On My Shelf – The Gospel Coalition and Hubworthy Join Forces to Sell, Sell, Sell Books

"Don't Waste Your Life on Bad Books"

Collin Hansen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bookcase#/media/File:Rainbow_Bookshelf.jpgBookshelf Arranged by Color

Several years ago I began noticing over at The Gospel Coalition (TGC) website occasional posts that begin with the phrase "On My Shelf". Following these words would be the name of someone affiliated with TGC. I hadn't been particularly interested in these posts featuring books being promoted by the Calvinistas (many are written by those in that camp) — that is, until now… 

To see a list of these posts, simply Google "On My Shelf" and "The Gospel Coalition" and you will see several pages of links.

All of these posts feature questions such as:

What's on your nightstand right now?

What are some books you regularly re-read and why?

What books have most profoundly shaped how you serve and lead others for the sake of the gospel?

What’s the best piece of wisdom you’ve learned over the years of reading?

What biographies or autobiographies have most influenced you and why?

What are your favorite fiction books?

The individual being spotlighted would respond to each question with a list of book recommendations. When I first started seeing these "On My Shelf" posts, I wondered what the real motivation was. Curiosity finally got the best of me, and I decided to do a little investigating. Here's what I have discovered so far.

On October 31, 2015, Collin Hansen (who wrote the Young, Restless, Reformed book and the Christianity Today article by the same name), published an interesting post entitled "Don't Waste Your Life on Bad Books" over at The Gospel Coalition website. I've gotta hand it to this Calvinsta crowd – they really amaze me with their originality. 😉

Hansen explains that he'll never have time to read everything he likes and doesn't want to waste whatever time he has left on earth reading bad books. Therefore, he is relying on his friends and mentors to recommend good books.

What follows next in Hansen's post caught my attention (see screen shot below).

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/dont-waste-your-life-on-bad-books

So what is HUBWORTHY.COM?

According to its website, Hubworthy is a product of Worthy Brands, LLC, a Dallas-based company that was founded in 2013 by Peter Hegi and Doug Hudson to help trusted leaders and influencers connect with their communities, extend their mission, and transform lives.

Here's a short video that provides an overview.

And here is Hubworthy's philosopy.

https://www.hubworthy.com/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=4

Matt Chandler, Tim Keller, and Mac Brunson (and their bookshelves) are featured on Hubworthy's website.

In the following video clip, an East Dallas pastor shares why he is excited about this virtual bookstore.

Here is even more information about this 'novel' business.

In light of all of this, here's my sincere question:

Who has time to read God's Holy Word when one is being bombarded with all these book recommendations? Seriously???

In an upcoming post, we will share our thoughts regarding this latest and greatest marketing ploy.

If you have been suckered into buying A LOT of books that the Calvinstas recommend, perhaps you could organize them by color like those pictured at the top of the post. 

Stay tuned for much more on this topic.

Comments

On My Shelf – The Gospel Coalition and Hubworthy Join Forces to Sell, Sell, Sell Books — 224 Comments

  1. Promotion? Self-promotion? Money-changers in the Temple? A local mega just switched out their bookstore for a coffee shop and they are TGC members. Connections?

  2. @ JYJames:

    Looks like sharing books through the church library is so passé. Now everyone needs their own copies of these latest and greatest books (that will probably be piling up at thrift stores in the not too distant future).

  3. I took all of the books that the NeoCalvinists at my ex-gulag recommended…ripped them up, and tossed them in the paper recycling container.

    I have never felt better!

  4. I’m just going to stick to reading cheesy science fiction comedies I can get for free through my Amazon Unlimited account. (I read other things too, but when I’m braindead, a funny comedy of manners is just the thing.)

  5. Bookshelves arranged by color?
    Reminds me of the scene in the original BBC version of “Hitch Hikers Guide” where a committee has been meeting for years over creating the single simplest machine in the world, the wheel. When questioned the reply is, “OK, what color do you think it should be?”

  6. Velour wrote:

    I took all of the books that the NeoCalvinists at my ex-gulag recommended…ripped them up, and tossed them in the paper recycling container.
    I have never felt better!

    Amen. The kids wanted to burn them, in our case, and they may well have burned some of them, but I recycled quite a few and smashed up any quantity of CDs and DVDs.

  7. Oh my word.

    now that I’ve read the post, I have to shake my head. Because the christianity I was immersed in was unsatisfying and made me feel inadequate, I felt driven to look for more. I made regular visits to the christian bookstore in town, looking for something that would help me make it work.

    …but the books seem (in retrospect) to be subtly designed to make you *think* you’re getting something that will help you “make it work”, but really, what they do is give you a false sense of accomplishment, of getting a step or two closer to the “goal”, when in reality what the authors are really doing is moving the goal line further off. because, you see, there will be another new book next year, or six months from now, or maybe their friends are each publishing books in the near future.

    …and if you have found satisfaction and contentment, well then, you have no reason to need to buy new books.

  8. Deb wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Good for you!!! You kept them out of circulation.

    I refused to put that NeoCalvinist spiritual poison in the donation bins or the public library’s Friends of the Library book sale donation box.

  9. refugee wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I took all of the books that the NeoCalvinists at my ex-gulag recommended…ripped them up, and tossed them in the paper recycling container.
    I have never felt better!
    Amen. The kids wanted to burn them, in our case, and they may well have burned some of them, but I recycled quite a few and smashed up any quantity of CDs and DVDs.

    Burning. The kids were right. Now that’s a ‘book burning’ that I can get on board with.

  10. Velour wrote:

    refugee wrote:
    Velour wrote:
    I took all of the books that the NeoCalvinists at my ex-gulag recommended…ripped them up, and tossed them in the paper recycling container.
    I have never felt better!
    Amen. The kids wanted to burn them, in our case, and they may well have burned some of them, but I recycled quite a few and smashed up any quantity of CDs and DVDs.
    Burning. The kids were right. Now that’s a ‘book burning’ that I can get on board with.

    Yes. Two of the books I know got burned were by Stacy McDonald. Pure poison, coated in a form of godliness without the substance.

  11. The calvinistas miss no trick at making money. Me thinks they love the filthy lucre. As for church libraries….too old school. It might have unapproved non calvinista writings in it. Besides, if people can borrow a book vs. buying a book, where is the profit in that?

  12. I’m a self proclaimed book worm. I’ve read thousands and thousands of books in my life. That bookshelf was the dumbest thing I’ve seen in a long time. I used to use a church library in years past. I even donated books to one a few times. The idea that I have to let others decide which books I read because I don’t have the time to do that myself is pretty stupid to me. I do have the intelligence to choose which books I want to read. Yes, even christian ones. One of my all time favorite christian fictions books is “Christy” by Catherine Marshall (the daughter of Peter Marshall). I even named my daughter after the title. I’ve thrown a few books in the trash by christians that I thought were in left field. My son goes to church with a lot of Baptist seminary students. He says they are so judgmental towards him. Trying to get him to fit into a certain mold. That’s not him. I think he’s decided that he may someday down the road, leave the Ft. Worth area, where people don’t push books at you and try to get you to be like them.

  13. Deb wrote:

    @ JYJames:

    Looks like sharing books through the church library is so passé. Now everyone needs their own copies of these latest and greatest books (that will probably be piling up at thrift stores in the not too distant future).

    Right next to 88 Reasons Christ Will Return in 1988…

  14. I realize that this comment might come off as a little off-topic, but please, hear me out. The idea of people placing value on certain human material above others reminds me a lot of how my parents would shame me over what books I chose. For example, “Why are you reading THOSE comics? You don’t learn a darn thing from them!” Or, “I want to see you reading something OTHER THAN Star Trek!” and “Why don’t you read a REAL book for a change!”

    It’s strange, but that is what this post reminded me of. It seems that there are many in the Christian crowd that are heck-bent on shaming followers for everything, including what they do and do not read. Instead of encouraging Christians to seek Jesus and read and interpret scripture for themselves (rather than having someone else do their thinking for them), they bully them into buying “Christian-approved” material, threatening them that they’ll be seen as *gasp* less holy than their peers if they don’t. Much like my parents, many Christians have been hard-wired to care more about what their pastors, elders and magazine-writers think, than evaluating their interests/hobbies based on what Jesus thinks.

    Take my advice, go with what Jesus says. You don’t have to read these TGC books to be saved.

  15. @ Sam:

    Amen! The books being published by this crowd remind me of the indulgences Luther spoke so vehemently against.

    Is it now Jesus + this trove of books written by fallible men? It would appear so.

  16. Make no mistake about, the New Calvinist movement is a well-organized and networked effort to indoctrinate the next generation with a fine-tuned machine. Change the belief and practice of a generation and you change the face of the church for years to come. Movements always go after the weakest, the most susceptible, the most gullible segments of a society … in this case, America’s youth. Generation Xers and Millennials are being drawn to the new reformation in droves. After the flash in the plan fades, they will be left disillusioned, empty and lost. Be careful little eyes what you read.

  17. Deb wrote:

    Looks like sharing books through the church library is so passé.

    My problem with the church libraries I have known, is that anyone can walk into them and donate a book as long as it is deemed “Christian.” I can take you to a large non-Calvinist, traditional SBC church in my community which has shelves of Piper, Keller, Driscoll, etc. New Calvinist books. The volunteer librarians don’t have a clue and church leaders aren’t monitoring library selections as they ought.

  18. Harley wrote:

    My son goes to church with a lot of Baptist seminary students. He says they are so judgmental towards him. Trying to get him to fit into a certain mold.

    Uhhhhh … that “mold” wouldn’t be New Calvinism, would it? We know SBC college and seminary students who left traditional non-Calvinist SBC churches and were pressured by other students to get on board with the new reformation. I guess their oppressors had been reading TGC’s recommended book list, going to cool conferences, and being brain-washed on social media with Piper Points, Dever Drivel, Mahaney Malarkey, etc. This whole movement has taken on sinister proportions.

  19. I understand why people might want to know what others are reading. I see this a lot from my friends who will ask on FB, “I’m going on vacation and need book ideas. What are you reading?”

    I’m guessing that a very high percentage of these bookshelf books are non-fiction. The problem that I see with these recommendations is that they are only going to be reading books that are within the same circle, the same thought, non-challenging, and have nothing new to add. How many of these authors do you have to read before you realize you’re reading the same thing?

