Linkathon 6/16

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  1. james t kirk says:

    Shameless self-promoting FIRST

  2. james t kirk says:

    From Tony Jones:

    “conservative evangelicals continue to decry that the unChristian masses consider followers of Jesus to be homophobic, misogynistic assholes.”

    Wow…that woke me up this morning.

    I have a place for the TNIV: I listen to the AMAZING Bible experience, especially on road trips or working in the garage—it beats the strife of talk radio, keeps me from the regrets associated with listening to worldly music on the radio, and keeps me from that effeminate feeling *I* (and maybe only me) get listening to K-LOVE.

    I’ve listened to the NT at least 2x, and much of the OT.

    Listening to basically a grade school version is refreshing, and occasionally some “fresh” or unusual translation in it makes me say “What?!?!”, rewind it, listen again, then get out a REAL version like the NASB. Heh heh
    It’s an exercise in being a noble Berean.

    But it has its place and I appreciate it.

  3. Buster says:

    Wow, that was hard to read. But honest.

  4. Sarah says:

    Why, MB? I found it, as Michael Patton said in the comments, actually refreshing. The fact is that sometimes life really is just hard.

    I think that Denise was able to say that there was hope that was not fulfilled, and yet there was another hope that surprised her. She says in the end of the article that the awareness that this is not what we were meant for sustains her.

    When things continue to become more difficult with my mother (we’re under no illusion that this will get better) I’d like to have a Denise around.

  5. Michael says:

    “What most irks me about this chain of events is that conservative evangelicals continue to decry that the unChristian masses consider followers of Jesus to be homophobic, misogynistic assholes. And yet, I strongly doubt that anyone at Catalyst next year will publicly lobby from the mainstage for the new NIV to be gender-inclusive. Does no one else notice this contradiction?”

    Give me a break.

    Tony Jones thinks conservative evangelicals fit his off color description and he’s projecting that onto the “unChristian masses”.

    He’s a typical liberal theologian without a single unique or original thought to his credit and without any legacy that will be remembered two years after he’s gone.

  6. Michael says:

    Denise Spencers article is both courageous and terrifying.

    I don’t think I can handle it today.

  7. Sarah says:

    I should say that I am not minimizing the shock of Denise’s article. It is brutal. I just appreciated the honesty today.

  8. Michael says:


    I’m reading Rob Moll’s “The Art of Dying” to review as well…there’s nothing more difficult or more primal than dealing with our own mortality.

    I’m finding it to be daunting…but it was an excellent, honest article.

  9. Nomans says:

    Tim Challies
    Many supporters of The Shack have suggested that it is only Calvinists who dislike the book. I was glad to see that the lone endorsement for Burning Down The Shack is Paige Patterson (certainly no Calvinist) who writes, “[De Young’s] evaluation of the theology and deceit involved in The Shack is on target and critical for today’s world.” Calvinist or not, lover or hater, if you read this book you will benefit from it, I think.

    Michael, you are so good at alluding stereotypes 🙂

    If Young holds to “Universal Reconciliation”( I say “if” because I think I remember him refuting that fact), does that negate the intimacy with God that I saw “The Shack” promote in so many who read it?

  10. Buster says:

    Some very glowing reviews of the Manifesto on Viola’s site…

  11. Michael says:


    Thank you for the opening and the question.

    The answer is a resounding “NO”.

    “The Shack” is the discernment ministries nightmare.

    The reason it sold like hotcakes is because of that intimacy you perceived and because it helped wounded people relate to the Father in a biblical manner.

    It hasn’t spawned a movement of people who embrace universalism and reject the substitutionary atonement.

    It hasn’t affected anyones theology that I know of, but it has helped heal relationships.

    Why the hell we need another book ripping it is beyond me, but some of my Reformed brethren still want a pound of flesh.

  12. Michael says:

    In the online church world you have to be for or against everything and everybody…God forbid we just have a conversation about things like “The Shack” and move on.

