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  1. Jim says:

    The Colorado/Nebraska article is good.

    “When people say, “God seems to have left me” what they may be saying is, “I’m not having the sort of intense experiences I expect a Christian to experience.”

  2. Papias says:

    The beards of ministry gave me a chuckle. Almost makes me want grow one. 😉

  3. Nonnie says:

    Reading Wenachetee’s article on Driscoll’s sex life makes me feel very sorry for poor Grace Driscoll. Selfish jerk is the term that comes to mind.

  4. Was Luther a Calvinist?

    Wow, it took a lot of reading to get to his point – but he does make it in the very last paragraph.

    “The wrong thing to conclude from this evidence is that Lutherans are hesitant Calvinists, or two-and-a-half-point Calvinists, or imperfect Arminians. Lutherans are Lutherans. Their theological frame of reference is not closely related to the Calvinist-Arminian continuum. Lutherans have their own theological history, ”

    Lutherans will get sucked into the Calvin / Arminian conversation, but we have a totally different theological perspective that does not even include the language of the C/A debate.I can hold my own, but many times it’s like folks discussing the upcoming NFL season and the debate is which is superior, the NFC or the AFC and I enter the discussion taliing about the National League West.

    btw. Lutherans at best are 1.5pt Calvinists. 😉

  5. Xenia says:

    This Driscoll person, good grief. If he really was the manly man he pretends to be he would also understand that part of true manliness is gentlemanliness and a gentleman would never EVER write about his wife in a sexual way in a book for all to read. I think this is more wicked than all his plagiarisms.

    This sex-obsessed little creep in setting himself up for a huge fall.

  6. Nonnie says:

    Thank you, Xenia! You always say it much better than I could!

  7. Xenia says:

    Oh, you said it pretty good yourself, Nonnie!

  8. Jim says:

    Xenia @ #5 – Well said.

  9. Michael says:

    Pattons article on Calvinism pretty much explains my own theology…in case anyone is remotely interested. 🙂

  10. Xenia says:

    Can you imagine the horror of being Grace Driscoll? The whole church knows what she does in bed, including the men of that church. Her husband has not protected her from this as a true husband should. And if she doesn’t keep up her faux-teenager appearance, doesn’t stay in shape, doesn’t dress in a sexy way, begins to lose the energy/ enthusiasm for her husband’s voracious proclivities…. What will happen to her? I can guarantee you that whatever happens, Mark will blame Grace.

  11. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Your # 10 is the whole truth…I lost all respect for that man when he paraded his marital issues and his desires all over the country for the enjoyment of those watching.
    As a pastor, I know for a fact that the book has been used to bludgeon women into things they truly do not want to participate in.
    He…is a pig.

  12. Xenia says:

    I know if I were ever introduced to Grace Driscoll what the first thought that would pop into my mind would be. I am ashamed to admit it, but it’s Mark’s fault.

    She herself is in the position of a medieval queen married to an evil man. If she were to rebel she would lose her kingdom, maybe even her children.

  13. Xenia,
    Do you think Mark publishes this stuff without having first run it by the wife? I think they work in tandem to make a point … that escapes me and probably most.

    My guess, they are both dysfunctional … and happy to be so.

  14. Xenia says:

    Maybe she has some kind of Stockholm syndrome. I think a lot of wives with pastor husbands think they have to do whatever he says or else they will lose their kingdom/church. If they don’t cooperate, the whole church [empire] will collapse. I think many of these women enjoy being the queen bee and will do pretty much anything to keep that going. I agree, it’s dysfunctional on her part, too.

  15. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    We are of one mind in this matter…

  16. I wonder what her role is in the church? Is she like most CC pastor wives and defaults to the head of the Women’s Ministry?

  17. Paige says:

    Agreed with X and Michael’s sum up of Driscoll. A sick man. Poor Grace. The Stockholm Syndrome. Perhaps.
    No wonder so many non believers just shake their heads and walk away from even considering church.
    Wow… I can understand some of it on a very small and long ago historical way… Eeks.

    Now that I’ve turned the microscope around, so to speak, and have a larger view, I just want to vomit when I hear that cultist suppression of women stuff and wonder how the heck I fell for it for way too long.

    Actually, pigs are decent little creatures. Driscoll doesn’t deserve it.

    Thanks for the many links. I’ll read the rest after finishing the new grout on my tile floor.