  20. @ Mae:
    Calvinistas claim they’re “family friendly,” they believe in the Protestant Work Ethic…and they also are into right wing politics as a solution to all that ails America.

    Sex, Money, and Power. Those are the idols they worship.

  21. “It is always easier to understand what the Bible says than to understand what somebody thinks it meant to say.”
    –Vance Havner

  22. Kathi wrote:

    How many of these authors do you have to read before you realize you’re reading the same thing?

    Excellent point.

  23. @ Max:
    On the other hand, for the discerning reader, a library is a chance to look, perhaps read, without a purchase. We use the public library weekly, selectively. It’s an amazing perk in our country.

  24. emr wrote:

    “It is always easier to understand what the Bible says than to understand what somebody thinks it meant to say.”
    –Vance Havner

    Havner always said it like it was/is! In this fast food world, folks like someone to package it and deliver it to them, rather than taking time to go into the Word themselves. So they end up swimming in shallow water. New Calvinist icons are always trying to convince their followers what the Bible says, so folks won’t get alone with God and pray for the Holy Spirit to teach them. I used to say that McDonald’s would become so efficient that I wouldn’t even have to stop to collect my sack of burgers at the window – I would just need to slow down, roll the window down, and they would hurl the sack into the backseat without having to stop … that almost happened the other day!

  25. I don’t have time to go to their recommended book list, but if John Kennedy Toole’s “A Confederacy of Dunces” is not on it we can assume they have no taste for cult classics and absolutely no sense of humor!

  26. Rachel wrote:

    Sex, Money, and Power. Those are the idols they worship.

    Right on, Rachel, and fervently spreading a dead gospel that cannot and does not save. Like Velour, I have demolished my old Calvinist and Reformed cult books, so that nobody else could be influenced by that unbiblical trashy-o.
    And you’re right in listing sex first on your list. It is their staple, from abusing it to doing it in most unnatural ways and then “counseling” about it. Yes, I have just thrown up in my mouth too.

  27. “Don’t Waste Your Life on Bad Books.” Point well taken, though spending a few books on a decent haircut wouldn’t go amiss.

  28. Most YRRs I’ve met will go on and on about being more biblical than everyone else, but all they do is quote what Piper, Mohler, and TGC say about the Bible. Most of them don’t have a clue what the main point of the Bible is (hint: God came to earth to sacrifice Himself to save mankind because we couldn’t save ourselves). Most of them especially don’t know anything Jesus said, because New Calvinists act like most of the gospels don’t exist.

    And this… this is just about more money for TGC. These men have made idols of themselves.

    Read anything EXCEPT what TGC recommends is my recommendation. But the gospels in the Bible are a good start.

  29. Sam wrote:

    Instead of encouraging Christians to seek Jesus and read and interpret scripture for themselves (rather than having someone else do their thinking for them), they bully them into buying “Christian-approved” material, threatening them that they’ll be seen as *gasp* less holy than their peers if they don’t. Much like my parents, many Christians have been hard-wired to care more about what their pastors, elders and magazine-writers think, than evaluating their interests/hobbies based on what Jesus thinks.
    Take my advice, go with what Jesus says. You don’t have to read these TGC books to be saved.

    Not at all off topic, in my book. I think you hit the nail on the head.

  30. ishy wrote:

    Read anything EXCEPT what TGC recommends is my recommendation. But the gospels in the Bible are a good start.

    Yes, read the Gospels, get rid of the YRR propaganda.

  31. When they state that a book has been beneficial for them, do you think they are lying?
    I’m not surprised that they would recommend books w a similar theology to theirs – they wouldn’t recommend something they disagreed with. (Although their idea for commercializing sharing books is rather garish)

    It’s probably good I don’t visit church libraries now. I might try to slip in a copy of “Good Omens” next to the Left Behind novels….

  32. Velour wrote:

    Burning. The kids were right. Now that’s a ‘book burning’ that I can get on board with.

    Not my choice of things to do with the literature produced by the EIC (evangelical industrial complex). When books are burned, people almost always follow, chained to stakes as in the olden days, or out the chimneys of crematoriums in more recent times. Let anybody who wants to, read them and make up their own minds. Personally, I prefer stuff written by Jews, degenerates, free thinkers, and bohemians, you know, my kind of folk.

  33. Muff Potter wrote:

    Personally, I prefer stuff written by Jews, degenerates, free thinkers, and bohemians, you know, my kind of folk.

    love this! 🙂

  34. HMM–I have Catholic books with the imprimatur letting Catholics know it was kosher. (Mixing religions intended.) I have lists of books from non Calvinist Christian groups recommending reading their books and excluding others. For Calvinists to do the same seems fair enough to me.

    Is anyone stupid enough to think they cannot choose books outside their own brand?

    There are times I WANT to know what the Calvinists, or Lutherans, or Wesleyans, or Catholics, or whatever believe. These lists are super useful then.

    But then I’m a former librarian AND a book collector. My Christian books are not grouped by color, but rather by theology. All the Calvinists here, the dispy’s there, the hyper fundies there, etc.

  35. Muff Potter wrote:

    When books are burned, people almost always follow, chained to stakes as in the olden days, or out the chimneys of crematoriums in more recent times.

    I have found it cathartic to burn things — books, letters, etc.

    There’s a big difference between people burning our own things and a government mandate advocating book burning to silence free speech.

  36. So there’s a place on your pastor’s bookshelf where you can leave a comment about how a book or song has encouraged you. Interesting. Can you comment on how poorly written a book was, or how it was a waste of time? Can you disagree with anything, or make any disparaging remarks about the Neo-Cal influence behind the book?

    It sounds as if they are creating an online forum where only positive comments are allowed. Anything negative is un-Christian [and doesn’t help sell more books].

  37. ishy wrote:

    Read anything EXCEPT what TGC recommends is my recommendation.

    Yes. Even better: use their recommended books list as a “books to avoid” list.

  38. Velour wrote:

    There’s a big difference between people burning our own things and a government mandate advocating book burning to silence free speech.

    Agreed. My comment was just one of my garden variety Muffisms. Anybody who knows me knows that I am a champion of human freedom so long as it’s mixed with responsibility.

  39. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    So there’s a place on your pastor’s bookshelf where you can leave a comment about how a book or song has encouraged you. Interesting. Can you comment on how poorly written a book was, or how it was a waste of time? Can you disagree with anything, or make any disparaging remarks about the Neo-Cal influence behind the book?
    It sounds as if they are creating an online forum where only positive comments are allowed. Anything negative is un-Christian [and doesn’t help sell more books].

    Since they carefully curate criticism on blog post comments, I highly doubt they will allow any criticism at all on a sales page.

  40. Muff Potter wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    There’s a big difference between people burning our own things and a government mandate advocating book burning to silence free speech.
    Agreed. My comment was just one of my garden variety Muffisms. Anybody who knows me knows that I am a champion of human freedom so long as it’s mixed with responsibility.

    LOL.

  41. ZechZav wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    Read anything EXCEPT what TGC recommends is my recommendation.
    Yes. Even better: use their recommended books list as a “books to avoid” list.

    And that goes for movies too. If they tell you don’t watch something..do just the opposite and watch it.

  42. Yes, life is much too short to read bad books! Therefore, I focus my efforts on the 66 books left by Our Lord. I don’t think I have time for anything else!

  43. Root 66 wrote:

    I focus my efforts on the 66 books left by Our Lord

    If the Bible was just a novel, one could read it and move on to the next book. I find it fresh each time I open it; the Holy Spirit still teaches me with words of life. I may have read a passage a hundred times, but I always see something new for the moment at hand. It’s not a dead letter, it lives!

  44. ishy wrote:

    Most of them especially don’t know anything Jesus said, because New Calvinists act like most of the gospels don’t exist.

    Jesus who?! They ain’t got time to listen to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! They clutter their minds with what the New Calvinist icons tell them that Paul is saying about Him, rather than getting to know Him themselves. To them, the Gospels don’t exist … only certain passages of Paul’s epistles which can be twisted to support reformed theology.

  45. Max wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    Most of them especially don’t know anything Jesus said, because New Calvinists act like most of the gospels don’t exist.

    Jesus who?! They ain’t got time to listen to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! They clutter their minds with what the New Calvinist icons tell them that Paul is saying about Him, rather than getting to know Him themselves. To them, the Gospels don’t exist … only certain passages of Paul’s epistles which can be twisted to support reformed theology.

    Was contemplating Matthew 28:18 last week, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” ESV 2016 (!!).

    That means they don’t get any claim to authority at all. Every bit belongs to Jesus!

  46. Muff Potter wrote:

    My comment was just one of my garden variety Muffisms.

    Do subscribe to classic Muffist thought or are you a Neo Muffist?
    Is there a Muffifesto?
    I’m not a fan of censorship myself. I’ve read everything from the Koran to Mein Kampf. Don’t always believe what I read but I don’t want it chosen for me.

  47. Ruth Tucker wrote:

    I don’t have time to go to their recommended book list, but if John Kennedy Toole’s “A Confederacy of Dunces” is not on it we can assume they have no taste for cult classics and absolutely no sense of humor!

    Ignatius J. Reilly. I would concur.

  48. One thing I find ironic about all this.

    The most helpful books or online articles I’ve read combat the nasty teachings some of this crowd (or other Christians) promote.

    Some of the books I found helpful are by Christians (who probably don’t fully agree with TGC) or by Non-Christians.

    I’m talking about books that tell me things like I have value, my feelings matter, it’s okay for me to be assertive, etc, –stuff that is the opposite of what some of these TGC-type groups promote in their books or blogs (usually under complementarianism, but also other subjects)

  49. A bit of mild pushback. ..
    In a country where fewer and fewer adults read regularly, I applaud their group (or any other group) for encouraging reading and for using any/all social media tools and platforms to do it. I’m not sure of everyone’s soteriology, but it appears that they do recommend a few non Calvinists.

    Where I largely share common cause with the post and its commenters is when this group evidences their “echo chamber”…..they all retweet each other, they put each other on their speaker platforms, they introduce each other, they write the foreword for each other’s books, etc. I think that’s worthy of criticism. …but encouraging people to read books? I don’t see a big problem.

