Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
I still remember a long weekend I spent in Rochester, Minnesota. My husband was offered a job with the Mayo Clinic, and we visited to see what life in Rochester would be like. It is a lovely town, albeit a bit cold at times. I enjoyed all the underground tunnels from the shopping to the Clinic. I believe it was 21 below the first morning we were there, and I had my babies bundled up in their first snow parkas. We chose to go to UTSW in Dallas instead, but we have always had a fond spot in our hearts for Rochester. Some of the most intelligent people in the world live there. When I discovered that Calvary Free Church in Rochester was using what I consider a somewhat dishonest and heavy-handed campaign to shoehorn a lovely church into accepting Mark Dever’s 9 Marx (and yes, it is known as 9Marx) model, I decided that I would add a different perspective to the matter.
I have been writing about abuse in the church since 2009. I am a Christian and a member of a conservative Lutheran church, having left the SBC and nondenominational models behind. So let’s start with a story. Todd Wilhelm, who now writes for TWW, wrote me a note from Dubai in 2013. He had been a member of John Folmarr’s UCC Dubai, now known as the Evangelical Church of Dubai. Folmar is a BFF of Mark Dever. Who is Mark Dever? Check your church’s resource page. He wrote the 9 Marks of Healthy Church. Back to Todd’s’ story. Todd was a flight controller living in Dubai and attending this church. They decided he should be a deacon and wanted to put him in charge of the bookstore. To his horror, the store carried books by CJ Mahaney. If you don’t know who he is, read the following:
The Sex-Abuse Scandal That Devastated a Suburban Megachurch.
Todd knew he couldn’t sell those books and also knew that Mark Dever continued on in his friendship with Mahaney, inviting him to speak. So Todd graciously resigned and began looking for a church in Dubai. But he didn’t do it fast enough. The church, invoking his covenant, retroactively disciplined Todd, who was no longer a member of the church. They listed his name in the monthly discipline rolls that were read to the membership. It took him six months to get his name off that list. I hope the good folks of the Calvary Free Church are willing to risk Luther’s “freedom of conscience.”
Covenants were invoked to protect the church from lawsuits due to overzealous church leadership.
I sure hope your pastors/elders told you about this. Often, leadership doesn’t like to discuss these uncomfortable details. Here is a link to a post containing a number of posts I have written about covenants titled:
Church Membership Covenants – Legal Contracts that are NOT Biblical!
Indeed they told you that you are signing a legal contract when you sign a covenant. They may deny it, but I offer proof of this in many links in the post. Due to my work on this matter, many people are withdrawing their signatures on the covenants, which I call contracts. Yes, you can remove your name after you have signed it, but there is a bit of work involved. Many church pastors are turning their backs on these heavy-handed contracts.
The real reason for these contracts is to protect the church from lawsuits.
The lawsuits with which they are concerned have to do with overzealous church discipline.
Listen carefully to your pastors and elders. You will begin to hear more and more about church discipline. In fact, the word shepherding comes right out of the abusive shepherding movement of the 1960s and 1970s, in which CJ Mahaney, Mark Dever’s good buddy, was intimately involved. One will find that shepherding elders in many churches are not around to pray and bring casseroles. They are there to institute church discipline. Again, I offer you a comprehensive post explaining the inherent problems of the church discipline process as instituted by those who follow the 9 Marx model.
Church Discipline and Abuse
If you think this discipline is merely to go after the guy who dumps his wife for his new paramour, think again. Yes, it does that, but it goes far, far deeper. Read carefully anything that is written about discipline. The leaders will NOT define it a priori. There is a reason for that. They believe that as authoritative elders, they can discipline anything they darn well please. They become quite interested in ruling over their tiny kingdoms, kind of like admirals in rowboats.
Let me try this another way. If you were to visit a country which had no driving rules posted, how would that go? If you drove at 60 mph, they could stop you and say they wanted you to go 50 mph but didn’t want to post the rules. You can be sure that no parameters will be listed for which infractions constitute church discipline. Early in my writing, I wrote about an elderly lady who had attended church all her life. She went to a church meeting and asked questions about the budget. She was told to leave the church. In fact, they called the police to perp walk her out of the church. She didn’t know the “rules.”
The first step to implementing church contracts (I prefer that term) is to change the bylaws.
Sadly, it looks like this one is almost done. Once this is voted on, you will find your ability to slow down the train to be next to impossible. This is a piece of advice from someone who has watched many churches go down this road.
