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57 Responses

  1. Em says:

    Sending people to hell? The choice is our own to make. Sadly some people think he’ll will be just great! NOT SO! ! !

  2. Linn says:

    The articles that stuck out for me are on election and “I Am A Leaver.”
    On election: I came to the conclusion a long time ago that a) God elects, and b) man is responsible for his choices (it’s probably because I began reading JI Packer at the tender age of 18). It’s the only way I can fathom both free will and election. I can’t believe that God is NOT sovereign, but people are still responsible for their choices. One day, God will explain it all.

    As to “I Am A Leaver”, as my dad continues to lose his memory, I am saddened that I can’t be geographically closer to him. This is the same dad who abandoned me emotionally and physically while I was in high school. But, because God allows me to choose, I opted for love. He is receiving good care where he is, but it means I can only fly down a few times a year. But, I do what I can and God is using it for good in my dad’s life. Rumor has it at the senior facility that he has received Christ. I don’t think he can tell me in as many words, but he is much more calming and loving (this once very physically and verbally violent) man than I ever remember him being. I’m thankful, and looking forward to spending a weekend with him at the end of the month.

  3. The New Victor says:

    Linn, that’s tough. I’m glad that he calmed though. A little similar, but my mom reverted to a bad personality sometimes, and even though I rescued her from a sure winter’s death and she lived with us in the city for a few months, she demanded to be taken back to her hoard. I was accused of all sorts of elder abuse (cops called on me, legal threats, borderline physical threats) even though we got along OK the previous two decades.

    Social services was thankfully able to rehome her safely and then eventually into a care facility. We visited her and she was happy to see us. Later, she totally forgot who I was and who her grandkids were. That was devastating to me, but she seemed happy. I was wracked with guilt and uber stressed. I hope to see her healed and happy in heaven. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I had a lot of anger as well at the time, born from desperation.

  4. Steve says:

    The “Christian Nationalism” article is worth a read. It is well balanced in my opinion. I had to read it a few times to understand it.

  5. Dread says:

    Relevant gives us a very cynical article taking the fundamentalist view of heresy and imposing it on evangelicals. Like combing through someone’s Twitter feed to find outrage porn.

    Juvenile work.

  6. Dread says:

    Thumbs up to the more sanguine and balanced Historians and the supernatural.

  7. Dread says:

    Steve Brown still makes me want to be Reformed. He’s John Ploughman’s Calvinist. Forgive my little anachronism.

  8. Officerhoppy says:

    Dread
    Yeah…i get that. But once you “cross over” there are, to me at least, several theological hurdles to jump

    Like how can man be held responsible when, not being elect, regenerated and enabled to confess sin, and a belief in Christ, when the unelected cannot?

    Secondly, if Christ died only for the elect, then isn’t his love conditional?

    Thirdly, what security is there in salvation? If one steps or falls away, the Arminian says he lost his salvation where the Calvinist simply says, he was never saved in the first place.

    There are too many holes for me. Instead, I toward antinomy. It is to theology what an anomaly is to science. Can’t be explained, but both election and responsibility are taught in scripture

    Also for Em, there really is no such thing as free will. Choice yes but not “free” will. All of our choices are influenced by education, experience, culture, family, etc. so our choices aren’t truly “free” as you say.

    To your defense, the term “free will” has been erroneously used for years. So don’t feel bad!

  9. Dread says:

    Hoppy

    I am not reformed as you know nor was I defending the position. I was admiring the nuanced and generous rendering of those positions by one so warm and astute as Brown.

    Those questions you will find addressed throughout his work at Key Life. Brown is never stumped by the need for certainty. He lives with the seemingly contradictory expressions of scripture while asserting Westminster conclusions.

    I just like Steve.

  10. Shawn says:

    The Lisa Diller article on Historians and the Supernatural is excellent. Much of current teaching about historical events of the past is too far removed from trying to understand the context of it. Instead there is a laying of modern assumptions over it that it is more like a justification of the current historians ideals than it is an exploration of the events. Part of the problem is the way historians often question the motivations of the people involved without actually having much, if any, first hand proof. In Seminary I wrote a paper on Soto’s interactions in what is primarily Mexico. A lot of what I read derided Soto almost endlessly (sometimes for good reasons) while discounting everything that came from his own hand. While I would not justify many, maybe most of his actions, it was interesting to read the events from his perspective and suspend, if only for a moment, all the other stuff I thought I already knew about him.

    As a side note: I read a second article by her about Apocalyticism. It was in many ways more insightful and applicable for our current days.

