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59 Responses

  1. Anonymouse says:

    “Jesus + Nothing = Everything”

    A congregant and friend, who quotes this frequently, is a fan of Todd White.

    I don’t know if he is aware of Tullian T., who authored a book with that title.

    How do I evaluate that quote?
    Did Tullian invent that quote?
    It sure seems that the quote is tainted by his association with it to me…should it?

    Tell me about Todd White and what he is all about, if you know.

    A little guidance would really help.

  2. Xenia says:

    “Jesus + Nothing = Everything” <<<

    This sounds pious and well-meaning, but it is wrong.

    What about the other members of the Holy Trinity? Don't we also need the Father and the Holy Spirit?

    Jesus is not the Father and He is not the Holy Spirit.

    It's the Holy Spirit Who has been given to the Church to guide us.

  3. Michael says:

    Todd White is your typical NAR money grubbing false prophet.

    That quote has been around since the 70’s…don’t know where it started.

  4. xenia says:

    I am not familiar with the context of “Jesus + Nothing = Everything” but it sounds like something that someone who disdains the so-called “trappings” of Christianity would say. It sounds like a dumbed down version of the Five Solas.

  5. Anonymouse says:


    I appreciate your perspectives.

  6. Jean says:

    The link attached at 9:12 says it all concerning White.

    Xenia, I agree with you at 9:18. However, these men who use it to build their celebrity status, actually act against their slogan. I find it ironic.

  7. Jean says:

    I read a Psalm last night that really prays against the prosperity gospel. You can read the entire Psalm for yourself, but these verses at the end stick out:

    13 Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him!
    Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
    14 from men by your hand, O Lord,
    from men of the world whose portion is in this life.
    You fill their womb with treasure;
    they are satisfied with children,
    and they leave their abundance to their infants.

    15 As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
    when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.

    Psalm 17:13-19 ESV

  8. Em says:

    Reading the words the Holy Spirit gave to Zacharias when John te B was born, the prophesies… thinking that, perhaps, we, like those Jews, hear and yet we don’t really hear …
    We may be more like what Jean’s Psalm 17 describes – hope not. ?
    God keep

  9. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It’s a bit distressing to see that our brothers and sisters who align with the prosperity gospel and the NAR are not viewed as equal Christians who just happen to filter the common faith through their own experience and emotions. Results may be different but can we call them wrong?

  10. Michael says:


    Take your sarcasm elsewhere.

  11. Em says:

    MLD, we all have filters whether we like it or not – even Lutes ?

  12. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, I understand. So how would we challenge anyone’s belief on anything in the Christian faith if experience and emotion is the trump card?

  13. Michael says:

    Some things…like preachers getting fabulously wealthy and continual false prophesies speak for themselves.

    You claim to want to make Scripture the key…when really you want to make your interpretation of Scripture the key.

    The LCMS believes everyone but them is wrong…

  14. Dan from Georgia says:

    Can we PLEASE turn this blog post in a different direction? For once?!?!?

  15. filbertz says:

    no one on the “experience” thread said it was the trump card.

    I happen to think Luther’s experience with Roman Catholicism flavored his views, don’t you?

  16. Michael says:


    Give me time…I’m going to turn the whole thing around soon…just need the time and a little energy.

    In the meantime…I’m liking this app…

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “The LCMS believes everyone but them is wrong…” false and you know better – I think there is an 8th commandment violation there.

    It’s funny though that you say this while in the same breath you are claiming you have it right and Todd White, the NAR and the prosperity guys have it wrong.

    Someone mentioned Tullian – is he right or wrong or just on a different experience / emotions track?

    Yes, I am guilty of counting on scriptures.

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Change of direction – the other day was quite sad as the great Dodger in the sky removed his blessing.

