Mark Driscoll, Pete Wilson, Randy Stinson and Concordia Prep in the News.

Southern Carb Nebula- Hubble/NASA

Who would envy a man who could not feel shame? Who would associate with a man who glories in his shame? In either case he evinces a heart depraved, a mind demoralized.-Joseph Bartlett


Time to catch up on some news.

Mark Driscoll: *Real Faith* is Fundraising

I thought you might find this fundraising effort by Mark Driscoll interesting. This guy, who was responsible for the implosion of Mars Hil, ran to Scottsdale and lives large in new digs. This was probably purchased with tithes he earned as the hip pastor from Seattle… He is now trying to soak the faithful in Scottsdale. He sent this fundraising letter to a person who is not a fan.

Apparently, Driscoll is changing the name of his ministry from Mark Driscoll Ministries to Real Faith. Maybe the name recognition didn’t generate lots of warm hugs from an admiring public. Here is a link to the website, complete with his video announcing his stunning new enterprise.  Grace is going to be doing some talks on *Real Women along with one of their daughters. Mark Driscoll, the manliest man out there, will be doing podcasts on real men. Second verse, same as the first.

There is nothing *real* about Driscoll and I expect there will be some interesting podcasts, etc. ahead to dissect. Indeed, he is bringing his entire family into the enterprise. I have been covering this man for almost 12 years!! Somehow, I can’t bear to think about it again. But, for you, dear reader, I do my best.

Pete Wilson is now married to his paramour, Jordyn, and starting a new ministry called Good Talk.

So Pete claimed he was burned out and left Cross Point Church along with Jordyn (whose last name was Wilson but not married to Pete Wilson). She was his very young administrative assistant who divorced her husband after coming to work with Pete. I heard a rumor that the church leaders thought I was lying when I said that Pete and Jordyn might be *involved.* He dumped his lovely wife, Brandi. How can a wife who bore him three kids and stood by him while he was starting his career as a mega pastor compete with a 20 something childless woman? And Jordyn helped him. Pete is quite a bit older than his new wife. And now, they are blissfully married, for the time being, and starting a new podcast called Good Talk. Here is his bio on that podcast site. Try not to gag.

Pete Wilson is the former pastor of one of the fastest growing churches in the country, but life took a drastic turn when he went through personal burnout and a divorce. Armed with a new awareness that failure is not final and that unconditional love can melt away destructive shame, he’s discovering the beauty and purpose of life again. He has remarried and is now partnering with his wife, Jordyn, for this new podcast. Good Talk exists to help people take their mind off the temporary and heavy, and remind them of the joy of life, the love of God, and the possibilities that lie ahead. If you’re interested in living a more meaningful life but you don’t really know where to start or maybe you’re interested in spirituality but you’ve been burned or feel intimated by traditional religion, then this podcast is for you. Each week Pete and Jordyn will share some amazing stories and introduce you to some inspiring people. They’ll share what they’re struggling with (even when it’s not pretty), challenge us to rethink some religious misconceptions we’ve held onto, and give us some practical strategies to live the life we’ve been created to live.

There used to be a thing called shame. I believe Pete told a whopper to his church. It’s funny how a burned-out pastor suddenly took on an executive position with the utterly weird (in my opinion)  *A Group*, became a commuting pastor for a church hundreds of miles away, and spent ‘quality’ time with his kids and his new squeeze. (You saw the Instagram photos, didn’t you?) There is no shame. They have much in common with Stacie and Tullian Tchividjian.

Randy Stinson resigns due to substance abuse. How does biblical counseling deal with serious addiction?

Baptist Standard posted: Stinson departs, Dockery named interim provost of Southwestern Seminary.

Randy Stinson, who had served as provost and vice president for academic administration since February 2019, announced he could “no longer continue” as provost because of “the recurrence of a years-long struggle with substance abuse.”

…“It has been a great opportunity to serve as provost under Dr. Adam Greenway in the early months of his leadership at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,” Stinson said in a statement provided to the seminary.

“Regrettably, I can no longer continue in this role due to the recurrence of a years-long struggle with substance abuse that has exacted a progressively burdensome toll on my family and my health. I thought I could fight this battle alone in secret, but I was wrong.”

Stinson added: “As I turn to a new path of disciplined recovery, I express my great appreciation for the seminary community that has stood by us. I also plead for continued prayers on behalf of our family as I seek professional medical treatment and spiritual support consistent with my Christian faith.”

According to Stinson’s bio at GoodReads:

Randy Stinson (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is dean of the School of Church Ministries at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and serves as president of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

He was also an author (along with Piper, Grudem, and friends) of the highly controversial  Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism.

Al Mohler honored Stinson at SBTS in 4/2019 when Stinson was *called* to serve SWBTS.

Mohler also recognized Randy Stinson, who is the new provost and vice president for academic administration at Southwestern. He previously worked in a similar role at Southern Seminary as provost and senior vice president for academic administration, as well as the school’s Basil Manly Jr. Professor of Leadership and Family Ministry.

Mohler also presented a certificate to Stinson, who first joined the Southern Seminary faculty in 2005. Stinson received a page from Psalm 19, taken from the same 1614 edition of the King James Bible.

I want to ask a hard question here. Stinson admits to years of substance abuse problems. Was he passed along to SWBTS with the hopes he would be *scared straight?* Surely SBTS had an inkling of this long-term problem.  We do know that SBTS is the home of so-called *biblical counseling.* Did Stinson get the help he needed to overcome what appears to be a difficult, long term substance abuse problem? Do the SBC and its seminaries have a written policy to help those employees afflicted by a substance abuse problem? Or is that just a sin and they should just *stop it?*

Given the current lawsuit against the makers of Oxycontin, I think we all need to understand just how hard it is to overcome an addiction: Purdue Pharma to plead guilty in $8bn opioid settlement

Purdue Pharma will admit to enabling the supply of drugs “without legitimate medical purpose”.
The deal with US Department of Justice resolves some of the most serious claims against the firm.
But it still faces thousands of cases brought by states and families.
Purdue called the deal an “essential” step to wider resolution of the matter.
“Purdue deeply regrets and accepts responsibility for the misconduct detailed by the Department of Justice,” said Steve Miller, who joined Purdue’s board as chairman in July 2018, shortly before the firm sought protection from the litigation by filing for bankruptcy.

