene wrote:

    It is not as though these men are forcing the doctrines on the people

    HA! It sounds like that is exactly what they’re doing.

    (BTW, as to your other comment, I have never heard these guys say beans about pedo baptism. But they will talk forever and ever about comp! Isn’t Butler one of the way over the top ones?)

  39. @ Darlene:
    I know who Steve Lawson is. He was a speaker at the Resolved conferences along with John MacArthur, Rick Holland, C.J. Mahaney, and others.

    Perhaps we will do a post about him sometime.

  40. Lea wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    It is not as though these men are forcing the doctrines on the people
    HA! It sounds like that is exactly what they’re doing.
    (BTW, as to your other comment, I have never heard these guys say beans about pedo baptism. But they will talk forever and ever about comp! Isn’t Butler one of the way over the top ones?)

    Lea, I’m just learning more about the not-so-visible Calvinistas. Me thinks they are just as dangerous as the popular celebrity Neo-Cals but in a different way. They can fly under the radar and get away with more because they aren’t as popular and thus, not quoted as much or idolized like Piper, Dever, Mohler, Sproul, etc. Anyway, here is another one of his sites where he posts several of his article. The name of the site: Bible Thumping Wingnut.

    You tell me. With a name like Bible Thumping Wingnut, is he way over the top? 🙂

  41. Deb wrote:

    @ Darlene:
    I know who Steve Lawson is. He was a speaker at the Resolved conferences along with John MacArthur, Rick Holland, C.J. Mahaney, and others.
    Perhaps we will do a post about him sometime.

    Well, he bemoans the fact that he was tossed out of a church because of his Calvinism. Here is that 2006 Shepherds Conference where Lawson spoke about his…ahem…persecution. One of those Lawson sessions must have the recording of this event.

    https://www.gracechurch.org/sermons/events/326?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

  42. Some words from Challies caught my eye:

    “You may not find a lot of new information, but you’ll enjoy reading about the ways God has brought leaders to this movement and the way He is using this movement to allow so many people to rediscover His sovereignty.”

    OK, so “the ways God has brought leaders to this movement”–
    Hmm, not such a great track record here for God!

    If people check this history and follow the fruit, then there are huge questions about these church leaders–and where they ended up and why!!

    Further question: Is God allowing so many people to rediscover His sovereignty?? Well, their version of God’s sovereignty seems to be out there, but certainly not a biblical view of God’s Almightiness. Many Christians are discovering this on their own and without their help!

    Book Review: Epic Fail.

    So what credibility does this book now have for serious researchers of this movement??!!

  43. Darlene wrote:

    They can only keep the stuff as long as people in the pews keep on Tithing, tithing, tithing.

    Here’s a typical response from the average Southern Baptist in the pew: “Ahh, this reformed thing is harmless enough. At least the young people are coming to church again. No one cares about theology any way, do they?” That’s why the SBC has been easy pickins’ for the new reformation – the pew ain’t got a clue.

    In regard to tithing, I actually had a long-time member of a traditional SBC church tell me that he was going to continue to tithe after a New Calvinist takeover of the church by a young reformer. He said he didn’t agree with the new preachin’, but if the church leaders were using his money wrong, they would have to answer to God for that. I told him that was stinkin’ thinkin’ and reminded him that he would be held accountable to God for his giving knowing that he was sowing into something that he didn’t agree with, a belief and practice contrary to what he had known all his life in that church. He left the conversation with a concerned look. Most of these old timers just need a stern wake-up call.

  44. Barb Orlowski wrote:

    Is God allowing so many people to rediscover His sovereignty?? Well, their version of God’s sovereignty seems to be out there, but certainly not a biblical view of God’s Almightiness. Many Christians are discovering this on their own and without their help!

    Arguments from history are always weak arguments. But if you really want to confound a Calvinista who starts arguing things like “Calvinists started the SBC, therefore it should go back to that” or “Everybody is coming over to our side, so it must be true!” or “Piper (TGC/Mohler/take your Calvinista pick) says…”

    All you have to do is say “I thought you believed in Sola Scriptura?”

    Their arguments contradict themselves. They can’t reconcile Sola Scriptura with any of those arguments.

  45. Lea wrote:

    The only slack I cut him is that he was very young when he wrote it and the actual problem was that people, grown people in positions of ‘authority’, actually LISTENED to him and pushed it.

    There was an entire business built around the Harris family, and Joshua was used as a prop, IMO. I heard his father speak in the early days of the homeschool movement and was not impressed in a good way.

  46. ishy wrote:

    I also wonder if there was someone in his life that was profiting from it, like his parents or that church.

    Yes. They had a philosophy of family-based businesses and taught that, IIRC. It was a loooooong time ago, and it was only one meeting, and I was not impressed, as I said. I cannot remember the clobber verses he had for their philosophy, but he had some.

  47. Darlene wrote:

    but still does not believe in God because “that god” (the one he learned about in Calvinism) is a monster, and he cannot bring himself to believe in such a “god” anymore.

    And this is the real damage that this NeoCalvinism perpetrates. How many souls has the NC movement driven out of Christianity?

  48. ishy wrote:

    Arguments from history are always weak arguments. But if you really want to confound a Calvinista who starts arguing things like “Calvinists started the SBC, therefore it should go back to that” or “Everybody is coming over to our side, so it must be true!” or “Piper (TGC/Mohler/take your Calvinista pick) says…”
    All you have to do is say “I thought you believed in Sola Scriptura?”
    Their arguments contradict themselves. They can’t reconcile Sola Scriptura with any of those arguments.

    So true, Ishy.

  49. I watched some of the G3 Archives. Challies comes across as pretty sane and reserved. Paul Washer is So… Very… Earnest… I remember thinking that I should be that passionate, that I should care that much about all those poor lost people who aren’t the elect anyway, because the god of all control decided he didn’t want them cluttering up heaven, and… Wait, why should I be more passionate than god?

    I really feel for the fellow who went straight from heavy Calvinism to Atheism. I have a friend who did the same thing, and there is a certain logic to it. I’m really thankful to have friends who believe in a different sort of God, the kind I actually want to believe in.

    Some of those friends are here at TWW.

  50. And the Joshua Harris video… Wow. “Hi, I’m Joshua, and I’m completely self-absorbed. But in an edgy sort of way.” He needs to go sell cars or insurance or air time for awhile. Some job where he’s not in the spotlight.

  51. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    He needs to go sell cars or insurance or air time for awhile

    Why would he want do do that?! He has plenty of young reformed fools who will finance him from here on out. He’ll never have to really work.

  52. @ GSD [Getting Stuff Done]:
    So true about Josh Harris. I admire Grant Layman who opened a paint store after he realized he’d done wrong. At least he admitted it under duress, unlike many other of the pastors.

  53. Max wrote:

    Here’s a typical response from the average Southern Baptist in the pew: “Ahh, this reformed thing is harmless enough. At least the young people are coming to church again. No one cares about theology any way, do they?”

    “And another Potluck is coming up!”

  54. Gram3 wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    The only slack I cut him is that he was very young when he wrote it and the actual problem was that people, grown people in positions of ‘authority’, actually LISTENED to him and pushed it.

    There was an entire business built around the Harris family, and Joshua was used as a prop, IMO. I heard his father speak in the early days of the homeschool movement and was not impressed in a good way.

    Interesting. I was not in that world at all. It seems like josh was probably brought up this way, homeschooled, sheltered… I mean. He’s still responsible and now he’s a grown man. But I can see how he got there. I still don’t get why anyone listened though.

  55. one need only take a look at the two-page spread pictured on the right

    If that picture was black and white or sepia tones it would make more sense. I’m reminded of when I catch an old movie and there is shown a room full of professionals that are all men, things have sure changed. I grew up back in the fifties and sixties and remember those days but such images now sure look dated.

  56. Darlene wrote:

    Me thinks if anyone does some simple digging on our friend Google, they will discover a web of connection between all of these New Calvinists. And I’m not just talking about the big-wig celebrities but the wanna-be ones as well.

    Darlene,

    I think you’re on to something. I would call NeoCalvinists cult members (I was in a NeoCalvinist/9Marxists/John MacArthur-ite gulag so I speak from experience). The cult leaders live in their own world, constantly seeking pats on the back from other cult leaders and constantly giving each other pats on the back.

  57. Max wrote:

    Good Lord, the church has been taken over by the youth group!!

    Actually the narcissistic phase is characteristic of 2-4 year olds, by high school there is still relatively much immaturity but not that level of narcissism.

  58. Lea wrote:

    Interesting. I was not in that world at all. It seems like josh was probably brought up this way, homeschooled, sheltered… I mean. He’s still responsible and now he’s a grown man. But I can see how he got there. I still don’t get why anyone listened though.

    I guess we should follow the money. His books were pushed by Christian radio programmers across the nation. It was all over the airwaves and Christian blogs.

    The publisher and other Christian businesses had to have made a lot of money from Josh’s book.

  59. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    It also looks like the SBC convention has turned into nothing more than a money making scheme.
    http://sbcvoices.com/fear-and-loathing-fun-and-freebies-at-the-exhibit-hall/

    I keep trying to forget….they’re HEEEEEEEEERE. Twenty-three miles west-northwest, to be precise. And it’s not especially obvious. The local fishwrap has a story buried on its website and my usual source for local news, the alt-weekly, doesn’t have a word, not even a listing in its event section. I guess the SBC PR people didn’t want the usual readers of the Phoenix New Times to stop by their shindig.

  60. Velour wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Me thinks if anyone does some simple digging on our friend Google, they will discover a web of connection between all of these New Calvinists. And I’m not just talking about the big-wig celebrities but the wanna-be ones as well.
    Darlene,
    I think you’re on to something. I would call NeoCalvinists cult members (I was in a NeoCalvinist/9Marxists/John MacArthur-ite gulag so I speak from experience). The cult leaders live in their own world, constantly seeking pats on the back from other cult leaders and constantly giving each other pats on the back.

