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46 Responses

  1. Mike DeLong says:

    I honestly can’t decide if Rachel Held Evans is part of the problem or part of the solution.

  2. Michael says:


    I like her generally because she makes me think.
    This article, however, is interesting because I believe it reflects a general attitude toward clergymen that is growing…and not necessarily truthful of most.

  3. Rob Murphy says:

    The govt listening in on all we do . . . I believe the worst demagoguery is perpetrated by those who claim to have been under the boot who then, when in power, put that same boot on their own foot and start fitting it onto necks.

    We become what we have despised and are perfectly content in our wrong rightness.

    Which is why the article on politicization is important. We look to avenge (sevenfold?) the fights, oversights and perceived slights and do so with compounded interest and impunity.

  4. Dave says:

    The legalism article, I think its convoluded. theres a lot of seperate issues going on there, but the author keeps trying to boil it down to one thing. I’ve read Platts book and never for a minute got the feeling that my suburbian mission field was inadequate. It made me think of ways to give more back to others IN my current field. Lets be honest the majority of american christians need more wakeup calls.

  5. Michael says:


    That was a very good piece…and a prescient warning to us all.

  6. Michael says:


    My impression is that more Christians need to understand the value of the vocations they are in and know that they are important to the Body of Christ wherever the Lord has placed them.

  7. erunner says:

    Thank you for the two articles regarding mental illness. I believe these articles and like minded people who work with those who suffer can make a difference in chipping away at the stigma and outright ignorance that exists in parts of the church that actually work against the hopes and needs of those who live in fear and a state of confusion as to how they will be treated. I hope we are here to see the day when those who suffer emotionally will be embraced by the church as they seek peace and stability in their lives.

  8. Michael says:


    Amen…and every time we run an article it’s a cue for you to plug your blog.
    People need to know you’re there!

  9. Mike DeLong says:

    I’m a Liberty grad (class of 1989) with more connections to the school than I can count. I’m embarrassed and ashamed by every aspect of the Ergun Caner mess. If the leadership at Liberty had drummed him out the way they have dealt with more garden-variety faculty misbehavior in the past he wouldn’t be behaving this way, so I’m inclined to hold them responsible for what he’s doing now.

  10. Michael says:


    I still can’t fathom why they didn’t drop the hammer on him…and why (again) social media has to do the dirty work.

  11. Mike DeLong says:

    — I still can’t fathom why they didn’t drop the hammer on him

    I can only speculate; the current administration is very media-savvy and may have um overthought the decision. It probably didn’t help that the folks doing the pointing-out were a mix of Calvinists and Muslims.

    Also, Jerry Sr hired Caner and died shortly before the mess came to light; Jerry Sr was loyal to a fault, and those three factors may together explain the outcome. But as I said I can only speculate.

  12. CrucifiED says:

    I think Anthony Bradley’s article is right on and perfectly describes everything I’ve been seeing in the church for several years that has turned me away from synergistic denominations and taught me the beauty of reformation churches and their liturgy.

    And if I ever start to forget why I’m going through these Lutheran motions, all I have to do is pay a visit to where I came from and quickly be reminded all over again the joy of reformation theology and liturgy. Also of how thankful I am that some of you here on this forum led me in that direction.

    As Dave explained about himself, not everyone has these particular problems in their denomination or church, but from my perspective it has become a huge problem for both passionate believers and pastors.

    Having been a pastor not too long ago, this article also reminds me of how it felt many times to be a pastor of an unimpressive small church or being at the pastors conferences. It was such a problem for me actually that I could not continue.

    BUT, and thank God, through people such as Michael and others on this board having honest discussions about all our church issues, our Father helped me hang in there until I sorted out my theology and found myself at home again in the church.

    And my comments are never meant to be contentious towards the camps I’ve left. I’m only sharing my perspective…just a perspective…and thankful to those who help me try to gain a proper perspective. I’m sure that will take every day of my life though. : )

  13. Michael says:


    Comments like that are sometimes the reason I do this one more day.
    Thank you!