The second step is to make the church contract seem warm and fuzzy.
Let’s take a look at some of these 1+minuet vignettes by the lead pastor.
What you should note from these vignettes.
- Notice the soft music in the background and the measured, thoughtful voice of the pastor. You are being sold something, and you need to ask what is being sold. Was there a marketing group that was paid to produce these videos?
- In #7, the pastor admits that this is a contract. That is a legal document that you are signing.
- There are so many intelligent people in Rochester. Is this pastor saying they are so limited that they cannot tell who they need to “serve” unless they have a signed contract? Is he saying that the elders, prior to this new contract, had no idea for whom they were responsible? Is he saying that leaders in the church before this new idea were stupid? I have a feeling that they were doing just fine.
- It seems to this outsider that the pastor is saying that the church was an abject failure in the past and one was being successfully “served.” Seriously?
- The pastor admits this is a shepherding model. Caveat emptor on this one. It has been tried and was an abysmal failure.
- Women probably make up 50+% of the church, but they will have no say in the shepherding of the church. However, in the history of shepherding, women have been seriously hurt due to their imposed silence.
- The church is now going to be faithful to the Gospel. What happened before? Were the people not faithful to the Gospel?
Folks, be careful. The church is heading down a road that I predict will lead to much hurt for the long-time faithful members who are now being portrayed as having led a church that was “unbiblical” in its membership life. Do you really think that is true?
A final, humorous sort of observation that I bet your pastor didn’t mention.
Go to your resource page at the church. There you will find a list of resources.
How many of you have actually read Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem? Have your pastors and elders read it? There is a wee bit of a problem with it which I believe would cause most normal Christians to raise their eyebrows. It appears that John Piper has a problem with women who develop muscles! Do you think Im joking? I wrote about it in John Piper: On Election, Sin and the Painful Lives of Muscular Women.
I quote directly from this recommended resource by your church.
“Consider what is lost when women attempt to assume a more masculine role by appearing physically muscular and aggressive. It is true that there is something sexually stimulating about a muscular, scantily clad young woman pumping iron in a health club.
But no woman should be encouraged by this fact. For it probably means the sexual encounter that such an image would lead to is something very hasty and volatile, and in the long run unsatisfying.
The image of a masculine musculature may beget arousal in a man, but it does not beget several hours of moonlight walking with significant, caring conversation. The more women can arouse men by doing typically masculine things, the less they can count on receiving from men a sensitivity to typically feminine ”
Yikes! Do you think the male leaders actually believe this? If not, why do they recommend the book? But I’m just a woman and don’t get this shepherding principle on muscular women.
Well, I’ve given you lots to think about. If you need further information, contact me at email@example.com.
PS I think the people in your church are gifted by God and have been serving Him well long before this “new,” or is it an old and bad idea from the 1970s? As Tolkien said, “Never laugh at live dragons.” Caveat Emptor.
Thank you for your thoughtful response. Many godly leaders have served and continue to serve in this church. I hope and pray a disaster is adverted.
“The image of a masculine musculature may beget arousal in a man, but…”
That is an odd statement for an allegedly straight male to make.
Every workday at 6 AM I join a group of men and women at the gym for alternating days of high intensity workouts and yoga. We are all there to work out and I have seen no instances of anyone getting aroused by masculine or feminine musculature. Shockingly, men and women can work out together while remaining clothed and focused on the workouts. Who knew?
I actually read the Piper/Grudem book in 1992. Would you like my copy?
Did you know they have loaded the pdf onto the internet for free?
Cavalry Free Church, covenant membership is not the magical cure it’s being marketed as.
I’ve been a member of two churches that functioned just fine without “covenant” membership. Leaders were able to tell who they should be able to serve, both formal members and those who weren’t members.
(In what world does a church NOT serve those outside the church? Isn’t this one way of reaching “the lost” with the gospel? Saying “you have to sign the dotted line before I serve you” is very transactional.)
Then I signed on the dotted line at a church with “covenant” membership. All was well for two years, until I submitted solicited feedback that was only 90% positive. And got disciplined for it: https://www.whyhavewefasted.org/a-letter-to-my-friends-at-our-former-church/
Covenant membership gives the appearance of accountability while ensuring that accountability is one-sided. It’s not worth it.
Ken F (aka Tweed),
These guys (hardcore fundagelicals) would hold witchcraft trials if they could, and one of their prime targets would be women with good toned musculature from working out and not fitting in with their ideals of femininity.