    Velour, you are so right about the back-slapping and praise they lavish on each other. I’ve been listening to that Shepherd’s Conference from 2006 and the gushing of accolades is profuse. At one point, John MacArthur heaps praise upon praise (which I will document here at TWW) on Steve Lawson – the pastor who caused a huge split and was forced to leave Dauphin Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama because he couldn’t succeed in Calvinizing it. Listening to this audio from the 2006 Shepherds Conference has been eye-opening to me with regard to the arrogance these Neo-Calvinist preachers/teachers have. It is beyond the pale and I will be documenting their words here at TWW just so others can learn as I am!

  61. Darlene wrote:

    Add Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation to that list. I read that book in 2006 since it was lying around my son’s home. He had de-converted from the Christian faith in 2005 after being a zealous Calvinist for about 9 years. He fell hard and became bitter and intent on converting other Christians to his point of view.

    I am so sorry to hear this, Darlene, about your son. I will be praying for him, and for you.

    I knew that NeoCalvinism was a lie and my anger grew about all of the NeoCalvinist heresies when I sat in a NeoCalvinist gulag (cough “church”). But I tossed out all of my NeoCalvinist books, which I ripped to shreds, in the recycling container. I’ve never felt better!

  62. @ Darlene:
    By the way, actually listening to these New Calvinists speak – especially at their conferences – is even more palpable than just reading what they say. The arrogance can be more keenly grasped, if that makes any sense. Of course I realize that listening to the New Calvinists at their Cool Conferences isn’t everyone’s cup ‘o’ tea. It might just be a bit too disturbing for many here at TWW.

  63. Darlene wrote:

    Listening to this audio from the 2006 Shepherds Conference has been eye-opening to me with regard to the arrogance these Neo-Calvinist preachers/teachers have. It is beyond the pale and I will be documenting their words here at TWW just so others can learn as I am!

    Darlene, I’m glad you’ll be documenting that for TWW. It needs to be done.

  64. Lea wrote:

    I still don’t get why anyone listened though.

    Fear. It is a very powerful motivator. Parents listened because of fear. Girls listened because of fear. Boys listened because of fear. And because everyone wants the Magic Secret Formula.

  65. Lea wrote:

    The only slack I cut him is that he was very young when he wrote it and the actual problem was that people, grown people in positions of ‘authority’, actually LISTENED to him and pushed it. Because I don’t think Josh Harris himself, alone, writing this stupid book could have caused all that harm.

    Lea — Bingo. I agree with you.
    I read Harris’s book when it came out, and I thought it was an interesting corrective to the dating situation at that time. A few years went by and I was shocked at how people turned it into an ironclad formula. Harris might have put the logs in the fireplace, but others — people desperate to find a magical formula — poured gas on it and lit a match.

    Authoritarianism, in this case, is the demand to follow purity rules, combined with the followers’ holier-than-thou self-righteous proof of their personal loyalty to purity.

    God isn’t our Vending Machine in the sky. We can’t manipulate Him by constructing and obeying our own purity codes.

  66. Gram3 wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    I still don’t get why anyone listened though.
    Fear. It is a very powerful motivator. Parents listened because of fear. Girls listened because of fear. Boys listened because of fear. And because everyone wants the Magic Secret Formula.

  67. Darlene wrote:

    At one point, John MacArthur heaps praise upon praise (which I will document here at TWW) on Steve Lawson – the pastor who caused a huge split and was forced to leave Dauphin Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama because he couldn’t succeed in Calvinizing it.

    By the way, that was good news that he couldn’t succeed in NeoCalvinizing the Mobile, AL. church.

  68. Gram3 wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    I still don’t get why anyone listened though.
    Fear. It is a very powerful motivator. Parents listened because of fear. Girls listened because of fear. Boys listened because of fear. And because everyone wants the Magic Secret Formula.

    Gram3 wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    I still don’t get why anyone listened though.
    Fear. It is a very powerful motivator. Parents listened because of fear. Girls listened because of fear. Boys listened because of fear. And because everyone wants the Magic Secret Formula.

    Yes, bingo…. the magic secret formula!! Before Harris, Bill Gothard had the, magic secret formula.

  69. If you came of age in the 80’s like me, wasn’t Elizabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity the Kiss Dating Goodbye of our generation? In fact, Joshua Harris wrote a forward for the 2002 edition.

    Never read either of the books, but I always thought that KDG was the repackaged version of Elliot’s P&P. Elliot’s book was very popular among women, and I didn’t touch it cuz, you know, I wasn’t supposed to allow a woman besides my mother to teach me anything of spiritual value. So I am guessing Harris repackaged Elliot’s material and put a man stamp on it to make it accessible to both genders and to appeal to the young generation of the time.

  70. The following are some statements from The Shepherds Conference in 2006 – General Session 7 – Q&A with Keynote Panel.

    At 38:23 into the Q&A, someone states (I think it is Al Mohler): “Because we do recognize that when the gospel is at stake, as it certainly is now at stake, we need to be very clear about who the gospel people are. You know that’s where the word came from In the Reformation the Evangelicals were the Gospel people. If we could get back to that,
    that would be a significant gain
    .”

    At 38:39 into the Q&A, someone states (I think R.C. Sproul): “The tragedy that’s what’s been lost in contemporary evangelicalism, making the name a misnomer because the gospel is hardly anywhere to be found.”

    I think the words speak for themselves. According to them, oOnly the Calvinistas have a corner on the Truth.

    Here is the link:
    https://www.gracechurch.org/sermons/287

  71. Speaking of Steve Lawson, here is a puff piece by a Teampyro on Lawson’s lecture titled “the Extraordinary Life of John Calvin” back in 2009. It was the heyday of the YRR movement.

    The conclusion is a gem.

    Calvin gave an example of Christian character that was “as easy to slander as it is difficult to emulate.”

    I donno. I find it very difficult to “slander” Jesus. Or neither is Paul. Or Luke. Or John. Or Matthew.

    But I find most despots and tyrants very easy to slander, but extremely hard to emulate. Being Kim Jung Un isn’t easy. Lots of people try, but there is only one Kim Jung Un. But being easy to slander and being hard to emulate are two of the most premier Christian virtues? I will have to think about that one.

    Conduct yourselves with such honor among the Gentiles that, though they slander you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.
    – I Peter 2:12

  72. David C wrote:

    The conclusion is a gem.
    Calvin gave an example of Christian character that was “as easy to slander as it is difficult to emulate.”

    NeoCalvinist authoritarian leaders are big crybabies and play the “slander” and “persecution” cards whenever they are rightly criticized.

    Meanwhile critics are referred to as “bitter” for daring to criticize the authoritarians.

  73. Velour wrote:

    NeoCalvinist authoritarian leaders are big crybabies and play the “slander” and “persecution” cards whenever they are rightly criticized.

    This isn’t confined to the reformed. It’s pervasive in American Christian culture. A Christian leader makes a dumb and offensive comment.

    “Liberals are so triggered. What a bunch of snowflakes. Ah, the salty taste of liberal tears. Hehehe.

    …….

    Starbucks did WHAT?

  74. I was at the 2006 Shepherd’s Conference when Steve Lawson spoke. While I am a Calvinist myself, my friend and I were taken aback by his “coldness”…. like he was not dealing with real people on the other side of the debate. I assume that contributed to the decline in numbers at the church.

  75. David C wrote:

    Starbucks did WHAT?“

    As one man Tweeted when the Arizona “pastor” started the Red Cup Ruckus at Starbucks: “I’m boycotting the Bible because it doesn’t say ‘Merry Christmas’.” Touche.

  76. Velour wrote:

    As one man Tweeted when the Arizona “pastor” started the Red Cup Ruckus at Starbucks: “I’m boycotting the Bible because it doesn’t say ‘Merry Christmas’.” Touche.

    That is classic. LOL. Can’t wait for Christmas to use that line.

  77. Max wrote:

    Words like juvenile and immature come to mind. Good Lord, the church has been taken over by the youth group!!

    On point.
    Rallying the youth is an authoritarian ploy (Hitler, Mao, Khmer Rouge, etc.).

  78. It is ironic that Collin Hansen would devote so much of his book discussing John Piper, who turns 71 this year. Maybe he’s young at heart. 🙂

    Not sure about the restless part…

  79. Thersites wrote:

    one need only take a look at the two-page spread pictured on the right

    If that picture was black and white or sepia tones it would make more sense. I’m reminded of when I catch an old movie and there is shown a room full of professionals that are all men, things have sure changed. I grew up back in the fifties and sixties and remember those days but such images now sure look dated.

    I had the exact same impression. All men = really weird.

  80. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Where are they now?

    “Joshua Harris Exposed”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BETwHTH75AQ

    So, he points out that he’s no longer a pastor and is getting used to being a regular pew sitter. Yet he goes on to promote his YouTube channel and explain how he’s got so much to teach the rest of us about his faith journey. Insert eye roll.

    These guys just can’t handle NOT being the center of attention. If his focus was truly on his own spiritual growth, he would unplug from all this nonsense and live a quiet, unassuming life.

  81. David C wrote:

    If you came of age in the 80’s like me, wasn’t Elizabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity the Kiss Dating Goodbye of our generation? In fact, Joshua Harris wrote a forward for the 2002 edition.

    Never read either of the books, but I always thought that KDG was the repackaged version of Elliot’s P&P. Elliot’s book was very popular among women, and I didn’t touch it cuz, you know, I wasn’t supposed to allow a woman besides my mother to teach me anything of spiritual value. So I am guessing Harris repackaged Elliot’s material and put a man stamp on it to make it accessible to both genders and to appeal to the young generation of the time.

