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  1. Babylon’s Dread says:

    Billy Abraham — I don’t recall seeing him here. A lion roaring, a trumpet blasting a shepherd watching.

  2. pstrmike says:

    Abraham articulates it well. He is proclaiming a fresh start for Methodism today , and the necessity of a fresh start for evangelicalism today and tomorrow.

  3. Michael says:

    Abraham glosses over the issue of interpretation, but I’m in the mood to agree with him otherwise…

  4. Michael says:

    I applaud Abrahams enthusiasm for a fresh start…we need one in Anglicanism.

    However, I don’t think anything fresh will begin until after the collapse of everything we know now.
    The world as we knew it has ended…we’re just here taking notes.

  5. Em says:

    20th century mainline protestants – and maybe others of the Faith – seemed to be dominated by a need to find a way to appeal to the unbelievers. Fancy footwork?
    You can’t do that. Just ask the Apostles…

  6. bob1 says:


    Au contraire. It’s the evangelicals who have bent themselves every which
    way but Sunday, falling all over themselves, to accommodate unbelievers.
    Their wordliness would have appalled the post-WWII evangelicals.

    Even the whole megachurch thing, or at least much of it, as I understand it, is an attempt to make this as easy as possible for the unchurched.

  7. Em says:

    bob1, you are correct. except that i think the whole of the protestant wing, evangelicals also, were guilty of soft pedalling the requirements of commitment to the Faith… easy Faith, it isn’t… Not in this world and this time

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    Abraham – Athanasius is his favorite theologian and he quotes Donald MacKinnon who, indeed was eccentric. It’s a good start and he is astute as to his view of the church…

  9. Eric says:

    Acts 15:19 It is my judgement, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.
    I think we still need to work on making it as easy as possible for people on the way into faith & church, not removing elements of Christian faith and practice just because they are unpopular (as some seem to do), but keeping what is of God and discarding the unnecessary.

    Trouble is, we don’t always come to the same conclusion about what God wants of us. Even beyond that, we don’t always agree on what is useful.

  10. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    prog rock fans must note the passing of Neil Peart. News just broke today of his passing. Peart was a truly remarkable drummer even if many people could never hear what was going on in his band or other prog rock musicians’ work. iMonk would surely have had a note about it were he with us.

  11. I heard brain cancer, what a horrible way to go. It was sad that he seemed to be a committed atheist, though the deaths of his first wife and daughter likely turned him further away. Saw every tour since Presto in 1990. Had a 7th row seat due to a fortunate Ticket master fluke for the Test for Echo tour. Geddy pointed down and acknowledged me at one point. They made a lot of misses on later albums, but The Wreckers from the last album stands in their top 20, IMO. That tour where they played most of Power Windows was one of the best I’d seen.

  12. j2theperson says:

    Yeah, I was sad to read of his passing. I was never particularly into Rush, but he was extremely talented and seemed like a very interesting person.

  13. j2theperson says:

    What do you think about giving to your church? After everything my family’s been through the last few years, I’m pretty burned out on giving. I pretty much don’t want to give our new church a dime for at least a year. But maybe I should be paying a little just to pay for my seat as it were?

    I honestly don’t want to give any money to any charitable cause right now. I’d rather just put my extra money in my underfunded IRA right now. What do you think God thinks about that?

  14. Eric says:

    Being a numbers guy I have reflected a lot on money and the Christian life. Some of my thoughts…

    The idea of “giving to the church” or “giving to God” suggests two separate parties and it is sometimes helpful instead to think of a local church as one unit, or yourself as in God’s family.

    Rather than “giving God” or “giving the church” 10%, instead think of all you have (time, money, etc) as 100% belonging to God, and you’re looking after it for him. God wants you to look after your family in the present and future, and this will always be a big part of how we serve God.

    Any extra you save up now could in the future either be money you need then or an opportunity to be generous then (towards someone who really needs it, or at a time you feel better about giving).

    Probably enough from me; there are wiser people here who know you.

  15. My CC is doing a major remodel. I can understand roofs, but do the pews need to be reuplostered to a different color? The stage dropped? It’s said to be a “Josiah Project” in reference to The Temple restoration. They took out the slots for hymnals and Bibles from the new pews also. Why? At least they were open with the cost, over $750k. Again, I understand roof repair, carpet, and even a new gym floor, but the other stuff seems superfluous.

    I tried a local small Baptist church. They were welcoming, but it was mostly teen and 20-somethimg Filipinos, and old white folk (likely the original congregants) where 60 was young. Thus I felt no connections as a middle aged single father.

  16. Jtk says:


    Have you checked out Ed Calderon, who is a refugee (?) from Mexico?

    Fascinating stuff right up your alley.

    Here is a clip (one of many) from him being on Joe Rogan:

  17. Jtk says:

    j2theperson on January 10, 2020 at 8:30 pm
    “What do you think about giving to your church? After everything my family’s been through the last few years, I’m pretty burned out on giving. I pretty much don’t want to give our new church a dime for at least a year.”

