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42 Responses

  1. DH says:

    I don’t think Russia would have invaded Ukraine or Hamas would have attacked Israel if Trump was president. We had deterrents under Donald Trump, we took out Soleimani, and it was clear what would happen if they attacked us, bombed ISIS gone, built up the military, moved our embassy to Jerusalem… Now I’m unsure what Biden has said about getting our hostages out.

  2. DH says:

    Edit – Or what will happen if we don’t get them back?

  3. Jean says:


    Trump would have given Ukraine to Putin.

    Regarding Iran, Trump pulled the US out of the nuclear deal, leaving Israel and the west much less secure than before. That was the dumbest thing any President has ever done. Now without any monitoring Iran is enriching Uranium to ever higher concentrations.

    Assassinating the Iranian general normalized extrajudicial execution setting a precedent for all our enemies.

    That and moving the US embassy to Jerusalem without getting anything in return emboldened Israel to further destroy a 2 state solution and created more enemies in the Arab world.

    Except for the grift his family and Jerod Kirschener enjoyed, Trump’s foreign policy was among the worst of any American President. (And I won’t even mention his love affair with the N. Korean dictator).

  4. Pineapple Head says:

    John Piper on the question, “Should we side with Israel or Palestine.” A ten year old article (audio and text). Would love to hear some thoughts.

  5. Jean says:

    Pineapple Head,
    Why are Christians or their churches encouraged or asked or required to side at all between two temporal entities? Is siding within the mission given to the church by her Lord?

  6. Michael says:

    In principle, I agree with Piper.

    I would argue that the promised land to Abrahams dependents is the whole world, not a sliver of dirt in the Middle East…

  7. Michael says:


    I think that’s a good point…but in America, it’s needful to discuss these things clearly.

  8. Pine says:


    Well, I’m not encouraging my church to take a side. We pray for God’s peace, justice. righteousness, and compassion in this conflict. We pray that evil will be reckoned with.

    Since the Piper interview is 10 years old, it’s not him speaking into the current crisis. I think some might expect that John would take a totally pro-Israel stance.

  9. Em says:

    “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”

  10. JoelG says:

    Fr Stephen Freeman from his blog yesterday:

    “….God specifically identified Himself in persons who are suffering: the sick, the hungry, the prisoners, the naked (and I assume that was just a representative naming). What I believe to be true is that Christ Crucified is present and suffers in all human suffering, and in the mystery of His goodness, unites our suffering to His. It is not an understanding that explains suffering – but it is an understanding that considers the mystery of His goodness. Christ is crucified in Israel, Christ is crucified in Gaza. Apart from that reality, neither would have any hope. Violence never brings peace. Only the peace of God (which was and is profoundly made manifest in the Cross) brings peace to human beings. Peace is not the absence of war – it is a substantial thing – ontological – it is the very life and grace of God given to us that we might live in communion with Him. Christ said, “Peace, I give to you, my own peace I leave with you, not peace such as the world gives.””

  11. Alan says:

    Been listening to some of y’all’s Calvary Chapel guys. 😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫 So apparently these guys don’t acknowledge the return to Israel. Claiming that Israel has been in exile since 587 BC. Minimizing the return the rebuild and the restoration. Worse they don’t see Pentecost as Ez 37. They edit history edit scripture and edit narratives.


  12. Alan says:

    And what is this argument that the land belongs to Israel because they were the indigenous people?😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫 that’s a familiar refrain but it cedes this nation.

  13. Michael says:


    Great find…

  14. Michael says:

    ‘Been listening to some of y’all’s Calvary Chapel guys”

    My condolences…

    Just remember how much that narrative shapes both public policy and opinion…

  15. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    there’s a guy who claims livestream isn’t really church unless it’s HIS livestream and yet he’s also stoked to be part of a revival via movie …

    unsurprisingly … documenting a few things here and there continues : (

    The new self-published book is amazing in bad ways. The Mark I knew in 2003 would tell us the Mark of 2023 has clearly gone off the deep end into automatic writing trances that show he has no idea how to read the Bible anymore.

  16. pstrmike says:

    My condolences as well……

  17. Linn says:

    WTH-My only comment on Driscoll is I think he is an idiot and the people who follow him get what they deserve (unless they actually dudn’t know anything). Christian’s are the masters of self-deception.

  18. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    He didn’t start out an idiot, which is something I”ve been thinking about since finishing his breath-takingly stupid new book.

