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54 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    A relatively mild view of the Reformation by an Orthodox priest:

  2. DavidM says:

    Regarding Hefner and Robertson: They are equally repugnant. I expect it from Hefner. Actually, I also expect nothing but idiocy and nonsense from Robertson. But Robertson hides behind a veneer of Christianity. He is an absolute embarrassment to Christianity. What is even more sad is that he continues to have an audience. God help the church.

  3. filbertz says:

    Pat Robertson speaks more truth when he farts than when he uses words.

  4. Duane Arnold says:

    #1 Xenia

    Enjoyed the link. He’s right, the sense of “Church” is what we ultimately lost.

  5. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t think the orthodox understand the reformation at all as evidenced on the other thread when Xenia referred to us a”children of the reformation.”
    Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but Lutherans are not children of the reformation – we are children of the cross, which strangely goes back to God’s first church in the Garden of Eden. We are as old and orthodox as any.

    What the RCC and EO miss is the one and sole purpose of the reformation – was to snap the ruling church body, the RCC (and I would include the EO) back to Christianity. The sole purpose of the reformation (at least the Lutheran reformation) was to denounce and correct the heretical view of Christ Plus Something and bring the erring church to the correct doctrine of Christ Plus Nothing.

    Both today still stand outside of right Christian teaching as they ignored the chance to repent. For about 150 words, I think I summed it up pretty good.

  6. Jean says:


    For what it’s worth, I believe you are within Christianity. And that you do not have a heretical view of Christ.

  7. Michael says:

    When I read the early church documents and fathers, they sound a whole lot more like Xenia and a whole lot less than me or MLD…which is why I joined a group that has room for all.

  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Then let me make it simpler. Is Christ plus something else what is needed for salvation? Xenia yesterday agreed that it was Christ Plus Obedience.

  9. Jean says:

    “Also they teach that this faith is bound to bring forth good fruits, and that it is necessary to do good works commanded by God, because of God’s will, but that we should not rely on those works to merit justification 2] before God.”

    – AC VI

  10. Michael says:

    Let’s make it simpler…is one’s embrace of a doctrinal formation 1500 years in the making necessary for salvation?

    I think not.

    Is there mystery involved in this?

    I think so.

    Do I think the Reformers got it right?


  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean, the AC is speaking of the fruits produced by the already saved and tells you specifically to not count on them for salvation. Read it again.

  12. Jean says:

    You read it wrong MLD. It did not say “to not count on them;” to the contrary: “it is necessary” to do them.

    It said to not rely on them “to merit salvation.” I don’t hear Xenia saying that.

  13. John 20:29 says:

    This is meant more as a question than an argument…
    Why should one assume that the very earliest leaders in the development of the Church have the Faith locked down? Why are not the scholarly men who came after loving and seeking understanding, men such as Luther and Calvin, worthy of a hearing by those of us who want to understand salvation and the Christian walk?

  14. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    But it is for the already saved. Some say you need the good works to get saved. Jesus plus works. We know this is true because those who think so don’t know they are saved until death.

  15. Jean says:

    “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”

  16. Jean says:

    “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    A sad day when Lutherans push for works salvation. Hey it was a good 500 yr run, but all good things come to an end.

  18. Jean says:

    “A sad day when Lutherans push for works salvation. Hey it was a good 500 yr run, but all good things come to an end.”


  19. Duane Arnold says:

    #10 Michael

    I think the reformers got it mostly right… for their time and circumstance.

  20. Michael says:


    Historians always are looking for the sources closest to the event.

    Having said that, doctrine developed over the centuries and I have a wall full of theology from the 16th century.

    I commend it to all.

    However, doctrine didn’t stop developing with the death of Calvin, so we keep exploring Gods vast pasture and see what He’s doing today.

  21. Michael says:


    I mostly agree… 🙂

  22. Xenia says:

    Thank you, Jean, Michael and Duane.

  23. John 20:29 says:

    #20 – thank you, Michael. I can understand the reason for continuity, just can’t grasp why the earliest (excluding the Apostles and other writers of our canon ) leadership of the Church would have a sounder grasp on Truth than all of those who have served down thru time…

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It seems good to see Tullian being brought back. Many have been scared off by the blogging world, but I would challenge everyone to read his opening article.

