{Updated}Al Mohler Does Damage Control on the Subjects of Joshua Harris and the Founders

 

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“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” JRR Tolkien


Special thanks to Jerome, a TWW reader who drew my attention to this article. I’d hire him if I could

Al Mohler: Why didn’t he mention Harris’ connection to CJ Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries and Covenant Life Church?

As many of you know, Al Mohler appeared to throw CJ Mahaney under the bus when he was confronted by journalists working on the widespread sexual abuse of children in the SBC. However, in order to understand this post, readers must understand Mohler’s long history of supporting Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries (now called Sovereign Grace Churches.)  He was even tied to Mahaney in Together for the Gospel(T4G) . As an aside: It should be interesting what will happen with T4G 2020 since Mahaney made up one of the *4 *in T4G along with Mohler, Mark Dever and Ligon Duncan.

Mohler had close ties and some friendships within Sovereign Grace Ministries. He also knew of the close relationship bvewteen Harris and Mahaney who often marched in lockstep together.  C. J. Mahaney, Joshua Harris Resign from Gospel Coalition after SGM Abuse Conviction

I believe that Mohler in The Tragedy of Joshua Harris: Sobering Thoughts for Evangelicals deliberately obscured Harris’ relationship with Sovereign Grace Ministries and CJ Mahaney since Mahaney has been made persona non grata. Harris was also well liked by Mohler and the rest of the gospel boys.

Look at how he presents Harris’ history.

He ties Harris’ parents to the homeschooling movement which is correct,

It’s helpful in this case to go back to the biography of Joshua Harris. He is one of the seven children of Gregg and Sono Harris, and they were very influential long before Joshua Harris emerged as a young author. They were mostly influential within the burgeoning homeschool movement of the 1970s and ‘80s and beyond, and they and their movement were located in the Pacific Northwest.

…Joshua Harris was born into this movement, was incubated within it, and was raised by parents who were already influential within it.

He then discusses Harris’ two books.

I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Joshua Harris’s 1997 book, became one of those very important signal moments in American evangelical culture.

… He followed up I Kissed Dating Goodbye, with another book entitled Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship, published in 2000

Then he mentions that Harris became are a lead pastor of an unnamed megachurch.

He became lead pastor of a Maryland mega church in 2004, and he continued in that role until 2015.

Harris wrote two books and became a pastor…that’s it? Baloney!

So Harris just grew up with fundamentalist homeschooling parents, wrote two books and became a mega pastor. Mohler is playing a game with his audience. The reason for this is that Moher knows that Harris lived with CJ Mahaney for a few years and then was annexed into Mahaney’s ministry.

Harris was taught by Mahaney and therefore subscribed to the same theology as Mahaney. Mahaney was a BFF of Al Mohler and for years was protected under Mohler’s wings

For years, Harris was part of the SGM brand and eventually presided over the mess at Covenant Life Church after being appointed by Mahaney. Here is what Wikipedia says:

In 1997, Harris moved from Oregon to Gaithersburg, Maryland to be a pastoral intern.[8][9] There, “C. J. Mahaney, a charismatic Calvinist and founding pastor of megachurch Covenant Life Church, took Harris under his wing and groomed him to take over the church.”

Harris has admitted that they mishandled sex abuse cases by not always reporting to the police.

(Updated 08/06/19) Mohler didn’t mention he spoke at one of Harris’ conferences and invented a new sin *delayed marriage.*

Special thanks to TWW reader *singleman* who reminded me of this.

he (Mohler)addressed at least one of the New Attitude conferences that Harris sponsored, in 2004. Mohler’s speech stirred up much controversy when a nationally syndicated Christian radio program rebroadcast the talk later in the year. That speech was when Mohler labeled delay of marriage as “sin” and laid blame for this newly discovered “sin” at the feet of single Christian men. Mohler’s speech also left many listeners with the distinct impression that he considered the state of singleness to be sinful; he later had to clarify that wasn’t the case.

What is Mohler’s solution to prevent more Josh Harris type defections?

Mohler said:

There’s something else of extreme importance in this case, and I say this as president of a theological seminary and a Christian college, but this is just emphatically important. There has to be theological depth. The only way that we’re going to be able to sustain a biblical sexual ethic and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is by serious biblical content, serious biblical knowledge, deep theology, apologetics, biblical theology, a deep understanding, celebration of, and embrace of the gospel of Jesus Christ, understanding that gospel, the true gospel, the biblical gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ against all superficial pretenders and also against false theologies, including any form of legalism that can creep in.

The problem that Mohler doesn’t want to admit.

Mohler deeply admired Mahaney, especially because Mahaney’s theology was Mohler’s theology. Mohler did everything in his power to promote Mahaney’s brand because he believed that Mahaney taught:

  • serious Biblical content
  • serious biblical knowledge’
  • deep theology
  • apologetics
  • biblical theology
  • embraced the gospel of Jesus
  • did not give in to false theologies
  • theological depth

Josh Harris learned all that he knew from CJ Mahaney and Mohler defended and promoted Mahaney’s theology.  Mohler doesn’t want you to know that he thought this is what Mahaney, Harris and others at SGM were teaching and living. Mohler doesn’t want you to know that he was had by Mahaney and gang. Yep, the man who CJ Mahaney called the *smartest man on earth* was duped.

Mohler doesn’t want you to know that he promoted the *theological depth* of SGM. In the end, the emperor has no clothes. Mohler’s current solution to preventing the problem which Harris embodies is the solution from the past that led to this.

In the end, no matter how much one embraces *theological depth* or *winsome* apologetics, people will still walk away from the faith. Some will return, others will not. Memorizing Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology will not prevent it. (Grudem often taught at SGM’s Pastors College and in their churches.) Attending The Gospel Coalitions’ conferences will not.

Al Mohler, *the smartest man on earth,* chose deliberately to leave off the most important information on Joshua Harris. He could have done better. He surely doesn’t have a solution.


Tom Ascol claims his life was threatened and Al Mohler says they are the best of friends.

OK. You all remember the brouhaha that erupted over the stupid trailer put out by The Founders?  Today, The Federalist posted Trailer For New Documentary Revives Southern Baptist Brawl Over Social Justice Theology:
subtitled: A Southern Baptist ministry released a trailer for a documentary questioning the theological effects of leftist political orthodoxy on race and sex. A Twitter mob took over.

Al Mohler was one of the critics. Yet, he is a great supporter of The Founders and I was wondering how this would turn out. I have heard from a number of sources that Tom Ascol really wants to be the next president of the SBC. Therefore, it was obvious that there would need to be a meeting to kiss and make up.

Ascol is not backing down from the *social media mob.*

So be prepared for a documentary that shows how the SBC is being taken over by evil liberals.

Ascol reported that some, in reaction to the trailer, sent him personal messages saying, “He and Founders should be condemned by the SBC,” “You should resign from the ministry,” and even, “You should kill yourself.” Ascol responded in a recent statement, “Certainly, no one at Founders Ministries [was able to] foresee people taking it that way. That was not our intention.”

As the critiques mounted, some of the interviewees in the documentary accused Founders of asking them to participate under false pretenses, purposefully taking footage of them out of context, or using footage without permission. Ascol categorically denies these charges, calling them “patently false.”

…Ascol is convinced that he “hit upon a nerve” in the SBC that should be further explored and “discussed with open Bibles, as brothers,” not as a social media mob.

Ascol denies deceiving people.

Most people on the planet have no idea about The Founders. They are a group which has seen better days since the advent of TGC and others have taken business away. So, when they approached people for comment at the *For Such a Time As This Rally,* they should have taken the time to introduce themselves and to make sure that those approached understood their agenda. I was standing in the background, watching what was going on. It appeared to me that these guys played a game of *gotcha.”

In my opinion, that posture is unbecoming of those who claim to follow Christ. When I call a church or parachurch organization to ask for comments, I always tell them  who I am and where to find information about me. I allow them time to ask me questions prior to me asking them questions. Sometimes, they end the conversation and I back off as politely as possible.

How is it that they can judge my heart now and they couldn’t judge me if I was trying to trick them into participating in the (documentary)?

Mohler scrubbed an article affirming critical race theory from SBTS website, seemingly playing both sides of the coin.

I suspect that there is going to be a considerable amount of turmoil in the coming years in the SBC. Mohler and Ascol do not get how millennials in the church view these issues.

To prove this point, Mohler stated, “No one is going to be teaching at Southern Seminary from ‘the other side,’” of post-modern, critical theory.” Some have contended that Mohler is attempting to hide “woke” faculty members—men such as Dr. Matthew Hall, provost of Southern Seminary, and Dr. Curtis Woods, the chairman of the “Resolution Nine” committee.

When asked why one of Hall’s articles on the Southern Seminary website affirming critical race theory was scrubbed, Mohler replied forthrightly, “Because I asked for it to be scrubbed.

The trailer led to charges of racism and misogyny.

Charges of racism and misogyny were leveled, along with claims that the trailer portrayed fellow Southern Baptists dishonestly. As a result of what could only be described as a “Twitter mob,” three prominent SBC leaders—Mark Dever, Danny Aiken, and Jonathan Leeman—demanded that their interviews be removed from the final production. On August 1, Founders announced three members of their board had resigned over the incident.

Ascol claimed that he understands racism because of an incident in his own family.

Ascol shared personal information on this note: “My grandfather was a Muslim immigrant from Syria who was murdered by a white man in Arkansas as my 10-year-old dad sat beside him in a horse-drawn wagon.”

The Twitter mob is to blame for this entire mess.

In the end, Mohler and Ascol blame this mess on Twitter. The Founders and Al Mohler find it far easier to blame Twitter than to take a close look at what happened here. Thankfully, the average Joe can express what he thinks. If he writes well, others may pay attention to what is being said. That is extremely threatening to those who believe in a protected leadership in the church and parachurch groups. Darn those little guys who have the audacity to say what they think!  Those nobodies are causing so many problems for Ascol and Mohler who want to be the only ones who are granted access to the microphone. Those days are long gone and they need to get over it.

To those who wonder if they should say something. It takes about a minute to sign up for Twitter. Your voice is needed. Don’t let them tell you to stay away and stay silent. Speak up. God has given us “nobodies” a way to be heard. Use it!

 


Comments

{Updated}Al Mohler Does Damage Control on the Subjects of Joshua Harris and the Founders — 332 Comments

  1. I’m surprised that they didn’t mention Biblical Complentarianism (Gag) as one of their essentials since they have determined that it is such a pressing matter that they ignored church too in order to flog their dead horse of “winsome “ women.. makes me nauseous to think of their role in continuing blame of victims.

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  2. I read the Federalist article today, after a friend texted it to me. It was beyond disappointing to find that the author appeared not to have investigated the matter in the slightest. For example, the author entirely failed to mention that Rachel Denhollander had been shown, or that people who are not in favor of critical theory were equally outraged by the trailer.

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  3. I hope someone will take more time to proofread the content of the article, and then correct errors, BEFORE posting the article. You may not be a professional, and you can stay that way, but please, slow down and do a proper job. Put in a bit more effort. Is that too hard?
    “bvewteen”?
    “For Such A Time as This Raleigh”? Rally!

    Feel free to not post this.

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  4. I would like to point out, David, that this is not your blog and if the typos bother you don’t read it. Dee puts a lot of effort into this and it is all on her own time. The typos don’t change the meaning. It is clear what was intended. Cut a person some slack.

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  5. Regarding Albert Mohler and Joshua Harris: not only did Mohler downplay his association with Sovereign Grace Ministries, he conveniently forgot to mention that he addressed at least one of the New Attitude conferences that Harris sponsored, in 2004. Mohler’s speech stirred up much controversy when a nationally syndicated Christian radio program rebroadcast the talk later in the year. That speech was when Mohler labeled delay of marriage as “sin” and laid blame for this newly discovered “sin” at the feet of single Christian men. Mohler’s speech also left many listeners with the distinct impression that he considered the state of singleness to be sinful; he later had to clarify that wasn’t the case.

    Albert Mohler has got a lot of explaining to do, not just with regard to SGM but The Founders. I’m hoping that at least some members of Southern Seminary’s governing board will begin asking Mohler some hard questions, preferably sooner rather than later.

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  6. David: For Such A Time as This Raleigh”? Rally!

    Ooh! A syntax bully!

    David. May I call you Dave?

    You are missing the point.

    The question is…in reality, was there a rally in Raleigh really?

    Are you a Phounder, perchance?

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  7. Now I’m wondering if this whole debacle over the documentary won’t cause a rift between Mohler and his 3 BFF’s – Mark Dever, Danny Akin and Jonathan Leeman. Mohler will be walking a tightrope, one in which he will have to carefully navigate in deciding which associations are indispensable, and which are not.

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  8. Brent Detwiler is going after Harris again on his FB. I’m not sure why, but it strikes me as an obsession. And he’s not alone in that obsession, I can tell I haven’t wanted to ask Brent if there isn’t something *he* isn’t telling us about *his* involvement with Harris while they were both in Sovereign Grace Ministries. Interestingly, while Brent let my comment about exvangelicals on Twitter getting very upset about Harris going to Pride stand, he deleted this comment:

    I’m also curious, Brent, where Jesus said to spend time making sure that EVERYONE knows Josh Harris is no longer part of your crowd, is an apostate, should be shunned and basically treated like smelly garbage? Where did Jesus ever say to do that? Jesus, not some quote from 1 John 2:19 which was addressed to a particular church and should not be ripped out of context to situation. *scowl*

    It is Brent’s FB, and he can delete what he wants. But I find it interesting that he deleted this particular remark.

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  9. singleman: Albert Mohler has got a lot of explaining to do, not just with regard to SGM but The Founders. I’m hoping that at least some members of Southern Seminary’s governing board will begin asking Mohler some hard questions, preferably sooner rather than later.

    The chairman of SBTS’s board of trustees is Matt Schmucker.

    Schmucker ran 9Marks for Mark Dever in its first decade before moving on organize T4G, etc.

    Last year Schmucker was put in place as chairman of SBTS’s board of trustees:

    http://www.bpnews.net/50725/trustees-african-american-businessman-voted-sbts-officer

    “Southern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees elected their first African American officer in the school’s 159-year history…Alan ‘Keith’ Daniels…as board secretary”

    >>>”Also elected as new trustee officers: chairman Matt Schmucker, executive director of the Together for the Gospel biennial conference and member of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C…”

    >>>”Commenting on Schmucker as the new trustee chairman, Mohler said the Together for the Gospel movement ‘would have been impossible if not for the administrative brilliance and heartfelt commitment that Matt Schmucker brings, and having him serve as chairman of this board will be very fulfilling’.”

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  10. * Various SBC churches have been identified as no longer ‘safe’ for parents and their children to come to and attend worship, and Sunday school. The news papers are filled with unresolved abuse stories. Caution is advised.

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  11. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8zOHjsTm9dw
    Longevity In The Ministry (Panel V) – YouTube
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9lrpw2a1gDQ
    The Key to Ministry Longevity // Ask Pastor John – YouTube

    In light of recent events, I wonder what will transpire between this panel of five. I think it goes without saying that the four fellas won’t be sitting on a stage with C J.

    Mohler, Duncan, MacArthur, Mahaney, Dever

    Al Mohler

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  12. There’s no one happier for Josh Harris than Tullian Tchividjian! He gets to quietly launch his new church!

    Mod: Come on folks. Quit changing your name comment to comment. Slash now Scott is NOT a typo. GBTC

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  13. I read Mohler’s whole article. Dee quoted the most revealing section:

    “The only way that we’re going to be able to sustain a biblical sexual ethic and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is by serious biblical content, serious biblical knowledge, deep theology, apologetics, biblical theology, a deep understanding, celebration of, and embrace of the gospel of Jesus Christ, understanding that gospel, the true gospel, the biblical gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ against all superficial pretenders and also against false theologies, including any form of legalism that can creep in”

    Notice anything missing? Seems that knowing Jesus and walking with Him doesn’t even make Al Mohler’s list. Wow. Just wow.