    That’s very interesting indeed. I don’t know much about Elliot. But her brother is a well-known convert to Catholicism. Go figure, eh?

  82. Darlene wrote:

    Jack wrote:

    2007-2008 also seems to be when the “angry atheist” books came out – Hitchen’s “God is Not Great”, Dawkins “The God Delusion”.

    Add Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation to that list. I read that book in 2006 since it was lying around my son’s home. He had de-converted from the Christian faith in 2005 after being a zealous Calvinist for about 9 years. He fell hard and became bitter and intent on converting other Christians to his point of view. Dawkins was his role model back then and he went to a speaking engagement of his with a book signing afterward. Since then he has mellowed quite a bit in his approach, but still does not believe in God because “that god” (the one he learned about in Calvinism) is a monster, and he cannot bring himself to believe in such a “god” anymore.

    So sorry!! Prayers for your son. I hope that he will come to see that the God you trust in bears no resemblance to that Calvinist monster.

    My own sons seem to be hanging on to Christianity by a hair. I am praying a lot of Novenas these days.

  83. I’d like to interject something here that I hope isn’t too out of place and may even be helpful.

    Tonight I ran an errand that required about 25 minutes of driving each way. The errand could have waited, but I needed a little time alone to get ready for tomorrow. A couple of years ago a friend of mine committed suicide after he moved with his wife and two daughters to Alaska. His youngest daughter is friends with my daughter and will be staying with us tomorrow. It’s the second time since his death that I’ve had the opportunity to stand in for a day and I treasure the opportunity. Please pray that God’s love will shine through me and that I’ll be able to hold it together.

    I first started taking these drives when he was still alive and still part of the church we had left. Initially, I used these drives to connect with God and mourn the loss of the church I had once known. While driving tonight, I felt God’s presence in a special way that I often have on these drives. I miss the times when the church gathered on Sunday or Wednesday night as family, but I was reminded that God’s enough even if spiritual family is more difficult to find. God is good.

  84. @ scott hendrixson:

    Hi Scott,

    First, I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s suicide.

    I am glad that you will see your friend’s daughter when she visits your daughter.

    I — and others here — will be praying for you.

    I am glad that God has comforted you on your drives.

  85. Velour wrote:

    scott hendrixson wrote:
    A couple of years ago a friend of mine committed suicide
    And I wanted to give another plug to the nationwide (United States) Suicide Prevention hotline. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can call or text.
    https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

    I should have added…for anyone feeling depressed or suicidal.

  86. This was a good discussion thanks for the information I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday.

  87. Continuing with The Shepherd Conference 2006, General Session 7 – Q&A with Keynote Panel.

    At the 38:59 mark, John MacArthur begins showering Steve Lawson with accolades, which becomes an invitation for Lawson to begin speaking about his struggles at Dauphin Way Baptist Church, eventually being put in a position to have to resign. Here is MacArthur’s intro to Steve Lawson:

    Steve, help us with this. You’re a man who has passion equal to any man I know and for the right things. You’re a man who understands the faith purely so your passion is perfectly wedded to the truth, to sound doctrine, and therefore there is a relentless passion; it is an unchanging passion. You go to a church, you pour the best that you have and that’s marvelous and you get the kind of response you got and before you get thrown out you live through 8 years of carping, unending, picking criticism at you. How do you deal with criticism in the ministry?

    It obviously hasn’t assaulted your passion, it hasn’t diminished your zeal, it hasn’t even taken your joy. Nobody laughs louder or longer than you do. There’s no one I’m ever with that I have more fun with than when I’m with you. That’s what’s so refreshing. You’re not morose, you’re not morbid, except when I beat you really bad on the golf course, which rarely happens.

    But where do you go because you should be preaching to 10,000 people every Sunday? You should be known across the country if not around the world. And you’ve got people down there who are hearing this great preaching and they can’t wait to get you out the door. It’s a Jonathan Edwards thing, right? (Lawson replies, “Right.”) How do you deal with that? How does your wife deal with that? How does your family deal with that?

    It seems to me the problem was that Steve Lawson wanted to transform Dauphin Way Baptist Church into a Calvinist church and the majority of the folks there wanted no part of it. So how is coming into a church and attempting to change the beliefs of that church something that can be defended, especially when you (the pastor in this case) know early on that the parishioners want no part of Calvinism? As I listened to Steve Lawson’s explanation of what happened at this church, I couldn’t help but think of the Poor Persecuted Pastor Syndrome that seems to be indicative of these Calvinista pastors who want to execute take-overs.

    He stayed long after the welcome ended, and he just dug his heals in deeper until the people would have no more of it. So he causes a rift within the church and 400 people leave with him. (They must have been the Truly Elect according to Lawson.) That’s not persecution. That’s just being obnoxious and people then responding to your obnoxious behavior. These Calvinistas have to get it into their heads that not all Christians think the Doctrines of Grace are glorious and beautiful.

    Here is the link again. At 40:57, Steve Lawson begins his testimony of what happened at Dauphin Way Baptist Church.
    https://www.gracechurch.org/sermons/287

  88. @ scott hendrixson:
    Scott, thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life with us here at TWW. I will keep you and the visit of your daughter’s friend in prayer. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend.

  89. On pages 80-83 of Collin Hansen’s Young, Restless, Reformed, Steve Lawson’s struggles at Dauphin Way Baptist Church are addressed. It is quite telling that Lawson had intended from the get-go to Calvinize the church, without ever mentioning the word Calvinist. Read it and you will see again another example of an attempted Calvinista take-over. The more I watch this preacher Lawson fella, the more I think him to be an arrogant, overly self-assured man.

    Here’s the link to “Young, Restless, Reformed.”
    http://www.thedivineconspiracy.org/Z5216Q.pdf

  90. Max wrote:

    @ Todd Wilhelm:
    New Calvinism, if allowed to run its course, will end in antinomianism.

    Max,
    I believe they are well on therir way. Thomas R. Schreiner is the James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    This from Schreiner’s book “40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law” page 91

    “When discussing Passover, I noted that believers are not required to observe the feasts, festivals, and special days of the Old Testament calendar. This includes the Sabbath, even though the Sabbath is part of the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:8-11). Such a judgment surprises some, but it must be recognized that the entirety of the Old Testament law is abrogated in Christ.”

    Compare this to orthodox view of the Law as foiund in the WCF:

    This from the Westminster Confession of Faith
    CHAPTER 19
    Of the Law of God

    1. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which he bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience, promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it.

    2. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables: the first four commandments containing our duty towards God; and the other six, our duty to man.

    3. Beside this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly, holding forth divers instructions of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the new testament.

    4. To them also, as a body politic, he gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the State of that people; not obliging any other now, further than the general equity thereof may require.

    5. The moral law doth forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof; and that, not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it. Neither doth Christ, in the gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.

    6. Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified, or condemned; yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts, and lives; so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin, together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of his obedience. It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin: and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve; and what afflictions, in this life, they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law. The promises of it, in like manner, show them God’s approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof: although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works. So as, a man’s doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one, and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law; and, not under grace.

    7. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it; the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely, and cheerfully, which the will of God, revealed in the law, requireth to be done.

    Here is what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had to say about the Law:

    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    Matthew 5:17-19

  91. Mix in the Neo-Cal’s view of the law, their heretical view of the Trinity, their unbiblical membership contract and their heavy-handed authoritarian leadership (disguised under the nomenclature of a “plurality of elders”) and you have a church that is marred by serious errors and ripe for abuse. As I and many others have said, what the Shepherding Movement was to 70’s and 80’s American Evangelicalism, Neo-Calvinism/9Marx is to the present day Evangelical Church. I do not believe history will be kind to the boys of TGC/9Marx/T4G/SBTS/CBMW, etc., etc.

  92. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Mix in the Neo-Cal’s view of the law, their heretical view of the Trinity, their unbiblical membership contract and their heavy-handed authoritarian leadership (disguised under the nomenclature of a “plurality of elders”) and you have a church that is marred by serious errors and ripe for abuse. As I and many others have said, what the Shepherding Movement was to 70’s and 80’s American Evangelicalism, Neo-Calvinism/9Marx is to the present day Evangelical Church. I do not believe history will be kind to the boys of TGC/9Marx/T4G/SBTS/CBMW, etc., etc.

    Spot on, Todd!

  93. Pingback: Wednesday Link List | Thinking Out Loud UNITED STATES

  94. @ Todd Wilhelm:
    I don’t think you should lump those who hold to New Covenant Theology with Neo-Cals. In fact, I would say that New Covenant Theology may be an antidote to the authoritarianism found in the Neo-Cals movement. I think The Gospel Coalition boys hold to Covenant Theology and the unity of the covenants.

  95. After I was excommunicated from my Neo-Cal church, I ran across a book entitled, “When Should a Christian Leave a Church” by John Reisinger. It addressed the abuses occurring in many Reformed Baptist Churches. It was a healing balm for my soul.

    http://isom.vnsalvation.com/Resources%20English/Christian%20Ebooks/John%20Reisinger%20When%20Should%20a%20Christian%20Leave%20a%20Church.pdf

    From the book:

    “Our main difference with many Reformed Baptist preachers is not over the necessity of holiness in the life of a true child of God; we agree with them that this holiness is essential. Our disagreement is over how that holiness is produced. I believe the Scriptures lead God’s sheep into true holy living by making Christ Himself precious to their hearts. Some of my Reformed Baptist brethren believe that the sheep are led to true peace by whipping them with the law every week. That is the heart of the present law/grace controversy. A pastor’s wife told a friend of mine, “We need to be constantly
    whipped into submission by the law or else our sins will conquer us.” That approach is exactly opposite to the theme of Bonar’s book and also contrary to the consistent teaching of the Apostle Paul.”

