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150 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    Looks like Hunt finally had his End Times moment.

    Peace to his family and those who revered him.

  2. PP Vet says:

    Odd how for all of us, our understanding of what a “good Christian” is has evolved over the years. Hunt was always spearing my heroes, so he never ranked too highly with me. But perhaps he was a decent and good man.

    The Religion Wars. Some of us served.

    Still love what God said to Paul Cain: If you win the rat race, you’ll still be a rat.

  3. Michael says:

    PP Vet,

    There was never a hint of scandal around the man…I do believe that he believed he was doing the Lords work.
    The best I can do is be gracious toward his memory and offer consolation to those who loved him.

  4. mrtundraman says:

    The background color of the CC Wiki has been changed to blue and a blue ribbon has been added as the site logo for Child Abuse Prevention Month (April).

    http://calvarychapel.pbworks.com/

  5. mrtundraman says:

    Michael I put up a reply about April being Child Abuse Awareness month and it didn’t go through. It only had one link in it. Any idea what happened?

  6. Michael says:

    Let me look…

  7. mrtundraman says:

    You fixed it, thanks.

  8. Sinner n Saint says:

    Michael,

    my ambivalence is similar to yours…Hunt was once a hero and then not so much. Despite my disagreement with his theology and his tactics, your right, he loved Jesus and stood strongly for what he believed and that is honorable.

  9. Jackie Alnor says:

    He couldn’t have cared less about people disagreeing with him. He knew the Word of God and rightly handled it and defended it accordingly and let the chips fall where they may.

  10. Michael says:

    Jackie,

    He was an avid defender of a particular school of biblical interpretation.
    For those like yourself, he was a good representative.
    For the rest of the church…not so much.

  11. Reuben says:

    Agreed. I read “What Love Is This” and became a Calvinist anyway, so while I am sure he was effective in division, he was not effective in theology.

  12. PP Vet says:

    When the strength of your faith is being doctrinally correct, you are not doctrinally correct.

  13. mrtundraman says:

    “Agreed. I read “What Love Is This” and became a Calvinist anyway, so while I am sure he was effective in division, he was not effective in theology.”

    Does effective in division equal poor at multiplication?

    And, Jackie’s endorsement says everything to me.

  14. Hunt…

    I started as an immediate fan.
    He had an “edge” to his tone and presentations, appealed to my inner Rush Limbaugh.
    When he would visit CCCM I hung on his every word.
    He “had a verse” for most subjects, maybe even three or four.
    There wasn’t any facet of life or theology or the human condition that escaped analysis and opinions and pronouncements.

    He lost me when he had begun opining about Christian music and worship styles, calling all back to hymns.

    I think I missed him ever having publicly said,
    “I don’t know”
    “Was wrong”
    “I’m sorry, I was harsh”

  15. mrtundraman says:

    G, I’ve never understood the call back to hymns. There was a book being passed by the church chairman around at my last church that was an advocate of return to 19th century hymns.

    I didn’t understand why they’d pick 100 years ago as OK. To me it’s always been about content. If they are going to go back why not remove all instruments and do medieval chanting?

  16. Pineapple Head says:

    In Matthew 23 Jesus says of the Pharisees: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” I’ve often found that the disciples of domineering pastors and the discernment types are even worse than the teachers they so closely follow. Over the years I’ve experienced a lot of pain and grief from those who follow such stern and stringent instruction. Interesting as well is how, through the years, how many people have desired that I become the bossy, bothered, know-it-all type of pastor.

  17. MTM,
    I think it is symptomatic of wanting some illusion of a time when things were supposedly better, simpler, a cognitive dissonance over being in an uncomfortable place on one’s journey and choosing to retreat instead of adventuring forward and embracing the vitality and diversity of present life and culture. It’s fear.

    It’s fine with me if a Christian circuit speaker tells me that he/she “prefers” a style of artistic expression or musical style. It’s quite another when that person dismisses, devalues and derides all other expressions other than their own, speaking as some sort of authority on all things “christian”.

  18. Nonnie says:

    I think Dave Hunt was a very congenial, friendly guy who wrote what he truly believed. Sadly some Christians have taken what he said and are not nearly as congenial and friendly as Dave.
    I would also echo Michael’s number 3. I used to read all of DH’s books, as a young Christian, but over the last 10 years, I’m just not interested. I’ve met and ministered the gospel with so many Christians over the years, that I just won’t listen to that kind of stuff anymore. God is much bigger than our tiny theological boxes.

  19. Xenia says:

    I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Dave Hunt. He meant well. He was a terrible researcher, unfortunately.

    Now that he’s in heaven, all his errors have been corrected, as will be the case with all of us.

  20. Pineapple Head says:

    So sad how fear brings out so many strange and hurtful behaviors.

  21. Xenia says:

    The thing Mr. Hunt and many like him don’t understand is that when you present yourself as an authority on something- say, Roman Catholicism or Calvinism- you have to do rigorous scholarly research. You have to go to the sources and read the primary material, not third hand commentaries written by people you already agree with.

  22. Ixtlan says:

    I too was once a fan of Dave Hunt. He came from a part of the body of Christ known for their willingness to contend. It appears to have greatly influenced him. I hope Dave will be remembered for his many acts of kindness, service and his love for the Lord.

  23. MTM,
    Thanks to Mumfod and Sons there is a retro expression of music going on in some circles…
    http://withhandsandhair.tumblr.com/post/26725903752

  24. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Well said, twice.

  25. Michael says:

    Ixtlan,

    Would that such would be the legacy all of us leave behind…

  26. Kevin H says:

    I never met the man nor am I nearly as familiar with his works as many others here. Some years back I bought a book called “Debating Calvinism” which was a back and forth between Dave Hunt and James White. I didn’t know much of anything about either man when I bought the book. I made it more than half way through the book but never finished it as I just didn’t like the sniping back and forth. When I started the book I was much more in agreement with Hunt’s position. By the time I stopped, I was much more convinced by White’s arguments.

    Then a couple years later my church had a prophecy conference and Hunt was one of the speakers. I did not go (and I am glad I didn’t), but I did listen to some of the CD’s after the fact. One of Hunt’s sessions was titled “Apostasy” and it was one of the worst things I ever heard from the pulpit. Hunt spent almost the entire time whining about Rick Warren and Billy Graham and the Passion of the Christ movie and a whole bunch of other prominent Christians and Christian things. Between that session done by Hunt and couple others done by Missler which were interesting yet seemingly frivolous, I came to the realization that these prophecy conferences, at least in the manner they were done at my church, were not a good thing. At the very least, I have to give it to Hunt that he seemed quite sincere in his teaching.