  13. Nomans says:

    You said “conversation”
    You know what that means :mrgreen:

  14. Buster says:

    This was interesting:

    “That’s why a lot of other churches have a rocking worship team, state-of-the-art sound systems, big stages, HD videos, clever advertising and attention-getting sermon series. We’re convinced that if we’re just cool enough, people will show up and we’ll be able to give them Jesus.”

  15. Michael says:


    Yep…it means at times I’m actually rational. 🙂

    Oh, and the only “emergent” five point Calvinist online…

    I’m “sinfully ecumenical” too.

  16. Daniel Fusco says:

    Thanks for the link and for joining us in prayer.
    We need it!

    GOd bless you all

  17. Em says:

    Denise Day Spencer YES! what a beautiful woman of God He gifted Michael Spencer with.
    What a beautiful gift of faith God has given her. Life is beautiful, this world system hates life. This world is not our home, but these two people and those like them are planting the flag for us all to follow home. My soul was shouting hallelujah as i read the ending of her piece …

  18. Sarah says:

    Michael….I’m reading old articles from Wangerin as I wait for his book on cancer to arrive.

  19. Michael says:


    Review it for us when you’re done…he’s one of our great story tellers…we have few of them left.

  20. Sarah says:

    I’m taking it with me to NM / CO, along with his book on marriage. I’ll probably pull out the book of the Dunn Cow as well 😉 Have you ever read his letter to Obama?

  21. Michael says:


    Nope…is it online?

  22. Sarah says:

    Here’s the letter to the President:

    AND…..I thought of you when I read this:

    “No one is fully defined by a single opinion. No one should be reduced to a single opinion. At least no one should be dealt with as though she or he were one big eye with one single vision.
    Note, too: if this is how we reduce others, we do at the same time reduce ourselves to one big foot of a kicking reaction—or this is how we present ourselves to the church and the world. No brain. No complexity. No heart, except for a one elemental passion. And surely not the indivisible purity of Jesus, head of the whole body.
    If we confess we do not know, and if we are not ashamed to admit it so, we will learn to listen. Our dialogues need not be slaughters, amputations that can lay a body flat. For every part will perish them.
    On the other hand, what healing we live and reveal when parties can struggle in a Push-me Pull-you dialectic! Where diversities—not sunderings—are two parts of the single body. In which each body part acknowledges the wholeness of the other, so that opinions, not people, move from thesis and antithesis to a living synthesis.
    And so I have seen it possible in the drama of our church-wide debates. How good my sisters, how pleasant, my brothers, to live together in unity.”

  23. Michael says:


    That’s a word of wisdom…the supernatural kind … for me today.

  24. Jim Jacobson says:

    The iPad fail was funny. I did my first iPad wedding last month, it was cool. The groom was an Apple employee, so it was at his request. It’s a good tool, but should not be the focus of a wedding.

  25. jlo says:

    The article by Scot McKnight on atheism was interesting.

    MLD in your experience do you find it factual, that the percentage has basically stayed the same? Or are atheist just better educated to refute the Christian view?

    The first person that Christ used me to lead someone to Him was an atheist. Her name is Anya; it was while I was on a mission’s trip in Germany, towards the end of our discussion, she turned to me with tears in her eyes and said: “my parents told me we came from monkeys, I knew there had to be more.”

  26. Em says:

    came back here to say that i was going elsewhere for awhile (some of the dear souls here get concerned about us – God keep them close)

    it has nothing to do with topic A of yesterday, but if i stay i will be polite and dishonest, but prayer is more important than pontifications and, of course, when i did there was Michael’s post… will be praying for all

  27. Dusty says:

    “Lynching”. ” eager to watch the body dangle, with it’s hands tied behind His back.” “This was vigilante justice” “murdered” ” cinched the noose around his neck. ”

    WAY over exaggerated 🙄 and mocks the death of those who have been literally lynched.

  28. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The numbers of atheists remains constant – it is probably at 1- 2%, perhaps a little higher in the UKand America. You need to remember, that everyone who claims to be a non believer is not neccessarily an atheist. Most are agnostics and many of those are just to lazy to give it serious thought. Many others are really just unaffiliated with religion and are wandering around.

