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31 Responses

  1. covered says:

    Wow, I like this. It’s an awesome tool for youth and new believer’s. I’m looking forward to seeing more from these guys. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Rick in Texas says:

    Nails it.

  3. Jean says:

    A Weekend Meditation

    “Hear, O Israel: you are to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the sons of Anak?’ Know therefore today that he who goes over before you as a consuming fire is the LORD your God. He will destroy them and subdue them before you…. Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.” (Deut 9:1-3b, 6)

    In his last sermon to OT Israel, Moses, the faithful servant in all God’s house, prepared Israel to cross the Jordan River and enter their promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey. There were powerful enemies in the land, which had to be subdued and driven out, before the people could rest. Therefore, God promised to go over before Israel and destroy their enemies before them, not because of the faithfulness or righteousness of Israel, but because of the faithfulness of God to his covenant with their father Abraham.

    If Moses was a faithful servant in all God’s house, Jesus is the faithful servant over God’s house, leading NT Israel, the Church, in a final exodus into God’s eternal rest. This final exodus begins where the first exodus ended: at the Jordan River. It is at the Jordan where Jesus was baptized by John. Now whenever and wherever anyone is baptized into Christ, the Father delights from heaven: “You are my beloved child; with you I am well pleased.”

    What about enemies on the other side? What foes do we encounter when we cross over in the waters of our baptism? Sin; death; Satan? Are these not terrifying enemies? Luther wrote of Satan: “His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.”

    Yet, these enemies should not terrify us, unless we think the battle is ours. That’s because Jesus went ahead of us and defeated these enemies on the cross on our behalf. “For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” What more can sin or Satan do to someone already dead? It’s too late! “[I]f the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

    We are free! The war is won. Thus, Luther wrote: “Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.”

  4. Jean says:

    Here’s another major conference which will kill faith and make the sponsors a lot of money in one fell swoop.

    For $56.00 per person, early registration, this one day conference will prepare men to become “full throttle” men.

    Brought to us by evangelicals.

  5. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    This is the sin of evangelicalism – they let the para church run the show and flush pastoral ministry down the camode.
    These guys will get the information as Jean says to be “full throttle men” and no pastoral care to filter it through. I would look down the road 10 yrs and guess these guys will be divorced or unbelievers.

    However, for 56 bucks it’s not a financial rip off,

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    After thinking about this, anyone going to this Christian man’s conference should need a Notre from their wife to become a Christian full throttle man.

  7. Steve Wright says:

    Yeah, the Samson Syndrome sounded much more interesting. Too bad it was last weekend. And based on the book by the same name too! 🙂

    Maybe next year….

  8. Steve Wright says:

    Oops last year apparently. Missed that. Still time to sign up for that singles one though in April…

  9. Jean says:

    You confirmed MLD’s concern from yesterday regarding Rick Warren. These evangelical programs are deceiving Christians to turn away from Christ to work on themselves. Yes, Lutherans are sometimes seduced too.

  10. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, you do know that the loudest critics of Rick Warren are usually CC pastors? Much to the criticism of many on this blog community…..

  11. Em says:

    watched the video … took me back to a series of 8″ sq. glossy picture books that we used to buy the children long, long ago… looks to be worthwhile

  12. Jean says:

    Steve, when CC pastors criticize Warren, is it for the same reason that a Lutheran would? I really don’t know, but I’ve seen on some “discernment” websites (not CC) where Warren is criticized simply because he participated in an event with the Pope. So, it would be helpful to understand what CC might find objectionable about Warren.

  13. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, such CC pastors are a mixed bag. I would guess more would be for the reasons MLD cited (the seeker-friendly, purpose driven stuff) but there are plenty that would throw in the Catholics too…..In any event, I won’t try to talk for them.

    He has lots of critics. Remember the Piper stuff a few years ago?? He had to prove to Piper’s followers that he had read enough Jonathan Edwards to pass muster… 🙂

  14. Michael says:

    The most volatile critics of Warren come because he is “ecumenical” and interested in social justice.

    I do not like much of Warrens theology…however… he and his wife are among the most decent and caring people you’ll deal with, especially at that level of success.

  15. Jean says:

    I agree Michael.

  16. Steve Wright says:

    I agree too. I have no beef with him. He is a brother in Christ and I know many, many people who attend that church. He also has gone through heartbreak that not all have to walk.

    And I am sure there is more than a little jealousy involved…at least there was in the 90s in So Cal.

  17. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ve criticized the guy for at least ten years. All the “evangelical” stuff you guys harp on came straight from Rick Warren. Has he done good in his life? Oh sure. But SBC pastors by the hundreds have followed his methods, simply because he was “successful”. Most of those guys didn’t have the charisma Warren has, and most of them weren’t driven like he must have been. So what you ended up wasn’t 1,000 Saddlebacks, but maybe 10 Saddlebacks, 500 failed churches, and 490 very low-rate entertainment venues.

    And yes, I’ve been flamed on this blog for sharing those thoughts.

  18. Michael says:

    I wouldn’t copy Rick’s theology or methodology.

    It’s open to criticism.


    I’ve never known anyone of his stature who will spontaneously reach out to people he doesn’t know and can’t profit him…when they were in need of encouragement and prayer.

    There are a lot of us who received notes or calls from Rick or Kay out of the blue.

    I have received notes from other well known pastors, but they weren’t to bless me… 🙂

  19. Steve Wright says:

    I was at seminary, Josh, when the pastor of the home church of the seminary decided to do 40 days of purpose as a church study on Sundays. A lot of the professors who were also involved with the church were not at all happy, as were some of the students who worshipped there.

