Things I Think

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120 Responses

  1. 1. You are unlike “the average evangelical” in many ways. That’s one of the things I like about you.
    2. Isn’t the word fruit the plural of the singular word fruit?
    3. So overwhelming. 🙁
    4. Amen.
    8. I’ve said it before, MD is an ass!
    9. I have no reason to doubt this. But God forbid! That would be liking taking someone with open, yet healing wounds and baptizing them in rat poison. Certain death would be imminent.

  2. ” I’m all for tolerance and focusing on being an “ambassador for Christ”.”

    It depends where that tolerance is taking place – and I think this is what causes the discussions and heated debates.

    I too am for tolerance… in the world, but not in the church. I don’t care if people want to be homosexuals (or fill in the blank the hot topic issue) – outside the church. I do care about what people do in the church.

  3. Ixtlan says:

    @ 9
    can anyone say: missionary to Orange County, Ocean Hills, radio stations, merge and control two churches, coup d’etat, Nelson, guess who God called back to ABQ?

  4. 2. Gal 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
    gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
    And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
    If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
    Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

    you’ve raised a ponder … a singularly pure fruit that manifests in variety? one thing about fruit … it comes from a garden, not a cookbook … what’d she say? dunno

  5. Reuben says:

    1. “…no amount of post modern good intentions will change the medieval desire of Islam to dominate the world through any means necessary.”

    I purchased and read a Qur’an. I also spent a small amount of time looking into Islamic history. If there is one peace loving bleeding heart liberal on this planet who spent 10 minutes investigating Islam, they too would have to come to the same conclusion. Islam is a religion of hate and war. Shooting daisies at them will only fuel the rage.

    5. I can no longer tolerate Rush. You explained why. My favorite radio station plays him for 3 hours a day. If I am in the van driving to a job, I switch it over to classic rock.

    By the way, I have to be old now, because Van Halen is considered classic rock.

    8. See my response to 5.

    9. Uhhh, I dunno. I hope you are not right.

    If you are out there, Pete, hello!

  6. Michael says:

    I didn’t know I’d published this… so it’ll be tomorrow before i have time to respond much. 🙂

  7. Reuben says:

    Nothing to do with the things…

    I just listened to about 3 minutes of a sermon from a old favorite in CC. 3 minutes was all I could handle.

    I have been so radically altered over the last few years. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am nothing less than a full blown heretic in that tribe, and I was proven as such in less than 3 minutes.

  8. Ixtlan says:

    Reuben,
    so you think…….. a full blown heretic? I don’t think so. Don’t think so less of us or give yourself so much credit.

  9. brian says:

    Im no longer an evangelical by any stretch, though I have great sympathy for them, the more radical and marginal they are the more I have empathy and sympathy for their position. I wont state what I have been told about their thinking of me. Grace is a strange thing it often flows one way from God to us but it seems it gets stuck like a river that is dammed up. As long as Mark Driscoll and the CC higher ups continue to produce and generate income, they will be blessed in the modern corporation. That is the way it has to be.

    It is a tragedy of monumental proportions what is going on in Mexico. I mean maybe if we spent a tenth of the resources on stopping drug use in this nation we could help them. That cant happen there is just to much money to be made from illegal drugs, fighting illegal drugs, and incarcerating offenders. Maybe it can change I hope and pray it does. Michael what specifically do you think we, as a nation could do to stop this from your in depth studies of the situation?

  10. mike macon says:

    7 – {{sigh}} …yep.

  11. Nonnie says:

    Jesus said love God and love your neighbour and your fulfil the law.

    The fruit of the Spirit is love and love will manifest itself in joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such things there is no law.

  12. Papias says:

    1. History shows that Islam conquered lands and people before it conquered hearts. History also showed that in some areas, Christians existed under Moslem rule – while I think this was an exception and not the rule. Our EO brethern spent much of their energies in defeating the crescent and not in theological prose(when one fights for existence, loftier subjects tend to minimized. Then again, St John of Damsascus…). While I could wish that the history of the Christian church of the Middle Ages could be much better, those are the realities. For that matter, ask a Christian who lives in Saudi Arabia or another Muslim country today how much religious freedom they have.

    2. The Fruit of the Spririt is Love, manifested or shown in the others…

    6. What did Wright say that was so earth shattering? I find him….tedious.

    7. I care, dambit. My Kings win the Cup, and now we have no Hockey. Shame on the owners.

    9. That Skip wants to run the bigger org is no surprise, but methinks it could only happen over, as someone might state, “Over my dead body!”.

    10. I had a coworker die last week. While he was diagnosed with a non-operable brain tumor last year, what finally did it was that he had a collasped lung. Rather than be hooked to machines the rest of his days, he went that day into eternity. Very sad. Reminded that this life is such a vapor.