  27. Michael says:

    Kevin,

    He unfortunately set the modern template of seeing other members of the Body of Christ as the enemy…and my guess is that he knows better now.

  28. moderator please delete #28

  29. Alex says:

    Actually, I kind of disagree with X above. I think there’s a mythology surrounding what it is to be a “good scholar”…even that term is entirely subjective and more a function of the Group defining the term “good scholar” than it is a “good argument”.

    I don’t know if Hunt was a good scholar or not. It is a fallacy to assume an argument isn’t sound due to a perceived lack of reading primary sources…though I’ve learned over the years that one can read the primary sources and come to similar conclusions as others…and still be accused of not being a “good scholar” etc, It’s kind of an easy form of ad hominem used to dismiss the person’s opinions and positions.

    Reformed guys use it a lot. Heck, John Armstrong kind of used it on me recently in an FB thread, basically appealing to “scholarship” in dismissing a particular position. It’s a cop-out, IMO, and a tool to poison the well and dismiss a valid objection and what is sometimes a sound argument.

    In Hunt’s case, dunno…but I recognize the attempt at dismissing his positions and opinions out-of-hand in that manner.

    My guess from reading and hearing some of Hunt’s stuff over the years is that his positions were heavily influenced by his adherence to his view of Eschatology and his interpretive lens that seems to shove every issue through that paradigm. His stuff seemed to be pretty mainstream evangelical/CC-type stuff and pretty much inside the boundaries of what would be considered Christian orthodoxy…just a heavy emphasis on pre-trib rapture dispensationalism and a bent toward some rather creative and ever-changing tea leave readings…with all sorts of wonderfully entertaining End Times scenarios.

  30. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I agree heartily with Xenia.
    His work was full of historical errors and repetitions of other published errors.
    He was a terrible researcher.
    This is also a man who wrote a book refuting Calvinism three months after declaring he knew nothing of the subject.
    He was right with his first statement…

  31. Alex says:

    Michael said, “His work was full of historical errors and repetitions of other published errors”

    I guess his Camp would argue that their “history” is correct. History is often in the eye of the beholder. Such is human nature and the Relativity/Subjectivity of “history” as evidenced today in disagreements about the historical record regarding so many issues.

    I’m more interested in testing the man’s Positions from a more empirical lens…did he make predictions that came true? Did his appeals to Scripture hold up to scrutiny or is he just another man with a particular emphasis that ignores the paradox, duality and contradictory nature of Scripture? The scandal part, I’m becoming less concerned about. Seems that Fundamentalists are wrong on the Transformation/Lordship Salvation gospel to me. Too much evidence of “men of God!” who are still sinners and still scandalous. It seems that God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy and nuke whom He will nuke. Really “good” folks get nuked, and some really “bad” folks get glory…and everything in between.

  32. Michael says:

    There are reports that Rick Warrens son Matthew has died.

  33. Steve Wright says:

    I don’t have the time or resources to go to the original sources when it comes to Bible commentaries for books I am teaching at church. But I only read the guys who DID have the time and resources, and have duly documented their works.

    I grabbed a few at random. These commentaries have a Bibliography that is 70 pages or so in length. Maybe 1000 works or more consulted. This does not count the pages of ancient extra-Biblical literature that is cited or the massive amount of Biblical references.

    I noticed these authors also all offer in the preface a word of thanks for the one year (or more) sabbatical from their teaching duties at whatever university they reside in order to work on their commentary. Typically thanks is given for several research assistants too.

    To me, THAT is scholarship worthy of the name. And even if I don’t agree with every word (which is why it is helpful to get 3-4 such commentaries) I am so grateful for such scholars in the Body of Christ.

    A couple dozen works with a couple hundred “ibids” in the notes is hardly the same level.

  34. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Well said…I’m in full agreement.

  35. Steve Wright says:

    I figured as much, Michael. 🙂

    I would also add, such works are typically part of a series that is then subject to a General Editor’s critique as well. So even after all the work is put in, an outside review is still required before publishing.

  36. Frosted Flake says:

    Chuck Smith once introduced DH as a true “prophet” of our times. I wonder how that’s working for CS now. I do appreciate the dual sense of balance here between honoring the man while remaining honest about his spin on just about anything or anybody.

  37. From all that I’ve heard Dave never scandalized his family, never hurt them.

    I may have disagreements with his ODM approach but he honored his wife and children and honored his Lord in doing so.

  38. Frosted Flake says:

    G, The ODM mentality is here to stay and I agree that remembering DH’s love for the Lord and his family should be the lingering thought today. Our prayers are with them. Even Jackie.

  39. victorious says:

    From my vantage point Dave Hunt was prophetic in giving insight about the popular culture , I lived in and the Christian sub culture that I was born into. Both cultures shunned the wisdom of God found in the Sciptures that is given to develop the character of a disciple and the lover of God over the duration of a lifetime. That was my main take away from the “Seduction of Christianity”.

    His follow up book exposed the fact that the fraternity of preachers over time had forsaken the substantial pastoral role of personally caring for souls. This abandonment of duty to a stewardship affirmed and reinforced by Jesus c.f. Ezekiel 33-34; John 10 and John 21 led to the vacuum in which pop pyschology found credibility and gained market share in the church. These two books set the stage in allowing me to see that God’s discipline in my life had a purpose in developing a compassion for people that would be expressed through ministering the Word in the midst of a mentoring/ counseling dynamic.

    I became aware of key dynamics of Jesus oriented pastoral care through ministry of Dave Hunt. However, the substance of and the heart of pastoral care was gained through the ministry of others, such as John Stott.

    I write this, because I had to realize later in my life and ministry that Hunt had slowly strayed from the focus that I found beneficial. I was allowing myself to be influenced by attitudes and information that flowed from the Hunt camp and culture that reflected more of him and less of Jesus.

    This was helpful, because I was able to be thankful for what I had gained; was able to hold onto it and move forward letting the Lord continue to develop the good until this day.

  40. Frosted Flake
    Love your screen name!
    =)

    Agreed. I know Jackie considered him a dear friend, and he loved her and Bill dearly.

  41. brian says:

    http://www.charismanews.com/us/38979-rick-warrens-son-commits-suicide

    I have seen this first had a few times and the pain it causes. I got 5 $ that there will be some who will find a kind of “joy” in this terrible news because they loath Warren so much. I hope Im wrong.

    My deepest sympathies to the families of Rich Warren and Dave Hunt.

  42. Babylon's Dread says:

    Dave Hunt?

    I remember the first time I touched a copy of The Seduction of Christianity and I remember the ambivalent feelings I had. I never engaged much in his world so I have no real opinion other than Hunt and Hawkins would never have been a talk show.