    Harris wrote books which self-identifying evangelicals around the country accepted. He preached multiple sermons at a mega church. He was a well known conference speaker. He must have been knowledgeable enough of theology to have gotten by in that world for so long. So I don’t buy Al Mohler’s hollow argument that “theology” and “the gospel” were the problem. No. Harris just sounds like someone who knew about Jesus but didn’t know Jesus personally.

    Meantime Mr. Mohler can go on and on about understanding the gospel and “deep theology” (what in the world does that mean anyway?) but in the end knowledge doesn’t save anyone. Never has, never will. Jesus warned the religious leaders of his day, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

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  14. Joshua Harris needs to “maintain media silence” so to speak. Let others take the photographs. He needs to “drop his entire shoe closet” at once, then bow out gracefully. This one shoe at a time stuff is like chum in shark infested waters, Mohler and crew use it to energize themselves.

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  15. Fisher:

    No.Harris just sounds like someone who knew about Jesus but didn’t know Jesus personally.

    That may be, on the other hand, it might not be that simple. There’s a lot of Christians out there on the internet speculating about Josh Harris’ spiritual state, i.e. – was he ever really saved to begin with, was he a phony putting on a religious show just for the popularity and money, yada yada yada.

    What is it about Christians feeling compelled to dissect under a microscope the spiritual lives of other people? And then as so many do, pronouncing judgment upon them?

    I’ll leave the eternal destination of Joshua Harris in God’s hands. I think He is a more competent Judge than I, or anyone else.

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  16. * Joshua Harris, the current proverbial SGC poster boy, apparently got in over his head, and after obtaining higher academic education for himself, and then analytical thinking skills in understanding the grifter score, had to walk away from the Calvinist laden/laced religious scene for self-preservation sake. Social media, and the manipulation coming from one’s ‘religious’ piers can certainly take it’s toll. That the ‘big’ boys are ‘attention giving’ —writing and speaking about it, demonstrates his rejection and ongoing public self-repudiation of the experience, is an important social media issue/matter. Maybe he has earned a States-side drive thru pay behind Chick-fil-A meal. ;~)§

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  17. Fisher: “The only way that we’re going to be able to sustain a biblical sexual ethic and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is by serious biblical content, serious biblical knowledge, deep theology, apologetics, biblical theology, a deep understanding, celebration of, and embrace of the gospel of Jesus Christ, understanding that gospel, the true gospel, the biblical gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ against all superficial pretenders and also against false theologies, including any form of legalism that can creep in”

    What a bunch of goobledygook. Not surprising from a guy who was raised into his position not because his “biblical knowledge”, but because he was good at fundraising. Mohler is such a big phony.

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  18. Jerome,

    If Matt Schmucker is chairman of the trustees, NO hard questions will be asked! They’re all part of the same ‘good-ol’-boy’ network of guys with whom Dever and Mohler surround themselves.

    However, Mohler DOES have a lot of explaining to do…it seems to me he’s quite the chameleon when confronted by some of his choices in friends. His “Mahaney who?” routine can only go so far, though. Now he’s doing the same kind of thing with The Founders ‘documentary’ to try and keep himself out of hot water. For a guy who’s supposed to be really super smart, he sure seems to get duped by a lot of folks!

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  19. Fisher: Notice anything missing? Seems that knowing Jesus and walking with Him doesn’t even make Al Mohler’s list. Wow. Just wow.

    I was at Southern when Mohler arrived with heavy handed style. As I watched him turn people’s lives upside down and dismiss the women on campus entirely, I often asked,
    Does he know the man Jesus? I continue to ask that question 26 years later.

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  20. Darlene: I’ll leave the eternal destination of Joshua Harris in God’s hands. I think He is a more competent Judge than I, or anyone else.

    Darlene: That may be, on the other hand, it might not be that simple.

    You’re right. Nothing is as simple as it seems. The book of Job shows that people try to understand what is happening by assigning a 1:1 correspondence between what they see and a person’s behavior. Didn’t turn out so well in Job- all of them got it wrong at some level.

    I have very close friend who walked away from Jesus so I’ve seen first hand the complexity involved. Josh Harris sounds like someone who may not have known Jesus personally. But whether that’s true or not only God knows as you say. What I am certain of is that Harris’ situation (or anyone else who struggles with issues about the church,God,Jesus) is not as monotone simple as to be solved by intellectual acceptance of “deep theology” as suggested by Al Mohler.

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  21. ishy: What a bunch of goobledygook. Not surprising from a guy who was raised into his position not because his “biblical knowledge”, but because he was good at fundraising. Mohler is such a big phony.

    Agreed. But if Mohler had thrown in the terms “winsome” and “doctrines of grace”, I could’ve had “Neo-Cal Lingo” BINGO!

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  22. Dan: I was at Southern when Mohler arrived with heavy handed style. As I watched him turn people’s lives upside down and dismiss the women on campus entirely, I often asked,
    Does he know the man Jesus?

    I was at Southeastern when Akin arrived, and it was much the same. Except I was female, so suddenly not allowed to continue my degree program or even speak to anyone besides one of my professors. And Jesus was barely spoken about in chapel that year, which is why I’ve continued to ask “Where is Jesus?” since I was in Wake Forest. The New Cals talk about themselves and each other way more than they talk about Jesus.

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  23. ishy: I was at Southeastern when Akin arrived, and it was much the same. Except I was female, so suddenly not allowed to continue my degree program or even speak to anyone besides one of my professors. And Jesus was barely spoken about in chapel that year, which is why I’ve continued to ask “Where is Jesus?” since I was in Wake Forest. The New Cals talk about themselves and each other way more than they talk about Jesus.

    Ishy-I am very sorry this happened to you at Southeastern.

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  24. Brian: He needs to “drop his entire shoe closet” at once, then bow out gracefully. This one shoe at a time stuff is like chum in shark infested waters, Mohler and crew use it to energize themselves.

    I am sure Josh is thriving right now on all the attention he is getting. This rather than come out and share where he is all at once Josh prefers to slowly reveal things. By doing so the net affect is a lot more attention.

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  25. From the Federalist piece: “The Ascol family is not many generations removed from the kind of racism the SBC is attempting to combat. Ascol simply questions whether opening the SBC to identity politics and intersectional theory will truly further the gospel’s work of forgiveness of sins.”

    Ascol’s camp has been screaming that SBC 2019 Resolution 9 is a liberal plot to bring in the very things that the resolution’s text shoves aside. The resolution acknowledges “social ills” and promotes Scriptural remedies. It rejects critical race theory and intersectionality as “insufficient.”

    http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/2308/on-critical-race-theory-and-intersectionality

    “…WHEREAS, Critical race theory and intersectionality alone are insufficient to diagnose and redress the root causes of the social ills that they identify, which result from sin, yet these analytical tools can aid in evaluating a variety of human experiences; and

    “WHEREAS, Scripture contains categories and principles by which to deal with racism, poverty, sexism, injustice, and abuse that are not rooted in secular ideologies …

    “RESOLVED, That Southern Baptist churches and institutions repudiate the misuse of insights gained from critical race theory, intersectionality, and any unbiblical ideologies that can emerge from their use when absolutized as a worldview; and be it further …

    “RESOLVED, That while we denounce the misuse of critical race theory and intersectionality, we do not deny that ethnic, gender, and cultural distinctions exist and are a gift from God that will give Him absolute glory…”

    The text does not require the SBC to change in any way; it can even be read to enshrine “separate but equal” status and complementarianism. What is the big objection? Is this just the old tactic to smear outsiders as Marxists, lest their mild and obvious proposals be found to make a tiny bit of sense?

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  26. Steve240: Josh prefers to slowly reveal things. By doing so the net affect is a lot more attention.

    That is indeed the result, but I’m not sure he has a coherent plan. When people announce what they have been privately wrestling with, they can go through a time of confusion. Harris might just be starting to unpack enough baggage to sink a cruise ship.

    So many people are hanging on his every word and image, struggling to understand. If Harris is in chaos, he should go silent on social media for six months, a year, however long it takes for him to achieve clarity and develop coherent ideas that he is willing to share.

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  27. Fisher,

    “Notice anything missing? Seems that knowing Jesus and walking with Him doesn’t even make Al Mohler’s list. Wow. Just wow.”

    Fisher, you had exactly the same thought as me!

    It is astonishing (and very revealing) that Mohler appears to think that theological knowledge is the key to Life!

    Whatever happened to relationship with Jesus who said ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’?

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  28. ‘The only way that we’re going to be able to sustain a biblical sexual ethic and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is by serious biblical content, serious biblical knowledge, deep theology, apologetics, biblical theology, a deep understanding, celebration of, and embrace of the gospel of Jesus Christ, understanding that gospel, the true gospel, the biblical gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ against all superficial pretenders and also against false theologies, including any form of legalism that can creep in.’

    I actually recoiled when I ready this deluge of religious words that come over like an incantation. How is it not, in itself, a form of legalism? Like everyone else I feel that the whole point – being strengthened by the Holy Spirit to walk with Christ because of & in his love – has been missed. Eeek. It’s like hearing hammer blows that just make threatening noise, but don’t even hammer nails in, just a religious dialect known only by a few.

    And it’s only going to get much much worse if Josh Harris’s latest posts mean he is outing himself, not only as an ally, but potentially as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

    You shall know them (us) by their deeds, indeed.

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  29. “… Tom Ascol really wants to be the next president of the SBC …”

    Ain’t going to happen. Why? (1) “Ascol who?” … while Ascol thinks he is an SBC celebrity, rank & file Southern Baptists don’t have any idea who he is … he thinketh more highly of himself than he ought, (2) SBC annual meetings are increasingly populated by “New” Calvinists not “Old” Calvinists; the YRR aren’t going to vote for him, he is not in their tribe … they are true-blue Mohlerites, not Ascolites, (3) recent religious press and the blogosphere paint Ascol as a rabid Calvinist … all the news is bad news concerning him … other Calvinists (rabid or not) won’t cast many votes his way. Mohler ‘might’ endorse Ascol come election time, but unless Southern Baptists have lost their collective spiritual minds, they won’t elevate Ascol any higher than he already is (of course, with each passing day, it does appear that Southern Baptists have lost their collective spiritual minds).

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  30. “God has given us “nobodies” a way to be heard.”

    Someone once said “I’m just a nobody trying to tell everybody about somebody who can save anybody.”

    In the process of doing that, nobodies need tell everybody about the somebodies in church who hinder the anybodies from hearing a clear presentation of the Gospel. The Christian blogosphere continues to identify movements, ministers, and ministries which are driven by theo-political agendas, not the Great Commission.

    Of course, there are no nobodies in the Body of Christ. We belong to the King of Kings!

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  31. “…Ascol is convinced that he “hit upon a nerve” in the SBC that should be further explored and “discussed with open Bibles, as brothers,””

    Not sisters, though.

    Sisters are doing it for themselves, I guess.

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  32. When Christ walked the earth, he didn’t preach that we need serious biblical content, serious biblical knowledge, deep theology, apologetics and biblical theology. He taught, “I am the way, the truth and the life……” The gospel is so simple a child can understand. Mohler would have one believe a Christian life can only be lived by those with doctoral theology degrees. What a bunch of baloney.

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  33. Darlene: That may be, on the other hand, it might not be that simple.There’s a lot of Christians out there on the internet speculating about Josh Harris’ spiritual state, i.e. – was he ever really saved to begin with, was he a phony putting on a religious show just for the popularity and money, yada yada yada.

    What is it about Christians feeling compelled to dissect under a microscope the spiritual lives of other people?And then as so many do, pronouncing judgment upon them?

    I’ll leave the eternal destination of Joshua Harris in God’s hands.I think He is a more competent Judge than I, or anyone else.

    Since the days of Job, and before, it has ever been so. It really speaks to me about the paucity of Christian understanding that people who hear about people having a faith crisis assume the worst about the person. That they immediately jump to asking if the person is saved, or was ever saved, instead of praying for the person, saying that the person is having a spiritual battle, and then offering support.

    You can’t read the Bible without seeing God drive people into and/or meet them in a spiritual crisis – Jonah comes to mind, as does Job, and so many of the Psalms.

    It really says more about the critic’s own spiritual state.

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  34. Brian: Joshua Harris needs to “maintain media silence” so to speak. Let others take the photographs.

    Counterpoint. Josh Harris is a person and can talk about anything he wants on his personal page. Some people like to talk about things in public. Others like to take pictures. Why are people so offended at this?

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  35. ishy: Except I was female, so suddenly not allowed to continue my degree program or even speak to anyone besides one of my professors.

    I still say this is fraud and you should be compensated.

    Sidenote: I was listening to a ‘This american life’ the other day about how oral roberts u. did this thing years ago where they suspended students who didn’t lose enough weight over the summer (by 4 pounds!) and literally wouldn’t let them come to school. Crazy.

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  36. Lea: Counterpoint. Josh Harris is a person and can talk about anything he wants on his personal page. Some people like to talk about things in public. Others like to take pictures. Why are people so offended at this?

    I feel like he’s been a bit hypocritical by saying he needs quiet and for no one to ask him questions about things he’s done, and also saying he can say what he wants publicly.

    Sure, he can say what he wants. But he shouldn’t be telling everyone else they can’t.

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  37. Lea: I still say this is fraud and you should be compensated.

    Well, we all know Mohler and Akin are super sneaky about how they do things. So Akin claimed he was removing the MA degree programs because he didn’t think seminaries should have them. Even though, technically, my program was through the college and not the seminary and there was good reason for that since it was a program for people going as missionaries into sensitive countries. But the MA programs were also predominately female.

    I think it was quite a convenient way to remove most of the women from the school.
    They said I could finish, but I would have to do the MDiv, and retake some of the classes since the MDiv had been “retooled” (to reflect New Cal theology, of course). About 5 years later, they brought most of those MA programs back. I could have gone back and finished, but I knew what they stood for by that point and didn’t want to have anything to do with them.

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  38. David:
    I hope someone will take more time to proofread the content of the article, and then correct errors, BEFORE posting the article.You may not be a professional, and you can stay that way, but please, slow down and do a proper job.Put in a bit more effort.Is that too hard?
    “bvewteen”?“For Such A Time as This Raleigh”?Rally!Feel free to not post this.

    Thank you for bringing this up.

    I spoke about the problem that I have with a journalist from the Washington Post. You see, there is one of me. I try to post 3 times a week to keep readers informed of what is going on. I do proof read, believe it or not. But I can only glance at it a couple of time before posting because I just don’t have the time.

    The journalist said that many people have copy editors to go over spelling and sentence structure.Since I take no money for. this blog-no ads, no book kickbacks- I can’t afford that sort of help.Perhpas you would like to volunteer?

    Then there is the issue of timing. I got this post out quickly since both articles had just appeared. I could wait a few days and make a perfect post for you to read. But, it would be late and other stories would pop up.

    I am preparing to write a huge story in the next few weeks. While speaking with the people involved, I made a point which I bet you haven’t considered. About 90% of what I do does not get written about. For example, this past weekend I spent time with a family who was dealing with a problem of abusive church discipline. That story will never be written.

    So, thank you for pointing out the spelling errors. I will correct them. If you would like to send me a list of other corrections, I would be grateful. I’m just doing my best to keep everyone top to date as well as giving a different spin on it.

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  39. ishy: What a bunch of goobledygook.

