Postcard From Paris: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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27 Responses

  1. pstrmike says:

    Well written Duane. I have had some of these conversations recently, as part of my work was a critique of power within evangelicalism, both its use and misuse. When mixed with the missional admonition of the Great Commission, the use of power appears to occlude our vision of the love of God and success becomes a virtue.

  2. Em says:

    Good ponder, Dr. Duane…
    It reminded me of the small stone cross that my daughter gifted me. I hung it just over the doorbell at the front door. When the J.W.s came calling, they knock on the door after that. I wish i’d asked them why…..

  3. Duane Arnold says:


    The desire for power, I believe, will destroy the church…

  4. bob1 says:

    As much as I do follow our current political situation, if I/we fail to realize, a la Augustine,
    that there’s the City of God and the City of Man, and we forget in this life the City of God and make the Penultimate the Ultimate, everyone’s the loser. I think far too many believers
    have sold their souls for power, as Duane says.

  5. Em says:

    I left here to visit a news site and the first item that caught my eye dealt with a court case in New Jersey. It seems someone has objected to the use of public funds for the preservation of historic structures, if they are Christian churches…. Would Notre Dame have survived?
    We well may be entering another house church era… after 2,000 years we’ve come full cycle?

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The Christian faith of Western Europe was not killed off by internal strife or power struggles as indicated by the article. The horrors of 2 back to back World Wars did the work. They literally killed the faith of both Jews and Christians.

    I lived in southern France from early 1960 through mid 1963. I remember in our housing community were 3 American Christian missionary families sent by their denominations to try and rebuild the French faith communities that had disappeared in the 15 years since the end of WW2 – to very little success.
    This was very similar to the work Francis Schaeffer was sent out to do in Switzerland – again to very little success.

    America on the other hand is it’s own jumbled mess – but it is not post WW2 Western Europe.

  7. Duane Arnold says:

    “The Christian faith of Western Europe was not killed off by internal strife or power struggles as indicated by the article.”

    The article, of course, did not say this in any way whatsoever…

  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    But the unsaid comparison was made clear. You spoke about the humble and the powerful in Western Europe and then you made the comparison that the US Church post Trump would be doing the same. If you wanted it just to be your Reflections on the history of Western Europe and its churches then you should have just stopped the article right there.

  9. Duane Arnold says:

    The article, of course, did not say what you asserted. When I need your advice on what and how to write… I’ll let you know. ?

  10. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I will leave it at this – one man’s opinion. I can’t tell if you are caught up in revisionist history of the Western European church or if you are just a poor prophet of American Christianity?
    But you are correct, it is your article. 🙂

  11. Duane Arnold says:

    It helps if you read it for what it says… instead of what you want to argue about. Do you ever tire of calling people names… distorting what is clearly said or written… or just plain “making it up”? It must be tiresome carrying around the chip on your shoulder.

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    I might add, by the way, as you are expert in the history of Western Europe, the French church held sway with a few interruptions from about the time of Charlemagne to the time of the Third Republic, i.e. 1870. Nothing was mentioned of WWI or WWII. The comparison was between what was discovered archeologically and the Cathedral of Notre Dame… It’s really not that difficult.

  13. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    As I said, your conclusion that the church will have a price to pay in the post Trumpian church years (yet another swipe at Trump and the inclusion of politics into your articles) was what distracted from the fine account of the archeological findings.

  14. JD says:

    I believe much more can be fruitfully accomplished by home bible reading and prayer, than by institutions which emphasize and promote attendance and giving.

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    “…your conclusion that the church will have a price to pay in the post Trumpian church years …”

    Well, thank God for small mercies, at least you got that one right… and only time will tell if I’m right, but I’d be ready to bet on it…

  16. Duane Arnold says:


    You could well be right. Just my opinion, but institutions in general, seem to be failing.

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    But you could have not included your personal charges against Trump and the minority of the church who support him (most church members are indifferent) and just moved to your next thought that too much of the church do not preach the gospel and have no expectation of meeting Christ bodily in the Supper – which is equally abused by both conservative and liberals in the church.
    But hey, you got your shot in.

  18. Duane Arnold says:

    “…in the case of some US evangelicals…”

    Additionally, I looked in vain for “personal charges against Trump” and could not find them. It helps if you actually read the article instead of making it up as you go along…

  19. Michael says:


    There are a number of us who believe that the evangelical church will eventually get a harsh backlash from being overtly supportive of Trump.
    It’s another factor that we have to reckon with as we watch the deterioration of the institution across Christendom.
    You do not agree.
    That…does not move me.
    You’re entitled to your opinion and you have expressed it.
    Now, we move on.

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    LOL, I tried to move on at 5:06 am – but the challenges kept coming.
    I even stated it was my opinion.

  21. Em says:

    Institutions are rather like plants that spring up from the earth. After a while it is clear whether they are fruitful or noxious. Most here find today’s evangelicals noxious … I pray that we are looking at thorns, not bitter, poisonous fruit such as our institutions of higher learning are now producing because otherwise… ?

  22. Duane Arnold says:


    I think your fears are well founded…

  23. Em says:

    Dr. Duane, we well may be entering a new, perhaps the final, cycle in the plan of God… Sometimes this planet does feel like one big mental institution (i think that’s what we used to call the place we housed those unable to function safely on their own)…..
    But then maybe it’s a generation thing…. don’t think so …? dunno…

  24. Duane Arnold says:


    St. Antony, one of the early desert Fathers of the Church, said this:
    “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’”

  25. Jim Vander Spek says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful post. Reading the Lost History of Christianity by Philip Jenkins drove home to me the truth that when the Church—even the original best version of it—becomes too prominent and too identified with the powers that be, it is walking on thin ice.

  26. pstrmike says:

    That quote of St. Antony reminds me of Plato’s analogy of the cave . . .

  27. Duane Arnold says:

    Jim Vander Spek

    Many thanks… Yes, thin ice, indeed. And it has happened again and again…

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