  96. __

    “Under Da Bus?”

    hmmm…

    “For I decided to be concerned about nothing among you except the Mark Driscoll ‘brand’ , and him crucified by the likes of Janet Mefford…” -Mark Driscolll

    🙂

  97. George wrote:

    I was at the 2006 Shepherd’s Conference when Steve Lawson spoke. While I am a Calvinist myself, my friend and I were taken aback by his “coldness”…. like he was not dealing with real people on the other side of the debate. I assume that contributed to the decline in numbers at the church.

    Thanks for sharing. I’m sure it did.

    People don’t care what you know, if they don’t know you care, right? I guess that saying never made its way to 9marx.

  98. Darlene wrote:

    But where do you go because you should be preaching to 10,000 people every Sunday? You should be known across the country if not around the world. And

    SO Much self seeking (for someone else?) blather in this statement!

    You should be KNOWN. That is christianity? Ugh.

  99. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    I think The Gospel Coalition boys hold to Covenant Theology and the unity of the covenants.

    it gets confusing with these parachurch orgs, I think, because some of them are presbyterians, who pay attention to the confessions and history, and baptists who do whatever.

  100. Max wrote:

    Good Lord, the church has been taken over by the youth group!!

    Chairman Calvin’s Red Guard.

  101. Mae wrote:

    Yes, bingo…. the magic secret formula!!

    In Greek, isn’t “magick sekrit formula” = “OCCULT GNOSIS”?
    And those with this Occult Gnosis are called GNOSTICS?

  102. JYJames wrote:

    Rallying the youth is an authoritarian ploy

    There is no doubt that the YRR entering SBC pulpits have a strong allegiance to older Calvinist influencers (e.g., Mohler) and a closely-connected network of reformed organizations led by old guys (e.g, T4G). While most classical Calvinists within SBC may be opposed to the message, method, and mission of their neo-brethren, others in the old guard (e.g., Founders) appear to be putting up with this new brand as long as the essential reformed message moves forward in SBC ranks and elsewhere. The militancy of the young reformers are accomplishing what the old boys couldn’t do after years of a “Quiet Revolution” … Calvinization of the largest non-Calvinist Protestant denomination on the planet. The old guys are treading on dangerous ground for indoctrinating and using our youth in their rebellion against Southern Baptist belief and practice – which has been non-Calvinist for the last 150 years.

  103. David C wrote:

    If you came of age in the 80’s like me, wasn’t Elizabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity the Kiss Dating Goodbye of our generation?

    Elizabeth Elliott promoted “surrender to singleness” as she counseled young folks. She was married three times.

  104. Max wrote:

    Elizabeth Elliott promoted “surrender to singleness” as she counseled young folks. She was married three times.

    So annoying!

    I can’t find this on youtube, but the gone with the wind ‘she’s had three husbands and I haven’t even had one’ sister crying on the bed scene comes to mind!

  105. Max wrote:

    David C wrote:
    If you came of age in the 80’s like me, wasn’t Elizabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity the Kiss Dating Goodbye of our generation?
    Elizabeth Elliott promoted “surrender to singleness” as she counseled young folks. She was married three times.

    Met her many years ago. Came off to me as distant, critical.

  106. scott hendrixson wrote:

    I miss the times when the church gathered on Sunday or Wednesday night as family, but I was reminded that God’s enough even if spiritual family is more difficult to find. God is good.

    Scott, I identify with your words. As a 60+ year Southern Baptist, I fondly remember Wednesday night prayer meetings, where God’s people shared prayer requests and interceded with prayers and tears. I remember checking those items off the list as God moved in the lives of those being prayed for. Such meetings are rare now, many canceled for lack of attendance and/or interest. Some say it’s because we have become a much busier society and folks have trouble working mid-week meetings into their schedules and multiple priorities of a hectic life. I suppose there is some truth to that … that we are too busy to pray.

    You are indeed right … when genuine spiritual family is tough to locate, God is enough and always there.

  107. That ship’s mutiny thing fails as an analogy because the situations are not analogous.

    Part 1

    To even start to be analogous the reasoning would have to include the premise that in case of a mutiny everybody on board would be guilty of mutiny, including the cognitively challenged galley assistant who only washes the pots and pans and had no idea what even went on.

    Then there is the issue of different crimes. If an officer or coalition of officers seize control of the ship, that is mutiny. If they then fail to feed the prisoner(s) that is a different crime. Control of the ship is one thing, abuse of prisoners is another. If he/they fed the prisoner it would not make them innocent of mutiny, but it would make him innocent of trying starve the prisoner.

    If one argues from mutiny being like Adam’s sin then one would have to conclude with Augustine that somehow the guilt is passed down generationally and biologically, so the question would be what about the mutineer’s offspring, rather than what about the innocent among the ship’s crew at the time. Mutiny is not an STD as Augustine apparently thought regarding original sin/guilt. Again-no analogy between ship’s mutiny and Adam’s progeny. And there is scripture about not condemning the son for the sins of the father. So, any concept of man’s tendency to sin has to be something beyond merely who his daddy was. And any concept of who is ‘good’ has to be something beyond merely who one’s daddy was.

  108. @ okrapod:

    Part 2

    And then there is Jesus, with his Samaritan good guy story, the Samaritans being those about whom Jesus said that they were not correct in their religious beliefs. But, behold, the premier parable on that issue, with an unbeliever as the hero. And then there was the comment about God causing the sun and rain on the just and the unjust. Put those together and you have on the one hand the religiously correct and the religiously incorrect being held to standards of righteousness (doing the right thing in Jewish ethics) and you have both the just and unjust receiving from God who is Himself righteous mercy and care.

    The question in my mind is why-why- why would people even want to concoct some analogy to prove that is not so, when Jesus himself cut right through that idea of who does good deeds and who receives good deeds, both from God and from each other? What do people even want to try to prove by evading the standards set by Jesus himself on this issue?

    Well, if even the unrighteous can do good deeds (the Good Sam) and even the righteous (in the Good Sam parable) can do bad deeds that kind of blows any idea of how ‘I am better than that man over there’. which of course is also what Jesus said. And if the standard is everybody be like God who is good to all, then that means ‘I’ have to be good to ‘you’ and what does that do to the fact that ‘I’ don’t like ‘you’.

    Jesus style Christianity is too radical perhaps?

  109. @ Jack:

    “I’m finding a new peace through prayer. It’s helping bring some much needed balance to my perspectives.”
    ++++++++++++

    that’s really neat!

  110. Dale wrote:

    Some of my Reformed Baptist brethren believe that the sheep are led to true peace by whipping them with the law every week. That is the heart of the present law/grace controversy. A pastor’s wife told a friend of mine, “We need to be constantly
    whipped into submission by the law or else our sins will conquer us.” That approach is exactly opposite to the theme of Bonar’s book and also contrary to the consistent teaching of the Apostle Paul.”

    This is why I’ve been seriously considering orthodox Lutheranism.

  111. Dale wrote:

    A pastor’s wife told a friend of mine, “We need to be constantly whipped into submission by the law or else our sins will conquer us.”

    Then why not break out the hair shirts?
    Or the whip like that albino monk in Da Vinci Code?
    Or gargle lye alongside St Rose of Lima?

  112. okrapod wrote:

    The question in my mind is why-why- why would people even want to concoct some analogy to prove that is not so, when Jesus himself cut right through that idea of who does good deeds and who receives good deeds, both from God and from each other? What do people even want to try to prove by evading the standards set by Jesus himself on this issue?

    They have to proclaim the concept of original sin in order to prop up the notion of ‘Total Depravity’–the “T” in T-U-L-I-P! Yes, Jesus’ style of Christianity is still too radical for some even today. Unconditional, universal love for all is a concept totally foreign to our limited human way of thinking! It reminds me of Jesus’ parable of the landowner hiring the workers at different times of the day, yet paying them all the same. Pharisaism, Calvinism and legalism will not tolerate that because they want God to look at all that they’ve done for Him, all the while espousing their false-humility “worm” theology!

  113. Darlene wrote:

    But where do you go because you should be preaching to 10,000 people every Sunday? You should be known across the country if not around the world.

    IMO, no one should be “preaching” to 10,000 every Sunday. However, from the Calvinist view, didn’t God ordain that his church would get tired of his message?

  114. Max wrote:

    scott hendrixson wrote:
    I miss the times when the church gathered on Sunday or Wednesday night as family, but I was reminded that God’s enough even if spiritual family is more difficult to find. God is good.
    Scott, I identify with your words. As a 60+ year Southern Baptist, I fondly remember Wednesday night prayer meetings, where God’s people shared prayer requests and interceded with prayers and tears. I remember checking those items off the list as God moved in the lives of those being prayed for. Such meetings are rare now, many canceled for lack of attendance and/or interest.

    Max, we still do it at our church. And yes, it is very encouraging to see how God is still working in people’s lives. We’re so old-fashioned, we’re becoming “retro!” But Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! (Heb. 13:8) 🙂

  115. David C wrote:

    @ Darlene:
    I think I threw up a little. So did MacArthur and Lawson get a room afterwards?

    Probably not.
    If they had, the fight about who was Top and who was Bottom would have made the news and police blotter.

  116. Root 66 wrote:

    We’re so old-fashioned, we’re becoming “retro!” But Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! (Heb. 13:8)

    Amen! There’s a lot of talk these days about a need for the church to be “culturally-relevant” – to provide a contemporary format to attract folks. As you note, Jesus is the eternal contemporary! All we need to do is to hold Him up and He will draw all people unto Himself. The same Jesus who walked the earth 2,000 years ago wants to walk through our churches today. He’s always there – it’s up to us to experience Him through belief and faith, whether we be traditional, old-fashioned, and “retro” or modern, fashionable and newfangled. True worship is based on substance, not form.