Sadly, it is alleged that Perdue claimed their drug was not a seriously addictive, pain control narcotic. That was not true and so many people have been seriously affected by this dangerously addictive medication. Many have died due to their addiction.

I think the SBC, SBTS, and SWBTS should make a statement on how they are supporting Randy Stinson and his family to overcome his addiction. Note: I do not know what medications or combination of medications to which Stinson was addicted.

Concordia Prep in Towson MD hit with a lawsuit from 4 students.

The Baltimore Sun reports that a Fourth former student files lawsuit against Concordia Preparatory School alleging assault complaints were ignored

A fourth former Concordia Preparatory School student has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the Towson private school and the governing body of the Lutheran Church ignored her reports of sexual assault and harassment.
The Baltimore County woman, who was a minor at the time of the allegations, filed the complaint Wednesday in U.S. District Court arguing Concordia administrators and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod failed to investigate her reports of male student-athletes sexually assaulting and harassing her on campus.

…According to the complaint filed Wednesday, several male student-athletes began to verbally harass the then-freshman girl in the fall of 2017.

Ketterer, Browne, and Anderson (KBA) report that KBA Attorney Christina Graziano Takes on Concordia Prep School for Ignoring Student’s Assault and Harassment ComplaintsThis law firm is well known for representing clients from the Catholic abuse scandals as well as other religious groups and the Boy Scouts of America. They have filed this suit in federal court

BA attorney Christina Graziano is litigating this case, Hartsoe v. Concordia Preparatory School, in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, federal court. The case is pending in the Northern District in Baltimore City..

First, students circulated an unauthorized sexually explicit video of the underage girl around the school. Plaintiffs’ Complaint in federal court alleges Concordia Preparatory School’s agents became aware of it, but failed to act. Then, male students began harassing the girl. Some male students sexually assaulted her in a religion class and later in a locker room. Despite being informed, Concordia Preparatory School failed to address these events.

As Fox45News summarized the Complaint, “male students ‘had escalated the Locker Room tradition by using that space as a venue for forced sexual encounters with female students. CPS knew or should have known that students used the Locker Room as a venue for sexual harassment and/or statutory rape and secured CPS facilities that students used as ‘hook-up’ spots or venues for sexual behavior. CPS took no significant action to investigate this allegation or any other instances of alleged aggressive sexual behavior by its male students.’” The lawsuit alleges Concordia Preparatory School was aware of the event, but failed to protect Plaintiff and report the events.

Lots to talk about, huh?


Comments

Mark Driscoll, Pete Wilson, Randy Stinson and Concordia Prep in the News. — 113 Comments

  1. Mark Driscoll’s next book, co-authored with Ashley, is called Pray Like Jesus and should be out soon.

    It’s … conceivable someone at A Larry Ross advised that since he was so conspicuously on record denouncing ministers who named ministries after themselves and that since Real Marriage would be easy to meme that Real Faith was a way to go. Or … perhaps … Driscoll(s) came up with the branding idea on their side.

    I did read both Spirit-Filled Jesus and Win Your War. At some point in 2021, maybe, I’ll try to get around to discussing how there’s not a ton in the spiritual warfare manual the Driscolls published that you couldn’t get from Merrill Unger circa 1950 or John Livingstone Nevius circa 1890.

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  2. “Apparently, Driscoll is changing the name of his ministry from Mark Driscoll Ministries to Real Faith.”

    Driscoll likes that word … “real.” Interesting that such a counterfeit would refer to his ministry as being genuine. Speaking of real, his book “Real Marriage” is darn near pornographic.

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  3. Todd Wilhelm,

    No, not that. I’m suggesting that when he has said that spiritual warfare is “controversial” or that “people don’t want to talk about it” he’s got to pretend that Merrill Unger didn’t write in 1977 that the market of pop-level books on spiritual warfare and demonology was so glutted there was fair reason to ask why anyone needed to publish more on the topic, the Merrill Unger whose doctoral dissertation was literally on biblical demonology.

    Driscoll is more likely to recycle his own material that was purged in the Mars Hill years rather than use material without citation. The plagiarism controversy may have taught him to make sure to cite materials but he didn’t introduce much new in Win Your War that people couldn’t have heard for free from his 2008 Spiritual Warfare teaching session. The new stuff is father wound stuff and Absalom spirit stuff (that seems like it must have been formulated by someone previously since it’s basically just Jezebel spirit for men, almost like there’s perfumes of demonic influence for men and women).

    Per an earlier post about my forty-some book reading list this is a set of topics I want to get to, particularly as had I actually gone to seminary this was the orbit of topics I wanted to look at, which is why I’ve got Livingstone Nevius’ 1895 Demon Possession and Allied Topics and a raft of other books up through Michael Heiser’s recent stuff and the Walton’s book on demonology and the Bible that is a somewhat overbearing rebuttal to Clinton Arnold style stuff, who, paradoxically, is the scholar some African pastors and theologians regard as having done better by Ephesians than other Western scholars. But that’s stuff for later.

    Something else of note, Grace and Ashley are listed as leading womens’ ministry and missions at Driscoll’s new church. So besides distancing himself from Calvinism Mark Driscoll may have bee pivoting on complementarianism, too. I have suggested over the years that his stance on women in ministry and ordained ministry might shift significantly as his daughters get older. He’s also co-authoring books with Grace and Ashley, which is something people will want to keep in mind. As I have written in the past Mark Driscoll has taken to wrapping himself in stories about his wife or daughter when presenting some of his most tendentious and contentious interpretations of biblical texts. That’s apparently still in play, and as more of the Driscoll kids participate in ministry with him it will be more necessary for anyone who has any public criticism of Mark Driscoll to bear in mind how much his kids are now involved. I am not particularly interested in raising questions about the sincerity of any of them, to be clear.

