The Gideons Team Up With Crossway to Produce a Unique ESV Bible for Free Distribution

"The Gideon’s new ESV translation is a unique edition produced with permission from Crossway Publishing. It includes over 50 alternate readings consistent with the Textus Receptus, the Greek text that formed the basis of the translations for the King James Bible."

Lincoln Hawkins

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Two summers ago our church had a guest preacher who was associated with the Gideons. Gideons International is a world-wide organization of businessmen which distributes Bibles free of charge. No doubt you have seen Bibles they have placed in hotel rooms in which you have stayed.  They also distribute testaments to students, those in the military, medical workers, prisons, etc.  In April 2015 Gideons International reached the two billion mark in distributing Bibles and New Testaments.  Getting back to our church service, a love offering was collected for the Gideons that Sunday, and my husband and I were excited to give to such a wonderful organization. 

Why am I bringing up the Gideons?  Because several weeks ago I was listening to a theologian via the internet, and during his talk he mentioned that the Gideons are now distributing the English Standard Version of the Bible.  That was news to me!  I called Dee and asked if she was aware of this, and she had absolutely no idea they had made the switch.  How had we missed it?

It appears that when Gideons International met in 2013, the decision was made to switch from the New King James Version (NKJV) to the English Standard Version (ESV).   Thomas Nelson, a publishing company that owned the NKJV copyright, was acquired by HarperCollins in 2012.  On July 31, 2012, HarperCollins announced that it was forming a new Christian publishing division by combining Thomas Nelson and Zondervan 'under one roof'.  After these dramatic changes, the contract that the Gideons had with Thomas Nelson was not renewed.  They had to find another version, and the one they chose was the English Standard Version (with some specific changes).

In God's sovereignty, I was able to find a recently published Gideons Bible at a used bookstore. It is pictured above.  Below is a photo of the copyright information printed inside this Bible.

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Lincoln Hawkins, executive director of Gideons International Australia, explained:

The Gideon’s new ESV translation is a unique edition produced with permission from Crossway Publishing. It includes over 50 alternate readings consistent with the Textus Receptus, the Greek text that formed the basis of the translations for the King James Bible.

The Gideons don’t like to make a fuss. Hawkins says they “quietly go about their business” of witnessing to non-believers. But the translation change has been a long time coming, and represents a significant move for the long-running organisation.

“I think it’s a generational change. We’ll be with the ESV for a long time. It’s proving to be a wise decision and it’s opening many doors for our ministry,” Hawkins told Eternity.

It does appear that the Gideons have gone quietly about the business of changing from the NKJV to the ESV because there isn't much information on the internet about it.  We are, however, glad to know about this change albeit three years after it was made.

Thoughts?

Comments

The Gideons Team Up With Crossway to Produce a Unique ESV Bible for Free Distribution — 168 Comments

  1. @ Daisy:
    Daisy, you are very gracious!
    I am very dubious of the value of bibles in hotel rooms these days. I think that they get used to level wobbly tables more than inspirational reading. With online bibles ubiquitous presence what is the point? I do not carry a bible to church anymore. Biblegateway.com has dozens of translations I can easily go from one to another with a touch on my cell phone. Perhaps the very dedicated Gideon’s need to re-think their strategy?

  2. I am sad about this because the NKJV is my favourite version. Why did they move away from the NIV? I am not a big fan of the NIV to be fair, I don’t like their idea of dynamic equivalence but I would sooner people read that than the ESV any day.

  3. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t know what to say about the Gideons using the ESV specifically, but I’ve heard a few news stories over the last few years of various groups (secular or atheist) trying to get Gideons removed from hotel rooms or where ever.

    Gideon Bibles removed from Arizona college hotel after atheist group complains
    http://christiandaily.com/article/gideon-bibles-removed-from-arizona-college-hotel-following-atheist-groups-complaint/55747.htm

    Well, from the perspective that the hotel is owned by the Thunderbird School of Global Management, which is a subsidiary of the Arizona State University down the road from me, I would say that this was a legitimate thing to request. I don’t think state-owned facilities should be promoting any version of scripture, whether it’s the ESV, the Book of Mormon, the Quran, Bhagavad Gita, etc.

    That said, if a private hotel owner wants to allow the Gideons to put Bibles in their hotel rooms, more power to them. I do have to wonder how often people look at them, given the ubiquity of smartphones and Bible apps. (I have one on my phone.)

  4. Y’know, I wouldn’t ever have picked up on the comp/egal issue in the ESV had it not been pointed out to me on this discussion board. Maybe it’s not something that has to be overly worrisome, given the fact that if someone is already in those discussions, they probably brought their own Bible with them. But if the phone runs out of batteries and there’s nothing on TV, maybe someone *will* pick up the Bible in the drawer…and there’s a lot more good than bad with that, regardless of the version. Most Gideon Bibles have “helps” in the front that have a lot more to do with loneliness, depression, anxiety, fear, despair, and so on, than with diktats regarding male/female relationships.

    It sounds like it wasn’t really their choice to lose the NKJV, at any rate, and as much as I hate to say it, the no-contract-required KJV is probably too foreign in language for an average hotel resident to tackle.

  5. The last time we had a Gideon speaking at our last church, the man emphasized that more young men were needed to take up the mantle for the older men who were soon about to retire. He just kept on driving the point home that young men were needed – it explains a lot. I think the Gideons were already traditionally complementarian and having the ESV be the Bible of choice might be one of those last-ditch efforts to to get as many as possible to sign up for task – sort of like a recruiter telling the young men it’s their duty to defend their country – that Gideon pointed to the Christian flag and kept on telling the young men they were needed … young women weren’t mentioned. But having done some homework on the Gideons, I already knew that they didn’t exactly have a lot of positions for women other than that of Gideon’s Wives.

  6. Who is eligible to join The Gideons International?

    Generally, Christian businessmen and professional men age 21 and older, or retired businessmen and professional men, who adhere to the core spiritual beliefs held by The Gideons International are eligible to join. In addition to meeting these professional and spiritual qualifications, potential Gideons must also be recommended by their pastors. – https://www2.gideons.org/faq

  7. The Gideons International is an Association of Christian business and professional men and their wives dedicated to telling people about Jesus through associating together for service, sharing personal testimony, and by providing Bibles and New Testaments. While we are often recognized for our work with hotels, we also place and distribute Scriptures in strategic locations so they are available to those who want them, as well as to those who may not know they need them. – https://www2.gideons.org/about

    It looks like their FAQ and About page are in disagreement.

  8. Daisy wrote:

    various groups (secular or atheist) trying to get Gideons removed from hotel rooms

    If my great-grandfather were alive today, he’d turn in his grave… 🙂 He suggested the Bibles be put in hotel rooms to begin with. I inherited one signed by his friends,the original Gideon founders.

  9. Wow, Dave, that is very interesting about your great-grandfather and Gideon Bibles! Such a great link to your past.

    We have Gideons who give a yearly presentation in our church. I like hearing the personal stories they tell, sometimes from experience in overseas ministry travel with Gideons. The local group has a monthly meeting in my church’s fellowship hall. There are always a fair number of women present, but I’ve no idea if they are “just wives” of the Men-Gideons.

    As far as someone’s suggestion that the time has passed for Bibles to be placed in hotel rooms, etc. because we have access to the Bible on our smart phones, well, you may be correct. The younger generations usually don’t bring traditional printed Bibles to church. They use the app on their phone or perhaps a tablet. I just downloaded the free Gideon Bible app on my phone. I chose “English” from a substantial number of language possibilities, many of which I had never heard of.

    I do know that Gideons take free Bibles to many, many countries. They are translated into many, many languages. It’s easy for me to assume that everyone, everywhere has the same access to technology that we do here in the US. Internet may be unreliable at best and non-existent at worst in any number of areas globally, as well as access to dependable electricity to keep their devices charged. That is, IF they own a device and IF there is electricity at all.

    The Bible app I just downloaded is the older ESV that contains the normal translation of the Genesis 3 passage of God to Eve: “your desire shall be for your husband”, not the Eternally Superior Version that reads “your desire shall be contrary to your husband”. I wonder if that will change.

    Long story short, as best I know, the Gideons are doing a good thing in the way they try to freely give the life saving and life transforming word of God to every “people, tribe, and tongue”.