  50. Max wrote:

    Root 66 wrote:
    I focus my efforts on the 66 books left by Our Lord
    If the Bible was just a novel, one could read it and move on to the next book. I find it fresh each time I open it; the Holy Spirit still teaches me with words of life. I may have read a passage a hundred times, but I always see something new for the moment at hand. It’s not a dead letter, it lives!

    Hebrews 4:12-13 comes to mind. The Word is far more powerful than any “movement.” By familiarizing ourselves with the real thing, and hiding in our hearts, it becomes much easier to see the snake oil salesman when he shows up in our churches!

  51. Root 66 wrote:

    By familiarizing ourselves with the real thing, and hiding in our hearts, it becomes much easier to see the snake oil salesman when he shows up in our churches!

    Amen! By studying the genuine closely, it’s easier to spot the counterfeit.

  52. Uh oh, my church is on Wartburg Watch! Of all the ways a church can end up being covered here, I guess this a tame subject matter. Andrew is a good one, adamantly non-Calvinist as Munger Place is Methodist, and I would trust him using the resource sincerely.

    I’m loath to Christian publishing. If you wrote a book with content that could be instrumental to someone’s salvation, why would you charge for it? But now, knowing that the kickback mechanisms are there, I can see on Matt Chandler’s bookshelf Knowing God, Desiring God, and Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. Really? One really needs to be informed that those books exist and that they are in favor at The Village Church?

    So except for the kickback mechanism, I don’t think the Hubworthy concept is nefarious in of itself. But then again websites don’t pay to run themselves. And I don’t think The Gnostic Corporation needs Hubworthy to be infinite loop of positive feedback it always has been.

    I did notice the entire Harry Potter series on Joe Carter’s “shelf”. He said he set out to read one book per year, and read the whole series in less than a year. I suppose his sacred job of keeping the gospel safe from broken wolves isn’t that time-intensive. It seemed awkward next to the other content until I thought of it as a “everyone come and look how not legalist I am” ploy.

  53. Another way for Amazon and the publishers to move product. But now local “ministries” get a cut. That is clever. What is not to like from the perspective of Authoritarian leadership?

  54. Stan wrote:

    So except for the kickback mechanism, I don’t think the Hubworthy concept is nefarious in of itself.

    That kickback thing is the reason, I believe, that Harry Potter appears on Joe Carter’s bookshelf. Just my humble opinion. I’m the one who always talks about economics having lots of explanatory power.

  55. I’m anxiously waiting for Al Mohler to add his big stack of books to the list! Mahaney says that it’s pretty impressive.

  56. Root 66 wrote:

    life is much too short to read bad books! Therefore, I focus my efforts on the 66 books left by Our Lord.

    As I thought more about this Root (if you will allow me to call you that), the following Scriptures came to mind:

    “Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 AMP)

    “All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 AMP)

    “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.” (Romans 15:4 AMP)

    “For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged [a]sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 AMP)

    The books of mere men pale in comparison!

  57. Muff Potter wrote:

    Not my choice of things to do with the literature produced by the EIC (evangelical industrial complex).

    Well, in the teens’ case, the burning was not so much censorship as it was catharsis. They were throwing off their chains, in a manner of speaking, the sort of thing Daisy talks about, being taught from birth (until we saw our folly and escaped) to be codependent and easy prey.

  58. linda wrote:

    Is anyone stupid enough to think they cannot choose books outside their own brand?

    Perhaps not stupid so much as brainwashed and heavily controlled. If the leaders can keep the people reading only the stuff that teaches and reinforces their views, then the people will have trouble thinking for themselves. Makes control so much easier.

    Many calvinista leaders have gone so far as to tell their followers to stay off the internet. You can probably imagine why.

  59. Velour wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:
    When books are burned, people almost always follow, chained to stakes as in the olden days, or out the chimneys of crematoriums in more recent times.
    I have found it cathartic to burn things — books, letters, etc.
    There’s a big difference between people burning our own things and a government mandate advocating book burning to silence free speech.

    Excellent point.

  60. Root 66 wrote:

    Yes, life is much too short to read bad books! Therefore, I focus my efforts on the 66 books left by Our Lord. I don’t think I have time for anything else!

    LOL. However, this comment (I don’t think your meaning fits my memories, let me hasten to say) brings up sad memories of the super-conservative (c)hristian homeschooling parents who boasted proudly that the only books their children were allowed to read were the bible and the dictionary.

    Oh, there was a whole spectrum of censorship, from those who thought Disney and fairy tales were satanic, Ralph Moody (Little Britches) contained obscenity (I think there were a couple scenes with cowboys who used some mild-by-today’s-standards D- and H- words) to those who encouraged their children to read and discuss Harry Potter with them.

    Actually, I didn’t let my kids read Harry Potter at a tender age, not because of a fear of a supernatural influence or such, but because I pre-read them, screening them as possible read-aloud material, and had nightmares, and thought they needed to be a little older before reading those books.

    (Unfortunately, I didn’t talk about my reasons to the kids, so they assumed my reasons were the same as other, more outspoken parents in the church and homeschool group.)

    Though many of the people we know were super-conservative “fairy tales are evil” folks, I was a compulsive reader, raising compulsive readers. I didn’t censor something, if we could base a good discussion off of something we read. I’m not patting myself on the back, just grateful to God that I didn’t stunt our children’s minds and spirits as much as I might have if I had followed every piece of advice from our homeschooling mentors.

  61. @ refugee:
    p.s. One of my kids found Nate Wilson’s Hundred Cupboards and sequels way more scary than Harry Potter, I found out recently.

  62. refugee wrote:

    If the leaders can keep the people reading only the stuff that teaches and reinforces their views, then the people will have trouble thinking for themselves. Makes control so much easier.

    I still prefer books on paper and not the electronic version. The problem is then what to do with them after being done. The local used bookstore wrinkles up their nose at many, I live in a university town, and the local Christian bookstore has pretty much the same reaction, competing dogmas but similar mindset. Thank goodness for Goodwill who takes them without comment and resells them to the next person.

    I occasionally find a good book from reading Amazon reviews. There are some voracious readers out there who provide very thoughtful reviews and reading some of their other reviews has turned me onto more than a few gems. If they were local it would be great to have them over for dinner just for the discussion that would ensue.

  63. Thersites wrote:

    I still prefer books on paper and not the electronic version. The problem is then what to do with them after being done.

    I donate some books to my local public library to the Friends of the Library bin. The really expensive ones — like coffee table photography books — are sold with other nice items in a store inside the library to raise funds for the library. The others are sold at the big sale.

    If you know anyone overseas, they might appreciate being sent books.

    My family packages up a large box of books and we send them a few times a year to family in France, since books are quite expensive there. The books make the rounds of all of the French book lovers.

  64. It seems me that millions of Christians for hundreds of years did just fine without reading the ramblings of the New Calvinists. I seriously doubt that these N C’s have anything new to say. In fact, I’d wager that whatever they do have to say would be better left unsaid.

  65. refugee wrote:

    Root 66 wrote:
    Yes, life is much too short to read bad books! Therefore, I focus my efforts on the 66 books left by Our Lord. I don’t think I have time for anything else!

    LOL. However, this comment (I don’t think your meaning fits my memories, let me hasten to say) brings up sad memories of the super-conservative (c)hristian homeschooling parents who boasted proudly that the only books their children were allowed to read were the bible and the dictionary.

    Refugee,
    Those are sad memories, indeed! My comment’s intent wasn’t to boast of any super-conservative religious superiority, rather, it was to emphasize the preeminence the Word should have in every believer’s life. If we are truly living out the principle of the priesthood of all believers and relying on the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, then we wouldn’t find the need to seek out this drivel coming from the Neo-Cal camps. I find it incredibly hypocritical on their part for a group that so highly touts the principle of “sola scriptura” that they seem to think we are totally incapable of comprehending scripture without their ‘words of wisdom’ to guide us!

  66. I’m reading St Aelred of Rievaulx’s Spiritual Friendship and I reread some poetry by Gerald Manley Hopkins yesterday. I’m guessing those are on the list of books that it would be a waste of time to read. As our President says, “Sad”.

  67. Hubworthy. That weird techno/advertising language they use. And the music on the video. It feels like a centralized control system to link people to the old Star Trek Borg. It scared me. Compare to old bookstores for browsing, our old college professors, librarians and friend’s recommendations.

  68. Root 66 wrote:

    I find it incredibly hypocritical on their part for a group that so highly touts the principle of “sola scriptura” that they seem to think we are totally incapable of comprehending scripture without their ‘words of wisdom’ to guide us!

    It’s the protestant version of magisterium. “There is nothing new under the sun.”

  69. I think it best when people make some effort to read outside their tradition. It helps to understand other traditions and helps one formulate what one really likes, or believes it, which can mean accepting part of another tradition, all of it, or rejecting it. Given my psychology it generally meant rejection of ideas but development of some empathy and understanding of others. Required to read Calvin’s Institutes in college. Hated it. Not going back. Had to read Luther also. More sympathy but decided in the end, not for me. Read C. S. Lewis. Admired the man, saw worth in much. Most influential biography, John Henry Cardinal Newman Apologia pro vita sua. Read it as a youth, greatly influenced. But probably won’t go back and read again.

  70. Very disgusting. Are they marketing to pastors, church members, or both? I couldn’t tell watching their video.

    You probably already know this but if you click on one of the books they recommend on their bookshelf and go to Amazon you get a cookie placed on your computer by Amazon. Most are 24 hour cookies but it can be set up to be longer. Some are even 90 days. So if you click on one of the “great, super fantastic, must-read, gotta have” books by Keller but don’t buy the book but that evening you decide to buy a lamp and a Bible from Amazon then the person’s bookshelf that the Keller book was on will make money from your purchase. In fact they will make money on everything you buy from Amazon as long as the cookie is on your computer.

    1 Timothy 6: 10,11 (Recommended free of charge)

  71. Gram3 wrote:

    Stan wrote:
    So except for the kickback mechanism, I don’t think the Hubworthy concept is nefarious in of itself.
    That kickback thing is the reason, I believe, that Harry Potter appears on Joe Carter’s bookshelf. Just my humble opinion.