    Mark and Ashley’s book Pray Like Jesus comes out this month.

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  4. Max,

    “I predict a tsunami of bad-boy preacher revelations in 2021. I have a feeling that God is sick of it and will expose gross darkness in the American church.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    well, it’s like the maffia-but-christian

    (although less violent…less horseheads in bed–well, on 2nd thought, at this point anything’s possible.)

    for every bad boy there are concentric circles of enablers, all for their share in the profits. many more bad boys than make the headlines.

    …bunch o’symbiotic nincompoops… (cue Carol the waitress in As Good As it Gets for what i really think)

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  5. Max: tsunami of bad-boy preacher revelations in 2021

    Better late than …

    It took Ronan Farrow walking across the street to The New Yorker, after many years of Weinstein preying on hopeful young women. More than one trial, many women’s stories (also hopeful and young) to deal with Cosby. Epstein – more than once through the Courts, and many years of work by Julie K. Brown with the Miami Herald.

    As Farrow put it, it’s not He said/She said but He said/She said, She said, She said, She said, She said – that brought results.

    There are 1,000’s of testimonies re: WW2 Holocaust, and yet deniers.

    The mob preferred Barabbas free but Jesus on the cross. Where does that leave us? Standing with Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego, at-the-ready for the furnace as throngs support the shiny but bad apples.

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  6. A “Professor of Leadership and Family Ministry“ opines about fighting addiction “alone in secret”. How many programs, textbooks, courses, offered on the counseling end would have that as the number one no-no off the top: not fighting it alone, let alone getting paid for being in a position of teaching leadership and family ministry?

    It’s not a matter of throwing stones and saying none of us will ever have failings to point out the consistent pattern of so many those entrusted with particular leadership roles not even coming near what they are paid to preach, and at the end of it keeping whatever they were paid (in the case of the seminary, largely through missions funds from cooperative program) and moving on, often too similar rules of “leadership“ and stewardship. That goes for Driscoll, Wilson, Ortberg, Josh Harris, and so many whose monetization of ministry such as it was doesn’t seem to have conspicuous stories of Zacchaeus type paybacks after failings, especially when they move onto the next personal project (as well as for continued book / study revenue from what they’ve already sold). Those who gave generously are supposed to just keep giving generously to the next one who asks, and just trust where the money is supposed to go because “leaders“ tell them it’s great.

    But of course, how many times has the number one priority been saving face and position and income etc. and waiting until things turn into prairie fire status and getting caught to admit anything publicly? Acres of rules, exempting themselves, all while institutional and personal priorities often lend themselves towards thwarting transparency, accountability, and oversight due to the nature of positions.

    It’s the level of enrichment combined with the dictation of terms on how long they’ll stay away from getting back to similar levels of it that is particularly tiresome. Often, one can practically see the wheels turning as to when many of them can get back into the revenue streams, with the “we’re all broken and need forgiveness, tell us your story and we will tell you ours“ approach becoming the next phase for what appears to be a cottage industry for many.

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  7. JDV: the “we’re all broken and need forgiveness, tell us your story and we will tell you ours“ approach becoming the next phase

    I was eyewitness 30 years ago. “What a shame your elbow got jogged wrong. God must have thought I was too stupid other than to be fated to just jog all your elbows wrong all the time. Oops and non-oops.” I recognise it now, but that only makes it more disspiriting than ever. Lip service to Holy Spirit strength for relating, not backed up by example.

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  8. Stan,

    I wonder if Piper would feel the same now that Driscoll has denounced Calvinism:

    “ Although he once claimed to be ‘Reformed’, Mark has apparently moved on since then. “I don’t hold with the five points of Calvinism – I think its garbage”, he said in the interview, adding:

    “Reformed theology is: I have a dad who is powerful, in charge, not relational, he lives far away, and don’t get him mad because he can hurt you.

    “Then they pick dead mentors, Spurgeon, Calvin and Luther – these are little boys with father wounds who are looking for spiritual fathers so they pick dead guys who are not going to get to know them or correct them”.

    https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Mark-Driscoll-is-back-but-he-hasn-t-learned-his-lesson

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  9. elastigirl: for every bad boy there are concentric circles of enablers

    Yes. Hybels had a board of elders – they knew … Driscoll had a board of elders – they knew … MacDonald had a board of elders – they knew … Zacharias had a board of ‘anonymous’ elders – they surely knew … MacArthur has a board of anti-masker/anti-vaxxer elder-enablers … etc. etc.

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  10. “Al Mohler honored Stinson at SBTS in 4/2019 when Stinson was *called* to serve SWBTS.”

    The same Mohler who kept honoring Mahaney until the potato became too hot to handle.

    “Called”? IMO, God doesn’t call men by His Spirit who are walking in the flesh with substance abuse. The Great Commission is too important to be entrusted to those who have divided loyalties. Spirit vs. Flesh … choose whom you will serve!

    I pray that Dr. Stinson will overcome his addiction and that Dr. Mohler will overcome his knack for holding onto buds to the bitter end.

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  11. It’s an interesting pattern that reminds me of people’s attraction to “miracle” diet plans. A person is dissatisfied with himself. He sees someone else who seems to be doing much better. He thinks, “If I do what that person is doing – gluten-free diet, “Real Faith” – I can be like that, too, instead of my crummy old self!”

    Pretty much every time, though, one finds that the person who seemed to be doing much better was faking.

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  12. “Some male students sexually assaulted her in a religion class and later in a locker room. Despite being informed, Concordia Preparatory School failed to address these events.”

    A sicker thing you will not read today (I hope!)