  19. Josh says:

    Dan from Georgia – It’s Open Blogging! Start us in a direction, and I promise to follow 🙂

  20. Michael says:

    I don’t claim I have it right.
    I think all creedal Christians have the basics down and I hold everything else with a pretty open hand.
    Choosing between all the different interpretations of Scripture and various dogmas is daunting…most have something to commend them…some more than others.
    My faith is one that is in progress and I see no end to that or benefit from stopping the process.
    My table, both in reality and metaphorically, is open to all baptized brethren…and probably in some cases, those who haven’t yet been dipped.
    Your mileage may vary…

  21. Dan from Georgia says:

    Josh, I’m empty of ideas right now…sorry~ Like the avatar btw!

  22. Josh says:

    Well, I don’t like baseball, so i can’t follow MLD’s change.

    Umm, does everyone hate Holidays as much as me?

    I’m already stressed about the season that begins with Halloween and runs through New Years.

    Two years ago, I started taking the wife and kids on a vacation during Thanksgiving week, that has helped some.

    Any other suggestions for surviving?

  23. Michael says:

    I don’t care about Halloween,Thanksgiving is ok…but I freaking hate Christmas.
    Hate it.
    My dread has already kicked in hard.
    From here to Jan 1 is the Bataan Death March for me…

  24. Dan from Georgia says:

    I sometimes can’t wait for holidays to pass and wife and I have no relatives in the area and only a handful of friends where we are at. I just hate hate HATE the commercialization and ever-increasingly earlier start to the Christmas music by the local happy clappy Christian radio stations, as well as the unabashed retailers who take people away from their families on Thanksgiving so they can save a few bucks on some gadget.

    Re Baseball…I really feel bad for the Dodgers. Similar crushing defeat the Vikings suffered to end their 1998 season.

  25. Michael says:

    The only thing I hate worse than Christmas is Christian radio…I’m basically a terrible person. 🙂

  26. Josh says:

    I do hate…I’ll call it late December..and Christian radio. If that’s damnable, get me some asbestos britches.

    Get this – My birthday (I hate), my mom’s birthday, my wife’s birthday, my anniversary…and Christmas all happen in December.

    I hate Halloween the worst because it seems like we could just avoid it. I used to hate Thanksgiving the worst but leaving town for the weekend fixed that.

  27. filbertz says:

    Halloween–ok, Thanksgiving–two drumsticks up, Christmas–meh, except for two weeks off and grandkids.

    Christian radio…no thanks. All of what is wrong with evangelicalism in spades.

  28. Dan from Georgia says:

    I can tolerate Christian radio for about 5 minutes…that is, until they play that song they just played an hour ago. Otherwise I find no value in it.

    I’m ok with the winter holidays except for the aforementioned drawbacks. I actually do appreciate the Fourth of July and a few warm-season holidays for some odd reason.

    My family has four birthdays in November.

  29. Josh says:

    Dan – we’re going to Savannah for Thansgiving this year. You are up near ATL, right?

  30. Xenia says:

    I adore the holidays.

    We don’t participate in Halloween. Usually, my husband and I turn off all the lights in the house and go out for pizza. No one trick or treats in our neighborhood anymore but the town’s kids do dress up and visit stores and get candy. I am pretty dumbfounded that so many adults get so excited about this day.

    Thanksgiving is exhausting but wonderful for me. Our church has a parish Thanksgiving the Sunday before the actual day, and I have a supervisory role in this feast. I have to figure out who is bringing what and I spend that Sunday in the kitchen, not in the Church. It is a really fun day but I am pretty exhausted by the time it’s all over. And as happens, this is the very same day our children and their children begin to arrive from around the country. So it’s taco salad for them and the beginning of a week on the futon for us. But it’s great. There’s nothing better than having to bring in two extra tables that extend into the living room because we can’t all fit in our tiny kitchen. Then the next day I go out with some of them to observe Black Friday, which is a load of fun. I am usually able to find some good buys on Christmas presents, which with my big family is a very good thing. (I think it’s going to be cute socks and books for everyone this year?)