  14. Xenia says:

    As I have mentioned here before, I am (was) a student with a school for Eastern Orthodox studies, located in San Francisco. Without going into the gory details, this school had a lot of potential but was poorly managed, to put it mildly. After months of being exhorted to “be patient,” I sent in my withdrawal notice. I received a long letter of apology from the school’s director and he voluntarily returned my fees.

    We often complain about pastors here on this blog and never think they are sorry enough for mistreating us so I wanted to give an example of a leader (a priest, in this case) who not only responded with the proper words of apology (he asked my forgiveness) but put his apology into action by giving back my money and telling me that if I was ever in San Fran and want to talk further about this, he’d be more than happy to hear me. Sure, he messed up but he acknowledged it with word and deed.

    I think this is what most people would like to see in their wrangles with clergy: an acknowledgement that there was a wrong done, an apology, an asking for forgiveness and an effort to make amends. I have gained a brother, he has gained a sister, and I am sad the school didn’t work out for me but I can pray this episode improves things for the rest of the student body.

  15. @ 14 – Xenia, i am sorry to hear the school didn’t work out for you. I hope something else comes up for you in the future.

  16. Lutheran says:


    Really, really enjoyed reading your comments.

    I read through the Bradley article. This desire to do/be something “radical”(a waaaaaaaaay overused and meaningless term)/special/relevant/different etc. for the Kingdom isn’t new to me. It’s really the old legalism with a new coat of paint. Fifty years ago, it was dancing/swearing/cards/etc. were taboo.

    Maybe it’s our fallen human nature, but the desire to always have to do more seems to take over.

    It’s funny, when I was growing up it was the liberal mainline churches who kept trying to be relevant and bend to the culture. The fundagelicals took over that title years ago. It’s exhausting.

  17. Lutheran says:

    Money quote:

    “Being a Christian in a shame-driven “missional,” “radical” church does not sound like rest for the weary”

    That’s what happens when church is a workout instead of a hospital.

  18. From Rachel’s list, except for 4,5,and 6, I’ve heard my pastor say all of those in the past month. Many of them multiple times. Most here would call him a closed minded fundamentalist. Sometimes, I think people are looking in the wrong places. If you are hoping to have your musical tastes met, preference in sermon style, type of building, etc…understand there will always be a trade-off. Rachel thinks she’d like to hear those things, but at my church she’d also hear that certain activities are sinful, which she doesn’t want to hear. See, Rachel (like most of us), wants the designer pastor perfectly crafted to suit our needs. May I submit that those pastors don’t exist, and if they did, they’d be terribly bad for your spiritual health.

  19. Lutheran says:

    ‘See, Rachel (like most of us), wants the designer pastor perfectly crafted to suit our needs. May I submit that those pastors don’t exist, and if they did, they’d be terribly bad for your spiritual health.’


    I had a very similar thought to yours. I’ve also heard my pastor say nearly everything on her list. I wonder if the younger crowd doesn’t have much experience or memory with traditional churches. IMHO, they have a lot to offer — especially if you can wean yourself from the addiction to what’s shiny and new.

  20. curious about this says:

    Stating up front that there are mysteries in Scripture that no one understands completely, why is there such pushback when a pastor actually has convictions about the things he believes the Bible teaches? Don’t you want/expect your pastor to study to know these things? Why would you want your pastor to take valuable teaching time presenting alternative views rather than simply teaching what he believes is true? Anyone who wants alternative views can find them in abundance. I think people want conviction and consistenty.

  21. Mike DeLong says:

    — Why would you want your pastor to take valuable teaching time presenting alternative views rather than simply teaching what he believes is true?

    I’d like to know that he’s at least aware of other points of view and understands them. I am amazed how often what I believe is mischaracterized by people who hold other points of view.

