Things I Think

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164 Responses

  1. filbertz says:

    If medications were treated like theology, then ‘if they are new, they’re not true’ would keep you from believing in their validity or value.

    The pastor of the church I’ve been attending said to me yesterday, “I don’t know why you keep showing up, but it’s nice to see you.” I can’t quite figure out what he meant.

    I agree with you that the most glaring issue with the StrangeFlames guys is their view(s) of the Holy Spirit.

    Love doesn’t leave us much room to speculate.

  2. J.U. says:

    Your #10 rings very true with me. We are now a culture of instant gratification and short attention span. It shows in the credit card bills, the divorces, and the shallow approach to almost every aspect of life; sadly, even religion.

  3. covered says:

    fil, that is a strange thing for your pastor to say. I wonder if he was reaching out to you.

  4. Bob Sweat says:

    FIRST!

  5. Bob Sweat says:

    No one said it!

  6. Michael says:

    Well done, Bob… 🙂

  7. Jim says:

    Your 4 & 5 are two sides of the same coin.

  8. ryan couch says:

    She’s right…you don’t hear about fathering being the most important job in the world. But we should. I wish mine had seen it as important period.

  9. Michael says:

    Ryan,

    I think parenting is the most important job in the world…but her attitude was that “the village” can substitute for parents.
    The “village” is a very dangerous place to leave your children…

  10. Steve Wright says:

    If there’s one thing I wish I could repent of it’s speaking to things political.
    ——————————————————-
    I wish you would repent of that too. 😉

    In all seriousness, somewhere between the “Reverend” Sharpton or Jackson or Robertson who likely haven’t given a true sermon in a local church in years…somewhere between the various pastors like Jeremiah Wright on the left, or your average right-winger on the right whose sermons are more like political speeches than Bible studies….and between your pastors that are more known for their politics outside the church than their faith inside it….and your pastors that are silent in the face of evil (for whatever reason) who refuse to leave the safety of their positions and take a stand…

    Somewhere in that 4-dimensional spectrum is where I seek to walk.

  11. Michael says:

    If you are teaching the Scriptures faithfully week in and week out, I don’t think you are ever going to be silent in the face of evil.

  12. Steve Wright says:

    If you are teaching the Scriptures faithfully week in and week out, I don’t think you are ever going to be silent in the face of evil.
    —————————————————————
    It’s all in the application emphasis – both in examples chosen and time spent elaborating.

    You would not have spoken about civil rights for blacks in the 60s just by teaching through verses of the Bible. You need to bring that application out.

    Today you won’t talk about Muslims killing Christians in the Middle East unless you choose to talk about it as an example. You won’t talk about the attacks on the family like you mention unless you choose to talk about it as an example. And so forth…

    And that is where the challenge lies in not turning the Bible-based sermon into a political rant (of whatever partisan persuasion).

  13. Steve Wright says:

    That’s an inclusive “you” – not personal at you Michael

  14. ryan couch says:

    MIchael, I agree 100%

  15. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I wrestle with this…
    As I watch Mexico fall farther and farther into the abyss I wonder if teaching about our responsibility to our neighbor and the stranger among us is sufficient.
    By the same token, it’s not my job to craft immigration and economic policy.
    Then there is the whole matter of the beast empires in the Revelation and their counter parts today…

  16. Andy says:

    6. They are likely saying the same about you. 😉

    8. Harold Camping was obviously a phony. But putting that aside, the fact that there are apostate “churches”, is just Biblical truth. If nobody is apostate, then all churches are “right”, and so why do they all contradict one another? And you can’t say that they all agree on the “essentials”. They do not. They all say “Jesus died and rose again”, but the agreement pretty much stops there.

  17. Michael says:

    Andy,

    What was essential to the apostles?
    The Gospel.
    There is a huge difference between being apostate and being in error.
    I believe that the pretrib schematic is error…but I don’t believe that the churches that teach it are apostate.

  18. Andy says:

    “What was essential to the apostles? The Gospel”

    Which Gospel? The catholic Gospel that asserts requirements of the sacraments to be saved? The Church of Christ Gospel which requires their water baptism to be saved? I dealt with that one yesterday, a man that took over a whole meeting because we don’t agree with Church of Christ doctrine. Those are just two examples. You desire to be so inclusive. But the Gospel is not inclusive. There is only one Gospel. Now those two groups, have different definitions of the Gospel compared to each other, and compared to me? They are not the same. So the apostles couldn’t have meant all three of these definitions.

  19. Michael says:

    Andy,

    The kerygma was the birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and return of the Lord.
    That leaves a lot of room for a lot of doctrines and grace provides a covering for a lot of errors.
    Anyone that thinks they have the “pure” Gospel scares the hell out of me.

  20. Steve Wright says:

    If our political system had a tight form of term limits, where people from various walks of life could step into office relatively cheaply and easily, and only for a few years before stepping down – then I believe having pastors along with a variety of other vocations would only be a good thing.

    The reality is that political office is a career for most, either a primary career for those groomed from an early age or second career for someone who has made millions of dollars in their first career and now, having plenty of money, crave power.

    Makes it hard for those sold-out for the Lord that would want to make a difference in our laws to ever really get in and do so. But then again, you speak of the beast empire – this is not how it should be (or how it was supposed to be). Government should largely be local, where it is easy to make a difference. Not this present reality where the power all lies in D.C., then morphs to the state capitol, and the only thing local is they allow you to play with zoning ordinances and loading zones.

  21. babylonthegreatfallen says:

    Lately when the spiritual gift police inquire about our practices of gifts in the local church I reply by asking them to outline how the gifts of the spirit actually function when they gather together. I ask them about their own protocol for prophets. They prove that the whole question of “what about this verse” only applies to their insistence upon quenching the function of gifts and never about integrating them into actual services.

  22. Michael says:

    BD,

    I most church services only one gift is allowed to operate.
    One of the things I’m working on in our church is allowing ourselves to be open to divine interruption…

  23. Steve Wright says:

    More than one. Gift of teaching of course, but they will “allow” for the gift of giving, the gift of helps and the gift of administration too. 🙂

    Shame to me the Body of Christ’s activity through the gifts of the Spirit is limited by some to what takes place one hour on Sunday and not the other 6 days, 23 hours.

  24. Being liturgical, and believing that we gather in church to receive gifts of grace and forgiveness – our sole purpose is to be there for the divine interruption … which is in word and sacrament.

  25. “and the only thing local is they allow you to play with zoning ordinances and loading zones.”