  43. Michael says:

    brian…sadly, you will win that bet.

  44. Ixtlan says:

    My prayers are with both the Hunt family and the Berean Call Ministry; and also for the Warren family and Saddleback Church.

    It is ironic that these two organizations would suffer such a great loss at the same time. I hope this might serve as a wake-up call and temper the harsh diatribe that has been produced over the years.

  45. Michael says:

    “To my dear staff,

    Over the past 33 years we’ve been together through every kind of crisis. Kay and I’ve been privileged to hold your hands as you faced a crisis or loss, stand with you at gravesides, and prayed for you when ill. Today, we need your prayer for us.

    No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now. Our youngest son, Matthew, age 27, and a lifelong member of Saddleback, died today.

    You who watched Matthew grow up knew he was an incredibly kind, gentle, and compassionate man. He had a brilliant intellect and a gift for sensing who was most in pain or most uncomfortable in a room. He’d then make a bee-line to that person to engage and encourage them.

    But only those closest knew that he struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts. In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided. Today, after a fun evening together with Kay and me, in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his life.

    Kay and I often marveled at his courage to keep moving in spite of relentless pain. I’ll never forget how, many years ago, after another approach had failed to give relief, Matthew said “ Dad, I know I’m going to heaven. Why can’t I just die and end this pain?” but he kept going for another decade.

    Thank you for your love and prayers. We love you back.”

    Pastor Rick

  46. Alex says:

    The paradox of “scholarship” within a “Christian” context…is that the Scripture is not logical or rational or reasonable, nor are the things of the Spirit.

    This Paradox is often the reason for such splintering and such broad disagreement in “Christianity”.

  47. Alex says:

    If it was, then much like in the world of Science, there would be broad agreement and acceptance of a broad range of theories, laws, principles, facts etc. Instead, there is broad disagreement and fracturing…and the further “Church history” grows…the further the divergence in theories and opinions.

  48. Alex says:

    For most families (I think)…the loss of a son would be a terrible thing.

    However, I think my parents would throw a victory party and probably make a sacrifice to their god for killing the enemy.

  49. catherine says:

    My prayers are with the Warren family…really heartbreaking..

  50. Michael says:

    Alex,

    Good commentaries aren’t about that sort of thing…they examine the linguistic and historical evidence AND interact with all the other important scholarship available.
    Then they are critiqued by other scholars who are recognized in these fields.
    It’s an exhaustive and exhausting process.

  51. Scott2 says:

    I am sad to see Dave Hunt has died. I found him during a time in my life when I needed to hear what he said and although I disagreed with him on many things later, I respected him for his love and commitment to Christ. None of us have this perfectly figured out and the truth is probably somewhere between the sides of the issues Christians argue about, but it doesn’t belong to any one man but Christ. This man was a brother, imperfect like all of us, wrong about some things like all of us, and seeing through a glass dimly like all of us. Since we won’t find perfection here, I am glad to have crossed his path when God chose that I should.

  52. covered says:

    Alex, regarding your #48, I wish you didn’t post this. I hate what your step dad did to you but to consider the death of one of your children as a victory is wrong. It would be equally wrong if the death of Bob was seen as a victory as well. I love you Alex.

  53. brian says:

    Been following the situation concerning Pastor Warren and the loss of his son Matthew. If something good can come out of tragedy I hope it will be better awareness people with mental illness struggle with in and out of the Church.

  54. Alex says:

    Michael said, “Good commentaries aren’t about that sort of thing…they examine the linguistic and historical evidence AND interact with all the other important scholarship available”

    Still subjective. You would dismiss this “renowned scholar”…even though he demonstrates what is considered “great scholarship” in his works…

    “Bart D. Ehrman (born 1955) is an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While Ehrman is a leading New Testament scholar, he has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring four New York Times bestsellers. His best-known works at the popular level are Misquoting Jesus and Jesus, Interrupted.[1] Ehrman’s work focuses on New Testament textual criticism and early Christianity.”

  55. Alex says:

    covered, as uncomfortable as it is, I think my #48 is true…and I think Chuck Smith would consider it his god defeating an agent of the devil as well. That’s how these guys view it in their warped practices and beliefs and Doctrine of Divine Retribution/touch not god’s anointed etc.

  56. Steve Wright says:

    Alex, Ehrman has never written a single commentary on any book of the Bible (in looking at his webpage which lists all his works). Thus, he is not in the discussion above concerning Biblical commentaries.

    If the discussion was teaching a class on textual criticism, then neither Michael nor myself would dismiss him. To repeat a general point from earlier, even if one does not agree with his conclusions in all cases, he most certainly is a scholar in that field and I at least would want his point of view and then seek to contrast it to more conservative scholars in the field of textual criticism.

  57. Alex says:

    Michael, you still miss my point, IMO.

    If “good scholarship” is the Standard…then you’ve got a major problem.

    Many of the “leading scholars” who have done rigid scholarship, textual criticism etc are in the “liberal” Camp…and folks you would greatly disagree with.

    Again, you would consider “good scholars” to be those you agree with…vs. those who are technically doing better “scholarship”…

  58. Linnea says:

    Nonnie @18…a good word.
    G @14…I resonate with that.

    Dave Hunt was the 1st Christian author I read, recommended by the friend that led me to the Lord. He helped move me through sanctification, which continues today, and of that I am grateful. I pray that his family is comforted.

    The news of Rick Warren’s son hit me hard. I can identify with what this young man and family went through and my heart and prayers go out to them.

  59. Alex says:

    Steve W, the key word is “scholarship”…which is the critical element Michael appeals to above. Read his statement.

    “they examine the linguistic and historical evidence AND interact with all the other important scholarship available.”–Michael

    Linguistic is it’s own genre of “scholarship” (linguistic scholars)….Historical is it’s own genre of “scholarship” (historical scholars)….etc.

  60. Michael says:

    Alex,

    There are scholars who specialize in these areas…and the best commentaries draw off that scholarship and apply it to the ancient texts.

    My suggestion would be that you buy a couple on a specific book of the Bible and work through a text with them before you lecture those of us who do this on a daily basis.

  61. Alex says:

    Again, the Fundamentalist Christian perspective is not rational, logical, reasonable. The “best scholarship” in the fields of linguistics, history and textual criticism is done by the Liberals.

    …now it doesn’t mean they’re “right”…as the things of the Spirit and the bible is “not necessarily” rational, reasonable, logical…but to claim that the Conservative/Fundamentalist Camp has the “best scholarship” is quite a stretch.