    Atheist, due to the internet are getting more vocal and many ‘closet’ atheists have come out. The books by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris have helped atheists in forming their opinions and expressing them. However, they are not more educated. Most of the information that the atheists argue is incorrect, that they are getting off atheist web sites. The same wrong information just keeps getting passed around (cut and paste is a curse in intellectual discourse.)

    There are some tough issues in the scriptures that Christians have never been confronted with before, but get a daily dose in these modern times.

    Like the one I brought up at E Fest – “why does God condone rape in the OT?” Deut 22:28-29 There is a toughie!

  29. Another Voice says:

    I use Moulton & Milligan’s often and it is keyed to Strongs numbering. All you pastors should have this resource. Now its free??!!

    I think it was rather expensive when I bought my copy.

  30. Dusty says:

    I’m with you EM….going to have to leave….I’m too burring mad to be nice today…hmmmm maybe I should stay and kick some butt….na….my time will be better spent taking my anger out on some weeds….

    EM ((((((hugs))))))

  31. Dusty says:

    Michael, you are an honorable man….who gives far better than you get. Praying for you big brother.

  32. Another Voice says:

    MLD, I have to rest in God choosing the best of several otherwise bad alternatives (from our perspectives).

    I can give you some benefits of this law, but you likely have heard them already.

    Ultimately though, the law is holy, just and good. So this was the absolute best way to:

    A) Limit the number of these crimes
    B) Provide the best remedy when such a crime did occur.

    I filter all the law through those two parameters.

  33. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    AV, that explanation works between Christians – try explaining that to an atheist. The question usually begins with “if your God is all holy, all good and all powerful, why does he…?”

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    AV, if the woman wa engaged, the rapist gets the death penalty. Why not in this case?

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    If the law applied today, and i couldn’t get a woman to give me the time of day (which may be the case at my age), I would just look around and find some French runway model (I am showing here how much of a man pig I am) and if I could rape her, voila! I have a trpphy wife. 🙂

  36. Another Voice says:

    My guess would be that such a violated woman would not then ever get married, and thus how would she be supported.

    Likewise, if she was impregnated due to the rape, who takes care of the child as well.

    Note, the divorce option was not allowed in such a case – so any man who would dare do such a thing is basically committing himself to marrying her for the rest of his life. Hopefully, that would make most men think twice.

    The death penalty shows that God certainly doesn’t “condone” rape – and sees it for the horrendous act it is.

  37. Dusty says:

    MLD!!!!! you joke about rape????!!!! NOT Funny 🙁

  38. Nomansapologist says:

    I am about to speak only on behalf of myself. Not of behalf of Michael or as an administrator of this blog.

    Michael shared the story with me the night before he posted it, and I encouraged him to share it on the blog.

    Esther went to her parents, along with her husband, seeking restoration and was denied it.
    A chance of seeking healing together with her offender was withheld, and at that point it became her story to tell.

    Praise God that she is filled with enough grace to direct her pain toward the benefit of DROVES of others who have suffered in the same manner that she has rather than allowing a root of bitterness to guide her soul into distress or destructive behavior.

    For God’s sake, when will we be permitted to fight for the healing of the oppressed rather than defending our shared fallen nature?

    Forgive me for being so raw. I pray that my heart is heard here and where my words are imperfect, grace will be allowed.

    I will be stepping away for a while, but will be in prayer for you all throughout the day.

    Mark 3:1-5
    Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand.
    And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him.
    And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.”
    And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.

  39. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    AV, again, that works between 2 Christians.
    Look, if the engaged woman were raped, there is a good chance that she wouldn’t get married either – but the rapist is put to death.

    I am just pointing out that there a 100 questions like this that the atheists ask on a regular basis – like wiping out a whole town, men women and children AND all of the animals. Unraveling OT ethics is a real issue.

  40. Another Voice says:

    If she’s engaged, she has a dowry for support and it will require an official divorcement bill, which, according to the conservative view on divorce endorsed by Jesus, would not be granted in such a case.