  117. Dale wrote:

    After I was excommunicated from my Neo-Cal church, I ran across a book entitled, “When Should a Christian Leave a Church” by John Reisinger. It addressed the abuses occurring in many Reformed Baptist Churches. It was a healing balm for my soul.
    http://isom.vnsalvation.com/Resources%20English/Christian%20Ebooks/John%20Reisinger%20When%20Should%20a%20Christian%20Leave%20a%20Church.pdf

    Definitely shows this type of Reformed skubalon is nothing new; however, some of his nomenclature really grated on me: “Roman”, “Romanist”, “Romish”, etc. Like he was still thinking inside the Protestant Reformation Opposition box, when these days the Reformed types and Popes have pretty much switched places & attitudes with their 16th Century versions.

  118. CENG1 wrote:

    IMO, no one should be “preaching” to 10,000 every Sunday

    Unless you’re Justin Bieber…

  119. Max wrote:

    Amen! There’s a lot of talk these days about a need for the church to be “culturally-relevant” – to provide a contemporary format to attract folks.

    Completely forgetting that “Nothing gets Old-Fashioned faster than Over-Relevance”.

    Type example:
    Remember that RELEVANT topical comedy revue of The Sixties, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In?
    “GROOVY, MAN!”

  120. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Like he was still thinking inside the Protestant Reformation Opposition box, when these days the Reformed types and Popes have pretty much switched places & attitudes with their 16th Century versions.

    🙂
    reminds me of the new ‘Crusade’ against Islam by folks in the alt-right with political ties to back up their Islamophobia,
    compared to Francis who visits the Blue Mosque in Turkey and asks the head imam to pray for him

  121. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Remember that RELEVANT topical comedy revue of The Sixties, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In?
    “GROOVY, MAN!”

    HUG, I’m so old that I remember Jack Paar getting kicked off The Tonight Show for saying “water closet” in a joke! Good Lord, now we have potty-mouth preachers in American pulpits (e.g., Driscoll)! How far we’ve fallen.

  122. Max wrote:

    All we need to do is to hold Him up and He will draw all people unto Himself. The same Jesus who walked the earth 2,000 years ago wants to walk through our churches today. He’s always there – it’s up to us to experience Him through belief and faith, whether we be traditional, old-fashioned, and “retro” or modern, fashionable and newfangled. True worship is based on substance, not form.

    Absolutely! it reminds me of one my favorite hymns (yes, I have MANY favorites!), “I Love to Tell the Story.” Here’s the refrain for those who may not have it in your hymnbooks anymore:

    “I love to tell the story,
    ’Twill be my theme in glory,
    To tell the old, old story
    Of Jesus and His love.”

    Talking about Jesus and His love never gets old!

  123. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Remember that RELEVANT topical comedy revue of The Sixties, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In?
    “GROOVY, MAN!”

    Sock it to me, H.U.G.! Yes, over-relevance becomes totally irrelevant quite quickly. Much like Whisenant’s book, “88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988″(then he revised it to 1989; 1993; 1994, etc…) 🙂

  124. Root 66 wrote:

    it reminds me of one my favorite hymns (yes, I have MANY favorites!), “I Love to Tell the Story.”

    Shhhhh … LifeWay might kick that one out in their next revision of the Baptist Hymnal. In their last revision, songs referring to Christ’s death as an atonement for everyone and not just the elect – like “Whosoever Will” and “Whosoever Meaneth Me” didn’t make the cut. Neither did “Oh What a Wonder It Is”, with its “all who would believe in Him, He’d save them every one” or “Holy Bible, Book of Love”, which proclaims that Christ “died for everyone.” Hmmmm … I wonder if that had anything to do with the shifting theological landscape in SBC? Surely not!

  125. Max wrote:

    Some say it’s because we have become a much busier society and folks have trouble working mid-week meetings into their schedules and multiple priorities of a hectic life. I suppose there is some truth to that … that we are too busy to pray.

    Sigh.

    The insults aren’t appreciated, Max. People commute to their jobs (including women), have long days, and have responsibilities to attend to on the home front. They frequently don’t have time to add more more thing to their week, no matter how noble.

    I was screamed at by my ex-NeoCalvinist/9Marxist pastor who demanded to know why I wasn’t attending a Friday night Bible study at a small group leader’s home? My response: “I’m stuck in commute traffic. I’m not home.” Ditto for a Wednesday night prayer group that met once a month.

    People do pray…they just may not pray during the days/hours that you’re used to.

  126. @ Velour:
    No offense to you Velour. I know you have a concern for the church and pray for it. But, I’m familiar with many church folks who do not pray as they ought (they tell me that) – perhaps it’s just a problem in my neck of the woods. For those who opt to watch Sunday night football, instead of attending prayer meetings, I hope that I offend them.

  127. Velour wrote:

    People commute to their jobs (including women), have long days, and have responsibilities to attend to on the home front. They frequently don’t have time to add more more thing to their week, no matter how noble.

    Yep. When I set up my life to working full time plus call and also having children I created a deliberate life style which eliminated as much else as possible in order to have the time and energy to do both jobs as well as possible. And do I have a bible verse for that? Of course. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. A better translation might be do it with whatever it takes to do it well. I could not hang out over at church, join clubs, be politically active, and what all else and do the jobs of work and parenting well. One has to, ought to, and must prioritize-with no excuses to anybody for doing so.

    There is no ‘salvation by hanging out at church’ alone. Church should not become the blob that eats up one’s entire life. That is nowhere in scripture.

    In short, I agree with you.

  128. Velour wrote:

    They frequently don’t have time to add more more thing to their week, no matter how noble.

    Should read: “one more thing”

  129. okrapod wrote:

    Church should not become the blob that eats up one’s entire life. That is nowhere in scripture.

    Spot on, Okrapod.

  130. Max wrote:

    For those who opt to watch Sunday night football, instead of attending prayer meetings, I hope that I offend them.

    Having come out of the world of NeoCalvinism/9Markists/John MacArthur-ite, I am much less impressed by the people who show up at prayer meetings — including men — and more impressed by the people who live normal lives and behave normally, including watching Sunday night football!

  131. Velour wrote:

    People do pray…they just may not pray during the days/hours that you’re used to.

    and this has an advantage:
    a person who is suffering illness or pain or grief goes to sleep knowing someone may be praying for him/her during the night

    this is not without some good for that person, I think

  132. Max wrote:

    I’m familiar with many church folks who do not pray as they ought (they tell me that) – perhaps it’s just a problem in my neck of the woods

    I have some thoughts about the ‘as they ought’ because I don’t know from all the different ways Christians have of praying. I’ve witnessed the ‘gatherings’ where some pray out loud the ‘I just wanna’ kind of prayers. I’ve seen the most beautiful of candlelight services, one the funeral of a young woman, a friend of my daughter’s, in a Baptist Church where the worship was meaningful indeed….. candles and a more formal worship is not usually the ‘norm’ for a Baptist ceremony, but THIS service, if it was the exception, might be better to become more of a norm.

    Personally, I know many people think they may not pray because they don’t realize something important:
    just WANTING to pray is a kind of prayer and the longing of the heart for God is one of the finest of all prayers we can offer to Him…. the ‘sursum corda’, the lifting up of the heart towards God

    for others, you will sometimes hear the prayer spoken, but not ‘planned’ ….. in crisis, our calling upon God is evoked from us, and you will see and hear the cries to God of shocked and stunned people in crisis

    For some, just saying these words can be enough:
    ‘Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, have mercy on me.”
    and that is sometimes shortened to ‘Jesus, mercy’, or just the Holy Name ‘Jesus’ itself is a prayer as full and complete as anything we can offer when it comes from the heart

    Can’t pray? Ask someone to pray for you.
    Or go and rest, knowing that if you cannot pray, the Holy Spirit will intercede for you ‘with groanings too deep for words’ ….. and you may rest into Christ and be peaceful 🙂

  133. Max wrote:

    Shhhhh … LifeWay might kick that one out in their next revision of the Baptist Hymnal. In their last revision, songs referring to Christ’s death as an atonement for everyone and not just the elect – like “Whosoever Will”

    The removal from the Baptist Hymnal of “Whosoever Will” still sticks in my craw. It is such a simple, plain and truthful message.

    Some of our commenters from other traditions may not have heard the song before. Below is a nice traditional singing of the hymn, written by Philip Bliss and published in 1870.

    https://youtu.be/q2qsSKsMbWA

    Also the lyrics. It’s a shame to see it go.

    1) “Whosoever heareth,” shout, shout the sound!
    Spread the blessed tidings all the world around;
    Spread the joyful news wherever man is found:
    “Whosoever will may come.”

    Refrain:
    “Whosoever will, whosoever will,”
    Send the proclamation over vale and hill;
    ’Tis a loving Father calls the wand’rer home:
    “Whosoever will may come.”

    2) Whosoever cometh need not delay,
    Now the door is open, enter while you may;
    Jesus is the true, the only Living Way:
    “Whosoever will may come.”

    3) “Whosoever will,” the promise secure,
    “Whosoever will,” forever must endure;
    “Whosoever will,” ’tis life forevermore:
    “Whosoever will may come.”

  134. @ Christiane:

    I agree with all you said. Part of the problem with praying may be when people limit themselves to such a narrowly defined understanding of what it is to pray.

    I think that the evangelical demonization of repetition can be crippling. After you have said it what can you do? Can you say it again? Do you have to think up different terminology? Are you offending God if you repeat yourself? Is it a lack of faith if you repeat what you just said; do you not think that God heard you already? So, it may be that this can get crippling for some people’s prayer life.