    Local is all I need – the stuff that happens in DC has very little affect on me … other than costing me money.

    What more do I need than, clean water pumped into my house, sewage pumped out, my garbage picked up once a week, a fireman or the police to show up when I need them. Maybe someone to sync the lights a little better. 🙂

  26. victorious says:

    Fathering is huge. Mine remained on the job. He did not give me things as much as he gave me himself which is saying a lot as he had no functional father, being part of a family that had to split up and work on various family farms during the depression.

    When I planted a church, I used to vent that I was everyone’s father and the toll it took on me. The Lord basically said that I was the only one who had a functional and caring father and therefore had something that He expected to give in that arena.

    I remain in an insanely abusive marriage so I can complete the course and impart the blessing of being a hands on Father.

    All that being said, we live in a world where it is tempting to fall in to discouragement and either disconnect or let ourselves be destroyed through our own escape mechanisms.

    If you are a father do not measure yourself by all the super spiritual dad to do,lists that get thrown at you. Just stand and when you catch your breath offer a prayer, and extend a hand and heart even if you think yours is too wounded.The Lord will give you the rest of the blessing that is fitting for the story of your family.

  27. Michael says:

    vic,

    That…was an excellent word!

  28. Rob Murphy says:

    This article got me a-thinkin’. Two great problems brought to light, misplaced salvation.
    Medicine Saved Me
    FDR Saved America

    Medicine
    I nearly died in January from Bacterial Meningitis, but God spared my life through antibiotics. God’s numbered my days and my last day wasn’t going to be a result of bacterial meningitis. God spared me. If I worship antibiotics, I have to worry that antibiotics are either a bit short sighted or capricious because as much good as they do, there’s also MRSA. New research and reporting says that antibiotics might well kill us, having just ‘saved’ us.

    Politics
    Politically, I believe the downfall of Christianity in America dates back to Franklin Roosevelt, who is credited by an entire generation of good Christian men and women with “saving us” from the depression and WW2. God spared America and some guy got the credit and just like the misplaced worship of antibiotics, Roosevelt’s legacy may just kill this country.

    Both are instances of worshiping the created rather than the Creator. It’s a theory.

  29. Michael says:

    Rob,

    I think antibiotics are a gift from God…like you I’d be long dead without them.
    My thought is that we give ourselves credit for their creation…when I believe that God in Hid providence provided them.

  30. Andy says:

    “The kerygma was the birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and return of the Lord.
    That leaves a lot of room for a lot of doctrines and grace provides a covering for a lot of errors. Anyone that thinks they have the “pure” Gospel scares the hell out of me.”

    I don’t understand these statements at all. So nobody understands the pure Gospel? Even with all the warnings in Scripture about false gospels, and the admonition to believe the Gospel? Nobody is allowed to understand the pure Gospel? I guess I’m way outside “modern Christendom” since these statements you made, make zero sense to me. Or I’ve drank too much CC kool-aid perhaps you will say?

  31. Michael says:

    Andy,

    It’s simple…study the sermons in the NT and see what they preached.
    It boils down to those five things…and no one group has them exclusively.
    While there are “false Gospels” salvation in it’s essence is believing in a Person and His work…not just theological doctrines.

  32. stupid says:

    Bob, I think FDR put nails in the coffin of a morally corrupt society. He propped it up until WWll re-engaged the economy. WWl took America from a fledgling country to world class country. The immediate result was the roaring 20’s. The roaring 20’s gave us prohibition, the stock market crash and the great depression. More people drank during prohibition than ever would’ve considered it before. Prohibition gave us a drunken society. Wall street naturally followed. At least FDR put people to work.

  33. Excellent things, Michael. #1 gets a rise out me simply because I do believe they are over-prescribed, over-used & over-depended on. There is a place of balance in the argument, though.
    God was beyond masterful when He created the human body…
    Unfortunately the fall + degenerative environment have diluted that mastery.
    We are so far from Eden.

  34. stupid says:

    Odds are someone does have the pure gospel. Who is qualified to say who that guy is?

  35. Andy says:

    “It boils down to those five things…and no one group has them exclusively.”

    You say that it boils down to those five things. But it is your blog, so you can say anything. There are obviously other groups that disagree very strongly with you, and they would say it’s not just those five things. You don’t need me to expand on that, most churches wouldn’t agree with you that it’s just those five things.

    “While there are “false Gospels” salvation in it’s essence is believing in a Person and His work…not just theological doctrines.”

    The Person and His work ARE theological doctrines.

  36. Michael says:

    Nomans,

    We are closer than we think…to a new garden…

  37. Andy says:

    And to make sure I’m not attacked on this point…. Jesus and His work are theological doctrines. But I’m not saying that they are ONLY that. I’m simply saying that are that, as well.

  38. Michael says:

    Andy,

    Nowhere did I say “just” those things…but those things are the basis for fellowship and inclusion to me.

  39. Andy says:

    “but those things are the basis for fellowship and inclusion to me.”

    Fair enough. Now I understand where you are coming from. Those things are the basis for fellowship and inclusion, to you. Not to Jesus necessarily. It’s just, to you.

    That makes much more sense to me. You believe that, but at least you recognize that most churches wouldn’t agree with these assertions.

  40. Andy,
    What is the ‘pure’ gospel? I never trust anyone who uses adjectives to confuse. There is just the gospel – where do you get degrees???

  41. Michael says:

    Actually, I think most churches would…they may add something to the formulae, but they wouldn’t damn someone who held to that basic Gospel.

  42. Andy says:

    MLD wrote: “What is the ‘pure’ gospel? I never trust anyone who uses adjectives to confuse. There is just the gospel – where do you get degrees???”

    Michael wrote, the “pure” Gospel. Not me. Ask him what he meant.

    Michael wrote: “they may add something to the formulae, but they wouldn’t damn someone who held to that basis Gospel.”

    The Council of Trent calls an anathema on what I say that the Gospel is.

  43. Michael says:

    Andy,

    I understand what the Trent said.
    I’m speaking about individuals…and yes, I believe that Jesus will take all those who believe on Him despite their error.

  44. Andy says:

    “I understand what the Trent said.”

    Thank you for acknowledging that.

    “I’m speaking about individuals…and yes, I believe that Jesus will take all those who believe on Him despite their error.”

    I’m not trying to be an antagonist, really. But what of Matthew 7:21-23? That is, many that called Jesus Lord, ended up damned anyway. It’s not enough to just say, well God has to deal with that. A person that presents themselves as preaching the Gospel, should see that as something they have to deal with as well.