    So then it’s time for the Advent Fast, which is vegan-ish but has quite a few fish days. We celebrate Christmas AFTER the nativity of Christ, not before. Our church celebrates Jan 7 but we celebrate with our non-Orthodox family on Dec 25. Dec 25 is somewhat secular but Jan 7 is more church oriented. On Orthodox Christmas we go to Fr. G’s house after liturgy and have a big party.

    So it’s all great and I love every minute of it. This year I have a few challenges in that I have some school papers and projects due in the midst of all this, but I’m getting an early start.

    My advice:

    1. Cut down on the number/cost of presents. Warn everyone in advance if they are used to getting mega-gifts so they aren’t disappointed.

    2. Cut down on the pre- Christmas parties and hoopla, best you can. If you have to go to office parties, show up late, be polite, don’t drink very much and leave early. Try not to fret that Christ’s birth isn’t the focus. You have your own circle of friends and relatives for that.

    3. Do not, under ANY circumstance, be a jerk when a clerk says “Happy Holidays.” Just smile and respond politely. Remember, Christmas IS a holiday = Holy Day.

    4. If someone says we should put Christ back into Christmas, reply “Let’s put the mass back into Christmas, too.” <— Well, only say this if you can do it without being a smart aleck.

    5. Look at the Christmas decorations your town has put up and connect them to the Christ.

    Candles? Christ is the Light of the world.
    Wreath? The circle of greens can remind you of our Life in Christ as well as everlasting life.
    Santa Claus? St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra! A real person, known for his generosity.
    Reindeer? Remember the gentle beasts at the manger.

    One trap women often make is to get overly ambitious with making homemade gifts. Just don't do it unless you started the previous January. It will only cause stress. Buy 'em a good book and if you want to make them a quilt, etc., do it another time and surprise them.

    Same with baking. Don't be overly ambitious. ( It's not a sin to buy cookies.) We do take each neighbor a plate of homemade Christmas cookies, but by now I can practically turn them out in my sleep.

    MOSTLY, try to think THE BEST of everyone.

    If your Christmas is centered around gift-giving, you will be disappointed. Minimize that aspect of the season as much as possible without being a jerk about it.

    If your Christmas is centered around Christmas Liturgy, or even a nice bouncy Protestant church service, you won't be disappointed. Receive the Body of Christ, the Gift that never disappoints! Make THAT the focus, not gift-giving.

  31. Dan from Georgia says:


    Yes, just southwest of ATL…I love Savannah BTW, and Tybee Island too!

  32. Em says:

    There may be an application here or it may be just a diversion….
    My daughter has a horse, an aging boss mare. She says that isn’t good for a herd animal to be solitary, so she rescued a nice younger gelding from becoming dog food. He thought he was the boss. The mare didn’t agree and refused to be pushed around. She kicked him, she bit him and so it went for days. Finally the poor guy found a large tree limb, picked it up and, shaking his head with that long limb in his teeth he charged her. She still wasn’t impressed.
    Two nice people loving animals, they’ve reached some sort of horse understanding now – mutual coexistence? ?

  33. Michael says:

    “3. Do not, under ANY circumstance, be a jerk when a clerk says “Happy Holidays.” Just smile and respond politely. Remember, Christmas IS a holiday = Holy Day.”

    Don’t be a jerk, period to retail workers.
    They have it hard enough…
    Good stuff, Xenia.

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I like all the holidays – or at worst, none of them offend my or get me down. We don’t participate much anymore – we live in the desert with no family around (and we are content in that also).
    No one Halloweens in the neighborhood – we have no street lights nor sidewalks and many of us have inclined driveways.
    This year for Thanksgiving I am bringing my mother in law (95) and mother (92) in for 10 days at the house. We may eat out although I am sure all 3 women will want to compete in the kitchen.
    Christmas we do nothing – go to church is about it. (our kids get nothing and the grandkids get money)

    Now my real holiday is between Christmas and New Years as I leave for SoCal at 4am after xmas to pick up my 3 teenage grandkids (I have a 4th who is 12 will be added next year). I usually take them home New Years Day. This is great – it’s their week away from their parents and rules – they have a ball and I have a ball facilitating them. You don’t know joy until you become partners in mayhem with teens.