  13. 1. I have to disagree. The power of the Resurrection gives me hope in even the darkest of situations. I will continue to optimistically pursue peace with our Muslim neighbors around the world.

    2. Then none of us have any of them.

    3. I wish we could all agree that killing another person is bad.

    4. Yep. I have never been more disgusted with American politics than I am right now, but I have to refrain from judging my brothers who are convicted to fight in that arena.

    5. I stopped watching when the Virginia Tech shootings took place. I am much better for it.

    6. You are right, but the interesting thing to me is that God has also sent voices that completely oppose NT Wright. God speaks in 3D.

    7. I honestly had no clue.

    8. I’m glad people have stopped with the line “but his theology is great!”. It was never true, and is showing more and more every time he opens his mouth.

    9. Maybe Skip is a great man, who did awful things?

    10. Praying for you right now.

  14. Michael says:

    brian,

    To be honest with you, in my opinion, too many people in power in both countries are profiting off the carnage for anyone to want to make any positive changes.
    The propaganda machine of the American media is running full tilt about the danger of the cartels and reports little or nothing about the deaths and social cleansing taking place.
    The bottom line is that very powerful people are splitting 50 billion in blood money and we don’t care because it’s Mexican blood.

  15. Michael says:

    As to #1…as I said, how we deal with the reality is open for discussion. We still offer the Gospel to all men and seek to live it out before all men. We are wise as serpents and gentle as doves…

  16. Michael says:

    What captivates me about Wright is his emphasis on what God is doing now and that He is doing it through us…that we are not to be waiting for rapture or rescue, but to be involved in God’s great plan to bring heaven and earth together again.

    God is our King and He is ruling and reigning through His subjects and bringing all of this to His conclusion in His time…it just minimizes the angst of temporal politics when you realize that the true King is in power.

  17. Michael says:

    What Skip has done is model what success looks like to his tribe.
    Calvary Chapel has always had an inordinate emphasis on numbers and a desire to be ‘cutting edge’ culturally.
    Nobody does this better than Heitzig while still incorporating the traditions of the movement.
    As I looked at the new organizational chart, he has loyalists spread all over the country and he is using media and technology better than anyone.
    Scoff if you will…check with me in a few years.

  18. John Samson says:

    If someone openly denies justification by faith alone and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to the sinner by grace alone through faith in Him alone, can they be considered a true Christian? Though a scholar of note with many insights does not N T Wright categorically deny this? Just asking…

  19. Michael says:

    John,

    You and I will disagree here, because I believe there are many regenerate men and women in Christian traditions that do not affirm Reformed doctrine.
    As to what Wright believes on these issues, I have some disagreement with him, but his is a far more nuanced and biblically informed position than some Reformed folks have caricatured.
    A question, John…have you actually read his work?

  20. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Good stuff…

  21. Kevin H says:

    4. I have never liked politics but try to stay at least somewhate engaged with current issues because I believe it is a stewardship that God has granted to those of us who live in countries with free elections. Personally, I would rather avoid them altogether because of all the underhanded stuff (stating that nicely) that goes on. But I don’t think God wants all of us to ignore them. Some he may he even call to become significantly involved. Even politics are beyond God’s redemption. 😉 Here’s an article I saw on Facebook today that I liked: http://www.risingvoice.com/format/thoughts/the-trend-of-political-disenchantment/

  22. Kevin H says:

    That would be politics *aren’t* beyond God’s redemption. 😳

  23. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    There are brethren called to that arena.
    My issue is when we break fellowship (and scripture) over these matters.
    I’m repenting and I want company… 🙂

  24. Chile says:

    Josh’s #9. Maybe Skip is a great man, who did awful things?

    Without repentence, and public repentance for his public sins, I don’t think it’s possible to be a great man, or “a man after God’s own heart” like David, who did awful things.

    Papias’s #9. That Skip wants to run the bigger org is no surprise, but methinks it could only happen over, as someone might state, “Over my dead body!”.

    Isn’t there already a bunch of bodies in Skip’s wake? And didn’t he already step on them and over them?

    (Papias, sorry about your friend’s passing.)

  25. Kevin H says:

    I guess I wasn’t sure if you were saying you wanted to avoid the unholy conflicts (some conflict can be healthy, it’s a matter of how it’s handled) with brethren, or if you were wanting to avoid politics altogether because of past wrongs. One of the points in the article I posted was that possibly one of the impetuses of Christians blowing off politics is that past Christians haven’t always handled them well.