    Loved the Beards.

    Sure do appreciate Steve Brown. Closest thing to “the early days of CC” around now. One of the only voices that give me hope.

  18. j2theperson says:

    Driscoll just seems like a sex scandal waiting to happen. In some respects he already is a sex scandal–his view of women and his teachings about sex are wrong and abusive and scandalous. I’m just kind of surprised at this point that he hasn’t be caught having an affair–probably with some young church “volunteer”. I could end up being wrong, but it seems so unlikely that he would not end up committing adultery at some point in his life, given that, based on his own description of himself, he’s basically a sex addict and he clearly has no respect for women in general or his wife in particular.

  19. Muff Potter says:

    The Beards of Ministry thing was absolutely hilarious Michael!!! It’s a good thing when we can laugh at ourselves.

  20. Jean says:

    “Is The Christian Life More Like Colorado Or Nebraska?”

    I think the author makes some very good observations about how the Christian life can become self-indulgent.

    However, I might have said some things differently. The Christian life should be like Colorado, but for the Christian who’s “life is the quest for intense, mountain-top emotional experiences”, he/she misses the real Colorado for a cheap temporary imitation.

    Christians should be the happiest of all people on earth. Look at the biblical source of Christian happiness:

    We are right with God the Father, who we may address as Abba.
    We are united with Jesus Christ, our Lord, who has conquered sin and death on our behalf.
    We are adopted siblings of Christ and co-heirs of his kingdom.
    We have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and transferred into Christ’s kingdom.
    Are sins are forgiven and we have been given an eternal future in the new heaven and new earth.
    We are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, who intercedes for us.

    What more could one ask for?

    The self-indulgent Christian life has a great deal of trouble growing into authentic joy and happiness because paradoxically, joy and happiness doesn’t come from pursuing it. It comes from following our Lord in service, sacrifice and suffering for others in the name of Christ.

    Christian joy and happiness is manifest throughout the NT among the apostles:

    After being beaten severely with rods, Paul and Silas sing hymns to God in prison.
    Paul writes that he rejoiced in his sufferings.
    Peter writes that that salvation brings great joy, although you may have to suffer for a short time in various trials.
    James writes that happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him?

    At the heart of the Christian life is the joyful and happy witness of the love of Christ in every situation, some of which might make the outsider ask: “What’s that dude been smokin?”

    So, let’s claim Colorado for the Christians!

  21. Lutheran says:

    Hi, Jean —

    I’m having deja vu reading your last post.

    When I was about 13, I had a good friend who went to a Free Methodist church. I can still remember him telling me, “Christians are happy people,” or something to that effect.

    I appreciate your point of view very much and what you bring here.

  22. Jean says:

    Thank you Lutheran. 😉

  23. Jean says:

    Lutheran, this community has been a blessing to me.

  24. Lutheran says:

    Jean — Question: does your church follow a liturgy? I’m under the impression that a fair number of UM churches do. But it’s only an impression.

  25. David John says:

    thanks for the link Michael on the 12 apostles fate.

    It’s sobering to live up to what they endured!

  26. Lutheran,
    ““Christians are happy people,” or something to that effect.”

    Do you really believe that? Happy? I find at best I have days where I am content – I don’t know about “Happy”. The best I see are Christians perhaps holding themselves together a little bit better than the non Christian … but Happy?

    A show of hands – who is Happy 🙂 – – no equivocating, and changing the meaning – we all know what Happy means. anyone?

    And if you are not Happy, what does that say about your Christianity?

  27. Xenia says:

    I’m happy. I always have been.

  28. Does anyone even read Archie anymore?
    When I was young, I didn’t like it the few times I tried reading it.
    Guess, they are trying to be “relevant”.

    I guess I am old fashioned, but I don’t discuss my sex life in public. Mark Driscoll should be ashamed.

  29. Xenia says:

    I define happy as cheerful, optimistic, enjoyment of ordinary things, looking forward to the future, plenty of people around I get along with, enough time to be by myself, room to garden, a wonderful husband, not burdened with riches, a good dog, hens…. happy!

  30. “Does anyone even read Archie anymore?”
    I read one the other day standing in line at the grocery store – could bring myself to read the People magazine

    Archie I can handle – this… not so much

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/billy-bean-is-mlbs-first-ambassador-for-inclusion?ymd=20140715&content_id=84795004&vkey=news_mlb

  31. Lutheran says:

    MLD,

    You took what I said out of context.

