Linkathon 10/15

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  1. Jessica Menn says:

    I read the Roger Olson/Steve Hays piece. I disagree with Hays. He says…

    ***But even if Calvinists are sometimes hesitant to state what their position implies when dealing, let us say, with the victim of some horrendous tragedy, that, of itself, is not an act of dissimulation.

    There are many situations in life where discretion is a virtue. Where it’s best to hold your tongue and say less than you know. There are times when we need to take people’s feelings into account. To make allowance for the effect of our words, and let some things pass without comment. To pull our punches.***

    I think it is an act of dissimulation. It is one thing to be discrete or hold your tongue when you’re dealing with actions of another human being. But when you’re talking about God you should be plain and honest. He’s the source of everything–of life, truth, reality, etc. Humans aren’t the source of ultimate truth, so it doesn’t matter so much if you hide what they are or what they have done. But, God is the source of ultimate truth, so if you hide what He is/does then you’re hiding truth, reality, and objectivity. That seems incredibly wrong to me.

  2. brian says:

    I have always struggled with the Hays position, first I understand he and is ilk are fare better Christians or even human beings then I will ever be. I have read Mr. Hays’ blog for years, he is intellectual, effective and has an internally consistent apologetic, well so does Scientology and Amway but it does make a great website, I mean even Harold Camping and his psychotic rantings are internally consistent. Why do I go down this road, I dont know but I do know it is emotionalistic thus it is completely useless, God does not deal with emotion, passion, hope and other such tripe, God deals with intellect, efficiency and other apologetic goals, of course I see this view as, well blasphemous, but that is another post. Personally if a soul found rest i would say the hail Mary standing on my head buck naked in a show storm. Why, because God did more, way more.

  3. brian says:

    If people want to under stand me, please read Mr. Hays response, in my early Christian experience he would have been considered way to liberal, if not heretical. Take his view multiply it by say 10000000000, and you come close to my early evangelical experience. Basically God waited for the day to send us to hell, He could not wait, it was God’s earnest desire to send the vast majority of humanity to hell, He could not wait to unleash His Holy Wrath. It was constant. My Pov it was not good news, not at all. Of course that is humanities fault, I E God created them from the foundations of the universe to be lost. I never did get that point. I mean honestly read what he says really read it, truly do you see God this way?

  4. Michael says:

    I have to comment here.

    Steve is not talking about a continual dishonesty about our position.
    He is saying that during times of crisis you often don’t disclose the entire truth in pastoral counseling.
    More often than people have any idea…people who aren’t pastors.
    When someone is mourning is not the time to introduce them to Reformed (or any other) dogmatics.

    The time to develop a theodicy is before the crisis hits.

  5. Papias says:

    I think Hays has the point in mind that we need to be sensitive when evil things happen.

    There is no need to say “God has a plan for this”, to someone who has just suffered a loss of a loved one. When we don’t see what God is doing in a evil situation, it may be best to not say anything.

    But in our minds, we HAVE to believe that God is good, and DOES have a purpose in His plan for this event to take place.

    He made a good point about Tamar.

  6. Tim says:

    Hays seems to caricature Olson’s Arminianism as much as Olson caricatures his Calvinism. It would be nice to actually read an debate based on the merits of each branch of theology, rather than just what one camp says the other camp “thinks” (when in reality, they themselves don’t think that way).

    One other quibble with Hays…he writes: “That’s one of the lessons we can derive from the book of Job. Some of what his friends told him was unobjectionable in its own right. But it was tactless to say those things to a grief-stricken man.”

    The key word there would be “some”…and I’d even hesitate to say that. It’s worth remembering that God chastised Job’s 3 friends for not speaking rightly of God (Job 42:7). The Scripture doesn’t imply that God was disappointed with their tone or their lack of tact; rather God condemns their wrong theology…they bore false witness against God.

  7. Tim says:

    Michael –
    How did your surgery go?