  26. Em says:

    seems to me the big question for the Christian in these United States is, did God give us this nation? were we as Christians the driving force behind its founding? (i know all the songs about our greed and our inhumanity etc) – we didn’t declare ourselves “one nation under God” until Dwight Eisenhower thought we should and by then, if we ever were, we were fast becoming something divided and hyphenated – does the Church mourn what we’ve lost or do we carry on as we always have?” dunno – just pondering

  27. Michael says:

    Heitzig is the poster child for the real issues in evangelicalism.
    You cannot have a ministry of the size and scope of his without massive financial contributions from thousands of people.
    This blog, and later, the major Christian and secular media, exposed a ton of wrong doing and sub Christian behavior on his part.
    The people shouted with one loud voice that they didn’t care, reached for their wallets and supported him despite the reports.
    God has given them the king they desire…

  28. Xenia says:

    If someone openly denies justification by faith alone and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to the sinner by grace alone through faith in Him alone, can they be considered a true Christian? <<<

    This is hilarious. Really, quite a knee-slapper.

    Apparently there were no true Christians until the Reformation.

  29. Xenia says:

    By the way, I openly deny justification by faith alone and the imputation of righteousness, etc.

    Time will tell.

  30. Em says:

    don’t know Heitzig, but i know his kind and i only have one word: Jeremiah

  31. Em says:

    Xenia – what are you justified by/through, then? … if i may ask … guess i just did

    (i don’t think one has to have a doctrinal label – or understand them – in order to function in Christ BTW)

  32. Michael says:

    Em,

    What we do is stop equating the kingdom of God with the temporal kingdoms of men and get about kingdom work.

    In my opinion… 🙂

  33. Kevin H says:

    As for your comment on N.T. Wright: “What captivates me about Wright is his emphasis on what God is doing now and that He is doing it through us…that we are not to be waiting for rapture or rescue, but to be involved in God’s great plan to bring heaven and earth together again.”

    I’ve never read Wright so I can’t give any opinion. However, after yesterday’s service, I’m all for something that not wrapped up in looking for the rapture and the End Times that we MUST be in. It was propecy conference weekend (which I avoid like the plague) and unfortunately it spilled over into the Sunday morning service. All talk about how the signs of our current times show us that we have to be in the End Times and the Rapture and Christ’s return has to be soon. (Of course with the qualifier that nobody can set a date and nobody can say with certainty exactly how long it will be. But those *signs* sure are convincing that we must be in the times immediately preceeding the Second Coming. So much time wasted on idle speculation.

    Sorry, rant over.

  34. Michael says:

    Just for the record…
    John is a very good man and an erudite representative for his tribe.
    While I agree with much of his theological positions, I do not believe that we are saved by doctrinal formulations, but by the Spirit of God and He has His elect in many traditions.

  35. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    Amen and amen… I highly recommend that you read his work or even watch some of his lectures on Youtube. Highly refreshing.

  36. Chile says:

    #28 “God has given them the king they desire…”

    Well, all that teaching, or repeating of the mantra, that “one must just (blindly) trust the man at the helm was put there by God, so we just have to give and follow and trust him to do what God wants done,” really worked.

    Moral of the story: Do not just trust that the leader is following God today. Or, at a minimum, trust but verify. Better yet, get into a church that operates as a “fully functioning body” and not like a disconnected “head” with thousands of “hands” working for him. (Picture the Great OZ!)

    I’m still perplexed as to how we can know just how sinful we are, just how easy it is for us to err, and how quickly we can lose perspective …. YET, we believe a pastor is somehow above all that?

  37. Em says:

    End times? birth pangs? i think i subscribe to the cesarean view … i want out … but that is not being about the business of the Kingdom and there are warnings about doing that

    amen to Michael’s # 33

  38. Papias says:

    Chili,
    First – Thank you.

    Second, Skip is a fallen man. Nonetheless, he knows where the bodies are buried, because he either ordered where they were to be buried, or did it himself. But don’t think that would stop him from throwing anyone else who stands in his way of being the top dog. And you have to wonder if the holes are already dug….

    Skip probably already has a plan for getting what he wants, after the last failed attempt.

  39. Michael says:

    Chile,

    To be blunt, it has less to do with that teaching and more about the fact that people want to be around success.
    Until the pews take responsibility for their spiritual health, there will be no change in the pulpits.
    During the scandal years I was deluged with information from people who claimed to be supporting my efforts and were determined to see truth and justice brought to bear.
    Today, a great many of those people are now sitting under and supporting his ministry again.
    They counted the cost, decided I should pay it, and went back to Egypt.

  40. Chile says:

    Papias — “And you have to wonder if the holes are already dug….”

    “Skip probably already has a plan for getting what he wants, after the last failed attempt.”

    That sends shivers down my spine! Power really corrupts … it’s just downright ugly.

  41. Chile says:

    @ Michael’s 40 “… it has less to do with that teaching and more about the fact that people want to be around success.”