  10. “Consistent with the Textus Receptus”

    If they are relying on the Textus Receptus alone, or even primarily, I can’t believe any credible Christian academic will be impressed. I’m certainly not. There are far better and earlier texts than that. The past 70 years or so have seen enormous strides in archaeology and textual evidence, and modern translations with serious scholars behind them have benefitted enormously from this.

  11. Tree wrote:

    I do know that Gideons take free Bibles to many, many countries. They are translated into many, many languages.

    I remember finding a Gideon Bible in a European hotel room that had the NT in English, German, and French. That was interesting to see.

    I remember hearing anecdotes about people who went to a hotel/motel who were on the verge of suicide, took out the Bible and read it, and it saved (and changed) their life. I don’t remember if I heard that at a Gideon presentation at church, or somewhere else.

  12. It’s sad to bring up the multi denominal Gideons over an “English” translation. Having translated a number of words from the original languages, there is no possibility that the English language will have it totally concise. The Gideons for many years have been getting the word out in many languages…is it perfect? No. I’d have to be a Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek scholar with multiple PHDs to even get close to the overall meanings of the Word and still be no closer, and probably furtur away, from the true heart of the word. My whole point is to spread the Word Rather than quabble about translations!

  13. @ Tree:

    Obviously many countries don't have the same access to smartphones etc as you say, but that number is diminishing fast – Rwanda is hoping to give every school child a laptop I believe, and those whose mission is oral ministry suggest this, not paper, is the near-future for most folk.

  14. Tree wrote:

    Wow, Dave, that is very interesting about your great-grandfather and Gideon Bibles! Such a great link to your past.

    After reading some fascinating late-night history, it seems great-grandfather’s role was more implementation than inspiration. He was national “field secretary” (seemingly making church and hotel presentations and doing organizing and fundraising) at the time one W W Crissinger made the proposal. I noticed they were not averse to using the American Standard Version at the time. Originally the idea was not so much placing the Bibles as holding evangelistic meetings in the hotels to reach fellow traveling business-men. Wives and daughters of men-Gideons were organized into an Auxillary beginning in 1901.

  15. Jamie Carter wrote:

    The last time we had a Gideon speaking at our last church, the man emphasized that more young men were needed to take up the mantle for the older men who were soon about to retire. He just kept on driving the point home that young men were needed – it explains a lot. I think the Gideons were already traditionally complementarian and having the ESV be the Bible of choice might be one of those last-ditch efforts to to get as many as possible to sign up for task – sort of like a recruiter telling the young men it’s their duty to defend their country – that Gideon pointed to the Christian flag and kept on telling the young men they were needed … young women weren’t mentioned. But having done some homework on the Gideons, I already knew that they didn’t exactly have a lot of positions for women other than that of Gideon’s Wives.

    We recently had a Gideon speaker at the church I pastor and sadly it was too easy to pick up on his and the Gideon’s position about women. It made me very sad!

  16. John wrote:

    “Consistent with the Textus Receptus”
    If they are relying on the Textus Receptus alone, or even primarily, I can’t believe any credible Christian academic will be impressed. I’m certainly not.

    Many years ago my then-husband went to a presentation by the Gideons looking for new members. He told me that they were a mens-only group and were adamant about using the Textus Receptus. I lost respect for the organization then.

  17. Dave A A wrote:

    Wives and daughters of men-Gideons were organized into an Auxillary beginning in 1901.

    Interesting. I wonder what would happen if a woman who was not a wife or daughter wants to join.
    I think one of the previous commenters is correct. It’s primarily a men’s group.
    That being said, I think the primary reason for going ESV is financial.
    I may be a bit thick here but what’s the big deal with the ESV? The whole Bible has some misogyny built in as well as other missives that we really don’t follow in the modern world.

  18. Many times when I have stayed at hotels over the years, I have picked up the Gideon Bible and read familiar verses. Often to get me thru the day ahead, or just to make me feel like I’m home. I’m sure many of us have done the same thing. I honestly don’t think that will change for me. When waiting to start my day, I often would read a familiar Psalm out of the Bible. I wonder how the wording will change. But in my heart, I will recognize what has changed and what is right and what is wrong. I know men who are in the Gideons. I’d be curious to hear their thoughts on this as they are strong, non-comp Baptist men.

  19. Umpteen years ago when I was in the Bible business, I spoke with the Gideons. They made a point that they only use conservative translations, such as the KJV (at that time) and equivalents in other languages.

  20. I know several Gideons. My husband does a jail ministry with a friend who is a Gideon. We attended a Gideon dinner a few years ago as guests of this friend. It is very definitely a men’s only organization. That alone is disappointing enough. Now, to find out that they are pushing the ESV (Extremely Sexist Version) ……….???. Just one more reason for me not to care any more. I will never attend another Gideon dinner!

    Only men may preach; only men may teach mixed gender classes; only men may be Gideons; only men may be church planters; only men may speak at church business meetings. ……. only men, only men, only men. The “gospel” is all about only men. That is why I haven’t been to church since February. At this point, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they decide only men may attend church!

  21. “It does appear that the Gideons have gone quietly about the business of changing from the NKJV to the ESV because there isn’t much information on the internet about it.”

    While Calvinization of the American church has been loud and in-your-face in certain corners of Christendom (e.g., New Calvinism and its army of YRR rebels), there has also been a “Quiet Revolution” taking place (that’s what the SBC Founders group calls it). It is a pervasive movement, with tentacles that extend into mainline Christian denominations and organizations by various routes.

    Over the years, I have had the deepest respect for Gideons International. Their Bible distribution at hotels, hospitals, and other places have planted seeds of hope for so many. I have known many non-Calvinist laymen who have labored tirelessly to “get the Word out” … they have been messengers of the Gospel that saves ALL people who turn to faith in Christ. However, this development now has me concerned that Gideon leadership has been influenced by New Calvinism to attract a new generation of young Gideons who will be more dedicated to planting reformed belief and practice, than preaching the Gospel. The New Calvinism movement involves more than spreading a complementarian message (as expressed by other commenters); it involves other aberrant teachings as well, including God’s plan of salvation! When the Gideons’ leadership opted for the ESV, they surely knew that Crossway is primarily a Calvinist publishing house and that the ESV is the sword of choice among the new reformers. The young, restless and reformed have been indoctrinated to believe that the ESV is “THE” Bible – the Gideons could not attract them to distribute anything else.

    (I realize this sounds like a conspiracy theory in a sea of other conspiracy theories associated with the New Calvinist movement. I wouldn’t even bring this up if the New Calvinists would stop giving us so much evidence to support the theories).

  22. Elizabeth Lee wrote:

    He told me that they were a mens-only group and were adamant about using the Textus Receptus. I lost respect for the organization then.

    I found that out about the Gideon’s a few years ago too. And I also lost respect for them.
    Any group, or church, that can’t respect the priesthood of all believers and utilize them to carry The Gospel simply isn’t for me.

  23. Nancy2 wrote:

    Now, to find out that they are pushing the ESV (Extremely Sexist Version) ……….???. Just one more reason for me not to care any more. I will never attend another Gideon dinner!

    So true. If it’s all the same to the Gideons, why not put TNIV Bibles in every room, offer to college kids, etc.

    As soon as I heard that the Comps like Council on Biblical Manhood Womanhood tried to quash the TNIV version of the Bible, and decried it, I knew it was a “reverse recommendation” and I went ahead and promptly ordered one from Amazon. I am pleased with my Today’s New International Version.

  24. Nancy2 wrote:

    Only men may preach; only men may teach mixed gender classes; only men may be Gideons; only men may be church planters; only men may speak at church business meetings. ……. only men, only men, only men. The “gospel” is all about only men. That is why I haven’t been to church since February. At this point, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they decide only men may attend church!

    You could come join me at the Church of Jesus Is Out Here On This Sidewalk, Too.

  25. So I guess this means the Gideons will be spreading the doctrine of the woman’s desire being contrary to her husband? What a shame.

  26. siteseer wrote:

    So I guess this means the Gideons will be spreading the doctrine of the woman’s desire being contrary to her husband? What a shame.

    Another organization that is going to destroy itself by embracing this anti-woman agenda.

  27. siteseer wrote:

    So I guess this means the Gideons will be spreading the doctrine of the woman’s desire being contrary to her husband?