    This is why I contend that there is a lot of pseudo-intellectualism in the evangelical world. Verbose writings that don’t amount to hill of beans. Frequently the pattern is that they make a thesis statement, preceded by an elaborate history, and then draw a bunch of conclusions on presupposed assumptions without actually providing logical rationale or support for their thesis statement. Everyone wants to be a C.S. Lewis but few have the tools.

    BTW: Adding “goobledygook” to my lexicon of deep theological terms.

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  40. dee,

    Dee, Thanks for all you do. Keeping us informed in a timely manner on a variety of topics is much more useful than having the spelling in every post be pristine. BTW: I don’t think you can read the first three pages of ANY paper and not find a few mistakes…. just the nature of working on a deadline.

    All, This is great time to be reminded that Dee doesn’t just have a blog but a ministry that extends to many who are hurting. Lets be in prayer for her and for those that she is ministering to.

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  41. Sarah,

    I wrote about this a few years ago. There is now one of me and so much to write about. Most of the time I feel guilty about not getting other stories up as soon as they happen. For example, the Sankey story hit the media in a big way this past weekend. Another story is brewing at Masters seminary.

    I was grateful to be able to discuss my dilemma with Sarah from the Washington Post. She reassured me that most writers have copy editors or people working with them to help with things like seance structure, spelling errors and the like.

    I’ve made a decision to forge ahead and get out stories that are currently being discussed. When I write a story like Akia’s story, however, it is gone over with a fine tooted comb before it appears in print.

    Akia’s story is the best example of how long it takes to write a carefully vetted post. I wrote most of it on a Tuesday. Then, she and I went back and forth all day on Wednesday. When it is a victim’s story, I want them to. be sure that it is being presented in the way that they want.

    However, I cannot do the same thing for every post I write or the posts would not get written or be delayed. It would also mean that I cannot be involved with people who call me for advice on a daily basis. There are many, many stories that will never be told on the blog. I want to be there for the people who need the advice. I often refer people to lawyers and counselors, for example.

    I am also at a point that I cannot answer all the emails I receive and that give me heartburn.

    So, what you see is what you get. And you are correct, there are lots of people out there who write perfectly and may be easier to read. However, I offer something different.

    PS Autocorrect keeps changing Rally to Raleigh. I wonder if it is because I use Raleigh a lot since I live here?

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  42. “Why didn’t he mention Harris’ connection to CJ Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries and Covenant Life Church?”

    If Al Mohler isn’t the biggest blow hard that ever was! He is totally irrelevant to me. This is supposed to be mister know-it-all. C.J. Mahaney was and is a money grubber and self promoter. Al Mohler ran with him while the getting was good. If as he should have, he had been a little more discerning and spoke against the charlatain Mahaney, maybe Joshua Harris wouldn’t be facing a crisis of faith. Mohler sees no accountability for the train wreck that is Sovereign Grace, C.J. Mahaney and the wrecked faith of thousands? Dee is right. He is only hoping he can deflect the association at this point. The man should be doing some soul searching at this point. Instead he looks at Joshua Harris in some academic excersize. Does he who trains pastors have any heart of a pastor at all. No! It appears not.

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  43. FW Rez,

    Thank you. My inability to do it all well as caused me great distress at times. I know that I make spelling mistakes. The thing I concentrate on is to not make mistakes that would lead to me being accused on lying. I told my husband that when I die, I want “She had really good links” put on my tombstone.

    I want everyone to know that I am aware of these deficiencies and am trying really hard to do it all well. I can’t so it is what it is. I really do appreciate this discussion. I’ve been wanting to say something about this for a long time.

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  44. Scott:
    There’s no one happier for Josh Harris than Tullian Tchividjian! He gets to quietly launch his new church!

    Mod: Come on folks. Quit changing your name comment to comment. Slash now Scott is NOT a typo. GBTC

    “Slasshhh” ?!?!?!
    That’s Just Not CHHRISTIANN!!

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  45. Darlene,

    Get ready for the documentary which will surely cause an uproar. It’s goal is to prove the SBC is filled with evil leaders and outspoken, unbiblical women. Tom Ascol will prove he’s the man to save the day in the SBC. I always knew the day would come when they started eating themselves. They go rid of the moderates, not they are going to get rid of lots more people. Grab the popcorn and sit back to watch the show. It should be fascinating.

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  46. dee:
    FW Rez,

    Thank you. My inability to do it all well as caused me great distress at times. I know that I make spelling mistakes. The thing I concentrate on is to not make mistakes that would lead to me being accused on lying. I told my husband that when I die, I want “She had really good links” put on my tombstone.

    I want everyone to know that I am aware of these deficiencies and am trying really hard to do it all well. I can’t so it is what it is.I really do appreciate this discussion. I’ve been wanting to say something about this for a long time.

    Don’t worry about it. I can’t stop my typos either. The main thing is that you are not writing pulp, or powder puff, like a lot of Big Eva.

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  47. FW Rez: ishy: What a bunch of goobledygook.

    This is why I contend that there is a lot of pseudo-intellectualism in the evangelical world. Verbose writings that don’t amount to hill of beans.

    “You don’t need any intellect to be an Intellectual.”
    — G.K.Chesterton, one of the Father Brown mysteries

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  48. Jerome: The chairman of SBTS’s board of trustees is Matt Schmucker.

    Schmucker ran 9Marks for Mark Dever in its first decade before moving on organize T4G, etc.

    So Schmucker’s a schmuck.
    How appropriate.

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  49. We have had quite a few comments over different blog posts about what happens to pedophiles in prison. Here is one example: https://www.foxnews.com/us/florida-pedophile-beaten-drowned-jail-cellmate
    It should be noted that not all pedophiles get the same lengthy sentences. One who pleads guilty to fondling a relative once is likely to end up in a min. security prison which is much less dangerous than the one who kidnaps or kills a victim and ends up in a max. security prison.

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  50. Beakerj: this deluge of religious words that come over like an incantation. How is it not, in itself, a form of legalism?

    I don’t think Mohler is describing education, but thorough indoctrination. Even when I was deeply indoctrinated, I did not have a plethora of proof texts. I would ask certain “well-trained” people (men) a simple “how do we know” question, and they would spit out verses like a stack of coupons.

    It is impossible to talk with such people. If they lack a verse, they resort to proving God’s greatness by saying, “A brown cow eats green grass and makes white milk.”

    I can’t build my faith without using my mind. These men want to close the mind off. It is legalism, and it is not faith or genuine education.

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  51. Pingback: Linkathon! - Phoenix Preacher

  52. singleman,

    “That speech was when Mohler labeled delay of marriage as “sin” and laid blame for this newly discovered “sin” at the feet of single Christian men. Mohler’s speech also left many listeners with the distinct impression that he considered the state of singleness to be sinful; he later had to clarify that wasn’t the case.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    sounds like a christian leader to me.

    1. i want personal significance. I will create a tribe and control it. if i’m not cut out for that sort of thing, i will seek to join the cool tribe and get my share that way.

    2. i need power to do both of these things.

    3. i will gain this power over others by convincing them they have a problem so dire they are making God extremely angry. this means all kinds of bad things may start happening to them, their prayers won’t get answered, and they might not get into heaven.

    –(I imply or outright state that “X is a sin”. i don’t even need to present an argument for it. That will be enough to stir people up and make them afraid.)

    4. i will then make it clear that i have the answer for this dire problem.

    –(I let them in on a secret that only the elites know about: i present Y, what they need to start doing and believing because it is righteous will make them God’s favorite and our favorite. it’s the rule of engagement in order to join our cool club.)

    6. final step: deny deny deny

    –(“I may have said X is a sin, but I never, ever said X is sinful. how dare you slander me in this manner, & may God have mercy on you soul.”)

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  53. Friend: they would spit out verses like a stack of coupons

    Ha. It’s exactly like that. I am always amused when folks come in and claim that people on a blog or whatever dare to make arguments using only their brains, stuff they know, logic, etc, without punctuating all of it with a bible verse every three seconds.

    I’d a hundred percent rather see actually arguments that aren’t just ‘read this verse and you will agree with me’. It’s ridiculous – what do they think they’re proving? As if I can’t cite a verse? That’s *easy*.

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  54. elastigirl: –(I imply or outright state that “X is a sin”. i don’t even need to present an argument for it. That will be enough to stir people up and make them afraid.)

    ….

    6. final step: deny deny deny
    –(“I may have said X is a sin, but I never, ever said X is sinful. how dare you slander me in this manner, & may God have mercy on you soul.”)

    ‘I didn’t jump to conclusions. I took tiny steps and there conclusions were’.

    I believe pretending they didn’t mean the thing they obviously meant could be considered a form of gaslighting, honestly.

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  55. Sjon,

    “It is astonishing (and very revealing) that Mohler appears to think that theological knowledge is the key to Life!

    Whatever happened to relationship with Jesus who said ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    there’s no money in it.

    no stepping stones for power. no personal legacy to be had.

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  56. Leaving aside the whole SGM sex abuse mess, when I read all the SGM Survivors material, I was overwhelmed by the eerily similar stories ex-SGMers told about the profoundly unhealthy and spiritually abusive culture of SGM churches, espec. but not just CLC in Gaithersburg. All the pressure on every member to engage in public “sin-digging”, the frantic effort to come up with some horrible sin to tell to your small group every week as well as even larger forums, coerced by the “sin-sniffing” of those in the many layers of pastoral “authority” to make sure everybody was living out CJ Mahaney’s weirdly egocentric response to a casual “How are you?” by replying “I’m doing better than I deserve, because I’m the worst sinner I know”. Anyone not forthcoming with this constant self-abasement was suspected of “pride” and rebellion against the pastors’ authority, which authority was just an expression of “caring” for your vile soul, don’t you know. All this self-denunciation was pressured on people in the name of “humility”, as if God is exalted every time I declare what a vile worm I am, even though I’m “saved”.
    This slavish impulse to conform to the attitude of a single powerful leader, and the culture of self-denunciation, is endemic to cults, from the Red Chinese Maoist cult of personality with its 1000s of “re-education camps” with violent beaten for the insufficiently contrite, to David Miscavige’s imprisonment of top Scientology lieutenants in an abusive environment called “The Hole” at their Gold Base for YEARS at a time, where his underlings were literally starved and berated day and night to coerce them to confess their crimes against Scientology — well, you get the picture.
    All this to say that guys like Mohler have no clue or discernment about church cult/ures like SGM, so long as leaders like Mahaney spout the right brand of Neo-Calvinist faux-humility theology, and drop the names of J. Edwards and C. Spurgeon in every sentence they speak to Mohler. For years Mohler sang the praises of SGM as a model of evangelical church growth and church planting, the whole time they were spreading a kind of spiritual ebola virus throughout their churches, causing thousands of decent Christians to spiritually bleed out, drop out of church and X’ty altogether, and suffer horrific mental and spiritual illness. Read the “stories”, they’re still on SGM survivors blog.

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  57. David: I hope someone will take more time to proofread the content of the article, and then correct errors, BEFORE posting the article. You may not be a professional, and you can stay that way, but please, slow down and do a proper job. Put in a bit more effort. Is that too hard?
    “bvewteen”?
    “For Such A Time as This Raleigh”? Rally!

    Feel free to not post this.

    I have little to no tolerance for people like you. Get a life. Dee does the very best she can IMO and those of us that are regulars here greatly appreciate her.

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  58. Fisher,

    That was my thought exactly. “Where is the relationship with Jesus?” That should be the primary thing, but it’s completely absent from Mohler’s list of imperatives. He gives lip service to avoiding legalism, but you’ll always end up with legalism if you prioritize the things on his list.

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  59. Twitter… “is extremely threatening to those who believe in a protected leadership in the church and parachurch groups. Darn those little guys who have the audacity to say what they think! Those nobodies are causing so many problems for Ascol and Mohler who want to be the only ones who are granted access to the microphone. Those days are long gone and they need to get over it.”

    This is so true. The big Evangelical leaders appear to despise blogs, Twitter, and all media that provide a platform for the “pew peons” to speak, especially if they disagree with the big boys. These guys apparently came of age in authoritarian churches and expect to wield the same kind of power now that they’re in charge.

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  60. mot: those of us that are regulars here greatly appreciate her.

    If the complainer easily provides the correction, the mistake is negligible. A more significant mistake would be, say, omitting the word “not” when needed, or writing the wrong name (quoting Mohler but attributing the words to a different person).

    Dee marshals the facts and presents them in a highly ethical way.

    We are Raleigh spoiled.

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  61. Les Puryear,

    Just thought a rephrasing would be interesting here. Note that Mohler would use “Reformed” or “Gospel” to describe New Calvinism, but I chose to use more “accurate” words.

    “The only way that we’re going to be able to sustain a [patriarchal] biblical sexual ethic and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is by serious biblical content [from me and my friends], serious biblical knowledge [only of a New Calvinist perspective], deep [New Calvinist] theology, [New Calvinist] apologetics (1), biblical [New Calvinist] theology, a deep understanding [as the non-elect cannot understand by God’s design], celebration of, and embrace of the gospel of Jesus Christ, understanding that gospel, the true gospel, the biblical gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ against all superficial pretenders and also against false theologies (2), including any form of legalism that can creep in (3)”

    1. “New Calvinist apologetics” refers only to repeating what Mohler condones from authors in the New Calvinist camp
    2. “Gospel” = The election of those who follow Mohler and camp, and anyone who does not could not possibly be elect and have the understanding of God. BTW, having special knowledge is one of the biggest signs of a cult movement.
    3. Mohler has to tell everyone his legalistic paragraph isn’t legalistic, because non-elect peons “won’t understand”

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  62. Les Puryear: Fisher,

    In Mohler’s world, “deep theology” means Calvinism.

    Indeed! According to the good doctor, only in the depths of reformed theology can one find truth. New Calvinism, in particular, is the only viable theological option. Listen to his own words:

    “What options are there? If you’re a theologically minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and you want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel-built and structured and committed churches, your theology is just gonna end up basically being Reformed, basically being something like this New Calvinism or you’re gonna have to invent some other label for what’s just gonna be the same thing. There just are not options out there. And that’s something that I think frustrates some people. But when I am asked about the New Calvinism, I will say just basically, where else are they gonna go? Who else is gonna answer the questions? Where else will they find the resources they need? And where else are they gonna connect? This is a generation that understands, they want to say the same thing Paul said. They want to stand with the Apostles. They want to stand with old, dead people. And they know they are going to have to if they are going to preach and teach the truth.” (Al Mohler)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6lRMMvNCn8

    Well, that pretty much eliminates 90+% of Christendom, which is non-Calvinist in belief and practice! In Mohler’s world of “deep theology”, anything that is not reformed is not preaching and teaching truth. What arrogance!

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  63. Dr. Mohler’s insistence that “theological depth,” alone, will sustain a biblical sexual ethic and the Gospel of Jesus reminded me of John Ortberg’s reflection on spiritual growth and transformation:

    “One of the great misconceptions about spiritual growth that develops in a lot of churches is that information alone is adequate to produce transformed human beings. So, if we want to have a church of spiritually mature people, let’s just keep cramming more and more information into them… Information alone is not adequate for…transformation.”

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  64. “The only way that we’re going to be able to sustain a biblical sexual ethic and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is by serious biblical content, serious biblical knowledge, deep theology, apologetics, biblical theology, a deep understanding, celebration of, and embrace of the gospel of Jesus Christ, understanding that gospel, the true gospel, the biblical gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ against all superficial pretenders and also against false theologies, including any form of legalism that can creep in.”