    I hear the truth in this assessment.

    That noise you just heard was my heart shattering for Evangelical Christians everywhere.

    Does it just stem from ignorance? from apathy? from laziness? Is this a natural by-product for those of us who came of age in the 70’s with the cultural drive for “personal peace and affluence?”

  42. Papias says:

    http://papiaslogia.wordpress.com/
    New WordPress blog – just like the old one, but easier to comment – hopefully. 🙂

    Back to regulary scheduled programming….

  43. Xenia says:

    The word “justification” is rarely used in Orthodoxy. We become Christians by following Christ. We do not have a complicated soteriology at all, nor do we have much of a systematic theology. Christians are those who follow Christ and obey His commandments. The goal of the Christian life is to become conformed to His Image, to become like Christ.

  44. Em says:

    thank you, Xenia … conformed to His image – amen to that goal

  45. Papias says:

    @ Michael’s 40 “… it has less to do with that teaching and more about the fact that people want to be around success.”
    Does it just stem from ignorance? from apathy? from laziness? Is this a natural by-product for those of us who came of age in the 70′s with the cultural drive for “personal peace and affluence?”

    I was reminded last night, and that I believe its part of our fallen nature to “line up behind others”. See 1 Cor 1:12.

    We LIKE to be identified behind men, it helps us define ourselves. But its a trap, because in doing so, we have to be willing to give up something of ourselves.

    2 cents and change… 🙂

  46. Michael says:

    Chile,

    It stems from all of the above and a radical disconnect between what the Bible says about the nature and calling of the church and what Western culture has created in it’s place.

    I’ve taken a ton of really harsh criticism over the last couple of years because I’m not as belligerant on a daily basis about these issues…but I put it all on the line and ended up buck naked on the field of battle while my supporters went in and ate with the enemy.

    This is also why I’ve said over and over and over again that the only way to change these things is relationally though dialog with those in power…because they know they can survive anything bloggers and the media throw at them and they can survive and thrive without changing at all.

  47. Michael says:

    Papias…well said.

  48. Ixtlan says:

    “During the scandal years I was deluged with information from people who claimed to be supporting my efforts and were determined to see truth and justice brought to bear.
    Today, a great many of those people are now sitting under and supporting his ministry again.”

    and they console themselves through many ways in their attempt to convince themselves that things are better…… I guess the produce of Egypt is better tasting than the manna from heaven.

    and……… next time there is problem that spurns such an outrage………. fight your own fight and fix it yourselves.

  49. Michael says:

    Ixtlan,

    Exactly.
    Yes, the next time there’s an issue in ABQ, don’t call me…I gave at the office…and at home…and I lost almost everything.

  50. Xenia says:

    I am reminded of the time when I was talking with Matt Slick, owner and chief apologist of the CARM website. Upon learning that I was an Orthodox Christian, he wanted to prove that I was not a Christian so he asked me what I believed. I said I believed in the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation, the virgin birth, the two natures of Christ, his sinless life, his miracles, his death on the cross, his burial and resurrection on the third day, his ascension into heaven, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, his 2nd coming, and that Christ is the only name given by which anyone can be saved. I said I believed the Bible was true and that we talk to God through prayer. I said they with the help of the Holy Spirit we can over come sins.

    And Matt Slick said unless I believed in faith ALONE (as he defined it) and the imputation doctrine I am not a Christian and I am going to hell.

    I replied that indeed, I might be going to hell but not for the reasons he gave.

  51. Lutheran says:

    4. It may be better for some to not engage in politics. For me, it would be sin not to.

    Just one other thing: Gary Bauer. Yecccchhhhh. See the end of the 2nd paragraph in the link below.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/17/rush-limbaugh-says-welfare-recipients-turn-out-to-vote-in-force-they-really-dont/

  52. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Those confessions you make and believe are the reasons I can no longer just accept the soteriological confessions of my tribe without question or nuance.
    I thank you for your witness…

  53. Chile says:

    Michael — “I put it all on the line and ended up buck naked on the field of battle while my supporters went in and ate with the enemy.”

    This explains a lot. I’m sorry they did this to you, Michael. Just in case no one has said this to you recently …. They were wrong.

    On a much smaller scale, I heard people express outrage because they knew our being ousted from the church was wrong, and the total neglect when I was half dead was unconscionable; but they were busy moving up the ladder to get that next title and position of power in ministry so they clung to the machine.

  54. Xenia says:

    Thanks, Michael.

    I believe Matt Slick is saved but he does not believe I am saved. And I am the one who believes in “One True Church-ism.”

  55. Another Voice says:

    Christ taught on counting the cost of discipleship to the multitudes that were following him. Almost as if He was trying to drive potential followers away. He wanted total commitment, not large numbers brought about by shallow, emotional responses.