    Depends on the individual Gideon I suppose and how receptive the church pastor is to that message. The Gideons in my area usually preach a message when they are invited to a church, in addition to promotion of the Gideon mission. If they are Calvinistic, and the pastor as well, you might expect an individual Gideon to incorporate reformed belief and practice in his sermon. As you can see, I’m beginning to get very suspicious and “contrary” about this development.

  28. The Gideons are living on borrowed time. The way we access the scriptures is changing, and they are struggling to keep up.

    In the 300s, Constantine changed the Scriptures from a set of scrolls, to one leather-bound Bible. Just before the Reformation, the printing press changed the super-expensive, hand-crafted Bible into a mass-produced and more affordable product. Now, we are living in the midst of another transition, as ink on paper changes to dots on screens. And the Gideons are holding on to the past, in more ways than one.

    While the Gideons have just passed the 2 billion mark, having started in 1908, the YouVersion app has been downloaded 244 billion times since 2008. In both cases, it’s easy to wonder how many people are actually reading the Scriptures, much less understanding them in a deep way or encountering a Living God. But the digital revolution makes it easier to distribute the scriptures, and it’s hard to fight against it.

  29. Max wrote:

    When the Gideons’ leadership opted for the ESV, they surely knew that Crossway is primarily a Calvinist publishing house and that the ESV is the sword of choice among the new reformers

    However, at this point I will give Gideon leadership the benefit of the doubt … knowing that the New Calvinist movement is characterized by stealth and deception. Perhaps, they were simply hoodwinked into adopting the ESV by some crafty folks from the New Calvinist movement … many TWW commenters testify to being ensnared by the movement before they came out from amongst them.

  30. Is there a clear-cut time line of when the Gideons ‘quietly’ switched to the new ESV and when the new ESV was declared ‘written in stone’ (not to be changed again), and then after much ‘reaction’, back-pedaled furiously on that pompous announcement?

  31. Dee Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:

    Only men may preach; only men may teach mixed gender classes; only men may be Gideons; only men may be church planters; only men may speak at church business meetings. ……. only men, only men, only men. The “gospel” is all about only men. That is why I haven’t been to church since February. At this point, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they decide only men may attend church!

    You could come join me at the Church of Jesus Is Out Here On This Sidewalk, Too.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t already men-only churches. The MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) movement is quite vocal and while most of them are atheists, there are a few guys in it who are drawn towards Christianity and like to talk about “going monk”. We might end up seeing MGTOW churches one of these days.

  32. Wayne wrote:

    My whole point is to spread the Word Rather than quabble about translations!

    The point, I think, is that some translations seem intended to spread a specific aberrant theology, like the Jehovah Witness bible. And the latest rendition of the ESV, which stretches the language to the breaking point in order to reinforce a certain interpretation of bible teaching that has led to much misery and abuse in real life.

  33. Now Rocky Raccoon, he fell back in his room,
    Only to find Gideon’s Bible.
    Gideon checked out, and he left it, no doubt,
    To help with good Rocky’s revival.

    — Lennon / McCartney, From: The White Album —

  34. The Gideon's serve as another example ironic example of the Christian complementarian oppress of women. I believe that the main reason for calling themselves Gideons refers to him being a man of valour. But women cannot be Gideons. The esv and every other translation that the complementarian biased blueletterbible.org allows calls the proverbs 31 woman virtuous instead of woman of valour as it should be translated.

  35. Jack wrote:

    I wonder what would happen if a woman who was not a wife or daughter wants to join

    I’m more familiar with them a century ago than today. Back in the day, the wives automatically got similar positions in the Auxillary as their menfolk held in the men-bership. Sort of a help-meet thing. But not all male Christian church menbers could join– only those traveling for acceptable businesses (excluding, for example, those involving alcohol or door-to-door sales.) Other folks– maybe including womenfolk, could be supporting or associate members. It’s possible Great-Grandfather was one of these. As a Methodist man-ister he wouldn’t have qualified as an official menber. But was employed as, basically, the COO for a year, earning $1500 before funding dried up.

  36. GSD wrote:

    it’s easy to wonder how many people are actually reading the Scriptures, much less understanding them in a deep way or encountering a Living God.

    not to worry, we sometimes overlook the role of the Holy Spirit Who ‘guides us into all truth’. We were not left to flounder alone. The Holy Spirit is like a force at work in this world for good that has been set in motion. His power does not ‘overwhelm’ us but neither does it leave us lost and hopeless. If we ‘choose life’, it moves in our hearts and inspires our actions. The Holy Spirit, the gift of the Risen Lord, quietly points to Christ and is not at the mercy of men of ill will. I wouldn’t worry at all about the power of the Scriptures for good under these circumstances. If something of the Word comes through to a person by the reading of sacred Scripture, this is done by the Hand of God.

  37. This jogged my memory. Prof. Throckmorton once published the name of the P.R. firm that was hired by Gospel for Asia. I recall seeing Gideon’s logo right next to GFA on the firms clients page. When I saw their name it immediately made me wonder what kind of potential scandal was going on that would cause Gideon to spend donor money on a P.R. firm. A charity without issues does not need such a firm. I now would recommend that everyone check out ministries before donating your hard earned cash. If they have hired a P.R. firm you deserve to know why before giving away money that you cannot get back. I consider the hiring of P.R. firms to be a big red flag. As the saying goes, where there is smoke, there is fire.
    Also listed as clients are the E.C.F.A. (promoting a false image of accountability), Schuller’s Hour of Power, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Open Doors, Wycliffe-an organization I once tried to volunteer for, an organization highlighted here for child molestation who are still covering it up–Voice of the Martyrs, and others I have never heard of. I got burned by throwing away thousands at two of this firms clients. Buyer beware… http://inchristcommunications.com/clients/

  38. Jamie Carter wrote:

    The Gideons International is an Association of Christian business and professional men and their wives

    Weird! I had no idea non ‘wife’ women were not allowed.

  39. Hey everybody. I just saw the sign up top about Pete Wilson. I defended him in a past post, so if there is definite info on wrong-doing, I'll accept it and say you guys were right. Let's just see what comes out. I am amazed at the attention, though because Pete's not that well-known. Okay, back to the Gideons.

  40. Lea wrote:

    Jamie Carter wrote:
    The Gideons International is an Association of Christian business and professional men and their wives
    Weird! I had no idea non ‘wife’ women were not allowed.

    A friend’s mother ran into their sexism at a Gidions meeting. As Methodists, she and her husband thought their rules were ridiculous.

  41. PaJo wrote:

    Y’know, I wouldn’t ever have picked up on the comp/egal issue in the ESV had it not been pointed out to me on this discussion board. Maybe it’s not something that has to be overly worrisome, given the fact that if someone is already in those discussions, they probably brought their own Bible with them. But if the phone runs out of batteries and there’s nothing on TV, maybe someone *will* pick up the Bible in the drawer…and there’s a lot more good than bad with that, regardless of the version. Most Gideon Bibles have “helps” in the front that have a lot more to do with loneliness, depression, anxiety, fear, despair, and so on, than with diktats regarding male/female relationships.

    It sounds like it wasn’t really their choice to lose the NKJV, at any rate, and as much as I hate to say it, the no-contract-required KJV is probably too foreign in language for an average hotel resident to tackle.

    …… Among all the battles for truth we must fight, this one seems lower in priority. My sense is that people will pick up these bibles for late night help and not to focus on comp vs egalitarian matters. Like PaJo, I didn’t pick up on the ESV concerns before reading about them on this blog.

  42. Max wrote:

    Over the years, I have had the deepest respect for Gideons International. Their Bible distribution at hotels, hospitals, and other places have planted seeds of hope for so many.

    I share your sentiment on this one Max, ideological purity be damned. Which is what I had in mind with my previous quip lifted from Lennon & McCartney.

  43. Max wrote:

    The New Calvinism movement involves more than spreading a complementarian message (as expressed by other commenters); it involves other aberrant teachings as well, including God’s plan of salvation!

    Max, this part confused me. What do you mean about God’s plan of salvation being aberrant? Did I misunderstand your intent?

  44. refugee wrote:

    What do you mean about God’s plan of salvation being aberrant?

    That would be the age-old debate about a predestined chosen vs. free will of any man to accept the message of Christ … the basic soteriological difference in theology that separates Calvinist belief from the rest of Christendom. A non-Calvinist (such as myself) views the reformed position on this as aberrant; on the other hand, a Calvinist would view my belief as aberrant. There can’t be two plans for God’s salvation of men. Of course, God’s sovereignty and man’s free will work together in a way that is beyond human comprehension. The New Calvinists claim to have it all figured out and are on a mission to restore the “gospel” to the church that the rest of us have lost. A position that I find both arrogant and aberrant.