    The truth is, if “scholarship” is the new Goal Post…then yikes. There’s a reason Liberalism came to the fore…we entered into an Age of Reason…and when that metric is applied…when stringent scholarship and criticism is applied from a Philosophical Logic and more scientific framework…you get stuff that is vastly different than what the Conservative Camp sells as “good scholarship”.

  62. Alex says:

    Michael, you still miss the point.

  63. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I have about 20 grand in tools from across the spectrum and I’ve been working with them for about thirty years, but I’ll defer to your abundant knowledge in this area.

  64. Alex says:

    Michael, your view of “good scholarship” is a myth. Somehow you feel secure in the belief that it is “good scholarship” that supports your view…when ironically, it is “good scholarship” that led to a man like a Bart Erhman and many other Liberals to realize that the bible is not a function of “good scholarship” nor is the faith…and they’ve pretty much left it altogether.

  65. mrtundraman says:

    I’d stick with getting good conservative scholarly works. The trick is telling the NT Wrights of scholarship from the JD Crossans of scholarship. Both good scholars, but both on the opposite ends of the spectrum. New Christians who want to study deeper need to be careful.

  66. Michael says:

    Ok, Alex.

  67. mrtundraman says:

    I took an OT seminary class from a prof that was pretty liberal (most of the OT professors are) and needed to get Gleason Archer’s book on the OT to work my way through the JDP and other liberal arguments and find the good reasons that their arguments are not all that good really.

    Both sides have presuppositions.

  68. John Duncan DNW says:

    I guess a question to ask is “does a man’s passion for a cause he peruses with all his energy define his Christian Character?”

    I spent much time going after abuses in ministries. I took it on myself to confront abusive ministries including, when it fit, abuse in my own camp” There are at least two ministries that are in ashes today due in part to my efforts to expose them. There is a long list of people who pretty much hate me for the battles I chose to take on.

    But is that all there is to me. Is what Dave did in public ministry the measure of a man, if we agree with or hate what he did, is that how we define his real character?

    I don’t find that an easy question to answer to tell you the truth.

    A great man of God but a poor father .. there are more than one of those in the Bible, including Samuel and David. A good husband and family man but a poor pastor. Most mega- Church leaders spend so much time away from home I wonder how many have time for their kids. I know this is a bad time to ask questions like this.. But how do we measure a man

    The answer is –WE DON”T.— I don’t know about you but I gave off judging myself long ago, I just do what I think is best and leave the final count to Another, to the only other that counts at all

    1 Cor 4:3* But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.

  69. Alex says:

    MTM said, “I’d stick with getting good conservative scholarly works. The trick is telling the NT Wrights of scholarship from the JD Crossans of scholarship. Both good scholars, but both on the opposite ends of the spectrum. New Christians who want to study deeper need to be careful.”

    Yes, you get the point. Many Camps have “good scholarship”…which illustrates the still subjective nature of interpreting the particular “good scholarship”.

    Appeals to “good scholarship” is like appealing to good reading or good writing or good blogging.

  70. Michael says:

    John,

    That is why I have tried to be careful to separate his private character, which from all accounts was sterling, from his public writings…which really weren’t.

  71. mrtundraman says:

    Alex, I really think that’s the thing that draws some Christians into Calvinism. They want a more scholarly approach to the faith and can’t find it in the Arminian authors. They find a step up when they discover conservative Calvinist writers. Less Reformed but still conservative scholars are harder to find. Maybe that’s why some of us love people like NT Wright.

  72. mrtundraman says:

    The truth is, none of us would have known who Dave Hunt was if it wasn’t for his public writings and speech. I can’t speak of the other (his personal character), but I have to conclude that someone who wrote what he did was either lazy, very sloppy, or just not honest in the things of God.

  73. Alex says:

    MTM, it’s just a dead-end with folks who know that “good scholarship” is not the monopoly of the Conservative fundamentalists. They rightly mock an attack on a particular position of a renowned textual critic or historian as “bad scholarship”…when in fact the disagreement should be focused on their conclusions vs. their methodology.

    It isn’t “bad scholarship” that makes a Bart Erhman wrong.

  74. mrtundraman says:

    For a great response to Dave Hunt’s “The Reduction of Christianity” check out “The Reduction of Christianity: Dave Hunt’s Theology of Cultural Surrender”:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Reduction-Christianity-Theology-Surrender/dp/0930462637/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365300841&sr=8-1&keywords=The+reduction+of+christianity

  75. PP Vet says:

    Jesus did say, when it came to identifying good teachers, “You shall know them by their scholarship.”

  76. Alex says:

    MTM, yes, I hear your 71, it is why I’m intellectually attracted to a Rowan Williams. Brilliant man. I like NT Wright as well.

    I can’t stand Bart Ehrman, but to say he’s a “bad scholar” is laughable.

    I agree with your assessment as I was drawn to Calvinism initially b/c my mind wants everything to make sense from a Philosophical Logic perspective…and no matter how many times I pound the square peg…it won’t fit through the infinitely round hole (that is a perfect circle).

  77. Methinks that if I get “the truth” all buttoned up, but have not “love” for family, children, spouse, friends & neighbors, there might be some dissonant clanging in my theme song when the credits are rolled.

    I would prefer a million outtakes of my pratfalls and flubbed lines, and leave a joyous audience’s memory telling stories of how love filled every scene.

    Put that on my tombstone, ok?

  78. mrtundraman says:

    Alex, I think I get what you are saying, but I think the word “good’ is an overloaded term in this case.

    There is such a thing as good scholarship and bad scholarship. Hal Lindsey is really bad scholarship as are his imitators such as Chuck Missler. And they are both on the “conservative” end of the spectrum (at least nominally). J. Dwight Pentecost who’s a “good’ Dispensational scholar although he is really wrong on Scripture. He is conservative and wrong.

    Then there are good scholars who are just plain wrong (if you read the “Four Views” books then at least three of the good scholars there are wrong and maybe all four). A good example is

    So there’s “good” in the sense of conservative and “good” in the sense of well researched.

  79. mrtundraman says:

    Arius and Pelagius were both acknowledge by their peers as men of high personal actions. But they were both heretics.

  80. Steve Wright says:

    to say he’s a “bad scholar” is laughable.
    It isn’t “bad scholarship” that makes a Bart Erhman wrong.
    ————————————————-

    Alex, you are arguing with a fictional character. At least someone else’s view besides those expressed so far in this thread….

    I join with post #66

  81. mrtundraman says:

    To a bad scholar peer reviewed means that Hal Lindsey agrees with you and you get a spot on TBN where they “amen” you. That’s the test of what makes for a bad scholar. Another test is if Chuck Smith calls you a prophet.

