The Athanasius Creed Raises Questions About The Eternal Subordination of the Son

"Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the Triune God."- John Wesley link


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I had a really interesting post planned for today. It involved John Piper's views on parenting. However, try as I might, I cannot get my mind off of a funeral that I attended a few hours ago. It involved the tragic and senseless death of a deeply committed Christian, beautiful, young woman. As the pastor said, so eloquently, "We should not be here." This horrific tragedy is now being discussed by all of the major national news outlets which makes it even more difficult for the family to grieve in private. 

TWW is  not linking to the story and would ask that if you figure it out, that you refrain from discussing it in the comment section at this time. The reason that we had to bring this up at all is that we have received several emails calling our attention to the story. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by email.

After an appropriate amount of time has passed, we will discuss the story. Since the actions of Mr Nobody, as well as Lise's story, TWW has become a bit more high profile in the Raleigh/Triangle area. Neither of us wish to bring any further pain to a grieving family.

In the meantime, please pray for the peace that passes all understanding for the wonderful family of this stellar young woman. 


Since I cannot think straight at the moment (I have had tears in my eyes all day), I thought we could continue the discussion on problems with the Eternal Subordination of the Son (ESS). Tim Challies made a cryptic comment regarding Lutherans on one of his posts sometime in the last 6 months. He wondered why he never saw conservative Lutherans participating in the typical Neo-Calvinist groups. I guess that would include The Gospel Coalition, the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, etc.

With that question in mind, I asked a conservative Lutheran theologian what he thought about the conservative Lutheran view of ESS. He said that they would view it as problematic. In other words, it would not be taught as Lutheran theology. He pointed me to the Athanasius Creed as proof of the problem with ESS.

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod gives an overview of The Athanasius Creed which stresses that its purpose was to marvel at the Trinity. 

The Athanasian Creed

The Church’s Confession of the Holy Trinity

Early in the fourth century, a new teaching appeared which claimed that Jesus was not true God. Arius, the north African priest who first proposed this theory, was extremely persuasive, and soon the controversy was so widespread that a church coun- cil was called to settle the matter. Out of that meeting in A.D. 325 came the Nicene Creed, which clearly confesses Jesus to be true God. That creed, which was expanded in A.D. 381 in order to defend the divinity of the Holy Spirit, is still widely used today as a confession of the triune faith.

Despite the clarity of the Nicene Creed, the controversy continued for some time. Toward the end of the fifth century, another creed was written that marveled at the mystery of the Trinity in a way that no creed had ever done. Though attributed to Athanasius, a fourth-century opponent of Arius, this anonymous creed clearly came at a later stage in the debate.

The Athanasian Creed proclaims that its teachings concerning the Holy Trinity and our Lord’s incarnation are the catholic faith. In other words, this is what the true church of all times and all places has confessed. More than 15 centuries later, the church continues to confess this truth, confident that the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, has given himself for our salvation. 

Here is The Athanasius Creed as found in the Book of Concord. In order to make the careful reading of this Creed easier online, I have created some spaces within the paragraphs.

The Athanasian Creed

Written against the Arians.

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

And the catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.

The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three Eternals, but one Eternal.

As there are not three Uncreated nor three Incomprehensibles, but one Uncreated and one Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords, but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords.

The Father is made of none: neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before or after other; none is greater or less than another; But the whole three Persons are coeternal together, and coequal: so that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped. He, therefore, that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world; Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood; Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ: One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the manhood into God; One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person.

For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead; He ascended into heaven; He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty; from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give an account of their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.

This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.

I look forward to your insights into this Creed and how it might cause thoughtful Christians to question those who have pushed the doctrine of Eternal Subordination of the Son.  


Comments

The Athanasius Creed Raises Questions About The Eternal Subordination of the Son — 185 Comments

  1. Tim wrote:

    The Athanasian Creed is one of my go-to summaries of the faith.

    Here’s where heretic me comes out: I strongly question whether Jesus or the first Christians would have understood any of it. I think it would have been incomprehensible to them. There’s are reasons it took 400 years for it to emerge. (BTW, Athanasius didn’t write the Athanasian Creed; it appears to have been written by someone else, later and his name attached to it.)

    That said, it’s an incredibly good benchmark for pointing out how whacked out CBMW, Grudem and the rest of them have gotten with their attempt to keep women chained forever with their Eternal Subordination of the Son. If you’re going to claim you’re within the ambit of the ancient creeds, then you really ought to be. (I don’t claim to be.)

  2. That creed makes more sense than anything I have read concerning Eternal Subordination of the Son.
    Regardless of how so many of the theologians that support ESS argue that they are still Trinitarians, I cannot see how you can reconcile a Tri-equal singular entity with subordination of any of the three parts. What I fear ESS will lead to is eventual Unitarianism.
    Furthermore, in their focus on Christ as being subordinate to the Father, we almost never hear about the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity. Where does the Holy Spirit fit in their hierarchy? If the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father, why was the Son conceived by the Holy Spirit and not the Father?
    The simple fact, I feel, is that the group pushing ESS, came up with this heresy simply because they wanted to create an excuse to subordinate women. It has been an accepted view in the Church that marriage mirrors the Trinity, but these individuals cannot comprehend that if marriage really mirrors the Trinity, that it clearly means equality.

    Genesis 1:27-28: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ ”

    Notice his command was to BOTH of them to have dominion, he didn’t tell Adam to also have dominion over Eve.

    Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

    One flesh, you cannot be one flesh if one of you is subordinate to the other. Look at the marvelous intricate human body, created and designed by God, no part is truly subordinate to another, when one part fails it creates a cascade of problems, the parts need to all work together in harmony to maintain a person’s health.

    Ecclesiastes 4:12: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

    This verse clearly shows how marriage and the Trinity are mirror relationships. “Though one may be overpowered,” this is clearly speaking of the single man or woman, “two can defend themselves,” so since one can be over powered we form partnerships to defend ourselves. But then the verse speaks of three, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken,” why speak of three, because when two join together in holy matrimony their love and relationship, to each other, God, their family and the world is the third being of their Trinity mirrored union.

    I, urge those arguing for ESS to really examine it Biblically for themselves, do not rely on theologians, use the brain that God gave you and study the scriptures and ask only for the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and then explain how you can defend ESS. Furthermore, after studying ESS, then study the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians, and explain how you can support the legalism and misogyny of the Neo-Calvinism movement?

    Galatians 3:10-14 “For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”

    Galatians 3:23-29 “Before the coming of this faith,j we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

    Sorry for the long comment, I was just trying to get all my thoughts across. I’ll try to get better.

  3. “Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the Triune God.”- John Wesley

    So, does this mean that all must bow and scrape because Wesley said it?
    I’ll call out a false equivalence whenever I see one.

  4. Groups such as The Gospel Coalition, the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, etc.are trying to change the Trinity to fit their doctrine of women in submission. How superior can you get!!! Thankfully God never changes, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

  5. Out of curiosity I attended the latest 9Marx church plant in Dubai a few weeks ago. It was the first time I have been in a 9Marx church since I quit UCCD in March, 2013. As I expected, this new church’s order of worship was just like UCCD’s, which I am sure is just like Mark Dever’s CHBC.

    To the point of this article, I cannot recall ever having corporately read the Athanasian Creed nor the Nicene Creed in my four years of attending UCCD. The last year or two I was there they would, very infrequently, read the Apostle’s Creed.

    Covenant Hope Church, the latest church plant in Dubai, continues this legacy. The week I attended they partook of the Lord’s Supper. Prior to doing so the members were requested to stand and corporately read their church covenant! The 20 or so members obligingly did so while the approximately 40 of us non-members sat around looking at each other.

    Earlier in the service the congregation was asked to stand and corporately read the Covenant Hope statement of faith. The statement was a short paragraph consisting of 4 sentences. It was O.K., but I wonder why the people in attendance are forced to recite this rather than one of the classic creeds? They are sold an inferior statement that deprives them of historic Christian truths. I believe this is a dumbing down of Chrisitianity.

    I wonder if any 9Marx churches recite the Nicene or Athanasian creeds? I doubt it. It would be a short jump for any thinking Christian to wonder how their doctrine of the eternal subordination of the Son aligns with either of these classic Christian creeds. From there the rock throwing peasants just may connect the dots and realize the patriarchy these churches teach is also flawed.

  6. I don’t want to deflect comments from this post but I thought I should bring to your attention the following article by Peter Jones on why he signed the Nashville Statement. It appeared on Challies yesterday and it confirms that the Statement is a back door attempt to maintain complementarianism and, by extension, ESS.

    He said: “This basic statement of biblical truth is crucial in our day of biblical ignorance. Since many evangelicals now use egalitarianism (no difference between males and females) as the basis of their normalization of homosexuality), this text is a necessary follow-up to the Danvers Statement on male and female roles. Christians must state with clarity and simplicity, as this text does: the essential nature and dignity of human beings made by God as male and female; the goodness of marriage between one man and one women for human flourishing; and the essence of the Gospel in the love of Christ, the bridegroom, for his bride, the Church.”
    https://truthxchange.com/2017/09/peter-jones-signed-nashville-statement-sexuality/

  7. Moderately progressive Catholic here and disagree with Missouri Synod on their total rejection of historical methods in reading Scripture and their stance on gay issues but I respect how they’ve held on to the core orthodox doctrines. I think they recite this creed once a year. Also pretty much any Missouri Synod Lutheran I’ve known has been a decent and good person.

  8. There is terminology in the creed which can cause confusion and which can be used to raise questions similar to the issues raised by ESS, and in fact which has/have been used both in that manner a lot. I am talking about the word ‘begotten’ and the word ‘proceeding’.

    The creed is clear about what it states regarding ‘substance’ but does not explain what it means to be ‘begotten’ or what it means to proceed. This leaves room for philosophical and theological opining for those so inclined.

    One more thing. To say that this is what the ‘church’ has always believed is a bit tricky. Some of the early groups who named the name of Jesus but did not agree with the majority were run out of town so to speak, but their thinking did not magically disappear just because the church adopted a creed. So, like so much, it depends on definitions. That would be the definition of ‘church’ and ‘believe’ and ‘begotten’ and ‘proceed/proceeding’. I would state also that even today the orthodox and the romans differ as to from whom the Spirit ‘proceeds’ such that to say that the universal church agrees totally with the creed is a bit misleading.

    What I have just stated is plowed ground for people like the ESS folks to come forward with their own versions of related ideas. And then of course there are the ‘oneness’ pentecostals who take yet a different approach. To think that all of christianity is identical in its thinking about the Trinity is an oversimplification.

  9. Jarrett wrote:

    The simple fact, I feel, is that the group pushing ESS, came up with this heresy simply because they wanted to create an excuse to subordinate women. It has been an accepted view in the Church that marriage mirrors the Trinity, but these individuals cannot comprehend that if marriage really mirrors the Trinity, that it clearly means equality.