    (Points made by yours truly yesterday in teaching from Luke)

  56. Michael says:

    Chile,

    That wasn’t on a smaller scale… not in your life and that of your families.
    Our experiences are mirror issues of the same problem…and the only people who can solve that problem aren’t the ones “in power”, but the ones in the pews.

    If they refuse to do so, then all the crusading in the world is for naught.

  57. Michael says:

    AV,

    Excellent point…Jesus doesn’t fit many of our current ecclesiastical templates.

  58. Chile says:

    “… the only people who can solve that problem aren’t the ones “in power”, but the ones in the pews.” — Michael

    I believe what you are saying is true, if the leadership is that far removed from really listening to God and willingness to repent.

    On the other hand, Pastor Jeff Crippen of Tillamook, Oregon, repented of his poor view of women. This first started with he and his elders seeking God for His view on women, as well as on what they may have done wrong. They repented. Policies were changed and they set an example for the church. But they are an example of leaders who meant well, but just messed up. God was able to speak to them and bring about a correction from the top down.

    That’s apparently now what we are dealing with though …

  59. Mark says:

    Xenia- just curious. Don’t the Orthodox also beleive that Mary was sinless-that Mary is our mediator between man and God-that the Bible is not inerrant- that Church tradition and teaching is on equal standing with the Word of God in the Christian’s life- that men ( and women) can be venerated as saints- and that there is only one true Chruch that can enter Heaven? If I do not belong to yoru Chruch- doesn’t the Orthodox faith teach that I cannot enter Heaven?

    I am not trying to judge your salvation- just wondering what your church teaches about mine.

  60. Michael says:

    Chile,

    In the aftermath of all the CC scandals we reported on, many Calvary Chapel pastors rewrote their bylaws and church constitutions to include accountability clauses and mechanisms to discipline leadership.

    I was privileged to review and sometimes help write a few of these documents.

    The good guys got better and did their best to insure that their churches would be safe places for both pew and pulpit.

    When that kind of godly leadership is absent, the people must take responsibility for their own spiritual health.
    Time has proven them reluctant to do so.

  61. Xenia says:

    1. Mary was sinless

    We do not believe in the Roman doctrine of the Immaculate Conception that says that the Theotokos was conceived without the stain of original sin. We believe she was a pure person, suitable to be the mother of our Lord. She was part of sinful humanity and needed a Saviour, just like all sinners.

    2. that Mary is our mediator between man

    Mary is an intercessor. She prays for us. We believe in intercessory prayer, both by Christians on earth and by those in heaven. You might call her the champion prayer warrior, standing in the gap, praying for us sinners, for which I am very thankful.

    3. and God-that the Bible is not inerrant<<<

    We believe every word in the Bible is inspired and true. That should suffice. I don't know what you mean by "inerrant' that goes beyond what I said.

    4. that Church tradition and teaching is on equal standing with the Word of God in the Christian’s life

    Not quite. The Scriptures are a part of the Holy Tradition, the major part. But not the only part. The Bible and the Tradition are not two separate things that stand in competition or opposition to each other.

    5. that men ( and women) can be venerated as saints

    Yes, of course.

    6. and that there is only one true Chruch that can enter Heaven? If I do not belong to yoru Chruch- doesn’t the Orthodox faith teach that I cannot enter Heaven?

    See my # 55 above. We believe God is the lover of mankind and desires all to be saved.

  62. Em says:

    is there any instance of Mary, mother of our Lord, in the role of an intercessor mentioned in the Scriptures?
    FWIW – i’m leaning toward the view that Mary’s role as the mother of the incarnate Christ ended at Jesus’ death … i reverence her as God’s chosen woman and strongly believe that she should be spotlighted and understood as the premier role model for women, a spirit that i honor and am convicted by

  63. Xenia says:

    Em, I’m going to save my comments about the Theotokos for the Anglican article that talks about this topic so as not to dominate the thread with my Ortho-thoughts, as I too often do.

  64. Lutheran says:

    The assertion that justification by grace through faith started with the Reformation is a lie.

    I suggest anyone disagreeing pick up a book by Thomas Oden, “The Justification Reader.”
    Besides being biblical, you’ll find quote after quote on the subject from many Church fathers, east and west. I don’t have the time to post them.

    Oden is a Methodist and the co-editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, a learned theologian and someone who’s as familiar as anyone about the early history of the Church and the Fathers.

    http://www.amazon.com/Justification-Reader-Classic-Christian-Readers/dp/0802839665/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1347915108&sr=8-16&keywords=thomas+oden

  65. Xenia says:

    All Christians believe that you must have faith in Christ to be saved. Naturally, you will find many,many references to “faith” in the fathers. The addition of the word “alone,” that’s what’s problematic. All Christians believe that we are saved by God’s grace. Again, all Christians believe that we are saved by the grace of God because we have faith in Christ.

