Open Blogging

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29 Responses

  1. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Open Blogging
    This is what happens when you will not teach the sacraments as efficacious in the believer’s life – but just as obedience rituals Baptism, the Lord’s Supper and Absolution come to us from outside of us, they are all given to us so that we have assurance of our salvation.

    Without them you end up with teachings like this one from Tim Keller where now your assurance must come from within yourself. It’s deadly

    Read the 3 paragraphs and then watch the less than 2 min video.

  2. Xenia says:

    Ah, good. Something MLD and I can agree on. πŸ™‚

    From the link, Keller wants people to do a self-examination to see if they are a fake Christian or not. He asks, as proof of genuineness:

    How real has God been this week to your heart?
    Have you been finding Scripture to be alive and active?
    Are you finding God’s grace more glorious and moving now than you have in the past?

    These are the types of questions that caused me so much personal misery for 30 years.

    How can you answer these questions honestly, anyway? It’s all based on emotion. How am I “feeling” about God this week. Shall we quantify it? On a scale from 1 to 10 how good am I feeling about God? Did I forget him for a few hours while I was watching TV?

    And if I am forgetting God now and then, and not finding lively nuggets of Scripture on a regular basis, and I am not accelerating my sense of God’s glory fast enough…. I am a fake Christian? If so, WHAT MUST I DO TO BECOME A REAL CHRISTIAN?

    See, I thought this guy was a monergist. I didn’t think he’d believe there was anything one could do to become a genuine (non-fake) Christian, that God does it all.

    So Mr. Keller, what must one do?

    What does he mean by ‘fake” Christian, anyway? You are either a Christian or you’re not and believe me, it doesn’t depend on how I was feeling about God last week or if I discovered some new treasure in the Bible.

    This was the kind of thinking that drove me to despair.

    It’s salvation by works of the worst kind. Actually, it’s salvation by emotion. Salvation by sincerity. Me drumming up good thoughts about God.

  3. Michael says:

    That was an odd presentation from a Reformed Presbyterian…

  4. em ... again says:

    i won’t even bother with the link, so i probably shouldn’t be posting a comment, eh? πŸ™‚

    i’ve said before, and i believe it, that feelings are intended to be the appreciators of life, not the governors of same…
    e.g. we just had to return a rescue dog – a good dog – a rowdy, lovable galoot that deserves a good home and, for many unresolvable reasons, we aren’t it… our feelings said, “keep this dear dog,” but our minds had to prevail – that doesn’t stop us from praying for the creature, tho – God be merciful to us and renew our minds as needed
    when it comes to the spiritual life, are we not taught that the heart is deceitful and to renew our minds? brainwashing is not always bad
    Rom 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. … i don’t think we ‘test’ by feelings, but by the Word

    that said, i read Xenia’s list of three questions and i think they are applicable to ‘real’ Christians, not fake…

  5. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Keller’s evangelical side outweighs his “Reformed Presbyterian” side in this (and I am sure this comes out of his greater teachings.) He does not see a place that the gospel comes to us from the outside – even to the believers. It is always a “self check”

    It doesn’t matter that Jesus said he would always be with us – it doesn’t matter that Jesus said that nothing could successfully come against his church – we must run the self check on our feelings to trust that we are secure.

  6. em ... again says:

    #5 – that is one dangerous place to try live the Christian life from… delusional

  7. JD says:

    I generally don’t bother with some freak preacher’s psyco-babble. My time is better spent in the word with my family. πŸ˜‰

  8. Steve says:

    I don’t think Tim Keller was the guy responsible for the title: “3 Questions Fake Christians can’t answer”. It seems like a staff writer is the guy who came up with that title. The worse I heard Tim Keller say in the video was questions designed to wake up sleepy Christians. This seems to me a big difference from Fake Christians which I didn’t hear Tim Keller mention. The title doesn’t match the video and is somewhat misleading. Whether you agree with the questions or not, doesn’t make asking the questions terrible. In fact I think this kind of dialog can be healthy in a small group. If your baptism is the most meaningful thing in your relationship with Christ, than you can certainly give these answers to the questions and I would respect that. Give the guy a break. If we did it the Lutheran way, we wouldn’t have any small groups at all other than to study the book of Concord or something like that. Tim Keller seems to be trying to facilitate discussion and community which he is big on.

  9. Nathan Priddis says:

    About Saeed

    If I was a media exec from any outlet in a hostile stance with Trump, or Republican backers….man, I’d hire that guy Monday AM. He’d be my new rotating Evangelical guest commentator. If I was a CNN exec, I’d give my left nut to have viewers associate him with Evangelical Industrial support for Trump.

    I wouldn’t really care what he said on air / online at all, as long it came across as Evangelical. Get him on the set. Turn on the mike and turn it up. Let him run unto the next commercial break.

  10. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    And here you claim to not be the typical evangelical, and here you are supporting Keller by advocating that Christians need to get busier around church – join a new Bible study etc.

    Let’s look at this – who is a sleepy Christian? Is there such a thing, or do you and Keller just associate it with someone who does not do their Christianity the way you do? But Keller’s biggest fault here is that he is teaching a whole room full of people to go out, diagnose sleepy Christian and set them up with the hot seat questions.