Okay, the videos…….
I watched/ listened to as much as I could stomach…. (the first 2).
This lead pastor’s goals seem to be very much like the way my dad and my brother manage their cattle …… right up until they run those cows up the chute and into the cattle trailer to haul them to market.
……. also like how I handled the hogs when we ran 50 to 70 head.
This livestock management plan the lead pastor is pitching …….. I feel sorry for the city folks that just can’t see it coming……. Sheep to the slaughter.
I skimmed them at 1.75x. Sales job.
My question is why are these proposed changes needed?
Is there a sudden breakout of Arianism or something?
Cats and Dogs living together? Couldn’t resist that one. LOL
I know the real reason. He wants to get in on the control he sees elsewhere. Less than 50% in the US belong to a church now. These idiots are going to make it 5%. At some point there will be a massive backlash against all churches even ones that had nothing to do with this insanity.
Wondering: if the underpinnings are similar to when in Europe there were State Churches. (result: a paper or shadow or plastic or veneer church)
Comparing: this also to the religious elite in control in the time and place of Christ. (Result: execution of the Son of God, by them)
Thinking: “Stand fast therefore in your liberty, wherefore Christ has set us free, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage.” (result: a remnant)
Pro tip for the pastor: “Sincerity – if you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” (George Burns)
As it is, you look as insincere and [not completely open with your audience]¹ as the proposal is, erm, [not leading to good outcomes]¹.
¹ I was going to use a different word here, but self-censored to get it through customs (and to keep the quality of the discussion here at the usual high level set by my co-commenters) 😉
1 . Wot about the men? If you hurt women, you hurt men – real men, including unmarried.
2 . Wot about the children, both boys and girls? They get “raptured” after one hymn, then they turn up in the coffee queue. Are they under discipline? Have they unbeknowingly entered into a contract?
3 . I allow an alternate hypothesis that I am under discipline for frequently, loudly and ironically announcing that I am refusing discipline (I am awaiting to attend the occasional induction sessions).
I haven’t been disinvited from home groups but every time I respond to questions from the elderly host’s wife, I get told by the elderly host (who is not an elder) that I’m off topic.
While sermons are fairly good as far as they go, I can’t figure out if the leadership are moving us towards or away from the model described.
In some locations, commerce, administration and professions (which town people depend heavily on) have followed suit from bad religion.
Which had consecrated the “premium commodities” of the Moody Institute, contrary to Proverbs 31: 8-31.
In one denomination an elite called “knights” used to flaunt that they hid the “deal” from candidates for the next “degree”.
Also in one of our denominations, they are (in a continental docume nt) querying everybody’s baptism, our conversion and our consciences and have announced that they are going to fix that.
As I’ve often said … a touch of charisma, a gift of gab, and a bag of gimmicks will get you far in the ministry. Pew gullibility is at an all time high in the American church. Pulpit real-deals are tough to find.
Therein lies my primary concern about movements like New Calvinism, the 9Marx model, and icon worship (e.g. Dever, Piper, Mohler). Eventually, diminishing returns set in and the church at large is viewed more skeptically.
Well, yes, but that’s a different problem, created by this very crowd, and under the radar.
Some of this crowd, notably Wayne Grudem, co-author of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, have tried to manage the Trinity into subordination. Like they’re trying to manage women. I don’t think the Trinity is suffering too much (most people are oblivious) but women’s relationship to the church is suffering.
Yes They are (preferred pronoun) because what’s in us is out there.
And men and boys and girls.
You keep using that word… I do not think it means what you think it means.
Me too. These folks are reading the same playbook that First Baptist got into, starting about 10 years ago.
The second video outlines the “need” for an elder rule because the current way wasn’t effective enough in disciplinary measures in the church. Initially this was sold at First Baptist as:
1) Male elder rule is more biblical than the male & female diaconate and church council. There are not female elders named in scripture. 1st Timothy, so there.
2) With elders, we would be more equipped to discipline if, say, a man in the church were to leave his wife for another woman.
The goals morphed over time, but these were the initial reasons for changing to male eldership. I and others asked why Tim the elder will be more effective than Tim the deacon; or why Butch the elder will be more effective than Butch the deacon. We never got a good answer. But at least elders are biblical, we were told. And, as I pointed out, when a man leaves his wife for another woman he also leaves the church, so discipline is moot. But still, male eldership is biblical. First Timothy. Oh, and Titus.