  11. LInn says:

    Dread,

    I like Steve Brown, too. And, my theological position trends more towards reformed. However, there are other theologians that I like-evangelical, Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox-whose views I may not always agree with, but who love Jesus and God’s Word. For example I learned much from Catholics who I knew read the Bible and did believe in Christ as Savior. when I lived in Colombia. I think sometimes we miss out on great discussions, learning, and friendships because we box up the beliefs of other Christians and throw them in the “discard” pile.

  12. UnCCed says:

    I can remember 20 years ago when newcomers might feel unwelcome if they were “smokers” (former boogeyman label) or divorced.
    Now, I find myself unwelcome if I show up for “fellowship” not angry about whatever pundit has his/her disciples juiced-up about, ready to jihad.
    I simple want a place to worship (singing optional) Jesus…it’s becoming quite difficult.
    I sympathize with those whose band accounts/portfolios/jobs/health/marriage/kids is taking a hit, but we aren’t even talking about what’s really upsetting people, instead, it’s an anger-fest about the latest scapegoats.
    Ironically, Jesus is waiting in all the gatherings I’ve attended to help with the real issues.
    I’m still outside.

  13. UnCCED says:

    I forgot to share…
    I recently shocked my wife by informing her as we drove on vacation and my radio was on a “strange” station, I sometimes listen to a Catholic program.
    I’ve NEVER (or will) attended a RC church and a die-hard PROTESTant.
    However, I listened a few times over several days/weeks because it was the only discussion I’ve heard about life/issues where the people were pissed-off, and I wished I had them in my life.
    THEN, I found out the source of the programming.
    I figured, “why not, they (at least in this program) don’t talk about Mary, praying to saints, or anything I found unBiblical, and it’s quite peaceful.”
    From Salem down to Medford, most of the programming only seems to care about raising one’s blood pressure. I already take pills for that.

  14. UnCCed says:

    Sorry, I meant
    ” it was the only discussion I’ve heard about life/issues where the people were NOT pissed-off”

  15. Michael says:

    UnCCED,

    Medford radio is brutal…all anger , all the time…

  16. Officerhoppy says:

    Dread
    I understand. I like Steve too. But, I strongly considered reform theology and couldn’t embrace it—or God—of that theology.

    Since you (tongue in cheek) brought it up—i shared my challenges with it.

    Just me being me

  17. Michael says:

    UnCCED,

    I’m to the point of avoiding all Christian media and most Christian persons.

    I even find this site a chore.

    The current concerns and expressions of the faith leave me far outside the main and barely on the fringes.

    I listen to podcast and audio books…haven’t turned on the radio since the fires…

  18. Pineapple Head says:

    Spinning the radio dial in the car a few weeks ago, I stumbled across a discussion on Catholic radio. It was the most sane and mature thing I’ve heard on radio in a long time. A call to do worship in a humble, sacrificial manner.

  19. Nonnie says:

    I’ve been meeting with 2 other ladies in my neighbourhood. We 3 are in our 70’s and come from different tribes of Christianity. We decided that we would like to study the Bible but didn’t want to get into schisms or things that would divide us. So we started with The Lord’s Prayer. We are taking it one line at a time. Cross referencing verses reading other commentaries and quotes. We have met 4 times and each time we meet we have had such sweet fellowship and been so encouraged and edified. I confess, since moving back to the USA I have just not wanted to go to church, after visiting a couple of them here. I certainly haven’t walked away from Christ, but I have struggled to go to church. I’ve been part of a church for over 45 years but since moving here, so much seems to have changed. These Tuesday morning meetings are a drink of cool water to a thirsty soul. I’m not saying that I shouldn’t go back to church, but for now, this is where I am. I don’t listen to Christian radio. I do listen to some podcasts and sermons.

  20. Dread says:

    I much appreciate the Law and Liberty article… very much, especially the conclusion. It does seem to me that the accusation of Christian Nationalism is far to broadly applied. It also occurs to me that many who are patriotic have conflated notions of compatibility with their faith.

    The issue of nationalism has been confronted on many venues. I do wonder if a serious version of it may arise. I have no doubt for example that American impulses are becoming increasingly prejudice simply by the mantra that everything is racists. Human hearts are malleable as the gender theorists posit. We can be culturally conditioned into many things. I suspect racial hatred is increasing by the measures taken in the last couple of years to suppress it.

  21. Michael says:

    One of the best selling books in the country is an attempt to mainstream Christian nationalism.

    It is near the top of both Amazon and the NYT lists.

    It is a theological abomination , but it is being sold and distributed as fast as they can be made.

    This is the new face of American Christendom…wholly politicized and devoid of Jesus.

    It spells the end of the line for the faith once delivered for a season, except in small pockets around the country…they will speak all manner of evil about you for challenging it.

    I’m old and tired and don’t care anymore if the whole thing slides to hell…just trying to keep my own from the descent.