    That makes a lot of sense, actually!

    Although i can’t imagine anyone bragging that you read a whole 7 books in a year, especially those books! They aren’t exactly a slow read.

  72. Thersites wrote:

    I still prefer books on paper and not the electronic version. The problem is then what to do with them after being done.

    I have switched almost entirely to kindle (except books I already own or ones I get at the library) for this reason in part. It keeps things from piling up in your house.

    I am little by little going through my library and trying to get rid of things, and when I do I generally take them to the library, where they can either resell or put them on the paperback shelf.

  73. linda wrote:

    But then I’m a former librarian AND a book collector. My Christian books are not grouped by color, but rather by theology. All the Calvinists here, the dispy’s there, the hyper fundies there, etc.

    more sensible 🙂

    I wonder how the person who groups by ‘color’ finds a book? I mean it’s very attractive, that bookshelf, but I’d hate to be in a hurry to locate a book on it.

  74. refugee wrote:

    Because the christianity I was immersed in was unsatisfying and made me feel inadequate, I felt driven to look for more. I made regular visits to the christian bookstore in town, looking for something that would help me make it work.

    So these “resources” are like spiritual MSG- they leave you hungry and never satisfied, but it tastes good for the moment. I cringed when my oldest daughter said that her Sunday School teacher/pastor’s wife said that they were blessed because we have the Bible and “other resources”. What does that teach the children? That the Bible is on the same level as these ridiculous books.

    I made a comment to some of the ladies there that I just needed my KJV, a concordance, and a Bible atlas and I was satisfied. Not long after the little John Piper wannabe read his expositional scripture passage and started ripping on KJV people, lumping in the Fred Phelps people; it was pretty crazy, but I figured it was directed at me as there’s only 30 people in this church. Now there’s only 22 -ha.

    I wasn’t trying to start a Bible version issue, just that I don’t need a zillion books to understand God, when He promised that His Word was sufficient. We’re learning much more at home for now, Praise God!

  75. Steve wrote:

    Are they marketing to pastors, church members, or both?

    Yes. It’s called merchandising the gospel … most of which is not the Gospel at all.

    RightNow Media is another popular tool being used by the New Calvinists to indoctrinate unsuspecting Southern Baptists, with books, conferences and instructional videos. With a click of the key, you too can “Dive into engaging topical teaching from Tim Keller, Rick Warren, Louie Giglio, Lecrae, Andy Stanley, Matt Chandler, David Platt, and many more.”

    On their website, RightNow promotes their resources this way:

    “Customize Your Library. You know your church best, so we’ve built powerful tools into RightNow Media so you can curate what your members can or can’t access. You can create custom channels and pages that feature the content that you want front and center (and hide content you don’t).” https://www.rightnowmedia.org/

    In other words, give us your total attention “Right Now!” so we can control what you read and believe only what we want you to.

  76. Christiane wrote:

    linda wrote:

    But then I’m a former librarian AND a book collector. My Christian books are not grouped by color, but rather by theology. All the Calvinists here, the dispy’s there, the hyper fundies there, etc.

    more sensible

    I wonder how the person who groups by ‘color’ finds a book? I mean it’s very attractive, that bookshelf, but I’d hate to be in a hurry to locate a book on it.

    This reminds me of an experience I had working one of my very first jobs. I was working at a small independent bookstore (remember those?) back in the 70’s and a woman came in looking for a certain book she’d seen at a friend’s house. I asked her the title, and she didn’t know. I asked her the author – she didn’t know. I asked her what the subject matter was – she couldn’t really explain it. I was about to give up, when she said “but I know it’s blue!”.

  77. Republican mother wrote:

    started ripping on KJV people

    Ugh. This is a common thing, apparently because there is a contingent of kjv only who are sort of obnoxious about it and it isn’t considered the most accurate translation.

    But I love it for the language.

  78. Thinking about ‘sola’ Scriptura, just that for me, there are some teachings within Scripture that speak to its limitations

    For example, this:
    “25 There are many more things that Jesus did. If all of them were written down, I suppose not even the world itself would have space for the books that would be written”
    (from the Holy Gospel of St. John 21:25)

    and this verse, which I love so much for its exquisite humility:
    “But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
    or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
    or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
    or let the fish in the sea inform you.
    Which of all these does not know
    that the Hand of the Lord has done this?”
    (from the Book of Job, Chapter 12)

    imagine that God Himself, Who holds the life of every living creature in His Hands, encourages us to ‘learn’ of Him, even from the most humble of beings,
    ….. for me that is a glimpse into a deep well of wisdom, where ‘The Word’ we know as ‘the Logos’ cannot be encapsulated completely by human language alone but exists ‘from the ages to the ages’ even in the time before ‘the Logos’ spoke Creation into being and touched it with life

  79. I had a library. It was an area in the partially finished basement with bookcases and shelving around the outside walls, carpet on the floor, semi-adequate heating, desk and chairs and books, books, books. Good stuff on the shelves, not trash or trivia. And I got rid of it because of a combination of circumstances including people moving in and we needed the space and the advent of other ways to access information, and the fact that old paper harbors mites and aggravates asthma for some people, and ideas change such that old books need tossed, and the fact that I had lots more to do than sit and read.

    At first I felt like some vital body part had been amputated. It had become my crutch somehow, to use a buzz word. Soon, however, I began to feel liberated from some perceived necessity to keep up with what other people were thinking in various areas and just move on; move on having become my new buzz word.

    But then I always did have to exert self discipline to even resort to that crutch in the first place. What changed is that I no longer required that of myself. Free at last; free at last. I highly recommend it. Nobody has any responsibility to buy anybody’s book or read anybody’s ideas because as an old prof of mine used to say ‘Paper never refuses ink’. I should have remembered that sooner.

  80. We downsized last year into a much smaller house. And I threw out all my bookcases because most of them were probably going to fall over and kill someone if I didn’t. I also have been switching to using Kindle on my tablet. The honest truth is that my eyesight isn’t what it used to be, and I can’t read a lot of print books anymore. I have readers, and they help, but sometimes they give me a headache. On my tablet I can make the print as big as I want, and I’ve noticed a lot less headaches from reading. Plus, with Kindle Unlimited, I get lots of free books. And my own novels are on KU and do pretty well there.

    I also have been using the library a lot. I can request a book from any library in the state and they send it to the library a mile away. I think if you really want to read some of these guys’ books, then check them out of the library. But I think there are probably millions of books more worth your time.

    And yes, I have read some of the books from TGC members. They were poorly written, often poorly articulated, and have a lot of contradictions–just like most TGC/New Cal blog articles. I mean, all you have to do is look at the logic in such gems as “Women shouldn’t have friends” on Piper’s site or Joe Carter’s Broken Wolves diatribe to know what kind of books you are considering.

  81. Lea wrote:

    Max wrote:

    you can curate what your members can or can’t access.

    What does this mean???

    I understand this to mean that church leaders can choose/pick what they want their members to read/view and ‘only’ those things. A New Calvinist pastor wouldn’t want their members wandering onto a more mainline teaching of Christian belief and practice – they would desire to keep them exclusively under reformed theology. If you are a new reformer, you would want your members listening to a John Piper or Matt Chandler sermon for example, rather than tuning into a whosoever will evangelist or a Gospel preacher. Thus, as pastor, you can also be “curator” of only selected reading material to refer your members to … to make sure the indoctrination you are feeding them on Sunday continues through the week. It sounds harmless enough – to refer your flock to ‘good’ books – but, given the stealth and deception characterizing the New Calvinist movement, it just has a bad ring to me.

  82. These On My Shelf articles provide a great opportunity for TWW posters. There’s a page for each YRR personality with a comment section at the end. At least one that I viewed, answered their comments. T might be a non-linear opportunity to ask questions or make comments about other issues.

  83. Deb wrote:

    @ JYJames:

    Looks like sharing books through the church library is so passé. Now everyone needs their own copies of these latest and greatest books (that will probably be piling up at thrift stores in the not too distant future).

    If you can’t do without them, go for the freebie/swag ones that were used by ResultSource to juice them onto the best-seller lists. (At least Scientology would send them back to the Scientology-owned publisher and resell them again and again and again…)

  84. Max wrote:

    I understand this to mean that church leaders can choose/pick what they want their members to read/view and ‘only’ those things. A New Calvinist pastor wouldn’t want their members wandering onto a more mainline teaching of Christian belief and practice – they would desire to keep them exclusively under reformed theology.

    Just like GLAVLIT under the old Soviet Union!

  85. Max wrote:

    In other words, give us your total attention “Right Now!” so we can control what you read and believe only what we want you to.

    Ministry of Truth plus Thought Police, Comrades.

  86. refugee wrote:

    …but the books seem (in retrospect) to be subtly designed to make you *think* you’re getting something that will help you “make it work”, but really, what they do is give you a false sense of accomplishment, of getting a step or two closer to the “goal”, when in reality what the authors are really doing is moving the goal line further off. because, you see, there will be another new book next year, or six months from now, or maybe their friends are each publishing books in the near future.

    Just like smartphone app development and the chips controlling Vegas slots — deliberately designed to be as ADDICTIVE as possible. Get them to keep chasing the next dopamine surge, AKA My Next Drink.

  87. refugee wrote:

    now that I’ve read the post, I have to shake my head. Because the christianity I was immersed in was unsatisfying and made me feel inadequate, I felt driven to look for more. I made regular visits to the christian bookstore in town, looking for something that would help me make it work.

    “An addict does not have high sales resistance.”
    — C.S.Lewis (from memory)

  88. Mae wrote:

    The calvinistas miss no trick at making money. Me thinks they love the filthy lucre.

    Before Perfectly Parsed Theology, GETTING RICH was PROOF of Election.
    i.e. Omnipotent God Showering Blessings on His Predestined Elect.

  89. Lea wrote:

    Max wrote:

    you can curate what your members can or can’t access.

    What does this mean???

    CONTROL, CONTROL, CONTROL!!! It’s called conditioning people, without their knowledge that it’s even happening. Clever & shrewd is what those Calvinistas are!