    This is always what I’ve thought. It’s just a backtracked excuse. ESS is one reason I have always though many of these men were intentional false prophets, wolves. They work very, very hard to minimize Christ in a faith called Christianity. I do think there are a few true believers among that pack, Piper, for all his faults, being one of them, but many of the others are following the gods of fame, glory, and manna.

    My encounters with New Cals are much less since I moved to where I live now, but I have managed to stop a couple simply by asking when the last time their church preached about Christ. It doesn’t happen in New Cal churches, as far as I can tell. They are floored by the realization that their hallowed preaching doesn’t include the One for whom their faith is named.

    And preaching without Christ is not proclamation. It’s not a guarantee of becoming Elect like the New Cals promise, and even they know that.

  10. Muff Potter wrote:

    “Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the Triune God.”- John Wesley

    So, does this mean that all must bow and scrape because Wesley said it?
    I’ll call out a false equivalence whenever I see one.

    Yeah. I am personally uncomfortable with it, too. A worm was not created in the image of God. That’s not to argue we totally comprehend, either.

    I keep thinking about God in the Flesh calling His discipled, “friends”. Where does that fit?

  11. @ okrapod:
    Good points. I don’t do Creed’s because I think they often add an unnecessary layer to get through. And it is also necessary to know their provenance.

    OTOH, I don’t think it’s necessary for everyone to be on the exact same note on the song sheet. Part of iron sharpening iron is that we discuss why we’re on different notes. 🙂

  12. @ Muff Potter:
    Nothing to do with bowing and scraping, everything to do with acknowledging the mystery that is the Trinity. Wesley explains this in sermon 55 “On the Trinity” in ‘Sermons on Several Occasions’. (Published 1771).

  13. @ Lydia:

    I have a problem when people claim that THEY are THE (one and only) church and that what THEY say is very truth of very truth and then when I see people declaring from the historical evidence that THEY are not telling the whole story but rather presenting the viewpoints of the winners of some debate-phooey. IMO they may be correct or they may not be correct, but just because somebody developed a position statement does not make it automatically either true of false or some combination thereof. That would be regardless of who developed the position statement or when they developed it.

    I do think that such statements should be taken very seriously, however, and we all need to stay in touch with the ways that various doctrines have developed over the centuries. Also I do think that we need some starting place for some degree of co-operative thinking and acting; creeds can facilitate that.

    As to how this relates to what we call the Trinity, I think that we don’t know. Just don’t know what is going on at that level.

    So when either THEY or the CBMW or whoever declares that people have to agree with them or else said people are outside the fold of Christianity, I think they have played their hand and shown that one major reason for creeds and position statements is power over people, not objective searching for evidence based truth.

  14. ishy wrote:

    They work very, very hard to minimize Christ in a faith called Christianity.

    “He must decrease, so *I* Can Increase!”

  15. I have yet another problem with the councils and creeds. If there had been all this unanimity of thought, as in ‘this is what we (whoever that is) have always believed’ then what need was there for hammering out position statements in the first place. And if it was only to have a tool for evangelization of the heathen, then what am I missing that front line evangelization tools need be that elaborate. And speaking of elaboration, does it not seem odd that something so dogmatic and universally believed and already embedded in the thinking of the masses would need such a flood of words in some attempt to explain it.

    When Jesus asked the boys who do you say that I am, He was satisfied (apparently delighted) with Peter’s reply even though Peter did not define exactly what it meant to be messiah (christ) or son of the living God. But since then we have seen groups arise that proclaim that if people do not merely believe the truth of what Peter said but also believe elaborate explanations that are much more complicated that what Peter said (and Jesus was pleased with) then those people are not really christians. Not even christians. I guess that Jesus may have missed the larger issues at stake when he acknowledged what Peter said as having been revealed by the Father, like maybe the issue of how can we tell ‘us’ from ‘them’ unless we make it a lot more complicated that that.

    I do not disagree with (most) of the statements of the early creeds, but I think to some extent they were produced for less than totally noble reasons and to much extent have been used for the persecution of many people.

  16. @ Jarrett:
    +1
    I heard one of the signers of the NS defending his position today, and what struck me is their unhealthy focus on sexuality. I’m old enough to remember when theologians used to talk about theology. Their focus on outward appearances betrays their inward focus, imo. Their minds are focused on their zippers and their mouth speaks subordination. It’s not difficult to see how their theology is warped to support where their heart is at. They are scary and dangerous.

    But, it’s cool to see how an old creed is still relevant today. The value in confessing the creed is the community it creates. It does this in a positive way, not in the negative way that so many evangelicals have the “us vs. them” mentality.

    I doubt the Gnashville Statement will be as relevant after the same time period. Hopefully ESS will be seen as the heresy it is, and will be relegated to the dustbin of history. Old creeds can help with that process.

  17. Muff Potter wrote:

    “Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the Triune God.”- John Wesley

    It’s an interesting quote, and I probably agree. A Being that can create 1-2 trillion stars with a word would be pretty hard for us to comprehend. But that Being would also have the capacity to reveal some of Itself to us.

    But what I see in most of the Church in my little corner of the world is that Wesley’s statement is followed by, “We can’t comprehend the Triune God, so why even try? Let’s just chalk it up to mystery, and preach on stuff that connects with felt needs, like how to raise kids, how to have a better marriage, how to be free from worry, etc.”

    The pastors I know don’t teach on the Trinity, what it is, and what it isn’t. Probably because they don’t really have a grasp on it either.

    I saw a comment on social media today that said something like, “We need to learn more about God and Jesus.” This person is perfectly setup to fall for ESS. And the lack of teaching on the Trinity, the lack of statements like The Athanasian Creed is what has set them up.

  18. The older I get, the more simplified my faith has become. I think if I had a creed, it would be 1 Cor. 2:2:

    “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

  19. rhondajeannie wrote:

    Groups such as The Gospel Coalition, the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, etc.are trying to change the Trinity to fit their doctrine of women in submission.

    Yep, that really is the bottom-line in the New Calvinist teaching on ESS. If they can get you to believe that the Son is subordinate to the Father, it’s easier to convince you that female Christians should be subordinate to men. It’s the new reformer’s predestined plan for the 21st century church … to control, manipulate, and intimidate followers into submission to their brand of theology. To diminish Jesus to accomplish an agenda is dangerous ground; they will realize that on Judgment Day.

  20. ishy wrote:

    preaching without Christ

    If anyone doubts that, I challenge you to tune into sermon podcasts on the websites of local New Calvinist churches (such as SBC-YRR church plants). Do as I do, listen with a pad of paper in front of you with four columns: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, New Calvinist Icon … place a check-mark as you hear their name. At the end of the sermon, you will have heard a lot of reference to “God”, hardly a mention of Jesus, and nothing about the Holy Spirit. New Calvinist who’s-who (Piper, etc.) will have scored more checks than Jesus!

    New Calvinism is “Christianity” without Christ. Oh, they may refer to themselves as Christ-Followers … but they don’t really raise His Name above all names.

  21. Max wrote:

    New Calvinism is “Christianity” without Christ. Oh, they may refer to themselves as Christ-Followers … but they don’t really raise His Name above all names.

    “Christ-Follower(TM)” is to “Christian” what “Anthro” is to “Furry”. A name change intended to distinguish you from the crazies that claim the former name; the only thing that happens is the crazies adopt the new name as well and that’s two names with the rotting baggage instead of one.

  22. @ Max:

    Isn’t it a hoot that those of us who do not think that the creation stories in Genesis are either historically precise or scientifically consistent are the ones least apt to fall prey to calvinista style complementarianism. That is probably why they insist on YEC on threat of apostasy (except they don’t believe in apostasy of course) which I guess is a problem for them.

    They have painted themselves into a corner, and I can’t say that I am sorry to hear that. So what else is left–sex. What tha… When all else fails, sex? When you get to the root of human problems–sex? What does it take to make the world right again–sex? This is ludicrous. Just be sure that Jesus is a lesser God, since He might not go along with their agenda, and then…sex?

  23. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    It’s an interesting quote, and I probably agree. A Being that can create 1-2 trillion stars with a word would be pretty hard for us to comprehend. But that Being would also have the capacity to reveal some of Itself to us.

    And the Incarnation keeps that Being on a one-to-one human scale.

    How inconvenient for those theological super-geniuses who KNOW God better than God Himself.

  24. okrapod wrote:

    They have painted themselves into a corner, and I can’t say that I am sorry to hear that. So what else is left–sex. What tha… When all else fails, sex? When you get to the root of human problems–sex? What does it take to make the world right again–sex? This is ludicrous. Just be sure that Jesus is a lesser God, since He might not go along with their agenda, and then…sex?

    Ave Priapus.
    And the High Places of Asherah.

  25. ishy wrote:

    The older I get, the more simplified my faith has become. I think if I had a creed, it would be 1 Cor. 2:2:
    “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

    I like this! Humans can make things mighty murky at times with our “religion”. We need to cling to the basics–Know Jesus and make Him known!

  26. ishy wrote:

    The older I get, the more simplified my faith has become. I think if I had a creed, it would be 1 Cor. 2:2:
    “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

    Amen… finished.

  27. Mae wrote:

    Wow, what a strange way to celebrate communion .

    Yep. Covenant Hope Church is ‘usurping’ the place of Christ at communion, as far as I’m concerned.

  28. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    I heard one of the signers of the NS defending his position today, and what struck me is their unhealthy focus on sexuality. I’m old enough to remember when theologians used to talk about theology. Their focus on outward appearances betrays their inward focus, imo. Their minds are focused on their zippers and their mouth speaks subordination. It’s not difficult to see how their theology is warped to support where their heart is at. They are scary and dangerous.

    Excellent comment!!

  29. @ A.Tumbleweed:
    Yes. The good old days when theologians taught theology. I remember them, too.

    As to the current crop do you remember their not so far past focus on the “smokin hot wife”? It was all the plebian rage. Frankly, as far as I can tell that wing of the Christian industrial complex has done nothing but talk about sex for about 20 years. It was passed down guru to new younger guru. They were selling Young marriage so you can have all the sex you want all the time.

    Are used to wonder if they ever thought about science, literature, art or anything besides sex? John piper still thinks about it all the time in his tweets.

  30. Jarrett wrote:

    Where does the Holy Spirit fit in their hierarchy? I

    They seem to think the spirit is the baby of the father and son. Somehow. Eyeroll

  31. Mae wrote:

    @ Todd Wilhelm:
    Wow, what a strange way to celebrate communion .

    Yeah, that’s still multiple ways of messed up. I want to say there’s no way such a ridiculous church can survive long term, but who knows?