  45. Max wrote:

    The New Calvinists claim to have it all figured out and are on a mission to restore the “gospel” to the church that the rest of us have lost. A position that I find both arrogant and aberrant.

    arrogance is evidence of profound ignorance when it comes to theology

  46. Velour wrote:

    Any group, or church, that can’t respect the priesthood of all believers and utilize them to carry The Gospel simply isn’t for me.

    Well said. Good call. Key.

  47. Velour wrote:

    Any group, or church, that can’t respect the priesthood of all believers and utilize them to carry The Gospel simply isn’t for me.

    “A church that can’t respect the priesthood of all believers…,” etc.
    An oxymoron? Is it even a church, or a part of The Church, The Elect?

  48. refugee wrote:

    Max, this part confused me. What do you mean about God’s plan of salvation being aberrant? Did I misunderstand your intent?

    To pile on to what Max has stated, some significant “essential” Christian beliefs were invented about 500 years ago by followers of Calvin. The New Calvinists are jumping on this and are aggressively pushing essential theologies that were non-existent for the first 1500 years of Christianity. If they are right, there were no true Christians until about 500 years ago. And “teachers” like Ken Ham shorten that to less than 100 years ago.

  49. I always look, and I can’t remember finding a Gideon’s Bible in any room for years now. It used to be said that there was one in every hotel and motel room in the US.

  50. Steve Scott wrote:

    I always look, and I can’t remember finding a Gideon’s Bible in any room for years now. It used to be said that there was one in every hotel and motel room in the US.

    I’m in California. All of the mid-ranged hotels and motels that I’ve stayed in – Northern, Central and Southern California – have had Gideon Bibles in the nightstand drawers.

    The only places I haven’t seen them are in bed and breakfasts and non-Christian retreat center rooms.

  51. ION:

    Two things occurred to me at odd times today.

    Thing 1 of 2

    I have still never seen a Class 92 locomotive in real life.

    Thing 2 of 2

    In the right conditions of ambient noise, our washing machine on the spin cycle sounds like the Batmobile.

    IHTIH

  52. @ Steve Scott:

    The weekend that Hurricane Matthew came through North Carolina, we escaped to Williamsburg. There was a Gideons Bible in our hotel room, and it was the NKJV.

  53. Gideons Canada chose to open its ranks to women several years ago:

    http://www.gideons.ca/help/faqs.aspx

    “Men and women of all vocations are members of The Gideons International In Canada.”

    “Canadian Gideons, both men and women, serve as equal members.”

    Also, Gideons Canada “primarily uses the New Living Translation”

  54. Lea wrote:

    Jamie Carter wrote:
    The Gideons International is an Association of Christian business and professional men and their wives
    Weird! I had no idea non ‘wife’ women were not allowed.

    We were members of Gideons International when we were still with our old church.

    Men belong to GI and their wives belong to the Auxiliary. I recall that unmarried men could belong to GI, but only wives of GI members could be in Auxiliary. To become a member you have to be recommended by your pastor. Both groups hold meetings and distribute Bibles and personal testaments for free, but the women’s org. is very much under the authority of the men’s org. There are distribution methods and locations that Auxiliary are not allowed to be part of. The Auxiliary testaments are even different colors than the ones the GI men distribute.

    It’s my understanding that GI was Baptist flavored originally. By the time we were active in the early noughts there was a distinct neo-Calvinist slant. They have been recruiting in evangelical nondenoms like our old church for some years now.

  55. 2010 – Nearly two thirds of Canadian Gideons voted to end gender and class restrictions on membership:

    “‘Our members voted 64.5 per cent in favour, but we needed a two-thirds majority.’ If the vote had gone the other way, full membership in The Gideons International in Canada would no longer be restricted to business and professional men, and the agency would be able to distribute a wider variety of Bible versions. According to the existing bylaws, Gideon women can only participate as “auxiliary” members and people working in non-professional vocations are theoretically ineligible.”

    “the proposed changes are being strongly opposed by the leaders of the U.S.-based Gideons International”

  56. 2012 – Gideons Canada “now welcomes ‘Christian men and women of all vocations’ to become members. The July 14 vote is the latest in a series of changes by The Gideons designed to give the Canadian body more autonomy. Prior to the overwhelmingly positive vote (96.5 per cent in favor says Blois) women were only allowed to be non-voting auxiliary members who only could distribute Bibles to nurses, hospitals, doctors’ offices and women’s prisons.”

    http://www.christianweek.org/times-are-still-a-changin-for-canadian-gideons/

    “as soon as women were allowed to become members, they were also invited to take on a leadership role, says Marshall, noting Sharon Braun accepted the role as national chaplain.”

  57. Steve Scott wrote:

    I always look, and I can’t remember finding a Gideon’s Bible in any room for years now. It used to be said that there was one in every hotel and motel room in the US.

    I recently stayed at a budget motel in northwestern Virginia and there was a Gideons KJV Bible in the room.

  58. Max wrote:

    Brother Bulbeck, next time you wash a load of clothes, close your eyes and imagine a Class 92 coming through your living room

    I like your approach, but it’s a very different sound.

  59. Jerome wrote:

    Gideons Canada chose to open its ranks to women several years ago:

    http://www.gideons.ca/help/faqs.aspx

    “Men and women of all vocations are members of The Gideons International In Canada.”

    “Canadian Gideons, both men and women, serve as equal members.”

    Also, Gideons Canada “primarily uses the New Living Translation”

    I am confident the Southern Baptist Convention would strongly oppose women being allowed to be an equal partner in the Gideons. So sad!

  60. Jerome wrote:

    “the proposed changes are being strongly opposed by the leaders of the U.S.-based Gideons International”

    Does anyone know if the leadership at Gideons International are Calvinists?

  61. I have a small white new testament given to us in nursing school at the capping ceremony (6 months into the program). I put it in a pocket of the blue uniform that we wore underneath our apron and carried it whenever I was out on the floor. Just carried it. Because of what it represented to me. It is now in the drawer where I put the stuff that I want them to find when they come back from my funeral and go through my stuff. Thank you, Gideons.

  62. Jenny wrote:

    By the time we were active in the early noughts there was a distinct neo-Calvinist slant. They have been recruiting in evangelical nondenoms like our old church for some years now.

    Confirms my thinking that the New Calvinist movement has influenced Gideons International in adopting the ESV as their new Bible. They would not be able to recruit young reformers to distribute anything but an ESV. The ESV clobber passages could be referred to when women inquired about being a part of the Great Commission to distribute Bibles. Sad development.

  63. Jerome wrote:

    Gideons Canada chose to open its ranks to women several years ago

    And were “excommunicated” from Gideons International for doing so.

  64. I have been known to make changes in the Gideons Bible when I’ve stayed in motel rooms.

    Okay, just one change.

    In the front section that have scripture suggestions to help in times of need or for specific needs.

    Under the help for marriage I Sharpie Marker out the Ephesians 5 verses and pen in I Corinthians 13. Because if people really need help with their marriages, Ephesians 5 will only make things worse.

  65. Max wrote:

    Jenny wrote:

    By the time we were active in the early noughts there was a distinct neo-Calvinist slant. They have been recruiting in evangelical nondenoms like our old church for some years now.

    Confirms my thinking that the New Calvinist movement has influenced Gideons International in adopting the ESV as their new Bible. They would not be able to recruit young reformers to distribute anything but an ESV. The ESV clobber passages could be referred to when women inquired about being a part of the Great Commission to distribute Bibles. Sad development.

    Max: It is so hard for me to believe what has happened to the simple Gospel, but if you are one of the Elect and had no choice about being elect or not why even pass out Bibles?

  66. mot wrote:

    if you are one of the Elect and had no choice about being elect or not why even pass out Bibles?

    Regardless of what the New Calvinists tell you, evangelism and mission is totally different in their ranks from the rest of Christendom. Harvesting the elect is different than evangelistic efforts to reach the lost in every nation, tribe and tongue. Reformed theology which frames their “gospel” message is not the same Gospel for whosoever will may come.

  67. Mara wrote:

    Because if people really need help with their marriages, Ephesians 5 will only make things worse.

    Boy, howdy! Don’t I know that!

