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34 Responses

  1. London says:

    Some good links this time. Thanks

  2. It’s not just a little ironic that Mars Hill published the article on christian consumerism in light of Wenatchee’s article on spending at Mars Hill. Seems like somebody at MH is trying to emulate somebody at Harvest Chapel in Chicago Land.

  3. How important is the doctrine of the church? Jesus thought it important enough to say, “Upon this Rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

  4. Of the 10 books listed that people most often lie about having read, I’ve only read Great Expectations and Catcher in the Rye. I either have a lot of catching up or lot of lying to do.

  5. “Church members do not want to get too close to a pastor.” Perhaps, but in my experience it has been the other way around.

  6. “Citing studies, Bowler shows that 17 percent of all American Christians openly identify with the movement; that every Sunday, over a million people attend Prosperity-oriented megachurchesโ€”43 percent of which boast multiethnic or multicultural congregations; and that two-thirds of all Christian believers are convinced that God, ultimately, wants them to prosper. In effect, she argues that if a substantial number of people identify with the Prosperity Gospel and accept its common teachings, then it must be closer to the mainstream than one might imagine.”

    In many ways, the American Dream has blinded people to the true Gospel.

  7. Response to the presence of God. Good timing for this link. I’ve been preparing a study on worship, and one of the concepts I want to pursue is weeping as worship. These two ideas come up at the top of Warnock’s list.

  8. “What to Expect from Today’s Apple Event” – meh,

  9. “Now in my late 20โ€™s I get to mend the damage I did in my early 20โ€™s because I thought I was right. I may or may not have been right, but It was not loving and that is where the hypocrisy took place.”

    Lord, have mercy, for I am a slow learner. I’m in my 50’s, and God is still scraping some edges off. Probably always will.

  10. Rob Murphy says:

    @#5, Captain Kevin – I’m old enough to remember ‘Cliff’s Notes’ . . . can we get some partial credit for reading those? I feel bad about lying, so I’d rather get partial credit with an asterisk. Wikipedia = Today’s Cliff’s Notes version of Cliff’s Notes, truncated.
    (My Imagined answer: “I award you no points, and my God have mercy on your soul.”)

  11. On the top ten books people have lied about reading, these are the ones I have actually read.
    1984 (depressing), The Catcher in the Rye (depressing), and Lord of the Rings.
    Sometimes, I wish I hadn’t read the first two.
    I have been a reader most of my life, but most of those books have never just tickled my fancy.
    I have seen movie versions of most of the rest, but I don’t think that counts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. “In many ways, the American Dream has blinded people to the true Gospel.”

    Like I said on another thread, money is truly the root of many kind of evils and American Christianity has roots growing all through it.
    Prosperity teaching is just the most evident.
    Most Christians are compromised, to some extent or another by the American Dream.
    This Christian includes himself in that assessment.

  13. Rob, Cliff’s Notes and Wikipedia definitely count, especially when you need a sermon illustration. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Derek, agreed. I should’ve said, “…has blinded me/us to the true Gospel.”

    p.s. Movies? Of course they count.

  15. Jim says:

    The prosperity “gospel” is “christian” witchcraft. It is the antithesis of the Biblical work ethic and the American Dream. Ask an immigrant about the American Dream, because many of us who have been here a while have no idea what it is.

  16. Must admit, the only reason I have seen some of the movie versions is because my wife likes them.
    Except, To Kill a Mockingbird, that is classic stuff!

    I agree, in a way on the “christian witchcraft” idea, except that it just stems from American attitudes about money and prosperity.

    Money has invaded the church on a scary level though. We are obsessed with it.
    Just look at how many threads here when they get to churches and pastors eventually turn towards money.
    This isn’t just here, this is how we are trained to think as Americans.
    Who has the money?
    What are they spending it on?
    Why did they spend it on this?
    Why not spend it on that?
    This guy must be stealing our money.
    Those people don’t deserve that money.

    We all think we are the better judge of money than our brother.

    Now granted, we can see obvious abuse of this gift God has given us, but a lot of times it is just plain old fussing, because we think that if God had given us control of the money everything would have worked out better.