  32. @ okrapod:
    I can relate to your comments. Creeds would not be that big of a deal to me, frankly, if they had not tried to shove them down my throat for 10 years as Holy Writ. Even down to giving the kids musical catechism tapes.

    I do get that some sects and denominations rely on them. And maybe I should come clean a bit because after all of the debacle with ESS over the last 10 years in the SBC, I did refer the kids to the Shema. 🙂

  33. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “Christ-Follower(TM)” is to “Christian” what “Anthro” is to “Furry”. A name change intended to distinguish you from the crazies that claim the former name; the only thing that happens is the crazies adopt the new name as well and that’s two names with the rotting baggage instead of one.

    I didn’t know any of them were going by the name “anthro” as a substitute. Interesting.

    Btw, I was looking at the Burning Man photos last night, and it appears there was a Furry contingent present. I can’t imagine they were wearing those things all the time though, given how hot it got in the afternoons.

  34. In my view, the first part of your statement is neither
    accurate nor fair. The group of Christians that I know,
    and it’s rather large, we all believe that the account of
    creation in Genesis is both literal and accurate and we do not believe there is real scientific proof of macro-evolution. Yet “isn’t it a hoot” that we reject Calvinism and the neo-calvinist positions such as the NS. The way you wrote that paragraph makes you come across as very elitist, although you may not have intended to do so.

    okrapod wrote:

    @ Max:

    Isn’t it a hoot that those of us who do not think that the creation stories in Genesis are either historically precise or scientifically consistent are the ones least apt to fall prey to calvinista style complementarianism. That is probably why they insist on YEC on threat of apostasy (except they don’t believe in apostasy of course) which I guess is a problem for them.

    They have painted themselves into a corner, and I can’t say that I am sorry to hear that. So what else is left–sex. What tha… When all else fails, sex? When you get to the root of human problems–sex? What does it take to make the world right again–sex? This is ludicrous. Just be sure that Jesus is a lesser God, since He might not go along with their agenda, and then…sex?

  35. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ Muff Potter:
    Nothing to do with bowing and scraping, everything to do with acknowledging the mystery that is the Trinity. Wesley explains this in sermon 55 “On the Trinity” in ‘Sermons on Several Occasions’. (Published 1771).

    This is going to sound horribly arrogant but I’m going to say it anyway. I did a ton of research contra ESS. It was the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life and I highly recommend it. There is always a mystery as to “how” it works but there is no mystery that we can know the One True God and His manifestations of the Holy Spirit. As we are now the temple where He resides, if we allow it. And He is no Santa Claus. He is also not a sovereign distant God we cannot know. He is completely sovereign over His Sovereignty. The sovereign calls us disciples, friends. And Family.

    I get a little antsy when mystery is overplayed. So I always feel a need to throw my two cents in. Not that it matters a bit. 🙂

  36. “With that question in mind, I asked a conservative Lutheran theologian what he thought about the conservative Lutheran view of ESS. He said that they would view it as problematic. In other words, it would not be taught as Lutheran theology. He pointed me to the Athanasius Creed as proof of the problem with ESS.”

    There is a podcast, IIRC, called the Thinking Fellows with Ron Rosenbladt and a couple of other folks, and on one of them they discussed the ESS thing. Besides seeing it as a Reformed problem, they agreed with that Lutheran theologian of yours. It definitely is not in accord with anything in the Book of Concord.

    The weird thing is, that there is nothing in the Westminster standards or the 1689 London Baptist confession that is based on it, that teaches ESS either. Not that that will stop them, of course. If there is somewhere a Baptist confession or statement of faith that does teach ESS, I’d love to see it. Otherwise it has about as much confessional status as John Piper’s Christian Hedonism.

  37. @ Mae:
    It does have a strategy behind it. Getting audience buy in means participation. It’s one of my pet peeves when leaders have audiences recite something or repeat what they say. Watch charismatic or authoritarian speakers some time and things they do with audiences. Sometimes they have them turn to the person next to them and repeat something. Or they have you stand up and do something. You are following their instructions. Motivational speakers do it all the time.

    I prefer real interaction.

    (I am not talking about sharing a Pslam or singing, etc)

  38. Bridget wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Wow, what a strange way to celebrate communion .
    Yep. Covenant Hope Church is ‘usurping’ the place of Christ at communion, as far as I’m concerned.

    Yes, definitely.

    It’s not about church covenants etc., but rather, Christ’s sacrificial death for us. ” Do this in remembrance of me…”

    The last thing fitting to recite is what we are and aren’t supposed to do. Communion supper is to honor Jesus Christ.

  39. @ Lydia:
    Wesley makes exactly the same point as you in his sermon so he’s in good company.

    ‘But I know not how any one can be a Christian believer till he “hath,” as St. John speaks, “the witness in himself;” till “the Spirit of God witnesses with his spirit, that he is a child of God;” that is, in effect, till God the holy Ghost witnesses that God the Father has accepted him through the merits of God the Son: And, having this witness, he honours the Son, and the blessed Spirit, “even as he honours the Father.”

  40. @ William:

    Regardless of how it did or did not sound, the fact is that the arguments for ESS have been said to be in order to establish male/female hierarchy based on arguments which they base on the order of creation. Mohler has said that YEC is an essential belief for this. Now some people like Gram3 do not see order of creation as an argument even for those who accept the genesis stories as you seem to be saying. None the less those of us who do not agree with you all about the genesis origin stories are completely out of the loop in the whole argument that says our species was first male only and only later was the female brought into being. Mohler is right about that; we are basically immune to that idea. Thus, we are further from the whole issue on this than those who do agree with order of creation issues.

    That has been discussed extensively. And yes, I do rather enjoy that they have no other arguments to present with which to go from male/female to Father/Son as hierarchical. This is the corner into which they have painted themselves, or at least Mohler seems to think that this is the basis for their arguments. Had they not based so much on hierarchy then Paul’s statements would be seen as cultural and pragmatic and even practical based on the thinking of the day instead of leading to an heretical conclusion of ESS. And frankly I do see how they can argue that everything is hierarchical, including the Trinity, if and only if they can link it to order of creation.

    That is what I was saying. Those of you who think like you think have your own ideas and arguments and I have no quarrel with you even though I disagree-but I have read Mohler on this and that is what I am talking about. And frankly I think that the Catholic Church is handling this way better than the evangelicals. We don’t need to go there; I am just saying that I am not some lone voice crying in the wilderness but rather part of a faction of larger christian thinking for which some denoms make room and others do not.

  41. rhondajeannie wrote:

    Groups such as The Gospel Coalition, the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, etc.are trying to change the Trinity to fit their doctrine of women in submission. How superior can you get!!! Thankfully God never changes, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

    Amen and no matter how many times these groups say that women are to be submissive–Jesus never said any such thing.

  42. Lydia wrote:

    As to the current crop do you remember their not so far past focus on the “smokin hot wife”? It was all the plebian rage. Frankly, as far as I can tell that wing of the Christian industrial complex has done nothing but talk about sex for about 20 years. It was passed down guru to new younger guru. They were selling Young marriage so you can have all the sex you want all the time.

    Yes, I remember, and long for those days again.

    I once saw a “pastor” on a NASCAR broadcast, in the opening prayer prior to the race, thank God for his “smokin’ hot wife” on national TV. Pretty sure he was a Baptist.

    I also have a friend who found “in the white spaces” justification for the idea that Adam was softened up by near continuous whoopie with Eve, his “smokin’ hot wife”, and that his ***big*** sin was not leading her but in following her.

    And I have heard the same concept from the pulpit of our former Bible church. Of course this comes from the “no creed but my Bible” crowd so it appears that the virus has spread into just about every corner of Christendom. 20 years of this drivel has been enough for me, so much so that I have checked out of that Hotel California called the American Church.

    Funny thing is, if someone stood up and read ANY historic creed in these small town Bible churches they would be would be figuratively forced out to the brow of a hill and tossed down. But if they got up in the pulpit and gave 10 pointers to smokin’ hot whoopie they would be applauded. Good grief…

  43. @ A.Tumbleweed:

    I heard that NASCAR pastor thank God for his, ” smokin’ hot wife”. It was both infuriating and embarrassing. My husband was probably more stunned then me. He looked at me and asked, did I just hear that right? Was that in his prayer? Very unChrist like thoughts/behavior.
    Bunch of juvenile men. Reminds me of the boys I encountered in JR. High school.

  44. Lydia wrote:

    @ Mae:
    It does have a strategy behind it. Getting audience buy in means participation. It’s one of my pet peeves when leaders have audiences recite something or repeat what they say. Watch charismatic or authoritarian speakers some time and things they do with audiences. Sometimes they have them turn to the person next to them and repeat something. Or they have you stand up and do something. You are following their instructions. Motivational speakers do it all the time.
    I prefer real interaction.
    (I am not talking about sharing a Pslam or singing, etc)

    I’ve never heard such a practice during communion. These people must not understand what partaking in, The Lord’s Supper, is supposed to convey.

  45. Lowlandseer wrote:

    egalitarianism (no difference between males and females)

    There are more than enough egalitarian sources the author could have consulted, so that he would not have had to write this slanderous comment. Egalitarians/non-heirarchical complementarians DO NOT believe that there are no differences between males and females. I get so angry when people continue to promulgate this lie. Disagree and call something “unbiblical” all you want, but don’t LIE about what other people believe.

  46. Mae wrote:

    Bunch of juvenile men. Reminds me of the boys I encountered in JR. High school.

    Good description of the YRR movement … and those are the pastors!!

  47. @ okrapod:
    Totally agree. But what I don’t understand is why Mohler and all the Nashville statement creators don’t sound arrogant?

  48. @ A.Tumbleweed:
    Sigh. Please feel sorry for me I live at ground zero. The ‘smokin’ hot wife’ phase was everywhere. YRR pastors would take over these tiny little churches full of seniors and talk about sex all the time.

    Actually I felt sorry for the ignorant young women who married these oafs. Did she never stop to think she might be in a disfiguring accident or have to have a mastectomy? What then?

  49. @ okrapod:

    I don’t know the history of the western side of the church that well, but I have quite closely studied the history of the eastern side in the first 800 years or so. It’s not quite the case that dissenters were run out of town. What actually happened is that they separated themselves and started their own groups. Little-o orthodox Christianity actually was rather cohesive through the first years. If you’re interested in hearing more about this view, look up the YouTube video “The Shocking Truth About Christian Orthodoxy” by Orthodox theologian Fr John Behr.