    Second, it’s helpful to know what a given pastor considers essential, nonessential, etc. With people who only and always affirm what they believe it isn’t always easy to tell whether they consider people who believe differently to be simply different, heretical, apostate, or what.

  22. Michael says:

    Mike…good answer. 🙂

  23. Agree with Mike, and to clarify: My pastor doesn’t present different views about the deity of Christ, or that type of thing, but does for eschatology. He does say what he believes to be true, but points out the areas that are more difficult to be dogmatic about. He doesn’t present views at all that he doesn’t think have scriptural merit.

  24. Steve Wright says:

    On several occasions, on relatively minor points, I have given the two main views on an interpretation and told the congregation to pick one, flip a coin if they must, we’re going to move on to the next verse. 🙂

  25. London says:

    Ten reasons good Christians go bad

    1. Because they are deluded into thinking theres such a thing as a “good” christian in the first place, so every time they do something human, they think it’s one step closer to being bad.

    The end.

    Much shorter article 🙂

  26. I think London’s article is brilliant!

    Totally disagree with all the pushback for David Platt lately. He’s a good guy. Really good guy. If we were to build a young pastor, he’d be close to what we are looking for. I guess when people get popularity pushback is inevitable. Probably healthy. Might keep him from going down a more legalistic path, if he has those tendencies.

  27. Michael says:

    “I think this is what most people would like to see in their wrangles with clergy: an acknowledgement that there was a wrong done, an apology, an asking for forgiveness and an effort to make amends.”

    Xenia is so often, so profound in few words.
    That nailed it.

  28. Michael says:


    Well done!

  29. Steve Wright says:

    I don’t really have a link, but just stumbled upon a fascinating History Channel show about the accidental discovery of the ancient European city of Varna (wife actually found it and called me in 🙂 )

    I have to chuckle at how these scholars (and truly they are, that is not a crack) are so amazed at the gold, the population, and advances of this ancient city that was destroyed when the water levels rose and the temperatures climbed unexpectedly one year around 4200 BC.

    I wonder if off camera even one of them is open to the idea of the flood of Noah’s day.

  30. London’s article was dead on and concise.

    I think multi-site is a mistake in progess.

    Re: RHE’s article. I don’t think I have heard any one pastor say all these things, but most of my pastors have said much of these things. I think this article is more aimed at celebrity pastors. It seems to me that all the poor guys I had as pastors over my life have been far more real and humble. Smaller churches are the way to go people.

    NSA…. 🙁

    I don’t agree with everything Dr. Bradley says all the time, but his articles always make me think. This one was excellent.

    Everyone agrees with ‘equality’. And that is why the term is used. So that if you disagree, then you are a bigot. Just tired of this…

    The politicization article….dead on. Years ago, I would have been a person like this. Just for the record, if I disagree with you politically on here, don’t sweat it. It is just disagreement on something that ultimately doesn’t matter and I know this.

  31. Jim says:

    What London said. (!)

  32. brian says:

    You know the first time I heard Dr. Caner do his shtick I was sitting at the computer while he was on TV. If I am remembering correctly while listening to his Jr. jihad speech I thought of Mike Warnkee. Someone spoke that Pastor Falwell was loyal to a fault, I think that is a very accurate reason or one of the reasons he stayed at Liberty so long. I dont need to sound sarcastic but I did not have alot of problems with Caner playing then Tarsus testimony card to build up his street cred, even the I debated everyone all over the world in mosques in Arabic. That’s just part of the industry and building a brand. But when he went in front of those Marines, that bothers me deeply. It should bother him.

  33. brian says:

    Michael very useful list thanks for the effort.

  34. brian says:

    I think we may well fine very advanced civilizations much earlier back in our history. Maybe even 10-12 thousand years. I am often amazed by underwater cities, I am not sure if these ruins are still under water or if the show was referring to the late neolithic excavation near the city modern Varna. I think the one you are referring to Steve is this one correct?

