Things I Think

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147 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    Love this list and wish I had a day of spirits and Spirit to discuss each one at length.

  2. Michael says:

    Thanks, BD…come back when you’re able. 🙂

  3. “God willing a mountain…” Looks like MD will get his prayers answered. The bus is still full so bodies in the road don’t matter much.

  4. Michael,

    Is NTW making you reconsider your hermeneutics or are you seeing him as more dangerous than any who have come before him?

  5. Michael says:


    I greatly enjoy Wright and don’t find him dangerous, just thoughtful and provocative.
    The problem with Wright is that he’s so gifted and persuasive that it’s easy not to examine what he’s saying critically.
    I find his overall exegesis of the biblical narrative to be so valuable and so compelling that I hear him out on everything…I just have to listen carefully.

  6. brookshanes says:

    BD, appendix, in light of #1:

    11. The bus road to hell is paved with people.

  7. (1) So many bodies now, they will have to start running shuttle buses.

  8. Babylon's Dread says:

    Throw us the listening link of NTW.

  9. Michael says:


    It’s his audio book of “Surprised By Scripture”.
    I had an unused credit before I cancelled Audible. 🙂

  10. Jim says:

    Not with ya on #2. “God made me famous-what do I do now?” I think that we are too hard on believers who are gifted in unusual ways. So gifted that they became famous.

    So the DD guys know that there’s a niche that will buy anything that they but their name on. Old Phil is aware of this, loves the Bible and wants people to read it. Gordy buys Jethro a sack of DD gear for Christmas, and slips a Bible in there. One night, Jethro reads the words of life for the first time and cries out to God.

    I’ve spoken with people who only cracked open a Bible because it had a Stryper sticker on it. Some became believers.

  11. Larry says:

    Sorry, but “Game Plan For Life” is a title that’s already taken.

  12. Michael says:


    Will he read the words of life, or the words of DD?

  13. Xenia says:

    The idea that you can use worldly means to sort of trick someone into the Kingdom has been used to excuse all kinds of terrible stuff, from this DD Bible to Roman Catholic carnival masses.

  14. Midnight Rider says:

    ^^^^ Or even the “Whosoever” movement

  15. You know, this weekend, I was talking to my wife about the whole DD bible thing. I was not pleased, thought much the same as #2.
    Jim has changed my mind. He makes a valid point.
    After all, God can use people who are only preaching the gospel through jealousy of another and save people through this act most of us would seeas a trick.
    If someone reads the words of life that are still in there, cause it is just devos with a NKJV text, and salvation happens then God be praised

  16. Jim says:

    “Will he read the words of life, or the words of DD?”

    We don’t know, do we? We also don’t know if the words of DD (in this book) reflect the words of life. I guess we could find out, or simply sit back and judge w/o knowledge.

  17. Xenia says:

    The thing is, Midnight Rider, that when “Whosoever” calls upon the name of the Lord, it had better be the Genuine Lord, not some charade.

    Take a look at the offerings of evangelical publishing houses for their vacation Bible school curriculum. Jesus has a starring role in jungle safaris, pirate adventures, and trips into outer space. This is offered to little kids because their elders believe it is more appealing than the Gospel message and Jesus is more exciting playing the part of a space captain than the suffering, bleeding Savior. What happens when these kids grow up and realize the Christian life is about denying oneself, taking up one’s cross and following Jesus?

  18. Michael says:

    The great thing about a blog is that we all see these things from different angles.
    Derek and Jim have a point…but Xenia and I are of one mind on this one.

    Good work, all of you.

  19. Michael says:


    That was rich… 🙂

  20. Mark says:

    Xenia u r misinformed. Everyone of those vbs curriculum focus on Jesus Christ. The themes r only loose platforms to keep young uns attention upon whic scripture and the gospel r built. I’ve been involved with elementary Sunday school for years and know with 5-9 yr olds u can’t just recite scripture.

  21. Mark says:

    Yeah let’s hot those five year olds with a crucifix and eternal torment in hell. That was a turnoff for multiple generations of kids brought up Roman Catholic.

  22. Xenia says:

    It is true that God can use anything and anyone to bring people to Him as he is not willing that any should perish and sometimes He uses whatever is at hand. I suppose the DD Bible would fall into this category. If anyone can look past the Hollywood and see the Kingdom, I thank God for His mercy.

    So even if the Lord can use commercial, tasteless things for His own good purpose it does not give us licence to produce this stuff. For starters, it is pretty nervy to put one’s own name or brand on the Holy Scriptures as if they were a commercial commodity.

  23. Mark says:

    Including me

  24. As long as it is about getting people to “choose” Jesus – then anything goes — from tricking them into reading the Bible by having DD all over it – all the way to telling people, “just give Jesus a try”, like Jesus is similar to a 2 week shampoo challenge, or “try Jesus for 2 weeks and see if your life is not changed … and that you have lost 5 lbs.”

    Is the Holy spirit behind such flim flam artists or does he just let them go along their dopey ways?

  25. Xenia says:

    Hey Mark, I was an evangelical for 50 years and I know what goes on. I am sure you see that curriculum as a good and useful platform since that is the soup you are swimming in but I see it now (and saw it then) as at best confusing the kids. Why do you need a platform, anyway? Is the bare Gospel so boring?

  26. Xenia says:

    Yeah let’s hot those five year olds with a crucifix and eternal torment in hell<<<

    However, it does have the virtue of being TRUE.

    Or is the real Gospel too scary for your kids?

  27. That is one thing I like about having the kids in the worship service – not only do they get to go up front and have the pastor deliver to them the children’s message – but they also get to hear the message delivered to adults.

  28. Xenia says:

    So…. is the idea that the basic truths of Christianity- you know, we are all terrible sinners and God the Son had to endure the horrors of the Crucifixion to save us from the eternal fires of hell- is too scary so instead we should tell the kids that we are on a jungle safari (cute animals!) and that Jesus is our safari leader or space captain or pirate leader.

    If you feed kids this fantasy version of Christianity, and when they realize it’s all entertainment, how are you going to convince them that real Christianity with its miracles and resurrections is true? They are going to think it’s all just another episode of Veggie Tales.