  8. Dave Rolph says:

    We certainly need to speak the truth in love, and to use great sensitivity with people who are in pain. This is true no matter what your theological perspective is. I am not a Calvinist but I think Roger Olson is taking a cheap shot at Calvinists. I’m not sure that Piper could write a good “Shack-type” book. I suspect he could. But we don’t decide Theology based on what sells, or what makes people feel best in the here and now. Our theology has to spring forth from God’s revelation about Himself. I can tailor my presentation to the situation but I’d better not tailor my theology based on what would work best in a touchy feely made up story.

  9. MDSF says:

    I realize this is off-topic, but I wanted to share this article that I picked up from Jordon Cooper this morning:

    (Franklin) Graham’s 2 CEO posts boost pay, draw critics. The total came to $1.2 million in salary and retirement catch-up payments: more than a half-million each from BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse.

    Graham said the BGEA cuts were part of a restructuring that amounted to good stewardship of donations. “We saved almost $1 million” on lawn-keeping alone, he said.

    At Samaritan’s Purse, Graham’s compensation grew about 3 percent from 2007 to 2008.

    Still, his total compensation of $535,000 was higher than the $421,000 paid to the president of World Vision International, a relief agency with a budget four times as large.

    According to a joint statement last week by the boards at Samaritan’s Purse and BGEA, Graham’s pay and retirement were “researched and approved by our respective compensation committees, along with an opinion from an outside compensation expert as to reasonableness.”

    The 20-member BGEA board includes Graham and four members of the Graham family – father Billy, son Will, sister Anne Graham Lotz and cousin Melvin Graham – but none are members of the compensation committee, DeMoss said.

    That’s Mark DeMoss, son of the late Art DeMoss, interviewed here at BeliefNet.

  10. Papias says:

    Have we considered that the plan of God often consists of Him taking an evil situation and working it out for good?

    Abraham – Being told to sacrifice Issac, is then told to stop, instead is provided the goat?

    Joseph is the story of one guy getting the shaft and then turning to his brothers years later to say “What you meant for evil, God meant for good”.

    And of course Jesue’ sacrifice.

    Any more?

    And yet we can’t see every evil action being used by God(David and Bathsheba’s first baby dying, etc)

    Maybe if we don’t see God working out an evil situation, then we aren’t looking very hard for it? Not that we should focus on that stuff. Wondering….

  11. Roger Servin says:

    First, thanks BrianD for the link to my post.
    Second, Michael said in an earlier comment:
    “Steve is not talking about a continual dishonesty about our position.
    He is saying that during times of crisis you often don’t disclose the entire truth in pastoral counseling.
    More often than people have any idea…people who aren’t pastors.
    When someone is mourning is not the time to introduce them to Reformed (or any other) dogmatics.

    The time to develop a theodicy is before the crisis hits.”

    I think Michael is correct here. I also think a lot of “evangelical” America are off theologically so when the trials and pain hit (and they will) we do not know what to think or how to react. This is why it is SO important to have your theology straight before crisis comes. If you are better prepared because of the correct knowledge that you have about God and His workings then you will be able to praise God and not curse when He (yes I said He) brings about storms in your life…

  12. Michael says:

    Tim,

    The surgery went well.

    I’ve been up most of the night, but my mind is clear from the anesthesia.

    The pain is more than I’m used to…but this too shall pass.

    I will testify that I could quite literally feel the prayers and they carried me through stress free…

  13. Tim says:

    I’m sorry about the pain, but I’m glad it went well. I’ll continue to pray for you, along with the others.

  14. ryan couch says:

    Michael,

    Glad your surgery went well. I pray that you recover well and that the pain is tolerable.

  15. Sister Christian says:

    Ryan!

    what you said!!!
    How are you and the family doing in your new location?

  16. Psalm62 says:

    May I second Roger Servin’s comment above? That is why we need more teaching and less preaching – the rich, rich Truth that God has revealed to us is **not** boring or dry. It is breath-taking and encouraging. At least, that’s how it’s been for me. I couldn’t have made it through without the sure knowledge and recall of Scripture instilled by a good, focused, hard working teacher and distilled by God-the-Holy-Spirit; not by the man teaching. “Doctrine in residency = iron in the soul.” Aaand I think that frame of reference makes one (this ‘one’ at least) better able to discern the Lord’s One on one communications – they do happen – IMO

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