    When the discussions of the Trinity grew during the 4th century, that language was employed because that’s the closest those theologians could come to an actual definition of what they were talking about using human language, which at the time was Greek. “Begotten” and “proceed” are words that indicate relationship, not an actual definition of the Trinitarian Persons. That’s as close as those theologians could go, and would allow themselves to go, because all talk about “God” is analogical – we have to use humanly-understood reference points because we don’t have first-hand knowledge about the inner reality of The Divine; we can’t pin things down as much as sometimes we would like, or else we actually lose understanding rather than gaining it.

  50. @ dainca:
    Yes it gets extremely old. I feel like I have to preface every single comment on the subject that I believe women have the children and men don’t. I believe in biological differences. Sigh.

    I believe marriage is a blessed Alliance where the couple, male and female, work to subdue the Earth, together. Patriarchy is a result of sin not the created order.

    Uh. Oh. Is that a Creed? 🙂

  51. @ okrapod:

    okrapod, the reason they had to do more hammering out is that they weren’t coming up against the kinds of questions they met when people in the Greco-Roman world who were trained in Greek philosophical thought started to consider Christian claims. Everyone understood that a human could be possibly becomed Divine – the Caesars had been looked on as divine since Augustus declared Julius Caesar a god. The idea that the Creator somehow became a human being while remaining Divine was a real problem, and had honest questions. The 3rd & 4th century theologians were trying to meet those questions. They also had to deal with people like Arius, who even bent the words of Scripture and composed little rhyming songs to spread his wrong interpretation. At the end of the 4th century and into the 5th, there were actually more people who held to Arius’ form of belief than who held to orthodox Christianity. It was a huge problem. The first councils all revolved around who Jesus is and how exactly he is Divine (insofar as we can use language to hash that out).

    Another reason is that Aramaic/Hebrew as a language – which the first Jewish Christians would have spoken at home – is very direct, practical and uncomplicated, as I understand it. There was not vocabulary in it to deal with the concepts that both drove and came out of those questions.

    But as for uniformity of belief, do please watch the referenced video. Even better, get hold of a volume of “The Apostolic Fathers”, the universally-acknowledged orthodox Christian writings of the second generation of Christians. These people are expressing what was handed down to them from the so-called “primitive” Church. I was completely surprised at how much they had in common not only with each other, but with the later theologians who pounded out all the Trinitarian language to which we now look back.

    Ya gotta go back behind the Reformation, is all I’m sayin’…

  52. NJ wrote:

    If there is somewhere a Baptist confession or statement of faith that does teach ESS, I’d love to see it. Otherwise it has about as much confessional status as John Piper’s Christian Hedonism.

    ESS was invented by a confessional Presbyterian, George Knight, III who has been PCA and OPC. I do not know why he has not been admonished, at the very least by his fellow elders and professors.

  53. Lydia wrote:

    I get a little antsy when mystery is overplayed. So I always feel a need to throw my two cents in. Not that it matters a bit.

    You’re not alone Lyds. I get antsy too. Why? Because in my opinion much of what I’ve tried to wade through (tomes on the trinity) smacks of ‘sekrit and speshul knowledge’.
    There I’ve said it.

  54. okrapod wrote:

    Now some people like Gram3 do not see order of creation as an argument even for those who accept the genesis stories as you seem to be saying.

    It is possible to be Complementarian on the basis of the Order of Creation and 1 Timothy 2 and also not to affirm YEC. In the PCA there are a few permissible views on the first chapters of Genesis other than YEC and the PCA is still Complementarian.

  55. Lydia wrote:

    Are used to wonder if they ever thought about science, literature, art or anything besides sex?

    Science is out of bounds. The only time they think about art is when they rant about Game of Thrones, because too much sex. Literature? IDK.

    They are also not reading any history a far as I can tell, since some of the stuff they say shows a breathtaking lack of knowledge in that department.

  56. NJ wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    “Christ-Follower(TM)” is to “Christian” what “Anthro” is to “Furry”. A name change intended to distinguish you from the crazies that claim the former name; the only thing that happens is the crazies adopt the new name as well and that’s two names with the rotting baggage instead of one.
    I didn’t know any of them were going by the name “anthro” as a substitute. Interesting.

    Vegan = ‘plan based’ now too.

  57. dainca wrote:

    Ya gotta go back behind the Reformation, is all I’m sayin’…

    I know little about the history of orthodoxy or the eastern church. That is indeed something I will have to investigate. I was thinking about the early groups like the ebionites and the gnostics and apparently quite a few groups of the time, and I was mostly channeling some of what I got from Bart Ehrman who has written right much about the history of the very early church. And yes, your point that some left of their own accord is also what he says, for example the ebionites who gave up on christianity and returned to judaism and eventually disappeared. I got as far as Nicea, read some rather inflammatory literature about the role of Augustine and some bad stuff he allegedly did in connection with some dissenting groups during that time, and pretty much gave up in disgust.

    My current group officially is in accord with the ecumenical councils up to the time of the great schism, and then there appear to be some Catholic ideas and some ideas which may well be Orthodox, but here again I never pursued it in detail beyond the early days, because I was disgusted with the whole progress of christianity by that time.

    But my thinking is so not connected to the reformation on the continent-if you heard that then I have not communicated at all.

  58. @ Gram3:
    I do not mean that the non-YEC Presbyterians escape the logical trap but only that they use “the Man” and “the Woman” in figurative senses of various kinds that the YEC do not while still maintaining hierarchy of the figures/types. Or something. There is probably something on the Frame-Poythress site.

  59. Lydia wrote:

    @ A.Tumbleweed:
    Sigh. Please feel sorry for me I live at ground zero. The ‘smokin’ hot wife’ phase was everywhere. YRR pastors would take over these tiny little churches full of seniors and talk about sex all the time.

    Actually I felt sorry for the ignorant young women who married these oafs. Did she never stop to think she might be in a disfiguring accident or have to have a mastectomy? What then?

    You have my sympathy and prayers. When I remember to do so, I try to ask someone how what they are saying (position, theology, whatever) works with someone who is disabled, or someone outside of their demographic. In doing so I have found that what they are saying rarely applies to someone other than a 30 something pastor with a zipper complex.

    That’s why I kind of like those pesky old creeds.

  60. Mae wrote:

    Bunch of juvenile men. Reminds me of the boys I encountered in JR. High school.

    Right?

    Maybe it’s just me but I tend to think private things should be private. I have been accused of being *too* private actually, but oh well. Still, don’t talk about your sex life when you are an adult and married in public like some of these guys do. Also, ‘beautiful’ is the classy way to refer to your wife if you must mention her looks and not, you know, other important things. Smoking hot is not proper. Thank you. /emilypost

  61. Off the subject.
    I was rescued this past Weds. by the so called ” Cajun Navy” from my home. There was several feet of water in my yard, so much so the boat that rescued me was an 18 footer with an 85hp Johnson motor. It was one of the most humbling experiences in my life. I was put up for a couple of nights by a former student who showed what Christ’s teachings are really about. And discovered a recipe with a mix of beef, turkey and pork chili that was almost a religious experience.

    We have been home and we were spared water in our home. Luckily, our home is 4 foot above the ground. I am waiting for the surrounding water to go down so I can get back.

    My wife is in the medical field and being “on-call” stayed with relatives 20 miles from here in Pt. Neches. I have not seen her in over a week now.

    Please, if you donate funds, do not give to the Red Cross. They have done nothing for this area that was either too little or too late and when they do appear, they do so like they are going to save the world.

    The real heroes are the Salvation Army, the Mennonites, the Mormons and the Pentecostal Churches. They have provided more goods than you can imagine. The SBC is just now starting to roll in….

    This said, we here in SE Texas turn our eyes toward Florida. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in the coming week.

  62. NJ wrote:

    The weird thing is, that there is nothing in the Westminster standards or the 1689 London Baptist confession that is based on it, that teaches ESS either. Not that that will stop them, of course. If there is somewhere a Baptist confession or statement of faith that does teach ESS, I’d love to see it. Otherwise it has about as much confessional status as John Piper’s Christian Hedonism.

    They weren’t teaching it as such in the early 90s until Grudem’s Systematic Theology came out. Of course, Arianism isn’t new, but this incarnation of it–Arianism while denying Arianism–I think originated in the 70s with Robert Letham’s The Holy Trinity in Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship.

    Of course, there’s no logical connection to ESS and the subordination of women. They just wanted to establish subordination and hierarchy as core Christian theology.

  63. Lydia wrote:

    @ dainca:
    Yes it gets extremely old. I feel like I have to preface every single comment on the subject that I believe women have the children and men don’t. I believe in biological differences. Sigh.

    However, when they say men and women are different, they tend to want you to agree to more than plumbing. And then it’s so ill defined and generally wrong, like women are ’emotional’ which is nonsense. So you can’t just shake your head, because then you’ve agreed to goodness knows what.

  64. @ dainca:

    BTW, yes, there were persecutions BY Christians after Constantine made Christianity legal. They were, however, very localized and limited, and basically were some retaliatory acts that happened immediately following legalization; not a very good witness, but understandable – persecution of Christians was the worst in the last few decades before legalization. But in the continuing Roman empire (Constantinople), even though there were some murders connected to dynastic succession, executions were not all that common. If you got on the wrong side of the Emperor/Empress – even the wrong religious side, as in the iconoclastic controversy, you might be tortured and/or exiled (and not even all of these kinds of imperial “enemies” were), but it’s not likely you would be executed. There were some who thought Arius got his just deserts in the manner of death, but execution was not considered.

    Christians have always suffered more persecution than any other religious group except the Jews. In the east, after Constantine and before Islam came on the scene, the Persians attacked Christians as they stepped up their war against the eastern Roman empire. There were many Christian martyrs in Persia during the 500s.

  65. K.D. wrote:

    We have been home and we were spared water in our home.

    Thank goodness!! I do not know what to think of Red Cross often, however I did give blood to a different agency in a blood drive today. Have a lot of family and colleagues in Houston and cleanup is going to be a long process. Will think of you often.

  66. Lea wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Bunch of juvenile men. Reminds me of the boys I encountered in JR. High school.
    Right?
    Maybe it’s just me but I tend to think private things should be private. I have been accused of being *too* private actually, but oh well. Still, don’t talk about your sex life when you are an adult and married in public like some of these guys do. Also, ‘beautiful’ is the classy way to refer to your wife if you must mention her looks and not, you know, other important things. Smoking hot is not proper. Thank you. /emilypost

    Agree.

    If my husband had ever referred to me as such, in my younger days, he’d have had one angry wife to deal with. Lovely, beautiful, outstanding, all fine expressions of character.

    Some things are just private, sex life and perhaps finances, are a few of them.

  67. @ K.D.:

    Happy to read the Salvation Army is staying true to their mission. Have had mixed feelings financially supporting the Red Cross, since the 9/11 mess.

    Hope you get home soon and reunited with your wife.