  82. Kathy says:

    ” I got 5 $ that there will be some who will find a kind of “joy” in this terrible news because they loath Warren so much. I hope Im wrong. ”

    I don’t find any joy in suicide. It’s the saddest tragedy to me. There are people in this world that hurt so much they cease to be. It’s the biggest stumbling block to my faith.

    As for Rick Warren, I don’t offer public condolences because there’s nothing I can say that will take away the pain and grief. He asks that people “like” his FB page to show solidarity.

    Okay. So I did. It’s all I can do.

    https://www.facebook.com/pastorrickwarren?ref=stream

  83. Kathy says:

    As for Dave Hunt: I’m sorry that he passed away, but he seems to had a good life, filled with people who loved him and a successful ministry. May he rest in peace and enjoy his eternal reward in heaven.

    I don’t know much about him. I read THE GOD MAKERS years ago, it was very informative and exposed Mormonism for the cult that it is. I tried reading A WOMAN RIDES THE BEAST, but I couldn’t get over his scathing commentary and personal prejudices. I have a feeling he was the same with Calvinism.

    So, I never because a David Hunt fan, but I could appreciate what he was trying to do.

  84. Kathy says:

    CORRECTION: Do not “like” Warren’s FB page, but the first post that appears on it.

    “We appreciate all of your prayer and support for Pastor Rick and Kay during this difficult situation. Show your support through prayer, commenting, liking, or sharing this post.
    -Saddleback Church”

  85. brian says:

    http://youtu.be/AP6cc2aBecE

    This is one reason I think its the carrot and the stick of the evangelical religion. You never know until the very end. No wonder people go insane. Its all me and I know it but I literally cant stand this guy.

  86. G.
    “Methinks that if I get “the truth” all buttoned up, but have not “love” for family, children, spouse, friends & neighbors, there might be some dissonant clanging in my theme song when the credits are rolled.”

    But you can have both truth and love – you always have the attitude that they are mutually exclusive. I do not think it is meritorious to denounce truth so that you somehow think you cling closer to love.

  87. Ixtlan says:

    That was quite a letter brian. Thanks for the link.

    I survived a few suicide attempts in my late 20’s. The last one was the most intense, the gun in my mouth didn’t go off when I pulled the trigger. Still don’t know why other than God’s sovereign grace. It was the beginning of a new life for me. I wish it could have been the same for Matthew Warren.

  88. Chile says:

    My heart goes out to the Warren family. Grieving a loss like this is devastating.

  89. brian says:

    I was in the house when a friend committed suicide though he was high when it happened. I remember every single second of it. I cant repeat what the faith community told me about it, well maybe I will, Im depraved, he was depraved, we all have it coming. I cant add much more to ti, I can say I am glad the weapon did not work. I know I have been blessed by you, I am sure many have. I wish and hope that for Matthew Warren as well.

    An aside I felt really depressed a few times, usually caused by massive physical pain and when I lost my sight in one eye. Cutting through all the apologetic rhetoric I was told from the faith family, basically do the world a favor and just do it, live up to your low calling as an apostate. Yup no good news there.

  90. Ixtlan says:

    brian,
    For God’s sake, and your own, you need to not listen to the voice of the Pharisees and find a new and real Christianity. The truth is out there, and it is found in the person of Jesus. And you have been a blessing to me as well.

  91. MLD,
    “You’re killing me here, Smalls.”
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=You're%20killing%20me%2C%20Smalls

    I’m weary of you being my personal heckler. We made peace at some point but now you’re back at it and I’m asking you, again, to stop.

    Just pretend I don’t exist, that I am invisible. You’ve worn me out, completely.

  92. brian says:

    Ixtlan thanks for you kind words, honestly I no longer listen to any voices that are not literal, rational, logical, historic, and pragmatic. Which pretty much means any voices.

  93. Ixtian,
    So very glad you didn’t go thru with it.
    So very glad you are here, tonight, touching lives, reaching out to brian.

    Peace

  94. brian says:

    “Just pretend I don’t exist, that I am invisible. ”

    Now this is the prayer I pray the most to God, on my face to the wee hours of the morning.

  95. PP Vet says:

    One of my favorite fruitful teachers, John Crowder, reaching out in friendship to a group gathered to picket and protest one of his meetings and call him out as a heretic:

    http://tinyurl.com/bpbfekn

    I consider John fruitful because of his character and the impact of his life and teaching on people.

    We do not pick apples from tumbleweed bushes, as Jesus said.

    John is an apple tree, not a tumbleweed, although unusual aspects of his ministry earn him rejection in some circles.

  96. PP Vet says:

    Wow, lxtlan, that is quite a story. You are living out the grace of God. How truly wonderful. Awesomely awesome.

    Although your PP name reminds me of the guy that Superman was always getting to say his name backwards.

  97. erunner says:

    I’m saddened by the deaths of Dave Hunt and Matthew Warren. I came across something through the years concerning pastor’s who lost a loved one that always troubled me. The idea was that it was very important for the pastor to not miss time in the pulpit as it demonstrated God’s ability to carry all of us through the worst life could throw our way. I would never have had a problem if the pastor missed a few weeks and allowed someone else to do the memorial. Anyone else ever run into this mindset and what are your thoughts? Thanks.

  98. covered says:

    erunner, I could not imagine outliving one of my children. I would have no problem taking the time necessary to grieve. As a pastor, I am just as vulnerable and just as fraile as anyone else in a crises.

    There’s nothing to prove to anyone especially when I’m broken.

  99. erunner says:

    covered, Thank you. It’s a mindset I was never comfortable with although I’m sure there are those in ministry who are able to do it. I would hate for a pastor to do these things because of a false sense it’s what there office requires of them.

  100. mrtundraman says:

    Walter Martin’s last appearance on TBN where Walter talks about Dave Hunt’s book “The Reduction of Christianity”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeAzrRcjFXA

  101. mrtundraman says:

    Jam 2:23-24
    And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
    Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

  102. Ixtlan says:

    MTM thanks for the link.

    Dr. Martin had the rare ability to separate the wheat from the chaff; the pure from the vile within the Body of Christ. I wish more would take heed and learn from his example.

  103. mrtundraman says:

    That whole program (all four parts) are pretty amazing given that he did it on TBN. He called out the prosperity teachers by name on the program. The note on the video is that it was his last time at TBN. No kidding. The man had very little tact.

  104. rick says:

    I have a couple of questions about scholarship and walking before the Lord. Has anyone who has spent a lot of money on books that are supposed to give you understanding as to what the scriptures are really saying helped you to be less of a sinner or do you fine yourselves just as much of a sinner as when you started. Second question: Apart from Paul telling Timothy ” to study to show yourself approved.”, is there any merit for being the smartest kid on the block? I mean other than an ego trip. Has any of this scholarship made you a better Christian?