  29. Jim says:

    There’s a lot that could be said about ornate cathedrals and trinkets that also represent a brand.

  30. Pam Kulwiec says:

    As a 7 yr. old I asked Jesus in my heart at a VBS. That was 47 years ago! I cannot tell you what the theme was or if there even was a theme but I’ll never forget asking Jesus in my heart. 🙂

  31. Steve Wright says:

    Where to begin. Well, for starters Al Robertson has been a pastor for over 20 years at the same church and he and Phil (who has been a lay pastor for even longer) are the ones putting together the devotions associated with this NKJV translation Bible. A quick look over at CBD shows 20 Study Bibles attached to names of various Christian men and women (living and dead) and that just scratches the surface. I’m sure they fill the shelves of the saved, and do so with nary a word of criticism from the elect….but God forbid THIS “celebrity” Bible with pastors’ names on it that actually might make an impact in the life of unbelievers ( – Jim, spot on analysis)

    Phil is probably the most hated Christian in America today, and yet he continues to proceed without compromise. Of course, that hate comes because in addition to preaching Christ crucified he also refuses to compromise on the sins of abortion and homosexualtiy – which makes him very unlike many in the professing Body of Christ today. Still it is sort of sad when some of that disgust is sourced from his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ for something as wanting to use their influence to get people to read the Bible who otherwise might not.

    Both Phil and Al have a legit testimony of grace and forgiveness from their early wild years, and to which they have shown themselves faithful in their walk for DECADES since. The show has only been around for a couple years but now has opened the door for that message to go to millions.

    Oh yeah, the Robertsons are an American success story from a business point of view too, far before they got the TV show and non-hunting America had ever heard of them. That of course is enough to bring more than half the country against you.

    Phil and Al will likely lead more people to Christ this year in their personal speaking engagements than this entire blog community – including the pastors like myself that may be represented. Not some faux Jesus, not the Jesus we hear on most Christian TV in America, but the crucified Savior.

    Will I buy one for myself. No. But I sure won’t hesitate to give one to an unsaved friend if the opportunity presents itself…way before I would give the Peterson, MacArthur, Ryrie, Blackaby, Smith, Morris, Jeremiah, Luther, Wesley, Scofield or any other of the dozens out there.

  32. Steve Wright says:

    (This guy says it well.)

    So we get back to the original question: Why is Phil Robertson the most dangerous man in America? First of all, he’s a man of conviction. He knows what he believes and he’s not afraid to say it. This is a rare quality in America today and most sensible people will respect him for it even if they don’t agree with everything he says.

    Second, he has God on his side. His scripture quotes are accurate. He and his family and company represent values that are fading away in our society. Deep down I believe most of us wish we could return to the more simple life and that includes praise and worship of the One who gave us everything. If God is for us, who can be against us?

    Third, and most dangerous of all, he doesn’t care what you and I think. He’s made his millions. He and the family are set for life. If the TV show goes away, he’ll just keep making duck calls, preaching the Gospel, and hunting his beloved acreage. His devotion to God and family is real, born of a lifestyle that was full of sin. He found Jesus and all he really wants is for us to find Him too.

    And finally, at least for now, he has a big megaphone. The TV show has given him a huge audience. Thousands of people come to hear him and his sons preach the Gospel all over the country. His church in West Monroe is full to overflowing every Sunday. With or (hopefully) without the “Arts and Entertainment Network”, he will continue to be a force to be reckoned with. The current controversy will just increase his fame and his influence. A Facebook page, Bring Back Phil Robertson, started today, already has 638,000 “likes”. The A & E page, which has been up for five years has 580,000 likes. Imagine that!

    What we need is more “dangerous” men and women like Phil Robertson in this world.

  33. filbertz says:

    i have a hard time believing the driving force behind a DD Bible isn’t profit…capitalizing on name recognition for profit. Yes, perhaps someone will read it because it has a coupon for a reduced-price duck call or camo Bible cover inside, but the loss of credibility in broader society will be more difficult to recoup.

  34. Michael says:

    I’m not hating.
    I think the concept is ridiculous, but not nearly as ridiculous as giving a celebrity Bible to an unbeliever rather than one written by Bible scholars.
    God in His sovereignty may use it, but I still believe it’s the wrong way to go.

  35. Xenia says:

    Pam, I also attended Vacation Bible school probably the same era that you did. All we did was listen to Bible stories, memorize Scripture, learn about missionaries, play games outside and eat cookies made by the moms. It was fun but it wasn’t fantasyland.

  36. Michael says:

    I have a job interview via Skype in 20 minutes…deciding whether I should wear pants…

  37. Mark says:

    Xenia do u have experience teaching preschoolers and first and second graders? Have you ever heard of milk before the meat? Did u even read my post? I made or clear the scriptures are used and the gospel is preached and kids ( kids- remember what it’s like to b a kid?) are getting saved. Not by space man Jesus but by the true living god. I am so sick of all the negativity on this site against the body of Christ. 200 posts defending the right to get buzzed on ALCHOHOL. Constant criticisms and misrepresentations and contentions. I’m guilty too as I assume the attitude of others on this site. I asked previously and I’ll ask again: does anyone know of a good blog where people interact in s loving way discussing the scriptures ? And maybe encouraging each other? I received more encouragement from G’s gracious posts the other day than I’ve received in yrs from this site. And G and I have gone toe to toe in the past. Sorry for the rant but I’m just frustrated with the constant acerbic tone.

  38. Michael says:


    Your problem is that you don’t care for the presentation of perspectives you disagree with.
    If it really troubles you, you have a mouse that got you here and will take you away as well.
    I like hearing something other than an echo…

  39. Xenia says:

    Xenia do u have experience teaching preschoolers and first and second graders?<<<

    Yes. Quite a bit. About all I would teach preschoolers is to thank God for their meals. Older kids can hear TRUE stories about Christ. I certainly wouldn't confuse them with some Pirate/space travel/ jungle excursion plot. Do you really think little kids can separate fact from fantasy? My experience with little kids tells me that they can't.