    CPS offers “lower” education, it appears. In this case, it certainly does not live up to its claim “Concordia Prep school is a compassionate, Christ-centered community of servant leaders … We strive to create an environment that nurtures our students’ spiritual, academic, physical, and social growth to become men and women of faith and service.”

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  13. WenatcheeTheHatchet: is called Pray Like Jesus and should be out soon.

    That’s disheartening news.

    We know from Jn 11 (Jesus’ discussion with Martha and Mary) that “the Father always hears” Jesus. Jesus’ requests were consistently granted (with the odd exception of the inability to do anything other than heal a few people on the occasion of a visit to his home town — evidently in that case, it did not please the Father to do greater signs for that group of people). There’s even a case to be made that this is how Jesus worked the mighty signs that authenticated that he was “from the Father.”

    Presumably MD was praying against the outcomes that led to the dissolution of the Mars Hill empire; the Father seems to have not “heard” those requests, even though they were doubtless offered with the intention of being “in the name of Jesus.” Not sure that MD can have a lot to teach the churches about this subject.

    IMO a more practical and useful study, which is within the grasp of us present day Jesus-followers, would be

    “Pray Like Nehemiah”

    —-

    Seriously, read that OT book. It started with a long “season” of fasting and prayer. It’s a good paradigm for how God ordinarily works through our prayers.

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  14. Samuel Conner,

    I am reluctant to assume or presume what’s going to be in there. Preview pages do show Mark saying that he didn’t think of prayer life as an especially important thing for Christian life until he became a parent. I … can believe that, actually. What is particularly troublesome to me is how in the last ten years Mark has seemed as if he’s willing to hide his more tendentious claims behind stories about his wife or Ashley. In other words, he’s made a point of incorporating them so much into his brand that someone who wishes to critically engage with some of his more dubious ideas has to do so knowing that he is, despite his talk of men being real men, occasionally going to hide some of his claims within stories about his daughter. He did that with his Esther sermon series and he did that with stories about how it was really the Fab Five who started The Trinity Church or how Ashley had observations about spiritual warfare.

    People who stick to the idea that Driscoll is still some kind of Calvinist and some kind of complementarian have to be aware of this shift. Now it’s all dudes on the board of directors at The Trinity Church so Mark has, per Justin Dean’s comments, probably not “really” changed what he actually believes, but the PR surrounding what he says has changed and he’s got A Larry Ross in his corner, too.

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  15. Max: “Some male students sexually assaulted her in a religion class and later in a locker room.

    Practicing to be Lead Pastors, Head Apostles, and Mighty Men-a-GAWD.

    Despite being informed, Concordia Preparatory School failed to address these events.”

    “TOUCH NOT MINE (FUTURE) ANOINTED!”

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  16. WenatcheeTheHatchet,

    Fair points all. The title “triggers” me (and the subtitle: “learn to pray to God as Father” suggests to me that Jn 11 is relevant). Perhaps the point is completely different; perhaps it uses human parenthood as paradigm for believer/God relationship; some of your observations suggest this possibility.

    Not sure that’s the best theological method. And the book wouldn’t actually accomplish what the title seems to promise; the Father always “heard” Jesus but does not always “hear” (as in “hearken unto in such a way as to be moved to grant what is requested”) us.

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  17. WenatcheeTheHatchet: Now it’s all dudes on the board of directors at The Trinity Church so Mark has, per Justin Dean’s comments, probably not “really” changed what he actually believes, but the PR surrounding what he says has changed

    Failed ministers have to become chameleons to regain their ministries. Beware of a “pastor” who disappears for a season to be “restored” and then launches an unrepentant comeback, crying without tears.

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  18. Out of curiosity, I looked in to “Giving Tuesday”; I am so out of touch with popular culture — had never previously heard of it.

    The Tuesday after “Cyber Monday”.

    Dee: This was more than a month ago — was there follow-up with any indication of how successful this was? My local NPR station generally thanks contributors after the end of each of its multi-per-year fund-raisers and there is some indication whether the stated goal was met or not.

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  19. Anna:
    Stan,

    I wonder if Piper would feel the same now that Driscoll has denounced Calvinism:

    “Then they pick dead mentors, Spurgeon, Calvin and Luther – these are little boys with father wounds who are looking for spiritual fathers so they pick dead guys who are not going to get to know them or correct them.”

    https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Mark-Driscoll-is-back-but-he-hasn-t-learned-his-lesson

    Amazing how it goes to the boys versus men comparison – – I mean “real“ men. Also remarkable is the bit about picking those who won’t know them are correct them, given how he reportedly ran from his train wreck situation and the corresponding accountability, transparency, and oversight, but now wants to hang a shingle again and ask for donations with no apparent strings attached. Oh, you’re supposed to believe him this time when he says it’s all about Jesus.

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  20. Max:
    “Al Mohler honored Stinson at SBTS in 4/2019 when Stinson was *called* to serve SWBTS.”

    The same Mohler who kept honoring Mahaney until the potato became too hot to handle.

    “Called”?IMO, God doesn’t call men by His Spirit who are walking in the flesh with substance abuse.The Great Commission is too important to be entrusted to those who have divided loyalties.Spirit vs. Flesh … choose whom you will serve!

    I pray that Dr. Stinson will overcome his addiction and that Dr. Mohler will overcome his knack for holding onto buds to the bitter end.

    I wonder if he holds onto connections with pals who were Dodeka supper club participants longer than others

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  21. In an uncanny grasp of the obvious, TGC is just now discovering pastors should not be bullies: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/standing-up-to-bully-pastors/

    Of course, the article doesn’t provide any guidance on how to fix the problem they created through their pushing of 9Marx methods. Anyone who stands up to their bullying pastor will ne promptly disciplined by the associated yes-men elders.

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  22. Max: Yes.Hybels had a board of elders – they knew … Driscoll had a board of elders – they knew … MacDonald had a board of elders – they knew … Zacharias had a board of ‘anonymous’ elders – they surely knew … MacArthur has a board of anti-masker/anti-vaxxer elder-enablers … etc. etc.