    Different issues at play…

    I don’t waste time with OT ethics with an atheist – rather I try to turn their questions around to convict them. I often ask, what would YOU do, and usually you show the flaws in their arguments at that point. Some people just want to argue too.

  41. Babylon's Dread says:

    Well… Burning Down the Shack is sure to sell more of the Shack.

  42. DriveBy 8-) says:

    Has anyone here read Mere Churchianity yet, perchance?

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well, you know, I think that they need to be addressed. How about Judges 21:11, where the people are ordered to kill all the men and women EXCEPT the virgins (I haven’t quite figured out how they tell the difference during the heat of battle.

    Anyway, when they throw these up, most Christians are rocked right back onto their heels and have never considered the question. Their answer usually comes out “well my God is all good and he must have a reason.”

    I will tell you, even though I debate these issues with atheists daily, I have not come up with a satisfactory reply.

  44. BrianD says:

    Am reading it now, DriveBy. I could post a review late this week…

  45. Dusty says:

    AMEN Nomans….

    For God’s sake, when will we be permitted to fight for the healing of the oppressed rather than defending our shared fallen nature?

  46. DriveBy 8-) says:


    That would be cool. I liked the review and enjoyed the iMonk links you have tied to through the years. Yet another good fount of info in this Linkathon, you have my thanks.

  47. Babylon's Dread says:

    Just read the iMonk’s widow’s reflections… for which I am grateful…

    One thing I always remind people at a funeral … the Bible refers to death as THE LAST ENEMY… death is not our friend …we were not, as she reminds us ‘created to die.’ Death is our enemy and God’s enemy … and he has promised to destroy this enemy.

    Someone remind me please when I make that journey…or just remind yourselves. I am glad she told us of this horror. God has damned death and we should embrace that reality.

  48. Another Voice says:

    MLD – I will take all the time needed to explain to the best of my ability to Christians, because we share the Spirit, the mind of Christ – and there is actually hope for communication with God’s mind as to why He did something.

    The atheist is accusing God of injustice, and so I do not feel obligated to defend God’s justice by nitpicking the Law.

    I usually say something like “Is it fair for God to grant people heaven just because of what Jesus did” – I don’t want God to be fair to me…

    Again, I do the apologetics – I don’t ignore what seem like sincere stumblingblocks to somebody taking more of an interest in the things of the Lord and the authority of the Bible. But one can tell rather quick if somebody is just looking for a fight.

  49. BrianD says:

    DriveBy, thanks. I am happy you’ve gotten much from those links.

  50. Believe says:

    MLD…I’ve found the best approach when talking with an atheist is to challenge what they put their faith in…which is usually science and some form of philosophy.

    Beginning with our Faith and the Bible is a non-sequitur. You’ve lost the discussion before you’ve even begun.

    Once I find out what it is they believe in…you can show them the holes in their belief system…which opens the door for consideration of other thoughts.

    Often, the atheist assumes their position is “solid” and provable. Yet, when it comes to origins and philosophy…it can be shown that they require as much or more faith than we do.

    Just a thought to consider.

  51. Babylon's Dread says:

    iMonk’s book just arrived at my door… Mere Churchianity

  52. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Believe, I argue the absurdity of a world with no God. I do not quote scripture to them since the Bible says that they are blind to the word of God.

    However, the go right to what they think that they know about the God of Abraham when they ask these questions. Their biggest point right now is that “even if you were to prove to me that there is a God and if he appeared before me, I would not worship him because according to the OT he is an immoral God not worthy of worship.

    I usually end up by telling them that if God did indeed appear to them, they would worship him – with soiled pants. 🙂

  53. Believe says:


    “I usually end up by telling them that if God did indeed appear to them, they would worship him – with soiled pants. 🙂 ”

    LOL 🙂 “Every knee shall bow…”

  54. BrianD says:

    Lol Buster….your pics have been missed.

  55. Babylon's Dread says:

    I did not really follow the George Bryson story… the way I figure it, if your kids are publicly writing books which expose you …well… that is enough punishment. Anyway, I just stayed out of it because it was more work than I could do to figure it out with the time I had.