First Baptist also adopted a “covenant membership” but it’s been rather lame. Instead of requiring signatures on individual documents, they put up a poster at an annual meeting a few years ago and asked members to put their name on it. My wife went to that meeting (I had faded away by then) and said that she signed it (my reaction: “You did what?”). But they have not harassed anybody who has left, including Butch the deacon (I think he was chairman of the diaconate at the time he quit, and a member for 30+ years), nor myself the former deacon. So I think there is a bit of incompetence to this movement, and a lot of going through the motions. Like playing church.
This whole idea has been extremely divisive and destructive to evangelical churches in the US. And in Dubai, apparently. And that was before Covid hit.
And the “Comprehensive Shepherding Model Resource List” is hardly comprehensive. Only 10 books. And nothing by Ruth Tucker.
The Pious Piper.
In the words of the prophet Josie Cotton:
The Christianese Bubble, of course.
Where the only thing that matters is Personal Salvation and Holier Than Thou.
So is Penal Substitutionary Atonement and Say-the-Sinner’s-Prayer Zap Salvation.
Thus proving to all on the outside that Christians are Liars.
P.S. That sheaf of videos — all of them have “Shepherding” in the title.
50 years ago I was involved in a “Shepherding Fellowship” (and end-of-the-world cult).
The damage is still there.
I believe that to be true. Sadly, the pastor who is riding on this train seems to make them out as losers.
“Calvary Free Church in Rochester was using what I consider a somewhat dishonest and heavy-handed campaign to shoehorn a lovely church into accepting Mark Dever’s 9 Marx (and yes, it is known as 9Marx) model”
Stealth and deception are modus operandi of the New Calvinists. Get those poor folks at CFC to sign a membership contract and adopt 9Marx and they will be in bondage forever, with very little of Calvary stamped on the ministry.
“They believe that as authoritative elders, they can discipline anything they darn well please.”
Payday someday, when they, too, will be disciplined.
That was supposed to be a joke. But point taken.
“They believe that as authoritative elders, they can discipline anything they darn well please.”
I’m convinced that many of the new reformers were stunted emotionally in high school (no dates, bullied, etc.) and found “the ministry” as an outlet to get back at everybody … finally with an opportunity to have power over somebody else.
“CJ Mahaney, Mark Dever’s good buddy”
Part of NeoCal’s “Fabulous Four”, “Al’s Little Playgroup”, “Together for the Gospel” (Gospel = Calvinism): Al Mohler, CJ Mahaney, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan. Whew! What a crew!!
It should be mandatory for all Christians to read Galatians in its entirety at least once a quarter!
Meanwhile I continue the jaunt into family history. A few days ago I posted of an ancestor who refused a more lucrative post. Well, now his son or grandson (long series of same names, pretty sure the son) had the choice of several churches in Ireland. (Fled France. Fled England.) He deliberately chose the one that could pay him absolutely nothing. Found a way to make his living otherwise so he could preach for free. At one point they wished to take up a modest collection, since they could do no more, to show their appreciation. He allowed the collection to be made as long as the funds went not to his family or him, but to the poor of area.
So far they still quite Calvinist, but I know that will change in my family down the line, lol. In fact I am already aware that while they claim the name, much he writes is more Reformed (holding to the 5 solas) and not hyperCalvinism (holding to the entire 5 petals of the TULIP.)
It is for freedom we have been set free!
I’d say negative returns. If esp. the articles on refusing resignation of membership are followed. That was like what the ___. The blowback will be spectacular.
On the lips of the prophetesses, Mesdames Go-Go’s:
0:43 / 2:11
Go-Go’s – Screaming (Mabuhay Gardens, San Francisco, CA, 08-1979) + lyrics
expand panel for lyrics
on women developing their muscles . . .
when my son with Down syndrome was almost two, he still could not walk standing up,
so I carried him and as I was under-weight at the time, I was not in very good shape for lifting and carrying that beautiful child,
I worked out with weights and got stronger, and HEALTHIER
and I took care of my child until he reached the stage of development when he was able to walk
I don’t know what John Piper’s ‘problem’ is but I pity him. Does he not know that the Good Lord also made ‘women’ in His image and that they are deserving of respect?
Does John Piper not know that a mother will go to hell and back to find a way to care for her child regardless of her own physical weakness?