    Since, unlike maybe most people at Phx Prchr, I actually met Mark Driscoll, I wanted to convey a sense of the shock of realizing what a self-deluded moron he has become by imagining what the Mark I knew back in 2003 would say about the crazy guy in 2023. He wasn’t such an idiot when I knew him decades ago. He could certainly make bad faith assertions such as that all non-Calvinist soteriology is Pelagian and I told him he was wrong about that to his face.

    But the more time passes the more it seems that Driscoll’s plagiarism scandal didn’t just prove he didn’t get his ideas out of thin air, keeping tabs on Moscow, ,ID shows that Driscoll needs to be understood as a kind of Doug Wilson/John MacArthur 2.0 where the worst ideas of both older preachers got turbo-charged, put on steroids and blood-doping, and then went off to competitive sports. The frustrating thing for me is that whether it’s the Team Pyro types, the Wartburg Watch types, Jennifer McKinney and her book with Oxford University Press, or Cosper’s sprawling and insufferably diffuse podcast, everyone who wants to sound off about “what it all means” without giving the slightest crap to establish what even really happened in terms of a coherent chronology.

    Cosper has random kernels that could grow into such an account but he was too busy going for themes rather than establishing chronologies. But I suppose the lows to which neo-evangelicalism has descended means that CT is annoying but they’re not The Christian Post or Charisma.

    On a slightly happier note, looking forward to Hayao Miyazaki’s next film hitting US theaters.

  19. Muff Potter says:

    Pineapple Head @ 6:08 pm,
    I put very little stock (if any) in what John Piper says.

  20. Pineapple Head says:


    I’m thinking you feel about Piper as I do about McArthur. I want to disagree with him just because I find him obnoxious. But have you any thoughts on the content?

  21. Alan says:


    I pretty large departure from your usual rebuke to those who move from Gospel to politics. I am sure there is a reason in your mind why their political assertions are askew and out of bounds and yours are factual and necessary. As per usual the apostate Trump justifies all things.

    I don’t really care this is just a response because it gave me a chuckle.

    All politics is babylon and the corruption extends in every direction. We are not of this world and we stand as a rebuke to all of it. The exilic century prophets showed us the way having mercy on neither Jerusalem nor Babylon and considering them all apostate.

  22. LInn says:

    WTH-I appreciate your comment regarding Driscoll. Mine may have been too hasty. I am just so frustrated when I run into people that have been through MacArthur, Driscoll, McDonald…it’s like they never learn.

    I will agree that Driscoll seemed like the “full package” in the beginning. At that time I was auditing classes at my local seminary (Western Seminary) and they were talking about merging with Mars Hill. Thankfully, that all fell apart rather quickly when everything at Mars Hill blew up.

    I think chronology is good, but I also think that after a number of chronologies, that people should be wiser about what churches they choose. I’m suspicious of any church where the pastor is a “small g” god where people say ‘thus says Pastor________” vs. “thus saith the Lord,” or churches that claim to be the only way to church growth.

    I will confess that I tend towards medium-sized churches (my current one is about 500), with pastors who share their pulpits and work hard on training the members to be leaders that can actually lead (vs. being yes-people). My current church suits me quite well. We don’t have a big-name pastor, but we have a good reputation for teaching the Word, welcoming and supporting our neighborhood.

  23. Officerhoppy says:

    Some of you may find this interesting. Others will find it offensive. Regardless, it’s interesting. It’s written by Konstantin Kisin and appeared today in The Free Press

    “When Hamas terrorists crossed over the border with Israel and murdered 1,400 innocent people, they destroyed families and entire communities. They also shattered long-held delusions in the West.

    A friend of mine joked that she woke up on October 7 as a liberal and went to bed that evening as a 65-year-old conservative. But it wasn’t really a joke and she wasn’t the only one. What changed?

    The best way to answer that question is with the help of Thomas Sowell, one of the most brilliant public intellectuals alive today. In 1987, Sowell published A Conflict of Visions. In this now-classic, he offers a simple and powerful explanation of why people disagree about politics. We disagree about politics, Sowell argues, because we disagree about human nature. We see the world through one of two competing visions, each of which tells a radically different story about human nature.

    Those with “unconstrained vision” think that humans are malleable and can be perfected. They believe that social ills and evils can be overcome through collective action that encourages humans to behave better. To subscribers of this view, poverty, crime, inequality, and war are not inevitable. Rather, they are puzzles that can be solved. We need only to say the right things, enact the right policies, and spend enough money, and we will suffer these social ills no more. This worldview is the foundation of the progressive mindset.