    These are the things that make people doubt their faith and fall away. You are not helping a single person be closer to Jesus by running them through the Keller drill.

    btw, you could do much worse than having a Bible study on the Book of Concord. Much better than the 5 Smooth Stones type bible studies.many evangelicals are attracted to.

  11. Jean says:

    EO News!

    Apologies if this has already been shared sometime on the blog:

    I would say on balance, this is encouraging.

    Other thoughts?

  12. Jean says:

    Who was it that said: “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the POTUS.

  13. Pineapple Head says:

    Being formerly from Utah, I read that EO article this morning. But I must confess I only went to the SL Trib website for news about the Utah Jazz.

  14. em ... again says:

    #11 – hmmm…
    i have told young Mormon doorbellers to not give up on Christ as they get older and, perhaps, begin to question the history of Mormonism… and i have prayed that the sect would wake up to who Jesus Christ really is and how they’ve insulted God’s majesty and loving sacrifice by making Jesus a created being, dismissing the triune nature… Orthodoxy wasn’t what i was praying for, but thank and praise God for those who are recognizing who God is and what it means to accept Him – even if they do have to go back to square one to do so… nothing says you have to be a Baptist to be saved…

  15. Steve says:


    I am not advocating getting busier at church. I am advocating community. This means relationships with one another, fellowship, getting to know each other, etc.. I host a monthly fellowship at my home. Its a highlight for me and not something I dread. If this makes me a typical evangelical, than I’m very proud of that label. There is no manipulation to join our group and no pressure. We don’t put labels on folks either such as sleepy Christian label. Regarding Tim Keller I’m not a huge fan and I understand your concerns and I share them. I sometimes feel he borders on man centered sanctification. With that aside, I do think he has a heart for community that seems to be sorely lacking in much of Christianity in America and for this I commend him.

  16. RebelpJones says:

    This is a short piece from my upcoming book 2 in the Raven and The Owl series
    Please let me know your thought and critiques outside of grammar.
    Hope you enjoy.

    A Place Beyond
    By RebelpJones
    I sat to write
    as any night
    in ritual form
    A glass of wine
    A bit of smoke
    Some painful
    with creative

    How much of
    my own truth
    Should I really
    How much of this
    magic should I
    really indulge in

    Too much of anything
    They say is a bad thing
    Darkness befell me
    as a soft delicate touch
    of a womans hands
    Covered my eyes

    A familiar presence
    Approached from
    the night.
    Only one name
    Comes to mind,

    I whisper her name
    Every moonlit night
    With doubt that
    her presence would
    Ever return,
    Left me hungry
    Left me thirsty
    for more.
    She had a knack
    for painfully touching
    my soul
    And showing me truths
    I would’ve otherwise
    never known

    Before my eyes
    she became a mist
    that became my breath
    That scorched my lungs
    Every breath I took
    Felt like firey Hell
    Inside my chest

    Without notice
    or warning
    I became possessed
    And I felt her press
    Extreme pressure
    Within my breast
    She squeezed my
    A painful piercing
    burning feeling
    Of being torn apart.

    Then euphoric and
    feeling weightless
    I see we’ve taken flight!

    A place beyond but
    exists within
    A realm of
    unbelievable sights
    Ignited by the wisdom
    Of the Goddess
    and the night shining
    A path for the great
    warrior knights of
    the old
    That secure the
    gates of our two worlds.

  17. I like to boil the Christian experience (from the human side of things) down to 5 words:


  18. em ... again says:

    ahhh, beware the wisdom of the Goddess – reading the poignant words brought to mind a proverb – πŸ™‚ the raucous raven and the silent owl – nature has its lessons, but…

    Pro 14:12 …There is a way that seems right to a man,
    but its end is the way to death.

  19. em ... again says:

    skipping the predestination declaration the good news is Romans 8:31-38

    Believe the Gospel
    Receive the Gospel
    Confess the Gospel
    Abide in the Gospel
    Testify to the Gospel

    God keep all close and comforted this day

  20. dusty says:

    Happy mother’s day! Hope you have a wonderful day!

  21. London says:

    I prefer

    Believe Jesus
    Receive Jesus
    Confess to Jesus
    Abide in Jesus
    Testify of Jesus

  22. Pineapple Head says:

    Attaching gospel or Jesus works for me

  23. Descended says:


    Too many syllables for the meter

    Nice imagery

    “As Above, So Below” rings in my head.

    Lilith = the lie

    Careful there

  24. John 20:29 says:

    Pastor Pineapple, gospel, Jesus, Word, God, all aspects, targets of your list of 5 actions, eh? πŸ™‚

  25. Xenia says:

    That is a very pagan piece of poetry up there at #16.

  26. Scooter Jones says:

    I heard this story on Ted Radio today. Very powerful and impacting testimony of Dylan Klebold’s (Columbine shooter) mother.

  27. Descended says:


    What do you think of the notion that what we don’t do correctly at the Lord’s Table is that we come for repentance when we ought to be exceedingly joyful, praising Him for what He has done, given is life absolution once and for all…? Shouldn’t our hearts be right before we offer the praises of our lips when we show up on Sunday, not just the insurance warning to the sinner so that they do not bring judgement upon themselves?

  28. em... again says:

    #27 – your comment to MLD shows some good instincts IMHO πŸ™‚

  29. Descended says:

    Thanks em
    I wish I thought it up, but it’s just from listening to others. Something I’m trying to do more of πŸ™‚

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