  45. Michael says:

    I’ve always appreciated this criticism of my tribe from one of my tribe…I think it applies to all of us.

    “And I am afraid there are Calvinists, who, while they account it a proof of their humility that they are willing in words to debase the creature, and to give all the glory of salvation to the Lord, yet know not what manner of spirit they are of. Whatever it be that makes us trust in ourselves that we are comparatively wise or good, so as to treat those with contempt who do not subscribe to our doctrines, or follow our party, is a proof and fruit of a self-righteous spirit. Self-righteousness can feed upon doctrines, as well as upon works; and a man may have the heart of a Pharisee, while his head is stored with orthodox notions of the unworthiness of the creature and the riches of free grace. Yea, I would add, the best of men are not wholly free from this leaven; and therefore are too apt to be pleased with such representations as hold up our adversaries to ridicule, and by consequence flatter our own superior judgments. Controversies, for the most part, are so managed as to indulge rather than to repress this wrong disposition; and therefore, generally speaking, they are productive of little good. They provoke those whom they should convince, and puff up those whom they should edify.”

    John Newton

  46. Michael says:

    That verse has nothing whatsoever to say about doctrine or the Gospel…it simply states that there will be those who make false professions of faith.
    It will be false because they have not been truly regenerated, not because of their doctrinal errors.
    There are as high a percentage of those in your denomination as any other…

  47. Andy says:

    Well I guess I’ll have to run the risk of letting John Newton posthumously call me a Pharisee. I care more about what is the Gospel, rather than trying to be as inclusive as I can. What’s the point of being inclusive, if Jesus in reality is not inclusive in that way?

  48. Andy says:

    “It will be false because they have not been truly regenerated, not because of their doctrinal errors”

    Right doctrine believed, is what causes a person to be regenerated. Unless you insist that regeneration comes before faith, and such an insistence is doctrine.

  49. Michael says:

    Andy,

    I have many doctrines that I believe…many of which you would reject.
    Which one of us is damned?
    My job is to preach and teach and live and love and let Jesus separate the wheat from the tares as He said He would…and as He told us not to.

  50. Andy says:

    “Which one of us is damned? My job is to preach and teach and live and love and let Jesus separate the wheat from the tares as He said He would…and as He told us not to.”

    Preaching the right message can’t be what is separating wheat from tares. If it were, then nobody is allowed to preach anything. Not uprooting the tares is, keeping them in position to keep being fed the Gospel and the Word, instead of casting them into the streets as evil. But in order to see them have any chance of becoming wheat, they need to hear the Gospel.

    But that is doctrine that I believe, in contrast to doctrine that you believe about the wheat and the tares. Doctrine is what it’s all about, even if people hate that word, everything is a doctrine. Avoiding doctrine, is a doctrine.

  51. Michael says:

    If all we needed was doctrine, God would have sent a book instead of Himself.
    I study doctrine continually, but I’m saved through my relationship with a Person.

  52. fyi says:

    Andy, I think I know your heart is focused on good things–correct doctrine is vital. Paul told Timothy to watch his life AND doctrine closely. But, with respect, the parable of wheat and tares has nothing to do with doctrine.

  53. Andy says:

    God sent Himself and a Book.

    And the only way you can be saved by that Person, and have a relationship with that Person, is by believing the right doctrine about that Person.

    To say that you are saved through your relationship with a Person, itself is a doctrine. It’s is a presented statement of fact, which makes it a doctrine.

  54. Andy says:

    fyi wrote: “But, with respect, the parable of wheat and tares has nothing to do with doctrine.”

    And likewise with respect, I do disagree with you about that. 🙂 I believe it has everything to do with doctrine.

  55. j2theperson says:

    I don’t think that being a mother is the most important job in the world, but being a good parent (both mother and father) is vitally important to the welfare of your specific children and to the health and strength of society in general.

    Far from being considered the most important job in the world, I think that being a mother–particularly a mother who does not have a paying job–is looked down upon by sizable portions of society. Parents in general are strongly looked down upon. I’ve read so many people say cruel, horrible things about people who choose to have children, basically boiling down to they’re irresponsible and selfish moochers on society who don’t respect others by keeping their sometimes disruptive children at home and out of the way of the rest of the world.

  56. Michael says:

    That passage is not about doctrine, it’s about behavior.

  57. Michael says:

    j2,

    I’m seeing more and more of what you’re describing and it troubles me greatly.

  58. Andy says:

    “That passage is not about doctrine, it’s about behavior.”

    Are you saying the wheat and tares passage is about behavior, and not doctrine? I will have to assume that is what you meant (please correct me if I am wrong). If that is what you meant, that is your assertion (a doctrinal assertion at that), and so the tares are sent to burn because they didn’t behave well? That seems like an odd assertion to me, since Jesus is going through parables about the kingdom and eternity, and we know that heaven is given by faith in Jesus, not by right behavior.

  59. j2theperson says:

    One need only read some of the comments on the article to see some of that negativity.

  60. Michael says:

    I was speaking of the Matt 7 passage…

  61. Andy says:

    “I was speaking of the Matt 7 passage…”

    Gotcha. But even there, the will of the Father they failed in doing, could be said to be John 6:40, which is faith in Jesus. They went with works, instead of faith alone. The Matt 7 passage also cannot be about behavior, since their behavior was great, they did many wonderful works. The issue was that they were still in their iniquities, due to a lack of salvation. They didn’t believe the Gospel. They believed in their works. If Jesus said to me, why should I be in heaven, I certainly wouldn’t point to anything I’ve done, or any behavior. I’d point to His death and shed blood and resurrection. They pointed to their works.