I pity more the women who have ‘listened’ to Piper’s ‘teaching’.
I hope that before he passes from this earth that he finds a different song to sing that is humane and compassionate for those who are ‘different’ from the ‘norm’. His ‘ideal’ for a woman is not ‘Christian’ or even humane. Sad he does not realize this, yes.
‘male elder rule’ is not compatible with the acknowledgement of the primacy of listening and obeying one’s OWN moral conscience, in my opinion . . .
the whole neo-Cal thing seems devoid of personal responsibility to listen to one’s own moral conscience as a guide towards what is good and away from what it evil
patriarchy got me in trouble some years ago when visiting at a speech given at a friend’s church as the woman speaker had written a book ‘Bloom Where You Are Planted’ and she proposed that all wives should obey their husbands no matter what the husband required them to do. So, I raised my hand during the questioning period and asked ‘What if one’s husband requires you to do something that goes against your own conscience?’
Needless to say, all h3ll broke loose. Turned out that the women of the church had been discussing this very thing amongst themselves before the speaker came that day. I had opened a Pandora’s box and there was a lot of give and take, not all of it civil, I’m sorry to say. Would I never learn to keep my big mouth shut? It was a question needed to be asked by the women themselves, not by some stranger kindly invited to listen and observe.
Some dragons don’t wish to be provoked, no.
Headless Unicorn, I’m sorry for the damage done by that dubious “Shepherding Fellowship” you experienced. We must be of an age, I almost got roped into one as well. Thankfully, to the chagrin of several “believers,” I ran for the hills. And yes, the damage is still there.
“One will find that many shepherding elders are not around to pray and bring casseroles.”
So much truth in that little line. I bring casseroles and I take home so many prayer requests from people, most I am meeting for the first time, who invite me into their home, their safe space, and put their trust in me as I am meeting a very basic and urgent need. A little like Stephen (Acts 6:1-8) and as Jesus commanded (Matthew 25:40).
Sticks and stones. Every church has some mechanism to enforce conformity to their beliefs and values… and they don’t need a written contract to have it. If they didn’t, any church would be vulnerable to hostile takeover by persons with interests adverse to the church demanding membership and then using their status as a member to undermine the organization.
Do I get to make editorial decisions for TWW? No. And you didn’t need a membership contract to permit, censure, or censor my comment. Your “terms of service” and “commenting rules” are as much a “membership contract” as any document so titled offered by a church.
Nope, a covenant is a legal contract and can be used to abuse members. You may be a contrarian but I have experienc.
Linda, that was the text I appealed to when I wrote my letter to the ones promoting male elder rule. It’s legalism, the very thing that lit a fire under Paul to oppose Peter to his face. I didn’t recommend any particular chapter or verse. When I asked them to read it I wrote, “All of it. Twice.”
Consider the irony of this, and irony can be a form of humor.
Arianism was among the first of the heresies the church had to fend off, now it’s popped up again in the form of “Eternal Subordination of the Son.” The theologians promoting ESS are among the ones promoting male leadership in churches, using the subordination of Christ as an example for the subordination of women.
ESS has lost some traction, however. Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware got taken to the woodshed over this by other evangelical theologians, and they’ve backed off for now.
The “beauty of complementarity” is an ugly thing to behold … it is theological-bondage of female believers … a teaching and practice that is not Christlike.
In his Systematic Theology, Grudem deacribed the members of the Trinity in a very non-orthodox manner. He described Father as the husband in charge, the Son as the wife who submits, and the Spirit as the child who must obey both father and mother. I would not have believed it if I had not read it myself.
Jonathan Edwards, the patron saint of New-Calvnism, also had a non-orthodox view of the Trinity. He described the Son as the thoughts of God turned into words, and the Spirit as the love between the Father and his Word.
Actually the religious elites were not in control; the Roman Empire was.
Grudem is one of the reasons why the New Calvinists are so messed up theologically. His professional peers allowed him to drift too far off course.
Same here, completely contrary to the Athanasian creed and what it asserts in both Lutheranism and Catholicism.
Did Grudem and his colleagues think people wouldn’t do their homework and check?
The partial metaphor (not a very good one) got mistaken for the core meaning (and its entirety), which is simply the fallacy that fundamentalists are predestined to commit.
I doubt Ware cares in the slightest, and perhaps it hasn’t dawned on Grudem yet how hoodwinked he was (probably from infancy).