  68. Jack wrote:

    I may be a bit thick here but what’s the big deal with the ESV? The whole Bible has some misogyny built in as well as other missives that we really don’t follow in the modern world.

    With many Calvinistic groups embracing the ESV version some it being their exclusive bible (such as Sovereign Grace Ministries did) makes me want to question how this version was translated. Was it translated in a manner to support Calvinism or was it going back to Greek and Hebrew to try and determine what the real meaning was.

    I have also heard that with many translations the translators are typically reluctant to make a dramatic change in translation (compared to existing translations) even if the Greek text should be translated dramatically different than what has traditionally occurred.

    I would never want to rely on only one translation of the bible and prefer to use Greek/Hebrew bible helps to properly understand what a passage of scripture truly meant vs. relying on the translation or which translation I prefer.

  69. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    After learning how to think biblically from Challies, I noticed his new article about the “local” church and thought of you, http://www.challies.com/articles/why-the-local-church-really-matters
    This could be because you are likely the foremost authority today on the topic of “The Local Church” (aside from your doppelgänger “god”, of course). Or it could be the reference to Scotland in the article:
    “The local church is the place where believers must submit themselves to spiritual authority. Many people from many walks of life struggle with issues of authority, though this problem is especially prevalent in the schemes of Scotland. Mez says, “they will not accept criticism or input from anybody they regard as an authority figure.” This attitude needs to be dealt with immediately. God calls Christians to submit to spiritual authority within the local church (see Hebrews 13:17). All believers are called by God to put themselves under the care and oversight of elders. “A culture that despises any kind of authority needs to see healthy models of leadership and submission. And the place for people to see this modeled is in the local church.”
    So 2 questions for you (or your friend “god”)
    1: What on earth are “the schemes of Scotland”?
    2: Where on earth does scribsher say “All believers are called by God to PUT THEMSELVES under the care and oversight of elders”?

  70. Dave A A wrote:

    What on earth are “the schemes of Scotland”?

    I showed my appalling American ignorance of ither cultures with this question, which was answered when I went to the website of Challies’ friend. Schemes are for housing, like we call projects. I also learned that Challies’ friend is scheming to prank, replant, revitalize, or renew twenty 9Marxist Calvaniesta projects in Scottish schemes, of which only four have been identified yet. Based on his photo, I recommend the young and restless laddie immediately submit to Elder Bulbeck’s authority.

  71. @ Max:
    Of the orthodox denominations committed to historical Christianity perhaps only the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox will be able to resist this well-oiled machine completely. They are sufficiently well organized and anti-Calvinist. If I were an envangelical Protestant interested in belonging to a sizable non-Calvinist denomination I’d be checking out the LCMS right now.

  72. I work once a month in the soup kitchen of my Catholic parish. Homeless people don’t often have smart phones. We get requests for Bibles. We have a few donated Bibles occasionally and no money to buy them. I’d give them a Gideon NT and Psalms if I had it. My guess is most of the patrons are not interested in the niceties of theology. I might contact the Gideons about some donations.

  73. Max wrote:

    mot wrote:

    if you are one of the Elect and had no choice about being elect or not why even pass out Bibles?

    Regardless of what the New Calvinists tell you, evangelism and mission is totally different in their ranks from the rest of Christendom. Harvesting the elect is different than evangelistic efforts to reach the lost in every nation, tribe and tongue. Reformed theology which frames their “gospel” message is not the same Gospel for whosoever will may come.

    Max: I’m sure I’m never going to understand how anyone is elect or not.

  74. @ Dave A A:
    Yes, Mez Mc. is bringing to a town near you, the Scottish version of all that is wrong with American Evangelicalism. He pops up occasionally on the TGC website. He’s currently in Brazil showing them how to do church, following in the recent footsteps of Mark Dever. Tim Challies spent last weekend at Mez’ s church.

  75. mot wrote:

    Max: I’m sure I’m never going to understand how anyone is elect or not.

    I’m not sure that anyone truly knows. After having spent some time trying to dive into this, I am now believing “the elect” involves many more people than Calvinists are willing to concede. It’s possible that everyone or nearly everyone is among the elect. I’ve even heard that Jesus Christ is “the elect” and he draws everyone into resurrection with him (but how we experience the resurrection depends on our choice of whether to embrace it or reject it). The story of the prodigal son sheds light on this. The party was for everyone. The younger son, as well as the rest of the household, happily entered into the party. But the older son was too angry with the father, and instead chose the place of outer darkness. It was not the father who excluded him from the party, it was his own bad attitude.

  76. @ Lowlandseer:
    In September 2012, his leadership team spent time with Mark Dever at the 9Marks Weekender. It was at this time that they launched the 20schemes project in partnership with Bardstown Christian Fellowship, Bardstown, Kentucky.

  77. Mara wrote:

    I have been known to make changes in the Gideons Bible when I’ve stayed in motel rooms.
    Okay, just one change.
    In the front section that have scripture suggestions to help in times of need or for specific needs.
    Under the help for marriage I Sharpie Marker out the Ephesians 5 verses and pen in I Corinthians 13. Because if people really need help with their marriages, Ephesians 5 will only make things worse.

    Love it, Mara!

  78. @ Lowlandseer:
    Finally it is registered as a 501(3)(c) charity in the USA. His church paid £25000 to Bardstown Fellowship in November 2012 to help the 20schemes project.

  79. Max wrote:

    Jerome wrote:
    Gideons Canada chose to open its ranks to women several years ago
    And were “excommunicated” from Gideons International for doing so.

    Seriously? That is terrible. But it figures with the contempt the NeoCalvinists/Complementarians show for women.

    I like Brad/FuturistGuy’s word for it “shehad” [she+had, sounds like jihad] for the NeoCalvinists’ “War on Women”.

  80. Dave A A wrote:

    I also learned that Challies’ friend is scheming to prank, replant, revitalize, or renew twenty 9Marxist Calvaniesta projects in Scottish schemes, of which only four have been identified yet. Based on his photo, I recommend the young and restless laddie immediately submit to Elder Bulbeck’s authority.

    Aye, ’tis a good plan for him to submit to (elder) Nick Bulbeck.

  81. Driscoll car count:

    9 am service: 102
    10:45 am service: 114

    And this is why people should not picket with me. Because if you step on my last nerve, there is no guaranteeing what will happen.

    Today, the powers that be in charge of security decided to station a guy on the other side of the curb cut (parking lot entrance) where I stand. He brought his kids with him and they all waved at the cars. I told this guy a couple of things: 1) People are going to think you’re with me and 2) Children should not be involved in an adult matter and this is an adult matter.

    Well, do you think this guy paid attention to me? Of course not. He came back out with more of his kids (he has five) and did the same thing right before the second service! Ok, that was it. That stepped on my last nerve. I’ve been out there 27 of the last 31 weeks and I had had enough. Those kids got to hear Mark Driscoll’s greatest hits of misogyny from “Real Marriage.” Then another security guy tried to engage me and he got some more of misogynistic greatest hits along with me jumping up and down. I also interspersed this with some shouting at the church members about how they were in a cult and how Mark Driscoll is a cult leader.

    I should also note that I dropped a few language “bombs.” In short, I completely and utterly lost my cool out there, destroyed my witness, etc., etc. And that was because they brought kids outside to do adult work.

    The only thing I’m really sorry at this point about is that I used some blue language within earshot of children. The rest of it, not so much. They needed to see that I wasn’t just some fat, middle-aged woman with a sign. They needed to see that I could get EXERCISED over the fact that their pastor thinks women are a lower life form, that he had abandoned his church in Seattle, that he can abandon Scottsdale, and so on.

    Oh yeah, and you know how his members (at least the member Pete, who is one of the volunteer staff) excuses Mark’s actions? Oh, it’s grace. *FACEPALM* I think I need to read Bonhoeffer again about cheap grace.

    So yeah, today was a *super* day. I managed to totally change the mind of the Driscollites in only a few moments. I showed them I was a hothead. But you don’t bring kids to an adult argument.

  82. Steve240 wrote:

    With many Calvinistic groups embracing the ESV version some it being their exclusive bible (such as Sovereign Grace Ministries did) makes me want to question how this version was translated. Was it translated in a manner to support Calvinism or was it going back to Greek and Hebrew to try and determine what the real meaning was.
    I have also heard that with many translations the translators are typically reluctant to make a dramatic change in translation (compared to existing translations) even if the Greek text should be translated dramatically different than what has traditionally occurred.