    Of course, this assessment is all doctrinal. 🙂

  62. Michael says:

    The whole passage is about doing the will of the Father…which is behavioral.
    The Master holds up the example of people who give a spectacular profession of belief as they stand before Christ, but they will be rejected on the day of judgment. John Stott has noted that this confession is remarkable on four points. First, it is polite. They address Christ as “Lord.” Even today that is a courteous, tolerant way to refer to Christ. Second, the confession is orthodox. The word “Lord” (kurios) can mean “Sir,” but it is also a divine title. The context with its allusions to God as Christ’s Father and Christ as Judge demands that we see it as the latter—God. Third, the confession is fervent. “Lord, Lord” is an appellation of enthusiasm and zeal. Fourth, the confession is public. These professing believers did not make some private confession of allegiance to Christ but did it in front of everyone. Moreover, they even did public works in the name of Christ. This is a model confession, a beautiful one. So what is wrong with it? Nothing! It would be wonderful if we all would make confessions like this.
    But there is a problem. Correct orthodox belief will not give us eternal life. This is not to say that correct belief is not necessary for salvation—it is. Paul makes that clear in Romans 10:9, 10:

    If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

    A man who refuses to say “Lord, Lord” will never enter the kingdom of heaven. All true Christians say, “Lord, Lord.” But not all who say “Lord, Lord” are true Christians! Intellectual orthodoxy does not indicate saving faith. You can be absolutely correct in your belief about Christ’s nature and person, his substitutionary atonement, his resurrection, and his return, you can have even fought against heretics, and yet not be truly saved.
    Furthermore, zeal and fervency do not bring eternal life. Saying orthodox things with emotion is not enough. When I was a youth pastor in the 1960s, a young man right out of the youth culture of the day made a profession of faith in Christ. A few weeks later he stood in front of the church and passionately and articulately talked about Christ, exhorting the people to follow the Savior. About two weeks later the same young man rejected Christ in a most dramatic manner and gave evidence and testimony from his own lips that he had never believed any of it.
    Finally, remarkable works do not bring eternal life. These professing believers say, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name … ?” Prophesying, preaching, does not prove anything. Balaam gave an accurate message but was a hireling and a sinner (Numbers 22–25). Saul was used by God when he was under the spirit of prophecy, but he himself was lost. Fervent proclamation of truth does not prove spiritual reality. A preacher can be fervent simply because he likes his outline and likes to move people, but it does not prove anything about the man himself. These are sobering thoughts. The Lord does not want anyone to miss the point of all the great teaching that he had given in the Sermon on the Mount.
    These professing believers also say, “Lord, Lord, did we not … in your name cast out demons?” Is it possible for a person to do that and yet be outside the kingdom? Yes, for the New Testament clearly says Judas had such power (Luke 10:17). Our Lord may allow power to course through a man though the man himself is lost.
    Finally these professing believers say, “Lord, Lord, did we not … in your name … perform many miracles?” How can it be that these are lost? Jesus explains in Matthew 24:24, “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.” Paul notes a similar phenomenon in 2 Thessalonians 2:8, 9:

    And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders.

    In other words, a man may be able to do great things and get great results, but that says absolutely nothing about his salvation. We need to hear this well in a day when there are thousands who are claiming that in Christ they have supernatural powers. People say to me they have heard of some bizarre thing going on and will comment that it is okay because the individual uses Jesus’ name every time he does it. Using his name does not prove anything.
    Satan is still “the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 2:2), and he will do anything to keep people under his bondage, even if it means getting them to say “Lord, Lord” and endowing them with evil supernatural power.
    Jesus says that orthodoxy, zeal, and spectacular displays of spiritual power do not prove a thing. Notice also his word “many” at the beginning of verse 22. There will not be a few, but many who do these things to whom he will say, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (NASB: “you who practice lawlessness”) (v. 23). Sadly, multitudes of evangelical Christians are not born again—they are lost.
    How can this be? Part of the answer is that they “practice lawlessness.” Jesus gives the parallel, more positive reason at the end of verse 21, where he says that “he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” will enter the kingdom of heaven. Multitudes of religious people, evangelicals included, are lost because they do not do God’s will. What is Christ referring to? Is this salvation by works? No. In the context of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is referring to the Beatitudes and the deep ethical, spiritual obedience found in God’s kingdom. “The will of my Father” refers to God’s will as Jesus has revealed it in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is referring to a profound heart obedience that is not only on the surface but permeates our inner being. “The will of my Father” indicates the character and the conduct of the kingdom of God.

    Hughes, R. K. (2001). The sermon on the mount: the message of the kingdom (pp. 255–257). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

  63. Andy says:

    R. K. Hughes went and taught the exact opposite of what I asserted in my statement about this passage. He and I couldn’t disagree more about it.

    Since I disagree with everything that he says about all of this, does that make me unsaved in your view? (I ask knowing that I am saved, and needing no affirmation for such, but just for the sake of the argument). Stating that “God knows” and you leave it up to Him, doesn’t give you much room to emphasize all that you just posted from Hughes. So please don’t give that answer. 🙂 Because if you do, then what he said is of a take-it-or-leave-it fashion for wanting to be inclusive. Which would make it irrelevant.

  64. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    #10, I blame MTV

  65. Michael says:

    Andy,

    I’m not here to judge peoples salvation.
    That’s my point.
    If you hold to faith in the Person and work of Christ for your sins and believe that basic Gospel, then your salvation is not an issue.
    I may well believe the rest of your doctrine in error and still count you as a family member.
    That doesn’t mean that I won’t vigorously engage in doctrinal debates, it means I see them as family feuds.

  66. “God sent Himself and a Book.”

    …gotta admit this set me to pondering.

    God never left.
    God sent His Son.
    His Son ascended and poured out The Spirit who never ceases to abide with us.

    God inspired humans across history to tell stories, poems, write about their experiences from their points of view and what they were convinced of.

    We gathered up those things written, preserved them as history and cultural definitions.

    Sometime way along the way we came up with the notion that “God sent a book” because we stay really afraid of God Who, according to every encounter with Him those storytellers say He and His messengers start those encounters with the repeated phrase, “Fear not!”

    I think our biggest failing is the fact that we are more content to stick our noses in a book and never surface enough to put into practice what we read in the book, to take risks, love recklessly, to risk, to be adventurous.

    I’ve heard it said and I have to agree that “The Trinity is ‘Father, Son Holy Spirit’, not ‘Father, Son, Holy Bible’.”

  67. Andy says:

    “I’m not here to judge peoples salvation.”

    But Matt 7 (at least that part of it) is regarding salvation, and I don’t agree with a single assertion that Hughes made. I find it to be in complete error. Doesn’t that drive you to want to give me the Gospel, since I don’t believe anything he said about it, assuming you agree with him? His statements were in regard to salvation and how to have it, and I don’t agree with him.

    I hold that Jesus is God, died for our sins, rose again, and I am going to heaven only because of this, adding nothing to it in regards to works, commitment, or later proof of changed lifestyle. Am I your family member with that statement of minimals? I know minimals isn’t a word, neither is distinctives. 🙂

  68. “I may well believe the rest of your doctrine in error and still count you as a family member.”