    HOWEVER, this whole mess is why we TRUST, LIKE and FOLLOW with interest Michael Newnham and the PP blog… no one we know online is as willing to dialogue, as willing to humble himself when wrong and as willing to consider all sides of a matter…plus of course, we all love the fireworks…. THANK you MICHAEL.

    We love you for all of this and more… George Bryson is a fighter and he will be fine. When you put yourself in the public discourse you have to man up and take the conflict that goes with it.

    I say forget the days off this time… you said you were sorry, you closed the discussions and you let the last word be reconciliation.

    So take a day off, a regular Sabbath rest and then get your prickly pen back in the inkwell and onto the ihighway and mix it up with the gang.

    You got no penance to do … lob a few Our Fathers if it makes you feel better, mutter a couple of Hail Marys under your breath and do not forget to pray a couple of imprecatory prayers over the ODMers… then get yourself back over here and man your post.

    This ain’t the Alamo…you will be fine.

  56. London says:

    “this ain’t the Alamo….”


    Laughing so hard I’m crying now…

    Sympathy not one of your greater gifts huh BD?? hahahahaha

  57. Another Voice says:

    You should have said “this ain’t Masada”

    would have been more spiritual 😉

  58. Na'amah says:


    it takes much MORE faith to be an atheist professed to be…okay indifferent uh, until i began premed chem courses in high school… lol things go from complex to simple not simple to complex and then there are just the amino acids

    i’m shrugging my shoulders i am still friends w a few of my fellows i was going to be one of the ‘ruling class’ w (BF Skinner) hmmm…a few of them sort of are lolol and they still have me reminding them how many horsefeathers they carry around!

  59. Please Note says:

    I echo Dread’s #59 a thousand-fold!

    Well-said Dreadly.

    Michael, praying for you as you seek Him in all of this, but I agree with BD that your public self-rebuke is penance enough (if any was necessary).

    He’s right; put your pen back in the inkwell, as many are loading their quivers in the dark 8)

    You have blessed many, and I am proud to count you as friend and brother.

  60. brian says:

    Reading the article about hard times, or troubled deaths. I think one of the most troubling experiences I have had, especially when I first became a Christian is how this area of life made people really angry. I worked on a unit for years with people whose deaths were awful and very long sometimes decades they suffered. I really struggled with this, I should not have but I did. The basic reasoning was this, we are all fallen evil vile horrid sinners, scum, disgusted devils. That was the mild form. I hear this same phyco rhetoric online, though vialed it is quite clear. We all have hell coming from the very second of conception until we die we are lost etc. I have always saw this as one of the main areas I struggle with, the Fall and mankinds depravity. The we all have it coming apologetic is not very comforting for those who suffer. Personally I have never got this point, I really never have.

  61. james tiberius kirk says:

    “why does God condone rape in the OT?” Deut 22:28-29 There is a toughie!
    from our beloved MLDisciple

    The first Strong’s definition for “seized” is “manipulated”….so if a man MANIPULATES the woman into sleeping with him…..something happening EVERY DAY!

    Nothing new under the sun….

    WHERE do you do your debating?

    I LOVE debating and dialoguing with really lost people, and have had quite a go of it on a progressive blog of late…maybe I use it to “test my chops” and raise my “slow to anger” ability…

  62. Na'amah says:

    #65 JTK

    and women ‘manipulating’ men into sleeping w them is something happening EVERY day/night as well… i mean, goodness, i could manage on 30k a month (judgement for current male ‘star’)

    yup….nothing new under the sun

  63. Augustine says:

    Played Pop Warner football with Coach Wooden’s grandson. Even back then in the mid 1970’s it was obvious to us that Coach was a man of faith.

  64. Babylon's Dread says:

    May those who
    Love us, love us.

    And those that
    Don’t love us
    May God turn
    Their hearts;

    And if he doesn’t
    Turn their hearts
    May he turn
    Their ankles.

    So we’ll know them
    By their limping.

    Irish poem/prayer for our enemies

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