Who needs traction when they have megatons of inertia, and force of gravity?
This explains why a minority of us, like Peeping Tom, have seen something nasty in the woodshed!
Yes! People haven’t! Not only don’t schools teach honest logic, but more level theologians are firmly “known” as heretical wobblers, which increases sales for promotions of the eternal subordination of men (below senior elders), boys, women & girls.
(And given the abolition of prayer, traditional catholicism isn’t something either the new fangled ones or the faux “trads” value anyway.)
Creeds are something that don’t appear in “statements of (so called) belief” or “declarations of doctrine”.
Yes. New-Calvinists generally avoid or misrepresent early Christian history.
Hmmm … and we thought Christianity offered something different than the Taliban. Guess we’re just the same as other religions that subjugate women in the spirit of allowing men to run things, run wild, run ram shod over “made in the image of God” women. As Evangelicals, we have our own Taliban with women subjugating themselves to these strongmen, in the name of … ? Not in the name of Jesus, for sure.
In the execution of Jesus, they collaborated.
It is not a legal document for sure, but it does keep out conversations Dee does not like. Is Dee Jesus? No. Should some things be kept out of the conversation here? No doubt. Would I do things a little differently? Certainly, and so would most of the other regulars. Does that make us hypocrites? Certainly. Do I think Dee is humble? No. Is this an echo chamber of sorts? Certainly. Does Jesus think exactly like any of us? According to the Word, no. Maybe we should all find a little more humility? No?
Do you know how many convos are limited or not allowed on this blog? Nothing is limited except for rank political commentary and disgusting comments dealing with my heritage. I believe this blog is one of the few blogs that allow for a wide variety of comments. I know how many I have blocked—virtually none.
Well, they are certainly out and about to erase SBC’s 150 years of non-Calvinist belief and practice!
Just like a Perfect Got Hard IBLP family!
With the Father as hammer and chisel, hammering on the Wife with both hammering on the Child!
The Great Chain of Being – Dominance and Submission – extending to its very Top!
No relationship except that of POWER over Inferiors.
“The only goal of Power is POWER.”
— George Orwell, 1984
“I have the absolute right to do anything to anybody.”
— Caesar Caligula
Who needs this “Christ” when you have CALVIN?
CALVIN who alone has God All Figured Out?
Oh, but it does!
A Holy Book in Kynge Jaymes Englyshe instead of classical Meccan Arabic!
Not to those who get to Hold the Whip by Divine Right.
Because they have the Right Thing dangling between their legs and nothing more.
They remind me of Supreme Gentleman InCels more than anything else.
But Christians (without any modifiers) can only read it as unconnected unrelated single Verses. Like a grimoire of one-Verse magic spells.
He’s a Five-foot-Four (meter-sixty) wet noodle.
The average woman could fold him up and stuff him in a dumpster, never mind a Muscular Woman.
Of course not.
He’s a MAN(!) and she’s just a female.
(Inconsistent InCel terminology deliberate.)
Ken F (aka Tweed),
Muff Potter: “Did Grudem and his colleagues think people wouldn’t do their homework and check?”
Ken F: “Yes. New-Calvinists generally avoid or misrepresent early Christian history.”
yeah,….. well, seems to me evangelicalism is the one true religion that just appeared on the scene in a puff of smoke 60 or so years ago, fully formed, with no provenance.
talk about the faith required for that…
and Big Foot, Mothman, and extraterrestrials get a bad rap
It makes me think of Victor Frankenstein and what he created with lightning and electrodes attached to a cadaver.
Yikes! Grudem’s description is beyond cringe, as the kids say. Why do evangelicals *always* try to reinvent the wheel? Surely the better-educated among them have at least a passing acquaintance with I Nicaea, Chalcedon, and Ephesus?
To be fair WRT Edwards’ description of the Spirit, IIRC St Augustine also described the Spirit as the personification of the Love binding Father and Son. That’s just an analogy, though. Augustine knew that the Trinity is ineffable. Side note: I know folks who are looking Eastward tend to have a jaundiced view of Augustine, but he’s my homeboy. I feel strongly that both Augustine and Anselm get a really bad rap in the East, thanks to the egregious caricatures and misrepresentations promulgated by Romanides and the Paris School. (No, Anselm did *not* propose proto-PSA, for instance.) And, ironically, these distortions and misrepresentations are a relatively recent development, at odds with the Consensus Patrum. But I didn’t mean to get off-topic here, so I’ll dismount from my soapbox now, with apologies. :D).