    …as Michael will now say about me 😉

  69. Andy says:

    G wrote: “I think our biggest failing is the fact that we are more content to stick our noses in a book and never surface enough to put into practice what we read in the book, to take risks, love recklessly, to risk, to be adventurous.”

    Whether it be emergent monikers or whatever a person chooses to best fit what they already believe, these debates always end up settling upon what a person believes about the Bible. Most people will cop to using the name of Jesus as a part of whatever they believe. Not as many will include the absolute authority of the Bible.as a part of whatever they believe. It always comes down to the Bible, not the name of Jesus. That is why I believe as Psalm 138:2 talks about, His Word is exalted above His Name.

  70. Andy says:

    Of course, when I rely on the KJV to say that His Word is above all His Name, but another version puts the two as equal, as the ESV does, then we run into that issue 😉

  71. “emergent monikers”?
    LOL

    “absolute authority of the Bible”
    Not when poetry is thought to be science. It’s an exercise in missing the point. It’s like reading a sonnet and therefore trying to figure out the wiring of a Studebaker.

    “His Word is exalted above His Name”
    So, help me now, “Bible” is above “Jesus”?
    I thought that same book says that there is not any other name in all of heaven and earth whereby a person can be saved.

    This is the problem with thinking “TheBook” is a unified thing, which it is in some respects but it doesn’t claim to be the thing most Evangelicals and Fundamentalists claim it to be.

  72. Fall in love with The Person Who transcends the book written about Him.

  73. Andy says:

    “I thought that same book says that there is not any other name in all of heaven and earth whereby a person can be saved.”

    Without the Book, how would you know that there is no other name in all of heaven and earth whereby a person can be saved?

  74. …or shall I more rightly say “the collection of writings from all those authors spanning millenia”, just so we don’t think its all the same author

  75. because The God transcends the book

  76. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    #5, yup screaming shrew is right. I see a bitterness in many people these days towards those who have kids. it is alarming to say the least. Motherhood and fatherhood are very important. The problem with a mother working in the job world is that your kids then get raised and learn other peoples values that may not always go hand in hand with what you are trying to teach your children. I believe as Men we are to be the providers, for myself I would not want to be married to a woman that was making more money than me. I see women who have devoted themsleves to their careers and then when they turn 40 or so they have the desire to start a family. The problem with that is they they are against the clock and time is not on their side. Then when they are near 50, their job lays them off for someone who is younger and cheaper. They will give you a watch and kick you in the butt goodbye and tell you that a computer took your place. Never and I mean NEVER over emotionally invest in your job. You job is not your family, they will get rid of you in the drop off a hat if they need to no matter how good of an employee you have been. Give your job your best when you are there but real joy comes from having loved ones and sharing the blessing you have with them. A job is a tool that god uses to provide for us but not to become our Identity.

  77. The Revelation, it’s The Revelation of Jesus Christ, not The Revelation of The Book

  78. “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
    Is our Lord God almighty”

    not
    “bible, bible, bible…”

  79. SolRod,

    “Give your job your best when you are there but real joy comes from having loved ones and sharing the blessing you have with them. A job is a tool that god uses to provide for us but not to become our Identity.”

    So tracking with your sentiment.

  80. Andy says:

    “because The God transcends the book”

    You say that The God transcends the book. Transcends means, to go beyond the limits of.

    So anyone can add anything they like, since the book can’t limit The God.

    I know deep down, you see the error of that. And if you try to limit the anything they like, then you are limiting God to your own understanding. Rather than keeping Him in a book, you keep him in your personal opinions.

  81. Michael says:

    G,

    You’re my brother and I love you.
    Without you in my world, nobody would have ever put the words Calvinist” and “emergent” together to describe me. 🙂

  82. “Without the Book, how would you know that there is no other name in all of heaven and earth whereby a person can be saved?”

    Jesus commissioned His followers to be the His Image Bearers, to be the tangible arms of God. Jesus sent The Holy Spirit to empower us to live a vital and enthusiastic live whereby we draw all those around us to Him, living enriching lives which affirm to those around us the reality of The Unseen and Risen One

  83. Michael,
    You will forever be tarnished by loving me 😉

  84. Andy says:

    “Jesus sent The Holy Spirit to empower us”

    Plenty have done, well, plenty of things, calling it the Holy Spirit, when those things were often totally contrary to the Bible. But they said the Holy Spirit moved them to do them. How can you say whether they were accurate or not, with no final authority? You become your own final authority.

  85. Michael says:

    G,

    I’m good with that… 🙂

  86. Andy,
    The book doesn’t limit God, God limits Himself by His nature and His character which He demonstrated through Jesus, to be found in The4Gospels.

  87. Andy says:

    “The4Gospels”

    So your final authority is the four gospels. Or is that not your view either? At some point, you have a final authority. Everybody does. Everybody makes declarative statements about right and wrong, good and bad. You do too. So what determines that for you? The four gospels? Or something else? In other words, under what circumstances are the four gospels wrong?

  88. Michael,
    Rightbackatcha!

    Gotta step away, was just asked to consider making some prints of photos for our organization’s Holiday Craft Fair.

  89. Andy,
    My final authority is myself because God made me a self aware and self determinate being capable every moment of choice.

    Because of that I choose to relate to the Unseen God through Jesus, as I read of Him and understand his story in those 4Gospels.

    Therefore, as a self determinate being I choose Jesus because in the light of all other claims He is the most reasonable and resonate choice I can make.

    That will have to be good enough for you for now.

    I only wish you awe and amazement at Jesus, and your family and your neighbors.

    Everything else, meh.

  90. Andy says:

    “My final authority is myself because God made me a self aware and self determinate being capable every moment of choice.”

    That’s all I was wondering if you’d be honest enough to say.

  91. Steve Wright says:

    Wow. That explains it all….

  92. Andy,
    If you were honest enough you would admit it too.

    If not, good luck with that.

  93. God leaves each of us as out final authority because He brings us non-stop evidence of His goodness, then bids us to choose, at every crossroads, to follow Him, honor Him, speak of Him, represent Him.

    Is this somehow foreign to your thinking?

  94. Andy says:

    “If you were honest enough you would admit it too.”

    No, I can’t do that. Because I really do believe that the Bible is the absolute authority. I believe the Bible is always true, even when my heart, desires, affections, and yearnings go in the complete opposite direction of the Bible. Then also the Bible wins, and my heart, desires, affections, and yearnings, are wrong.

  95. We’re pesky clay that must choose to partner with Him in our self awareness, creation and outcome. We don’t “become” being passive. We must choose to co-operate.