  68. @ dainca:

    Sad. So with time don’t forget stuff like the crusades and the inquisition and remember that Germany was christian you-know-when and on this continent the SBC defended slavery and look at what new saint Junipero serra did to the native americans in California. And look at the church(es) who tolerated or instigated this mess-whole populations who were mostly silent.

    But, hey, we sure have purity of dogma and doctrine, or will have just as soon as we agree on what that might be.

    I do not think this is what Jesus had in mind.

  69. okrapod wrote:

    So with time don’t forget stuff like the crusades and the inquisition and

    I’ve also been watching The borgias on Netflix lately. Granted, highly dramatized, but there is politics and pope children and poisoning and so on and so forth! Pretty crazy stuff, history.

  70. Mae wrote:

    @ K.D.:
    Happy to read the Salvation Army is staying true to their mission. Have had mixed feelings financially supporting the Red Cross, since the 9/11 mess.
    Hope you get home soon and reunited with your wife.

    The Red Cross has not been greeted with a positive response.

  71. @ okrapod:

    No, not saying you were connecting things direction to the Reformation. It’s just that even thinking Protestants tend to stop there and continue to form their thoughts in contrast to Roman Catholicism. You and 98% of Americans don’t know much about Eastern Christianity – even though it’s the second-largest Church in the world, after RCC.

    Yes, the history of Christianity is checkered and studying it can be really discouraging. At the same time, everything we believe to be just, and everything we see as proper caring, charitable behavior, has roots in Christianity. There has been nothing like its core teachings in all of history. It’s just hard to wade through it all.

    As for Bart Ehrman, he has his own agenda… He was hurt very deeply because of the way he was brought up to view Scripture. I’ve heard him speak in person (dialoguing with N.T. Wright, no less, who was very kind and respectful toward him); he’s humorous and quick. And I feel sorry for him, and, again, angry at how he was badly served when he was young.

    Here’s another good, positive video, one I have watched more than once:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay_Db4RwZ_M
    It’s by Gary Habermas, a Christian philosopher – don’t hold it against him that he’s a prof at Liberty University :p He’s actually a very careful thinker who respectfully considers the questions of non-Christians.

  72. K.D. wrote:

    Please, if you donate funds, do not give to the Red Cross. They have done nothing for this area that was either too little or too late and when they do appear, they do so like they are going to save the world.

    I have heard other reports about the Red Cross fumbling the ball in assisting flood victims in Texas.

    Glad to hear that you and yours are OK, K.D., and that your home was spared water damage.

  73. Mae wrote:

    I heard that NASCAR pastor thank God for his, ” smokin’ hot wife”.

    The only time a “pastor” should talk about smokin’ hot is in reference to Hell, not his wife! Dear Jesus, please deliver us from such pulpiteers!

  74. K.D. wrote:

    Please, if you donate funds, do not give to the Red Cross. They have done nothing for this area that was either too little or too late and when they do appear, they do so like they are going to save the world.

    Yeah. For a while I served as a volunteer first aid instructor for the local Red Cross. I had some mixed feelings about that program, and quit because of it.

    Good to hear your house escaped. It is hard to even imagine the extent of the damage in your area.

  75. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Covenant Hope Church, the latest church plant in Dubai, continues this legacy. The week I attended they partook of the Lord’s Supper. Prior to doing so the members were requested to stand and corporately read their church covenant!

    *blink* Maybe they see communion as a binding of people to the cult, *cough* church instead of a remembrance of Christ. That would not surprise me.

  76. Max wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    I heard that NASCAR pastor thank God for his, ” smokin’ hot wife”.
    The only time a “pastor” should talk about smokin’ hot is in reference to Hell, not his wife! Dear Jesus, please deliver us from such pulpiteers!

    Oh my, yes.

  77. @ dainca:

    Now don’t get poisoned well about Ehrman. He is an excellent teacher. Craig has objected to Ehrman whom he says presents himself as a historian when actually he is a textual critic. I think, so what, if every professor only taught concerning his own original research we would have to shut down the schools. Every argument stands on it’s own-that is a gold plated given in argumentation. And Ehrman quotes his sources adequately.

    But I have been known to listen to Craig and Wright and a bunch of others-trying to keep my brain from terminal atrophy you know. I don’t get too excited about opinions; but I get hysterically enthusiastic about evidence when any of them will cite it.

  78. Lea wrote:

    Vegan = ‘plan based’ now too.

    Yeah, I found that out yesterday when I was invited to sign up for a “plant-based cooking course.” I can always improve my eating habits (she said as she looked at the Pringles on her desk), but then I lpoked at the recipes and they used the dreaded word “vegan” and I was all “I think I need to do vegetarian first.”

  79. @ Lydia:
    I took it be that he was referring to the incomprehensibility of the concept to a human mind and I suppose that could include the inner workings (so to speak).

    But I could be wrong.

  80. Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    Vegan = ‘plan[t] based’ now too.

    Yeah, I found that out yesterday when I was invited to sign up for a “plant-based cooking course.” I can always improve my eating habits (she said as she looked at the Pringles on her desk), but then I lpoked at the recipes and they used the dreaded word “vegan” and I was all “I think I need to do vegetarian first.”

    My cousin posted a funny picture supposedly from Texas that shows an aisle of food at the grocery store in Texas with everything cleaned out except for the vegan aisle with a bunch of fake meat still on the shelves lol…

  81. @ K.D.:
    So very glad to hear of your rescue and praying for your wife as she works the medical end of things.

    Big fan of the Salvation Army, here. They seem to have stuck with the mission over the decades with low overhead and no glitz or celebrity figureheads. I kind of got in big trouble on Twitter because I suggested giving to the Salvation Army over the SBC. And I mean it was nasty. Mainly one VIP pastor who guests on Pravda. I have no doubt they would do poison pen letters if they could. Let’s hope they can’t. I’ve been out of their bubble for so long I forget how viscious they are if you challenge them. Yikes. Hide the children!

    I heard from another friend who said her house was standing like an island. She feels very blessed it was not full of water. So glad you checked in. Wondered about you down there.

  82. @ Lea:
    This is why I only agree to plumbing. I won’t even agree to brawn. Well, I can’t. I have been around Piper, Russ Moore and Bruce Ware. 🙂

  83. I might be missing something, but this creed seems consistent with ESS (in function not being) as it refers to Father (not begotten) and Son (begotten) and Spirit (proceeding). I did a quick check online and the creed is also printed at the back of Grudem’s textbook on theology. I’m not sure how this creed is a problem to ESS (or is it EFSS?).

  84. @ dainca:
    I am woefully ignorant of EO except ready history where it is woven in. I always thought they had similar problems with the whole divine right of Tsar/kings and state church authoritarianism.

  85. @ okrapod:

    Ehrman is a very good textual critic, from what I understand. I have no problem with that. He does not identify as Christian, but that doesn’t automatically make him “suspect”. I don’t agree with some of his conclusions, that’s all.

    I think deep down he would like to be able to be a Christian; I understand why he rejected the type of Christianity in which he was raised.

  86. ishy wrote:

    The older I get, the more simplified my faith has become.

    One of my favourite Christians, my old veterinarian, who did missions all over the world teaching tribal peoples & the poor how to care for their animals, thus often increasing their prosperity when their transport, food animals, breeding animals etc prospered, between being our local vet said to me one of the last times I saw him before he died, stethoscope on my old dog’s chest, ‘the older I get the less & less I believe about more & more’.

    He meant that with age came the realisation that the central beliefs were very few, & that the rest was not all that important. Really helpful to me from this wonderful man who had walked the walk.

    Extra interesting fact: He was also the first vet to identify what was later named Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow disease), calling it at the time Bovine Scrapie, thus helping in checking its spread. God Bless you Dr Bee.

  87. K.D. wrote:

    We have been home and we were spared water in our home. Luckily, our home is 4 foot above the ground. I am waiting for the surrounding water to go down so I can get back.

    I’d been wondering about you!!! Cajun Navy – they’ve been all over the news, God bless ’em.
    So glad you are safe, and your home wasn’t damaged!

  88. Lydia wrote:

    Those sorts inspire me.

    Not kidding. How very different this hard working, cheerful, self-effacing & thoughtful man was from those who make the headlines. His unexpected death was a huge loss locally.

  89. John wrote:

    I might be missing something, but this creed seems consistent with ESS (in function not being) as it refers to Father (not begotten) and Son (begotten) and Spirit (proceeding).

    Shhh. Nobody is supposed to notice that. But yes, this is debated to death.

  90. John wrote:

    I might be missing something, but this creed seems consistent with ESS (in function not being) as it refers to Father (not begotten) and Son (begotten) and Spirit (proceeding).

    As I wrote to okrapod, these words were chosen not to indication “function” but to indicate *relationship*. Read the A. Creed (and the Nicene, for that matter) with that in mind. The Church fathers weren’t concerned about “function” the way we are – since the onset of the Machine Age, anyway… The questions they were trying to answer had to do with how Jesus could be God and human at the same time. The understanding of what the Persons of the Trinity “did” (“function”) would have been carried within the answers to those questions.

  91. dainca wrote:

    Lowlandseer wrote:
    egalitarianism (no difference between males and females)
    There are more than enough egalitarian sources the author could have consulted, so that he would not have had to write this slanderous comment. Egalitarians/non-heirarchical complementarians DO NOT believe that there are no differences between males and females. I get so angry when people continue to promulgate this lie. Disagree and call something “unbiblical” all you want, but don’t LIE about what other people believe.

    Yes. So true.

  92. I have not been following very closely , due to home maintence issues, so I may be repetitive. I like to take a very simplistic view of scripture. Two statements affected my theology when I was a young Christian. The first was a quote from a sermon by Peter Marshall. He compared the Trinity to water, ice and steam. All the same yet different. The second was taken from my bible study teacher. The Holy Spirit points us to Jesus and Jesus points us to God the Father. After some intense Bible Study Fellowship, and Precept bible studies, those two statements affected me more than all the rest of my studying. Very simple, but it speaks to my soul.

  93. Lowlandseer wrote (quoting Peter Jones on Challies site):

    He said: “This basic statement of biblical truth is crucial in our day of biblical ignorance. Since many evangelicals now use egalitarianism (no difference between males and females) as the basis of their normalization of homosexuality),

    Someone already addressed that egalitarians don’t believe that men and women are identical.

    What I wanted to comment upon was this part:

    “as the basis of their normalization of homosexuality”

    I know I’ve said this more than once, but, here it is again… as an ex-complementarian I know what they really think and what motivates them.

    They don’t really care about honoring God, or supporting and respecting women. No, all this blathering about gender roles and so on is largely driven by a dislike, suspicion of, or fear of, things such as secular liberal feminism, homosexual marriage, and transgenderism.

    As someone who is moderately social conservative, I agree with these guys on some of these topics, but I disagree that the manner of standing in opposition to is to practice sexism under the label of “gender complementarianism.”