  22. Em says:

    FWIW
    yesterday my daughter received a spam phone call from India. By the end of the conversation she had “Frank” in tears…..
    What did she say?
    Your mother would be ashamed of you!
    You need Jesus!

  23. Em says:

    Michael, the King IS coming and sometimes it seems right soon
    God keep!

  24. Michael says:

    Em,

    I suspect that I’ll go to Him before He comes to me…

  25. Em says:

    Me, too, Michael, me too
    Only God the Father knows the day and the hour……
    Again God keep

  26. Dread says:

    Well I had to take a look. It’s overt. But then I saw Johnathan Cahn-man.

    🤦‍♂️

  27. Dread says:

    Is this season a great revealing? Is this a time like we’ve often envisioned for the revealing of our hearts? We’ve known that our evangelism had gathered both wheat and chaff. The sifting is a far worse project than we knew.

    The fire is worse still. Where are we headed? Hearts are failing. Minds shattered. It feels apocalyptic but is surely only a foretaste.

  28. Michael says:

    I’m probably the wrong guy to ask.

    I’m trying to save loved ones from demented morons conflating Christianity and politics and believing any bizarre tale that comes down the line.

    Evangelicalism has long been a safe harbor for abusive authoritarians who seek power …and evangelicals have long given them what they want.

    Now, social media helps them understand that all evil is politically motivated and voting is the new sacrament.

    I did learn that Joe Biden is a clone and Dale Earnhardt isn’t dead…and Trump will be reinstated at any moment.

    Will He find faith here when He returns?

    Now the problem is the same as when I started this site…no one has the balls to stand against this.

  29. Steve says:

    Dread, I whole heartedly agree with your comments @8:38. I think part of the problem in discussing “Christian Nationalism ” is that those that most vociferously oppose it treating it as an exitential threat usually call it “white” Christian Nationalism and turn it into a race issue. But, not everyone is “white” in this movement and other than possible some minor fringe groups even consider the color of one’s skin important in the narrative of Christian Nationalism. Am I missing something here because I’m no expert?

  30. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I suggest a book for you… https://amzn.to/3BK1wzq

    Very careful and and very compelling that race has much to do with this…much.

  31. Michael says:

    “The Flag and the Cross”

    “Most Americans were shocked by the violence they witnessed at the nation’s Capital on January 6th, 2021. And many were bewildered by the images displayed by the insurrectionists: a wooden cross and wooden gallows; “Jesus saves” and “Don’t Tread on Me;” Christian flags and Confederate Flags; even a prayer in Jesus’ name after storming the Senate chamber. Where some saw a confusing jumble, Philip S. Gorski and Samuel L. Perry saw a familiar ideology: white Christian nationalism.

    In this short primer, Gorski and Perry explain what white Christian nationalism is and is not; when it first emerged and how it has changed; where it’s headed and why it threatens democracy. Tracing the development of this ideology over the course of three centuries and especially its influence over the last three decades they show how, throughout American history, white Christian nationalism has animated the oppression, exclusion, and even extermination of minority groups while securing privilege for white Protestants. It enables white Christian Americans to demand “sacrifice” from others in the name of religion and nation, while defending their “rights” in the names of “liberty” and “property.”

  32. Michael says:

    Just for a moment of clarity instead of more knee jerk…

    No one is saying that all evangelicals are “racists”.
    No one is saying that all conservatives are “racists”.

    I’ve found racism in liberals both theological and political.

    What is being said is that this country has a history of ingrained racism…which is beyond debate by any reasonable historian or sociologist.

    Nor does this forgive the excesses of identity politics and sexual perversion…just for clarity…

  33. Pineapple Head says:

    One of the leaders of our church recently brought up the idea of facilitating a Christian girl’s scouting group called “American Heritage Girls.” The name in itself gives me pause, but the content of the material really makes me hesitate. It seems to create a blur between the ideas of discipleship to Jesus and patriotism. In fact, IMO, I would say the creators of this program are more mindful about matters of citizenship than discipleship. Being here in North Idaho, there are plenty of people in our church who would think that American Heritage Girls is just what we need. But, especially in these times, I want to make a clear distinction between discipleship and nationality.

  34. Michael says:

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1570451181238886408

    Not voting or voting “wrongly” means you’re unfaithful to God.

  35. Pineapple Head says:

    Ha! There’s a point when the choices are so bad, I’m not voting for anybody.

    I’m much more comfortable with “vote your conscience” than “don’t vote wrongly.” And, if discipleship is happening in a person’s life, I’m not too worried about telling them how to vote.

  36. Dan from Georgia says:

    (Out of hiding):

    I’m sure Mohler has a few choice words for the humanitarians that are Governors Abbott and DeSantis…

    No?

