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  1. PP Vet says:

    Fascinating story on the “Christian century” in Japan. Would we recognize 16th-17th Roman Catholic missionary activity as genuinely Christian? I really do not know.

  2. Babylon's Dread says:

    You know, reading Donald Miller is like entering into a world where DM just knows more, is more enlightened, more sensitive, and more intelligent than the rest of us. I am so happy he tells us how to feel and think and be. It makes the ride so much less stressful. We don’t have to make any decisions. Thank you sage Miller. When he decides that he is too wise to follow Jesus anymore I am sure he will tell us where to go for our needs.

  3. Xenia says:

    I think Frankie Schaeffer mostly hates himself.

  4. PP Vet says:

    The whole issue of whether to attend church is rarely argued on the merits. Non-church-attenders are usually treated dismissively.

    We need to understand what the kingdom of God is, how it is spread, and how lives are genuinely changed, and not just religionified.

    Here’s an approach: find five solid Christians who do not attend church, and compare the apparent health of their families to five who do.

    You may not like the data, once you normalize to expose what the true impact of church attendance is.

    What non-attenders may find dismaying is the lack of integrity in most arguments made in favor of attendance.

    It is a tough issue. Stetzer is at least trying to be fair, but he has not listed anything that non-attenders can’t have in their approach to living the gospel.

    The best argument? Healthy churches help the community, so your fair share is to support one. Weak and young Christians need them especially. If you cannot go, then give. And many do.

  5. ( |o )====::: says:

    Frank Schaeffer does a great job of calling out the evangelical culture & money machine. That’s a great article!

    Here’s another great article. Appearantly CC isn’t the only culture with an entrenched Moses Model:

    “As we are seeing more and more evangelical movements outed as actual cults (IHOP, Bill Gothard, etc.), we ought to take notice of the mega-shiny-seeker church too. Cults of power, personality, and profit can be cults nonetheless.” – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/zhoag/2014/02/10/what-furticks-millions-the-we-serve-a-lead-pastor-mantra-might-mean/#sthash.qjYkjGvC.dpuf

  6. The article on Jesus’ Parables is good. I enjoy Jared Wilson’s books and I am looking forward to his new one.
    On the Muslims dreaming of Jesus…I say praise the Lord! I have been reading stories like that for awhile now.
    No one tell John MacArthur or he may write a book on why they can’t be dreaming of Jesus. 😉

  7. filbertz says:

    Babs,
    I’m attending Miller’s Storyline Conference in San Diego at the end of the month. I’ll let you know if your assessment bears out. In my previous encounter with him, I found him humble, engaging, and generous.

    notcurrentlyattendingchurcheitherfil 😉

  8. Michael says:

    It’s not a great article, it’s garbage and I’m going to say so.
    Let’s start with this;

    “What the self-doubting (and often self-loathing) smarter and older evangelicals can’t deal with are their own real questions: for instance how can anyone sane actually believe what the Bible says?”

    I am neither self doubting or self loathing when it comes to my faith.
    I believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God.
    So by Schaeffers measure, I’m self doubting, self loathing, and insane.
    Now, no one would ever dare speak that to a Hindu, Muslim, or atheist…that would be exclusivist and disrespectful.
    But you can say any evil thing about conservative Christians and the applause meter breaks.

    “The last thing the evangelical establishment wants is an honest debate. So they’re into censorship on a huge scale.”

    What a pile of happy horsesh… this is.
    Did not Frankie get his little screed printed?
    Have there not been books upon books written attacking the historic Christian faith?
    Are we not held to ridicule in all the entertainment media?
    There have been debates inside and outside the faith since the faith began and this is nothing more than a hysterical lie to inflame his readers.

    “If the evangelical publishers were legitimate they would publish books by atheists asking real questions.”

    Dear Frankie…I’m not interested in debating atheists or agnostics, nor am I the least bit interested in their writings.
    The best minds born have debated these things since the 1st century and only an idiot would be unable to find them.
    If they want to publish a book (and they have published thousands) they can write it and publish it at a secular publishing house.
    Christian publishers produce books for Christians…as do Christian blogs, magazines, and other media.
    We have no, none, nada, zilch,zip obligation to print or post things that attack what we hold dear.
    I thought in America we were free to express our faith…

    I loathe the corporate consumerism of American evangelicalism as much as anyone….the only thing I loathe more are people who wish to silence and shame the people of God in the historic Christian faith.