  35. Dan from Georgia says:

    Yes, please treat the clerks with kindness and get that “happy holidays” versus “Merry Christmas” chip off your shoulder.! BTW, I was once one of those who was easily offended by that greeting (happy holidays)…I once was going to make a shirt that said “Merry CHRISTMAS!”…glad that idea passed.

  36. Kevin H says:

    Thank you Dan for your comment at 11:27.

  37. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Yes, please treat the clerks with kindness and get that “happy holidays” versus “Merry Christmas” chip off your shoulder.! ”

    Seriously, does anyone here still Christmas shop by going into a brick and mortar store?

  38. Kevin H says:

    Now speaking of baseball, the Phillies have now gotten rid of that weirdo they plucked from the Dodgers organization so maybe next year will finally be the year they get back into the postseason. (And beat the Dodgers just like ’08 & ’09.)

  39. Jean says:

    “Seriously, does anyone here still Christmas shop by going into a brick and mortar store?”

    Yes, I like to support my small town local merchants.

    I love the religious significance and services around the Christian calendar, and family special meals.

  40. Kevin H says:

    Amazon isn’t even nice enough to give a “Happy Holidays”, let alone a “Merry Christmas” when you shop with them. I say we call for a boycott. 🙂

  41. Dan from Georgia says:


    I do still like to get my hands on a product before buying it. But overall I probably spend more on Amazon than, say, going to Best Buy.

  42. Jim says:

    I say only shop on amazon, turn off the radio, and have a Merry Christmas. My oldest knows to only send me amazon links for the grandkid’s birthdays and Christmas. It’s a beautiful thing.

  43. Not sure why, but I only like the summer holidays. I to enter this season with a lot of distress. It’s just do co-opted. Halloween is okay because it reminds me of being a kid out til late going house to house. I could live just fine without turkey. Christmas is a burden.
    Oh, and I never listen to Christian radio.

  44. Xenia says:

    I try to shop locally. I hate Amazon, hate it hate it hate it yet I buy a lot of things from them because Amazon has finished the process of killing what Walmart didn’t kill. Just yesterday I wanted to buy a small household appliance and we went all over town, even to stores that supposedly specialize in small appliances and didn’t find one. Not a one. So, sighing a deep sigh of reluctance, like Faustus sighed when he signed the contract with Mephistopheles, I went to Amazon and there were probably 20 (at least) versions, from cheap to costly, of the very thing I wanted to buy. So I bought it. It will come tomorrow. I would much rather have paid an extra ten dollars from a store (not a mega store, but a mom and pop store) here than contribute to Amazon’s empire.

    If there really is a literal fulfillment of the prophecy that some day Christians won’t be able to buy or sell without a certain something, it will be Amazon that will be the instrument of this calamity. How easy would it be for some entity (gov’t + Amazon) to require, oh say, adherence to gay marriage, to get a credit card without which you can’t buy anything online. Not there yet but I see the day coming.

    In case you think I’m crazy, just the other day Beto O’Roarke, a terrible person IMO, pronounced that churches that don’t agree to same sex “marriages” should lose their tax exempt status and I imagine people cheered. We’re not there YET but here’s a public figure, an idiot but still, who is trying to force Christians to assimilate or else. [I think churches should give up the tax exemption anyway, but that’s not the issue here.] [Yes, I know Beto has zero chance of winning but in a few years, someone with his godless attitudes will win.] When we say “these things can never happen” just imagine how a person fifty years ago would view the stuff that’s happening today. Tie that in w/ Facebook, where we all VOLUNTARILY were lured into giving away personal info and the way people are propagandized by Twitter and I say with my old CC friends, Maranatha, O Lord come!

    I hate Amazon.

  45. Xenia says:

    … Either Amazon or whatever thing comes after Amazon.

  46. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am still upset that the automobile makers killed off the entire buggy whip industry – talk about an end time conspiracy! Henry Ford was indeed the anti christ.