    They need to figure out another grounds upon which to dissent from homosexuality or liberal feminism that does not involve teaching that God designed women to be lower than men, or for men to be in authority over women. I’m a conservative, and I’m not buying it.

  94. @ okrapod:
    ESS could only be supported only if you strike out every instance of “equal” or coequal”.

    And isn’t that what the culprits do? They change the meaning of words so they take on newspeak meanings.

    Seems to me that the authors of the creed were very careful to insist upon each person in the Trinity being equal.

  95. @ okrapod:
    The disagreement between Rome and the Orthodox on the procession of the Spirit is no longer an issue. Eastern Rite Catholics in full communion with Rome recite the Nicene Creed without the filoque.

  96. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    The week I attended they partook of the Lord’s Supper. Prior to doing so the members were requested to stand and corporately read their church covenant!

    That is almost unbelievable…

    We just started going to a new church… I love reciting the Nicene Creed every week. I understand why it was made and have no problem with it in light of what we are facing now in the church.

  97. @ Dew:

    The Greek Orthodox a couple blocks from my house are not eastern rite catholics, and the last time I was there for the Greek festival it was still an issue for them. But I did not go this year, so if you are saying that the orthodox, not just the eastern rite catholics, have recently done this, then I stand corrected. But you specifically said eastern rite catholics in communion with Rome, so please clarify so I can keep up with all this.

    Thanks.

  98. Max wrote:

    to control, manipulate, and intimidate followers into submission to their brand of theology

    It filters through every aspect of their churches. I made a complaint to a denomination that has close ties with the CBMW. This was not a complaint about doctrine but about financial matters as I was a board member at the time and had every right to do so. However they have tried to manipulate and intimidate me into submission, as you have stated they do. In my case it hasn’t worked but I dare say in other cases people would either just give up and walk away or ask to be forgiven for making a complaint in the first place. This is so ‘not of God’.

  99. Lydia wrote:

    YRR pastors would take over these tiny little churches full of seniors and talk about sex all the time.

    As a lifelong celibate, I more than notice American Christianity’s obsession with sex. Pastors never shut up about it, and every book or sermon is about it.

    It’s on a lot of Christian TV shows, and blogs of all denominational flavors.

    The more they focus on topics like sex and marriage, this single, celibate lady has a difficult time feeling like Christianity is for her.

    There are other issues and problems in life we need to hear about, not just kink and marriage.

  100. K.D. wrote:

    The real heroes are the Salvation Army, the Mennonites, the Mormons and the Pentecostal Churches. They have provided more goods than you can imagine. The SBC is just now starting to roll in….

    Really makes ya’ think and re-evaluate what others (mostly haters) have said about Mormons huh?

  101. Max wrote:

    The only time a “pastor” should talk about smokin’ hot is in reference to Hell, not his wife! Dear Jesus, please deliver us from such pulpiteers!

    AMEN max! Boors, churls, and oafs should never be anywhere near a pulpit.

  102. @ A.Tumbleweed:
    From a purely “humanistic” and logical argument, the historical creeds, and orthodox christain positions with respect to the trinity are contradictory/not logical. That is the mystery/supernaturalial aspect of it!

    These ESS “bros” are just like in an “animal farm” everyone is equal, just some are more equal… They are trying to explain the unexplainable…

    The same thing happen when quantum mechaics and realtivity came along….some of the clasical physicist of the time had a fit because this new phyisics, in some aspects, fundamentally appeared to contradict itself.. … or, reality is more complex than finite minds can handle…. that is why I think these ESS “bros” are just plain arrogant…. they want to explain the unexplainable and force us to believe it to???

  103. Lea wrote:

    My cousin posted a funny picture supposedly from Texas that shows an aisle of food at the grocery store in Texas with everything cleaned out except for the vegan aisle with a bunch of fake meat still on the shelves lol…

    I saw something similar, only it was all empty shelves except for a certain flavor of Lay’s potato chips

    (I can’t remember the flavor, but it was an unusual one and nobody wanted it. All the rest of the food had been cleaned off all the shelves except for bags and bags of that one type of chip)

  104. Muff Potter wrote:

    Boors, churls, and oafs should never be anywhere near a pulpit.

    In case you haven’t seen Pastor Joe in action, check out the following YouTube clip. Thanking God for his smokin’ hot wife is bad enough, but ending his prayer “In Jesus’ name, boogity, boogity, boogity, Amen” is irreverence at its worse. Being a goober is not a spiritual gift, Pastor Joe … you reckon God heard that prayer?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBt2mYnTumQ

  105. John wrote:

    this creed seems consistent with ESS (in function not being)

    I believe the problem that Eternal Functional Subordination runs into (aside from the question of what does that even mean when speaking of God?)is Inseparable Operations and also the problem of multiple wills. However I’m not a philosopher nor a theologian. Plus I am a woman and thus easily deceived. Not to mention the meds… There was quite a lively discussion last summer with Really Smart Theologians online with lots of good posts. I think Ben Witherington had a good roundup and also Ref21, of course.

  106. rhondajeannie wrote:

    they have tried to manipulate and intimidate me into submission … This is so ‘not of God’.

    Control, manipulation, and intimidation are not fruit of the Spirit. God is not anywhere near this movement; another spirit is behind it.

  107. Gram3 wrote:

    I’m not a philosopher nor a theologian

    Nor am I. But, I settled the Trinity in my mind and heart when I was 9 years old. I’m waiting for the distinguished theologians to understand what I knew then and since; perhaps someday they will catch up with me. 🙂

  108. The so-called “Athanasian Creed” is ranked up there with “The Donation of Constantine” in top church forgeries -at least to the extent one might actually attribute it to St. Athanasius himself.

    It is not recited or acknowledged by the Eastern Orthodox churches -it merely transferred the Eternal Subordination of the Son error into one of the Eternal Subordination of the Spirit.

    This is what the Eastern Church has called filioquism -an error believed by many to have been imposed on the Western Church by means of a Frankish ‘coup’ of the papacy beginning around a thousand years ago, although its origins can be traced as far back as Augustine of Hippo (acknowledged by the East as ‘blessed’ -but not a saint).

    Purportedly intending to combat Arianism, this creed simply reiterates it, making the Third Person of the Trinity a product of the *will* or love between the Father and the Son -as was confusedly taught by Augustine (and Aquinas in the Summa, whom conservative Lutherans venerate to some extent as well).

    In the western filioquist scheme, person, will, essence and act (or energy) are here fused and confused as will be the perennial norm for western theology. Were the Son a product of will, then his coming to being is not eternal, He is not the Logos, and generation is really no different from creation. The Spirit, likewise, is a divine hypostasis -the Third Person of the Trinity. The Spirit is not “will” or an energy, but in possession of the same essence, power, glory and will of the Father and Son.

    This error of Subordinationism of the Spirit is certainly at the root of the crisis in the Catholic Church, but to the extent that Protestantism even has a metaphysical dimension, we see it in Lutheran thought as well (although the Lutherans were certainly doing the best with what they had to work with -which was a tradition that had trainwrecked five hundred years prior to Luther). As St. John of Damascus said, “all heresies arise from a confusion of nature and Person in God and man”.

    And to confuse person and nature, or essence and energies -conflating them- is the path to pantheism and/or atheism-nihilism.

  109. Dew wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    The disagreement between Rome and the Orthodox on the procession of the Spirit is no longer an issue. Eastern Rite Catholics in full communion with Rome recite the Nicene Creed without the filoque.

    That Eastern Rite Catholics are permitted to treat the filioque as optional just goes to show how Roman Catholicism has all but abandoned its previous pretensions to infallibility in dogma and doctrine. The filioque is Roman Catholic dogma, as even a casual reading of Ludwig Ott or Henry Denzinger demonstrates.

    It is still argued for by “traditional” Catholics of the Latin Mass variety, who look with suspicion on the Eastern Rite.

    As an aside, Eastern Rite Catholics, interestingly enough, are also permitted to venerate Gregory Palamas as a saint, and many do -despite the fact that he taught Hesychasm, the essence/energies distinction, and rejected Thomism, created grace, and the ‘beatific vision’ (all Roman Catholic dogma).

  110. Max wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    I’m not a philosopher nor a theologian
    Nor am I. But, I settled the Trinity in my mind and heart when I was 9 years old. I’m waiting for the distinguished theologians to understand what I knew then and since; perhaps someday they will catch up with me.

    Me, too. Sadly, I think so many of these pastors would learn better theology if they were taught by elementary aged Sunday School students instead of these “eminent” theologians.

  111. @ Todd Wilhelm:

    As others have noted (yourself included, of course!), this is a bizarre way to celebrate “Communion”.

    What they were really celebrating was their rejection of the remainder of the Church and their splitting themselves off into a separate, self-sufficient pseudo-church.

    I’m “technically” a communicant member of the Anglican Church although I haven’t been part of it locally for some time. But if I weren’t, and visited an Anglican* congregation, I would be welcome as a follower of Jesus to share bread and wine with them. While it’s frustrating that denominations continue to maintain their separate existences, the practice of open communion is at least something. Given the importance the sacramental denominations (in particular) attach to it, it’s a far-from-trivial something too.

    “Closed communion” is a whole nuther thing, though.

    * An Episcopal congregation here in Scotland, because Scotland is very much not in England.

  112. @ okrapod:
    Good point. My understanding is there is movement among the Orthodox to lay this aside. There is so much variation, and jurisdictions, that unanimity among the Orthodox, even those in communion with Constantinople, is slow in coming and probably impossible. So I overspoke on the Orthodox side. I remember reading of a signed agreement on this between Rome and one of the Monophysite churches. From Rome’s perspective they are willing to accept both formulations, witnessed by the language of the Nicene Creed in Eastern Rite churches. I have seen the Creed recited without the filoque in Melkite and Russian Catholic churches.

  113. Dew wrote:

    From Rome’s perspective they are willing to accept both formulations, witnessed by the language of the Nicene Creed in Eastern Rite churches.

    I think this is excellent. Just plain excellent. We all could use a bigger dose of this sort of thing.

  114. @ okrapod:

    That did not sound right; let me reword. We could all do a lot more of that. Evangelicals are, to my mind, bad about not being willing to accommodate others.

  115. @ Muff Potter:
    And the forgotten people who some call rednecks who know how to actually do stuff, hard, hands on work that isn’t glamorous or high brow. God bless em.

  116. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    closed communion is one of my pet peeves. I understand the reasons given just don’t agree. I appreciated the our visits to the Episcopal Cathedral on this score because I wasn’t sure how they viewed it. It was refreshing. If only they left politics out of church!