    I don't mind milk as long as it's true. When it's adulterated…. better to throw it out.

  40. dswoager says:

    Not sure that I can quite get behind number 4. So, if we find that there is a false teaching within a church, we should leave and let them remain in the clenches of a lie? I can see where you might say that trying to exert your own will on this congregation could be abusive, but just getting up and walking away to find people who agree with you more closely seems like a pretty solid recipe for a weak Curch.

  41. Michael says:


    Depends on how you define “false teaching”.
    I taught on eschatology last night and a lot of people would have declared it a “false teaching”.
    I recommend Eugene Peterson and John Calvin to our members on a regular basis…some would lose it over one or both.
    What kind of church is someone in if they are the only ones to know what “false teaching” is?

  42. Xenia says:

    dswoager, I am one who left my old CC (and the Protestant world) over major (to put it mildly) doctrinal differences. The day came when the CC pastor came to our house and we had a two-hour conversation. I explained my POV and he explained his. Before he left he gave each of us a hug and told us he loved us. You could probably not find a bigger change in theology than what I experienced yet I have never claimed that I was abused by my old church, not even remotely. I do think I had the responsibility to explain why I no longer agreed w/ CC theology yet I had zero hope that my old CC pastor was going to agree with me.

  43. Michael says:


    One more thing before Skype rings.
    I’m still learning…and I love to learn.
    My perspectives need the input of other believers and other views.
    We’ve seen people disagree vehemently with me today…and that’s good for me.

  44. Jim says:

    I wasn’t vehement 🙂

    I’ll bet you wore pants….

  45. Mark,
    Hi my friend, thanks for the comment. Sorry we ever went toe-to-toe.

    I sincerely view everyone here as a friend whom I could enjoy spending time with because I know that behind every screen name there is a story, a reason for their strongly held ideas and practices.

    I admit an occasional glass of wine, honestly I just enjoy a fine Syrah or a cold Asahi in a frosted glass, but I am very circumspect, avoiding alcohol whenever I’m with anyone in recovery because I have hugged too many friends at funerals or during candid conversations about their personal hell in their homes.

  46. dswoager says:

    Michael, have we reached a point where everything is off the table. If I believe that something within a church that I am part of, whether it be teaching, attitude, or leadership is wrong or even wicked, that I should not be able to expect to have a dialogue with those that are perpetuating it. If I reach a point where it has become obvious that there can be no common ground reached, sure it might be time to walk away… might also be time to take some people with me. The original comment just sounded like a call to stop trying to reform, and just split.

    I was doing a study with a cuple brothers through Revelation recently when one of them commented that it seemed like all the commentaries he read on the book contained phrases like “seems like”, “may be”, “might indicate” and I think that you are probably walking on thin ice when you aren’t treating that subject in that way.

    When recommending authors to people, with the exception of some really out there people, it seems foolish to get too worked up about it. I don’t recommend books to people expecting that they will agree with everything that the author says. I just feel that the good far outweighs the bad, and if there is anything too bad I might warn them about it beforehand. When reading a book I don’t have to change John Calvin’s mind (it would be pretty hard at this point), but I can dismiss something that I don’t think that he handled properly.

    I suppose mostly I see the side of it where an attitude like that makes it a whole lot easier for someone who is claiming a leadership position can say, “if you don’t like it, there’s the door”. Seems like the lines of communication should be more open than that.

  47. Papias says:

    For a Skype interview, pants are optional. Whatever makes you comfortable. 😉

    As far as a DD Bible, I won’t buy one for myself, but if someone isn’t a Christian and would take one from me, I would buy one and give it to them.

    #8 – GO KINGS GO!

    #10 – It means that people who are not young and attractive don’t matter except for nickels and noses.

    At church yesterday, the new pastor was speaking about parenting from Deut 6. Speaking about raising kids and setting a good example in front of them, he made a statement “Do not speak ill of the church in front of your children. Don’t do it.”

    Kind of bothers me, that.

  48. filbertz says:

    I try to wear pants to interviews…skyp or not. 😉

  49. Michael says:

    I compromised…shorts. 🙂

  50. Michael says:


    I absolutely believe we should be in dialog in the church…but there is also a point where when that dialog fails that we need to move on.
    I had a couple in my church embrace what I believe to be unorthodox theology…and they weren’t going to be content until I did as well.
    It was going to split the church and they needed to move on.
    They did so with my blessing.

  51. filbertz says:

    not spandex I hope…

  52. dswoager says:

    I suppose that we are coming from different angles on the issue, so it is understanding that we are stressing different things as well. There is always the possibility that we will reach a point where conversation is no longer profitable, but I would wonder if we reach that point too easily.

  53. filbertz says:

    Regarding number seven, besides “faithfulness” which you’ve mentioned several times lately as key traits for pastors, which others do you consider both biblical and historical?

  54. This is the hyperbole at which I and others take umbrage:

    “Phil is probably the most hated Christian in America today…”

    How about the obvious playing to the camera, the false claims of persecution for faith when it’s simple rebuff for being obtuse?

  55. dswoager,
    I have told my story here several times – as I was getting deeper and deeper into Lutheran theology etc, I was teaching 2 classes at my local CC. One day I realized I was teaching Lutheran doctrine to the class, I wrote a letter of resignation that night and left the church.

    Not to argue with them, but just the opposite – I respected them too much to stay.

  56. mk says:

    #1 “I’m waiting for the people who support abuse by being there to empty the building. That would solve the problem without any response from the top.” – AGREED!!!

    #6 Sarah’s writings – absolutely LOVE! She has such a talent for expressing her thoughts. Happy Birthday to Maddie and rejoicing that her husband and son walked from that horrible accident. 🙂 God is good.

  57. PP Vet says:

    In terms of leaving over doctrinal differences: Sometimes the church leadership changes doctrine, not the individual. In that case the individual or family has to walk away from an investment in relationships.

    That can hurt, and can also lead to an understandable resolve to never again invest relationally in church, given that risk. Better, it could lead to a more farsighted view of investment in relationship, one that transcends the local church.

    Ask a lot of Episcopalians, not to mention any number of (former) members of independent churches, about having the church change out from under you. Or die. Or split. Or, reject you for no good reason.