  90. Sam wrote:

    The idea of people placing value on certain human material above others reminds me a lot of how my parents would shame me over what books I chose. For example, “Why are you reading THOSE comics? You don’t learn a darn thing from them!” Or, “I want to see you reading something OTHER THAN Star Trek!” and “Why don’t you read a REAL book for a change!”

    Real kicker when I’ve read some My Little Pony fanfics that (indirectly) echo Christ and the Kingdom more than all those Christianese “REAL books”.

    God using Foolish things to confound the Wise and all that…

  91. Velour wrote:

    And that goes for movies too. If they tell you don’t watch something..do just the opposite and watch it.

    “IT’S GOTTA BE GOOD — THE CHRISTIANS ARE DENOUNCING IT!”
    — rule of thumb of local Eighties fandom (think about it…)

  92. Republican mother wrote:

    So these “resources” are like spiritual MSG- they leave you hungry and never satisfied, but it tastes good for the moment.

    Just like Blow, Meth, and smartphone apps.

  93. Lea wrote:

    Ugh. This is a common thing, apparently because there is a contingent of kjv only who are sort of obnoxious about it and it isn’t considered the most accurate translation.

    But I love it for the language.

    I too love the lilting Elizabethan prose. You might want to look into Bullinger’s Companion Bible (KJV). It is not a commentary, nor does it purport to be a new or an amended translation. The margins are chock full of factual data as well as alternate renderings of various Hebrew and Greek words when they occur. In addition, it has extensive appendices of factual and useful information from which the reader can arrive at his or her own conclusions regardless of what’s thundered from a pulpit.

  94. I highly recommend “The Only Squirrell Cookbook You’ll Ever Need” by Willie Larue. There are many parallels between eating a squirrel and reading one of their books.

  95. Christiane wrote:

    linda wrote:
    But then I’m a former librarian AND a book collector. My Christian books are not grouped by color, but rather by theology. All the Calvinists here, the dispy’s there, the hyper fundies there, etc.
    more sensible
    I wonder how the person who groups by ‘color’ finds a book? I mean it’s very attractive, that bookshelf, but I’d hate to be in a hurry to locate a book on it.

    All for show perhaps.

  96. You don’t look for a specific book title when you group by color. You go by mood. You say “I feel purple today, I think I’ll read a purple book.”

  97. Max wrote:

    “Customize Your Library. You know your church best, so we’ve built powerful tools into RightNow Media so you can curate what your members can or can’t access.

    Just as glitzy and vapid as hubworthy’s outfit.

  98. Darlene wrote:

    It’s called conditioning people, without their knowledge that it’s even happening. Clever & shrewd is what those Calvinistas are!

    If New Calvinism is the true gospel and the YRR feel they have come into the world for such a time as this – to restore the gospel to the church which lost it somewhere along the line – why are they using the tools of the devil (lies, deceit, deception) to bring it back?

  99. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    And that goes for movies too. If they tell you don’t watch something..do just the opposite and watch it.
    “IT’S GOTTA BE GOOD — THE CHRISTIANS ARE DENOUNCING IT!”
    — rule of thumb of local Eighties fandom (think about it…)

    LOL. So true!

  100. Max wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    It’s called conditioning people, without their knowledge that it’s even happening. Clever & shrewd is what those Calvinistas are!
    If New Calvinism is the true gospel and the YRR feel they have come into the world for such a time as this – to restore the gospel to the church which lost it somewhere along the line – why are they using the tools of the devil (lies, deceit, deception) to bring it back?

    Gospel means, “good news”. I have found nothing good in the notion some (many/most, who knows?) of the preborn are destined, without hope, of spending an eternity in hell. What good news is that?
    How many books can one read on God’s sovereignty and man’s eternal damnation, before questioning God’s love for his creation?

  101. Dew wrote:

    You don’t look for a specific book title when you group by color. You go by mood. You say “I feel purple today, I think I’ll read a purple book.”

    Ha!

  102. Mae wrote:

    Gospel means, “good news”. I have found nothing good in the notion some (many/most, who knows?) of the preborn are destined, without hope, of spending an eternity in hell. What good news is that?
    How many books can one read on God’s sovereignty and man’s eternal damnation, before questioning God’s love for his creation?

    I had the same thought in church last week. And I noticed that New Calvinists never use the term “good news”.

  103. ishy wrote:

    Was contemplating Matthew 28:18 last week, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” ESV 2016 (!!).
    That means they don’t get any claim to authority at all. Every bit belongs to Jesus!

    Break it to them gently, Ishy. Giggles, and that from their OWN skewed, theologically biased “bible” version on top of that! That LOT of deceivers and workers (and the workers’ co-workers of iniquity) have no authority. Period. End. Over. Done. Thanks for highlighting it, Ishy.

  104. Mae wrote:

    What good news is that?

    The some saved/most damned before they were born message is not good tidings of great joy, which shall be to ALL people.

  105. ishy wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Gospel means, “good news”. I have found nothing good in the notion some (many/most, who knows?) of the preborn are destined, without hope, of spending an eternity in hell. What good news is that?
    How many books can one read on God’s sovereignty and man’s eternal damnation, before questioning God’s love for his creation?
    I had the same thought in church last week. And I noticed that New Calvinists never use the term “good news”.

    How can they use , good news, when their theology is anything but that? What good news do they have to share, the elect are saved??
    Yet, there it is in the scriptures….good news for the lost, God made a way for humans to be reconciled to him…hallelujah!!

  106. Max wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    What good news is that?
    The some saved/most damned before they were born message is not good tidings of great joy, which shall be to ALL people.

    Absolutely good news!

  107. ishy wrote:

    Was contemplating Matthew 28:18 last week, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” ESV 2016 (!!).
    That means they don’t get any claim to authority at all. Every bit belongs to Jesus!

    And ESS says Jesus has no authority – only God does. Contrary, just a little bit?
    Mae wrote:

    How can they use , good news, when their theology is anything but that? What good news do they have to share, the elect are saved??

    Given that only the elect are saved, chosen before the foundations of the world, what good was Jesus’ suffering and death? Jesus’ crucifixion would just be a purely evil act done by God.

  108. ishy wrote:

    I noticed that New Calvinists never use the term “good news”.

    What’s good about the news they have to offer? In their world, you cannot do a darn thing about your eternal destiny. You were saved or damned before you ever drew breath. What love is this?! Their “gospel” is a rigid set of unrevisable doctrines about grace, rather than a touch of Grace – an encounter with the living Christ.

  109. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    Was contemplating Matthew 28:18 last week, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” ESV 2016 (!!).
    That means they don’t get any claim to authority at all. Every bit belongs to Jesus!
    And ESS says Jesus has no authority – only God does. Contrary, just a little bit?
    Mae wrote:
    How can they use , good news, when their theology is anything but that? What good news do they have to share, the elect are saved??
    Given that only the elect are saved, chosen before the foundations of the world, what good was Jesus’ suffering and death? Jesus’ crucifixion would just be a purely evil act done by God.

    Calvinism turns Christianity – the Good News of the Gospel – into a bad joke, a farce, an absurd game by a wicked god. In my opinion, Calvinism is heresy – at least the “elect or damned before the foundations of the world” part.

    It seems to me after some decades of deliberation that the whole point of God’s creation of humans was for creatures with free will to come to him. I can not possibly believe that it’s all been a set piece, some game of appearances.

    I have to wonder, what kind of people does this NeoCal grotesquery appeal to? Who could actually read the Gospels and get Calvinism, neo or otherwise, out of it?

  110. roebuck wrote:

    I have to wonder, what kind of people does this NeoCal grotesquery appeal to? Who could actually read the Gospels and get Calvinism, neo or otherwise, out of it?

    Those who want to be in the ultimate Inner Ring, the Ultimate Inside Traders.
    Control freaks who want a God in their own Image.
    Those who want the Ultimate One-Upmanship.
    Those who worship Ultimate POWER.
    Those who want irrefutable Certain PROOF of their Salvation.

  111. Mae wrote:

    How can they use , good news, when their theology is anything but that? What good news do they have to share, the elect are saved??

    Exactly.
    “I’M SAVED, and YOU’RE NOT! HAW! HAW! HAW!”

  112. roebuck wrote:

    Who could actually read the Gospels and get Calvinism, neo or otherwise, out of it?

    They have forsaken the Gospels for interpretations of what they think Paul is saying in his epistles. Without a few twisted Scriptures from the epistles, they have nothing to support reformed theology. The whole of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, paints a totally different picture of God. There is a scarlet thread woven throughout the Word that speaks of an entirely different plan of salvation, which is available to ALL people (whosoever will may come).

  113. Max wrote:

    If New Calvinism is the true gospel and the YRR feel they have come into the world for such a time as this – to restore the gospel to the church which lost it somewhere along the line – why are they using the tools of the devil (lies, deceit, deception) to bring it back?

    Because a Righteous enough End justifies any Means whatsoever.

    Just ask Citizen Robespierre, Comrade Pol Pot, and/or Mullah Omar.

  114. Muff Potter wrote:

    I too love the lilting Elizabethan prose.

    How it actually sounded has been covered & debated on YouTube:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeW1eV7Oc5A
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi-rejaoP7U
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYiYd9RcK5M
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPlpphT7n9s

    And if you have over an hour to listen all the way through:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgSDd6Bkatg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FF5K8VlcRI

    And going back even further, here’s a reconstruction of Wars of the Roses English:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxRzEXiQ66M
    (This one takes a little concentration to understand.)

  115. Muff Potter wrote:

    I too love the lilting Elizabethan prose.

    How it actually sounded has been covered & debated on YouTube:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeW1eV7Oc5A
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi-rejaoP7U
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYiYd9RcK5M
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPlpphT7n9s

    And if you have over an hour to listen all the way through:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgSDd6Bkatg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FF5K8VlcRI

    And going back even further, here’s a reconstruction of Wars of the Roses English:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxRzEXiQ66M
    (This one takes a little concentration to understand.)Mae wrote:

    @ Max:

    From Genesis to Revelation, God makes known his desire for all to be redeemed.

    But if “all to be redeemed”, how can I be better than You?????

  116. scott hendrixson wrote:

    There are many parallels between eating a squirrel and reading one of their books.

    I’ve not yet eaten squirrel, but I’m guessing one can spice it up to make it much tastier than any of their books.