    Way too often, questions and conversations and actual challenges of each other for the greater good seems to be the default and take a backseat versus personal priorities and self-interest. Of course, a common problem seems to be accepting top down structures also by default without the usual critical examination of the body and its operation of purposes and finances that you would get in garden-variety business or secular institutions. The enmeshing of spouses and children into the overall operation also can lend to that.

    This goes with the usual “we’re all good guys here; you should’ve heard Taylor open up and get real on that last retreat“ approach, acceptance of “vision“ and the way things are usually done, and that you have to have a business model and considerable, non-negotiable financial underpinnings that pyramid down from the pastor ‘cuz pastor diploma (sic) or vision equivalent.

    Knowledge and insight can default to their echo chamber as well as paid pipers at conferences and T4G-ish book swaps, with a touch of caring well seminars here and there. With the daycare, music concert and social club model secure for Wednesdays and Sundays (and a youth / young adult car wash and clothes drive here and there), who really needs to bother asking hard questions when so much good seems to be underway? Pay no attention to the money and time spent on the pastor’s speaking tour, book promotion, and dog washing station at the new homestead.

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  23. Ken F (aka Tweed):
    In an uncanny grasp of the obvious, TGC is just now discovering pastors should not be bullies: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/standing-up-to-bully-pastors/

    Of course, the article doesn’t provide any guidance on how to fix the problem they created through their pushing of 9Marx methods. Anyone who stands up to their bullying pastor will ne promptly disciplined by the associated yes-men elders.

    I don’t anticipate them going into depth about what signing a tailored covenant agreement or an NDA does to compromise the process of standing up.

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  24. Anna: “Then they pick dead mentors, Spurgeon, Calvin and Luther – these are little boys with father wounds who are looking for spiritual fathers so they pick dead guys who are not going to get to know them or correct them”.

    You know, I don’t really disagree with him, but I can’t help but wonder if he stole this from someone else. I searched, didn’t find anything, but he could have stolen it from someone who said the same thing to him.

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  25. WenatcheeTheHatchet: People who stick to the idea that Driscoll is still some kind of Calvinist and some kind of complementarian have to be aware of this shift. Now it’s all dudes on the board of directors at The Trinity Church so Mark has, per Justin Dean’s comments, probably not “really” changed what he actually believes, but the PR surrounding what he says has changed and he’s got A Larry Ross in his corner, too.

    I think Driscoll is wholly a bandwagon sort of guy. He jumps on whatever he thinks will sell him the most books. The raging manhood hypercalvinism wagon was growing in popularity when he got on it. Prayer is a hot topic now because everything has been such a mess with covid and the country.

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  26. Ken F (aka Tweed): https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/standing-up-to-bully-pastors/

    Of course, the article doesn’t provide any guidance on how to fix the problem they created through their pushing of 9Marx methods. Anyone who stands up to their bullying pastor will ne promptly disciplined by the associated yes-men elders.

    Yeah, I note that everything is about choosing a pastor before you get one, and not what to do when you find out your hypercalvinist pastor lied about being hypercalvinist and a decent person and is really a totalitarian dictator bent on controlling your every thought. Because that would have been helpful back in Wake Forest when that happened.

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  27. ishy,

    It sounds like he borrowed the insight from someone else and didn’t self reflect on how that concept was true for him. And then make changes in his life holistically in response to what he would have uncovered. Which is a sign of high levels of narcissism in a person.

    *********************
    Going off that:

    It also makes me think of advocates who speak the language of advocacy and abuse – or theologians/academics and pastors who say seemingly right and standard things – but are not safe people themselves. Once you see behind the curtain it becomes more clear that what these type of people are saying and presenting is borrowed knowledge they never processed and integrated for themselves. They’re merely using words and key phrases to achieve or gain or sustain a position and status so they can do whatever it is they want to do.

    One reason why seminary and studying theology and other humanities disciplines in a professional setting and making a career out of it can be so problematic. It is not just knowledge that matters, but a person’s relation and integrity and overall inner world in relation to that knowledge.

    None of these groups are looking or asking for holistic ways of being and integrating when they’re doing whatever things they are doing. It is all external performance and doing what needs to be done to sustain supply and favor. It is all so gaslight-y.

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  28. Roger Smith: Stick with the Bible.

    Adding to your list of quotes:
    Jonah 2.9: Salvation belongs to the Lord.
    Psalm 62: My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him.
    Psalm 46: There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
    etc.
    Reading the whole Bible (for oneself), actually, not just disparate texts, answers church nonsense.

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  29. Stinson’s been a key player in the manhood-womanhood racket:

    https://cbmw.org/about/history/

    “Under the leadership of leaders like Randy Stinson, Bruce Ware, and J. Ligon Duncan, CBMW increased its influence in the first decade of the 21st century, holding several major conferences on gender roles, launching CBMW[dot]org, and publishing the Journal for Biblical Manhood & Womanhood.”

    2013:
    https://cbmw.org/2013/01/21/gratitude-for-randy-stinsons-godly-leadership-of-cbmw/

    “We at CBMW are deeply appreciative of Randy Stinson’s many years of excellent service as executive director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. He served as CBMW’s leader for seven years and will remain in an advisory role as a senior fellow.”

    “Wayne Grudem, one of CBMW’s founders, worked for many years with Dr. Stinson. ‘Randy Stinson brought remarkable wisdom, Christian maturity, and leadership to CBMW during his time as Executive Director,’ said Grudem…’he significantly advanced the work and mission of CBMW during his tenure.'”

    “R. Albert Mohler Jr., Southern Seminary president, serves as a member of CBMW’s council, said…’Randy Stinson is a great leader, a model husband and father…He has given stellar leadership to the CBMW for many years…He will remain a vital and much needed voice on biblical manhood and womanhood.'”

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  30. ” think Driscoll is wholly a bandwagon sort of guy. He jumps on whatever he thinks will sell him the most books. The raging manhood hypercalvinism wagon was growing in popularity when he got on it.”