And Augustine was the only Christian from the time the Apostles died until just before the reformation.
I was at First Baptist in September, the first time in 2 1/2 years because I wanted to see a missionary friend. My wife and I attended the adult class, and they were going through a theology program called “Firm Foundation” Tim the elder (formerly Tim the deacon) referenced something from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology.
Now, Tim’s Christology and understanding of the Trinity are quite sound. He is not seminary trained, and that’s OK. And he’s going through the material uncritically, following this material and other narrowly-selected material because that’s what’s presented. I talked with him afterward about of Wayne Grudem’s deviation, and he wasn’t aware.
So no, people don’t do their homework. Although Tim does know the material that he’s presenting. It’s just that it’s narrowly-selected. Tim and I are old friends, by the way, and he’s perfectly trustworthy and respectful. But he sticks to the script.
But they feared losing their status as subcontractors (which they did, in AD 130). They fell for the same fallacy as the triumphalists of Josiah’s time, lamented over by Jeremiah.
Dr. Frahnkensteen: “From the fateful day when stinking bits bits of slime first crawled from the sea and shouted to the cold stars I am man, our greatest dread has always been the knowledge of our own mortality.
But tonight, we shall hurl the gauntlet of science into the frightful face of death itself.
Tonight, we shall ascend into the heavens, we shall mock the earthquake, we shall command the thunders and penetrate the very womb of impervious nature herself.
When I give the word, throw the first switch.”
Igor: You’ve got it, master.
Dr. Frahnkensteen: “Get ready….Get set…Go!………..Throw the second switch…….Throw the third switch.
Igor: Not… the third switch??!
Dr. Frahnkensteen: “Throw it, I say. Throw it…….Life! life! do you hear me? Give my creation…. LIIIIIIFE!”
…it’s just hysterical… Mel Brook’s had no idea he was describing my silly religion a few decades down the road…
you see, the Monster started out with ‘AbbiNormal’s brain’, and ends up being too powerful for its own good, and causes big problems that harm others. but is incapable of understanding what it did wrong, and why it’s being criticized. and so it must be consoled and praised as if 4 years old.
Dr. Frahnkensteen: “Hello handsome. You’re a good looking fellow, do you know that? People laugh at you, people hate you, but why do they hate you?
Because… they are jealous. Look at that boyish face. Look at that sweet smile.
Do you wanna talk about physical strength? Do you want to talk about sheer muscle? Do you want to talk about the Olympian ideal?
You are a God. And listen to me, you are not evil. You… are… good.
[the Monster starts to cry}
This is a nice boy. This is a good boy. This is a mother’s angel. And I want the world to know once and for all, and without any shame, that we love him!”
yeah,…that’s my silly religion. clueless, destructive, incapable of remorse, with a need to be #1.
If Piper really is 5’4” and if I ever have the chance to meet him in person, I’ll be sure and wear highest heels I have – because I’m only 5’6”. ; )……. and I’ll invite my 5’8” niece to come along!
I never got the connection until now!
You’re right on the money with this one elastigirl, and yeah, the analogy is hilarious!
Mel Brooks could make Luther laugh.
oh what fun!
i’ll come, in my tall state of mind and fearsome heels. we’d change the weather with our entrance.
Fellowship with the Taliban.
“Like and Subscribe (with one tap-swipe)…”
Until GAWD Revealed Himself in a Dream/Vision/Angel Encounter to Our Founder Reverend Apostle Joe Soap, commanding him to Restore The One True New-Testament Church!
GAWD is so lucky to have Us! What would He ever do without Us?
Raising Us up for Such a Time as Now?
Lather, Rinse, Repeat, Lather, Rinse, Repeat…
I’d pay money to see you two put Piper in his place.
Year Zero Syndrome crossed with “NO POPERY!” and Holy Nincompoop Syndrome.
NO historical trace, only a Perpetual 33 AD.
Just like the Wahabi/Taliban have only a Perpetual Year One of the Hegira.
Headless Unicorn Guy,
Those who say that they are worms (meaning us), that they are like Hitler because they want to get their name in the papers (meaning us), they are lying because our sins have been sent into remission!
They might not believe theirs have been, so why make that our affair – but God wants us to supplicate for those who show themselves up thus.
Headless Unicorn Guy,
For Wagner and Bentley, 2008 is the new 1995!