    By contrast, those who see the world through a “constrained vision” lens believe that human nature is a universal constant. No amount of social engineering can change the sober reality of human self-interest, or the fact that human empathy and social resources are necessarily scarce. People who see things this way believe that most political and social problems will never be “solved”; they can only be managed. This approach is the bedrock of the conservative worldview.

    Hamas’s barbarism—and the explanations and celebrations throughout the West that followed their orgy of violence—have forced an overnight exodus from the “unconstrained” camp into the “constrained” one.

    The Reality of Woke Ideology

    Many people woke up on October 7 sympathetic to parts of woke ideology and went to bed that evening questioning how they had signed on to a worldview that had nothing to say about the mass rape and murder of innocent people by terrorists.

    The reaction to the attacks—from outwardly pro-Hamas protests to the mealy-mouthed statements of college presidents, celebrities, and CEOs—has exploded the comforting stories many on the center-left have told themselves about progressive identity politics. For many years, they opted for the coping mechanism of pretending that the institutional capture of universities, corporations, and media organizations by the woke mind virus was no big deal. “Sure, students shutting down events they disagree with is annoying,” they would say, “but it’s just students doing what students do.”

    October 8 was a wake-up call for those who didn’t appreciate that the ideology of the campus has spread to our cities, supercharged by social media.

    We woke up on October 8 to the clamor of street protests in cities across the West condemning Israel even before any major Israeli response to the attacks. We watched celebratory crowds brandish swastikas and chant “gas the Jews” at events purporting to be about the loss of Palestinian lives. We saw Black Lives Matter chapters lionize terrorists.

    In London, where I live, we watched the mayor deliver glib assurances that “London’s diversity is our greatest strength” in the midst of a wave of antisemitic attacks, and as Jewish schools were forced to close because of safety concerns.

    Across the West, we noticed that our representatives refused to condemn Hamas’s kidnappings, and that the legacy media was all too eager to swallow and regurgitate Hamas propaganda.

    Prior to the October 7 massacre, many students, alumni, and donors with the “unconstrained vision” trusted that the university—for all its many problems—remained the West’s best environment for civil discourse.

    But then they watched university presidents who were quick to issue statements condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the killing of George Floyd fall silent, or offer the most slippery, equivocal statements carefully crafted to avoid offending anti-Israel groups. They watched an Israeli at Columbia get beaten with a stick, and heard reports about the physical intimidation of students on campuses across the country. They read about dozens of student organizations at Harvard signing a letter holding Israel “entirely responsible” for the massacre of Israelis.

    The events of the last two weeks have shattered the illusion that wokeness is about protecting victims and standing up for persecuted minorities. This ideology is and has always been about the one thing many of us have told you it is about for years: power. And after the last two weeks, there can be no doubt about how these people will use any power they seize: they will seek to destroy, in any way they can, those who disagree.

    This unpleasant conclusion is surprising only if you are still clinging to the unconstrained vision. But if there is any constant in human history, it is that revolutionaries always feel entitled to destroy those who stand in their way.

    Just as hope about the possibility of peace with jihadists seems suicidally naive, reconciliation with citizens seized by the woke mindset seems a long way off”

  24. Josh says:

    Did I really just read someone take the opportunity of a terrorist attack on Israel to decry the “woke”?

    My god we’ve lost our minds completely.

  25. Michael says:


    My sentiments exactly.

    The author of the piece started well…there is a massive gap between these views of human anthropology.

    Then he goes off on some undefined curse he calls “woke’ and consigns himself to the domain of the dim.

    I think it may be appropriate to ban that term from conversation here…

  26. Jean says:

    To a clever writer, everything in life and the world is six degrees of _________ [fill in the blank]. No tragedy is too horrific to use as a foil for scoring political points.

  27. Alan says:

    It would be good to have some thesaurus help on what these offended responses define as “woke” — Seriously! What is woke in your estimate Josh et al

  28. Josh says:

    I’m not offended.

    Woke is just a pejorative term used by people who identify as conservative to smear anything they don’t agree with. Thankfully, in this article he defines the term. According to this author, woke people don’t care “about the mass rape and murder of innocent people by terrorists.” Which is absolute silliness.

    There are many angles that one can take on the conflict in Israel. Pro-Israel, Anti-Israel, Pro-Palestinian, Anti-Hamas…etc. It is a complicated matter. “Woke” has nothing to do with it.