    Or any number of scenarios that can cost you an investment of thousands of dollars, thousands of hours, and much of your heart, through no fault of your own.

    Perhaps something like that happened to Janis Joplin (“Take it, take another little piece of my heart …”).

    The conventional wisdom is that you can endure that twice, and then you are done with church forever.

  58. Is Phil for real or is he like Grandpappy Amos back in my day?

  59. Steve Wright says:

    Stating an opinion about who probably (my exact word earlier) is the most hated Christian in America is not hyberbole, albeit it is subjective. Someone must be.

    But given Falwell is dead, Dobson has lost most of his relevance, Robertson seems as good a candidate as any today. The Perez Hilton types are sure more likely to spill virtual ink telling their large audiences what a horrible person he is than they will just about anyone else known for their faith.

    At the same time, he may be the most beloved Christian in America today…apart from Billy Graham.

    Hyberbole would be more like saying that I would rather have just one Phil Robertson by my side given the direction this nation seems headed than 1000 guys who think like G.

  60. Michael says:


    My model for pastoring still goes back to Baxters “The Reformed Pastor”.
    You made me think about this more with your comment on the Loose Ends thread about the over emphasis on that office…still thinking about it all.

  61. Michael says:

    “Hyberbole would be more like saying that I would rather have just one Phil Robertson by my side given the direction this nation seems headed than 1000 guys who think like G.”

    and it would be more like saying I’d rather have one guy like G who models love of God and neighbor than 1000 conservatives who love issues more than people…

  62. Regarding your #1,
    It could be that with tons of leaders bailing, that many people in the pews will bail with them.
    After all, you might not know or have ever met MD, but all the people you actually know and interact with leader wise are leaving.
    Give it a bit and see what happens.

    Agiain on #4,
    I think Phil is the real deal. You never know any person’s motive for doing something. But, I would bet that Phil and Al’s motives for this bible are in putting out a resource to help Christians and lead people to Christ.

    Can someone here show otherwise?

    We might not like the packaging, but if people are saved then I won’t be the one to gainsay it.

    Regarding your #9 I submit this article for your perusal.

    But the fact is that Phillips does not want to participate in a very specific ceremony, because he holds authentic, well-documented, age-old religious objections to such an event—in the same way that a Hasidic Jew or an orthodox Muslim might not want to participate in a ceremony that proclaims that Jesus is our Lord and savior. Maybe if we begin forcing atheists to party plan baptisms, the point would become clearer. Actually, maybe if we begin forcing Orthodox rabbis and imams to perform gay weddings, the point would be even clearer.
    Though you and I may find Phillips’ objections lacking in merit or even objectionable, according to the blueprint of the American founding, religious concerns should take precedence over any “civil rights” of cake seekers.

  63. Michael says:


    That’s the case that got me thinking about #9…that situation irritates the stuff out of me.

  64. Xenia says:

    I like Phil Robertson quite a bit. I don’t watch DD but on the whole, I am for them and not against them.

    I don’t like anyone putting their name on a Bible, be it DD. Scofield, MacArthur or anyone else. The DD Bible seems especially egregious IMO because what is there about these guys, lovable as they are, that qualifies them to publish notes on the Scriptures? They are duck call manufacturers, not Bible scholars or theologians. If someone wants their particular insight into living the Christian life then buy one of their other books. Putting their brand on a Bible seems to trivialize the Scriptures. Again, IMO. Almost a desecration.

  65. Michael says:


  66. Yeah, that one got right up my nose, too.

  67. Michael says:

    I’ve never watched the program and never will…doesn’t appeal to me in the least.
    That doesn’t mean that I “hate” them…I just could care less and don’t think they have any business putting their name on a Bible.

  68. Michael says:

    I do like “Deadliest Catch” and “Survivorman”…but I’m not sure if they are ready to replace my ESV Study Bible yet…

  69. Xenia says:

    Also, what’s going to happen to your Duck Dynasty Bible ten years from now when DD is off the air and nobody gives a quack what they thought? It will be just another specialty Bible gathering dust on the shelves only even less relevant than all the others, as it is based on the opinions of TV characters. They are basically producing a Bible that will be completely irrelevant in a few years, which I think is a very disrespectful way to misuse God’s Word. It will be a throw-away Bible.

  70. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, as I posted earlier.l Al Robertson is not in the duck call making business. He is a pastor and has pastored his church for 20 years. He is far more famous (and thus likely to have an influence with this Bible) than the average 20-year pastor because of his family.

    I know that if I thought I could get the Bible into the hands of thousands of unbelievers because of my lineage that I would do so. That is the difference between this Bible and the many other Bibles associated with a famous pastor. (And of course, the initial comparison to Beyonce and Spongebob is utter nonsense.)

    So while I understand your comment against anyone putting their name to a Bible (even if I do not share it), I do think you are in error if you think this is simply some TV people desecrating and trivializing a Bible – which as was also noted, is not a new translation of some sort – but rather a NKJV.

    I called Phil a lay pastor earlier, though I have been corrected that he actually is ordained as well. He certainly has preached the word faithfully for many years, leaving his other 3 sons (besides Al) to run the family business.

    In reading the article, I also see this does not seem to be meant as an intense study Bible but rather applying through devotional and testimonial material the truths of Scripture.

  71. Many people who are just regular pastors contribute notes to bibles.
    Last I saw Al Robertson had pastored a church for 20 yrs.
    Quite a few people on here that publish/comment notes on scripture on here on a regular basis that are not pastors.
    I myself have done so on here.
    BTW, it doesn’t seem to be a commentary, but a devotional bible from what I read.

    I myself will not buy it.
    But, like I said I will not speak out against something that may turn out to be for the good.

    Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

    To Live Is Christ

    Yes, and I will rejoice,

    (Philippians 1:15-18 ESV)

  72. filbertz says:

    Duck Dynasty the TV show! I thought it was a study bible related to Oregon’s football team. 😉

  73. Xenia says:

    It is my opinion that the Holy Bible is not something that people are free to write their personal insights upon the pages thereof. I understand that some people, out of enthusiasm for a TV program and its beloved characters, might be attracted to this book, might read it and might choose to pursue the Christian faith. I understand that this is the worthy hope of this book’s proponents. I think it is misguided (as are most of these specialty Bible put out by Thomas Nelson) but may God’s work be done. It is my preference that the insights of individuals be gathered together in a separate volume and not printed upon the pages of Scripture with the individual’s name attached to the title. If a committee works together to provide minimal clarifying notes, that is something different.

  74. Xenia says:

    Ironic how I am practically the only regular here (with some notable exceptions) who does not believe in Sola scriptura yet I am arguing for Bibles that are basically sola scriptura, w/o the addition of notes.

  75. Steve Wright says:

    I’ve heard many people over the last 20 years raise a ruckus over the 12 Step Serenity Bible. Christians deriding it far and wide, especially in CC circles where there is often a negativity towards AA and other 12 Step groups.

    I on the other hand recommend it frequently because it simply is a New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs in the NKJV translation that contains a few devotional nuggets connecting the truths of Scripture to the principles behind the 12 Steps – plus a lot of simple highlighting of texts that show the 12 Steps in Scripture with no commentary whatsoever other than to say next to the highlight (Step Four, Step Eight etc)

    There are millions of people that are committed to their 12 Step programs and a whole lot of them have no desire to enter our churches and to give them a regular Bible is to give them a doorstop or a donation to the next rummage sale.

    But at the minimum for many there is a curiosity to reading the 12 Step Serenity Bible, even if one starts it to just to try and dismiss the claim that the 12 Steps are rooted in the Christian faith. Many have come to faith. As to what they do with their Serenity Bible 10 years later? Who knows? Maybe they cherish it as the Bible God used to bring them to saving faith.

    America is obsessed with celebrity, no doubt about it. Making the association by whoredom to evangelicalism is over the top. But people listen to celebrities, especially unbelievers are likely to listen (and follow) a celebrity.

    It is refreshing to me to have someone using their celebrity to point people to Christ and to encourage the reading of the Scriptures, and not some save the whales, stop global warming, free Tibet or any of the other worldly crusades.

    Bono’s #1 effort is to talk to world leaders about eliminating 3rd world debt. No matter how noble the cause, at the end of the day, what is that going to do for the eternal souls of the lost? But he is not my servant.

    For some reason, in the sovereignty of God, this family has the attention of tens of millions of Americans. And they are using that attention to speak of Jesus, both on the show and in their appearances around the country. I think whatever the Bible we use, we have some instruction about judging another man’s servant.

    Maybe when multiple millions each week care about what my family life is like, then I will be in a position to adequately judge how they could be doing a better job in using their celebrity for the glory of Christ.

  76. Xenia says:

    I don’t object to the Robertson family having a positive influence. I think that’s great! God bless ’em! Let them publish all the other books they want! My objection is probably the objection of a sacramentalist: I believe the Bible is Holy, not just the content but the pages of the book itself. I would not use a Bible as a door stop, for example. This is probably my main objection to any person’s published scribblings in the margins and putting their own name on the cover.

  77. Steve Wright says:

    I would not use a Bible as a door stop, for example
    Nor would I.

    When I was in college the Campus Crusade guys came around one day and there was no avoiding them if you were on campus. You WOULD get a New Testament as you entered any classroom.

    I was as lost as lost could be back then. But I just felt it was wrong to throw it in the trash. However, there was no way I was going to bring it home with me either and have “that book” in my room.

    I ended up leaving it on the library table, for someone else to do with as they saw fit.

  78. Michael says:

    Why “Duck Dynasty” is better than Bono…this is getting hysterical.
    Derek, I get your point.
    My position would be that even if God uses something, that does not mean it should be normative for the church.

  79. Michael,
    Thank you for your kind words.

  80. Jim says:


    There are Orthodox study Bibles, some published by Nelson.

  81. Just looked that Orthodox Study Bible from Thomas Nelson up.
    Actually looks like the commentary would be interesting and I have always wanted to read an OT translation of the Septuagint.

  82. Michael says:


    No problem, my friend.
    I’m a little slow on the uptake and for some this is as much about political and cultural beliefs as religious ones.
    Those discussions never end well here…

  83. Xenia says:

    There are Orthodox study Bibles, some published by Nelson.<<<

    Yes, published by Thomas Nelson.

    This Bible is quite controversial in the Orthodox world. There is much discussion about the title of the book, the publisher, and the notes. I have one and have read it from Gen to Rev. Not a fan of the notes. At least it's not called "The Father Jack Sparks Study Bible." It appeals to converts from Protestantism who are accustomed to study Bibles. It uses a form of the Septuagint for the Old Testament but even the way this was done is controversial.

    Actually, the OSB kinda proves my point.

  84. Michael says:

    I love study Bibles…with notes from scholars, not celebrities.
    The least valuable ones I own are one man shows…

  85. Xenia says:

    Derek, the Orthodox Study Bible is not a disaster, by any means. It just takes a certain tone and that tone bugs many people. The tone is: “Hey all you evangelicals out there who just happen to be reading this Bible! We know you think this verse means thus-and-so but we Orthodox are here to tell you it means thus-and-so!” In other words, it seems to be directed towards Evangelicals as an evangelistic tool rather than towards the Orthodox world which might not care what evangelicals think. Rather than just saying “This is what this verse means,” there is the tendency to always compare the verse to what the Protestants think. This is probably because the OSB’s chief editor was a convert from evangelicalism and still had that us vs them dialogue running in his head. Hard to turn those tapes off sometimes.

  86. Xenia says:

    I have an Orthodox New Testament in two volumes which I like better. All the notes are at the end of a particular book and they are all direct quotes from the Church Fathers.

    I am getting ready to buy a simple KJV w/o notes. Maybe large print version….

  87. Xenia says:

    Anyone remember the Spiritual Counterfeits Project. a cult-buster group from Berkeley? One of the founders was Jack Sparks who later converted to Orthodoxy and became Fr. Jack Sparks, the editor in chief of the Orthodox Study Bible.