    I was relaying what a friend said to me when I was a young teenager.

    To your question…I think Jean (#20) did a great job of saying what Christians have to be happy about.

  32. erunner says:

    Archie was good in the comic strips when I was younger. Never thought he rated a comic book although he was quite popular.

  33. Well, throw in that the gay character was going to be assassinated because of his stricter gun control stance and you have a dream scenario for some on the left.

  34. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    j2theperson, while it’s understandable folks would anticipate a sex scandal with Driscoll because it is common, for people with an actual history at MH the bigger controversies that erupted were fiscal and political (as in ecclesiology rather than red/blue politics). It may be a problem with evangelicalism that UNLESS the scandal involves sex rather than power or money we don’t tend to take it very seriously.

    Xenia, Mark’s undergrad degree was in speech communications, Grace got her education in PR.

  35. Jean says:

    Lutheran,

    In answer to your question, my particular church follows what I would describe as liturgy “lite.” We use affirmations of faith (e.g., Apostles’ Creed), doxologies, the Psalter, celebrate the Lord’s Supper monthly using liturgy, and follow a few other liturgies for baptisms, commissioning of leaders, Holy Days, etc.

    What we don’t use (although I wish we would) is the lectionary and follow the traditional church calendar more closely. For me, these are big missings at my church. I see how the RCC uses the lectionary and the church calendar at our local RCC, and I personally think that’s a strength; it’s a shame some Protestant churches don’t see the value. What does your Lutheran church do regarding lectionary and church calendar?

    I agree with a prior comment (on this thread or another) that Christians are transformed by the Word. However, I see the Word in more than just the message. I see the Word in the lectionary scripture readings, in the liturgy, in the music and in the message. Moreover, I think the narrative of scripture invites the reader and/or the listener into God’s story, what He has done and what he is doing, and where I fit in. When the scripture readings, liturgy, music and message coalesce around the biblical narrative (ideally tuned to the church calendar), worship thrives and lives are transformed.

    For me, the church calendar is important because it invites us into the gospel narrative, the life of Jesus and the early church. For example, if I’m going to celebrate Easter in all joy and thanksgiving, I need to prepare my heart by remembering the final hours for Jesus and the disciples leading to the cross, which is what Lent is all about.

    Nothing may be fool proof in preventing the emergence of the “celebrity pastor”, but if the pastor is disciplined by the lectionary, that’s probably not a bad idea. I get to preach at my church a couple times a year. I always go straight to the lectionary scriptures for the relevant Sunday for my message text. As I said earlier, I enjoy listening to Alistair Begg because I like expository preaching. On the other hand, I’m not much of a fan of topical messages.

    God works through a lot of different traditions. I just shared mine and what I enjoy, but I’m certain that other traditions and preferences are equally valid and blessed by God. Perhaps the one thing that is universal is that a great church family and trusting, intimate fellowship among believers is probably the most important dynamic that can facilitate and influence effective worship and discipleship.

    And, I too am happy!

  36. j2theperson says:

    ***j2theperson, while it’s understandable folks would anticipate a sex scandal with Driscoll because it is common, for people with an actual history at MH the bigger controversies that erupted were fiscal and political (as in ecclesiology rather than red/blue politics). It may be a problem with evangelicalism that UNLESS the scandal involves sex rather than power or money we don’t tend to take it very seriously. ***

    Oh, yeah, I know about that other stuff too. He’s basically scandalous all around. I’m just wondering when the sex scandal will happen in addition to everything else. I guess it’s not really that uncommon for a sex scandal to top off a long list of other scandals–theological, financial, political–that were overlooked, explained away, or otherwise minimized. Just look at every faith healer or televangelist ever.

  37. Lutheran says:

    Jean,

    Thanks so much for sharing. My experience with Methodism has been more toward the low church end. I was actually baptized as a small in the EUB church that I understand later joined the UMs — I think they’re the “U.” 🙂 Then I attended a Free Methodist church for a short time when I was 17 or 18.

    Yes, my Lutheran church has swallowed the whole liturgical enchilada. We do the lectionary and church calendar. I think most Lutherans do so, whether it’s ELCA, LCMS or the smaller synods.