    This is just the toxic teaching we all received at Bethlehem Baptist under John Piper and David Michael. On the one hand they proudly proclaim to be Calvinists, flying the banner of the sovereignty of God, and in the same breath they rail at parents that unless they aggressively teach their children in one exact way, these exact ideas, worded exactly like this, and oh yeah, doggedly follow the Biblical Manhood and Womanhood mantra, they will not grow up to love the Lord. Which one is it, guys? You talk out of both sides of your mouth. For decades these men have heaped tremendous guilt and shame and anxiety on parents’ shoulders. Well guess what? Life doesn’t work like that. The proof is in their own households if they had the guts to admit it. They refuse to acknowledge that their pride and lack of love makes all this theological knowledge a clanging cymbal and the harsh noise of it has driven countless people away from the church, and some away from God. This kind of theological angst has nothing to do with the grace, peace, love, and freedom that comes from the Good Shepherd.

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  65. dee: They got rid of the moderates, not they are going to get rid of lots more people.

    Yes, SBC’s Conservative Resurgence was really a Calvinist Resurgence (not many folks understood that at the time). Mohler and Ascol have been working in tandem to advance “New” Calvinism and “Old” Calvinism, respectfully, within SBC ranks. Their ultimate goal is to eliminate anything in SBC life that will not bow a knee to Calvinism. The strange thing is that the vast majority of Southern Baptists are still non-Calvinist in belief and practice, but they have been blindly supporting this reformed rebellion with their tithes and offerings for the past 20+ years … “Here’s some money, come and get me!”

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  66. You should interview my friend who comes out of the Sovereign Grace movement and it’s extremely upset and doesn’t give a rat’s arse about Harris and that whole group due to ALL the ABUSE that came out of that. Here’s this evil dude of Sovereign Grace you know who they investigated who had no you know degrees, education basically (men die by degrees by the way). If, you really think about it what did you learn in church; I learned absolutely nothing, nothing in church nothing; you get their Dogma, their jesus their unholy spirit, their god; they don’t even teach the Bible. This was absolutely NO surprise, the dead preaching to the dead; all they do is suck out is your brains, time and your money and you get nothing but lies, manipulation and control guilt, condemnation, criticism abuse. Firstly the church and its present condition is extremely evil they have been a tool in the hand of Satan to destroy the familyand they’ve done a great job” as the church goes so goes the world”, if the world is corrupt it’s because the church is and we’re seeing that!

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  67. Max: They want to stand with old, dead people.

    Old dead people like Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Clement of Rome, Irenaeus of Lyons, Cyprian of Carthage, Cyril of Jerusalem, Athanasius, Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, Benedict and Scholastica, Cyril and Methodius…those old dead people?

    Hmmmmmm. I guess some people are older and deader than others, even though they lived many centuries later. 😉

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  68. But at no point has there been any apparent heart-searching, among those left in the movement, as to whether such falls indicate a problem in the very culture of the YRR—at best a lack of judgment in its choice of headline acts, at worst a fundamental lack of integrity. Sorry, as Elton John sang, seems to be the hardest word. Which is odd for a religion predicated on repentance.

    From Trueman’s article…this is in line with their position on things like racism, abuse and the mistreatment of women. No need to apologize. No need to soul search. No need to look at systems…just *poof* it’s all good because they said so. Even if it’s not.

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  69. Max: Indeed!According to the good doctor, only in the depths of reformed theology can one find truth.New Calvinism, in particular, is the only viable theological option.Listen to his own words:

    “What options are there? If you’re a theologically minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and you want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel-built and structured and committed churches, your theology is just gonna end up basically being Reformed, basically being something like this New Calvinism or you’re gonna have to invent some other label for what’s just gonna be the same thing. There just are not options out there. And that’s something that I think frustrates some people.But when I am asked about the New Calvinism, I will say just basically, where else are they gonna go?Who else is gonna answer the questions?Where else will they find the resources they need?And where else are they gonna connect?This is a generation that understands, they want to say the same thing Paul said.They want to stand with the Apostles.They want to stand with old, dead people.And they know they are going to have to if they are going to preach and teach the truth.” (Al Mohler)

    What arrogance!

    I remember seeing that a year or so ago, and honestly being sick to my stomach – I was asking, “Oh, what about the church fathers and mothers? The Patristic age? That whole early church? THEY stood with the apostles, and they were NOT Calvinist! Speaking of old, dead people! Where can you go??? How about the Lutherans! The Anglicans! The Orthodox! The Catholics! The Copts! Any faithful gathering I haven’t thought of that actually studies those old dead people who actually, I don’t know, TALKED TO THE APOSTLES and their immediate successors! Who are actually trying to make their way in this world with a rule of life actually based on Christianity.”

    But drill down to what he says – “Where else will they find the resources they need? And where else are they gonna connect?” Ergo – who else is actively working, networking, and creating a scaffold. Who is in positions of power to help them move up? Who is in the know, has the money they need, and the connections they want?

    Power. Control. Authority. It always comes back to that with them, doesn’t it? Always.

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  70. Catholic Gate-Crasher: OK, now I am LOL-ing.

    And I agree with what others have said, of course. Carping about typos in blog posts is, well, silly. Dee, I deeply appreciate what you do. And as someone who is constantly being sabotaged by Autocorrect, I totally get how “rally” turned into “Raleigh”; it made perfect sense to me. Once, when I typed “Nicene Creed,” Autocorrect turned it into “Niceness Creed,” which I thought was a hoot. It made me wonder whether Autocorrect is run by one of those sweet little Methodist ladies who bring you Moravian chicken pie when you’re home sick. (Y’all have to come to Winston-Salem sometime to sample Moravian chicken pie. It’s pretty awesome.)

    BTW, Dr. Steve’s comment reminded me of this. I’m not posting it to impugn *anyone’s* spelling, really and truly. I just wanted an excuse to post a Weird Al song, because the guy’s a comic genius, and after this horrific weekend, I for one need a little levity:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gv0H-vPoDc

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  71. Magistos: Power. Control. Authority. It always comes back to that with them, doesn’t it? Always.

    Yes. The New Calvinist movement has always been about power, control, and authority … actually that was John Calvin’s modus operandi in 16th century Geneva. New Calvinism’s elite leaders are accomplishing their mission through manipulation, intimidation, and domination of Christians, with a touch of stealth & deception when necessary. It all sounds like God, doesn’t it? … not

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  72. Magistos,

    “How about the Lutherans! The Anglicans! The Orthodox! The Catholics! The Copts! Any faithful gathering I haven’t thought of that actually studies those old dead people who actually, I don’t know, TALKED TO THE APOSTLES and their immediate successors! Who are actually trying to make their way in this world with a rule of life actually based on Christianity.”
    +++++++++++++++

    i mentioned this in a previous post:

    “The village of Fioletovo in northern #Armenia is home to 1,500 Molokans, a Christian sect which split from Russia’s Orthodox Church in the 16th century.”

    …can’t remember how in the world i ran across this. but i was instantly reminded of how christians can be at once so elitist and insular.

    there are hidden pockets big and small of people all over the world who are doing their best to hang on to faith in God. So what if it does’t match ours? So what if they do it differently?

    i really don’t think God is a pedantic taskmaster with a clipboard and list checking things off. (unless one’s God resembles santa claus)

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  73. Magistos: But drill down to what he says – “Where else will they find the resources they need? And where else are they gonna connect?” Ergo – who else is actively working, networking, and creating a scaffold. Who is in positions of power to help them move up? Who is in the know, has the money they need, and the connections they want?

    This is very observant. You’re right–he’s not saying they will come because it’s true. He’s saying they will come because it promises them power over others. And that’s exactly what he said in the recent quote about Ascol. His whole concept of “complementarianism”, or “biblical sexual ethics”, is really about hierarchy and power over others. The entire underlying conception of New Calvinism is about men being promised power and special men, like him, holding power over them all.

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  74. Mohler’s point here was not to chronicle his personal history with Harris, Mahaney, and SGM. It was to show the significance of a big name evangelical becoming an apostate to the Christian faith. That was the story. Why throw your pet narrative into the mix? What do you exactly want from him? And why should Mohler be somehow culpable to Mahaney’s problems? Joshua Harris’s apostasy? Is there anything that Mohler could write or say that would make you feel a bit more chipper?

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  75. GC: He gives lip service to avoiding legalism, but you’ll always end up with legalism if you prioritize the things on his list.

    “But it’s not Legalism because We Don’t Call It Legalism. Do you understand?”
    “Do you?”

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  76. Fisher:
    Brian,

    Doesn’t look like that will happen. In the last 12 hours he’s spoken loud and clear what he supports:
    http://julieroys.com/josh-harris-gay-pride-posts-raise-questions/

    One of his tweets speaks of him refusing to disappear, holding his head up, looking Christians in the eye, saying he’s not ashamed, etc. Conversations about failures of authority, accountability, and oversight such as not handling /reporting abuse cases well and about the personal enrichment from his books, seminars, and years ministry as it were — from which he presumably continues to benefit — will remain appropriate and not up for instant exemption ‘cuz oopsie, sorry, and new adventures couched as personal growth. This especially goes for those victimized and otherwise affected.

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  77. Magistos,

    ishy,

    Great points, brothers! Where else are they going to go but to Mohler’s world?! There’s power, control and authority awaiting them! Should we wonder why New Calvinism is populated by so many narcissists? Should we wonder why they subordinate both women and Jesus? Should we wonder why they claim to possess the only true gospel?

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  78. R McPherson,

    Oh be serious! That website screams nonsense. The biggest challenge that the church faces from the gay community is that so many of the people in it are exactly like their heterosexual equivalents,just attracted to the same sex. They have the same desire for relationships, families, jobs etc. Some of the best foster parents I have met are married lesbians.

    Harping on about all the ‘perversion’ in this group is beyond ridiculous, given how much exists in the hetero world, & how often that worst of perversions, paedophilia, happens in & is overlooked by the church.

    You may not agree with his choice, you may think it’s a bad idea, but one man’s story about his unhappiness does not represent this whole culture.

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  79. ishy: What a bunch of goobledygook.

    This is why I contend that there is a lot of pseudo-intellectualism in the evangelical world. Verbose writings that don’t amount to hill of beans. Frequently the pattern is that they make a thesis statement, preceded by an elaborate history, and then draw a bunch of conclusions on presupposed assumptions without actually providing logical rationale or support for their thesis statement. Everyone wants to be a C.S. Lewis but few have the tools.

    This is a point that needs to be repeated. Contrary to what Mohler may think, by and large, the new Calvinists do not do deep theology. They throw a lot of concepts, that have been around in the evangelical world, together and think that they are doing heavy lifting. Most of their best exegesis comes on the backs of others (particularly someone like Bultmann). Has anyone seen any deep theology from the pens of Piper, Dever, Mohler, etc. Have you read Grudem’s systematics. There are so many elementary logic and theologic errors in it, that it is hard to read!

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  80. Steve240: I am sure Josh is thriving right now on all the attention he is getting.This rather than come out and share where he is all at once Josh prefers to slowly reveal things.By doing so the net affect is a lot more attention.
    You know, if you are going to leave Christianity, is it really necessary to “announce” it? Just go already. And Josh Harris did the Forward for “Finally Free” written by Heath Lambert, current pastor of FBC JAX and when Heath Lambert wrote a letter to the church about removing Josh Harris’s forward, He kept calling Jesus “Christ” and he didn’t once say the name of Jesus either. I just thought it was weird. It’s all just so weird to me.

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  81. Fisher:

    What I am certain of is that Harris’ situation (or anyone else who struggles with issues about the church,God,Jesus) is not as monotone simple as to be solved by intellectual acceptance of “deep theology” as suggested by Al Mohler.

    I agree! The various struggles that take place within the heart and mind can be complex. And often Christians try to address these complexities with simple platitudes or formulas. Mohler’s little formula does not even begin to address the issues of a struggling Christian who is wrestling with doubt, depression, anger, resentment, etc., etc.

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  82. ishy: I was at Southeastern when Akin arrived, and it was much the same. Except I was female, so suddenly not allowed to continue my degree program or even speak to anyone besides one of my professors.

    The least the university could have done was grandfathered you into the program. Here you were paying money for an education and to a program that eventually would be ruled out for you. That means a lot of wasted credits and money that you won’t get back. That is just nasty of them to pull the rug out from underneath you like that. By the way, what degree program were you in?

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  83. Friend: Harris might just be starting to unpack enough baggage to sink a cruise ship.

    Unpacking that kind of baggage can take YEARS! The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Joshua Harris has a long way to go in processing his experiences in the Quiverfull, Fundamentalist, New Calvinist, C J Mahaney, SGM orbit!

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  84. Max: And the Founders aren’t “New” Calvinists.

    The problem with defining who and who is not a Calvinist is there is no consistent definition. John Calvin himself was not a true Calvinist.

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  85. Darlene: By the way, what degree program were you in?

    MA Intercultural Studies

    I had a job waiting for me in Japan. I could have gone, and wanted to, but my father was diagnosed with cancer, and I decided he needed me more. My brother was in the military and my mom passed away when I was a teenager. My dad is in remission now, but I’ve had some pretty severe health issues of my own to contend with and am not sure I can play enthusiastic Christian anymore. But I’ve never quite felt like I was in the right place since I left Japan.

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  86. I honestly don’t think there’s much Harris could do that would be as bad as being a cult leader. Seriously, Christian leaders that say stuff like being gay is the worst sin are and are doing much worse to people in their own churches. Christians shouldn’t fall for that line of thinking.

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  87. Sarah:
    I would like to point out, David, that this is not your blog and if the typos bother you don’t read it. Dee puts a lot of effort into this and it is all on her own time. The typos don’t change the meaning. It is clear what was intended.Cut a person some slack.

    Thanks for your comments. Obviously it’s not my blog. Yes, words DO change the meaning of certain sentences. “For Such A Time as This ‘Raleigh'” is very different than the actual location of the ‘Rally’ mentioned, Louisville if my memory serves me correctly. Mislabeling an actual event in other circumstances might be considered “fake news”, thus not to even be considered.

    And then, to you and all the rest who can’t handle a person pointing out errors to See, please read Dee’s direct reply to me. While it’s sometimes appropriate to defend someone else, because we’re all “nobodies” in one way or another, how about having a bit more grace to your fellow “nobody”. You all sure know how to lead a person to really think of themselves as a nobody/unimportant.

    Thanks, Dee, for the option of volunteering. Not now, but I will consider it when I get some personal affairs in order.

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  88. Shane McGrath:
    Mohler’s point here was not to chronicle his personal history with Harris, Mahaney, and SGM.It was to show the significance of a big name evangelical becoming an apostate to the Christian faith.That was the story.Why throw your pet narrative into the mix? What do you exactly want from him?And why should Mohler be somehow culpable to Mahaney’s problems?Joshua Harris’s apostasy?Is there anything that Mohler could write or say that would make you feel a bit more chipper?

    Sounds like you are attacking the messenger. IMO you were very condescending to Dee. Al has lots of explaining to do.

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  89. David: “For Such A Time as This ‘Raleigh’” is very different than the actual location of the ‘Rally’ mentioned, Louisville if my memory serves me correctly.

    This is wkward sentence structure. Please polish before posting.

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  90. dee,

    Oh, I was just thinking about how Shannon deserves respect because I am sure she has been through a lot. And I suppose to the men in charge she will always be Shannon Harris no matter what she wants to be called. It’s a bummer.

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  91. David: to you and all the rest who can’t handle a person pointing out errors

    Hon, nobody cares if you point out errors, but you were a *rude person* and kind of obnoxious in doing so. This response is also obnoxious (‘fake news’ honestly).

    You have also left two comments now and not a bit of substance.

    I actually thought Raleigh/Rally was kind of cute. Too bad the thing wasn’t really in Raleigh or dee could have kept it!