    “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
    (1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV)

  9. Wow.

    I was just reading this and thought I would drop it off here.
    Something I probably need to work on myself.
    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/gospeldrivenchurch/2014/02/11/crucifying-defensiveness/

  10. Babylon's Dread says:

    Filbertz,

    I don’t need the report on DM and he doesn’t need my approval. I know he is a gemstone and I am a gallstone. Going to church is a nonissue to me. Being the church is life and death for me.

  11. Babylon's Dread says:

    Franky Schaeffer was spewing hatred when he was on our side and now he is spewing hatred against us. I like consistency.

  12. Finally read that article by the Schaeffer guy. I agree, pretty terrible.

    Is this guy really all that important though?
    Just seems to be riding his father’s coattails, while despising the very coattails that make him listened to in the first place.

  13. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    and depending on the audience Schaeffer’s alternately pinned blame on the Religious Right on his dad (think HuffPo) or himself (Crazy for God, where Schaeffer said his father’s move to right-leaning activism was because he bullied his dad into becoming a hard-liner against abortion). Frank Schaeffer has come across as an opportunistic self-promoting more and more. When an author uses the death of Mandela as an opportunity to shill a novel that makes him that’s pretty shameless. Frank Schaeffer blew me away with that move and it’s not like I haven’t seen weird stunts from celebrity Christians before. Seriously, that makes Driscoll’s stunt at Strange Fire seem dignified by comparison. It’s not that nobody can level trenchant criticism of American evangelicalism, obviously, it’s that Frank Schaeffer’s looking too compulsively vitriolic and mercenary to be the person to articulate them effectively.

  14. Filbertz says:

    bd
    nicely played.

  15. Jim says:

    No one would know or care who Franky is if not for his dad. That must be hard to live with for some people. I think Xenia diagnosed the problem.

  16. brian says:

    Frankie Schaeffer’s article was truly convicting to me, I was totally moved. It sounded just like many of my posts here, it made me ashamed that I sound like that at times; one canard after another in a caricature of other people’s faith. He must be extremely angry with his parents. It was like looking in the mirror and I did not like what I saw.

  17. brian says:

    I hope I did not kill another thread I tend to do that.

  18. Kevin H says:

    The Frank Schaeffer article is truly sad and disturbing. While there is a level of truth on some of the things he says, the irony is a lot of what he rips the conservatives and evangelicals for, disingenuousness, dishonest arguments, etc., are exactly the same types of tactics he uses in his screed. He is exactly what he rails against. I am far from being even an amateur psychologist, but it sure seems to me as if Frankie has some serious anger issues related to his upbringing and early adult life that he is unable to channel in a healthy manner.

  19. Andrew says:

    I read the article “Fans or Followers”. To me this sounds overly pietistic. I look at the subtitle of the book “Not a Fan” which reads “Becoming a completely committed follower of Christ”.

    I’m not sure if the author has got to that point to being “fully committed” but I think you could safely say no one has. So what is the difference between a fan and a follower? I am left scratching my head. The Bible makes distinctions between believers and non believers, between saved and unsaved, between regenerate and non regenerated but doesn’t put Fan or Follower type labels on Christians. We are either Christians or not. Some pastors in this mindset won’t even use the term Christian anymore but rather adopt the phrase “fully committed followers of Christ”. I think that is a shame because “Christian” is a Biblical word which to me implies what Christ has done for us and not what we could possibly do for Him.

  20. Dude says:

    Frankie Schaffer seems to be quite angry.He has some good points yet his own vision is clouded.

  21. Xenia says:

    I know a lot of people who know, or knew Frank, quite well. (He was Orthodox for a while. Might still claim to be.) I learned all I needed to know about him when I read those thinly-veiled biographical novels where he mocks and ridicules his family. Frankie is not a nice man.

    The first thing he did upon conversion was write a book about Orthodoxy (Dancing Alone) and publish a magazine (Again magazine.) He was presenting himself as an expert about something he barely understood but ol’ Frankie just has to be heard.

  22. Royce says:

    Another link:

    Steven Furtick’s new show on TBN !
    http://www.tbn.org/index.php/2/4/p/1678.html

  23. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Doesn’t Frankie have a point tho? Aren’t a lot of the Mike Bickel’s,Todd Bentley’s, Aimee McPherson’s and Kathryn Kuhlman’s of the World just Carny’s

  24. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Sort of, Solomon, but in that sense Frank Schaeffer’s revealing himself over time to be another carny in a different way.

    Derek, Jared Wilson has been one of the few guys within the TGC sphere to have differed publicly with Driscoll about a few things as far back as 2008. People may not like TGC these days but I think Wilson’s public statements should be borne in mind. He may say stuff people don’t agree with but I respect that he’s been consistently willing to stick his neck out and say things that Mark says or does seem problematic and unpastoral. So my hope is that whether people agree with him or like him or not they don’t lump him in with what I’ve seen said about Gospel Coalition contributors across the board regarding Driscoll.