    Another part of the problem may be the evangelical denunciation of written prayers, as if anything except spontaneity is not prayer. How they get to that point when Jesus himself said ‘after this manner…pray…’ is beyond me, but that rejection of written prayer is a belief of some people.

    And then there is the issue of whether or not it is permitted to create an environment in which prayer seems more easily appropriate. What about a candle? Background music? What about (gasp) some hand held device like a cross or even beads or perhaps a little bookmark with scripture on it-something besides just the person and the light bulb and solitude. What about trying to construct a little temporary mini church atmosphere as it were if that helps. Does that make God mad? Is He offended by that? Is there chapter and verse that specifically addresses this issue, and if not then are we free to address the environment as we see fit? Or not”

    And-well, somebody has to say it. Part of the reason people do not pray is the lack of faith; they just mostly quit believing. I have been there and done that. I prayed and prayed for my mother, and I saw no evidence of answered prayer. Probably a lot of people have that experience. After that it is easy to consider oneself deluded to continue to pray at all, about anything, even just for personal comfort like some superstition or something. It is easy to get to the place where you ask yourself who am I kidding anyhow. The road out of that quagmire can be long and difficult.

    Mostly I chat with God throughout the day. A lot. It fits my life style in that I cannot sit still. Never could. Cannot focus all that well. Have to have two or even three things to be thinking at the same time. There is a name for that-but heresy is not it. IMO when it comes to prayer, do what works.

  135. okrapod wrote:

    What about trying to construct a little temporary mini church atmosphere as it were if that helps. Does that make God mad? Is He offended by that?

    I don’t think so. My beloved Aunt Yvonne had the most beautiful garden all around her yard. And my Uncle Sam made little bird houses from wood and placed them up on poles so the cats wouldn’t harm the birds…. these were placed around the garden’s edges. And the birds did come to hymn there, yes. And in one corner of the garden was a shrine to Our Lord where my aunt placed memorabilia of her daughter Jeanne, my cousin who died young of cancer (in her forties).

    You could feel the peace of the place. My aunt was so filled with love and her garden so beautiful!

    Meet my Aunt Yvonne:
    never a scientist, and yet she developed her own strain of ‘giant’ Salvia and is famous for it, as it is now called ‘Yvonne’s Salvia’ 🙂
    http://stonewallsgarden.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-story-of-yvonnes-red-salvia.html

  136. Velour wrote:

    Having come out of the world of NeoCalvinism/9Markists/John MacArthur-ite, I am much less impressed by the people who show up at prayer meetings — including men — and more impressed by the people who live normal lives and behave normally, including watching Sunday night football!

    From that perspective, I agree with you Velour.

  137. Ken P. wrote:

    The removal from the Baptist Hymnal of “Whosoever Will” still sticks in my craw. It is such a simple, plain and truthful message.

    The New Calvinists consider it bad theology in song.

  138. Christiane wrote:

    the Holy Spirit will intercede for you ‘with groanings too deep for words’

    Christiane, I’ve got to the end of myself in the past – weary and wounded – that all I could do was groan in prayer.

  139. @ Darlene:
    Lutherans (Missouri Synod), Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox only safe among conservative churches from Calvinist inroads.

  140. Lea wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    But where do you go because you should be preaching to 10,000 people every Sunday? You should be known across the country if not around the world. And
    SO Much self seeking (for someone else?) blather in this statement!
    You should be KNOWN. That is christianity? Ugh.

    I’m gonna come right out and say it. I think these Neo-Cals make an idol out of preaching. They goo goo gaga and gush over the prized preachers of their day and of days of yore. I think of what Jesus said to the Pharisees: “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?

  141. Dew wrote:

    @ Darlene:
    Lutherans (Missouri Synod), Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox only safe among conservative churches from Calvinist inroads.

    You might be right about that, Dew. While sleuthing around on the Internet the other day – after reading about Steve Lawson’s attempt to Calvinize a SBC church – it sparked my curiosity as to what happened to two of the ministers who left with Lawson who were mentioned in that news article. Low and behold, one of them is now pastor of a historic Mennonite church. Say what??? Yep, a Mennonite church! Mennonites and Calvinists are about as far apart theologically as Right Wingers and Leftest Liberals are politically.

  142. Max wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    the Holy Spirit will intercede for you ‘with groanings too deep for words’

    Christiane, I’ve got to the end of myself in the past – weary and wounded – that all I could do was groan in prayer.

    I am sorry you have suffered so deeply. At some point in our lives I think this suffering comes to all of us. So we know.

    It did to me, at the sudden death of a dear loved one. It’s then, in that crucible from where no words may come, that God most certainly recognizes our pain. Until that day, ‘the Peace of Christ’ was a phrase I loved, but on that day, it became more than a phrase to me.

  143. @ Darlene:
    I am probably leaving out some denominations. But I mention these three because they all 1. Have well developed non-Calvinist theologies, 2. Clergy well educated in those theologies, 3 sufficient organizational structure to enforce discipline if necessary from a denominational “headquarters” and 3. Administrative leaders wedded to those theologies and willing to defend them by teaching and when necessary exercising discipline. I would add all have sufficient percentage of laity knowledgeable enough about their own non-Calvinist theologies or traditions even if it’s only instinctual or cultural knowledge. But leadership seems key.

  144. Dew wrote:

    3 sufficient organizational structure to enforce discipline if necessary from a denominational “headquarters”

    That doesn’t mean they will, though. They can still just shuffle problems around.

  145. Lea wrote:

    Dew wrote:
    3 sufficient organizational structure to enforce discipline if necessary from a denominational “headquarters”
    That doesn’t mean they will, though. They can still just shuffle problems around.

    And some have just shuffled the problems around.
    I still hold to the belief the Congregation is at it’s best when it governs the local church.

  146. Christiane wrote:

    It’s then, in that crucible from where no words may come, that God most certainly recognizes our pain. Until that day, ‘the Peace of Christ’ was a phrase I loved, but on that day, it became more than a phrase to me.

    Good words, Christiane.

    I entered (and left) that valley several years ago during a 5-year period in which I lost my father, grandfather, father-in-law, and mother-in-law. Trying times, indeed, walking through the “shadow” in that valley of death. If not for the Lord Jesus in my life …

  147. Dew wrote:

    Lutherans (Missouri Synod), Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox only safe among conservative churches from Calvinist inroads.

    That’s because they have strong central governments which make it very difficult if not impossible for strong-men to commandeer the pulpit. God be praised!

  148. okrapod wrote:

    I think that the evangelical demonization of repetition can be crippling.

    This obviously does not apply to 50+ repetitions of “Just As I Am” at the Altar Call.

  149. Velour wrote:

    I am much less impressed by the people who show up at prayer meetings — including men — and more impressed by the people who live normal lives and behave normally, including watching Sunday night football!

    The Little Way of St Therese — holiness found in everyday life/everyday routine.

  150. Root 66 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Remember that RELEVANT topical comedy revue of The Sixties, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In?
    “GROOVY, MAN!”

    Sock it to me, H.U.G.!

    SPLASH!!!!!

  151. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Remember that Laugh-In did not pretend to be anything Profound or Important.
    Only a current-events comedy revue, NOT the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

    The only thing that gets old-fashioned faster than Over-Relevance is PRETENTIOUS Over-Relevance.

  152. ishy wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:
    As for Joshua Harris, I don’t want to cut him any slack. “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” messed up a lot of people.
    //
    The only slack I cut him is that he was very young when he wrote it and the actual problem was that people, grown people in positions of ‘authority’, actually LISTENED to him and pushed it. Because I don’t think Josh Harris himself, alone, writing this stupid book could have caused all that harm.
    I also wonder if there was someone in his life that was profiting from it, like his parents or that church.

    Oh, yeah.

    His parents were part of the whole Christian Homeschooling Industrial Complex. (Okay, I made the name up. But it really was quite a business proposition, and they appeared to make a good living from it.)

    Gregg had quite the sales persona. He and his late wife Sono were featured speakers at homeschool conventions and workshop events every year. They were energetic and encouraging, confident, cheerful, and convincing, at least for the gullible among the crowd who turned off their critical thinking skills.

    Their kids were the poster children to show that their view of “biblical” family living, education, child-rearing, etc. was The Way. It worked. Josh was the star of panels of homeschooled teens at these homeschool workshop events. He was funny, charming, articulate. The Harrises were perhaps a bit more convincing than others in the movement (who were teaching all this great-sounding stuff but had no fruit to show because all their children were still little), because they could point to this older teen who could speak the god-speak and appeared to be on fire for god and the vision that grew from there, of christians re-taking America, taking it back to the original foundations as intended by the “christian” founders. (Yeah, there’s a lot of the “christianized” history, like Peter Marshall’s American “history” books beloved of homeschoolers, woven in.)

    The Harrises appeared to make their income from speaking fees, writing and publishing books and audio-visual materials–they had (may still have) their own publishing company–and putting on conferences. Later, they started a church that grew into a group of churches.

    Anyhow, as mentioned, their older children were pushed to perform and held up as examples of the “success” of their vision. There’s not only Josh, but the twins, with their Modesty Survey, Rebelution, and Do Hard Things conferences.

    So, yeah. There was definitely money and fame (at least in a small subset of the American population) involved.