  66. Reuben says:

    I have said it before, I will say it a few hundred more times. If you are wrong about Jesus, it doesn’t matter what you are right about.

    Looking forward to Xenia’s interaction on the Anglican articles.

  67. Xenia says:

    I think everyone in this discussion is “right” about Jesus. As far as I can tell, everyone believe’s Christ is the Logos, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son of God, begotten not made, of one essence with the Father, 100 percent God and 100 percent man, born of a virgin, the Messiah, the Creator, and so on and so forth.

    There is some disagreement today about soteriology.

  68. I was listening to Joel Rosenberg while driving home this evening. Here is what I Think.

    I think he preaches that Jesus cannot come back on any day – like today, because he goes on that the USA is not found in end times prophecies. His conclusion is that we are not around or we are not a nation of significant power or influence. So… no mater how bad of shape we may be in today, we surely can hang on as a world power (even if not the most powerful) for quite some time to come. So, I think from listening to Joel, Jesus cannot return until we are on our last 7 yrs so that we would be nothing come the great battle.

    Well, what do you want, he was on a show hawking his new book. 🙂

  69. Reuben: “If you are wrong about Jesus, it doesn’t matter what you are right about.”

    Now you only have to say it 299 more times!

  70. MLD: “Well, what do you want, he was on a show hawking his new book.”

    I can tell you what I DON”T want, and that’s his new book.

    Speaking of new book, I just ordered Jesus: A Theography, by Leonard Sweet. I know he’s supposed to be a heretic and all, but I’m still looking forward to reading it. Hey, maybe I’m a heretic too. After all, I enjoyed and have actually recommended The Shack to some people. It might just be Davy Jones’ Locker for this ol’ captain!

  71. London says:

    Its about dang time you came over to the dark side Capt!!

  72. London 🙂

  73. brian says:

    http://justiceinmexico.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/2012-tbi-drugviolence.pdf

    I do not agree with the conclusions of this study as I have not had the chance to chase down all the resources and interpret them against other resources. What I am asking is the figures stated in the article somewhat accurate? Thanks

  74. victorious says:

    Lute. I love Oden the pastoral theologian . I have his systematic theology which is structured around the persons of the Trinity.I have looked at his reader on justification and will probably get it in the next year.

  75. Bob Sweat says:

    As usual, I enjoyed reading the posts on this thread. Yesterday was a difficult day. A pastor friend was beat up and spat out by the leadership of his church. He is a pastor in the truest since of the word. One who ministers more away from the pulpit than from behind the pulpit. Too bad so many pastors feel that their ministry is confined to the words they speak from behind the same pulpit that they love to hide behind. This man was not that way, and the people at that church will suffer from his absence.

    That’s what I think, but maybe I need to stop thinking and start listening.

  76. Michael says:

    Bob,

    That is a tragedy…and truer words were never spoken about pastoral ministry being so much more than the weekly teaching.

  77. Michael says:

    brian,

    Parts of the report are accurate.
    However, any report that depends on the Mexican government statistics for these crimes is fatally flawed.
    Since this report was published they have admitted that there have been twice as many deaths as they reported previously and those numbers don’t account for those who have been “disappeared”.
    Seventeen more bodies were found at just one site yesterday…

  78. Babylon's Dread says:

    Greetings from Zimbabwe … it is so good… and so painful to reframe your concerns through the lens of thousands of people who eek out a living on the margins of life with little hope of a better future.

    Things I think is always something I look forward to … Hope you are all doing well. No internet in my world except an occasional visit to a wifi cafe…

    The children of Africa need for us to do better in their behalf … China is recolonizing Africa and the story is going unnoticed in the west. China never does anything without expectation of return … neither did the West.

  79. Lutheran says:

    Vic,

    I’m glad you like Tom Oden. I checked out his Systematic from the library and read parts of it and loved it. So much fun to see a quote from a church father next to something similar by Wesley or Calvin! My guess is that you’ll really like his Justification Reader. It’s pretty profound.

  80. Em says:

    China is recolonizing Arica and it isn’t going unnoticed by many of us, who have no ability to do anything about it … the Euphrates has truly “dried up” – praying for safe travels as well as a blessed ministering for BD …

  81. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    #7-just when my Blues were getting good again

  82. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Bob said:

    “As usual, I enjoyed reading the posts on this thread. Yesterday was a difficult day. A pastor friend was beat up and spat out by the leadership of his church. He is a pastor in the truest since of the word. One who ministers more away from the pulpit than from behind the pulpit. Too bad so many pastors feel that their ministry is confined to the words they speak from behind the same pulpit that they love to hide behind. This man was not that way, and the people at that church will suffer from his absence.