  105. “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified,”

    I guess it depends on who is doing the WORKS – For me the work was done by Jesus.
    For the EO, they depend on their own works.

    Perhaps EO people are more holy (and they probably are) – but if it were up to me, well, I would be lost like Hindu.

  106. rick,
    “Has any of this scholarship made you a better Christian?”

    Perhaps you could explain – what is a “better” Christian? Are you saying some Christians are better than others?
    Are there degrees of Christians? I thought if your were saved by Jesus you were a Christian?

    Do you think you are a better / worse Christian than some others?

  107. Bob says:

    Rick

    I have a large and growing library, but I spend most of my time in the bible every day. Am I less of a sinner? No. But I do live a more blessed life.

    How? Less worry and comfort in God’s work more than my own.

    I do eat less pork though and one day a week is no longer for sports and junk.

  108. rick says:

    MLD,
    You pick apart words. Did you see anything in my post that claimed that I was putting myself forth as a better Christian? However, since you brought it up. I think it is written somewhere that Jesus said depart from me, I never knew you. The question is the question. Has spending vast amounts of money on other peoples opinion about how one should think and walk in the Lord helped to make you less of a sinner? Or has it better equipped to put forth arguments on positions?

  109. Michael says:

    Rick,

    I’m a teacher who God has trusted some of His kids to.
    Thus, I have a responsibility to be the best teacher I can be and so I lean hard on the gifted men God has placed in the church to help me open his word.

    Ignorance is not a virtue.

  110. filbertz says:

    News of Mathew Warren’s death is very sad. May God, in ways only He can, bring good from this tragic event and comfort those grieving. Dave Hunt lived a long and fruitful life and has gone on to his reward. Those who remain behind are welcome to debate the content of his ideas and writing, but not of his character and love for Jesus. That is a courtesy we are better to practice.

  111. Xenia says:

    MLD said: For the EO, they depend on their own works.<<<

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

  112. Steve Wright says:

    A few centuries ago, the three major academic disciplines for University-level study were law, medicine, and theology.

    Today, hundreds of years later, we would still flee from any lawyer or doctor who did not read any books in his field. Only in theology is such a person now celebrated.

  113. Michael says:

    “Has spending vast amounts of money on other peoples opinion about how one should think and walk in the Lord helped to make you less of a sinner?”

    I’ve never spent a nickel on anything like that, but I have a lot of commentaries…

  114. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Truth!

  115. Michael says:

    Rick,

    Let me show what a commentary is for. I taught on 1 Cor 12 tonight…and this is one of the works I used to help me work through the passage before I taught it.
    This is for one verse…

    12:1 With the phrase περὶ δέ (peri de, now concerning), Paul again cues the reader/auditor that he is taking up a new topic. In this case, it signals that the topic comes from the Corinthians’ letter to him (cf. comments on 7:1, 25; 8:1). He alternates in his letter between oral and written reports (see Terry 1995: 43). After responding to an oral report in chapter 11, he returns to an issue raised in their letter. If the genitive plural τῶν πνευματικῶν (tōn pneumatikōn) is read as masculine, then the issue revolves around “the spiritual persons” and their characteristics. If it is read as neuter, then the issue concerns the nature of “the spiritual things” or “the spiritual gifts.” The ambiguity reflects the fact that Paul picks up an issue raised by the Corinthians, which they would understand, even if we do not.
    The adjective πνευματικός (pneumatikos) appears fourteen times in 1 Corinthians. Four times it refers to persons (2:13, 15; 3:1; 14:37), six times to things (2:13; 9:11; 10:3–4; 14:1), and four times to the contrast between the body animated by the Spirit and the body animated by the soul (15:44–46). Some argue from its usage in 2:15, 3:1, and 14:37 that it is masculine and refers to the spiritual people. In 2:15, Paul refers to “the spiritual ones” who can discern all things but laments that because the Corinthians were not mature spiritually, he cannot refer to them as “spiritual ones” (3:1). The question “Who qualifies as ‘spiritual’?” appears to be a live issue. In the immediate context, he refers only to persons: “you were” (12:2), “no one” (12:3), “each one” (12:7). At the end of this discourse, he addresses those “who think they are spiritual” (14:37), which forms an inclusio with 12:1–3 as the introduction and conclusion to the discourse. The term may be the self-designation of some of the Corinthians. Schmithals (1971: 172) contends that a group of Corinthian Christians claimed to be spiritual (“pneumatics”) in a way that distinguished them from their more unassuming brothers and sisters. They defined “spirituality” according to their own inclinations toward inspired speech. The person who speaks in front of the group stands out as one who is Spirit-inspired, and the public nature of this gift puts this individual in the spotlight and makes him or her appear exceptional when compared to the gallery of listeners. This person receives the group’s admiration and respect.
    The majority of commentators and versions opt to read τῶν πνευματικῶν as neuter, referring to “spiritual gifts,” since the subject of Paul’s overall argument concerns the manifestations of the Spirit in the church, not the characteristics of spiritual persons. In 14:1, τὰ πνευματικά (ta pneumatika) can mean only spiritual manifestations, not spiritual persons. The conceptual parallel between πνευματικά and χαρίσματα (charismata; 12:4, 9, 28, 30, 31)—a term never applied to persons—also argues for the neuter. Elsewhere, Paul uses the substantive πνευματικός to refer to persons only in Gal. 6:1. The other eight usages of the adjective outside of 1 Corinthians refer to things: “spiritual gift” (Rom. 1:11), “spiritual blessing” (Eph. 1:3), “spiritual things” (Rom. 15:27), “spiritual odes” (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16), and the law as spiritual (Rom. 7:14). It also is applied to the spiritual forces of evil (Eph. 6:12). Thiselton (2000: 910) tries to walk a fine line between both possibilities and comments, “The key issue which has been raised (at least in the form in which Paul wishes to address it) is this: What criteria are we to apply for specific people or gifts to be considered genuinely ‘of the Holy Spirit’?” Thiselton translates τῶν πνευματικῶν as “things that come from the Spirit.” This accords with Fee’s (1987: 576; 1994: 153) assessment that although the term is most likely neuter and nearly interchangeable with χαρίσματα, the distinction between the two depends on the root word. “Spiritual” emphasizes the Spirit’s role; charisma emphasizes the manifestation, the gift as such.
    Barrett (1968: 278) thinks that the difference between the masculine and the neuter is inconsequential because a spiritual person is one who has spiritual gifts (so also Morris 1958: 163). Since gifts are incarnated in individuals, gift and bearer of the gift belong together (Schrage 1999: 118; cf. 2:13). But this view does not take into consideration that the Corinthians and Paul may have differed on how they understood the significance of this term. Schrage (1999: 118–19, anticipated by Parry 1926: 127) suggests that the masculine reflects the Corinthians’ position, while the neuter refers to Paul’s take on it. Paul cites the Corinthians’ question about the “spiritual ones” in the announcement of the topic and then seeks to correct their misconceptions. In my opinion, they constricted its meaning to denote only those who gave evidence of the spiritual gifts prized by them—in particular, speaking in tongues. Ellis (1978: 24) offers a helpful distinction. Ellis argues from Paul’s use of the term “spiritual gift” (χάρισμα πνευματικόν) in Rom. 1:11 that charisma can be used of any spiritual gift, but pneumatika applies specifically to “gifts of inspired perception, verbal proclamation and/or its interpretation.” “Spiritual things,” Ellis concludes, are related to speaking in the Spirit. Baker (1974: 231) infers that these gifts “were thought to bestow upon the person who employed them an aura of being ‘spiritual’ (14:37).” Whether or not this is a correct assessment of the Corinthians’ views, Paul broadens the meaning of “spiritual” to include other spiritual gifts (see Grudem 1982: 157–60). Baker’s (1974: 229) reconstruction of the situation seems reasonable:

    They asked Paul about the “spiritual gifts” (πνευματικά), by which in their circumscribed understanding of the Holy Spirit they meant above all prophecy and speaking in tongues, but Paul answers their questions by referring to the many “gifts of grace” (χαρίσματα) which God gives to the Christians. Their “spiritual gifts” are only two of these, and to emphasize the point, he puts them right at the end of the list.

    It is important to recognize, however, that Paul quotes from the Corinthian letter in announcing the topic. As in 7:1, he uses their language without necessarily giving it the same meaning or value that they do. In this particular case, the genitive plural is obligingly ambiguous, “the spirituals,” and Paul can cite their terminology but develop his own interpretation so that it refers to gifts given by the Spirit to all Christians.
    I have opted to translate it “spiritual ones” for two reasons. First, to capture the rhetorical setting and the argument’s flow, it is best not to impose the understanding of the term that Paul unfolds in what follows onto this announcement of the topic, which is taken from the Corinthians’ letter. When he uses this term here, he quotes from the Corinthians’ letter but will reinterpret what it truly means. Second, the translation “spiritual ones” matches its usage at the conclusion of the discourse in 14:37, where he refers to a Corinthian outlook—those who regard themselves as spiritual.

    Garland, D. E. (2003). 1 Corinthians. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (561–564). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

  116. Michael says:

    So…I have linguistic helps, a variety of thought from other scholars to think on, cross references, and finally the way that the author will interpret the passage.

    I will place this with and against other references until I think I have a solid understanding of what the Spirit wants to say to my church in this message.

  117. Michael says:

    Fil,

    Amen…

  118. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, I like the Baker series you cited. I hope they are able to finish the other volumes fairly quickly. Most of the authors in that series do a good job of interacting with Greek but the lay-out is such that one does not have to know Greek super well to be edified. I just finished Luke today at our place, after a year and a half, and consulted Bock’s 2-volume commentary from Baker on a regular basis.

    The NIGTC series (also incomplete) is more intensive for Greek. But if you can follow along with the author, it has some great insights.

    The Pillar series is a new series that is good too. Definitely pastoral.

    The NICNT used to be a favorite but some volumes are as much footnotes as they are text and that does not make for easy reading. It is mostly complete though.

    Word is complete, and definitely scholarly but for an advertised ‘conservative’ series sometimes it disappoints me.

    Those are my big-five for the New Testament.

  119. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I love the Baker series… I have to be spoon fed the Greek so it’s right where I can handle it if I work hard enough.

    The Pillar is excellent for the emphasis is pastoral and I try to make all my messages applicable to where our folks are at.

    The Hendriksen NT Commentary is standard fare for us Calvinistas.

    I wish I could afford the full set of NICNT and NIGTC…but I have to cherry pick individual volumes as needed.

    I still always check Calvin’s commentaries and have profited from Kent Hughes series as well.

  120. Xenia,
    Take it up with MTM – he’s the Orthodox guy who keeps posting verses about works counting. Since protestants think that it is the works of Christ that count, and he is a great detractor against anything protestant, I can only conclude he is speaking of adding his own works to his faith to be justified.

  121. Steve Wright says:

    Hey MLD. Did you get your birthday present I sent you. I had Kershaw deliver it to you last night. 🙂

  122. Xenia says:

    Tundra is not Eastern Orthodox.

  123. rick,
    That wasn’t a shot at you – I said better / worse.

    Nothing has made me sin less – not even getting saved. I am a saved sinner – not I was saved from sinning.

    ‘simul justus et peccator’ or ‘simultaneously justified and a sinner’,

  124. “Tundra is not Eastern Orthodox.”

    Well he is one of those Orthodox from the east.

  125. Xenia says:

    In an earlier post Tundra wrote that he attended an Orthodox parish for a while but never converted. He may correct me if I’m wrong.

  126. Steve,
    Thank you – I knew it was from you. Well needed and timely. 🙂

  127. Steve Wright says:

    I was going to give you Matt Kemp’s bat – since he isn’t using it….. 🙂

  128. rick says:

    Michael,
    It’s only a question but after reading what you posted as to what you used to help you with 1 Cor. 12 did you have any change as to what you believed the Spirit impressed on you when you first read that passage?

    I just wonder how it was possible for 1st century believers to actually get what the Apostles were saying without all this extra stuff to help them along. It is my understanding most of them couldn’t read in the first place.

  129. Steve Wright says:

    I just wonder how it was possible for 1st century believers to actually get what the Apostles were saying without all this extra stuff to help them along
    —————————————————————————-
    Rick, that is certainly a fair question, but the thing is, the books that Michael (and I) are talking about are primarily taking us back to that 1st century world. To teach the historical, linguistic, cultural, insights that the original audience would understand but to which we are almost 2000 years removed.

    Most of these guys don’t even include an application section, or if they do it is a brief couple of sentences.

  130. Michael says:

    Rick,

    I always…always…learn a tremendous amount that I did not know before when I am preparing a study.

    It’s not only education for me it’s protection for my hearers…because if my “impressions” are contradicted by the other teachers and scholars in the Body then I’m probably off on a tangent and need to be corrected before I spout error out in church.

    We have the privilege of standing on the shoulders of those more learned than ourselves…a 2000 year legacy of Spirit filled instruction.

    To think that I don’t need them would be prideful and sinful as can be.