  47. Xenia says:

    Yes MLD, that is exactly what I expected you to say.

  48. Xenia says:

    I am sure that was the attitude of the Russian Christians in 1916 when everything was normal and people were going about their business, living in their houses and going to church until 1917 came along and many were thrown out of their houses and the churches were burned down and the Christians went off to the Gulag.

    Things can change in one year.

  49. Xenia says:

    Henry Ford, the Jew-hating Nazi sympathizer who wanted to create “ideal” communities that would fit well in a Brave New World distopia? Maybe you’re right, MLD, he was *an* antichrist.

  50. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia, that’s what I expected you to say. Progress leads to enslavement of the church.
    I don’t think Amazon cares who your God is or how you worship – but they do want you to buy your religious books from them.

    Did Macy’s and Sears take this kind of heat when they were squeezing out the Main Street shops or were people able to think back in those days?

  51. Jean says:

    In my view, human beings are created to live in community. The internet is contributing to the destruction of all kinds of communities. Internet shopping is destroying local communities, where people used to meat, mingle and speak with one another at local merchants. People a less socialized, more lonely, more distrustful of others, etc., because they are living more and more “virtual lives,” like on this blog, internet church, internet shopping, sexual voyeurism via the internet, online education, etc. I’m trying to maintain a physical local presence in my town and invite others to do likewise.

  52. Jim says:

    Brick and mortar retail is doing just fine in my area. There will be riots again this black friday. The sky is not falling.

  53. The local mall shut down yesterday due to California power outages. Those who lost power? No internet or Amazon either. A female clerk at the 7-11 was assaulted and stabbed yesterday or the day before. Not sure if it was a local homeless tweaker (one was tweaking and looking for a fight from me at 6:30AM the day before as I stopped to get commute coffee), or due to the power outages which surrounded us.

    San Jose is one of the top Halloween trick or treat cities in the USA, not sure why. It’s a fun time. I don’t have my kids this year. I’ll either turn of the lights and read a novel on my tablet, or maybe join the retired neighbors across the street who gussy up their home every holiday.

    No kids this thanksgiving either, though 8 usually get an invite from the ex-laws who are gracious, I may accept or may go Grumpy Old Man and go for a hike. I love Christmas, but not enough to marry it. D7 already convinced me that she’s outgrown her brother’s hand me down bike, so we agreed on a new bike. At almost $300, it will be her only present. It will last her into her teens. S9 had me buy figurines from Amazon (Lego HALO, I think?). I hid them in the “liquor” cabinet (which has Martinellis) because he saw them and told me to hide them because he was tempted to open them now. I’ll still put up the mini-tree. The kids like decorating it and it’s always amusing when they add Lego figures and other figurines to the manger scene.

  54. Em says:

    Happy Holidays? I wear a conspicuous jolly pin that says, “Jesus, the reason for the Season!”. ?

  55. The most ignorant thing I saw was a letter to the editor in the San Jose Mercury News after the last Shuttle Disaster. Bush quoted Isaiah, I think, and a reader wrote in that he was offending Jews by quoting The Bible, because there was a Jewish astronaut, I think. I asked my coworker at the time, a Hindu Brahmin, if such would offend her. She said, “no, I would take it as wishing me well.”

    Maybe Christians took offense too much before the whole “woak” and “cancel” culture thing now. But it’s gotten ridiculous all around.

  56. ShortPolock says:

    What hurts worse than Christian radio or Christmas?

    Christian radio at Christmas.

  57. RoundPolock says:

    I just ate a quart of neopolitan.

  58. Muff Potter says:

    Xenia wrote:
    “In case you think I’m crazy, just the other day Beto O’Roarke, a terrible person IMO, pronounced that churches that don’t agree to same sex “marriages” should lose their tax exempt status and I imagine people cheered.”

    No you’re not crazy.
    If this is the best the Dems can do, they will guarantee another Trump win.

  59. Jim says:

    The socialist wing of the dems will have the govt they want, but they’re just going to have to wait a little longer.

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