    Really, this is somehow troublesome?

  96. Andy says:

    “God leaves each of us as out final authority”

    What you are referring to, is free will to choose what to believe. That doesn’t make me the final authority.

    Since, if I believe the wrong thing, then I will go to the lake of fire.

  97. No, Andy, if you believe the wrong thing, and you are redeemed by Jesus Christ, you will be schooled by Him for every moment of your life and into the next.

  98. Andy says:

    “No, Andy, if you believe the wrong thing, and you are redeemed by Jesus Christ, you will be schooled by Him for every moment of your life and into the next.”

    Define your terms. What is “redeemed”? And then tell me where you got that definition. And what does “schooled” mean? And tell me where you got that definition. And what is “the next life”? And tell me where you got that definition.

  99. Andy,
    Read The4Gospels, all the while praying to Jesus Who is the One Who in those Gospels makes claims to hear and answer prayer, then get back to me.

    Don’t rush it. Let it permeate you and while you do, marinate in God.

  100. Andy says:

    “Read The4Gospels, all the while praying to Jesus Who is the One Who in those Gospels makes claims to hear and answer prayer, then get back to me.”

    That’s a convenient, guru-like way to avoid having to define anything and say where you go it from.

  101. Jesus never loses one of His own. His own are a gift, each and every one from His Father. Each and every one is secure in that gift of love.

    if you have any doubt at all, ever, and day or night, even in the darkest hour and despair of your soul, count on that, cling onto that, let your very imagination freely understand the depth of The Father’s love to and for you.

  102. Andy says:

    “Jesus never loses one of His own.”

    How do you become one of His own? And what source do you have to prove that your assertion is correct?

  103. “That’s a convenient, guru-like way to avoid having to define anything and say where you go(t) it from.”

    Andy,
    Um, no, I’m pointing you to Jesus Christ, plain and simple. Stop complicating what is so simple

  104. Andy says:

    “Um, no, I’m pointing you to Jesus Christ, plain and simple. Stop complicating what is so simple”

    You used the words “redeemed”, “schooled”, and “the next life”. So what do you mean by those words? I know what I mean when I use those words. What do you mean by them?

    If you suggest that I should already agree with your definitions, then are you suggesting that there is an absolute truth? And where is it located?

  105. Steve Wright says:

    I like Xenia’s “gulag test” and will use it here.

    I’m pretty sure Andy and I would be sharing a cell together.

  106. Andy says:

    “I’m pretty sure Andy and I would be sharing a cell together.”

    We’ll always have singing praises to the Lord together in the jail cell.

  107. “Jesus never loses one of His own.”

    “How do you become one of His own? And what source do you have to prove that your assertion is correct?”

    My source remains those many people who painstakingly sought to get their experiences and stories straight and dispel the weird stuff like Jesus making clay pigeons into real ones, and dispense of the mystical folk religion in their culture, and zero in on the few thousand eye witnesses and sort it out. I know those people worked hard and produced 4 things we commonly call “Matthew, Mark, Luke, John” For me, their stuff is the best place to find out, Plus you can ask your friends and neighbors how they came to become Jesus’ followers, then pray to this Jesus all of us are relating to and keep telling you about, and I can assure you that my experience of Him is that He is faithful to reveal the truth to you and you will never have it stolen from you.

    If you are at all worried about knowing Him in Spirit and truth, then have enough faith in Him that He will deliver, reinforce what you need of Him, and that He will help you focus on Him.

    He’s never M.I.A, we’re all just highly distracted.

  108. I’m giving Andy what Jesus is telling me to so he doesn’t need a “gulag test”.

    Life is full enough of daily challenges to truly love without playing some gulag-mind-game.

    God wants to partner with you, Andy, to unfold the most amazing and faith affirming things and they will be seen in the daily “doing” of your faith in Him, seeking to truly see Him at every turn.

    That will remain my prayer, regardless of if you receive it, though I cannot understand why you would want any less.

    Peace, the photo project can wait no longer.

  109. Andy says:

    “then pray to this Jesus all of us are relating to and keep telling you about”

    I prayed this many years ago, and asked Jesus what the truth is, and He pointed me to the 66 Books of the Bible as the final authority.

    Since you won’t straightly answer a straight question, I will define the words:

    Redeemed: Jesus Christ, very God Himself, died upon the cross as the full requirement for our sins, and Jesus raised up on the third day. Belief in Jesus Christ means going to heaven. That is being redeemed. Rejecting this belief in Jesus Christ, means going to hell.

    Schooled: Jesus points me to His Word, as absolute truth.

    The next life: Heaven or hell, per the definition of redeemed.

  110. Andy, all your definitions, your words, I hope you can remain at peace with them.

  111. Andy says:

    “I hope you can remain at peace with them”

    Perfect peace.

    Now your definitions? And where you received them from.

  112. Andy,
    Reread what I just spent more than a few posts explaining to you. Start with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. As you do, feel free to post questions based on what you read there and I hope to asnwer if/when I see the posts. I just got handed a huge design project but I will try to pop in whenever possible.

    peace

  113. Andy says:

    “As you do, feel free to post questions based on what you read there and I hope to asnwer if/when I see the posts”

    I think you misinterpreted the point of this discussion today.

  114. Steve Wright says:

    Well, millions of Christians right this very moment are facing a “gulag test” for the truth. And the truth is not that they are just going to beat their earthly tormenters to heavenly glory by a few years.

    “Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.” (I know that verse has no authority to G since it is not in the 4 Gospels, but to the rest of the Christian world it still means something)

    It’s not a mind-game to them. Or for that matter, the majority of Christians throughout the majority of countries in this world throughout the majority of church history.

    Take up your cross, count the cost – said The One for Whom they all died. And they listened.

    Andy has been called less than honest for standing for the truth, while trying to nail jello to the wall in this discussion. And his reward is apparently to be spoken to as if he doesn’t know Jesus (or the teachings in the 4 Gospels) at all. By the one here who states beliefs that contradict teachings of Jesus (in the red letters) on a regular basis. The most obvious being His teachings on the narrow way to life and the broad way to destruction.

    And nothing but silence from the community.

  115. Michael says:

    “And nothing but silence from the community.”

    Anybody that has been in this community for more than a week is familiar with G’s positions.
    I don’t feel any need to participate in Andy’s inquisition as he doesn’t like my theology any more than G’s.
    I disagree with G about a bunch of things…but I enjoy his company and his presence.
    It’s better to have people we disagree with at the table then outside the camp…especially when they aren’t real interested in condemning the rest of us.