    Sorry, but Mohler and other like minded republicans can stick it.

    Sorry not sorry, but the actions of Abbot and DeSantis are abominable.

  37. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael, had to vent there. Tired of some (note I didn’t say all or pick on evangelicals) who won’t just come out and tell you to vote for their guy, but have to drape it in spiritual language. And tired of some (again…some) Christians who will turn a blind eye to the stupid and inhumane treatment of people for political gain.

  38. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Some venting is healthy…I’ve done a bit myself today…

  39. Michael says:

    PH,

    I have no place as a pastor telling people how to vote…or voting for the lesser of two evils…which is still voting for evil.

  40. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks Michael. I appreciate having a safe place to vent.

    Calming down last few hours..

  41. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    David Ritchie published a book drawing upon Michael Heiser, Esther Acolatse, and Daniel K Darko ato argue that nationalisms across the board are demonic counterfeit corruptions of the Gospel. It’s a point I’ve held to for a long time so I admit a prejudice on this matter.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09S1463HW/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

    I half expected to see references to Robert Ewusie Moses’ Practices of Power along the way. If you’re not already familiar with Michael Heiser’s work or his take on Deut 32 and Ps 82 Ritchie’s book unpacks that.

  42. Linn says:

    Nationalism run amok has brought us Stalinism, Nazism, Pol Pot, and who knows how many other horror stories. Roman emperor worship was another occasion of nationalism run amok. As Christians, we have allegiance to the God of heaven and His Son, whose kingdom is not of this world. Christian engagement should be a civic duty, but should not lead to worship of a system and/or its leader.

  43. Dread says:

    I’d say in Michael’s definition voting is evil.

  44. Michael says:

    Dread,

    What I’m saying is that my pulpit is not the place for such.

    In our current system and situation, neither side has a “biblical worldview”.

    I suppose one can vote to mitigate the most damage, but both sides are set on fire by hell in some fashion…it just depends on what flavor of hell you prefer.

  45. Dread says:

    I think there are much more severe and aggressive existential threats to democracy than the Jesus people.

    Furthermore, ‘threat to democracy’ is a misdirection. America is intentionally not a pure democracy which the founding documents were at pains to avoid.

    It is the limits on democracy that must be sustained for our national covenant to last. It is those limits that are most endangered and their collapse is the true existential threat to freedom.

    Individual liberty and limited government is collapsing quickly under the weight of a people who demand more and give less to their common life.

    Note that I have written here about our actual situation and not about the church or any desire to grasp the power of the state. It is the prevention of such that concerns me.

  46. Michael says:

    “I think there are much more severe and aggressive existential threats to democracy than the Jesus people.”

    These are not the Jesus people. That is a misdirection.

    Our actual situation is one of wheels coming off in many directions.

    My concern is primarily about the church, not political ideology.

  47. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    For my part, I think that Christian nationalism in any of its forms is a “heresy for simpletons”. To subscribe you have to be ignorant of history, theology, sociology and have no understanding whatsoever of Madisonian democracy. This is not to say it is not dangerous. I think that it is. The heresy, however, is wrapped up in emotion and grievance, not intellect. I’m not sure. however, how we address it, as it is the equivalent of writing a thoughtful literary review of a comic book written on a third grade level.

    That, of course, does not even address the cultic/occultic back stories of conspiracies and QAnon that form part of the underpinnings of their thinking, whether they wish to admit it or not. This is beyond the scope of rational discourse. Even more to the point, this has nothing to do with the faith once delivered…

  48. Dread says:

    This would be a good moment for this blog to retire the comic book review. No one here needs it at all.

    There is not a proponent of that view who has posted on this blog since Obama was king.

    Though I think the little book the Hatchet posted might bear a glance.

    When America falls the horned clowns of Jan 6 will not be heirs to the kingdom.

  49. Duane Arnold says:

    No review being written… As I said, it is a heresy for simpletons. However, the backstory of the heresy may be with us for years…

  50. Dread says:

    Zionism ensconced nationalism in the current evangelical mind and like MacBeth we cannot expunge the filthy witness.

    Lots of fairly smart people bought into dispensationalism with its inherent Jewish nationalism. I would tell them that Jewish nationalism was no better than German nationalism. They thought me a heretic.

    If you “curse” Abraham’s seed – translated as the present Jewish state – you are cursed.

    Nationalism is inherent to every nation and anathema to Jesus followers.

    I really think we agree on this.

    We don’t agree on the issues of how the American experiment can thrive – nor should we try.

  51. Dread says:

    Duane I doubt you could have written that 1:06 post when in CC

  52. Duane Arnold says:

    I’ve always been a dissenter… even back in the day.

  53. Dread says:

    Glad to see it. CC eschatology always kept me away.

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