  25. Michael says:

    Can you explain to me why a lying, cheating, serial adulterer should be brought back?
    I intend to fight…

  26. Jean says:

    “I can understand the reason for continuity, just can’t grasp why the earliest (excluding the Apostles and other writers of our canon ) leadership of the Church would have a sounder grasp on Truth than all of those who have served down thru time…”

    There are several reasons, including the following:

    (1) Superior fluency in Koine Greek;
    (2) Access to the oral tradition;;
    (3) access to the earliest manuscripts; thus less variants;
    (3) Superior knowledge of the original cultural context of the writings;
    (4) Superior knowledge of the worship services handed down by the apostles and people like Timothy.

    The Joseph Smiths, Ellen Whites and Darby’s and Schofields would have quickly been anathematized back in the early church.

  27. I read all the posts (a couple are endorsements from a pastor and a friend) at Tulian’s new blog. And all I could here my inner mind saying was, “Nope.” I wish him no ill will. But I just can’t do it.

  28. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    He is writing a blog – what’s your beef?

  29. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Piney, if one of your sinning congregants came to you and confessed his sin using the exact words Gillian used you would turn him away? Hardcore man.

  30. Jean says:


    I perused the blog. It appears he’s still peddling the sex symbol persona. The message does not appear to be “let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

  31. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The sex symbol persona? LOL
    Haters gotta hate. I asked about the words he said.

  32. It’s not a matter of turning away a sinner. I do hear people share their failures all the time. I’m not interested in shaming him. I just don’t want to read or hear him. My gut tells me that Tullian, like Mark Driscoll, needs attention like the Chargers need a real stadium. I think Gordon MacDonald did it better.

  33. Jean says:

    sex symbol persona is relevant when the man is an adulteror.

  34. Perhaps its my work with recovering addicts that informs my sense about the time that is needed away from the spotlight to really work through issues. I will say that MD and TT differ in this way: I don’t think MD has ever come clean. I think he’s deluded. TT on the other hand is cognizant of his failing. But, man did he go big. Twice. That, for me, demands a long time of reflection and introspection.

  35. As for Pat Robertson, what a hockey puck.

  36. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Sex symbol persona comments are a direct attack / judgment of motives. Can you really judge those? Well I know you can and do – so I guess should you?

  37. Jean says:

    My judgment is not in the place of God. I do not judge his salvation. What I judge is his unsuitability as a teacher. There are many, many theologians I can read and refer my friends to. I judge not to place him among the theologians I recommend for myself or to my friends. That is my entire point.

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    If you had led with that we would have no issue. But you led with something totally off the wall based on one picture of him.
    BTW – you may want to check your masculinity if you think that picture expresses sex symbol. He looks like he has aged 10 yrs.

  39. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    But the failure is on me as I failed to recognize an article placed for the sole purpose of receiving unanimous boos.

  40. John 20:29 says:

    Jean, your arguments address the accuracy of interpretation, but not the spiritual depth of those men … what I am pondering is why would there not have been, down thru time, men as devoted or more devoted to God’s Truth and therefore just as fully equipped to teach by God the Holy Spirit?

    Of course teaching declared to be new or counter to the Word is delusional and God has made clear false teachers will crop up and also what their fate is… how much leeway He gives us pew sitters on following false teachers, I’m not sure….

  41. I’m with Jean as to how Tullian presents himself through media. In his ONE WAY LOVE video series, I was amazed by the unbuttoned shirt look he chose to employ.

    But, as to Jean’s post, the words that came to my mind were “male model”. But hey, it could be a Florida thing. :-/

  42. Xenia says:

    Em, why not read some of the early fathers and see for yourself if they have any spiritual depth? I recommend St. John Chrysostom for starters. He preached verse by verse (and also compiled the Divine Liturgy we Orthodox use today.) He lived in the 4th century.