    That’s what I think, but maybe I need to stop thinking and start listening.”

    This is what happened to my old youth pastor at foursquare. he went to the highways and bi ways to bring disenfranchised youth to the church and that is why the leadership wanted him out. They didn’t wnat their precious children tainted by these roguh around the edges youth which I was one. Sadly the youth ministry dried up there after he left and it has never been the same. Out of my group of friends from that youth group only not a one of them is still serving christ. They got cut off at the legs for discipleship once the youh pastor was fired.

  83. Mark says:

    Xenia- just getting back today. Thank you for answering my questions. Very enlightening. Still a little confused about the last answer. I grew up Catholic and was taught in Catechism that I cannot get to heaven unless I belong to the Ctaholic Chruch. The catechism states:

    The Church in this world is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and men” (CCC 780).

    Does EO believe the same thing?

  84. Mark says:

    Further, the Catechism states:

    846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: (161, 1257)

    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336

    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

    This seems pretty clear that if I am aware of the Churches teaching (which I am)- and I do not accept the Churches teaching (which I don’t) that I cannot be saved.

  85. Lutheran says:

    I’d like to publicly thank Mittens Romney for running for President. He’s pretty much just handed the election to President Obama. I’ve never seen a candidate that’s so ham-handed and insensitive to average folks.

    Politics can be fun.

    🙂

  86. Xenia says:

    Mark, the answer usually given to your question is the following: “We know where the Church is but we cannot say where it is not.”

  87. Xenia says:

    More for Mark:

    I don’t think the Roman Catholics are saying you have to be Catholic to be saved anymore. I think they are increasingly embracing an “all roads lead to heaven” philosophy. The language of Vatican II is difficult to parse.

    The people who are the most adamant that only their group is saved are found in the fundamentalist/ evangelical camp, not among the Orthodox or the Catholics.

    This is worth repeating: The only people I know who consistently say that only their group is saved are the fundamentalist/ evangelicals, not the Orthodox/ Catholics. I have been told numerous times that I am not a Christian by fundamentalist/ evangelicals. I have never heard an Orthodox Christian say this to a Protestant.

  88. Lutheran says:

    ‘I have never heard an Orthodox Christian say this to a Protestant.’

    I have.

    I know someone who was anathematized by an EO priest because he said he believed in justification by grace through faith.

  89. Em says:

    Xenia’s #87 – with respect due, i think that declaration needs a bit of a tweek 🙂
    perhaps… “we know a place where the Church resides” … ? … and, off the top of my head it seems to me that there should be places where we can say, “the Church does not reside there” …

    it really is time for my nap now

  90. Mark says:

    Xenia- you should come to one of my family dinners. I hear it all the time. You should attend a Catholic wedding Mass- or read their missal. It is definitely still a major part of the Catholic Church’s teaching

  91. Xenia says:

    I know someone who was anathematized by an EO priest because he said he believed in justification by grace through faith.<<<<

    ALONE. I can almost guarantee that the sticking point was the person's use of the word ALONE. The Orthodox also believe we are saved by God's grace and through faith in Jesus Christ.

    Mark, I don't know much about Catholics. You know more about them than I do so I'll take you at your word.

  92. Lutheran says:

    Sorry, Xenia. That wasn’t it at all. I talked with him about it.

    Needless to say, my friend hasn’t darkened the door of an EO church since.

  93. Xenia says:

    His loss.

  94. Reuben says:

    We should rename this blog “Heretics Corner”, or “The Unsaved”

  95. Another Voice says:

    The people who are the most adamant that only their group is saved are found in the fundamentalist/ evangelical camp, not among the Orthodox or the Catholics.
    —————————————-
    Xenia, do you believe that evangelicals should have freedom of religion in a nation that is majority Catholic or majority Orthodox?

    Or do you think those nations are right in God’s sight to arrange the laws of the land to prohibit new churches, interrupt evangelical services and other hastles of Christian minority groups?

    Again..in God’s sight.

  96. Em says:

    i love Evangelicals – our heritage of hard work, hard times and Faith – the Church is composed of beautiful people focused on Christ – power corrupts and historically the power hungry have learned the talk and used the Church down through history (religion is a powerful weapon for evil IMHO) – if we’d focus on Christ – our first love – we could make the exploitation and corruption in our midst much harder to accomplish – or so it seems to me

  97. Xenia says:

    All my posts here today have basically been in response to the person near the top of the thread who said:

    “If someone openly denies justification by faith alone and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to the sinner by grace alone through faith in Him alone, can they be considered a true Christian?”

    Mark asked some other questions and I answered them.