  35. Jim says:

    Happy to see a link to the Acton Institute. Some awfully subversive stuff over there…. : )

  36. Nonnie says:

    I think the “New Legalism” article is excellent. I’ve never appreciated people who insist that “their” calling/passion must be “my” calling/passion. The Spirit does what He chooses in each of our lives and He is infinitely wise and able to equip and direct each person’s steps to where and how we are to live out our life of faith in Christ.

  37. Lutheran says:



  38. brian says:

    Way off topic can I ask you kind people for some help. I love my students very much but I am beginning to see the needs of other “at risk” groups in some local districts I live near. I have lots of time for research and love to so basically students who do well in algebra seem to do much better in their future education then other students that do not. So my question, is there any home school curriculum that deals with Algebra I would appreciate it. One reason for asking is I do not think teachers in my area would pursue this avenue do to many factors. Personally I have no dogs in any of these hunts, I just want to see these fine students do better. I have come to respect the people whom home school, and there is data that supports that children that are home schooled do better in math. Also it is obvious that there is intense parent involvement, which is gold for any teacher. Hope that makes sense. Take care.

  39. Crowned1 says:

    Rachel Evans – she’s asking for a monumental change. Admitting potential fallibility is damaging to ‘brand image’.

    NSA spying – I don’t support it from a ‘freedom’ standpoint. If they do so anyways, enjoy learning about what time dinner is and what time we’re meeting with family…that’s about all I use email & phone for. Actually…I’ll set out an extra plate for the NSA, just in case.

    Marriage Equality – It seems to me both sides of the issue are arguing for absolutes. In the olden days of America, we had a vote to decide between absolutes. The vote is not enough for certain groups now.

    What I would like defined (with specifics in writing) is what is currently ‘unequal’ in a state recognized homosexual union. I have a feeling that we’re very close to the only thing being unequal is “God’s acceptance” of gay marriage…of which, no human has the authority to grant them. Above their pay grade I’m afraid.

    Caner is an interesting fellow. He must have friends in the ‘right places’ to still have his career afloat. Even after being caught in lies, many big churches still host him. Now someone is trying to remove the evidence eh? Those lies…so inconvenient for business.

  40. PP Vet says:

    “The Spirit does what He chooses in each of our lives and He is infinitely wise and able to equip and direct each person’s steps to where and how we are to live out our life of faith in Christ.”

    Adding this to my list of “Phoenix Preacher Comments That Should Be Considered for Inclusion in the Canon.”

  41. Muff Potter says:

    RE: brian @ nr. 39,
    My training is in Mathematics. There is no “easy” or “fun” way to learn the discipline. The public schools have squandered billions in search of that chimera. Math can be hard and painful work at times because the mind is asked to stretch in directions it is not accustomed to, there is no way around it. Texts over the years have swung to extremes. Some emphasize theory over actual “how to” methods and yet others go toward the other end of the spectrum. Math instruction needs to be a carefully chosen fulcrum point between the two.

    But this is all academic and doesn’t address your original question. The text I would recommend is: Modern Elementary Algebra for College Students by Groza & Shaw.

    In my opinion, it will not strand your students in a gravity well of theory, nor will it pepper them with a barrage of exercises that have limited usefulness.

  42. Ricky Bobby says:

    Muff, Math is as close to an Absolute as we have…but even Pi is an irrational number and assumptions are made (like a perfect circle) that are “true” in theory but never seen or demonstrated in a physical sense.

  43. Dude says:

    I think RHE is out of reality.

  44. victorious says:

    Re:Caner. Perhaps persistent and pathological liars do not have a new man to put on in place of the old. Colossians 3:9-10

  45. Gary says:

    Regarding Ergun Caner. I, too thought of Mike Warnke and Michael Esses. Was Melodyland related to CC? A liar is not to be believed what ever he says.

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