  25. Chile says:

    Best lessons from a lifetime of pastoring …

    Lloyd Jones said, “You know you’re preaching in the power of the Spirit when you are conscious that you are hopeless, and sinful, and weak.” (at the 12:03 mark)

  26. filbertz says:

    sol-rod,
    yes, FS has a point…at the end of his nose. 😉
    those you cite would likely not comprise anyone’s profile list of evangelicals.

  27. WTH,
    I think one of the reasons Jared Wilson can express his own mind is that he is a small church pastor.
    He doesn’t have a giant empire to lose like a lot of these guys.

  28. “How should we read Jesus parables?”
    Next Sunday I am beginning a study through Daniel … but for the past 2 yrs i have been threatening the class with a course on the parables. I now think that is what i will do after Daniel (although that will be at least 4 months off)

    You know, none of the parables is about what they talk about – and i find that an intriguing angle to focus on. I also want to rename all the parables, because for some reason in the Bible headings they are always misnamed.

  29. Xenia says:

    Frank S. faults evangelicals for promoting their literature yet he himself hawks his own book in this very article and urges people to follow him on FB and Twitter. What a phony!

  30. Xenia says:

    He’s not much of an artist, either.

  31. Frank is a very talented artist using the Impasto style
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impasto

  32. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    I’m going to take that as some impressively dry smart-ass humor ( lo )====:::: (I turned you into a mandolin, hope you don’t mind).

  33. Babylon's Dread says:

    What is the real takeaway from Mark D on these articles? I’m too lazy to look into his dr disaster. Plus, by now it should be clear that NOTHING sticks to him. He will have to do something on the evening news that can’t be refuted to even take a dent in his armor.

  34. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    do you have any particular posts in mind, BD?

  35. Babylon's Dread says:

    What is the essence of this scandal about the so-called Dr. ? And why if this man is so egregious in his offenses does nothing ever seem to cost him popularity? His reach only expands.

  36. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    The naturopath had his license suspended for allegedly tricking cancer patients into using an unapproved experimental vaccine. Driscoll had touted this naturopath as the person who helped him through a health problem he’d had for years. The naturopath’s credibility and capacity to practice are on the line. When this became a publicly known matter the Resurgence scrubbed everything. Or at least people tried. The public testimony Driscoll gave on behalf of his naturopath was too far-reaching and frequent to be completely wiped out.

    There’s actually some reason to doubt Driscoll’s reach is only expanding. The branding juggernaut might make it seem that way. And yet since the start of 2012 he’s pulled out of The Gospel Coalition in the aftermath of Elephant Room 2. He’s probably still got some role in Acts 29 but isn’t observably on the board or listed among board members at the WA sos listing. No sign of Driscoll.

    Based on the FY2013 annual report average attendance dropped by about 800 and even that may not account for the possibility that they’re counting kids toward full Sunday attendance when they didn’t used to. They lost at least 1277 members in one fiscal year to have only obtained a net gain of sixty members in the previous fiscal year. While the mid-tier and high end donors are more committed to the mission than ever about a third of the people who call MH home gave absolutely nothing, the highest ratio on record in years. Throw in the people who gave no more than $499 cumulatively in a fiscal year and a whopping 64% of people are giving less and less to MH than before. Possibly a third or more of their pastors have left or been kicked to the curb in the last two years. They’ve been quietly hemorrhaging members and leaders even if they’ve managed to grow just fast enough to make it seem like everything keeps rising.

    Storyville Coffee couldn’t distance itself from its Mars Hill affiliations fast enough last fall. If Driscoll’s reach was only expanding touting the connection between Mars Hill and Storyville would have seemed like a great move. Driscoll and MH can certainly hope their reach is expanding but the defeat they experienced retroactively at the hands of Sound Transit over the real estate in Bellevue they wanted and said was God’s will for them (that verbiage has since been pulled) may be showing them that there’s still a whole lot of stuff they can’t do. And as yet MH has failed to pull off a sustainable seminary under its brand so it remains to be seen if they can get their second (or third) attempt at a MH seminary to work. If Re:Train had worked out so well I would have thought that Bruce Ware and John Piper would have been quicker to mention their contributions to it.

    That may not explain much but that is inadvertently a synopsis of trends observed from a variety of posts published at WtH in the last eight months

  37. Babylon's Dread says:

    Thanks for the response. And the corrected information.

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