  117. Lydia wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck:
    closed communion is one of my pet peeves. I understand the reasons given just don’t agree. I appreciated the our visits to the Episcopal Cathedral on this score because I wasn’t sure how they viewed it. It was refreshing. If only they left politics out of church!

    Closed communion is a sign to me of sectarianism, or worse, cultish.

    I get the desire to keep the, Lord’s Supper, as sacred. God alone knows who should or should not partake of it…it’s His knowledge alone who’s heart is right.

    Occasionally I go to a local Episcopalian church. Their only requirement, for receiving communion, is of the recipient having been baptised somewhere.

  118. Lydia wrote:

    @ Lea:
    This is why I only agree to plumbing. I won’t even agree to brawn. Well, I can’t. I have been around Piper, Russ Moore and Bruce Ware.

    Height is actually a really good example of why ‘averages’ don’t mean anything with respect to *individuals*. Men are, on average what maybe 5 inches taller than women? This is easily measured across a population (unless intelligence, ’emotionalism’, etc) But I would probably dwarf Piper. Because people are not the same and there is a massive amount of variance within groups as well as across them.

  119. Daisy wrote:

    The more they focus on topics like sex and marriage, this single, celibate lady has a difficult time feeling like Christianity is for her.

    I understand your observation. Even Wade Burleson’s multi-part series on relationships focuses on marriage, but some of what he is teaching I’ve heard in a defensive driver course. A point that comes to mind is that the other driver doesn’t control your emotions; you are the source of your emotions. I think his teaching series could be revised to have a broader more inclusive application rather than just being focused on marriage.

  120. Athanasius was an interesting fellow. He boldly stood in opposition to the waves of heresy that were hitting the church. But being in the minority, he was exiled multiple times for preaching the Truth. He kept coming back to stand on Truth until he saw his theological enemies themselves exiled! It was his writings, not theirs, which shaped the future of the Church. He died peacefully in his own bed. As Balthasar Hubmaier said “Truth is unkillable.” The American church has seen movement after movement fail, as Truth prevails. The ESS doctrine is heresy; New Calvinism which promotes it will eventually fail though it may appear to be prospering right now. Truth is unkillable.

  121. Max wrote:

    Being a goober is not a spiritual gift, Pastor Joe … you reckon God heard that prayer?

    The Almighty hears all prayers, whether or not he acts on them is the real question…

  122. I have a friend who thinks their church may have just gotten a New Calvinist pastor. Wondering if anyone can point her to some panels/sermons that show their unique crazy theology?

    I’ve showed her articles, but she wants to listen to what they have to say.

  123. Muff Potter wrote:

    The Almighty hears all prayers, whether or not he acts on them is the real question…

    I was taught that God sits on a swivel chair in Heaven, and depending upon your performance he either faces you or turns His back on you. So He fluctuates between being mad at you or happy with you. And your prayers are either heard or ignored on that basis…

    So based on the reality of my life, I am told that God “loves” me but He just doesn’t like me very much.

  124. Max wrote:

    But being in the minority, he was exiled multiple times for preaching the Truth.

    Deebs know a song about that.

  125. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    I was taught that God sits on a swivel chair in Heaven, and depending upon your performance he either faces you or turns His back on you.

    Contrary to popular opinion (but quite consistent with what I said to Moses back in the day), I do not get angry easily. But that makes Me angry.

    Best regards,

    God

  126. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    I was taught that God sits on a swivel chair in Heaven, and depending upon your performance he either faces you or turns His back on you. So He fluctuates between being mad at you or happy with you. And your prayers are either heard or ignored on that basis…

    So you’ve encountered that “The Calvary Road” booklet, too?
    The one whose cover is a broken man on his knees at the foot of the cross with face buried in his hands?
    In there, God “turns his back on you” when you commit ANY Sin, and will only “face you” again when you Really Truly Repent and Pray for Forgiveness and Atonement.
    I can attest that That Way Lies Madness.

  127. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    So based on the reality of my life, I am told that God “loves” me but He just doesn’t like me very much.

    You know, that strikes me as being a remarkably good analog to equal in “value” but different in “role” that we hear so much about.

    There are many truly shocking things in the biblescribshers. They’re so shocking, in fact, that they absolutely cannot possibly be true. To take an example: John was clearly more than a little senile when he wrote the following absurdity:

    By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

    I mean… WTF? Get real. He’ll be telling us God became human next.

  128. I totally get what the whole ESS “thing” is about….

    In the beginning, God created the earth.

    And then smote the unrighteous with a flood! Wiping out everyone but a guy with a boat, his family and two of every animal but unicorns!

    Because this God is here to kick butt and chew bubblegum but bubblegum hasn’t been invented so there’s a whole lotta smiting! There’s plagues and rivers of blood and killing of first borns. Then he leads them to the desert.

    And there’s even more smiting! and food from heaven! and then they come to he holy land! and the unbelievers there are smote even more, and the land is given to the Israelites.

    But the Israelites get smote by the Babylonians!

    Then unsmote by the Persians!

    And then his son comes along and preaches we should love our neighbours and not smite our enemies and then healed some lepers and died for our sins …..boring!

    And then Paul came and it got a little better because he told women to be quiet and shave their heads which is kind of cool in an Annie Lennox sort of way.

    And then there’s some other stuff.

    But then Jesus gets some hair on his chest and him and God tag team for the end! With blazing eyes and swords for tongues. Kicking butt and chewing bubblegum (cause now it’s been invented). There’s a whole lotta smiting and stars falling and seals opening and trumpets blowing and the earth is destroyed and then the Justice League….I mean Tribulation Force shows up and we have a weenie roast on the ashes of the predetermined damned!

    There might a “Caspar the Friendly Ghost” dude and a talking donkey in there somewhere…..

    Anyways, kids, that’s why little Suzie can’t be a police officer.

    Don’t do drugs and stay in school, unless you’re a woman then do what your husband says and bake a pie.

  129. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    I was having some vague memories on this and went to see if there was a scripture about it…the closest I found listed was god not being to look on evil?

    By contrast, I found a TON of sermons/articles about this topic. Apparently very popular.

  130. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    “I can attest That Way Lies Madness”.

    Thank God I never took this booklet to heart. I vaguely remember reading it in my youth. Don’t know why I dismissed it’s content. I am sure I would have become very discouraged, unable to please God.

    It was a very popular back in the day.

  131. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    In there, God “turns his back on you” when you commit ANY Sin, and will only “face you” again when you Really Truly Repent and Pray for Forgiveness and Atonement.

    Although I am not familiar with that booklet, I am with the theology behind it. This is the same theology that taught us we should pass on communion if we had any unconfessed or un-repented of sin in our life. Then the “pastor” would give us an average of 15 seconds to get “right” with God. If we needed more time, we should just let the elements pass on by.

    Of course, in a small church like our’s you may as well have held up a big red flag in doing so. The only person I ever witnessed letting the elements pass was me. Stupid me. Apparently everyone else had their act together. And yes, that way does lead one to despair. Maybe that is how I got labeled as a misfit and exiled to the island of broken toys.

    It’s amazing what preacher boys will do with communion. Some using it as a club, others as a secret handshake. Glad I never had to recite a church covenant. But in a way, I did by adopting the correct debased posture and the funeral like mentality, didn’t I.

  132. ___

    ESS: “Beyond Ridiculous Religious Theological Navel Gazing, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    What is extremely puzzling is the nature of the New Calvinist game.

    huh?

    I DON’T require a creed to inform me that Jesus sits at the right hand of God, is God, and is the supreme Lord of His church…(I have the scriptures for that!) That senseless 501(c) professional credentialed educated religious pulpit pounders are madly attempting (once again) to reduce or diminish Jesus’ sovereignty is strictly beyond Divine insult n’est-ce pas? Are they really in a position to ‘define’ Him? Apparently not.

    Franken-Calvinism at its finest?

    What?

    Q. When can God become less than Himself?

    Bump.

    On a cold day in Hell?

    hahahahahahaha

    Jesus said: “to see Me is to see the Father”. (1) Jesus is nothing less than God Himself. Why these ‘so called’ religious men are attempted to put Jesus in a box is simply beyond my Christian comprehension. A young child can understand when Jesus says He is God; that God and Jesus Himself are one and the same. There is apparently no subordination in God’s mind, His Son and Himself are one in the same.

    Wait N’ Sêê…

    “I will ascend to the north and become like the most high God”;
    R these respected ‘religious’ rolling stones having sympathy for the dastardly slimy under-bellied denizen from the garden?
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ySInEvXoek0

    hmmm…

    Could b.

    SKreeeeeeeeeeeetch!

    —> Jesus Reigns! ❤️
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DB9DgCo-_JU

    I really don’t mind if you sit this wacky N’ absurd Calvinesta ESS topic out…
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BV-ASc0qkrM

    (…they’re simply blowing profuse proponents of putrid smoke anyway…)

    (grin)

    ATB

    Sòpy
    ___
    Ref: (1)
    …8Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” 9Jesusreplied, “Philip, I have been with you all thistime, and still you do not know Me? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. Howcan you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I say to you, I do not speak on My own. Instead, it is the Father dwelling in Me, carrying out His work… (John 14:8-10)

    ;~)

  133. ___

    ESS: “Franken-Calvinism at its finest?”

    Todd ,

    hea,

    …from there the proverbial rock throwing pew-peasants just might wake up, connect the dots, and realize the theology these churches are teaching is also very, very profoundly flawed.

    ATB

    Sòpy

  134. Mae wrote:

    Thank God I never took this booklet to heart. I vaguely remember reading it in my youth. Don’t know why I dismissed it’s content. I am sure I would have become very discouraged, unable to please God.

    You definitely would have. I did.

    It was a very popular back in the day.

    My encounter with it was between 1973 and 1976, when I was mixed up in that Shepherding not-a-cult. (Can’t pin it down any further than that.)

    Got a definite on it:
    “The Calvary Road” by Roy Hession, circa 1950 (though current edition dates from 1993).
    Described as a “Devotional” and apparently still in print.
    Cover is a lot slicker these days.
    Found lotsa references online, including a free PDF version. Enough to make me 95+% sure it was the same one, except the PDF didn’t include the ALL CAPS typography I remember from the original. Could not find the two passages I remembered the longest that could ID it with 100% certainty, but the Worm Theology tone is definitely the same.

    Two-three years ago on one of my summer trips to the East Coast, my writing partner and I were going through the freebie bin at a local used bookstore and came across it. Upon hearing of my experience, my writing partner (a burned-out preacher) declared it “Bad Theology” and said he’d had to counsel Christians who were seriously messed up by it.

  135. @ Jack:
    GREAT RANT!

    Though the Ultimate SMITE is yet to come; during my time in-country in the Seventies, the Coming Big Smite was Inevitable Thermonuclear Armageddon. (Except for the Real Christians who God hadn’t turned their back on for their Sins) would be beamed up before anything bad could personally happen to them. (This meant THEM, NOT YOU.)