  116. Jonny B. Stonebridge says:

    “And nothing but silence from the community.”
    ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

    Ya…Where is RickyBobby anyway…LOL

  117. #3 I thought that myself last week.

  118. Andy says:

    “And his reward is apparently to be spoken to as if he doesn’t know Jesus”

    🙂

  119. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, I take issue when ANYONE says we will come to their position as soon as we “are honest with ourselves” – ESPECIALLY when that position is counter to orthodox christian faith and practice. So far there have only been two people on your blog I have seen write this.

    In fact, I think that is an arrogant sense of condemnation that rivals any ODM.

    Your mileage may vary…

  120. erunner says:

    4. I have reached that point in life where it is evident that I will do nothing significant personally, except to encourage others to find their God given significance. It is enough…

    Yesterday was the memorial for our friend Gunilla. She passed five weeks after learning she had cancer with the last week probably in a coma. Towards the end of the gathering a friend read from a book concerning death and added some comments. It was from the heart.

    I’ve been with the family constantly during this time as we are such close friends. I was able to see how a family responds to such devastating news that only grew worse with such strength as things with Gunilla just kept getting worse.

    Gunilla and her husband Robert were joined at the hip and so much in love and I saw how this was crushing him yet he made the tough decisions that had to be made.

    After the friend shared Robert did what he kept telling me he didn’t want to do. He shared from his heart. He didn’t even want to talk with people as he’s been so shaken. He shared how the most happy he was when he and Gunilla were holding hands. She was 68 and he’s 69. He sobbed as he shared about their love and how he would miss her. He shared of how much each person there meant to him and that he would be praying for them.

    That was the most powerful thing I’ve heard at a funeral/memorial. From a grieving husband with a broken heart.

    Today I dropped by and we talked. He doesn’t know how he fits into the world any more and he’s trying to envision a future without his wife. He doesn’t understand what purpose he serves being alive without his wife.

    As to your number four Michael…. Like Robert you have done many significant things and I suspect the most significant of all are unknown to you as they are to Robert.

  121. stupid says:

    The community has arrived *snicker* Jello to the wall is pretty accurate. “Inquisition” works both ways.

  122. steve says:

    What are ODMs? Sometimes I feel like I need things explained more around here… Last week I wasn’t sure why you didn’t have respect for Franklin Graham either…

  123. stupid says:

    Over developed martyrs

  124. Nonnie says:

    Seems to me that a lot of people hated Jesus becaus of the people He loved and called into the Kingdom. “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.”

  125. Michael says:

    steve,

    Online Discernment Minister
    Franklin Graham is a power hack who is using his grandfathers legacy of faith for personal political capital.

  126. Xenia says:

    When anyone says “You will agree with me when you are honest with yourself”- I quit listening to such a person.

  127. stupid says:

    Who is Franklin Graham’s grandfather?

  128. A great deal of wisdom in the original post…

    Thank you

  129. Michael says:

    stupid,

    My error…father.

  130. Nonnie says:

    I thought Franklin is BG’s son, not grandson.

  131. Michael says:

    erunner,

    Thank you, my friend.

  132. stupid says:

    Ok. I always assume I’m wrong. Sometimes when I’m wrong I’m right. *humming*

  133. Reuben says:

    I knew Steve would fight 7. It is so predictable for a pastor to start preaching earthly politics. It is one of the two major reasons why the government will shut churches doors. Nobody but churches will have anybody but churches to blame. The other reason will be abuses swept under the rug. And churches can burn for that as far as I am concerned. They can all burn to the ground. For both offenses.

  134. Xenia says:

    And churches can burn for that as far as I am concerned. They can all burn to the ground.<<<

    Good bye, Reuben.

  135. stupid says:

    Not like liberal Black churches that never preach politics from the pulpit (or the picket lines).

  136. Xenia says:

    Here we have churches in the Middle East that are actually burning to the ground and Michael’s “right hand man” is hoping churches burn to the ground here, too.

    “G” worships his own wisdom and thinks we all will too, when we become honest.

    RB worships his IQ.

    I have other things to do.

  137. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I surely do not advocate the burning of churches.

  138. Xenia says:

    Then rebuke Reuben.

  139. Reuben says:

    Xenia, I am quite used to being written off by everyone. Join the ranks, and I will be happy to “bye”. NOWHERE IN SCRIPTURE is a pastor instructed to preach earthly politics. I dont care if it is Liberal or Conservative. It is stepping way the hell over the lines of what a “pastor” is, coaching how to vote or what issues to make stands on. It rejects the work of the Holy Spirit, it rejects the belief that scripture has any power of its own, and it is in my not so humble opinion, edging on abuse of catastrophic proportion wielding such power over people who are there to learn scriptutes, not politics.

    Bye.

  140. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    If and when I rebuke Reuben it will be done privately as I consider him both a friend and a brother.
    I will state my own feelings publicly…and I have.

  141. Michael says:

    Everyone applauds diversity of opinion until the opinions are filled with anger from wounds.
    That comment was out of line and I’ll deal with it, but I won’t make a display of it.

  142. Steve Wright says:

    I will say this to Reuben’s post.

    Every message I have taught from the pulpit of Calvary Chapel is online and can be listened to for free.

    I challenge anyone to find a bunch of anti-Obama, right-wing politics in my messages to God’s people from that pulpit.

    And for that matter, (Reuben), I challenge you to find any of the “Calvary is the only true church and Chuck is our pope” stuff that you claim is in our DNA.

    You need to learn the difference.

    My response here on “earthly politics” was quite balanced. But ANY response is too much. As if the point of the blog is not to engage Michael on the Things He Thinks. Certain points I guess are off-limits to certain members of the community.

    How crazy is that?

    Reuben lately has been playing a common tactic which is to drop the “pastor” card as if pastors somehow do not have the freedom in Christ to speak their convictions on issues of the day. (At least CC pastors…I haven’t seen him rip Michael or others for doing so) Say something he does not like and you get back “You’re supposed to be a pastor”

    And what you see here is nothing compared to what he wrote me privately the other day.

    I don’t comment here or on facebook about your posts as a Christian and leader in your church. And I don’t unfriend you either, even as you push those buttons and then cry martyr when the inevitable results from others.

    If Michael is one of the men you admire most as you have said, Reuben, then you sure ought to control yourself better.

    That’s it. My one response. Reuben you can fire away some more. But I sat pretty quiet for an awful lot from this keyboard warrior and at some point a response was warranted.