    I think that’s definitely part of it — a large part is some kind of psychological aspect coming out in different ways though, there’s a consistent negative energy way in which he presents things, almost as if he needs someone to contend with in order to feel validated.

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  31. chris s: I think that’s definitely part of it — a large part is some kind of psychological aspect coming out in different ways though, there’s a consistent negative energy way in which he presents things, almost as if he needs someone to contend with in order to feel validated.

    I definitely think that’s a consistent trait in the men I’ve known that were attracted to hypercalvinism. And you’re right, he even sounds a bit contentious in that quote, just against his former belief group.

    I read something by someone offsite earlier today that talked about the people they knew who followed that belief system that were almost gleeful in the demise and sentence to hell of other people. The writer said they thought the belief system attracted people who liked to see other people suffer. It was an interesting observation.

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  32. Please pardon me if it appears that I am trying to hijack this thread but I am not. A strong Calvinist pastor said the following below in a talk he gave at a conference in December, it is as follows

    In the Lord’s Prayer, God’s will means what God desires to happen, he explained. Although everything happens because God decrees it, God wants people to do right and for His Kingdom to advance. Christians should want these things too.

    My struggle is the sentence that “ everything happens because God decrees it.” I know that God is sovereign and nothing can thwart his plans
    but does he decree everything or is there free will? My divorce that happened several years ago was not something I desired, I prayed and others did with me that my ex would change her mind but didn’t. So according to this pastor, God must have decreed from the foundation of the world that my 35 year marriage was to fail. No amount of praying made a difference that I can think off, my children continue to suffer etc. why did I bother to pray other than say “ Thy will be done.”

    Is that scriptural, could my wife just have decided it wasn’t worth it with her own free will or did God control her will. Thanks for your input. I really have struggled with this concept for years.

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  33. My second example is Ravi Zacharias, according to this pastor , Rsvi’s Life was decreed by God. Ravi, you are going to spend your life preaching truth and being an apologist for me, but your going to live a double life and when you die, the whole world will find out that everything you stood for was a lie. People that trusted you are going to be hurt , women abused and my name defamed because I decreed it. It just seems like Ravi ( and I too) would have a choice or free will. If Ravi was a believer, he had the Word, a conscience and the Holy Spirit within him but he choose not to confront his sin in this lifetime. Explain how this works please.

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  34. Chuck,

    That statement contained in an article just triggered something that I have struggled with for years and I just felt this would be a good venue and time to ask. I know I can’t be the only one who struggles with this concept. I know this must stem at least somewhat from his strong Calvinistic beliefs or at least I think so.

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  35. Chuck,

    regarding the question of freedom and the decrees. you may find Roger Olson’s views helpful. He affirms sovereignty, but does not believe that it is comprehensive, down to every last detail of everything that happens. And he doesn’t think that our wills are controlled by God. Here’s a very recent post, but there is more at his ‘blog that could be searched.

    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2021/01/free-will-or-not-another-round-in-the-debate/

    Doctrines of divine sovereignty are not much comfort to those who have experienced terrible loss. I’m sorry for your heartache and the added sorrow that contemplation of that heartache through the lens of “strong sovereignty” has added.

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  36. Chuck: In the Lord’s Prayer, God’s will means what God desires to happen, he explained.

    As a rank amateur, can I just say that’s not my understanding of “thy will be done”? I think that is a desire, a wish, a prayer. It expresses the Christian’s hope that the things God wants will happen on Earth as they already do in Heaven.

    Otherwise we are saying that God commands all of the world’s evil (and good), and we’re endorsing future evil.

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  37. Chuck: My struggle is the sentence that “ everything happens because God decrees it.” I know that God is sovereign and nothing can thwart his plans
    but does he decree everything or is there free will?

    This is a very important question. Everything I have been able to dig up from church history affirms nearly universal insistance on free will among all the amcient church fathers. Augustine appears to be the only outlier, and he appeared to have taken the Pelagian error to the equally damaging error on the other extreme. For a long answer to a short question, read this: https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxyandheterodoxy/2014/01/22/why-i-stopped-being-a-calvinist-part-4-the-heresy-of-monergism/

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  38. Chuck: My struggle is the sentence that “ everything happens because God decrees it.”

    I would say that God permits good and bad things to happen, not that everything happens by God’s decree. No religion has solved the problem of pain. The more honest, humane church traditions admit this and offer comfort to the suffering, rather than platitudes about God’s will.

    God is with us throughout all things. God loves us. We can seek God’s comfort when we are in despair. God strengthens us and helps us recover. Through prayer and loving fellowship we can thrive after misfortune. All of this is distinctly Christian because we have our Scripture, two millennia of writings and traditions, and (one hopes) supportive folk around us.

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  39. ishy: I think Driscoll is wholly a bandwagon sort of guy. He jumps on whatever he thinks will sell

    Driscoll began his journey in the emergent church … he then went resurgent as a New Calvinist … then went submergent for a while when he fell from Mars Hill. Following a short restoration period, he has reinvented himself as some sort of “real faith” charismatic character. Folks that follow him just ain’t no sense.

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  40. JDV: With the daycare, music concert and social club model secure for Wednesdays and Sundays (and a youth / young adult car wash and clothes drive here and there), who really needs to bother asking hard questions when so much good seems to be underway?

    There is a lot of truth to this, IMO. The American church has sold its birthright for a bowl of stew.

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  41. WenatcheeTheHatchet: Driscoll is more likely to recycle his own material that was purged in the Mars Hill years rather than use material without citation. The plagiarism controversy may have taught him to make sure to cite materials but he didn’t introduce much new in Win Your War that people couldn’t have heard for free from his 2008 Spiritual Warfare teaching session.

    It’s a good thing that Driscoll is not publishing scientific papers. As I’ve learned from reading Retraction Watch (which watches retractions of scientific papers, for all sorts of reasons) recycling your text or your images is called “duplication,” is a no-no, and can be subject to actual retraction.