  117. I’ve looked through the bookshelves, and while many of the selections seem to be from the Neo-Cal “usual suspects,” I was happy to see a bit of C.S. Lewis, and a few books that I would be interested in reading. In particular, “Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architecture, Urbanism, and the Sacred” was on Kellar’s list. Looks like it’s out of print, though.

    It’s not a bad business model for HubWorthy, to make money from books people would buy anyway. But I’m still concerned that it can become a way for a control-freak shepherd to point his sheep towards the sorts of reading materials that are safe and approved.

  118. Mae wrote:

    From Genesis to Revelation, God makes known his desire for all to be redeemed.

    Amen and Amen! For the life of me, I don’t understand how the reformed mind can miss this Truth and “choose” to follow a legalistic water-downed religion which is spiritually lifeless.

  119. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    I was happy to see a bit of C.S. Lewis

    Lewis is claimed by both Calvinist and non-Calvinist. The new reformers consider him in their lineage, while just as many Arminians rally to his side. He was probably just a Christian.

  120. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    I’m still concerned that it can become a way for a control-freak shepherd to point his sheep towards the sorts of reading materials that are safe and approved.

    Well, you should be concerned. Control is written all over it. Controlled reading = controlled indoctrination. There are enough freaks in the pulpit who will misuse the resource for selfish motives. Control, manipulation, and intimidation are not fruit of the Spirit.

  121. roebuck wrote:

    In my opinion, Calvinism is heresy

    More than 70% of people who call themselves “Christian” would agree with you on this. But Calvinists typically believe that all of those other believers are apostate. What a mess.

  122. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    I’ve not yet eaten squirrel, but I’m guessing one can spice it up to make it much tastier than any of their books.

    Nope. You can fry squirrel just like chicken. The problems come with all of the little boney parts ………. and the lead shot that didn’t get discovered and pulled out when the squirrels get cleaned. You never know what you might bite into or swallow ……..

  123. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    You never know what you might bite into or swallow ……..

    I guess that is where the similarity with New Calvinist books ends. You pretty much know what you are getting when you read one of them…

  124. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    More than 70% of people who call themselves “Christian” would agree with you on this. But Calvinists typically believe that all of those other believers are apostate. What a mess.

    Until the New Calvinist movement came along, most polls had classical Calvinism at less than 5% of Christianity. After 500 years of attempts to get a bigger blip on the radar, the doctrine’s logical fallacy prevented it from gaining traction. The whole of Scripture screams against this theology; only text out of context supports it. Then came along the new and improved version designed to draw in Generation Xers and Millennials with bells and whistles; the numbers are now trending upward – all new movements do for a while. In the meantime, reformed icons cash in with books and conferences. When the bubble breaks, lots of young folks will be left disillusioned … they will represent one of the largest mission fields in America for the true Gospel.

  125. Max wrote:

    They have forsaken the Gospels for interpretations of what they think Paul is saying in his epistles.

    It’s not just the Neo-Cals. There are plenty of Arminian outfits in which Paul is theeee focal point too. With only cosmetic exceptions (my opinion), they teach pretty much the same schtick. In many cases they’re kissin’ cousins (again, my opinion).

  126. Muff Potter wrote:

    It’s not just the Neo-Cals. There are plenty of Arminian outfits in which Paul is theeee focal point too. With only cosmetic exceptions (my opinion), they teach pretty much the same schtick. In many cases they’re kissin’ cousins (again, my opinion).

    Boy did I find that out when I visited a Calvary Chapel expecting refreshment. Didn’t happen. I heard the same Paulisms as I heard in NeoCalvinville (to the tune of Margaritaville).

  127. One of my former churches has recently begun the conversion process to Neo-Calvinism. The groundwork for the transition was laid by the elder. He was particularly fond of his bookshelves. When we completed the Truth Project video series, we got a chance to see a lot of MacArthur as well as other popular works. He slowly and surely taught Calvinism and Complementarianism as much as he could, and when the opportunity came to select a new pastor, why only a freshly graduated SBTS student would do. He’s already suggested that they read Mark Dever’s “What is a Healthy Church?”, Johnathan Leeman’s “Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represents Jesus”, articles from TGC and T4G, and had a membership class for prospective members and only God knows what else they’ve been put through – and he’s not even hit the one year mark!
    It’s sad to watch a church that you used to know become something else than it used to be entirely – though I’m sure they’re all convinced that these changes are necessary because these books that the elder likes and the pastor recommends are vital for the future and well-being of the church. Perhaps, in a sense, they are – but they have to die to their old sense of identity to be born into the Neo-Calvinism likeness.
    The problem is that they aren’t exposed to those “bad” books – the ones with an alternative point of view that are equally valid. Heresies (and heretics) like Arminianism and Egalitarianism have to be rooted out so that nobody gets the wrong ideas about the gospel.

  128. Max wrote:

    What’s good about the news they have to offer? In their world, you cannot do a darn thing about your eternal destiny. You were saved or damned before you ever drew breath. What love is this?! Their “gospel” is a rigid set of unrevisable doctrines about grace, rather than a touch of Grace – an encounter with the living Christ.

    Who needs Christ when you have CALVIN?
    CALVIN who has God All Figured Out!

  129. Jamie Carter wrote:

    they’re all convinced that these changes are necessary because these books that the elder likes and the pastor recommends are vital for the future and well-being of the church. Perhaps, in a sense, they are – but they have to die to their old sense of identity to be born into the Neo-Calvinism likeness.

    Born Again conformed to the image of CALVIN.

  130. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Jamie Carter wrote:

    they’re all convinced that these changes are necessary because these books that the elder likes and the pastor recommends are vital for the future and well-being of the church. Perhaps, in a sense, they are – but they have to die to their old sense of identity to be born into the Neo-Calvinism likeness.

    Born Again conformed to the image of CALVIN.

    HEADLESS,
    you’ve given me an idea for a science-fiction novel:
    the bones of Calvin are tested for DNA by archeologists and they discover that ‘he’ was really a ‘she’ ….. yes, some clerics in the Middle Ages posed as men but were really women in disguise 🙂

    Can you imagine the conniptions that neo-Cals would go through if such a thing WERE to happen? All these year, promoting the teachings of a WOMAN 🙂

    the justice of it would be too much for us, I think

    my mind works in mysterious ways in the middle of the night 🙂

  131. @ Christiane:

    That would be a great story-Calvin as a transvestite. Or an actual trans maybe.

    But, what are you doing up at night? Are you having problems with your eye?

  132. Muff Potter wrote:

    It’s not just the Neo-Cals. There are plenty of Arminian outfits in which Paul is theeee focal point too.

    Yes, that’s why it’s important for Christians to be neither Calvinists nor Arminians, but Biblicists. Too many church folks easily flow into what is being taught them, rather than searching the Scriptures themselves for Truth. Don’t give me a label, just give me Jesus.

  133. okrapod wrote:

    @ Christiane:

    That would be a great story-Calvin as a transvestite. Or an actual trans maybe.

    But, what are you doing up at night? Are you having problems with your eye?

    I’m already outlining my novel 🙂

    up for vigil in the quiet … it works for me better than sleep sometimes ….. eye is good (partial corneal transplant) … no complaints

    How are you? You have been sharing about some medical concerns and I hope all will be well eventually. Is your house renovation complete? We are always in the middle of some project here with roof to be replaced in November. All the mess and noise gets old.

  134. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    YES! (I shall give you credit in the foreword!) I’m going to have it vanity published and then sneak copies into Lifeway Bookstores and put them on the shelves. I know. Diabolical. But these guyz need to wake up and the poor ladies have surely had enough from the nonsense also.

    I’ll either be very rich, very famous, or very incarcerated. But if the latter, it will have been worth it. 🙂 Look for me in five years on Oprah or maybe on Dr. Phil. I might show up on Lock-Up.

  135. This post reminded me of a story I heard once about Oswald Chambers (I cannot locate it to verify whether it is true or not). According to what I recall, someone asked Chambers what to do when the Bible became dry and/or difficult to read. His response was to put the Bible down and pick up a good book of fiction (to stir the imagination).

  136. Burwell wrote:

    This post reminded me of a story I heard once about Oswald Chambers (I cannot locate it to verify whether it is true or not). According to what I recall, someone asked Chambers what to do when the Bible became dry and/or difficult to read. His response was to put the Bible down and pick up a good book of fiction (to stir the imagination).

    Doesn’t sound like Chambers. He probably would have recommended prayer and repentance, perhaps fasting, rather than reading a fictional book to get back in the right frame of mind.

  137. @ Max:

    To be sure. It really sounds like something Lewis would say, and it is entirely possible that is who it should be attributed to. Pardon me, to whom it should be attributed.

  138. Max wrote:

    He probably would have recommended prayer and repentance, perhaps fasting,

    Not that it matters, but I would suggest a walk in the woods, by the river, listen to the birds, watch the sky and clouds, climb a hill, away from the hustle and bustle of life. Go enjoy the beautiful creation that God made for our enjoyment.

  139. Bridget wrote:

    Not that it matters, but I would suggest a walk in the woods, by the river, listen to the birds, watch the sky and clouds, climb a hill, away from the hustle and bustle of life. Go enjoy the beautiful creation that God made for our enjoyment.

    Amen! I spent a career as an environmental biologist doing just that! God often gets my attention in the middle of a stream while fly-fishing. And I’m not worshiping the creation more than the creator – I know the difference. There’s too much “noise” in most churches to worship like that.

  140. Bridget wrote:

    Not that it matters, but I would suggest a walk in the woods, by the river, listen to the birds, watch the sky and clouds, climb a hill, away from the hustle and bustle of life.

    It’s called “decompressing”.
    Quiet times in a natural setting were known to have a calming and healing effect from way back.

  141. Lea wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    What on earth??? LOL.

    I used to listen to a LOT of Dr Demento.

    Gives you quite an education in weird, obscure, and novelty songs.

  142. Max wrote:

    God often gets my attention in the middle of a stream while fly-fishing. And I’m not worshiping the creation more than the creator – I know the difference. There’s too much “noise” in most churches to worship like that.

    reminds me of this interchange:

    Christiane on Fri Jun 23, 2017 at 02:03 AM said:

    JYJames wrote:
    Still trying to figure out what the real – as in spiritually real – church looks like.

    like the still waters

  143. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Quiet times in a natural setting were known to have a calming and healing effect from way back.