  88. Jean says:

    Michael, I hope your interview went well. My heart is very heavy today, even despondent. My church, the UMC, is in the throws of internal division again over the same-sex marriage/gay ordination issue, and I fear this time the gay/lesbian lobby is going to prevail and finally destroy the tradition. The sheep don’t even understand where they’re being led.

  89. Sorry to hear that, Jean.
    I have been following that controversy for a few months now since reading an article on it.
    The day is coming when this is going to come to all denoms and individual congregations will have to stand on one side or the other of this controversy.
    I hate it is happening this soon for yours.

  90. Tracy Ramiez says:

    Michael, your number 5 says it all. Christians need to lead with their feet. I am so sad when I hear folks say that they are staying at a church because of the “programs’ they are offering; especially when the pastor’s teaching isn’t biblically sound.

  91. Steve Wright says:

    Why “Duck Dynasty” is better than Bono…this is getting hysterical.
    You use Duck Dynasty like I used to hear people personalize Jethro Tull.

    Two men are editing the material that is going to accompany a NKJV Bible. These two men are brothers in the Lord who in a a pastoral role have faithfully proclaimed the word of God for a combined 50 years+.

    What is hysterical is to see you compare to Beyonce and Spongebob and equate support for such a project to whoredom.

    Or maybe hysterical is not the right word….

  92. Michael says:


    The latest I heard was they were going to try to get a resolution passed to allow churches to decide this on the individual local church level.
    While it’s tragic what has happened to the legacy of Wesley, the Methodists have been careening off a cliff for a long time.
    Another reason why people need to take responsibility at every level for the health of their churches.

  93. Jean says:

    Thanks Derek. It’s hard to comprehend because anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear can recognize what has happened to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the ELCA, the Episcopal Church, etc. We don’t worship the Bible, but if we abandon it, disaster follows.

  94. Michael says:


    I’m sure that your constant antagonism is winning you brownie points with your peers, but it’s wearing thin here.
    I try not to engage with you as you ended any relationship we had with the last thread you did this on.
    I allow you to have your say and shine your anti-PhxP trophy, but I’ve about had enough.
    The comments I make are intended to generate thought and conversation.
    They have done so and no one hasn’t been able to make their positions clear.
    You need to follow Mark if you find this blog offensive.

  95. Last time I checked TheWhoreOfBabylon was a religious entity who prostituted herself to the power brokers of the world, a sell-out to turn a buck as she turned her tricks.

    …so, how is EvangelicalCelebrityBibleBranding any different?

  96. Jean says:

    Steve – There is nothing pastoral or faithful about a man who makes public statements like the following:

    “Look, you wait ’til they get to be 20 years old, the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket,” he said. “You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16. They’ll pick your ducks. You need to check with mom and dad about that, of course.”

    “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

    I agree with Michael regarding the DD bible, and I would never recommend this man as a pastor to anyone. His version of the gospel is not the one I find in the bible.

  97. Xenia says:

    I just ordered a plain KJV pew Bible with a sturdy cover and large print so this ol’ grandma can read it without her spectacles.

    To summarize my feelings on specialty Bibles, I just plain don’t like them. I do realize many people are blessed and for that I am glad. My preference is that the Bible stand alone without any added notes from anybody. Even quotes from the Church Fathers are a little problematic: who chose them? You can find a Church Father quote to support just about anything. The Tradition of the Church cannot be summarized or adequately explained in footnotes.

    Just the plain Bible for me.

  98. Jean says:

    Thanks Michael. The problem is that when you’re part of a “connection”, each church contributes an “apportionment” to support other churches, the conference, and certain causes. Do I want my apportionment dollars going to something I believe defiles the church?

    And how are we “united” if we choose this path?

    A lot to think about.

  99. O_o

    Ahhhh, yes, pop into my favorite online blog and get hit with a NSFW quote from a gawdly, gawdfeerin’ duck hunter representin’ keee-ryst

    I think that quote needs to be right on the DDBible cover, with a caption baloon coming from the dear boy’s camo-bearded mug, proudly showing the best of our faith-family to the world


  100. Michael says:


    Like I said…sometimes splits are beneficial.

  101. Laura Scott says:

    Michael, thanks for the #4; I did that very thing this week. 🙂

  102. Jean says:

    I agree Michael. I would be very happy with a split and would be agreeable to a property and pension accommodation. The problem I see is that the gay/lesbian lobby wouldn’t be happy with a split, because they’re not really after the right to be a member of a church who agrees with them, they want the others (people like me) to bend, to change my mind, to yield to their view. That’s how bad things have become IMO.

  103. Michael says:


    Never expected that…PM me if you want and tell me why.

  104. Andrew says:

    Number 10 is so true.

  105. Laura Scott says:

    I will. It’s an adventure.

  106. Michael says:


    I know some local UMC stuff…and from where I sit they have abandoned anything resembling the faith.
    It’s more like a liberal Kiwanis Club with music…

  107. Hey Michael,
    How about a big fat “NSFW” tag on the DD quote at #98?
    Jean has a point, but in trying to illustrate the point as graphically, if any participant who admires the DD guy isn’t schooled in his quotes by now, they need to do their homework.

    I mean, come on, at least Reddit requires OPs to tag their stuff when talking about ladyparts & such 😉

  108. Michael says:


    I’m going to leave it there in all it’s glory.
    It may be their commentary on the Song of Solomon…

  109. LOL!!!

  110. …quickly followed by the Game of Thrones illustrated edition featuring Cersei & Jaime Lannister’s commentary on how to get along with your siblings

  111. Anonymos says:

    Phil is probably the most hated Christian in America today


    That’s a funny one

    Phill’s laughin’ all the way to the bank.

  112. Steve Wright says:

    Phil probably should stick with Biblical words….

    A discussion bemoaning the sodomite activists destroying a denomination coupled with complaints about Phil not being politically correct enough in speaking out against the same sinful act of sodomy destroying said denomination.

    I don’t have a knife sharp enough to cut that irony. Maybe I can buy one at the DD store.