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  92. Lea:
    “…Ascol is convinced that he “hit upon a nerve” in the SBC that should be further explored and “discussed with open Bibles, as brothers,””

    Not sisters, though.

    Sisters are doing it for themselves, I guess.

    Because women’s views aren’t needed or wanted by men like Ascol. Listening to what women could contribute just might be giving in to FEMINISM!!!!

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  93. Kari,

    Oh, now I understand. Sadly, Shannon is of no importance to these men who believe that males are the real leaders in the church. Mohler should have referred to her by her correct name which is Shannon Bonne. I bet it never occurred to him that Shannon might change her name.

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  94. Dee,

    I do not have a problem with your posts. The meaning is quite clear. Anyone should be able to get it. Typos and autocorrect are unimportant .The gist of your posts is far more important than every T be crossed and every I dotted.

    That being said if you ever want any help I would be happy to be of assistance. I have been in charge of editing government documents. You don’t need any help because you are doing a fine job. But if you want help , let me know.

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  95. Shane McGrath: Is there anything that Mohler could write or say that would make you feel a bit more chipper?

    You bet Shane. Al Mohler could talk about meeting with and knowing the actual risen, living Jesus. He could point us to spending time with the Master himself instead of hiding behind “deep theology”. He could remind us that like in the book of Job there are things going on “behind the curtain” of Josh Harris’ life that none of us know about. He could confess his own complicity by supporting men who covered sexual abuse. Mohler could also speak out about spiritual abuse and how it drives people with honest questions out of churches. He could call Josh Harris and TALK to him, because I’m guessing they know each other reasonably well. Instead the man sits in his academic office and tells the world that Josh wasn’t theologically correct enough. In short, Al Mohler strips the situation of humanity – both Josh and Jesus’ humanity.

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  96. Lisa Chapman:
    I found it interesting that Mohler did not mention Josh had been sexually abused by someone in the church.

    Not surprising at all. From what I read and know of Al Mohler (and some of those he trained whom I do know first hand) he is all about one thing- doctrine. Sexual abuse has nothing to do with doctrine, so how could someone laser focused on doctrine even see it?

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  97. Lea: I believe pretending they didn’t mean the thing they obviously meant could be considered a form of gaslighting, honestly.

    It’s known as doublespeak, legalese, plausible deniability and probably other names. At its heart, it is dishonesty. The speaker deliberately dissimulates, seeking to be able to claim whatever meaning best serves his current audience and circumstances. It can be identified by unnecessarily wordy, multi-syllabic, compound sentences that leave one scratching one’s head as to what the heck it means. John Calvin was the king of this kind of deceptive speech.

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  98. The Don: For years Mohler sang the praises of SGM as a model of evangelical church growth and church planting, the whole time they were spreading a kind of spiritual ebola virus throughout their churches, causing thousands of decent Christians to spiritually bleed out, drop out of church and X’ty altogether, and suffer horrific mental and spiritual illness. Read the “stories”, they’re still on SGM survivors blog.

    This is actually a stunning statement. What could be closer to the battle plan of the chief enemy of God, than to foster false, destructive so-called churches?

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  99. Max: “What options are there? If you’re a theologically minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and you want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel-built and structured and committed churches, your theology is just gonna end up basically being Reformed, basically being something like this New Calvinism or you’re gonna have to invent some other label for what’s just gonna be the same thing. There just are not options out there.

    Durn near burst a spring reading this one. Then I started laughing.

    Mohler says the goal is to see the nations rejoice “in the name of Christ”? No, the goal is people rejoicing in meeting Jesus not just being happy that they get to associate with his name.

    As for wanting to see “gospel built and structured churches”… hahahaha. No thanks. Jesus gets to lead His church. Period.

    Which has meant women leading most of the church networks in China. (Someone personally trained by Al Mohler actually told me, “The fact that women lead those churches is a measure of their unhealthiness.” I guess that’s why Chinese Christians now outnumber American Christians and they are baptising new people every year and starting new house churches. While the church that man led hadn’t baptized anyone other than children of believers in five years.)

    In India Jesus is leading non-literate villagers to start new discipleship groups using Bible stories on SD phone cards. In Bangladesh and Indonesia Jesus is leading muslim background people to baptize fellow villagers with (gasp) no ordained pastors anywhere in sight.

    How little Al Mohler knows of the world! Jesus is still visiting tax collectors, prostitutes, and ordinary unschooled people every day. Those people meet Jesus and follow him. And they come up with plenty of options that don’t include high control, seminary-centric calvinist structures. I can just hear someone in rural Cambodia. “Calvin? Is that an animal, mineral, or vegetable?”

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  100. Magistos: But drill down to what he says – “Where else will they find the resources they need? And where else are they gonna connect?” Ergo – who else is actively working, networking, and creating a scaffold. Who is in positions of power to help them move up? Who is in the know, has the money they need, and the connections they want?

    Power. Control. Authority. It always comes back to that with them, doesn’t it? Always.

    It also reveals their strategy of taking over evangelicalism, one denomination at a time, so that there will soon, literally be nowhere to go – unless you want to be seen with those evil, child-eating liberals. 😉 My spouse was horrified when I stated, sincerely, that I would go to a Catholic or mainline evangelical church before I would go to a Calvinist one. They all have their issues, like the churches of Revelations, but at least they still have the intact gospel.

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  101. Darlene,

    Even though, his horrid experiences as a child being molested are just now really impacting him, he was part of the inner circle as a young adult. I wouldn’t rule out he had some knowledge, as an adult, of the molestation going on at that time in the SGM. If he did, he needs to come clean about it to. I’m guessing he’s not “all victim” here.

    I hope he gets the help he needs, I hope he returns to Jesus, but he has to come clean on ALL the information.

    That’s what’s eating at me. He seems all over the place over a long period of time, due to coming to terms with things. Or, he and Mohler together are executing a clean split.

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  102. Max: There was a separation of church and state

    In name only. Plausible deniability. Calvin was a pro at doublespeak and deception. He could denounce the Catholic Church and its Inquisition, while secretly sending them evidence to get Servetus arrested and executed. Except he escaped, so Calvin had to do renounce his anti-Inquisition stance and begin eliminating ‘heretics’ himself. Nasty little fellow.

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  103. Fisher: In India Jesus is leading non-literate villagers to start new discipleship groups

    I was struck by the same “deep theology” quote of Mohler’s that has hit a nerve with so many others. And that was my thought, too. What about the countless illiterate people throughout the world and history? Or intellectually disabled? Or simply not academically inclined? Are they condemned to a second-rate relationship with Christ? Surely not. Not with the same Jesus who called the little children to him and held them up as models of faith (Luke 18:15-16)

    Not that there’s any problem with loving theology and using your God-given (i.e., given by God, not earned through your own merit) intelligence to ponder the “deeper” meanings of Scripture. But to take pride in an evangelical intelligentsia and ignore the various Scriptures about no member of the body being more or less important than any other member (Romans 12:3-8)… Well, that’s problematic.

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  104. Fisher,

    In the 1800’s the missionary societies sent women to the Far East. So, was the spreading of the gospel during that time period in that part of the world always unhealthy. Or, is it that Al Mohler now can’t justify saying, that women get sent over there as missionaries because in past history we thought less of them.

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  105. Shane McGrath: Mohler’s point here was not to chronicle his personal history with Harris, Mahaney, and SGM. It was to show the significance of a big name evangelical becoming an apostate to the Christian faith. That was the story.

    You’re right, Mohler’s point was not to chronicle his personal history with Harris. Yes, “the story” was “to show the significance of a big name evangelical becoming an apostate to the Christian faith.” But even to those knowing nothing about Mahaney and SGM, Mohler’s description leaves questions.

    From Mohler’s article: “He became lead pastor of a Maryland mega church in 2004, and he continued in that role until 2015… In 2015, he resigned from the church and indicated that he was moving… to give attention to theological education. He said in a statement at the time that he had been living effectively backwards… He said that he was going to resign from ministry, and the very fact that he made that announcement the way he did indicated that perhaps even more fundamental changes were afoot.”

    Eleven years of his life as an apparently successful lead pastor of a mega church, because he “had been living effectively backwards?” What, one might ask, would cause someone to think that one has been living backwards? Surely it must have been something monumental, at least to that individual, to warrant uprooting an entire family and an entire lifestyle (full-time employment to full-time student) after eleven years living the dream job of probably a lot of people in vocational ministry. Right? I mean, do you know of any other senior pastors of mega churches who left because of anything other than retirement or scandal? I don’t, but am certainly open to learning of them.

    And if you do happen to be familiar with Mahaney and SGM… Well, then it seems rather disingenuous of Mohler not to let the rest of us in on “the story” of what may have caused Harris to think he was “living backwards” and what may have influenced him even more in the direction of “becoming an apostate to the Christian faith.” So that Harris’ story can stand as a warning to others who may think to cover up sexual abuse (or other types of abuses, for that matter) in the Body of Christ, lest they also nudge others toward apostasy.

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  106. Al Mohler says,

    “There’s something else of extreme importance in this case, and I say this as president of a theological seminary and a Christian college, but this is just emphatically important. There has to be theological depth. The only way that we’re going to be able to sustain a biblical sexual ethic and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is by serious biblical content, serious biblical knowledge, deep theology, apologetics, biblical theology, a deep understanding, celebration of, and embrace of the gospel of Jesus Christ, understanding that gospel, the true gospel, the biblical gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ against all superficial pretenders and also against false theologies, including any form of legalism that can creep in.”

    I believe he is mistaken. The law can only ever bring forth sin. And what he is listing here are laws. Follow this. Learn that. Study this. Do that. Trying harder at what is already not working is not the answer.

    I believe the answer is right here, in something he did not mention:

    Romans 13:10
    “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

    I don’t know exactly what a “Biblical sexual ethic” is supposed to entail but I do know that sexual ethics that are healthy, positive, respectful, and don’t bring harm to other persons is the ideal.

    If love is not going to prevent people from doing harm one another, more rules and teachings and theology and doctrine is not going to do it. Heck, look at these leaders themselves. It hasn’t stopped them, has it?

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  107. Fisher: You’re right. Nothing is as simple as it seems. The book of Job shows that people try to understand what is happening by assigning a 1:1 correspondence between what they see and a person’s behavior. Didn’t turn out so well in Job- all of them got it wrong at some level.

    I have very close friend who walked away from Jesus so I’ve seen first hand the complexity involved. Josh Harris sounds like someone who may not have known Jesus personally. But whether that’s true or not only God knows as you say. What I am certain of is that Harris’ situation (or anyone else who struggles with issues about the church,God,Jesus) is not as monotone simple as to be solved by intellectual acceptance of “deep theology” as suggested by Al Mohler.

    Very good point about Job.

    Something that many don’t seem to be contemplating is the part cognitive dissonance plays in this. If your theology demands you take a stand for something you’re an honest person who sees that that stand is unfair or cruel and it bothers your conscience, eventually you are going to have a spiritual showdown. If you finally step free to follow your conscience, there are those who will say you no longer know God or never really knew God but there’s also a chance you are finally getting out from under other peoples’ definitions of God and what God demands and letting your own conscience lead you. And the Holy Spirit. I spent years trying to make church work, and when I finally stepped out of church and breathed a sigh of relief, I felt as if the Spirit was saying, “finally! I’ve been trying to tell you! What took you so long?”

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  108. Shane McGrath: Mohler’s point here was not to chronicle his personal history with Harris, Mahaney, and SGM. It was to show the significance of a big name evangelical becoming an apostate to the Christian faith.

    And does Mohler really think that Harris’ involvement with a revolting, controlling little blackmailer like Mahaney played no role at all in Harris’ current questioning of his faith?

    Shane McGrath: And why should Mohler be somehow culpable to Mahaney’s problems?

    He’s not, but Mohler is culpable for propping The Humble One up for so long, in spite of all the accusations levelled against him. And he is most certainly culpable for publicly supporting Mahaney at the expense of SGM’s victims at T4G 2016.

    Shane McGrath: Is there anything that Mohler could write or say that would make you feel a bit more chipper?

    Well, sure. He could start by telling everyone why it took him three years to apologize for denigrating victims of sexual abuse and molestation with a disgusting, heartless joke. I’ve yet to see him offer any explanation for that, let alone a cogent one.

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  109. TS00: It also reveals their strategy of taking over evangelicalism, one denomination at a time, so that there will soon, literally be nowhere to go – unless you want to be seen with those evil, child-eating liberals.

    Salami Tactics — just like Stalin took over Eastern Europe in the aftermath of WW2.

    One teeny-tiny slice at a time, until they woke up to discover the Russian bear had eaten all their salami and was starting on THEM. “URRA STALINO!”

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  110. Magistos: But drill down to what he says – “Where else will they find the resources they need? And where else are they gonna connect?” Ergo – who else is actively working, networking, and creating a scaffold. Who is in positions of power to help them move up? Who is in the know, has the money they need, and the connections they want?

    And all you need to do to access it is bend the knee before them, burn the pinch of incense to them, and Take Their Mark.

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  111. Friend: Dee marshals the facts and presents them in a highly ethical way.

    We are Raleigh spoiled.

    Yes!

    There’s something about Dee’s typos that puts me in mind of Paul’s lack of speaking skills. It’s almost like a mark of authenticity. The better to showcase the truth contained.

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  112. Fisher,

    I get that he’s laser focused on doctrine. However, sex abuse by a member of the church could definitely play a part in leaving the faith. Surely, heMohler is enough of a criticathinker to allow for many reasons other than doctrine alone that h would cause Josh to exit

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  113. Max,

    I’m not quite sure what they are Max. One of the problems is, in my opinion, is that “New Calvinism” or “Neo Calvinism” was a term coined back in the days of Abraham Kuyper, whose views on the church and social action caused a bit of kerfuffle amongst Reformed ranks long before the new boys came along.

    As for subsequent comments about Calvin – “plausible deniability”, “doublespeak”, “eliminating heretics”, “nasty little man” by other contributors, it seems to me that they are at odds with the actual facts of what actually happened. But I leave it there because it’s a diversion from the current article.

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  114. Brian: I wouldn’t rule out he had some knowledge, as an adult, of the molestation going on at that time in the SGM. If he did, he needs to come clean about it to. I’m guessing he’s not “all victim” here.

    He has spoken about this issue. He has said they did the wrong thing in not reporting and I believe apologized, although I don’t have the words in front of me.

    And no one is ‘all’ victim. That doesn’t mean they weren’t a victim. I think Josh has taken some time to work through all of this, and he knows it was wrong.

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  115. Brian,

    My Great Great Aunt Charlotte was an Anglican Missionary to Shanghai at the turn of the 20th Century. Clearly it’s fine to send women to the heathen hordes because…erm…colonialism?

    She also came out of retirement during WW2 to run a Munitions Factory. Ooops, another area in which it was ‘suddenly’ okay for women to work in, & wouldn’t you know it, just as well as men. It’s almost as if women are human.

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  116. I think where Josh is concerned, the question is…what do you do when you have made a grave error, you have hurt people, in a way that can’t be changed and can’t be fixed? What can you possibly do. Apologies are hollow, even when sincere. They may sooth, but they cannot change the past. I think even a sincere person would struggle.

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  117. Serving Kids in Japan:
    Shane McGrath: Mohler’s point here was not to chronicle his personal history with Harris, Mahaney, and SGM. It was to show the significance of a big name evangelical becoming an apostate to the Christian faith.

    And does Mohler really think that Harris’ involvement with a revolting, controlling little blackmailer like Mahaney played no role at all in Harris’ current questioning of his faith?

    Excellent question.