    To properly use his Mars Hill stuff, he’d really need to tell people he’d preached this before. But this is ENDEMIC to churches…sermons get recycled all.the.time. Some people make more of a practice of it than others.

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  42. Chuck:

    My struggle is the sentence that “ everything happens because God decrees it.” I know that God issovereign and nothing can thwart his plans
    but does he decree everything or is there free will?

    These are some verses that I believe speak towards God encouraging man to turn and be reconciled to Him — including prayers from man for God to help with that as only God can.

    Ezekiel 33:11 — “Say to them: ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord GOD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked should turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’”

    Luke 18:1 “Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

    Mark 9:24b “‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.'”

    Lamentations 5:21 — “Turn us to yourself, LORD, and we shall be turned. Renew our days as of old.”

    Romans 8:26-27 — “Now likewise also, the Spirit joins to help us in weakness; for we do not know the things which we should pray for as it behooves, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession with inexpressible groanings. And the One searching hearts knows what is the mindset of the Spirit, because He intercedes for the saints according to God.”

    1 John 2:1-2 — “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you might not sin. And if anyone should sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One. And He is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.”

    2 Cor 5:18-20 “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore on behalf of Christ: be reconciled to God.”

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  43. Chuck:

    Another informative Scripture is 2 Kings 20:1-7:

    “In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.’ ”

    “Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, saying, “Please, O LORD, remember how I have walked before You faithfully and with wholehearted devotion; I have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

    “Before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard,a the word of the LORD came to him, saying, ‘Go back and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people that this is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: ‘I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. I will surely heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the house of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for My sake and for the sake of My servant David.’ ”

    “Then Isaiah said, “Prepare a poultice of figs.” So they brought it and applied it to the boil, and Hezekiah recovered.”

    The decree communicated appeared unequivocal. However, Hezekiah still cried out for mercy despite that. It was clear that God heard the prayer and the heartfelt nature of it, and showed mercy by stopping the king’s impending death.

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  44. Max: Folks that follow him

    The one to follow is Jesus. Jesus cut out the middleman.

    Jesus did not take up collection$.
    He did not build buildings & campuses.
    He had no private airplane, or even his own donkey

    The Holy Spirit gives gifts, Rom 12, 1 Cor 12, Eph 4.
    No $$$ involved.
    Even pastoring is a gift (Eph 4) to the church.

    Each Christian can take their gift and offer it to the church without charge.

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  45. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    I found that very helpful, too. You know, the New Calvinists I knew, even Mohler, were always talking about the “church fathers”, but I’m pretty sure they meant Calvin and Augustine, and only them. I’m not even sure some of them were aware there were other church fathers. Like a lot of their other buzz words, they use “church fathers” to give their belief system authenticity, but are really being dishonest by using that term.

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  46. ishy,

    A thing that I find a bit puzzling is that Calvin’s analysis, that “will is in bondage to desire” (an analysis that I admit I find attractive), doesn’t get employed by these people for the purposes of “self-analysis.” It’s as if they assume that their own desires are holy and therefore their will is necessarily well aligned with the will of God. Surely one doesn’t have to look very hard in that tribe to find grounds to doubt that assumption.

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  47. Friend: I would say that God permits good and bad things to happen, not that everything happens by God’s decree. No religion has solved the problem of pain. The more honest, humane church traditions admit this and offer comfort to the suffering, rather than platitudes about God’s will.

    I agree, there’s really no alternative to the great roulette wheel of life.

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  48. Muff Potter: I agree, there’s really no alternative to the great roulette wheel of life.

    All the cards are on the table
    You done laid your money down
    Don’t complain about your chances, boy
    It’s the only game in town
    And the meaning doesn’t matter
    Nor the way you play the game
    To the winner or the loser
    Who’s to bless and who’s to blame?

    — Kris Kristofferson 1975 —

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  49. Samuel Conner: A thing that I find a bit puzzling is that Calvin’s analysis, that “will is in bondage to desire” (an analysis that I admit I find attractive), doesn’t get employed by these people for the purposes of “self-analysis.” It’s as if they assume that their own desires are holy and therefore their will is necessarily well aligned with the will of God. Surely one doesn’t have to look very hard in that tribe to find grounds to doubt that assumption.

    That’s not entirely true, becaue they talk about worm theology all the time. Thing is, like with “Gospel” and “church fathers” and other buzz words, they aren’t honest about their beliefs. They are very big on peons being evil, even if they are in their church, and they are constantly reminding everyone around them how evil they are. But whenever anyone of their elite class does evil things, they just pretend that it’s not evil.

    This is why I think that a lot of their leaders don’t really believe any of it. Thelogy is a tool to gain followers and force their compliance. I think there are true believers among their leaders, but I don’t think Driscoll or Challies or Mohler are among them, based on how those people change the message when they think it will get them more followers. Piper I think might be a true believer, but I think he lost his cookies a long time ago.

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  50. ishy: You know, the New Calvinists I knew, even Mohler, were always talking about the “church fathers”, but I’m pretty sure they meant Calvin and Augustine, and only them.

    This is very true, because Augustine is the only ancient church father who agreed with Calvin. Augustine was canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic church, but the Eastern churches never canonized him because of his erroneous teachings on topics such as free will. The Eastern equivalent of Augustine is John Chrysostom. He wrote what is arguably the most famous Christian sermon outside the bible, but very few protestants know about him. He was a prolific writer and preacher. The more I dive into early church fathers the more I feel betrayed by protestantism.