    I wonder if all the commentators are sad that Jean’s church is being torn apart over sodomite acceptance? And if so, whether the sadness is that much of the church is being too “obtuse” in not coming along with the sodomite acceptance agenda…

    I assume it is still “pastoral:” to use the King James English and one quote is not sufficient to judge a life’s work….

  113. So, her church is becoming increasingly overwhelmed by practitioners of the sin of unhospitality?

    I mean, after all, that IS what the commentary in Ezekiel points out was the sin of Sodom & her sisters…

  114. sorry, my comment was inhospitable

    based on Michael’s #4 & Rob Bell’s #53 I’ll beg out for now

  115. Jean quoted Phil ““You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16.” and then commented “I would never recommend this man as a pastor to anyone. His version of the gospel is not the one I find in the bible.”

    Boy I agree with you Jean that is so way off – the Bible says to pluck them up in marriage at a much younger age.

  116. Steve,
    I agree with you on the irony of the Phil thing with some of the folks here. I don’t know much about him but I will guess that his theology is as whacky as yours with all the Israel and Rapture stuff 🙂 but… He does speak out for the truth on the social issues and I would imagine if he were running the UMC that the outcome of the homosexual stuff would be different.

  117. Michael says:

    Real simple.
    I don’t think being a celebrity qualifies you to write a study Bible, whether you agree with my doctrinal beliefs or not.

  118. Dusty says:

    oh my! 😳 don’t think I want to read that version

  119. Dusty says:

    Michael, #120 I agree

  120. Dusty,
    I don’t want to read any versions except the ones WITHOUT the commentaries.
    I read them separately.

    Hope your foot is healing quickly!

  121. Dusty says:

    my ESV does not have a commentary either…..and I would rather read them separately as well.

    Foot is feeling better. Will find out on Thur. how well the healing is going. thank you (((Hugs))))

  122. “The celebrity whoredom of American evangelicalism is terminal.”

    I’m a little late to the party, but I agree wholeheartedly. The last thing we need is another Bible translation. The publishing of “Christian” material is solely based upon profit. Also, “Christian” music is equally guilty. It too is all about the Benjamin’s.

    Now, I do believe that there are writers and composers out there that need to be heard. But they are far and few between.

    Power, fame and fortune has resulted in many prostituting themselves for that which is eternally worthless. “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26, NKJV

    What profit is it? From an eternal perspective, they have exchanged there souls for nothing. Oh, they will tell you what great things they are doing for “the LORD.” How the numbers prove that God is using them. While they devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Jesus said that they will receive greater condemnation.

    Any man who can enrich himself at the expense of the people of God, who can take the money given to God for the furtherance of His Kingdom, and use it for their own selfish purposes, cannot know God, no matter what he says. Their condemnation is just.

  123. Dusty says:

    Michael, hope your interview went well, will continue to pray for favor in the eyes of your interviewer…..that you land the job…at a high rate.

  124. randallslack says:

    It is said that there are two things in life that you do not want to know how they are made. One is federal laws, the other is sausage. I would like to add a third: Decisions by corrupt church boards.
    Mars Hill is systematic of a larger condition ripe within the professing church: corruption, power, greed at the highest levels. The problem is that those pastors, church leaders and elders that are genuinely honest, humbly serving God are lumped together with the corrupt.

    You are correct it stating that it will only end when their support ceases. Until then, they will reign like kings while those who support them sacrifice to do so.

  125. sisterchristian says:

    In agreement with Xenia, Michael, G and dusty in regards to the study Bibles,,.

    The word of God is holy
    And it’s HIS word

    While commentaries and study bibles certainly can be helpful
    Perhaps it’s best for individuals who want to recieve recognition to place their names on commentaries as commentaries

    To put ones name on Gods Word seems a very precarious perch

    And wouldn’t it stand to reason that those who are ” lured in” thru celebrity influence could just as easily be lured away by celebrity influence?

  126. Jean says:

    Some have found irony in my #90 and #91. Actually,I was not being ironic, unless the bible is ironic.

    If you take the time to read Peter’s address to Cornelius in Acts 10 vs. 2 Pet 2, or Paul’s address to the Areopagus in Acts 17 or to the Corinthians in 1 Cor 15 and compare them to what he says in 1 Cor 5:9-13, you will find that there’s a difference in how Christians should communicate with outsiders vs. how we deal with insiders.

    Heb 12:15 for me sums up the major failing of the Robertson interview: “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God.”

    You see this throughout the Gospels in the ministry of Christ.

  127. Nonnie says:

    I just posted on open blogging and would appreciate people’s opinions.
    / comments. Thank you

  128. Nonnie says:

    I have really been blessed by NT Wright. He takes a very different view on lot of things I have been taught , but i find him refreshing …,at the same time, he has made some statements I have to read over and over again and then scratch my head. But I suppose I could say the same for most writers . I’m enjoying reading Christisn writers from a variety of backgrounds.

  129. Ixtlan says:

    I have watched Duck Dynasty a few times. I cannot believe such material is actually considered entertaining. To publish a Duck Dynasty Study Bible is ridiculous. This is something that should be reserved for those who are well learned, not someone who is a TV personality. I am convinced that P.T. Barnum spoke prophetically into our era as well. Truly there is a sucker born every minute.

  130. I don’t know why so much is made about the DD guys and nothing is ever said about Blue Bloods. They end almost every show around the dinner table, pray in Jesus name and cross themselves.

  131. brian says:

    I have seen a total of 5 minutes of DD and Phil Robertson does not really bother me, I heard him speak on a few online news feeds and I think he is a bit backwards concerning some things but I dont hate him, how can I? I dont even know the man. He is a character on TV most of those are not real. Why would anyone even think he is dangerous he is just using words and ideas, how is that dangerous, from what I have read he is not espousing violence towards other people. As for the bible he is making money off of it, that is always good, and he is not the only one making bank off of religion. He does not seem to be supporting child abuse or protecting predators. From what I have read Phil would take an abuser of children out to the duck shed and make them wish someone had called the police.

    Actually I have not had a TV for over a year, no cable, not even an antenna. I have youtube, listen to sermon audio alot, I do have netflix, a confession I still watch the Law and Order series. But I spend most of my down time I E not working writing letters, reading zoning laws, reading local projects that affect the park I live in. I watch alot of local council meetings and spend about 3 x days a week in meetings that go on past 11 PM.