    I have seen people say Harris ran away because of the lawsuit, but does the timing quite fit? It seems that was related, but maybe that’s what shook him. Maybe this is a charitable explanation, but it makes sense that seeing the real damage shook his faith in the *system* that he learned from his father and from CJ. So he went to seminary to try and sort it out. And now this is where he is.

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  118. Beakerj,

    When I hear modern church people saying nonsense like this about women as missionaries, I always think of Jane Eyre, and how she wanted to be a missionary and her cousin was like ‘but you have to marry me first’ and she thought that was stupid and wouldn’t do it. That book came out in… 1847? And we’re still having this discussion?

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  119. Lowlandseer,

    Ive found it difficult to put a name on these folks. I understand the derivation of Neo Calvinist. As a joke, I started calling them Calvinists which I still find a helpful term. There are some intuit camp who refer to themselves as both new Calvinists and NeoCalvinists. Every time I write about this group, I find myself frustrated with the terms out there. Perhaps I should revert to a term that I used growing up on the North Shore of Boston- Youz guys.

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  120. Lea,

    I believe there is a reason that he is still silent. I bet there is a fear that the lawsuits can return when the State of Limitations are changed. Many states are passing laws retroactively which will allow people to to sue. The Sovereign Grace Boyz keep telling their ignorant members that the judge threw out the lawsuit due to a lack of evidence. They know they are lying. Its was thrown out due to the SOL.

    It could be that Harris, Mahaney, and gang maintain a cordial relationship since they will all be on the hot seat if the SOL changes.

    I am one who believes that Harris took off to a different country (Canada) which would make it harder to get him back for a trial. Not impossible- just harder. He knows, as does Mahaney and friends, that it is possible this lawsuit will return and bite them in the butt.

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  121. dee: It could be that Harris, Mahaney, and gang maintain a cordial relationship

    Question, DO they maintain a ‘cordial’ relationship? I do not follow Harris particularly minutely except as reported here and there, but I haven’t seen anything to that affect.

    As for taking off to a different country…I dont know. You may know something I don’t. But the SOL at the moment means that at the moment nothing is going to happen. If there is a lawsuit brewing…it’s been several years since he moved right? That would mean it was brewing a long time. Canada isn’t exactly panama, I’m not sure how removed that is from the law. CJ is certainly still here. Why would Harris flee *after* the lawsuit was dismissed?

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  122. Here’s someone else who thinks theology is important, or, more accurately, once thought he did.

    “JH: I’ve just been working on a new book and the whole purpose of the book is to share the story of my own journey, of going from just a superficial “I grew up a Christian” kind of a mindset, to really owning my faith and understanding that doing that requires really knowing God. That it requires caring about theology, caring about doctrine.”

    And this is the man he thanks for his understanding.

    “But I am just so grateful for what Dr. Mohler is doing and the model at Southern, the army of pastors that is being raised up there. And I know that he has a real heart for that training to more and more connected to the local church. He is a local church man himself. That is what I so respect about him.”
    (Both quotes from https://news.sbts.edu/page/86/)

    No wonder there is a lot of head scratching going on.

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  123. Brian: Even though, his horrid experiences as a child being molested are just now really impacting him, he was part of the inner circle as a young adult. … I’m guessing he’s not “all victim” here.

    In one family I know, kids survived by “protecting” their self-pitying mother from a mildly defiant sibling, who predictably got angrier over time. The rule followers paid an emotional price, as did the family rebel. The mother paid a price too: her manipulation shattered relationships with all her children.

    Kids in an abusive system can be co-opted in a million ways. They have to face vast inner shame before they can help themselves and others.

    Meanwhile, church is all about the greater good, right? An isolated victim might as well keep quiet, lest he dismantle all the good that is allegedly going on.

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  124. Lowlandseer: quotes from https://news.sbts.edu/page/86/
    No wonder there is a lot of head scratching going on

    “Teaching the value of church membership
    In “Stop Dating the Church,” Harris challenges people to commit and stay committed to a local church”

    I’m still unclear as to what church Harris joined when he moved to Vancouver for ‘seminary’. Is there a SGM church there?

    Aren’t these 9Marksist types very adament about this, church members who move away face discipline if they do not quickly unite with an acceptable church (except, of course, Carl Henry)?

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  125. Friend: from a mildly defiant sibling, who predictably got angrier over time.

    I have been watching some videos about relationships by a couple therapists and one of them spent a lot of time in the family therapy systems and has so many good insights about stuff like this! One thing she said is that sometimes you have this child acting out and its really about this family dynamic where the parent is playing the kids off each other and has created this problem or blamed all the problems in the family on the ‘problem child’ and when that child is removed and the problems don’t magically disappear, the blame shifts. I’m probably not relaying it right, but it’s fascinating.

    I don’t know how any of this would apply to Harris, but I understand he came from a large family, yes?

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  126. TS00: You get it.

    I’m a survivor of The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay and its corollary Christians For Nuclear War. I got Book of Revelation inflicted on me; now I finally get to use some of its imagery (or at least the conventional “plain reading” of same). And Revelation has some real trippy imagery and powerful word pictures.

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  127. Lea: One thing she said is that sometimes you have this child acting out and its really about this family dynamic where the parent is playing the kids off each other and has created this problem or blamed all the problems in the family on the ‘problem child’…

    Who is usually the healthiest in the entire family unit.
    (And I’ve seen some in various fandoms. If they’re the ones with their heads screwed on the straightest, I don’t want to know what the rest of the family’s like.)

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  128. Lisa Chapman: Surely, heMohler is enough of a criticathinker to allow for many reasons other than doctrine alone that h would cause Josh to exit

    As someone else mentioned, there is little doubt that Mohler knows Harris well enough to ask him what’s up, should he care to know. So pretending as if he can only guess is rather unbelievable. What if Harris knew too much, and was sent packing to keep him quiet? How much might they have paid him to move along and keep his mouth shut? That might be enough to disillusion the wife, not to mention the big cheese himself.

    Things to think about. Those who are terrified of ‘Conspiracy Theory’ are likely to never grasp that life is rarely a series of unrelated, uncontrolled, random events in which powerful, wealthy families and individuals inadvertently interact with one another and unintentionally control what we think, believe and do. As if such random chance is not even more preposterous than some of the worst conspiracy theories.

    It is this sort of naivete which led to the Calvinist takeover of the SBC, if not Christianity as a whole. Cause we all just want to think the best of everyone, and NEVER be guilty of thinking conspiracy might be involved. That term has been so weaponized most people have no chance to begin to understand what’s happening in our world. You don’t have to believe in shape-shifting reptiles to suspect that much goes on behind closed doors in pursuit of wealth and power.

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  129. David: You may not be a professional, and you can stay that way, but please, slow down and do a proper job. Put in a bit more effort. Is that too hard?
    “bvewteen”?
    “For Such A Time as This Raleigh”? Rally!</blockquote.

    I'm sorry, David. I was responding to the tone of your post. You went beyond pointing out the fact of the errors by your comments about "proper job,' not being a professional, "you can stay that way" and "is that too hard?" Those atatements go far beyond pointing out facts. Nonetheless, my response, while true in facts, was indeed harsh and I apologize. Dee is far more gracious.

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  130. From the TWW’s main Marquee:

    Al Mohler does damage control…

    I don’t think it matters how much ‘damage control’ he does,
    the days of his shtick are drawing to a close.

    And if he hasn’t caught on to that yet, he may not be the ‘smartest man on the planet’.

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  131. Lisa Chapman: Mohler is enough of a criticathinker to allow for many reasons other than doctrine alone that h would cause Josh to exit

    I don’t think Mohler or the others attacking Josh Harris really care what is going on with him or want to know more, I think they are speaking to frighten their followers into not asking questions or entertaining doubts. Josh Harris is just a convenient object lesson.

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  132. Lea: I don’t know how any of this would apply to Harris, but I understand he came from a large family, yes?

    He’s the oldest of seven. I don’t know anything about his sibling dynamics. (My “sermon illustration” was just about how kids in general can end up as both villain and victim.)

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  133. Friend: He did not have to start a company.

    I don’t care if he starts a company or works for someone else personally, but this is kind a *thing* in the homeschooling community right? Work for yourself and all that? At least, i’ve seen it referenced.

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  134. Friend: He did not have to start a company. Would he ever consider taking a job as a marketing executive, doing this very same work, but without his face/brand/baggage?

    I don’t get why he should not start his own company if he wants to? If anything, it might be a hindrance if people Google his name and find the baggage.

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  135. TS00: My spouse was horrified when I stated, sincerely, that I would go to a Catholic or mainline evangelical church before I would go to a Calvinist one.

    Mrs. Muff is a down to earth free spirit and free thinker, who couldn’t care less about religion. She’s a firm believer in ‘whatever floats yer’ boat’.

    But yeah, I know what you’re saying, if I had just two theoretical choices in my locale, say Northpoint Evangelical Free Church (heavy duty Calvinist), or say Saint Matthew (Catholic), I’d pick St. Matthew’s hands down.

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  136. Lea: I always think of Jane Eyre, and how she wanted to be a missionary and her cousin was like ‘but you have to marry me first’ and she thought that was stupid and wouldn’t do it. That book came out in… 1847? And we’re still having this discussion?

    I was just, having a conversation with my sister about how I wish more hard-core complementarians would read more 19th century literature. There’s the “problem” of women missionaries, the “problem” of single women supporting themselves, and the “problem” of women in abusive relationships with unrepentant husbands (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall).

    Or that they’d read more history books. But it sometimes feels like I may as well be wishing they’d go hunting for more unicorn rainbows and fairy dust.

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  137. WILDHONEY: “I was just, having a conversation with my sister about how I wish more hard-core complementarians would read more 19th century literature. ”

    YES!!! I mean, I am a massive Jane Austen fan, and she talked about all sorts of things that come up, still. (Hi, Lizzy’s speech to Mr. Collins about how he needed to actually *listen* to her no instead of subbing in his own thoughts for instance?) It’s insane.

    In addition to being ridiculous in modern times, they are so often ignorant of basic history.

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  138. Bridget: I don’t get why he should not start his own company if he wants to?

    He can do whatever he wants. Unfortunately he is telling everyone that he wants to sit in silence and avoid audiences, while simultaneously keeping up a social media presence and promoting his own firm. It’s maddening to folks who want to understand, and it gives fodder to his enemies.

    If he needs to heal, there are healing centers all over the world where he can slip away. Many are not religious or medical.

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  139. TS00: How much might they have paid him to move along and keep his mouth shut?

    That’s an angle that had not occurred to me. OTOH, given what has been hinted at in the current secular scandal of the month, l’affaire Epstein, and the way that (sadly) the church can resemble the world, perhaps one should reckon that ‘anything is possible.’

    A sorrowful reconfiguration of Jesus’ saying in Mt 19:26

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  140. Muff Potter: And if he hasn’t caught on to that yet, he may not be the ‘smartest man on the planet’.

    In the Tom Chantry affair over at “Thou Art the Man”, there was a comment that “Chantry is going to find that prison is full of ‘the smartest man on the planet’.”

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  141. TS00: As someone else mentioned, there is little doubt that Mohler knows Harris well enough to ask him what’s up, should he care to know. So pretending as if he can only guess is rather unbelievable. What if Harris knew too much, and was sent packing to keep him quiet? How much might they have paid him to move along and keep his mouth shut? That might be enough to disillusion the wife, not to mention the big cheese himself.

    Things to think about. Those who are terrified of ‘Conspiracy Theory’ are likely to never grasp that life is rarely a series of unrelated, uncontrolled, random events in which powerful, wealthy families and individuals inadvertently interact with one another and unintentionally control what we think, believe and do. As if such random chance is not even more preposterous than some of the worst conspiracy theories.

    It is this sort of naivete which led to the Calvinist takeover of the SBC, if not Christianity as a whole. Cause we all just want to think the best of everyone, and NEVER be guilty of thinking conspiracy might be involved. That term has been so weaponized most people have no chance to begin to understand what’s happening in our world. You don’t have to believe in shape-shifting reptiles to suspect that much goes on behind closed doors in pursuit of wealth and power.

    When money is involved, anything may be happening. That includes ALL your favorite Christian celebrity types, pastors, and musicians. It’s beyond disturbing when you peel back just the first layer. And the Calvinists trying to put Jesus in the background of anything they might be doing is what you need to watch out for. There is only ONE who wants Jesus in the background, and it’s not GOD. Once they have a nationally known name, watch out.

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  142. Lea:
    WILDHONEY: “I was just, having a conversation with my sister about how I wish more hard-core complementarians would read more 19th century literature. ”

    YES!!! I mean, I am a massive Jane Austen fan, and she talked about all sorts of things that come up, still. (Hi, Lizzy’s speech to Mr. Collins about how he needed to actually *listen* to her no instead of subbing in his own thoughts for instance?) It’s insane.

    In addition to being ridiculous in modern times, they are so often ignorant of basic history.

    I love the conversation between Mrs Elton and Mr Weston, where they are just talking right past each other. Mr Weston keeps trying to talk about his son, and Mrs Elton keeps trying to almost *forcibly* jerk the discussion back around to Maple Grove. Oh my gosh. How many times have we all experienced conversations just like that? How many times has it seemed as if the other party was just waiting for an opportunity to interrupt and commandeer the conversation, directing it back to *her* concerns and totally ignoring ours? And of course we ourselves do the same thing, too. LOL!!!

    *Emma* is so real, in so many ways. The scene at Box Hill is a psychological masterpiece.

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  143. The Bronte’s, Austin, von Arnim, Gaskell, and Elizabeth Goudge. These women “knew things”. That so few people read them is astounding to me.
    They ALL speak so much of the issues we are seeing today that it truly drives home the point that there is nothing new under the sun.

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  144. Josh Harris’ new company had its website copyrighted last year and it was created by Grace at Work, who provide design services for churches and non-profit organisations.

    This raises several questions:
    1. How long has Josh Harris be planning his new venture if his website was already copyrighted in 2018?
    2. If he is providing marketing and branding services for others, why couldn’t he do it for his own company?
    3. Which type of organisation is his company: a church or non-profit? His website suggests neither.

    He also promotes himself as a “Proven Wordsmith” having written 6 books and sold over 2 million copies, and he is able to “refine your message and craft compelling content”… even if you don’t believe in the content yourself and those words might actually be harmful to those that you are making money off?

    And he is still not finished selling himself, as he is now a “Consultant and Coach”, proclaiming “I’m an experienced leader” (maybe he was in a church that he no longer belongs to, and a faith that he no longer accepts, but not in marketing) “who understands the importance of clarity” (but not in his own life and public messages).

    I found myself getting quite angry at the level of deception his website is based upon, if you know nothing about his past.

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  145. Gary Boswell: I found myself getting quite angry at the level of deception his website is based upon, if you know nothing about his past.

    Or even if you do. It’s like somebody sits down next to you at the burger stand and says, “Hi, my name’s Paul, and I used to sing for a little band from Liverpool.”

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  146. Gary Boswell: “I’m an experienced leader”

    This is a cynical thought, but arguably he was leading a for-profit business (under cover of religion) in the past, and so perhaps it’s his business leadership that he’s boasting about here.

    Maybe the mask is torn off?

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  147. Friend: It’s like somebody sits down next to you at the burger stand and says, “Hi, my name’s Paul, and I used to sing for a little band from Liverpool.

    If that’s the Paul I think it is, I’d ask for his potato recipes.

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  148. Gary Boswell: He also promotes himself as a “Proven Wordsmith” having written 6 books and sold over 2 million copies, and he is able to “refine your message and craft compelling content”… even if you don’t believe in the content yourself and those words might actually be harmful to those that you are making money off?