    Try a little tenderness….errr, generosity.

    I’ve never met the tightwad where it went well with them, yet the generous men and women I know are amazing! Is that different in your experience?

    I just heard Dave Ramsey say that he’s never met some one who paid off their house nor someone who tithed who later wanted to go back on that decision and either borrow against their house or stop tithing.

  18. Michael says:


    Yes, I watched Calderon..not sure what his angle is.
    Dave Ramsey obviously never worked in a bank…I used to write about 80 home equity loans a month…

  19. Michael says:


    There isn’t any NT command to tithe and giving has to come from the heart.
    If your hearts not in it, put it away.

  20. Jim says:

    Funny, I just watched Calderon on JR. I wasn’t looking for an angle, and did not see one. Ed loves Mexico and loves the US.

    Michael is correct re the “tithe”.

  21. MM says:

    “There isn’t any NT command to tithe and giving has to come from the heart.
    If your hearts not in it, put it away.”

    You are correct. Most appeals using commandments given to Israel are normally taken way out of context, often a money grab and extremely manipulative in nature. However, that being said I think there is an obligation to support the community one is a part of.

    Of course if we object to our community’s appeal for funds we could nail our thesis to the church door.

  22. Michael says:

    Let me be clear about Calderon…that first show had a ton of accurate info in it.. a ton….info you won’t hear elsewhere. I’m just not a fan of his hero Leyzola…and I won’t bore you with the details.

  23. Em says:

    Praying for our Midwest today – for those who can’t hunker down or run and hide…. God be merciful
    Some good thoughts here, but beware when someone up front says, “You can’t outgive God.” Well no you can’t, but that person saying it just may not have your best interest at heart…

  24. Xenia says:

    There isn’t any NT command to tithe and giving has to come from the heart.
    If your hearts not in it, put it away.<<<

    I must disagree. Give anyway, and pray that the heart be changed.

    I remember being taught that if my motives weren't right, if my heart wasn't in it, better not to do the good deed. I used this excuse when an elderly woman of my acquaintance called me up one Saturday, asking me to help her with her bath so she could attend church the next morning. (Her usual helper was unavailable that week.) I most certainly did NOT want to help this woman with her bath! So I told her no, comforting myself with "My motives are not pure, my heart is not in it; I'd only be doing it out of guilt, or obligation, or whatever." But I kept thinking:" Diane, (as I was known then) this old lady needs a bath and your mental gymnastics are irrelevant." So I helped her with her bath and she got to go to church.

    This was one of those landmark episodes I've had in my life when my way of thinking about things change forever.

    So give, if you find the cause worthy. Next time it will be easier and before long, you will discover that you are a cheerful giver.

  25. Xenia says:

    On a related topic, I’ve decided to pay a visit to all the churches here in town, as I am able, without neglecting my own beloved parish which I have no intention whatsoever of abandoning. I want to see what God is doing in my town and how the churches are faring.

    Today I wound up at the local Seventh Day Adventist congregation. It was small and probably only 1/4 full but the song leaders and pastors gave it their all and the people, including myself, were blessed. It was pretty much like a Baptist church (similar type sermon) with the only difference being wished “Happy Sabbath” by everyone. It was a predominantly African American congregation and as always in black churches, people went out of their way to make the old white lady feel welcome. We were asked to form little prayer circles and a lady prayed for a serious request I have. Great *sermon, wonderful, sincere people who clearly loved the Lord. God bless them, as they blessed me.

    I always say here that if a person has trouble finding a church they should investigate small churches that are on nearly every corner and you will find God and His People at work. So far, I have found this to be true. Next up, whenever I am able: The large black Pentecostal church with the famous choir.

    *I could call the sermon “great” in that the preacher never touched on any of the many theological differences I have w/ evangelicalism. He just talked about God’s love and changed lives.

  26. Xenia says:

    Speaking of changed lives, one of the visitors at this church today was a man who had just been released from prison, where he had been for the past 37 years!

  27. Outside T. Fold says:

    Wow. Blessings on the newly freed. The number of things to adjust to after being incarcerated for that amount of time has to be staggering. From 1983 until now. The scope of changes has to be incredible. Just incredible.

    I watched the 4 part documentary on PBS — College Behind Bars, by Lynn Novik (exec produced by Ken Burns). Available streaming until, roughly the 24th of this month.

  28. I’ve given to my CC, and equally to their Africa mission. Potter’s Field “kids” have been sent there, but it isn’t PFM. My question is this almost million dollar “Josiah Project.” I understand church upkeep and salaries, but I question what seem to be cosmetic renovations. I’m almost tempted to reach out to a home church org, such as that found me when I was living in Oregon in the 90s, no church, they meet in homes.

  29. Eric says:

    I think a “Josiah Project” should involve rediscovery of things we missed in the bible and smashing down pagan places of worship!

  30. justMike says:

    Whole heartedly agree Eric. Romans 12:1-2 is where it really gets going.

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