  20. Jean says:

    That’s a very perceptive observation Josh. When liturgical churches think that by starting a contemporary worship service they will keep or grow the young people, I always say: you’re not going to do it as well as the local mega-church, so it will fail.

  21. Josh the Baptist says:

    Yeah, I don’t hate the guy, I just think his way of doing church is 100% upside down.

  22. As I have said on many occasions Rick Warren is a decent guy and as I said I would go to dinner with him in a heart beat. But … if any of you watched the video I posted the other day he is more works oriented than the Pope – which is probably why they get along.

    You cannot have a guy preach entire sermons, week after week. sermon series after sermon series about the Christian – and not preach the Christ.

    He may be a good Christian – but I think he does damage in the pulpit. Most people won’t admit to that as they think it is great to get a message each week how to climb higher, faster and more efficiently up that spiritual ladder.

    This is not a taste thing. Most evangelicals will hear a Rick Warren type sermon tomorrow. Folks, report back tomorrow if you hear a message that was totally about Jesus, that he was the sole actor in the sermon and he was the one who moved the verbs – in other words he provided the action.

    Or if you heard a sermon about you and what would make you, even challenge you to be a better Christian – a better representative of Jesus. Listen closely – it’s not enough that the pastor just mentions Jesus if it is not about him and what he has done for us.

  23. covered says:

    I remember many years back having lunch with a CC pastor who shared that Rick told his staff if they wanted teaching from the Bible only, then they should consider going to a CC. For some reason, it made me look at Warren differently and respect him more. I’m not saying that CC is the only Bible teaching church but it occurred to me that Warren doesn’t struggle with CC the way CC struggles with him.

  24. Em says:

    #23-the KKK is a disgrace to the nation – but being the cynic that i am, i’m sure that we’ll see all kinds of things like this during this election year and much of it will be attempts to discredit a candidate… no candidate in his right mind wants the KKK’s support… it is time to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves – it will be an interesting election year … and afterwards

    FWIW – very early on (1960s) i was warned – by a Pentecostal that i had great respect for – to stay clear of Calvary Chapel… as i had family members who were saved and loved the Lord thru Chuck Smith’s efforts, i was always curious… but too busy to focus on the organization… i’m coming away from these recent posts finally feeling the disgust and anger that has fueled the efforts here over the years… to the good guys who labor and are patient here trying to explain that “we’re not all like that,” today, i’d say tear down that pigeon and change your name to Calvary Grace … or something

    just sayin’

    God keep

  25. Cookie says:

    Jean- what is your problem with the Men’s conference? Have you ever been to one of these mens’ conferences? I read the agenda and it looks to have several seminars based on scripture. I for one would encourage my husband to attend this conference.

    I am very dismayed at the constant bashing of Christianity on this blog. I was diected here originally as a place to encounter diverse Christian viewpoints- but it seems there is a monolithic tone to whats acceptable and what is not.

  26. Jean says:

    Hi Cookie,

    I attended two sessions of the predecessor conference to Iron Sharpens Iron. One thing one notices about these conferences is that there usually is something more. The pattern seems to be at it starts with a conference; then there are books and study guides to be purchased; then there’s an advance or follow on conference; and another book. It’s quite a commercial enterprise. You might call it spiritual entrepreneurship.

    But as to your question “what is your problem with Men’s conference?”, I have two problems with them:

    (1) At a time when Bible literacy is very low and I would argue in decline, these conference materials, which involve stimulating written materials and videos, make the Bible seem boring, ancient and secondary by comparison. You simply cannot proof text pop psychology principles using isolated Bible verses and call the program biblical.

    For those Christian traditions, like Lutheranism, which confess that the Bible is the Word of God, we believe that the Word of God itself is active and effective to give what it promises. The Word of God is threefold: Jesus; the Bible; and proclamation. What does the Word promise? Forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and eternal life in Christ. Not weight loss on the Daniel Diet.

    So, I’m all for conferences, and I am scheduled to attend one in June. However, the type of conference I believe is salutary is one that focuses on some combination of God’s threefold Word.

    (2) My other concern is that “our help is in the Lord”. I don’t like conferences, especially those sponsored by Churches and claiming to be “biblical” or “authentically Christian” which are not focused on Jesus Christ. In Christ, we receive his gifts. The conferences I’ve criticized are those that put the Christian to work; Jesus is pushed into the background or out of the picture altogether at such conferences.

    If a man wants to grow in Christ, to mature as a Christian, then Jesus taught that we are to abide in him. “As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.”

  27. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Cookie – first off criticism of a men’s conference is not the same as bashing Christianity

    I only attend men’s conferences that use the Jesus example and follow the agenda he used at the men’s conferences he conducted. All the others are failed efforts.

    I did go to a CC one about 15 yrs ago – if anyone thinks that a Christian man should emulate that CC pastor from Maine – I forget his name – well Lord have mercy.

    Cookie – so how often have you sent your man off for man training?

  28. Em says:

    #26-have to think on that, “bashing Christianity” … modeling the business operation of a church after the corporate structure that has seen such worldly success has in recent years seemed prone to placing the whole Body of Christ into a business enterprise … human nature’s desire for prosperity as an affirmation of our efforts? maybe … thinking, thinking ….
    the question is how DO souls prosper?

  29. Bob Sweat says:

    Ken Graves

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Bob Sweat – shudder!! 😉

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