  29. Alan says:

    Woke has something to do with most everything these days — as it really applies to justice perceptions and oppressor/oppressed narratives.

    In Israel one could see Hamas as demonic and Palestinians as victims and equally see Israel as oppressive and Jews as victims. Sadly, those in power endanger their own either way.

    A kingdom perspective would see both slaughtering innocents in Israel and punishing innocents for the slaughter in Gaza with the same horror.

    Praying for the kingdom is better than posturing for the right to punish innocent ones for their leader’s crimes.

    But then we (USA) destroyed Iraq for lesser crimes and more questionable evidence.

    There is none righteous no, not one.

  30. Josh says:

    And I think the writer would have considered you woke for that nuanced take.

  31. Alan says:

    We have the luxury of nuance because of our low level of responsibility for our own in this case. The bondage of leadership is that you will find yourself compelled to punish the innocent in order to get to the guilty.

    War is the apocalypse of human sin and bombs have no conscience. As one of my mentors noted ‘nothing is as efficient as a bomb.’ I would not like to be a decision maker in these hours.

    The lesson of Hiroshima is that total war makes for quickest path to peace. In America that is how we do war while posturing our own innocence it has been so since Sherman marched to the sea.

  32. Josh says:

    Though no longer Baptist, I still like what the Faith and Message says:

    It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put an end to war.
    The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the world is the acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the practical application of His law of love. Christian people throughout the world should pray for the reign of the Prince of Peace.

  33. Jean says:

    “The lesson of Hiroshima is that total war makes for quickest path to peace.”
    I think it would be more accurate to say that the lesson of Hiroshima is that total war makes for the quickest surrender.

    To attain peace, as the USA did in both Europe and Japan, the victor must provide the conquered with a vision and a plan for reconciliation and a better future. That was not done after WWI in Europe, but it was after WWII.

    The Palistinian issue did not begin on October 7 and it won’t end when every existing Hamas terrorist is eliminated.

  34. Alan says:

    Yes to both of you, and my last comment was a lament not an advocacy as I trust you know.

  35. Josh says:

    I don’t think “total war” is possible in our modern construct. We aren’t lining up and fighting nation against nation.

    I will say Alan, that I took your post as advocacy, and so I apologize for misunderstanding.

    And I didn’t really want to comment on the situation in Israel. It is too complicated for me to solve on a blog. I only wanted to comment on the article that invoked the woke, because I thought it a silly misdirection.

    I am against killing of all kinds, and don’t think that it has ever helped in any situation.

  36. Kevin H says:

    “Invoke the woke” sounds like it should be a new catch phrase.

  37. Michael says:

    As best as I can understand the term, “woke” is a pejorative used to describe anyone to the political or cultural left of Genghis Khan or Donald Trump and would include the prophet Amos and Jesus Christ.

    It is a lazy insult used by people whose intent is to inflame and whose vocabulary and intellect offer fewer word choices than one would need to complete a fifth grade essay.

  38. Jean says:

    Michael, I’m guessing you’re not a DeSantis admirer.

  39. Michael says:


    That would be a reasonable assumption.

    If one wants to critique (or even damn) the policies and thinking of the extreme left with specific objections, I’ll join in on that chorus.

    They are as dangerous to human flourishing and sane governance as the extreme right.

    Neither side knows how to govern or is interested in real world problems…just ideology.

    I will say that if this nation survives another fifty years (which I seriously doubt) history will document how it was finally destroyed through the efforts of one man determined to serve himself at the cost of a country. Donald Trump will be far harder to explain than Adolph Hitler.

  40. Kevin H says:

    “Woke” actually originated as a positive phrase, used in the African American community and given as a term of endearment to those who came to see some of the plights of racism and disadvantages that African Americans still faces in our culture. These people had been “woken” up to see these things.

    Since then, however, many on the Right have commandeered the term and use it as a perjorative towards any idea, happening, person, or organization that they suspect has even a hint of liberal inclinations.

  41. Jean says:

    A conservative theologian whom I respect wrote: “Just because racism isn’t everywhere doesn’t mean it’s nowhere.”

    I am happy to embrace the label of woke, and am happy to listen to the views of others. How does it hurt my Christian witness if I am willing to acknowledge the sufferings of others who experience discrimination?

  42. bob1 says:

    Jean, it doesn’t. It enhances it.

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