  153. Velour wrote:

    Max wrote:
    Some say it’s because we have become a much busier society and folks have trouble working mid-week meetings into their schedules and multiple priorities of a hectic life. I suppose there is some truth to that … that we are too busy to pray.
    Sigh.
    The insults aren’t appreciated, Max. People commute to their jobs (including women), have long days, and have responsibilities to attend to on the home front. They frequently don’t have time to add more more thing to their week, no matter how noble.
    I was screamed at by my ex-NeoCalvinist/9Marxist pastor who demanded to know why I wasn’t attending a Friday night Bible study at a small group leader’s home? My response: “I’m stuck in commute traffic. I’m not home.” Ditto for a Wednesday night prayer group that met once a month.
    People do pray…they just may not pray during the days/hours that you’re used to.

    Even the Ten Commandments talked about considering the sabbath day holy… didn’t mention anything about Wednesday nights or Sunday night prayer (sabbath went from basically sunset Friday to sunset Saturday) or Tuesday morning bible study…

    Brother Andrew prayed in his kitchen, I believe, amongst his pots and pans.

    While there is that verse about not neglecting the gathering together with fellow believers, I don’t think it sets forth any formula as to the times and places. I don’t recall any condemnation of Sunday night football in the Word. (Disclaimer: I am not a football fan.)

    Frankly, I have had a lot of trouble the last few years with the whole “gathering together” part anyhow. My family and my own mind and spirit suffered a lot of pain and grief in our faithful adherence to that command over the years.

    I still go to church with a couple of family members who find comfort there and would be grieved by my not going, but in my heart, at least at present, I’m Done.

  154. Max wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    It’s then, in that crucible from where no words may come, that God most certainly recognizes our pain. Until that day, ‘the Peace of Christ’ was a phrase I loved, but on that day, it became more than a phrase to me.
    Good words, Christiane.
    I entered (and left) that valley several years ago during a 5-year period in which I lost my father, grandfather, father-in-law, and mother-in-law. Trying times, indeed, walking through the “shadow” in that valley of death. If not for the Lord Jesus in my life …

    Max, I understand. Within four years I lost four members of my immediate family: My oldest brother, 23 yrs. old at the time, who died in an automobile accident. My mother and youngest brother, who was 12 yrs. old at the time. They were both electrocuted by falling wires at a picnic ground and I was in the vicinity of when it happened. Finally, my father died of a heart attack and brain aneurysm, although I honestly believe it was a broken heart and overwhelming grief. I was quite young at the time of the first three deaths and plunged myself into some risky behavior. I wasn’t a Christian at the time and it was the only way I knew how to deal with the intense sorrow and pain. My father died on my 21st birthday and I received the news when policemen arrived at the doorstep of the Christian community (what I now call a ‘cult’) where I lived. Through the years since then, Christ has been my anchor when the grief and pain are overwhelming. “The peace of Christ passes all understanding.”

  155. Muff Potter wrote:

    Dew wrote:
    Lutherans (Missouri Synod), Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox only safe among conservative churches from Calvinist inroads.
    That’s because they have strong central governments which make it very difficult if not impossible for strong-men to commandeer the pulpit. God be praised!

    This is certainly true in the Orthodox Church. The New Calvinists wouldn’t even get in the door! First off, I think the N C’s would have conniptions the moment they walked in an Orthodox Church and would not be able to contain themselves when noticing all the icons. The first order of business for them would Icon Smashing and their stint would be over in that minute. LoL! 🙂

  156. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    I think that the evangelical demonization of repetition can be crippling.
    This obviously does not apply to 50+ repetitions of “Just As I Am” at the Altar Call.

    I’ve heard plenty of repetition in Pentecostal churches in my day. And what about the choruses sung over and over and over till once is almost in a trance? Yep, Been There Done That. And by the way, I’m not condemning them. God looks at the heart. It’s just the irony of folks who criticize Catholics for repetition when they have repetition of their own kind.

  157. Darlene wrote:

    First off, I think the N C’s would have conniptions the moment they walked in an Orthodox Church and would not be able to contain themselves when noticing all the icons. The first order of business for them would Icon Smashing and their stint would be over in that minute.

    Haven’t the EOs seen this shtick before?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Iconoclasm
    As well as us in the West?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beeldenstorm
    And Islam right now?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destruction_of_early_Islamic_heritage_sites_in_Saudi_Arabia

  158. Darlene wrote:

    Max, I understand. Within four years I lost four members of my immediate family:

    A one-two-three-four punch.

    I know someone who took a similar one-two punch, losing both parents to cancer within a couple months of each other. He never completely recovered.

  159. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    I don’t think you should lump those who hold to New Covenant Theology with Neo-Cals. In fact, I would say that New Covenant Theology may be an antidote to the authoritarianism found in the Neo-Cals movement. I think The Gospel Coalition boys hold to Covenant Theology and the unity of the covenants.

    TGC Council Members;
    Danny Akin, Thabiti Anyabwile, Mark Denver, Kevin DeYoung, Ligon Duncan, Albert Mohler, Russell Moore, Miguel Nunez, Ray Ortlund, John Piper, David Platt, Sam Storms
    Former Members:
    C.J. Mahaney, Joshua Harris, Tulllian Tchividjian, Mark Driscoll

    I will grant you that not all Council members are Neo-Cals, but there is a large subset who are, and as you can see from the list above most of the prominent Neo-Cals are in the Gospel Coalition.

    thegospelcoalition.org/about/council

  160. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    Max, I understand. Within four years I lost four members of my immediate family:

    A one-two-three-four punch.

    I know someone who took a similar one-two punch, losing both parents to cancer within a couple months of each other. He never completely recovered.

    I’m not sure we ever ‘recover’ from these losses fully. Maybe something ‘else’ is going on, painful, but also important to our Christian formation. (?)

  161. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Dale Rudiger wrote:

    I don’t think you should lump those who hold to New Covenant Theology with Neo-Cals. In fact, I would say that New Covenant Theology may be an antidote to the authoritarianism found in the Neo-Cals movement. I think The Gospel Coalition boys hold to Covenant Theology and the unity of the covenants.

    TGC Council Members;
    Danny Aiken, Thabiti Anyabwile, Mark Denver, Kevin DeYoung, Ligon Duncan, Albert Mohler, Russell Moore, Miguel Nunez, Ray Ortlund, John Piper, David Platt, Sam Storms
    Former Members:
    C.J. Mahaney, Joshua Harris, Tulllian Tchividjian, Mark Driscoll

    I will grant you that not all Council members are Neo-Cals, but there is a large subset who are, and as you can see from the list above most of the prominent Neo-Cals are in the Gospel Coalition.

    thegospelcoalition.org/about/council

    Hi TODD and DALE

    I am not certain if the references listed in Dale’s blog are his ‘home boys’ that he is still adhering to for doctrine. I wonder if you could clarify this for us, DALE and thank you.

    https://xcjournal.org/category/catholic-rules-and-regulations/

  162. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Prayers, Scott! How did it go?

    Thanks for the prayers; it was a good day. We haven’t seen her in a year, but it took only a few minutes for her to be comfortable and having only a good time. The prayers and the follow up really mean a lot.

  163. Just wanted to correct the record on Elisabeth Elliott–she was, indeed, married three times, but was never divorced. Her first two husbands died. She passed away a couple of years ago, after suffering from dementia. I didn’t agree with her views on women’s roles, but admired her stalwart faith. People are complicated!

  164. __

    “Here I stand, I can do no other?”

    hmmm…

    HUG: “still thinking inside the Protestant Reformation Opposition box…”

    huh?

    “Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason — I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other — my conscience is captive to the word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.” -Martin Luther

    “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8). -Apostle Peter

    “…He (ed. Luther) must make a journey to Rome, for in Rome there is a fresh church for every day, and you may be sure to win the pardon of sins and all sorts of benedictions in these holy shrines. He dreamed of entering [Rome] a city of holiness; but he found it to be a haunt of hypocrites and a den of iniquity. To his horror he heard men say that if there was a hell Rome was built on the top of it, for it was the nearest approach to it that could be found in this world; ” -Charles Spurgeon

    “And though this world, with devils filled,
       Should threaten to undo us,
    We will not fear, for God hath willed
       His truth to triumph through us.” -Martin Luther

    “The living God must not be excluded from the world which He created.” -Jean Henri Merle d’Aubigné

    We will just ‘forget about’ the story Luther told of himself entering the magnificent Rome, and finding a hoard of demons jeering and banging on da rooftops…

    ATB

    Sopy

  165. Patty in Massachusetts wrote:

    Just wanted to correct the record on Elisabeth Elliott–she was, indeed, married three times, but was never divorced.

    I went up to see if he had said divorced, and I don’t think he did. He just said married three times. So we’re all on the same page.

    She didn’t seem to have much compassion for single people. That was my issue.

  166. Patty in Massachusetts wrote:

    I didn’t agree with her views on women’s roles, but admired her stalwart faith.

    Agree with both points. Her views on women’s roles were undoubtedly shaped by Calvinism. She was associated with Life Action Ministries – a ministry that my daughter belonged to for a while until she encountered rigid reformed indoctrination. That ministry used Elisabeth Elliott to hammer home “surrender to singleness” to help control the flesh as young ministry recruits traveled together. There wasn’t a lot of spiritual instruction which had any life to it, just rules and regulations.

  167. Max wrote:

    That ministry used Elisabeth Elliott to hammer home “surrender to singleness” to help control the flesh as young ministry recruits traveled together. There wasn’t a lot of spiritual instruction which had any life to it, just rules and regulations.

    Bet there was Bill Clinton or Doug Phillips “not really sex” going on with those “young ministry recruits”. “Just Rules & Regulations” breeds a lawyer’s mentality on what you can get away with (“LOOPHOLE! LOOPHOLE!”).

  168. Lea wrote:

    She didn’t seem to have much compassion for single people. That was my issue.

    Christian Marrieds seldom do.