    Lutherans also see the Word as coming to us in more than one way. There’s the enscripturated Word (written), Jesus Christ the living Word, the liturgical Word (sacraments) and the spoken or preached Word. I think we’re alike in agreeing that God’s Word, no matter how it goes out, won’t return void.

  38. Papias says:

    That post on Church for Exiles… WOW.

  39. 2 free ebooks here
    http://www.dccebooks.com/

    Better by Tim Chaddick
    Be Right (Romans) by Warren Wiersbe

  40. Babylon's Dread says:

    So whether one is a Calvinist is still determined by the 5 points.

    The T D Jakes article is the kind of research that makes MD’s enemies clownish. It is kind of a pathetic obsession at that point.

    The Atlantic article better grab our attention. We have to articulate not rail.

  41. Steve Wright says:

    Saw this and thought it interesting since we often talk about what sort of message and witness evangelicals are having to society….

    http://www.pewforum.org/2014/07/16/how-americans-feel-about-religious-groups/

  42. Jean says:

    #41, I assume evangelicals are not pleased that evangelicals are the most negatively perceived religious group (among all the groups measured) by Atheists, Agnostics and Jews and are tied with Mormons at second from the bottom by the “nothing in particular” group. If so, what might evangelicals do to improve perceptions if for no other reason for the sake of evangelism?

  43. “what might evangelicals do to improve perceptions”?

    Drop all the accumulated baggage and return to the simplicity of Jesus, from the 4 Gospels, returning to it being about Him and not all the other “stuff” that has become associated with it, such as Americanism, guns, right wing politics and marginalizing women and allowing an employer that sells stencils to have any say about birth control…

    there are just a few little things evangelicalism can eliminate for it’s betterment

  44. LOL, – why should they change if they are telling the truth.

    What would you have advised Jesus to do, to change so that the people did not hate him? You know that “if they hated me they will also hate you” stuff? or the “crucify Him” cry (you really have to hate some one to call for their public execution.

    Perhaps Jesus would have had more than 120 followers if only he had been a nicer guy.

    I am usually the one beating up on the evangelicals – but I will tell you, I want the atheists and the Jews to not like me because of where I stand. Just my mention of the name Jesus should bring offense. So, perhaps if you and your guys are rating high on the list, perhaps you are preaching the wrong Jesus and the wrong message.

    Oh hell, why be nice – you are preaching the wrong Jesus and the wrong message.

  45. Michael says:

    I’m pretty close to G on this…American evangelicalism sounds more like “Jesus hates you and so do I” at times, then “God so loved the world”…

  46. Xenia says:

    I have to say that one thing I appreciated about my old CC was the emphasis on “Jesus loves you and so do I.”

  47. People hear “Jesus hates you” regardless of what is said. If I say to my Jewish friends, “Jesus is the only way to God” – they hear “well, Jesus hates me and won’t make a ‘special’ provision just for me.”

  48. erunner says:

    I have seen the enemy and it’s the evangelicals. Back to my Left Behind books…..

  49. Xenia says:

    People don’t want to hear that they are sinners in need of a savior. When they are told, no matter how calmly and dispassionately, the they will go to hell unless they repent, this is viewed as unloving and hateful by many people today. Shall we dilute the message so as not to hurt their feelings? Tell them that they are good people and that’s good enough for God, that just by virtue of being a human being they deserve heaven?

    There is a story in a very old book written by a monastic named St. John where he mentions burglars who are afraid to rob a certain house because they were afraid of the dogs. They were more scared of dogs than of God. Are we going to allow ourselves to be more scared of unbelievers because they say we hurt their feelings when we don’t give them the affirmations they believe they deserve? God forbid.

  50. This is quite interesting. In the world today and in the “progressive” churches (liberal becomes a bad word) salvation is no longer the forgiveness of sin. Salvation now is politics, how you treat people and a string of similar things.

    So when you speak to folks of needing their sin forgiven, well you aren’t talking salvation – you are talking hate. If you loved people, you would tell them “the system” is there to save you.

    So they hate us.

  51. Xenia says:

    If we are Christians, the Lord said, they will hate us. They hated Him first and He healed the sick and fed the hungry.

    Sure, some Christians are idiots and say stupid things. This should not stop us from telling the truth. Sure the nuts at Westboro “church” say and do horrible things. Are we going to let their behavior cow us into silence?

    Maybe we pay entirely too much attention to what others say and not enough attention to what the Lord says.

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