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  51. Chuck: keep sending me good articles and I will read a research

    Although I am not Eastern Orthodox, I have found their theology and anthropology very compelling, so I often do searches on “orthodox topic xyz.” As an example, a number of years ago during a conversation at church I stupidly asked what difference it makes if righteousness is imputed or imparted. It turns out that this is a HUGE deal among protestants and I should have known better. Not long after that, on a whim, I searched on “eastern orthodox imputed imparted righteousness” and found this article that I think you will find interesting:
    https://www.oca.org/reflections/fr.-john-breck/gods-righteousness

    This article began to unravel what I had been taught as a protesant: EO are just like RC (wrong), EO believe in salvation by works rather than faith (wrong), EO don’t take the Bible seriously (wrong), etc. That article got me looking into all kinds of other issues. It’s been a fascinating journey.

    For getting info and quotes from early church fathers, EOs are a great source because they place so much emphasis on the consensus of church fathers.

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  52. Hey Ken, just finished the article on God’s righteousness that you listed above, now that is a completely new way of thinking, excellent. I loved it. His exegesis made God’s giving us his righteousness a wonderful loving event instead of some sterile technical forensic event like I have been taught. If you are willing, please send me your email address, I would like to get more of these articles from you. My email
    is crna40@comcast.net. I will be respectful of your time. Thank you

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  53. Chuck: Any suggestion or titles that delve into their writings that might help my walk.

    I found “The Apostolic Fathers in English” by Michael Holmes very helpful, but there are also other translations of the Apostolic Fathers. “On the Incarnation” by Athanasius is a must read. I also recommend “Church History” (sometimes called “Ecclesiastical History”) by Eusibius, who was a contemporary of Constantine. I also found a condensed version of “Against Heresies” by Irenaeus that was very good. I’ve barely scratched the surface with this list. There is so much more I want to read but I still have a day job. I want to dive into the sermons and writings of John Chrysostom, but I don’t know where to start.

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  54. Ken F (aka Tweed): I found “The Apostolic Fathers in English” by Michael Holmes very helpful, but there are also other translations of the Apostolic Fathers.

    Michael Holmes also came out with “The Apostolic Fathers, Greek Texts and English Translations”. It’s about 800 pages with selections from the Greek on one side and an English translation on the other. That is something to really geek out on. 🙂

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  55. Ken F (aka Tweed): I cheated by reading a version without the Greek.

    One of my retirement projects I hope to start in earnest in just a few more years is to be better at reading Greek.

    It seems to help me more having the Greek text on one side and a translation on the other, as opposed to interlinear text, like in an interlinear Bible. I think a Greek/translation format forces one to think more in whole sentences, even when you don’t get everything right, as opposed to thinking word-by-word.

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  56. Nick Bulbeck: They’ll have you questioning penal substitutionary atonement before you can say spontaneous electroweak symmetry-breaking.

    Speaking of Challies, he has this book review on his blog this morning:
    https://davidsteele.blog/2021/01/07/sinners-in-the-hands-of-a-loving-god-brian-zahnd/
    It’s reviews like this that confirm my rejection of penal substitution.

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  57. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    I hope you will follow an argument I propose. I don’t use reifying usages of words: for those who do, the argument doesn’t work (none does, on any subject). I think Edwardes and Steele exaggerate in one direction and Zahnd in the other, all shallowly. As Paul points out, some people will die for others. That is a sink hole, it stops evils, it is reported by folklore from time immemorial everywhere, it was anticipated when Cain was not to be murdered in retaliation (when Abel had already died) (though I wonder if Lamech tried to overblow his own level of impunity like others we hear of). Now, Jesus didn’t wait till we all became out and out villains (some of us haven’t managed that yet). God sees what is going to happen to the earth and sees what it will take to get us out of what He wants to get us out of.

    This will involve the survival of the integrity of our faculties. Perseverence in Holy Spirit strength will build up others who will be our commendation and crown, or (at some level) our works not of wood or straw. Holy Trinity model space for the other other = the fellow adopted widows and orphans in Father’s firm (Prov 21: 10-31) = you & me. Christ ascended in order to distribute gifts differing (van loads to every one of us, to be combined WITH our natural ones), not to command they be rationed (James is about this, and Is 55, 58, 61). (I’ve only strung together some of the many things the Bible says, and haven’t touched much on an ongoing quality of repentance.)

    Whole 18 th century gin sodden countries appeared to need the emotional breakdown model of “conversion” and as for perseverence, the constabulary and social pressure would make sure you were in line (or there was always the backwoods). The real gospel is made for 2021 when it has been so distorted. Chalke’s moralising is the same as every “side” that are likewise denying Holy Spirit. Jesus come in the flesh = Holy Spirit strength for living. Edwardes’ wording is bad because what God requires is on His own sliding scale. Moralising and lording it ensures there is no gratefulness for what such a miseryguts of a Jesus is being foisted on us.

    Simple atheists * accept that this planet is hazardous. But potential believers were taught to complain. The fall of humans (which parallels but doesn’t copy that of angels) is the analogy for our being persons, who can turn contingency into necessity, hence the arrow of time in our layer or spectrum of the universe (anthropic principle) (and remember God’s values are more outside time than we are). God isn’t the giant robot for terrorising the populace, that the celebs turned Him into. What befalls the Jesuses and the Abels is what befalls the Jesuses and the Abels, as we always knew. What you are against is the denying that Jesus is come in the flesh, the rationing of Holy Spirit by the Johnsonsites, Macarthurites, the Jesuits, et al, all of whom insist on mere memes to manoeuvre us.

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  58. Excellent observation, and I wholeheartedly agree!!

    Cynthia W.:
    It’s an interesting pattern that reminds me of people’s attraction to “miracle” diet plans.A person is dissatisfied with himself.He sees someone else who seems to be doing much better.He thinks, “If I do what that person is doing – gluten-free diet, “Real Faith” – I can be like that, too, instead of my crummy old self!”

    Pretty much every time, though, one finds that the person who seemed to be doing much better was faking.

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  59. To offer a bit more to the story, Jordyn Wilson’s maiden name IS also Wilson, but when she started working for Pete, she was newly married and her last name was “Cox”. Yes her first marriage ended around the time that Pete resigned from Cross Point. I knew Pete in his very early ministry days: sin devastates many.

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