    You can find his works to read for free here:

  43. John 20:29 says:

    Xenia, I was not questioning their spiritual depth, just the exclusivity of it – I think I have Chrysostom bookmarked on my ‘ retailer’s computer…

    Thank you … and Jean … for sharing your perspectives

  44. Jean says:


    You answered the question you asked in the first paragraph of #40 with the second paragraph of #40; except that it’s not “equipped by God and the Holy Spirit”, it’s equipped by the Holy Spirit working through the Word of God. There is no fairy dust revelation; no new visions; now modern day prophets revealing new doctrine.

    I hope for many in the modern church that it’s a lot of leeway, because it will take a lot. But, it should never be our desire to live by the leeway.

  45. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Piney, ya got me there. Those are my feelings – if a pastor is in the pulpit and not garbed in his clericals / vestments he is just modeling for the audience.

  46. John 20:29 says:

    I typed ‘regular’ NOT retailers – I’m not selling these things! ?

  47. John 20:29 says:

    Jean – I didn’t say ” God AND the Holy Spirit” but I do like your inclusion of the Word

    No new doctrine? I agree, but there can be revived emphasis and I think many here testify to that fact … and need

  48. Josh The Baptist says:

    If I’m not wrong, Tullian isn’t leading a church, right? Just writing a blog?

    I think that’s great. He’s bombed out big-time, but still wants to share the gospel. That’s fine.
    (I haven’t scoured the content.)

    Driscoll has been back in the pulpit for quiet a while. Never even took time off, really.

  49. Eric says:

    I haven’t read Barth but understand that he was an important theologian in a time & place when other theologians had gone liberal, therefore regarded highly by many today. So it’s sad to hear that he was a long-term adulterer, particularly the way he talks about it.

    It seemed like he said “I’m in love with her, so that’s the way it is”. This reads as hopeless conflation of how one feels and what one actually does.

    People have always fallen in love with people they can’t or shouldn’t marry – already married, underage, unrequited, wrong sex, cultural/geographical/life-plan incompatibility, inadvisability for other reasons, etc. And they have usually always been able to say no or accept the impossibility. Faithfulness to God, current spouse, law or societal norms is usually sufficient. Not always easy. In particular, Christian ethics demand we say no to sin.

    I have often reflected on these things (particularly as Australia votes on same-sex marriage this season). The assumption that longings must be fulfilled a particular way seems a rank fallacy. So I am sad to see a prominent Christian thinker having committed this inexcusable conflation.

  50. John 20:29 says:

    Eric that’s what we need to hear more often… I realize that daily life puts people in situations that are dangerous or awkward, but, if one ” just can’t help it” they not living very close to God or taking the reality of Him or their own sin nature very seriously

  51. Josh The Baptist says:

    Very true, Em and Eric. Self-control, after all is a fruit of the Spirit.

    About Barth (and I don’t know enough about his personal life to even comment. If he was an adulterer, that is clearly awful. His Theology does not matter if those accusations are true.)

    I would defer to Duane if he wanted to comment, but in my study, Barth is the turning point in modern theological study. Nobody since the reformation has had nearly the impact. Every Systematic book you read now has to deal with Barth. Most of the “Conservative” theologians to do not speak of him in a positive manner. His neo-orthodoxy, while not quite liberal in the classic German sense, certainly isn’t American Evangelical. So I don’t know if his impact was simply because he didn’t go liberal. He’s an ingenious thinker, and a strong communicator. Perhaps its that many of his ideas are complex, and take a long time to debunk that he has had such traction.
    I really don’t know why, but it apparently wasn’t because of his righteous life.

  52. Duane Arnold says:

    #51 Josh

    Barth has a complicated legacy. We can, however, separate the theology from the man… we have to do this with many from Luther to Tillich. The main message of Barth was the power of the Gospel when proclaimed. Something we can all agree upon.

  53. bob1 says:


    I agree.

    I think it’s rather sophomoric to reject Barth’s work because of this. Good grief — how many evangelical Christian leaders/musicians, etc. have had affairs and ongoing third-party liasions?

    His neo-orthodoxy, while not quite liberal in the classic German sense, certainly isn’t American Evangelical

    That’s another great reason to read him!

  54. Josh The Baptist says:

    Good points, Duane and Bob.

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