  132. @13

    Ya…and don’t forget Catholic Bingo night!

  133. Mark says:

    Steve you can guess that I support u. Our host only allows condescending obnoxious comments when they agree with his point of view. Disagree and you r invited to leave. I’m leaving but before I do Steve can u recommend a blog that fosters gracious encouraging and edifying discussions of scripture? As opposed to this blog which sea to always mirror the demeanor of its host?

  134. MLD,
    In answer to you thinking DD would be pre-trib, they are Church of Christ which is generally amill.
    Is there some reason people refuse tos that the coauthor is actually a pastor? Or are hobby horses that hardto dismount?

  135. Tos should have been to see

  136. Also, the same way if I came on here quoting scripture out of context I would expect to be called out on it.
    So, if you quote people out of context and use their words to support your own position expect to be called out on it.
    I would hate to see what individual comments on here pulled out of context would look like sometimes.

  137. sisterchristian says:


    If you insist upon leaving( yet I would seriously encourage you to reconsider)… Before you do so …

    Hope you take a few minutes to read what I’m about to share

    You have asked at least 3 occasions, perhaps more;
    Where there is a blog where people interact in a loving way discussing scripture
    A blog where people encourage one another?

    When you write:
    You are- ” sick of negativity on this site against the body of Christ… Of the constant criticism & misrepresentations”
    Combined with…
    “I’m guilty too.. As I assume the attitude of others on this site”

    Leaves me wondering a few things from your perspective presented

    Are you a pastor? And if so, do you readily assume the attitudes of people in your congregation as you claim to here? Or are you a leader setting the tone in attitude?
    Do you set the tone for your spouse/ children/ family/ loved ones… Co workers …and such?

    And when you elect to reflect the attitudes of those around you…
    Which attitudes and which individuals do you chose to reflect?
    Those who are encouraging and uplifting maybe even a bit challenging
    Or those who are acerbic?

    Because one is able to find all types in ANY community/ gathering. whether large or small

    I have shared this before and if you continue to bear with me will share it again…

    This blog community., which in some good measure has become like family to me… The love, support, encouragement and yes… Even strong opposition and challenges… ( that were meant to help me grow) has far exceeded and outweighed any church I have attended in the past 20+ years…

    God has granted me the priveledge of personally meeting face to face multiple people who have over the course of years (perhaps close to 10 years now) become my best friends and confidants… People I can count on for prayer, encouragement and love… And I can honestly say that not only the gracious host of this site , but many pastors and individuals have been instrumental – not only online on this blog… But behind the scenes … Through emails… Phone calls and face to face interaction … Have encouraged., prayed for … And guided me through the most tragically tumultuous time in my life… Sad to say
    But individuals here stepped up where the local church failed/ neglected to do so…

    Most of the people on this site have been an encouragement to me, and I think it’s safe to speak for many others in this community for them as well
    In good times and bad

    Now I do realize: there are on occasion
    Miscommunications, misrepresentations
    But as with any substantive relationship
    They need to be worked through with love, grace, wisdom and consideration

  138. Derek, my comment about DD guy was my knock at Steve. It’s our form of communication 🙂

    I know some had said Phil was at last years Harvest Crusade, which is now made more interesting – with Church of Christ doctrine you must be baptized to be saved (which btw is not the Lutheran position) and their end times view being opposite of the singular CC theological distinctive – it makes me wonder if Harvest Crusade didn’t just jump on the celebrity bandwagon.

  139. sisterchristian says:


    Allow me to leave you with this: a few scriptures mixed with some encouragement

    Do not grow weary in well doing
    For in due time you shall reap

    Those who water are watered themselves

    Be patient, be a leader in that attitude which you hope to see emulated in others… Sow good seeds of encouragement

    Building good healthy and strong relationships take time
    And effort…Oh, but the dividends pay royally!

    Join us on the prayer thread …
    Plenty o encouragement, love and support there

    Thank you for hearing me out.,
    I encourage you to stay and contribute ….
    To share the encouragement, wisdom, and insight God has given and is growin in you… With others who would be greatly blessed by your continued participation if you should so choose to move forward with each of us on this journey of growing and encouraging one another in the work and word of The Almighty

  140. Michael says:


    I write specific articles like TGIF that are purely devotional.
    You never comment on them.
    You aren’t looking for “fellowship” you’re looking for people who agree with you and won’t question any doctrine in your tradition.
    You got bent because when you tried to impose anti biblical legalism on here it got soundly and completely rejected.
    You have been allowed to post many comments over the years, almost all of which has been in disagreement with me, often calling my integrity into question.
    Man up and move on or deal with the fact this is my blog, not

  141. Muff Potter says:

    davidsurfer51 @ # 135,
    Bingo is just plain fun. It doesn’t matter if it’s Catholic Bingo, Muslim Bingo, or even Mormon Bingo. It’s just good clean fun.

  142. Muff Potter says:

    Mark @ # 136,
    Scripture is a funny thing Mark, it can enhance a shared and common humanity amongst us all, or it can build walls, divide us, and ultimately, strip us of our humanity.

  143. 4. Let’s get something clear. If you’ve had a radical change in theological understanding and your church doesn’t embrace your new views, that is not abuse. You changed, they didn’t…go down the road and find a group that agrees with you. You’ll bless one group by leaving, another by arriving. Demanding that a group change their theological views to suit you is abusive…and selfish…and stupid.
    so you’ve made peace with CC not being Calvinistic or Reformed traditionally in their theology? Wow… Either this is a major change, or you aren’t really applying this thinking to your own views.

    I hope it is a major change and you stop griping about CC’s/Bryson’s supposed ‘war’ against Calvinism.


  144. Michael says:


    It’s never been an issue of “converting” CC to Calvinism.
    Bryson didn’t have a clue what he was talking about…that was the issue.
    Misrepresenting other traditions makes me angry.
    Bryson has also been kicked out of Calvary Chapel and effectively silenced for other reasons

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