  136. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Thank God I never took this booklet to heart. I vaguely remember reading it in my youth. Don’t know why I dismissed it’s content. I am sure I would have become very discouraged, unable to please God.
    You definitely would have. I did.
    It was a very popular back in the day.
    My encounter with it was between 1973 and 1976, when I was mixed up in that Shepherding not-a-cult. (Can’t pin it down any further than that.)
    Got a definite on it:
    “The Calvary Road” by Roy Hession, circa 1950 (though current edition dates from 1993).
    Described as a “Devotional” and apparently still in print.
    Cover is a lot slicker these days.
    Found lotsa references online, including a free PDF version. Enough to make me 95+% sure it was the same one, except the PDF didn’t include the ALL CAPS typography I remember from the original. Could not find the two passages I remembered the longest that could ID it with 100% certainty, but the Worm Theology tone is definitely the same.
    Two-three years ago on one of my summer trips to the East Coast, my writing partner and I were going through the freebie bin at a local used bookstore and came across it. Upon hearing of my experience, my writing partner (a burned-out preacher) declared it “Bad Theology” and said he’d had to counsel Christians who were seriously messed up by it.

    I went through my books to see if I still had it. ( a self confessed book hoarder) I don’t. I remember the cover too. Newer releases have a different cover.

    Anyway, I looked Roy Hession up on wiki. He was a British evangelist. Apparently, he had some sort of *revelation* in the late forties. The book was a result of his time spent after attending the East African revival.

    How it became popular over this side of the pond is a mystery to me.

  137. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    You forgot to mention that, was it our helicoptors that are the dragon flies? And all the other connections between the “stuff” in Revelations and our modern technology?? I remember people getting worked making those connections….. and predicting absolutely that it would all have happened by now……

  138. Leslie wrote:

    Two statements affected my theology when I was a young Christian. The first was a quote from a sermon by Peter Marshall. He compared the Trinity to water, ice and steam. All the same yet different.

    I too love the simplicity! What a great illustration! When you (generic you) think about it, water was one of the first substances created in this beautifully constructed home we call the Universe. We can even further simplify the analogy by considering an ice cube taken out of the freezer and left to sit at room temp. for a bit. Its substance (water) exists simultaneously as a solid, a liquid, and gaseous vapor… None of them are before, after, or greater than the other two.

  139. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    You forgot to mention that, was it our helicoptors that are the dragon flies? And all the other connections between the “stuff” in Revelations and our modern technology?? I remember people getting worked making those connections….. and predicting absolutely that it would all have happened by now……

    Someday it will all end, and Christ will return.
    With all speculative eschatology, that truth sometimes gets lost.

  140. __

    “Now the TWW community were more noble-minded than the Calvinestas, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if these teachings were true…” (TWW 17:11)

    🙂

  141. ___

    “Red Theological Ink?”

    hmmm…

    I am standing at the church door’s edge in my dream
    I dare not make a single sound as I hear them inside scream
    Red theological ink is pouring down all over them
    Down from the pulpit, down on the people, down the isles, down to the sidewalk below
    Red theological ink poring down all over us

    Putting on the pretense is so much harder now
    To return again and again
    We come defenses down
    With the trust of a child
    Yet they continual to pour out their red theological ink over us…
    Red theological ink poring down all over us

    They are quick to dot the i and cross the t
    Yet the screams of those inside go un-heard and un-heeded
    The tears they draw are left un-noticed and un-aided
    Red theological ink poring down all over us

    Subordination, authority, and submission
    Calvinesta Jack bootz, March, March, March…
    Red theological ink poring down all over us
    When will it ever end (1)

    (sadface)

    Sòpy
    __
    (1) Inspiration:
    Peter Gabriel’s – ‘Red Rain’
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DLUp6PNTi7E
    “The Eternal Subordination of the Son Controversy: Subordination” 2016 article – Alastair Roberts
    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2016/07/the-eternal-subordination.php
    This TWW post article

    🙁

  142. @ Lowlandseer:
    Who knows, “Trinity” might be a heresy. (I don’t think it is, btw) What about the Lord of Hosts? God manifested Himself as a cloud to follow, a pillar of fire. Where was Jesus in the OT? Did He exist as Yahweh? Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, David declared, the Lord said to my Lord…..and so on and on. Many Names for Yahweh. But,

    One True God.

    I am not “Oneness” or Modelism or whatever term is a popular label today. It keeps people from talking, discussing, learning, searching, etc. will they get it wrong? Yep. But Trinity is also a man made descriptor. A good one, too. And we think it to death. Which is ok, but usually by NT Christians. It’s the same Yahweh.

    One of the problems I found researching the OT over ESS: We are woefully ignorant about Hebrew Scholarship (I realized that reading the History of the Jews by Paul Johnson many years ago) but even more after the whole ESS debacle. And that is because Hebrew scholarship was pretty much ignored as Christianity made its way West. It seems like we have not really scratched the surface.

    I never heard heresy insults thrown out so quickly before I was around the Reformed movement. It shocked me. there is a name for everything. I learned a lot looking them all up. I am thankful that such introduced me to Pelagius because I like him much better than Augustine —if I have to choose. 🙂 that is what I am naming my next dog.

    I think Pelagians, Sabellians, Open Theists, Calvinists, Oneness, etc can be saved. Because I think belief/faith + repentance as true metanoia is the key to the whole shebang. Jesus simply said, Repent and believe in Him. We don’t have to get all finer points perfect. I think He likes it that we discuss Him. 🙂

  143. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    You forgot to mention that, was it our helicoptors that are the dragon flies? And all the other connections between the “stuff” in Revelations and our modern technology?? I remember people getting worked making those connections….. and predicting absolutely that it would all have happened by now……

    The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay.

    I can never hear the words “plain reading/meaning of SCRIPTURE” without thinking of the Demon Locust Plague of Revelation “plainly meaning” helicopter gunships armed with chemical weapons and piloted by long-haired bearded hippies. And all the other plagues “plainly meaning” nuclear weapons effects.

    And the damage is still there. I’ve been having constant anxiety attacks since this thing with North Korean nukes blew up. At least the “Theme from Game of Thrones” has displaced Tom Lehrer’s “We’ll All Go Together When We Go” as an earworm.

  144. Mae wrote:

    I didn’t take it that way. Three personalities, one God head, all equal.

    Glad you didn’t take it as a form of Sabellianism.
    Had I left out the term “simultaneously”, well then yeah, a case could be made for the so-called charge of Sabellian heresy with regard to Trinitarian Orthodoxy. But as it stands, it’s just a simplified version of what Leslie wrote.

  145. Lydia wrote:

    I never heard heresy insults thrown out so quickly before I was around the Reformed movement. It shocked me. there is a name for everything. I learned a lot looking them all up.

    They (the medievals and the “reformers”) used to torture and burn people alive for daring to think and ask questions. We’ve come a long way baby, and I bless Providence for it!
    Now I am beginning to understand the leerines of Creeds and Confessions you’ve expressed here at TWW in times past, which is why I always stuck to simplest of them all, namely The Apostle’s Creed as a minimum starting partition of non-negotiables for me.

  146. Lydia wrote:

    It does have a strategy behind it. Getting audience buy in means participation. It’s one of my pet peeves when leaders have audiences recite something or repeat what they say.

    Creeds can be fine as an outline but I have always been uncomfortable with follow the leader repetition, it may be my rebellious side showing. Repression of free thought and speech is always a problem with groups and group-think, when speech is directed it can be even more injurious to free thought and expression.

  147. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    I am not sure if “we all go together..” is my favorite of his, but it is one of my favorites of Tom L.

    Some of my Tom L faves are “Elements”, “Lobachevsky”, and “National Brotherhood Week”.
    (“Wernher von Braun”, “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park”, and “Vatican Rag” were also Dr Demento regulars.)

  148. @ Lydia:

    Lots of good points. I am more radical than you are, but there is nothing that you have said in that comment with which I disagree.

    IMO once we try to nail everything down neatly we quickly run into the reality that in order to nail everything down we have to omit so much evidence that it becomes (to me) a bad idea to try to codify everything in the first place. ‘Follow me’ on the one hand and ‘explain me’ on the other hand are not the same thing. ‘Follow me’ as compared to ‘follow a set of ideas about me’ are not the same thing. Those at the judgment who argued that they had been diligently religious but were told ‘I never knew you’ learned it the hard way in that narrative. We forget that cautionary tale at our own risk.

  149. okrapod wrote:

    Follow me’ on the one hand and ‘explain me’ on the other hand are not the same thing. ‘Follow me’ as compared to ‘follow a set of ideas about me’ are not the same thing. Those at the judgment who argued that they had been diligently religious but were told ‘I never knew you’ learned it the hard way in that narrative. We forget that cautionary tale at our own risk.

    Very true. Jesus was harshest with the religious leaders of his own tribe.

  150. @ Muff Potter:

    I’m with you on this. The only creed I’ve ever biblically recited is the , Apostles Creed. Even that is not on a regular basis. Basically, in the church I attend we recite some psalms, and the Lord’s Prayer. That’s about the extent of public recitation.

    The other creeds I always must look up on Wiki, as I do not have them memorized.

  151. Most of these creeds originated as a statement/definition of faith to settle a dispute.

  152. Athanasian.

    There actually is nothing called the “Athanasius creed,” but spell-check on my 1st Android device insisted that there was such a thing as the “Athabaskan creed.” A surprise to the Athabaskans, no doubt. 😉

  153. numo wrote:

    Athanasian.

    There actually is nothing called the “Athanasius creed,” but spell-check on my 1st Android device insisted that there was such a thing as the “Athabaskan creed.” A surprise to the Athabaskans, no doubt.

    Athanasian is what it says in my old Lutheran Hymnal too. You know, the old ones where they actually had key and time signatures for the songs…

  154. Mae wrote:

    The other creeds I always must look up on Wiki, as I do not have them memorized.

    From the main article up top:

    ==============================================================================
    “Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood”
    ==============================================================================

    In all good conscience I cannot accept nor will I sign onto this clause.
    And here’s why:

    I do not believe that Jesus’ human body was in any way inferior to The Father, either here when he walked this Earth or elsewhere (Isaiah 9:6).

    Messiah’s very literal person is the nexus and origin of all creation (Colossians). Of all worlds and dimensions both seen and unseen, and of all powers seen and unseen which hold the whole kit-and-kaboodle together.

    How then can Jesus’ humanity wind up being lesser than the Father?
    I just don’t see it, which is why I hold to the simplicity of The Apostle’s Creed, and especially its supernatural components.
    It affords me a much wider latitude in freedom of conscience and intellectual inquiry.

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