  169. @ Todd Wilhelm:

    Todd, I don’t know of any who hold to New Covenant Theology on that list, though I could be wrong. The T4G statement of faith holds to Covenant Theology, as does the Founders. I think the Founders have claimed that those who hold to NCT are antinomian because they see the 10 commandments as part of the Old Covenant. Dever’s church requires that members agree with the New Hampshire Confession, which holds to the unity of the covenants.

  170. Christiane wrote:

    Hi TODD and DALE
    I am not certain if the references listed in Dale’s blog are his ‘home boys’ that he is still adhering to for doctrine. I wonder if you could clarify this for us, DALE and thank you.
    https://xcjournal.org/category/catholic-rules-and-regulations/

    Christiane, I am an evangelical. The list of apologetic ministries on my blog are evangelical. So, yes, evangelicals are my “home boys.” These ministries defend the most important doctrine of evangelicals, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ, where you and I obviously disagree. You seem to be requiring me to “adhere” to every secondary and tertiary doctrine that these ministries might hold. For example, R.C. Sproul holds to infant baptism, which I do not. John MacArthur is dispensational, which I am not. But for as much as we may “adhere” to differing doctrines, we are united in the gospel.

    You hold to a teaching that requires full submission of mind and intellect for every spiritual matter. I think you are coming from that paradigm and trying to make me fit into it. Perhaps that is why you are having an issue with this. There is much more freedom to disagree in evangelicalism. It is messier, for sure. There are many differing theologies under the evangelical umbrella. But it is a diversity that has historically agreed on justification by faith alone, and this has been, and should be, the basis of our unity.

    There have been growing cracks to that unity. For example, when ECT came out. And I think that Neo-Calvinism is bringing disunity to the camp. As is 9Marks.

  171. __

    Next Stop: “The Toxic Religion Zone, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    They say that the doctrines of grace is Calvinism.
    Yet, Calvinism is found to be none other than resurrected 4th century Augustinian Gnosticism.

    huh?

    (Can’t make this stuff up folks!)

    Calvinism is not really the Christianity of the Apostles nor the early Church Fathers. (go read for yourself)
    They say that the doctrines of grace is the five points of calvinism aka TULIP.
    Yet, All the five points of Calvinism are scripturally in error.

    What?

    Calvinist say this stuff is the gospel of Jesus.

    Skreeeeeeeeetch!

    Yet, this toxic stuff is hurting lots and lots of wonderful kind folk. This is the stuff C.J. Mahaney and Mark Driscoll infected themselves with and peddled to their respective churches. Geeeze…Look what happen. This is the stuff Acts29 peddled and look what happen there. This is the stuff that Albert Mohler is indoctrinating his students at Southern Seminary with –tulip as the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing could be farther from the ‘truth’. His students later take this toxic stuff into the SBC churches by stealth in an attempt to take-over the SBC church they were warmly welcomed to, yet they are pastoring with their false gospel. Mark Dever is trying to convince the unsuspecting that the five points of Calvinism is the foundation of a ‘healthy church’. Also, there are numerous conferences (T4G, TGC, etc.) where large scale indoctrination takes place, peddled in audio and book form.

    Don’t believe them!

    Jesus wants kind folk to know ‘Him’, not questionable systematic theology.

    A Warning:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JiegDxQgQ8Y

    Moral of the story?

    —> Please read the scriptures for yourself.
    Many of the writings of both John Calvin and Augustine are available on the internet for those who wish to educate themselves to their errors.

    Remember: The fields are white with harvest, please pray the Lord of harvest, to send true Christ devoted non-Calvinist laborers into His fields.

    Calvinism is the proverbial spiritural Zyklon B of ‘tulip strap on christianity’ (R) .

    Beware!

    Cry out to God!

    As the Calvinist drew near, the SBC congregation looked, and behold, the Calvinists were attempting to deceive them, and take their church away, and they became very frightened; so the church members cried out to the LORD… AND HE HEARD THEM!

    “Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” -Ann Frank

    ATB

    Sopy
    __
    Some reference samples of Calvinism being presented:
    (These Calvinists sound very convincing, huh?)
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TsQgGqdGX1k
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Gvs0EtGqhRQ
    https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQGPmLpnVOO24mBi3TZ-zrsF9QZXpywui

  172. Dale wrote:

    secondary and tertiary doctrine

    Dale, are you familiar with Al Mohler’s “Theological Triage”?

    In the early days of the New Calvinist takeover of the SBC, Mohler released his “Triage” as a means to address essentials vs. non-essentials that Southern Baptists were fussing about; but, it was really meant to throw his critics off course IMO. Mohler essentially reduced mainline (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptist belief and practice pertaining to God’s plan of salvation (whosoever will) to a non-essential doctrine. God’s plan of salvation, a non-essential teaching?!

    You can read all about it: http://www.albertmohler.com/2005/07/12/a-call-for-theological-triage-and-christian-maturity/

  173. @ Max:

    Max, do you consider the five points of Calvinism to stray from orthodox theology concerning justification by faith alone? Having read Mohler’s article, what bothers me most is his use of the term “justification by faith.” I think he does this intentionally (omitting the “alone”).

  174. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    Max, do you consider the five points of Calvinism to stray from orthodox theology concerning justification by faith alone? Having read Mohler’s article, what bothers me most is his use of the term “justification by faith.” I think he does this intentionally (omitting the “alone”).

    Well, I consider the tenets of reformed theology to stray from orthodox theology (period). I have trouble with most of the petals on the TULIP as I read Scripture. Hyper-Calvinism is heterodoxy not orthodoxy … that’s why it has had trouble getting a good foothold after 500 years.

    I think Mohler is still saying “justification by faith alone” when he says “justification by faith” … as opposed to faith + works. But, I could be wrong. He is a master at subtle changes of words – e.g., in the 2000 revision of the Baptist Faith and Message, he led the charge to change “priesthood of the believer” (singular) to “priesthood of believers” (plural), essentially diminishing that long-held Baptist doctrine in regard to the ministry of individual believers (all believers are priests). His effort with the “Triage” was to satisfy both camps within SBC … but, he avoids differences in soteriology as an essential concern – something I don’t agree with. How can two distinctly different theologies concerning God’s plan of salvation co-exist in a single denomination? Mohler says they can, but he is just buying time (IMO) to keep the sleeping giant slumbering while his New Calvinist army continues to Calvinize the SBC.

  175. __

    Next Stop: “The Toxic Religion Zone, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    They say that the doctrines of grace is Calvinism.
    Yet, Calvinism is found to be none other than resurrected 4th century Augustinian Gnosticism.

    huh?

    (Can’t make this stuff up folks!)

    Calvinism is not really the Christianity of the Apostles nor the early Church Fathers. (go read for yourself)
    They say that the doctrines of grace is the five points of calvinism aka TULIP.
    Yet, All the five points of Calvinism are scripturally in error.

    What?

    Calvinist say this stuff is the gospel of Jesus.

    Skreeeeeeeeetch!

    Yet, this toxic stuff is hurting lots and lots of wonderful kind folk. This is the stuff C.J. Mahaney and Mark Driscoll infected themselves with and peddled to their respective churches. Geeeze…Look what happen. This is the stuff Acts29 peddled and look what happen there. This is the stuff that Albert Mohler is indoctrinating his students at Southern Seminary with –tulip as the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing could be farther from the ‘truth’. His students later take this toxic stuff into the SBC churches by stealth in an attempt to take-over the SBC church they were warmly welcomed to, yet they are pastoring with their false gospel. Mark Dever is trying to convince the unsuspecting that the five points of Calvinism is the foundation of a ‘healthy church’. Also, there are numerous conferences (T4G, TGC, etc.) where this stuff is large scale indoctrination takes place, peddled in audio and book form.

    Don’t believe them!

    Jesus wants kind folk to know ‘Him’, not questionable systematic theology.

    Moral of the story?

    —> Please read the scriptures for yourself.
    Many of the writings of both John Calvin and Augustine are available on the internet for those who wish to educate themselves to their errors.

    Remember: The fields are white with harvest, please pray the Lord of harvest, to send true Christ devoted non-Calvinist laborers into His fields.

    Calvinism is the proverbial spiritural Zyklon B of ‘tulip strap on christianity’ (R) .

    Beware!

    Cry out to God!

    As the Calvinist drew near, the SBC congregation looked, and behold, the Calvinists were attempting to deceive them, and take their church away, and they became very frightened; so the church members cried out to the LORD… AND HE HEARD THEM!

    “Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” -Ann Frank

    ATB

    Sopy
    __
    Some reference samples of Calvinism being presented:
    (These Calvinists sound very convincing, huh?)
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TsQgGqdGX1k
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Gvs0EtGqhRQ
    https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQGPmLpnVOO24mBi3TZ-zrsF9QZXpywui

  176. refugee wrote:

    Their kids were the poster children to show that their view of “biblical” family living, education, child-rearing, etc. was The Way. It worked. Josh was the star of panels of homeschooled teens at these homeschool workshop events. He was funny, charming, articulate. The Harrises were perhaps a bit more convincing than others in the movement (who were teaching all this great-sounding stuff but had no fruit to show because all their children were still little), because they could point to this older teen who could speak the god-speak and appeared to be on fire for god and the vision that grew from there, of christians re-taking America, taking it back to the original foundations as intended by the “christian” founders.

    i.e. Josh grew up a Christianese Honey Boo-Boo compounded by Famous Father Syndrome whose purpose was to lay the foundations for the Republic of Holy Gilead.

    I’m surprised he wasn’t messed up even more.
    Any of those alone could really do a number on your psyche.

  177. Max wrote:

    I think Mohler is still saying “justification by faith alone” when he says “justification by faith” … as opposed to faith + works. But, I could be wrong. He is a master at subtle changes of words –

    Isn’t there a supernatural being who is also “a master at subtle changes of words”, my Dear Wormwood?