    I have been reading Philip B. Payne’s very good and well-researched book Man and Woman, One in Christ. (He has a Ph.D. from Cambridge.) He used to be Comp but his father J. Barton Payne taught him to search the Scriptures, to think Biblically and critically, and Philip discovered that there is no Biblical basis for Comp.

    I was able to get the book through my (California) public library, which they did not have in their collection but were able to borrow from another library through the Link+ library sharing program among public libraries, university libraries, college libraries, and private colleges’ libraries.

    Payne’s website, by the way, is: http://www.pbpayne.com

    Next on my reading list if Discovering Biblical Equality by Rebecca Merrill Groothuis and Ronald W. Pierce with contributing editor Gordon Fee.

    Pierce used to be for Comp until he too carefully studies the Scriptures.

  83. Lowlandseer wrote:

    In September 2012, his leadership team spent time with Mark Dever at the 9Marks Weekender. It was at this time that they launched the 20schemes project in partnership with Bardstown Christian Fellowship, Bardstown, Kentucky.

    What is it with these people and Kentucky??? Next time I’m in Bards town, I’ll avoid the churches and stick with the bourbon!

  84. Max wrote:

    Jerome wrote:

    Gideons Canada chose to open its ranks to women several years ago

    And were “excommunicated” from Gideons International for doing so.

    My reading is that Gideons Canada withdrew from Gideons International about fifteen months prior to their vote accepting women as full members. It is interesting that the Canadian Gideons’ vote to recognize women as equals passed by a 96% vote.

    The 96% vote matches my experience also. Here in the Northwest I have seen much change in christian organizations over my lifetime regarding women as full equals. In each case when it came the opposition largely melted away. When it came down to justifying a faulty system, it was simply too complicated and jury rigged to be accepted by my peers, they just let it go.

    In some way we are all prisoners of our up-bringing and traditions, we are often unable to see a different way as even possible. When Israel was freed from 400 years of slavery the people had no idea even where Canaan was let alone how to live as free men. In this day where men and women have now seen that it makes estimable more sense to recognize women as full partners I think the patriarchy position will become more untenable.

    For those people and organizations that hold to the idea that women cannot hold equal positions of responsibility I think they will only become more marginalized and in the process some will become more strident on the subject. I hope Gideons’ decision to adopt the ESV is simply a case of going with the lower cost provider and not that they are being co-opted by the complementarian counterrevolutionaries. Should the latter happen they will be taking down an organization that is generally well thought of.

  85. Ken F wrote:

    I’ve even heard that Jesus Christ is “the elect” and he draws everyone into resurrection with him (but how we experience the resurrection depends on our choice of whether to embrace it or reject it).

    Certainly at His command, the graves of the Earth and the seas of the Earth will give up their dead. But I think that is because at His Incarnation, He assumed the very humanity that He sustains in being from moment to moment.

    So I would say that if Jesus Christ is “the elect”, He has assumed humankind into Himself at Incarnation. As the Lord of Life, He has the power to call all the dead into Resurrection.

  86. Christiane wrote:

    As the Lord of Life, He has the power to call all the dead into Resurrection.

    1 Cor 15 has an interesting passage on this. Here is part of verse 42: “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body.”

    When you hear about the eternal torment and flames that the damned will suffer in hell, only an imperishable body could endure this. So that passage seems to describe all humans, not just those going to heaven. All will be raised to everlasting life, but not all will have the same experience.

  87. Lowlandseer wrote:

    He’s also written a book on church with Mike McKinley of the 9 Marks stable

    I had a brief Internet encounter (now deleted) with McKinley 5 years ago (10/01/11) in the 9Marx comment section.
    He’d written:
    ”When I run into “ex-members”, I try to be gracious. Unless there is unrepentant sin, I generally ignore the church issue and simply try to seem warm and kind.”
    I commented, ” Michael, I hope you misspoke in #5 and you try to BE warm and kind, not SEEM that way.”
    He had a friendly reply, but never edited his article, so I assume he tried to mean just what he tried to say.

  88. Ken F wrote:

    All will be raised to everlasting life, but not all will have the same experience.

    Yes. I believe that a part of our humanity is the freedom to ‘choose life’ or not. As for the consequences of our foolish ways, I would leave all of humankind to the justice and the mercy of God. I have never seen humanity as ‘pre-programmed’ robotically, no. I do believe that all who are drawn to God come as a result of His calling, but I also believe that He calls all of Creation to Himself for renewal ….. but that the choices of a human person are his/or hers alone to make, and God has witnessed to us to understand this in Deut. 30:19

    “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live,
    ….”

  89. Velour wrote:

    Aye, ’tis a good plan for him to submit to (elder) Nick Bulbeck.

    For a’ th’ noise aboot bein’ locally submitted to local older folk i’ th’ local Kirk, he’d never submit to someone outside his schism just a few miles up the firth, but gladly submits to Dever far across the great grey Atlantic.

  90. Bridget wrote:

    Calvinistas in the making in Scotland.

    Oh no! It’s revitalisation of healthy, gospel-centered replanted churches in the making!

  91. Dave A A wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Aye, ’tis a good plan for him to submit to (elder) Nick Bulbeck.
    For a’ th’ noise aboot bein’ locally submitted to local older folk i’ th’ local Kirk, he’d never submit to someone outside his schism just a few miles up the firth, but gladly submits to Dever far across the great grey Atlantic.

    LOL!

  92. Dave A A wrote:

    For a’ th’ noise aboot bein’ locally submitted to local older folk i’ th’ local Kirk, he’d never submit to someone outside his schism just a few miles up the firth, but gladly submits to Dever far across the great grey Atlantic.

    Calvinista leaders rarely practice what
    they preach to the “members under contract.”

  93. Bridget wrote:

    Calvinista leaders rarely practice what
    they preach to the “members under contract.”

    so these ‘members’ are under contract to these ‘leaders’

    makes sense that they are not under ‘contract’ any Church that is a part of the Body of Christ …. such Churches don’t require ‘membership contracts’, no

    no membership ‘contract’ here:
    ‘What do you ask of the Church?’ …. ‘Receive the sign of the Cross’

  94. @ Dave A A:
    @ Bridget:
    (And Lowlandseer too, though I don’t want to overload WordPress with links…)

    I’d not come across this laddie, no. I suppose one thing to be said for this venture is that housing schemes are frequently associated with significant levels of poverty and socio-economic exclusion. So, perhaps it Marx a welcome departure from the tradition of only planting churches for rich folk.

    Less encouraging is the fact that the organisation’s primary entrepreneur does not, according to his website, believe in submission in any realistic way within the local church – all of the listed support networks and oversight are kilomiles (or megameters) away in the States. One of the most important hallmarks of integrity in a local church plant, to my mind, is that its leadership make a point of pursuing relationships with the pre-existing local church. (Especially those that entail accountability, because you can’t only be accountable to people you’ve picked because you agree with them.)

  95. Dave A A wrote:

    For a’ th’ noise aboot bein’ locally submitted tae local older folk i’ th’ local Kirk, he’d never submit to emdy ootside his schism just a few miles up the firth, but gladly submits tae Dever far across the great grey Atlantic.

    Put with greater wit and brevity than I ..!

  96. I do know a good (true) story of an outwardly new-fangled church plant that did submit to the local church.

    I heard the history of the group as related by one of the leaders, after the group had been going a couple of years. She described a certain amount of initial hostility and suspicion from other local ministers – and you can understand it, because the house-church movement in the 70’s and 80’s did bring some unwelcome stuff with it. She also described a recent conversation with one of those same local minsters in which he apologised for giving the new bunch such a rough ride, and recognised that they were pursuing God’s Kingdom the same as him (my summary rather than his words per se). Her response was basically, don’t apologise – you were right to be suspicious, as we could have been anybody. We’re just glad you were willing to defend the local church against possible predators.

    When last I heard, things were still going well there.

  97. @ Lowlandseer:
    that info contains a mystery: ‘born in Norway’ and ‘afraid of heights’ doesn’t cut it …. it’s not going to happen 🙂

  98. mot wrote:

    Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    Here is the common denominator

    http://533788009440247210.weebly.com/staff.html

    I am always amazed when he and others say–“His favorite authors are John Piper, John McArthur, R.C. Sproul, Mark Dever, Sam Storms, Matt Chandler and C J Mahaney.”