    The culture has invaded the Church and spreads the need or envy for power and money far and wide.

    Rant over.

  17. “Money has invaded the church on a scary level though. ”

    Tell me how – my church could use an invasion of this money.

  18. Point taken, MLD. Not the whole church, but christian culture as a whole spends a lot of time obsessing over money.

  19. Steve Wright says:

    I think almost every week I tell the church that God never promised they would be wealthy and healthy – and in fact in this fallen world they will have many trials.

    I wonder if I sound like a broken record to the regulars there week after week, but because it is so insidious in Christian culture, it needs to be addressed often in my opinion. Plus we have a lot of guests each week and this may be my only shot. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Steve, you tell your church this every week because you’re not just a preacher, but a pastor.

  21. filbertz says:

    ten books people lie about reading…fun little list. I’ve only read half of them and don’t intend to read four of the remaining. War and Peace is still on my ‘oughta’ list. TKAM is the best on the list and should be on anyone’s must-read list.

    BMiller’s blog got a Michael-Mention! That’s cool. She’s a good ‘kid.’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. Michael says:


    I don’t know who she is, but someone needs to encourage her to write more often.
    She’s good.

  23. filbertz says:

    you know who her mama is.

  24. Michael says:


    Just figured it out…wow.

  25. filbertz says:

    I’m proud of them both. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. Michael says:

    Me too… ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    I’ve read six:
    Lord of the Rings (honestly my least favorite of those listed that I’ve read)
    Great Expectations
    To Kill a Mockingbird (a fine little book)
    Pride & Prejudice (guys can have an irrational prejudice against this wonderful book)
    Crime & Punishment (my favorite of those I’ve read on the list, though I like The Brothers Karamazov better and The Idiot almost as much).

    Apparently Moby Dick is just one of those books nobody wants to read except masochists who insist on reading the unabridged version, get to “The Whiteness of the Whale”, wonder why they’re bothering, and either soldier on to the glorious end or cast the book aside in resentment. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. brian says:

    I knew it, said it before I knew it. We can spot each other the rage is there no matter how intelligent and how many degrees we have the rage is there. He was deeply hurt and it stuck, of course he does not say that, but I knew it.

    Trigger warning abuse issues

  29. brian says:

    An aside and on my soul I mean this, I have been in these situations more then I care to remember, but I remember because its the least I could do being granted such a grace to be with people in such situations. In my personal online and off line evangelical experiences one underlining theme that came about with situations like this, when I described them tried to raise awareness, or shared was rage and I mean rage. The “I want attention”, “I am questioning God’s wisdom”, “I want attention / sympathy / other sinful desires” etc. I mean pastor Smith will have family and friends and many prayers, many I knew had only a few prayers.

    This dog shows me more about God and Christ but I can tell you if I tried to share this I would get the new age tag, emotionalism, manipulative accusations I often got as a Christian. Even when I would not say anything it was seen as me manipulating situations.

    I wept, then repented of my emotionalism with a good old fashioned Paul Washer approved I am scum I deserve hell and God hates me recital that would have brought the house down. Funny after my rather childish ranting I still just remember the Grace I saw in the faces of those people and the gift of some old dog.

    Strange how God works and how crazy I am.

  30. Jtk says:

    W the Hatchet,

    What motivates you to write about Mars Hill so often? I’m curious.

  31. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    jtk, how long an answer would you like? ๐Ÿ™‚ It may take me a few days to write anything with the schedule I’ve been having lately. Super short version, I attended there from late 1998 to late 2008 and have so much history with MH I figured the blog could be a venue for some church history, the kind of church history that isn’t necessarily going to be on annual reports. There are a lot of wonderful people at MH even if I starkly disagree with executive leadership decisions. I became so angry at the pro and con coverage and blogging in the last few years I felt a hard-to-describe obligation to try to stake out a different way of discussing MH that could benefit from a decade inside the church and having some genuine appreciation of and respect for what many people over there have wanted to do.

    THAT is the super short version.

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