    A few days ago I went back and re-read Mr Harris’s interview with Christianity Magazine (as I mentioned here on a previous post). In it, he rather seems to be regretting the fact that the books sold so well. Or at least, that one of them sold so well. In fact I felt moved to defend him based on that. I’m starting to have second thoughts about defending him, though. Your quotes from his website are, IMHO, fair and representative.

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  149. Done One: The Bronte’s, Austin, von Arnim, Gaskell, and Elizabeth Goudge. These women “knew things”. That so few people read them is astounding to me.
    They ALL speak so much of the issues we are seeing today that it truly drives home the point that there is nothing new under the sun.

    And they could all do with a reading of Dorothy Sayers’ Are Women Human.

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  150. dee: Ive found it difficult to put a name on these folks.

    The reason for this is that Calvinists themselves have not been able to mutually agree upon who is and who is not a Calvinist. There are all kinds of people who call themselves Calvinists who disagree with other types of Calvinists calling themselves Calvinists. There is no way for non-Calvinists to ever get this right. What I suggest is that we accept what people call themselves even if others disagree. So if someone like John Piper self-identifies as a Calvinist, we should not reject that self-identification, even if other people self-identifying as Calvinists reject it.

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  151. Samuel Conner: This is a cynical thought, but arguably he was leading a for-profit business (under cover of religion) in the past, and so perhaps it’s his business leadership that he’s boasting about here.

    For-profit business is exactly what church has become so he’s doing what he knows. At his age it would be tough to begin a new career at the beginning. I don’t really have a problem if he wants to use what he knows about marketing to help people sell products or services- I think that is where that skill set belongs and should stay.

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  152. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    without meaning to stir up argument, I think there’s case to be made for analyzing the theological distinctives and assigning descriptive (as opposed to ‘self-description’) labels. That gives some hope of distinguishing the distinctive features.

    “calvinism” tends to be used in discourse at TWW to denote primarily “predestinarianism”, or perhaps “monergism”, but that’s just one of the ways that these groups differ from “non-calvinists.”

    The “neo-cals” tend to be deeply baptist in their insistance on local-church autonomy (no supra=congregational human or institutional authorities ). They self-conceive as having “biblical” church polity because they call their lay leaders “elders” rather than “deacons”, but genuinely confessionally Reformed regard such autonomy to be sub-biblical and problematic (the Apostles were over all the churches of Judea, as an example of biblical precedent for supra-congregational authority). It certainly is harder to get redress of grievances in an independent church with elders picked by the pastor than it would be in a conventional presbyterian polity denomination.

    I don’t have a compelling moniker to suggest, but I think of them (the “neo-cals”) as “predestinarian baptists”, as that seems to be the most significant distinction from the “non-neo-cal” baptists.

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  153. Joshua Harris, his latest statements may contain some truth, is using the ginned up support to promote himself. And to promote himself to a small segment of society with a large amount of cash. The quote of Joshua’s in Mohler’s article sounds like the New Age version of Christianese. He has played us all.

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  154. Ken F (aka Tweed): What I suggest is that we accept what people call themselves even if others disagree.

    I can’t recommend the obvious alternative – that we all declare ourselves adherents of Nickism – because Nickism is not for everyone. That said, it would be incorrect to say that it rejects anyone, because it is freely available to anyone who wants it. It’s just not for everyone.

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  155. So I missed a bit, but a few things –
    I’m a Mr., not a Ms. 😀
    The latter part of this thread warmed my wife’s heart – she’s an English teacher (Undergrad degrees in Theater and English Literature and a masters in Education/English Lit) and she was impressed at the very deep cut of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and laughed “These are my people” when I mentioned the Dorothy Sayers comment.

    Also, I really feel like the Calvinists (new, old, Neo, Half-Caf, Pre-Reformed Traditional, Genevan Terrorist, Jedi, Sith…) may be on the verge of going beyond eating their own – which they do – and starting their on little internecine conflict.

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  156. To Samuel Conner: “It certainly is harder to get redress of grievances in an independent church with elders picked by the pastor than it would be in a conventional presbyterian polity denomination.”

    Yes, the whole idea of elders picked by the pastor seems SO off to me after sitting in the presby system for a while. We have people chosen by committee, and voted on by the church. We also have rotating terms not everlasting elders. Makes a difference.

    I just wish when people start popping off about generic ‘calvinists’ and how they are terrible people they should realize that they are including the Mr. Rogers of the world, as well as the Pipers and how that may not make a lot of sense.

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  157. Jenny: I read that as “prepedestrian baptists” the first time through.

    But, of course, that’s (nearly) an oxymoron, at least in the classical “Baptist” sense. Generally by the time children are old enough to have conscious faith and make a public confession of faith — and so be eligible for baptism, they are long-past the stage where they get about on hands and knees only.

    It’s the historical confessionally Reformed who are the “pre-pedestrian baptists.”

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  158. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    “I’m also curious, Brent, where Jesus said to spend time making sure that EVERYONE knows Josh Harris is no longer part of your crowd, is an apostate, should be shunned and basically treated like smelly garbage?” I am also curious as to when Brent said this?????

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  159. Root 66: Agreed.But if Mohler had thrown in the terms “winsome” and “doctrines of grace”, I could’ve had “Neo-Cal Lingo” BINGO!

    You forgot to mention “the beauty of complementarity” (sic), because we all know that’s far more important than abuse and criminal conduct.

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  160. Samuel Conner: without meaning to stir up argument, I think there’s case to be made for analyzing the theological distinctives and assigning descriptive (as opposed to ‘self-description’) labels. That gives some hope of distinguishing the distinctive features.

    You bring up up a good point where I should have been more clear. For us non-Calvinists, we should accept what Calvinists call themselves rather than what other Calvinists say. For example, since John Piper self-identifies as a New-Calvinist it is perfectly correct for us to refer to him as one. In fact, it would be disrespectful to not call him one just because a different Calvinist claims that Piper is not a true Calvinist. I am not aware of any prominent figure in the “New-Calvinist” movement who completely rejects the label of “New-Calvinist” or “Calvinist.”

    As to the best label for this movement, Neo-Calvinism was a movement started by Abraham Kuyper more than 100 years ago. So while it has recently become somewhat synonymous with “New-Calvinism” it is not the best term to use. Some have suggested that “Neo-Puritanism” would be better.

    In terms of denominational structure, many New-Calvinists are PCA. This is one of the reasons it is so hard to properly define this movement.

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  161. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Over the years I have given many of these labels by contributors as well more derogatory ones – like troll/driveby troublemaker, nasty guy, sociopath and unbeliever and a few others that are worse, if you can believe it.

    My crime? Trying to redress some of the views about a man called John Calvin and the doctrine he wrote. These views are no doubt coloured by the experiences these contributors have suffered at the hands of some of his modern followers. I have often pointed out that Calvin would not have recognised the name “Calvinist”. He was a reformer of a corrupt system that was successfully challenged by Luther and other earlier reformers. Coming later than them he sought to develop the newly formed reformed theology and to provide a handbook for newly converted priests and laymen to guide them into a new situation, fraught with danger. Protestants were being slaughtered through Europe and Roman Catholicism had not given up hope of restoring the status quo. In that regard Servetus is a mere side note. Now at this point I can hear the complaints rising that this a rose tinted view and I don’t deny it. I look at the past through my own experiences and history. The point is – so do you – and if you criticise my view, then you should do the same with your own. Your views are no more worthy of respect than mine.

    And yet it seems many people are hung up on the past without actually knowing much about it. The exceptions to this will know that I’m not referencing them because their knowledge of the early church far surpasses mine.

    But how did I get to my viewpoint. By reading Scripture daily, fervently, prayerfully, asking the Holy Spirit to indwell me and teach just as Jesus had promised, attending church – Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Apostolic.. I’d been doing that for a few years before I bought my first single book commentary – Gensias by John Calvin, published by the Banner of Truth Trust in Edinburgh. I didn’t know who Calvin was; the charismatic sales assistant in the Christian Literature Crusade shop simply recommended it to me. In it I found expressed a lot of things that I had thought and that was the beginning of a lifelong appreciation for the Reformers, the Puritans, and the many ordinary Scots – men, women and children – who died to protect and honour the Saviour they had come to know and love. “”Christ’s Crown and Covenant” was their only motto. It was all for Christ, Just as it should be today.

    Here’s a wee tune filled with theology. I hope it delights you.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9h-bbvmu0YY

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  162. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    What about NeoReformed? Scot McKnight seems to have nailed it on the head back in the day. I read these three articles and said “YES!” Ungracious, fundamental, divisive, I think I’m going to use this term. Also, The Gospel Coalition and others HATE it… The Googlemonster reveals all.

    https://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/jesuscreed/2009/02/who-are-the-neoreformed.html

    https://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/jesuscreed/2009/02/who-are-the-neoreformed-2.html

    https://internetmonk.com/archive/riffs-021809-scot-mcknight-on-the-neo-reformed

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  163. What about NeoReformed? Scot McKnight seems to have nailed it on the head back in the day. To the point that I said “YES!!!” as I read the articles. I think I’m going to use this term, and The Gospel Coalition hates this term (per the Googlemonster).

    https://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/jesuscreed/2009/02/who-are-the-neoreformed.html

    https://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/jesuscreed/2009/02/who-are-the-neoreformed-2.html

    https://internetmonk.com/archive/riffs-021809-scot-mcknight-on-the-neo-reformed

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  164. Hmmm. The moderation system seems to have held up my post – I assume for links.

    I propose “NeoReformed”. Scot McKnight nailed it back in the day. It’s PERFECT, if you can find the articles. TGC hates it. Hopefully, Dee can free my posts or tell me why they are held up. 🙂 I am too busy to type it up a 3rd time.

    🙂

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  165. Muff Potter,

    (long time reader/lurker popping in)

    You would be absolutely correct to avoid Northpoint EV Free church Muff. Very neo calvinistic. We went there and should have left earlier after lots of red flags.

    The tipping point that got us out was that I was upset that all of our small groups were being asked to read 9 marks books and I knew from this blog not just their problems but the connections with CJ Mahaney.

    When I voiced my complaints a person in a leadership position told me these words verbatim: “Child sex abuse is no big deal!”
    And in response to the shocked open mouthed faces of my husband and I he continued to make that claim.

    Yeah, no thanks. I don’t need that kind of evil thinking in my family’s life.

    Been just over three years since then and I’m so glad to have since found other Christian groups to be a part of that do care about the safety of children.

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  166. Brian,

    The Upworthy is useful in detecting a process of change in Harris’s views and activities. The article asks, “How many of us would walk away from a lucrative, high-status career because of a change of conscience?” Great question, and not the job description of the original disciples.

    Frustrating that the article says the Pride photos have now been deleted from Harris’s Instagram. Since they were under his Vancouver “story,” I can’t check without creating an Instagram account.

    The photos’ meaning was never clear. Sometimes a rainbow doughnut is just a rainbow doughnut…

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  167. Magistos: Also, I really feel like the Calvinists (new, old, Neo, Half-Caf, Pre-Reformed Traditional, Genevan Terrorist, Jedi, Sith…) may be on the verge of going beyond eating their own – which they do – and starting their on little internecine conflict.

    If so, let’s just hope that the collateral damage isn’t nearly as bad as that portrayed in the classic PC game “Star Control 2” (now known as “The Ur-quan Masters”). That internecine conflict threatened to devastate an entire galaxy.

    (P.S. to all: Apologies for throwing this into a conversation that includes the likes of Bronte and Jane Austin. I’ve yet to read any of their works, so this is the best I could do. 😉 )

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  168. Brian,

    Well, Clear and Loud is a new marketing company he’s started … I don’t know if the mask is off so much as that he’s still doing what he knows he’s good at, selling stuff. I have qualms about it at a personal level but in a lot of ways shifting into secular marketing seems like a better move.

    it feels like everything in social media connected to JH could feel like sophisticated viral marketing to get his name in the news cycle as he’s launching a marketing company is a bit … mercenary … I kinda feel that way.

    I don’t mind Austen discussions. Jane Austen and Joan Didion are the two literary heroes I used to get a sense of what kind of writing style I wanted to have for my blog.

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  169. or to put what I was trying to say another way, Harris shifting to a secular marketing career rather than keep doing the preacher thing is more honest a move in my understanding than some other preachers I’ve written about. Still disappointing to consider that so much of what transpired might have been epic viral marketing on top of also, I believe, being an expression of sincere changes in Harris’ convictions.

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  170. Friend: Sometimes a rainbow doughnut is just a rainbow doughnut…

    There is a place around here that does a rainbow cake shake every year to support a local charity. It’s pretty fab, but seems to have no influence on my sexuality.

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  171. Lowlandseer: Over the years I have given many of these labels by contributors as well more derogatory ones – like troll/driveby troublemaker, nasty guy, sociopath and unbeliever and a few others that are worse, if you can believe it.

    The people who called you this were wrong. It’s one thing to criticize a belief system, but a very different thing to label and abuse people based on their belief system.

    Earlier in this thread you wrote that New-Calvinists are not true Calvinists. Do you suppose that this could be felt as hurtful by those people who call themselves Calvinists but who don’t fit your definition of what a Calvinist should be?

    I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a true Calvinist because there is no agreed upon definition of what makes one a true Calvinist. Not even Calvinists can agree on a definition. However, it does appear true that everyone who holds to the Doctrines of Grace falls into the general category of Calvinist.

    What seems to make New-Calvinists different from other Calvinists is not their theology, but the arrogance with which so many of them push it and the damage left by their wake. New-Calvinism seems to attract people like this and I think it is very appropriate for non-New-Calvinists to examine this.

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  172. Friend,

    I don’t care if he calls himself gay someday. He’s a narcissistic person using his latest apology tour to gin up business.

    If he’s been repenting for 7 years recognizing the damage done by SGM, you would think he would recognize some of the causes of said damage.

    “I have lived in…repenting of my…my views…I specifically want to add”

    Then roughly 2/3 of the way down he finally puts the focus on the LGBTQ community:

    “I want to say that I’m sorry…I regret…for not affirming you…”

    2/3 to 3/4 of his apology is about him.

    Friend, you were correct in saying that he should have laid low until he had some things sorted out. Better for him to find an anonymous hob.

    Instead, he uses his apologies and his status as abuse survivor to self promote. When has he used his status as abuse survivor to help. And I’m not talking about his shallow quotes from his shallow apology to SGM.

    My therapist said abusive and manipulative behaviors can either be nurture or nature. C.J.M. has taught him well.

    When he does finally come clean with the rest of info on SGM, many of the victims that now give him credit will want to have nothing more to do with him.

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  173. Brian: If he’s been repenting for 7 years recognizing the damage done by SGM, you would think he would recognize some of the causes of said damage.

    On another blog, people were hoping Harris might bring down abusive patriarchy, if folks give him space to figure himself out first.

    A pattern has developed. Harris sends out a vague little signal. Members of his old tribe react with vitriol. People already harmed by Harris’s old church and/or the purity movement are also hurt by the vitriol. Sympathetic folks try to decipher Harris’s message. When will he see his postings are making things harder for some who want to understand and support him?

    If I’m wrong about this, please say. Never before have I paid so much attention to something this ambiguous.

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  174. Brian,

    just saw his Clear and Loud firm and he’s not repenting of anything if 1) he’s using his famous book and 2) his years as a preacher to sell people on the idea he knows how to sell things to people.

    I’m inclined to agree with you if you feel he’s still in the business of selling people. If he’s no longer selling people on Christian ideas he’s selling people on the idea he can sell. If you’re right then all of us who bothered to pay attention to Harris at all may have been suckered into an epic viral marketing campaign to make sure Harris’ name is known enough he can drum up clients for his new marketing business.