    I have come to a point in my life where it is basically all quiet times in a natural setting – lots of work, but quiet and in a natural setting 😉

    I also got rid of my TV 20 years ago – I was tired of being programmed and manipulated. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, and I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to own their own thoughts.

    If you want calming and healing, and space to think the big thoughts, lose the TV… engaging with good books is an entirely different neurological experience, for a number of reasons.

  144. Max wrote:

    Bridget wrote:

    Not that it matters, but I would suggest a walk in the woods, by the river, listen to the birds, watch the sky and clouds, climb a hill, away from the hustle and bustle of life. Go enjoy the beautiful creation that God made for our enjoyment.

    Amen! I spent a career as an environmental biologist doing just that! God often gets my attention in the middle of a stream while fly-fishing. And I’m not worshiping the creation more than the creator – I know the difference. There’s too much “noise” in most churches to worship like that.

    Brother Max, I might have known you were an environmental biologist. I am a forest ecologist, and definitely have learned the difference between the Creator and the created. Not only the heavens, but the forests proclaim the glory of God! This most definitely includes trout streams!

  145. I garden for my nature enjoyment quotient.

    Wandering out in the woods by myself is a guarantee I will injure myself, lose a limb, and die from starvation because nobody found me. Things like that happen to me…

  146. ishy wrote:

    I garden for my nature enjoyment quotient.

    Wandering out in the woods by myself is a guarantee I will injure myself, lose a limb, and die from starvation because nobody found me. Things like that happen to me…

    Wandering out in the woods by myself is the thing I enjoy the most. Isn’t that funny? That said, I’m also an avid gardener…

  147. roebuck wrote:

    Wandering out in the woods by myself is the thing I enjoy the most. Isn’t that funny? That said, I’m also an avid gardener…

    I like it, but I am really accident prone. I do have my own set of woods in my back yard, though. The last owner left them trashed, but we’ve mostly got it cleaned up. I want to plant more plants like ferns, though, maybe make a forest path.

  148. @ roebuck:
    Roebuck, we are living proof that science and faith can be compatible! Perhaps the “Big Bang” was God’s voice saying “Let there be light!” 🙂

  149. ishy wrote:

    I want to plant more plants like ferns, though, maybe make a forest path.

    That sounds like it could be a very enjoyable project. Maybe make a nice path into the quietest spot, and make a simple bench there (or even a big log) to sit on and gather your thoughts. That’s what I’ve done. I think of my time there as “Chapel”. I just sit quietly with my thoughts, or no thoughts, and listen and look, and become detoxed.

  150. Max wrote:

    Perhaps the “Big Bang” was God’s voice saying “Let there be light!”

    That’s how I’ve always interpreted it 🙂

  151. roebuck wrote:

    Max wrote:

    Perhaps the “Big Bang” was God’s voice saying “Let there be light!”

    That’s how I’ve always interpreted it

    Further to that…

    Something out of nothing. At some point, science has nothing to say. It becomes Mystery. Not in the sense “a problem to be solved someday”, but an unknown you just have to accept. Were you there at the (etc.)?

  152. Max wrote:

    God often gets my attention in the middle of a stream while fly-fishing. And I’m not worshiping the creation more than the creator – I know the difference. There’s too much “noise” in most churches to worship like that.

    How many times has Romans 1:25 been Hueyed (helicoptered) out of context and used as a whip and a club on those who have a love and a passion for nature?
    And yeah, the noise is all theirs, the preachers and Bible “teachers” who use fear and guilt to elicit what they want from you (generic you).

  153. Muff Potter wrote:

    How many times has Romans 1:25 been Hueyed (helicoptered) out of context

    Agreed. There are lots of passages from Romans that have been twisted out of context to support one position or another.

  154. Harley wrote:

    Catherine Marshall (the daughter of Peter Marshall</blockquot
    I believe Catherine Marshall was the widow of Peter Marshall. I liked her books.

  155. @ Florence in KY:

    Florence. Where have you been? I have missed you here. Don’t go off and leave us any more like that-well, please that is. Please stick around is what I am trying to say.

  156. Muff Potter wrote:

    How many times has Romans 1:25 been Hueyed (helicoptered) out of context and used as a whip and a club on those who have a love and a passion for nature?

    Strangely enough, there’s a New Cal group where I used to live that is using the opposite argument. They focus on singles, and the leader likes to hike and camp, so he tells people that they can’t really know God if they don’t commit to full hiking and camping weekends twice a month. The other two weekends they are expected to do local things together (all weekend). I’ve had no less than four of their staff members tell me that I must be living in sin because I refused to come to their group, because all singles not in their group are living in sin (sound familiar?).

    They don’t talk about how only rich singles can afford their hiking and camping trips, which require expensive gear and of course, fees that “support the group”. They also don’t allow any room for people like me with chronic illnesses who can’t be too far away from civilization. One staff member told me it was my lack of commitment to them that was causing my illness. I just laughed, since I’ve had it for almost 30 years, which is about when that person had been born.

    They were trying to plant a church, last I heard, and it wasn’t going well.

  157. ishy wrote:

    there’s a New Cal group … focus on singles … the leader tells people that they can’t really know God if they don’t commit to full hiking and camping weekends twice a month … their staff members tell me that I must be living in sin because I refused to come to their group, because all singles not in their group are living in sin … expensive gear and of course, fees that “support the group” … they don’t allow any room for people like me with chronic illnesses … told me it was my lack of commitment to them that was causing my illness

    ishy, just about the time I thought New Calvinism couldn’t get any weirder and you come on here with that! Come Lord Jesus!

  158. @ ishy:
    Sooooo … what are the NeoCal leaders doing to those singles on all those camping trips? Sounds like a cult to me. Trying to plant a church … heaven forbid!

  159. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Root 66 wrote:

    I find it incredibly hypocritical on their part for a group that so highly touts the principle of “sola scriptura” that they seem to think we are totally incapable of comprehending scripture without their ‘words of wisdom’ to guide us!

    It’s the protestant version of magisterium. “There is nothing new under the sun.”

    This was one (of many, sadly) problems I had with our old church. We are in the UK so we don’t have exactly this 9Marks thing, but NeoCalvinism is becoming popular, and I see a lot of these trends happening in Conservative Evangelical churches here. Our old church were big fans of John Piper, John MacArthur, all the familiar names. They run a book club type thing where members of the congregation can sign up to buy these Calvinista books. They all read them and then after a few weeks get together for a discussion. It’s supposed to be encouraging, but the result is that people who don’t join in feel left out, and the leadership are effectively controlling what counts as approved material for discussion among the congregation.

    Supposedly members were encouraged to read the Bible and pray themselves at home, but certain parts of the Bible were just not talked about. They are the only people I’ve come across who managed to preach a sermon on Acts 2 without mentioning the supernatural! Anything that wasn’t in the Bible directly wasn’t from God, even though that very Bible says that in the last days people will prophesy and see visions and dream dreams from the Lord. They went on and on about upholding the purity and authority of Scripture, but apparently that only counts when it comes to opposing gay marriage and women pastors, not when it comes to caring for the poor and drug addicts and refugees who live around the church, or when it comes to actively hearing from God, or anything like that. That would be too messy and unconventional (insert eye roll here).

  160. Max wrote:

    you can curate what your members can or can’t access

    Yikes! I don’t like the sound of that. Curate what you want on your page, sure. But control what your members can and can’t access? Run for the hills!

  161. @ ishy:

    Now that’s a litany of the absurd!
    But then again, I wouldn’t expect anything less from the Neo-Cal Nazgul.
    It’s enough to make a preacher cuss.

  162. roebuck wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:
    the Neo-Cal Nazgul
    Oh boy, that’s a keeper. ‘Give us the Ring…’

    They should promote having a single centralised phone number for everyone in the church/business to curate their members’ relationships.

    One ring to rule them all.

  163. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    roebuck wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:
    the Neo-Cal Nazgul
    Oh boy, that’s a keeper. ‘Give us the Ring…’

    They should promote having a single centralised phone number for everyone in the church/business to curate their members’ relationships.

    One ring to rule them all.

    Brilliant! Hello Nick – haven’t seen you around much of late. But then, I haven’t been around so much of late. Hope you an yours are doing well!

  164. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    One ring to rule them all.

    Is this a quote from YRR Tolkien?

    From JRR Tolkien, yes…

    “One Ring to rule them all,
    and in the Darkness bind them.”

  165. Liz wrote:

    Max wrote:

    you can curate what your members can or can’t access

    Yikes! I don’t like the sound of that. Curate what you want on your page, sure. But control what your members can and can’t access? Run for the hills!

    Sounds like the controls parents put on internet sites and TV channels to keep their kids away from the bad stuff. For church leaders to do this with adults, who should have enough sense to know good vs. bad, is nothing but control and manipulation to keep church members indoctrinated in the New Calvinist stream. I can’t believe so many otherwise intelligent folks are falling for this hook, line and sinker.

  166. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    @ roebuck:
    I was too subtle – should have put “YRR” in quotes.

    Whoosh! That was the sound of me missing the subtlety as it flew over my heard… it happens from time to time 😉

  167. roebuck wrote:

    Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    @ roebuck:
    I was too subtle – should have put “YRR” in quotes.

    Whoosh! That was the sound of me missing the subtlety as it flew over my heard… it happens from time to time

    My heard? My heard? No. my head. So much for my head. I’d best retire for the night…

  168. ishy wrote:

    One staff member told me it was my lack of commitment to them that was causing my illness.

    I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, fart, or cuss. Probably all four, although I couldn’t predict in what order. Their religion’s cruelty knows no bounds.

  169. Max wrote:

    @ ishy:
    Sooooo … what are the NeoCal leaders doing to those singles on all those camping trips? Sounds like a cult to me. Trying to plant a church … heaven forbid!

    I definitely think New Cal tactics are cultic. I’m certain what they were doing was indoctrinating and also enforcing the authoritarian leader. He had his staff well indoctrinated. They all repeated the same things to “advertise” the group and were totally discombobulated when challenged on any point. Every single point was phrased negatively, outright stating that Christians singles not in their group could not know God. So very New Cal, as I know now.