    I have said:

    1. Orthodox Christians try to make no judgement calls on the salvation status of other Christians. (Individual exceptions noted.)
    2. Many fundamentalists and evangelicals do not believe the Orthodox are true Christians. I have experienced this personally.
    3. I never once said on this thread that I doubt the salvation of anyone.

    I think my answers are satisfactory but apparently, not convincing.

    I am not about to get embroiled in a discussion about the policies of foreign governments concerning freedom of religion in their countries. I’ve had that conversation here before.

  98. Another Voice says:

    I am not about to get embroiled in a discussion about the policies of foreign governments concerning freedom of religion in their countries. I’ve had that conversation here before.
    —————————————-
    Good grief. Well, I sure don’t remember it.

    I didn’t think it was asking much to go on record for religious freedom among Christians of different tribes…

  99. AV,
    I think you are being a little unfair to Xenia. I think that you know that she is very much in favor of all Christians having religious freedom. I am sure that you even know that she is in favor of all people having faith… or not and not being harassed over it.But I think you are asking her to answer for centuries of repression and government control that has led to some church actions.

    You need to remember, in places like Russia today, people aren’t free. They may have more freedom than in the 60s, but they are still bound by repressive government actions, not to mention a memory of what was.

    You can’t put an American mindset in an Eastern European mind.

  100. Another Voice says:

    MLD, you will notice I was responding to something critical said of my camp, when actual experience TODAY shows it is laughable to say we are the only ones guilty of such boorish behavior. So I asked for a clarification since I never read ANYTHING remotely critical (and this on the heels of Lutheran’s anecdote and the reply back there too).

    And I got the dodge.

    Nuff said.

  101. Xenia says:

    Yes, that is enough said.

  102. Em says:

    sins and heresies …
    it might be helpful – tedious, but helpful – when speaking of what one’s church of choice believes/teaches, to preface it with something like, “tenets of our church” … because practices have strayed from beliefs in almost all of our churches … the recent and the aged ones 🙂

  103. Ixtlan says:

    It is not so much what a person will affirm as it is how those things are defined…….
    they are equally important….

    orthodox soteriology does not hold to an instantaneous, once and for all, position of being saved (righteous) for people while they are on earth. So it makes sense that they would not make any judgment calls pertaining to the salvation of other church groups. They can’t make that call beyond any doubt of their own group, likewise no other groups as well. It does not make them any better than those evangelical groups who are willing (rightly or wrongly) to make those calls.

  104. London says:

    I love technology.
    BD is half way around the world, says hello from Another continent and we don’t skip a beat.
    What our grandparents, and parents for some of us, would never have dreamed of, we find so commonplace as to not even be distracted for a moment.
    Weird days we live in…

  105. Em says:

    London, it’s a small world … or something like that 🙂
    FWIW – i read his post, paused and thot, ‘wow’ … long round about way to ‘amen’ your #105

  106. Ixtlan says:

    BTW… Lutheran,
    Thanks for the link on Oden’s book. I found a good deal on a used copy on Amazon and will have it here in a week or two…

  107. Em says:

    lxtlan, i get a lot of good ponders from the PhxP – enjoyed your recent posts – just a thank you … as i ponder

  108. pstrmike says:

    Em…………. thanks……

  109. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    .8 “Will they?”

    No because people love the “Giants” of the faith. The love the celebrities and well known. They don’t hold Chuck Smith accountable so why would they hold Mark Driscoll accountable?

  110. Ixtlan says:

    thanks Em…..

  111. “No because people love the “Giants” of the faith.”

    I take issue with Sol Rod – people love the Dodgers of faith.

    And the way they have played this past month – takes much faith. 🙂

  112. Em says:

    “dodgers of the faith” …?… has a ring to it … of some kind

  113. Em says:

    Dodgers of the Faith
    Giants of the Faith
    Mariners of the Faith
    Cowboys of the Faith
    Patriots of the Faith
    Braves of the Faith
    Red Sox of the Faith(?)
    ahh, yes, Saints of the Faith

    you know what? there’s a book here (which i fervently hope none of the Exploiters of the Faith catch on to)

  114. Reuben says:

    Jesus loves the Colorado Rockies, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Denver Broncos.

    However, faith, without works, is dead.

    Jesus still loves them.

  115. Kevin H says:

    Yes, Reuben, but Jesus doesn’t love the Broncos quite as much this year since they got rid of Tim Tebow. 😉

  116. Love that video everytime I see it.

  117. Please Note says:

    Dread…..praying for safe travels and a fruitful endeavor on your journey.

    I’m not worried whether Xenia will make it to heaven, I just hope she runs into me when she does 😉 .

  118. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Jesus loved the Vikings first week of the season not so much in week 2

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