    I was hoping he would lay low but it’s becoming clear from Clear and Loud he’s not laying low.

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  175. Bunsen Honeydew: I realize there a many allies who attend Pride events but often pictures of that nature are associated with coming out. Has Harris clarified?

    He sure hasn’t. IMO not clarifying is another tactic of Harris. A way to get more attention and draw things out. A way to keep people talking about him and more publicity.

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  176. As jaded as I am about celebrity preachers … I’m also reminding myself that it’s possible to question the wisdom of actions without going so far as to be certain of motives. The temptation is strong … but I’m reminding myself to resist thinking I have any idea what Harris’ motives actually are, good or bad.

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  177. John Calvin took Augustine‘s gnosticism and turned the sovereignty of God into a lie. From that corrupt theology he took what Jesus said and produced a false gospel. Thus, John Calvin’s religion has created, fashioned, and promoted a false reformation that has lasted for the the past five hundred years. And sadly, certain people today are none the wiser. John Calvin took God’s words and turned them into a religious theological lie. Then history demonstrates he used them in Geneva to abuse, banish, used the civil authorities to have people imprisoned and murdered. So much for turning the other cheek. That people have been believing this stuff for the past five hundred years? How gullible can you get? Calvin’s truth keeps marching on?

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  178. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    No I don’t think so, Ken, because the most recent version of “new” Calvinism has a clearly defined path and clearly defined objectives which are at odds with Calvin’s teachings.( not to mention Christ’s teachings). Its’s superficial and arrogant, completely lacking in grace and it will eventually run out of steam and fall away, as is already happening.

    Quite by chance yesterday I came across a pamphlet by Herman Witsius for sale on Kindle for less than £1 entitled “The character of a Genuine Theologian”. It was published in 1675 with the present edition published in Louisville KY. of all places and that seems to me to be indicative of the problem. The new Cals scour the planet for good Reformed teaching to publish without actually ever applying the contents of what they’ve found to their own lives. It’s all show. The pamphlet is only 19 pages, easy to read, but gives a lot of food for thought. For example, here is one of the things Witsius says in his introduction – “The Theologian, as I use the term, is one imbued with the knowledge of God and divine things, under the teaching of God himself; who celebrates his adorable perfections, not by words alone, but by the ordering of his life, and is thus entirely devoted to his Lord. Such, of old, were the holy patriarchs, the inspired prophets, the apostles by whom the world was enlightened, with some of those luminaries of the Primitive Church, whom we denominate the Fathers. Their knowledge consisted, not in the acute subtleties of curious questions, but in the devout contemplation of God and of his Christ. Their chaste and simple method of instruction did not gratify the itching ear, but by sealing the impression of sacred things on the heart, enkindled the soul with love of the truth. Their blameless life was apprehended even by their enemies, and being in correspondence with their profession, fortified their teaching with irrefragable evidence, and was a manifest token of intimate communion with the Most Holy God.“ He then says “Let us view the genuine Theologian, with reference to his learning, his teaching, and his life. For no one teaches well, who has not first learned aright. No one has learned aright, who has not learned for the purpose of teaching others. And both are useless, unless reduced to practice.”

    It’s not what you say you are that counts, it’s what you do, you are and that’s where they fall short. Growing a beard doesn’t make you a prophet.

    I always enjoy our discussions, Ken, and I thank you for that.

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  179. Ken F (aka Tweed): since John Piper self-identifies as a New-Calvinist it is perfectly correct for us to refer to him as one. In fact, it would be disrespectful to not call him one just because a different Calvinist claims that Piper is not a true Calvinist

    A true Calvinist?! Piper calls himself a 7-Point Calvinist … the man has to have more points than anybody else, you know. And he also says he is a Christian Hedonist. Good Lord! Who is this man really?!

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  180. Lowlandseer: the most recent version of “new” Calvinism has a clearly defined path and clearly defined objectives which are at odds with Calvin’s teachings.( not to mention Christ’s teachings). Its’s superficial and arrogant, completely lacking in grace and it will eventually run out of steam and fall away, as is already happening.

    I wonder why “Old-Calvinists” don’t to more to highlight the problems with New-Calvinism. For example, I would think that someone like Ligon Duncan could do this, but instead he teams up with them for by co-founding T4G. And I don’t know how to classify people like RC Sproul or John MacArthur who don’t fit the New-Calvinist mode but do all it seems they can to prop up New-Calvinism.

    I also wonder if there is a difference between American Calvinism and European Calvinism. My understanding is the Puritans were too extreme for the Dutch Calvinists, which is the main reason they ended up in the New World. It could be that American Calvinism started with bad seed and never recovered.

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  181. Ken F (aka Tweed): My understanding is the Puritans were too extreme for the Dutch Calvinists, which is the main reason they ended up in the New World.

    Not entirely true, if you are referring specifically to the Pilgrims in Leiden. They were in a complicated and unstable situation, with pressures to assimilate, problems of poverty and aging, threats of war, and other circumstances that had gradually changed over 20 years. The Leiden American Pilgrim Museum gives a nice summary of why they left: http://www.leidenamericanpilgrimmuseum.org/Page31J.htm

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  182. Ken F (aka Tweed): I wonder why “Old-Calvinists” don’t to more to highlight the problems with New-Calvinism.

    Well, I know why they don’t in SBC. They have an informal alliance to Calvinize the SBC. The “Old” Calvinists (Founders-type) are OK with the method and message of the “New” brethren as long as their mission is accomplished. The Founders have been trying to to that for years with their “Quiet Revolution” … that wasn’t working, but the in-your-face style of the New Calvinists is.

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  183. Ken F (aka Tweed): I don’t know how to classify people like RC Sproul or John MacArthur who don’t fit the New-Calvinist mode but do all it seems they can to prop up New-Calvinism.

    Because the proliferation of reformed theology (regardless of its expression) is more important than the spread of the Gospel … of course, Calvinism = Gospel to these folks.

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  184. Linn: Is Tom Ascol riding a white horse?

    No, I think he’s on a red horse … symbolizing “War” in the Book of Revelation. There is a Calvinist vs. Non-Calvinist battle going on in the SBC, but most Non-Calvinists are in retreat.

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  185. Lowlandseer,

    Lowlandseer: Somewhere upthread you had a link to Southern Seminary’s interview with Josh Harris a number of years ago. Anyway, something Harris said in that interview jumped out at me:

    The senior pastor is ultimately responsible, even for other people’s decisions: you are the one who is called to take responsibility.

    This got me to thinking about SGM and all the blame shifting and passing the buck that has occurred in that organization. CJ Mahaney fled to Lewisville and ran for cover under Mohler, leaving Josh Harris in charge of the church he pastored. Then Harris left several years later, leaving someone else in charge of that church. Meanwhile, victims of sex abuse and spiritual abuse were gaslighted and shunned.

    What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

    I sure hope Josh Harris comes to terms with the ways in which he was complicit in the toxic culture that existed in SGM.

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  186. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Good questions to which I don!t really have an answer. I think Ligon Duncan finds himself in a strange position – a Presbyterian among Baptists some of whom would ban him from taking Communion with them because he is a paedobaptist. I think too that the lure of fame and fortune plays a part in it.
    That leads me to say that I think there is a difference between European and American Calvinism. Gone are the days of the Hodges, Dabney, Thornwell, Warfield, Machen and Edwards. What we have now is a Baptist-driven sort of Calvinism, that is almost completely given over to Neonomianism – 9 marks for this, 10 rules for that and so on. And there is still the lure of the mighty dollar. I can’t honestly say that I’ve found a reformed theologian of any substance in the USA who isn’t interested in self promotion. A sweeping statement I know.
    However, I do like the writings of Joel Beeke a great deal – and he is Dutch Reformed. I am thoroughly enjoying his recently published Reformed Systematic Theology. To me, he is from the same mould as Witsius, van Maastricht, Bavinck and à Brakel, speaking to the heart at all times. Marvellous stuff. Having said all that, I read recently that he has been denounced as selling out to the New Calvinists and has joined their conference bandwagon. (I did notice that he quoted Albert Mohler and a few others of that ilk in his recent book! In spite of CJ’s opinion, I don’t find Mr Mohler o be the smartest man on the planet).
    Anyway, that’s enough rambling from me. 🙂

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  187. Lowlandseer, How do you suppose you would have found an american theology if they weren’t self-promoting?? 😉

    I think a lot of people are way too vague with their calvinist distinctions, because they leave out the social issues/gender roles/lgbt side of it, which is a huge dividing line between types of reformed denoms. I think these lines are splitting more along those lines than theology.

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  188. You guys are right. Harris has always been a marketing guy, working in a business. He’s doing the same job, CMO, just shifting his product, and his market. I’m concerned that he will discover that not everyone is as gullible as evangelicals.

    I do feel sorry for his wife, and his kids. For their sake, I hope Josh can make enough money to pay alimony and child support. Maybe he saved some of the profits from his books.

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  189. Lea,

    In the good old days, denominations and/or publishers would deem someone worthy of being published, not the “look at me I’ve written a new book please buy it” – The bloggers at The Gospel Coalition being good examples. Before you get to their blogs you are presented with all their books. I remember years ago when I bought Don Carson’s commentary on John’s Gospel, I was put off by the photograph and blurb about him.
    As for the social justice side of it, every generation has had to deal with new issues and ideas. The problem for the present generation is that these issues are challenging Biblical norms and a lot of pastors and denominations are scared to defend them (the norms) out of fear. That’s certainly the case in the UK where, increasingly, any Christian view of society is shouted down, ridiculed, forbidden or in some cases prosecuted. Tricky times indeed.

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  190. Ligon Duncan has been given communion at Capitol Hill Baptist Church:

    https://sbcvoices.com/my-beliefs-about-the-extent-of-communion/#comment-230107

    “attended a 9Marks Weekender…communion came up. [At] CHBC…visitors may [participate] if they are baptized (believer’s baptism) and not under discipline with their church.”

    “Someone asked them what they would do if a Presbyterian was there at CHBC and desired communion…Ligon Duncan was mentioned, as he has taken communion there, but Mark said that Ligon has been baptized as a believer and is in good standing with his church and is thus welcome when he visits.”

    Confirmed here, 9Mark Dever is eager to number ‘Lig’ among his 5 favorite Baptists:

    https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/my-5-favorite-baptists-mark-dever/

    Nichols: “Your fifth and final favorite Baptist?”

    Dever: “There are so many Baptists that I just love. Would Ligon Duncan count because he was baptized as a believer?”

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  191. Lowlandseer: That leads me to say that I think there is a difference between European and American Calvinism.

    My wife was born and raised in Europe. She often points out to me that the type of Calvinism that is getting so much attention here does not exist in Europe in any significant way. That could explain why non-US Calvinists can get cross-threaded with US commenters on TWW – the word “Calvinism” probably has different connotations depending on where one lives.

    I would never say that a Calvinist is unsaved just for being a Calvinist. But many Calvinists would say that I am unsaved because I reject Calvinistic beliefs such as the five points, penal substitution, and infernalism. This difference makes it difficult to have meaningful dialogue.

    One thing that confuses me about Calvinists is how they so often stress that a person’s eternal state is at stake over various issues. But if unconditional election is true then no one’s salvation is at stake because that was already determined in eternity past. This is why I think the “Hyper-Calvinists” might be the most intellectually consistent Calvinists (but even the term “Hyper-Calvinism” is not without dispute). The Hyper-Calvinists seem to be fatalistic about outreach and missionary efforts, which kind of makes sense if everyone’s salvation has already been decided. But I probably think like this only because I do not understand Calvinism…

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  192. Ken F (aka Tweed): My wife was born and raised in Europe. She often points out to me that the type of Calvinism that is getting so much attention here does not exist in Europe in any significant way. That could explain why non-US Calvinists can get cross-threaded with US commenters on TWW – the word “Calvinism” probably has different connotations depending on where one lives.

    Is it possible that the Calvinism we have in the States is a throwback to an earlier, more extreme/”Pure” form? While the European form has mellowed with age and experience? And does this also hold for older Calvinist traditions in the States like the Presbyterians; did they mellow out too? Did the Puritans coming to Massachusetts circa 1620 arrest development, freezing American Calvinism in a default 17th Century form?

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  193. Ken F (aka Tweed): I wonder why “Old-Calvinists” don’t to more to highlight the problems with New-Calvinism. For example, I would think that someone like Ligon Duncan could do this, but instead he teams up with them for by co-founding T4G.

    Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend.
    “Mommmm! There are Arminians Under My Bed!!!!!”

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  194. Jeannette Altes: The PurPuritans even persecuted the Pilgrims, if I’m remembering correctly.

    The Massachusetts Bay Colony was a more harsh place than Plymouth Colony, in my view. The Bay tried more people for witchcraft, and persecuted and even executed Quakers. Then of course there was the case of Ann Hutchinson. Catholicism was also outlawed.

    Plymouth and the Bay ganged up on Anglicans in their little Mount Wollaston colony, aka Mare Mount. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Maypole of Merry Mount” is based on an incident in which the Puritans chopped down the Anglican settlement’s scandalous maypole. The governor of the Anglican colony was deported, and the colony dissolved.

    Not an impressive history of getting along together.

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  195. Headless Unicorn Guy: Is it possible that the Calvinism we have in the States is a throwback to an earlier, more extreme/”Pure” form?

    I think it’s more reimagined. The old Puritan meetinghouses gradually turned into those chill Congregationalist places.

    My take is that Presbyterians in the Northeast were quite urbane by mid 20th century. Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, establishment, “Protestant” work ethic, all of that. Not fervent, not threatened, but serious Christians. Small-c calvinism.

    Maybe no-c calvinism, aka alvinism: “ALVIN!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDyC0twW2Wg

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  196. Guest: Was Joshua Harris exposed to the correct gospel of Jesus Christ?

    Uhhhh … wasn’t he a pastor?! Didn’t he preach from the Bible, which contained the correct gospel? Yep, young Harris was exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ … just like Hybels, MacDonald, etc. etc. It was right in front of their face Sunday after Sunday. “You will find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”

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  197. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    That’s true Ken. Theological names aren’t part of life here, Church folk just do churchy things although the new crowd are spreading here as well, sometimes in underhand ways. I was halfway through a lengthy reply when it disappeared from the screen, so I’ll leave it at that.
    As for Arminians not being saved I think it reduces to whether a person acknowledges that “he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

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  198. ION: Fitba’

    Unusually, the premier league season began last night with a single match, in which Liverpool hosted newly-promoted Norwich. And it was a bit of a baptism of fire for the new boys, as we were 4-0 up at half time. The visitors managed a consolation goal in the second half, and it finished 4-1. However, job done for the Reds.

    So, we’re top of the league – at least until this afternoon – by virtue of being the only team with any points. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.

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  199. From the blog title: “Al Mohler Does Damage Control …”

    Sooner or later, SBC is going to end up trying to control the damage Al Mohler has done to the denomination. When New Calvinism passes into obscurity, into the realms of failed and forgotten religious movements, SBC leadership will be left with chaos and confusion among the Mohlerites … they may never try church again.

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  200. Friend: they were under his Vancouver “story,” I can’t check without creating an Instagram account. The photos’ meaning was never clear. Sometimes a rainbow doughnut is just a rainbow doughnut

    [Yesterday he posted the photo on his main Instagram page]

    Joshua Harris setting the record straight about his instagram story photo from last weekend:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B09kDNRHqYe/

    Harris: “This photo has caused a lot of speculation and I want to clear some things up. There has been a lot of inaccurate reporting and rumors that are frankly not true…”

    (He’s since posted instagram story selfies of himself this weekend out on the town holding other foods, including what appears to be a fish taco)

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