    I found out the leader had been on staff at a huge megachurch and not promoted like he wanted (I now wonder if he imagined himself taking over that church), so he quit and started his group. He was smart in targeting singles, which are probably the most alienated group in that area of all “family friendly” churches. This is the area where I looked for a church for almost two years and repeatedly got told that there was nothing for me since I was a single person without kids. But he wasn’t getting the growth he wanted because most singles just aren’t that rich and he made their events rather costly.

  170. ishy wrote:

    Every single point was phrased negatively, outright stating that Christians singles not in their group could not know God.

    That is really more cultish than churchish! I’ve heard of churches saying no one but they is saved, but all but the tiniest most cultish allow that others in their denomination are ok. And to do that when you aren’t a church but a glorified camping meetup? Deeply odd.

    I sure wouldn’t sign up for camping twice a month. I like the outdoors but I also like air conditioning!

  171. Lea wrote:

    And to do that when you aren’t a church but a glorified camping meetup? Deeply odd.

    I figure we will hear about this bunch on the evening news someday.

  172. Lea wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    Every single point was phrased negatively, outright stating that Christians singles not in their group could not know God.
    //
    That is really more cultish than churchish! I’ve heard of churches saying no one but they is saved, but all but the tiniest most cultish allow that others in their denomination are ok. And to do that when you aren’t a church but a glorified camping meetup? Deeply odd.
    I sure wouldn’t sign up for camping twice a month. I like the outdoors but I also like air conditioning!

    I got the impression that the leader imagined himself this super authoritarian megachurch leader, but I don’t think he had any formal training beside working at the megachurch for a couple years. I met him once and he definitely had a high opinion of himself, but the stuff he said didn’t seem to have much substance. I think he had read some of the books, but he didn’t really have the cunning or charisma to achieve what he envisioned.

    I just looked at their website and it comes up blank.

    He wasn’t too much different from other YRRs I have known, just a bit older. Very black and white, quotes Piper instead of engaging with actual Bible text, and decided on his own that he deserved to be in charge and everyone had to obey.

  173. ishy wrote:

    decided on his own that he deserved to be in charge and everyone had to obey.

    C.u.l.t.

    Steer clear of that one. He’s either stupid or dangerous. Or both.

    Glad to hear the website is gone. Maybe it fell apart.

  174. Lea wrote:

    C.u.l.t.
    Steer clear of that one. He’s either stupid or dangerous. Or both.
    Glad to hear the website is gone. Maybe it fell apart.

    Can’t disagree with you there. I moved away from that area, but before I warned several people against them. And prayed hard they would fall apart…

  175. ishy wrote:

    quotes Piper instead of engaging with actual Bible text

    You would think by now, that all these intellectuals being attracted to New Calvinism would have a clue that something is amiss.

  176. Muff Potter wrote:

    But then again, I wouldn’t expect anything less from the Neo-Cal Nazgul.

    “They were Men, once. Then they accepted nine Rings of Power from Sauron the Deceiver…”

  177. JYJames wrote:

    He got this idea from Jesus in the New Testament.

    If we’re not in the Word, we’ll get our ideas from somewhere else. There are plenty of charlatans wanting to get into your mind, while the Word shouts “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus!”

  178. ishy wrote:

    and decided on his own that he deserved to be in charge and everyone had to obey

    mental health issues

  179. Max wrote:

    JYJames wrote:

    He got this idea from Jesus in the New Testament.

    If we’re not in the Word, we’ll get our ideas from somewhere else. There are plenty of charlatans wanting to get into your mind, while the Word shouts “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus!”

    “ALL you that thirst, come to the waters …” (from Isaiah 55)

  180. Interesting – Chandler, Keller and Brunson are all on the Hubworthy homepage. I wonder if they’re receiving anything for their endorsements.

    I also find it somewhat disturbing that none of these three men have anything from Philip Yancey on their shelves.

  181. CENG1 wrote:

    I also find it somewhat disturbing that none of these three men have anything from Philip Yancey on their shelves.

    Simple. Yancey is not in the New Calvinist camp.

  182. Christiane wrote:

    “ALL you that thirst, come to the waters …” (from Isaiah 55)

    Jesus completes that prophecy, when He says:

    “And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And WHOSOEVER WILL, let him take the water of life FREELY.” (Revelation 22:17).

    New Calvinism may eliminate ALL, WHOSOEVER WILL, and FREELY from their “gospel” … but Jesus doesn’t!

  183. CENG1 wrote:

    Interesting – Chandler, Keller and Brunson are all on the Hubworthy homepage. I wonder if they’re receiving anything for their endorsements.
    I also find it somewhat disturbing that none of these three men have anything from Philip Yancey on their shelves.

    Great comment. I am a Yancey fan from way back. I met him when he was a young man. 6 weeks before my daughter was diagnosed with her brain tumor, I read Disappointment in God. That book was a lifesaver for me as I dealt with the worst trial in my life. He got me to think about my expectations of God and whether *miracles* were really what it was all about. In those long years, I ofter referred to chapters in that book.

    My guess is the Calvinists don’t like him because he sees things through different eyes. he is fresh, convicting, loving and doesn’t pretend t have all the answers.

    As for whether they make money for their endorsements, I bet they do and Deb is going to be writing more on this subject in the next week. This is all about the $$$$

  184. @ dee:
    Disappointment with God and Where Is God When It Hurts? are two of my favorites. I first read both in college and continue to highly recommend these two books.

  185. CENG1 wrote:

    Interesting – Chandler, Keller and Brunson are all on the Hubworthy homepage. I wonder if they’re receiving anything for their endorsements.

    TGC doesn’t receive any direct financial reward for their endorsements because (1) they would have to reveal it legally if they did, and (2) they are part of a club that endorses each other. (I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.) If another author, someone who is good but not part of their club, wants an endorsement, it doesn’t happen very often.

    LEGALITY: It is illegal for advertisers and publishers to use paid endorsements without revealing it in the ad or somewhere in the endorsement. The Federal Trade Commission says, “The FTC is only concerned about endorsements that are made on behalf of a sponsoring advertiser. For example, an endorsement would be covered by the FTC Act if an advertiser – or someone working for an advertiser – pays you or gives you something of value to mention a product.”

    In my opinion, this Hubworthy.com site is not worth getting excited about. It just gives an affiliate fee to the author/publisher; it’s like a finder’s fee. These authors can already get affiliate fees from the other online retailers.

  186. Max wrote:

    @ ishy:
    Sooooo … what are the NeoCal leaders doing to those singles on all those camping trips? Sounds like a cult to me. Trying to plant a church … heaven forbid!

    Wha! Planting churches? Mm, knowing this sexually obsessed Calvinist lot, they’re probably “planting seeds” of another kind altogether. Let’s wait a couple of months…

  187. Boston Lady wrote:

    Wha! Planting churches? Mm, knowing this sexually obsessed Calvinist lot, they’re probably “planting seeds” of another kind altogether. Let’s wait a couple of months…

    NINE months, to be exact.

    Or check the records down at the Women’s Reproductive Choice Clinic(TM).

  188. dee wrote:

    My guess is the Calvinists don’t like him because he sees things through different eyes. he is fresh, convicting, loving and doesn’t pretend t have all the answers.

    Unlike the Sons of Calvin, Yancey is FOR REAL.

  189. Deb wrote:

    Fascinating! Do you know how the books were purchased? Was there a bookstore in the church?

    As far as I know, they ordered online, probably from a nice evangelical website called 10ofthose. Or possibly the Good Book Company. They don’t have a bookstore or library actually in the church. Someone might donate some heretical charismatic literature, and we wouldn’t want people even thinking about that, now would we???

    (I got kicked out of their women’s Bible study group because I mentioned the Holy Spirit once too often, and ran the Alpha course in my living room, which they disapproved of on sooo many levels).

  190. ishy wrote:

    I garden for my nature enjoyment quotient.
    Wandering out in the woods by myself is a guarantee I will injure myself, lose a limb, and die from starvation because nobody found me. Things like that happen to me…

    Oh yes, that’s how I feel too.
    I love tending my flower gardens. We live on four wooded acres, that’s as deep into the woods I go.
    I love the ocean though. Greatly enjoy it’s sound, rocks, tidal pools etc.

  191. @ okrapod:

    Hello, okrapod. I’m still kicking, at 93, but not too high! I’m still living alone and able to take care of my needs and all that has to be done! I use a walker in the house and cane when I go out. Can still drive around town. I am fortunate and thankful! Thanks for inquiring. Reading all the comments here is a joy.

  192. Sam wrote:

    I realize that this comment might come off as a little off-topic, but please, hear me out. The idea of people placing value on certain human material above others reminds me a lot of how my parents would shame me over what books I chose. For example, “Why are you reading THOSE comics? You don’t learn a darn thing from them!” Or, “I want to see you reading something OTHER THAN Star Trek!” and “Why don’t you read a REAL book for a change!”
    It’s strange, but that is what this post reminded me of. It seems that there are many in the Christian crowd that are heck-bent on shaming followers for everything, including what they do and do not read. Instead of encouraging Christians to seek Jesus and read and interpret scripture for themselves (rather than having someone else do their thinking for them), they bully them into buying “Christian-approved” material, threatening them that they’ll be seen as *gasp* less holy than their peers if they don’t. Much like my parents, many Christians have been hard-wired to care more about what their pastors, elders and magazine-writers think, than evaluating their interests/hobbies based on what Jesus thinks.
    Take my advice, go with what Jesus says. You don’t have to read these TGC books to be saved.

    EXACTLY! I spent too long stuffing my love of Star Trek, among other things–things that seem so silly in hindsight!

    I’d never listen to native american flute music, because it was usually sold under the “new age” section. Now, I listen to it to fall asleep. I’d never get jewelry that I liked because it was “silly.” I stopped listening to music that I liked because it was “old,” and wouldn’t “attract the young people.”

    Dear God, they steal your soul one piece at a time, don’t they!

  193. Liz wrote:

    I got kicked out of their women’s Bible study group because I mentioned the Holy Spirit once too often

    Congratulations! Count it all joy!

    When the church elders kicked the blind man out of church – the one who gave a testimony of being healed by Christ – Jesus went looking for him.