    I never see Jesus listed in their list of favorite authors and that too me is telling.

    Or, you know, just plain literature. It’s always solely theological textbooks. They don’t ever read ordinary people stuff.

  99. MidwesternEasterner wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    Here is the common denominator

    http://533788009440247210.weebly.com/staff.html

    I am always amazed when he and others say–“His favorite authors are John Piper, John McArthur, R.C. Sproul, Mark Dever, Sam Storms, Matt Chandler and C J Mahaney.”

    I never see Jesus listed in their list of favorite authors and that too me is telling.

    Or, you know, just plain literature. It’s always solely theological textbooks. They don’t ever read ordinary people stuff.

    They seem so detached from the reality of every day living–how do they propose to help other people when they have zero basis for relating?

  100. mot wrote:

    I never see Jesus listed in their list of favorite authors and that too me is telling.

    Nor Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, nor St. Paul, nor Peter, James . . . . I expect because these are not Calvinist authors, it would not have occurred to even think of them at all

    yes, it is very telling

  101. Christiane wrote:

    mot wrote:

    I never see Jesus listed in their list of favorite authors and that too me is telling.

    Nor Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, nor St. Paul, nor Peter, James . . . . I expect because these are not Calvinist authors, it would not have occurred to even think of them at all

    yes, it is very telling

    They stay far away from Jesus and the Gospels do they not?

  102. Dave A A wrote:

    What on earth are “the schemes of Scotland”?

    I would have guessed that one scheme would be how to exit Brexit and rejoin the EU.

  103. @ Estelle:
    The schemes are the equivalent of social housing for rent provided by local town or regional councils. Then when Margaret Thatcher came to power she gave tenants the right to buy their property at a heavily discounted price. This resulted in a serious shortage of affordable housing for low income families, a situation that has only got worse over the years.

  104. @ mot:
    I didn’t realise quite how much they have gained ground in Scotland but it explains a lot about what’s going on here as churches break away from denominations to form looser parachurch groupings, all influenced by the men mentioned.

  105. @ Lowlandseer:
    Much is being made of a Texan in cowboy boots who is now a minister in the Free Church of Scotland as he refines Psalm singing in his Highland church. I found the link here. Long term readers of TWW may remember that the blog author interacted with TWW a couple of years ago when, among other things, he said that he knew very little about the US evangelical scene. It turns out that he speaks occasionally in the US with such celebrity pastors as Tim Keller and Alistair Begg, listens to John Piper and Ligon Duncan and thinks Matt Chandler is a great guy.

    https://theweeflea.com/2015/02/17/music-fun-psalms-cowboy-boots-and-the-free-church/

  106. mot wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    mot wrote:

    I never see Jesus listed in their list of favorite authors and that too me is telling.

    Nor Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, nor St. Paul, nor Peter, James . . . . I expect because these are not Calvinist authors, it would not have occurred to even think of them at all

    yes, it is very telling

    They stay far away from Jesus and the Gospels do they not?

    Yes, they do, and there is, I suspect a reason for that. It is, IMO, the same as the reason that they avoid discussing the Holy Spirit.

  107. You know, I am sorry I cussed in front of the kids at Driscoll’s church yesterday. But in a sense, I’m less sorry, because Driscoll first made his name as “the cussing preacher.” This doesn’t excuse me at all, but you know, that’s been part of Driscoll’s attraction, that he’s *edgy*. Oh, and if you cross him, he’ll throw you under the bus.

  108. Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:

    that he’s *edgy*

    He was edgy and in your face. And his minions were also edgy and in your face. And they had no respect for and mowed right over (in their minds) people who displayed the fruit of the Spirit. But at the same time, if you dished it back to them on the some level they dished it out, they cried foul and dismissed you as an angry feminist or worse.

    What Driscoll is like now? I don’t know.
    But he has sown a lot of edgy-in-your-face. He and his followers have no right to get all indigent when some of it comes back to roost.

  109. @ Lea:

    I assume it was a chatbot of some kind, but – whether by luck or design – it looks quite sophisticated.

  110. Mara wrote:

    What Driscoll is like now? I don’t know.
    But he has sown a lot of edgy-in-your-face. He and his followers have no right to get all indigent when some of it comes back to roost.

    “BUT THAT’S NOT FAIR!!!!!”
    — cry of a trid gamer who got caught cheating

  111. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    you can’t only be accountable to people you’ve picked because you agree with them.)

    Yet this is the basis– and the great weakness from the leaders’ POV, of the whole system– we’re supposed to pick out Hebrews 13:17 leaders we agree with and “join” them– otherwise they can’t possibly know whether they have to give account for us or not.

  112. As a descendant of the Scottish Presbyterians of Northern Ireland, I’m intrigued by all this talk of Scotland. I wish I knew more of what was going on. I did learn that while the Church of Scotland is indeed a Calvinist church, they ordain women to the very same offices as men – so perhaps that’s the issue? The Americans feel they have the monopoly on the interpretation and the Scottish doing something different is heresy?

  113. Jamie Carter wrote:

    I did learn that while the Church of Scotland is indeed a Calvinist church, they ordain women to the very same offices as men

    The ‘liberal’ Presbyterian church, pcusa, does the same.

    Calvin and Scotland go a long way back. My Scottish ancestors apparently brought the Presbyterian church to (part of?) Mississippi or something. Very interesting to read all the talk above. I forget if Challis is one of the conservative Presbyterians, or something else.

  114. @ Lea:
    The Church of Scotland has been liberal in its theology for many years and is in sharp decline. It’s most recent decision to endorse same sex relationships caused a number of churches to leave the denomination and may yet cause a complete split. The evangelical wing who chose to remain and fight (and lost) are in a hard place. Mocked by the liberal wing and alienated from their friends who left ,they don’t seem to know what to do or where to go.
    The Free Church of Scotland is reformed but has adopted a number of innovations that would have been unheard of a few years ago and have embraced elements of American Evangelicalism that will take them away from their traditional beliefs into destructive new-Calvinism.
    The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland is smaller still but holds tenaciously to the Reformed faith and Westminster Standards.
    The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland is the smallest of all. It is the true Dissenter/Covenanter church and can be found in Northern Ireland and in parts of the USA.

  115. KJV holds no copy right. Any version of the bible can bring people to “truth.” Well at least an understanding of the bible stories.

    I like Gail Riplinger’s approach to sharing her belief in Bible versions without forcing anyone into being a member at any particular church.

  116. Lea wrote:

    I forget if Challis is one of the conservative Presbyterians, or something else.

    Well, women are not even allowed to read scripture aloud during a service at his church. That would be equated to women teaching men.

  117. I personally believe it is a good switch as the KJV and NKJV are harder for the average unbeliever to understand. Years ago an unsaved friend read a Gideon KJV in a hotel and quit as he could not understand most of what he was reading. I have always wondered why believers wanted unbelievers to read old english from hundreds of years ago. Seriously….the few verses that seem to concern everyone….aren’t they more for scholars and others to debate? Whats wrong with people who have no knowledge of scripture reading the ESV? I think personally that you folks are making a bigger deal of this than needed.

  118. abigail wrote:

    Whats wrong with people who have no knowledge of scripture reading the ESV? I think personally that you folks are making a bigger deal of this than needed.

    The ESV version of the Bible was written and promoted by Complementarians to support their agenda. The ESVers were in an uproar about the TNIV (Today’s New International Version) of the Bible and tried to quash it. The fact that the ESVers were so opposed to the TNIV Bible made me promptly order one online from Amazon.

    While I agree with you that there are easier versions of the Bible to read than the KJV and the NKJV, there is no need to brain wash people with Comp agenda which is bad news, not Good News.

  119. abigail wrote:

    I think personally that you folks are making a bigger deal of this than needed.

    Abigail, IMO this is a very big deal. A Bible that has been slanted to make women a second class citizen of the Kingdom of God is not a good Bible IMO.

  120. mot wrote:

    Abigail, IMO this is a very big deal. A Bible that has been slanted to make women a second class citizen of the Kingdom of God is not a good Bible IMO.

    Second class? I don’t think we rank that high.

  121. Nancy2 wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Abigail, IMO this is a very big deal. A Bible that has been slanted to make women a second class citizen of the Kingdom of God is not a good Bible IMO.

    Second class? I don’t think we rank that high.

    Sadly, you are correct.