  143. Steve Wright says:

    until the opinions are filled with anger from wounds.
    ————————————–
    Bull. I didn’t wound Reuben and that comment was straight at me.

  144. brian says:

    Is it to far off for me to say that the reason our revolution and the french revolution were different is because of the great awakenings and lack of “local monarchy” ? Sort of a messed up way to ask sorry.

  145. brian says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Graham Mr. Franklin Graham is the son of Dr. Billy Graham.

  146. I don’t take Reuben’s comments very seriously anymore. For the past year or so, he posts almost daily on FB about drinking and being drunk.

    The comments above are just another example of what drunk sounds like.

  147. covered says:

    We are starting to look like one big dysfunctional family. Last week I attacked a brother on another thread without even considering anyone else’s feelings. I hate it when I say things or behave in a way that looks like the rest of the world.

  148. Michael says:

    Reuben said something that I found inappropriate and wrong.
    I have spoken with him about it privately.
    While he is responsible for what he writes, I would also be quick to say that I believe that he is suffering greatly…that he has simply seen and experienced so much abuse in the church that he has spiritual PTSD.
    The last situation he was recently involved in off the blog is so heartbreaking it beggars description.
    None if us know how to respond ‘properly’ in the face of such hell.
    He has seen way too much of it.
    I would ask that you pray for him and i will take full responsibility for any offense from what he has written.

  149. brian says:

    Maybe we should do posts that uplift, for example I would be willing to do posts about adaptive equipment and resources for people with disabilities, this might make it more balanced. It would not be as dynamic but more helpful in someways if that makes any sense. Michael I wanted to offer that say once a week I would send you a post concerning some type of adaptive equipment / service that I have found helpful and it would maybe bless the larger community.

  150. Michael says:

    brian,

    I’d love it if you would write for us.
    Sarah and I were talking last week about running a solid week of positive stories about the church…and I think it’s time to get to work on that.

  151. Michael says:

    covered,

    We are all dysfunctional in some way and when we get together and rub those dysfunctions against each other sparks fly.
    That’s why grace is the foundation stone of the faith…

  152. Anne says:

    MLD: I am also friends with Reuben on FB. Your #146 is a bald faced lie. He does not post almost daily re: drinking and being drunk. And even if he were, talking about his posts which you are privy to because of being friended by him on FB on a public forum is a huge betrayal of trust and unbecoming of a person of your supposed spiritual maturity.

  153. covered says:

    It is Michael you are right and thanks for reminding me.

  154. brian says:

    I know you have posted your email but I cant find it sorry. My first post will be on Camera mouse and open source mouse cursor and an open source adaptive communication software that uses IOS platforms mainly iPad as augmentative communication systems. I can email it to you say Saturday of this week. Please feel free to correct misspellings and grammar. My eyes are getting worse, that will be a following post concerning adaptive software for people with visual issues and Dragon dictate.

  155. brian says:

    mine is brianinsj@gmail.com the other address got nuked by some folks and had to close it down.

  156. Anne,
    If I had words I’d use them, but I think you don’t need me to.

    Joining you.

    For Reuben.

  157. brian says:

    duh Im sorry I forgot that. pretty simple thanks Michael.

  158. London says:

    G makes perfectly good sense to me.

  159. Reuben says:

    Its 5:30 in the morning after another almost sleepless night. I am in tears.

    Nobody here has perpetrated the wrongs I have seen. At least not that I know of.

    I am sorry for coming here and unloading my rage.

    Michael does not need to be held accountable for me.

    I can’t tell people how badly I have shifted. I no longer look for ways to build bridges, or peacefully bring about change. I only desire that hell is hot enough for leaders in the church who maliciously hurt people.

    I have to take a long break. My wife has spoken.

  160. Kevin H says:

    Reuben,

    I only know you from online, I can’t speak as to real life. You come across as a person who is very passionate but also very angry. I am sure much of that anger originates as righteous anger due to the wrongs and abuses in the church you have been close to and have been personally affected by. While the anger may often start off as righteous, it often seems to spill over well beyond the bounds of righteousness. At least in the ways you express yourself online.

    Take the time you need to try to get well. You have expressed here a couple times before that you need help. I am not an expert, nor do I know much of the detail of what you have gone through that has led you to this current state. So I do not want to overstep my bounds and act like I know the magic cure to prescribe. But seek out help. Start with the Lord and go from there.

    You have much to add to this community. Your voice is much respected, I believe. We don’t want to lose you here. And if your anger is negatively affecting your relationships in real life, then all the more important that you deal with it. Come back and come back well. In the meantime, enjoy life and enjoy your family. And enjoy the Broncos run to the Super Bowl. (At which point the enjoyment will end as the Eagles avenge their regular season thrashing at the hands of the Broncos.) 🙂

  161. Confused Bob says:

    ( |o )====:::

    I just thought you would like to know I read your posts here and on the “other” site and I have been following Rob Bell for many years and basically you and he seem to have vastly (or at least a fairly large canyon between them) different theologies.

    I am very familiar with Bell’s tumbler pages, listened to some of his sermons, watched a couple of his video series and have read all his books, unless I am missing something my impression of Bell is he is a whole bible kind of guy with a special interest in the Hebraic context of the 2nd Temple period. I don’t see him propounding a “red letter,” “gospel only” ever in his teachings, which you often expound on.

  162. Confused Bob,
    Sure, I like Red Letters a lot.

    I like Rob Bell, have most of his books & NOOMA series videos.

    I like Frank Schaeffer.

    I like Rabbi Bradley Shavit “Artson.

    I also like Bill Maher, John Stewart, and Eddie Izzard. 😉

    But I prefer to point people to Jesus in their own bibles’ 4Gospels because

    I have roots in a Roman Catholic heritage
    I am friendly with the Charismatic Renewal
    I spent decades immersed in Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa theology, Dispensationalism, Christian Zionism, and End Times Rapture theology
    I hang out with conservative and reformed Jews
    I lead and practice musical, meditative and artistic worship, focused on Jesus while celebrating humanity and all of creation
    I also have humanistic friends, neighbors and co-workers who are amazing, wonderful, noble and ethical persons who believe all kinds of things yet freely love me and others without demanding that I adhere to their belief systems.

    So, with all that in mind, I would rather point anyone in my path to Jesus, as we know of Him in the 4 Gospels, so that all my likes, theology, biases and such are minimized and Jesus’ “read it for yourself” narrative is maximized.

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