  122. abigail wrote:

    Whats wrong with people who have no knowledge of scripture reading the ESV? I think personally that you folks are making a bigger deal of this than needed.

    The new ‘ESV’ has been ‘tampered with’ to accommodate a particularly insensitive and un-Christ-like attitude towards the dignity of human persons who are female. I don’t think that we CAN say ‘it doesn’t matter’, because if we did, then we would be agreeing with the possibility that a human person is somehow made ‘less’ in the eyes of God because of their sex so ‘it’s okay’ for the members of the other sex to treat these human persons as lesser in their own eyes.

    All that is needed to know about human beings is that they are made in the image of God and that He has given each of them directly an eternal soul,
    so that each human person is to be treated with the respect and the full dignity that is due to them, having been derived from the fact that they bear the Divine spark.

    It is not the sex of a person from which their dignity is derived. It is not the sex of a person that determines their ability to freely relate to their Creator within their conscience. And it is not the sex of a human person that keeps their soul from magnifying the Lord or rejoicing in Him.

    We know from Mary, who was affianced to Joseph, that she had no need to go to Joseph to get permission to say ‘Yes’ to God …. we know that she said ‘Yes’ to God on her own decision without consultation with her betrothed. She needed no man to affirm her conscience in this most important decision. If that is not seen as a rebuke of the heresy of ‘male headship’, at least consider that this holy moment of the Incarnation was shared only between a woman and her God, no ‘male head-ship’ needed.

  123. abigail wrote:

    Seriously….the few verses that seem to concern everyone….aren’t they more for scholars and others to debate?

    Those “few verses” are the ones that jack women down to the status of inferior sub-species.
    There can be no church service or business meeting if the men don’t come. If women don’t come, no big deal. The church will just have to skip the hymns that have soprano and alto parts with the choir. Business meetings won’t be affected at all. Women do not matter. We are not part of the Body of Christ. We are not at church to serve and worship God: we are there to serve the men and follow directions from men.
    If you are all into being disposable and unnecessary because your testosterone level is too low, go for it. Just don’t expect the rest of us to jump on the band wagon with you.

  124. @ Christiane:

    At the moment of the incarnation it was just between Mary and God through the angel. But then we also know from scripture that God communicated with Joseph that he should go ahead and marry Mary. And God told Joseph to take the family and flee to Egypt. And God told Joseph that Herod was dead and they should go back home, And God directed Joseph as to how to avoid Archaleus and where to live once they did get back home. And we assume that Joseph supported the family and trained Jesus in carpentry.

    And from the cross Jesus provided for John to take Mary to his house.

    We should not take away from Mary anything that is her due, and I seriously doubt that Mary herself would want to take anything away from Joseph that is his due. It seems to me that God provided for Mary by giving her first Joseph then Jesus and then John, and being a protestant I think that the ‘brothers’ of Jesus could well have been biological kin but even if not they were obviously there when Mary and the brothers went looking for Jesus having heard rumors they needed to check out.

    Mary’s life was first rescued from the legal consequences of being unmarried and pregnant and then sustained and provided for by men, it looks like to me. Credit where credit is due.

  125. abigail wrote:

    I have always wondered why believers wanted unbelievers to read old english from hundreds of years ago.

    I don’t care what version anyone chooses to read, but I love the NKJV because it is pretty. I value language. It’s like reading Shakespeare.

  126. I think the ESV is mostly fine, but the ‘contrary to’ verses are just an awful hackneyed translation. I cannot deal with those.

  127. Dee Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:

    Well, from the perspective that the hotel is owned by the Thunderbird School of Global Management, which is a subsidiary of the Arizona State University down the road from me, I would say that this was a legitimate thing to request. I don’t think state-owned facilities should be promoting any version of scripture, whether it’s the ESV, the Book of Mormon, the Quran, Bhagavad Gita, etc.

    I disagree. In my view it’s just as petty and heavy-handed as fundamentalist groups who want the works of say Harold Robbins and Vladimir Nabokov removed from school libraries. There was one well meaning bunch who even demanded that the dreaded n-word be expurgated from Twain’s writings in order to be considered fit reading for school kids.

    The presence of Gideon Bibles in said hotel is no more the establishment of a state religion than is a Starbucks in the student food court at ASU, the establishment of a state coffee.

    No public monies were used to place the Bibles, as the Gideons use their own private funds. I would also argue that since the hotel is but a subsidiary of ASU, it further ensures that what the Gideons do is well within the bounds of Madison’s Remonstrance.

    Had my life taken a different tack, and had I become a high powered barrister, I’d relish the chance to get in a cage fight with the group taking the Gideons to task. Figuratively speaking that is, the cage of course being the 9th circuit court of appeals.

    The ‘offended’ group Daisy linked to needs to relax their sphincters, un-dither their boxers and panties, and learn to live and let live.

  128. I know that ESV is linked to Neo-Calvinists. However I don’t know which verses in there are “twisted” so they are dangerous to the reader’s theology.

    Can someone please post a few verses from the ESV that shows how dangerous this version is when compared to the original text? =)

    Note: I read that the ESV is sexist, complementarian, and other problems.

  129. CHIPS wrote:

    I know that ESV is linked to Neo-Calvinists. However I don’t know which verses in there are “twisted” so they are dangerous to the reader’s theology.
    Can someone please post a few verses from the ESV that shows how dangerous this version is when compared to the original text? =)
    Note: I read that the ESV is sexist, complementarian, and other problems.

    I don’t know if anyone will have the time to respond to your request. But you can do a search of this website on the upper right in the Search box for the other articles written about this topic.

    Also you can read further about this on (pastor) Wade Burleson’s blog Istoria Ministries.
    The Junia Project blog. Many others. There’s a great deal of thoughtful scholarship about the subject and the problems with the ESV.

  130. @ CHIPS:

    I did save some good comments and resources previously (2016) on this topic about the ESV Bible and Complementarianism at the top of the page under the Interesting tab, the Books/Movies/TV/ETC. tab. Please read there and see if you find any helpful resources to answer your question.

  131. Muff Potter wrote:

    The ‘offended’ group Daisy linked to needs to relax their sphincters, un-dither their boxers and panties, and learn to live and let live.

    But then how can they Count Coup against their Moral Inferiors?
    And get all those doublepluswarmfeelies of MY Moral Superiority?

  132. Thanks Velour. I went to your links and most no longer works. But this one here does work:

    http://newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/junia-and-the-esv/

    Great insight. The focus is on Roman 16:7.

    ESV:
    Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are WELL KNOWN TO the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.

    Young’s Literal Translation (my go to version for the original)
    salute Andronicus and Junias, my kindred, and my fellow-captives, who are of note AMOUNG the apostles, who also have been in Christ before me.

    As you can see, it is a huge difference between saying someone is well known TO a group of apostles, from saying someone is of note AMONG a group of apostles. One is saying the apostles know her. The other is saying she is part of the apostles.

    Here is what the author of the linn wrote:

    Was Junia well-known to the Apostles?

    Another troubling aspect of the ESV translation of Romans 16:7 is how the Greek word ἐν (en) has been translated. En is an extremely common word and is used approximately 2830 times in the New Testament. This word is frequently translated as “in” or “among” in English.[12] Here are a couple of examples of Scriptures where the word en occurs:

    “Our Father who is IN heaven . . .” Matthew 6:9
    “. . .to those AMONG the Diaspora” James 1:1

    Writing about Romans 16:7, Peter Lampe, a foremost scholar of Patristic Greek, states succinctly, “The en has to be translated as ‘among’ (the apostles) like in 1 Corinthians 15:12 and James 5:13-14, 19.”[13]

    I can only think of one reason to translate this phrase as “well known to the apostles”. That reason is to obscure the fact that Junia, along with Andronicus, was actually outstanding among the apostles.

    It is important to note that the Greek New Testament never states that a woman cannot be an apostle, missionary, or church leader. Moreover, in the New Testament, several women are mentioned who obviously were church leaders. Sadly, some Bible commentators have persistently tried to minimise their roles.

  133. Lea wrote:

    abigail wrote:

    I have always wondered why believers wanted unbelievers to read old english from hundreds of years ago.

    I don’t care what version anyone chooses to read, but I love the NKJV because it is pretty. I value language. It’s like reading Shakespeare.

    If you are a fan of language development over time, you can clearly hear the prototypes of some English words and phrases in this from a thousand years ago:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Wl-OZ3breE