  131. rick says:

    Michael and Steve
    Thank you for your responses. I have read and listen to many teachers over the years. I have found some things said and written to be helpful.
    However in my daily living, I have found that what caused actual change was Christ revealing Himself in the situation. As an example of what I am trying to convey , once when I first had an encounter with Christ, I had been fasting and reading the bible. I became tired and laid down on a cot in the room I was in. As I awoke i saw every curse word know to mankind floating above me. I was repulsed and said get out of here. Two weeks later I realized that I no longer used foul language. I have never been able to cause change from my own efforts. For me change has only come through revealation of who Christ is.

  132. brian says:

    http://youtu.be/UFBZ_uAbxS0

    and

    http://youtu.be/mEOqxibhCxU

    I mean no offense and I share this with a very heavy heart but I see no difference what so ever. Though I would grant Tom Cruz’s rhetoric offered a bit more grace. I see no difference. You see I think both speakers got in line twice or well maybe four times in the line when the Lord was handing out stupid. Also Mr Cruz does not think babies want to kill their fathers for shiny watches, so maybe I lean even closer to Cruz’s side. Well I went to Scientology for a while, when I did not fit and I needed the money they sent me a check. From the other side, not a chance no refunds in that line. God knows I have blown wads of cash in that circus. Like the Rob Bell video with the reality check infants do not wish to kill their fathers even if they have the strength of a 18 year old. I have met dozens of such people and not one, ever, not even close. I would add one thing Pastor Washer, grow up and read a book. Tom Cruz um grow up and read a book. Funny how that works.

  133. brian says:

    my comment is in moderation

  134. Bob says:

    rick:

    “…did you have any change as to what you believed the Spirit impressed on you when you first read that passage?”

    I know this is addressed to Michael about a particular passage, but I have to say the answer for me, at least, is YES!

    My studies of other people’s studies (funny way of say checking out commentaries) has changed my understanding of particular passages and sometimes it has been a rather substantial change.

    Has it changed my faith in Jesus as the Messiah (Christ for you Greek experts)? Yes, it has substantiated and increased it.

  135. Kathy says:

    Rick: I’ve felt the same way. I felt that the actual Bible, inspired (do I daresay written?) by the Holy Spirit is mystical (another word for magical). I believe it’s what changes our soul/spirit, and it’s the actual words, not the meaning behind it. (sorry G-man, it’s my story, I’m sticking to it).

    For example, nothing has affected me more than Sermon on the Mount,

    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    4 Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
    5 Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
    6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
    7 Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
    8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
    9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
    10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

  136. Kathy says:

    You cannot replace the Sermon on the Mount with Calvin, Luther, Chuck Smith, or Rick Warren. Nothing has the same impact as the first time I read it. It’s like I was seeing right into Jesus’ heart when I read that passage. You can tell me, “God is good” a million times, but it will not change my spirit as Matthew 5 will.

    IMHO, of course, I have no proof of this and other people will say, “poppycocks!”

    But as for your question regarding former Christian intellectuals, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to read people’s theories, experiences and opinions on matters. What does it cost? A little bit of time.

    It’s time well spent and better than memorizing which pitchers are lefties or righties. Shoot… there’s e-battles on PxP that I’ve actually read through and afterwards I’ve wanted to stab my eye out. So… if there’s time to read PxP, there’s time to read past Christian greats.

  137. Kathy says:

    Nvm, I reread Rick’s post and it isn’t about the scriptures, it was about praying and fasting.

    Oh boy… Rick I agree with you but I think it’s dangerous. I completely believe you had the experience but you need the scriptures to anchor you to the truth. Experiences alone are dangerous. (imho, of course)

    I’m sure Hindu’s that have amazing experiences too. But we know it’s not from God because the Bible says so.

    I have a cool experience like Rick’s too. As PxP knows, God put upon my heart to pray for the labor camps in North Korea and China (it was my New Year’s resolution). Ever since then I’ve had an aversion to all materialism. (not that I could afford it right now anyways) I had the opportunity to have some fancy toys given to me, and I told that person outright, “I don’t want it.” and I meant it. 100%. Took it back. It was not for show.

    The other day I was at Fry’s (my ex-favorite store) and all I wanted to do was buy the thing we needed and get out. Usually I stroll the aisles for hours, but not that day, all I wanted to do was escape from this overbearing presence that I felt in the store. Maybe I was having a panic attack?

    I believe God has changed my heart. I prayed that I no longer wanted to lust after things and be greedy and God has granted my prayer so that the lust/greed are no longer prevalent in my heart and I’m more free to pray about the labor camps.

    AND if US goes to war against North Korea, the camps may be destroyed forever. (not that my prayer had anything to do with that…. or did it?)

  138. mrtundraman says:

    ““Ye see then how that by works a man is justified,”
    I guess it depends on who is doing the WORKS – For me the work was done by Jesus.”

    The context of James has nothing to do with that at all.

    Jam 2:21
    Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

    Who offered Isaac? Abraham or God? Who was justified, Abraham or God?

  139. MTM,
    I guess that’s why commentaries are good. I don’t know anyone, but you, who thinks that Abraham was “saved” because he offered a human sacrifice.

  140. “sorry G-man, it’s my story, I’m sticking to it”

    Kathy,
    You’re good, no worries. You’re citing Jesus & His narrative. I’m dancing like Schroeder’s friends!

    https://www.google.com/search?q=schroeder+peanuts+animated+gif&hl=en&client=safari&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=_NRiUZyxIami2QWJy4GICg&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAA&biw=1024&bih=644#biv=i%7C28%3Bd%7CAB08dPrUP-P4XM%3A

  141. erunner says:

    Christine Scheller is on Huff Post live on a discussion about suicide. She lost a son to suicide about five years ago. She has a heart for the hurting and is an inspiration. We need people like Christine to intelligently address the topic of mental illness and for portions of the church to PLEASE put away the false notions that only hurt the hurting. It’s sad that a high profile tragedy (Rick’s son) brings the issue to the church. The stigma needs to be squashed like a cockroach.

  142. Anne Kohut says:

    I heartily agree, E! Her voice and heart have been a comfort and inspiration, a very important bridge over troubled waters, in my life and I trust, countless others.

  143. Ixtlan says:

    “You cannot replace the Sermon on the Mount with Calvin, Luther, Chuck Smith, or Rick Warren. Nothing has the same impact as the first time I read it. It’s like I was seeing right into Jesus’ heart when I read that passage. You can tell me, “God is good” a million times, but it will not change my spirit as Matthew 5 will.”

    Can’t argue with that. I note however, that I’ve read some relly good commentaries as of late of the sermon on the mount. It is enhancing rather than dismantling. Among other things, commentaries build a cultural bridge for us to cross.

    An interesting study would be to see how much of the Bible, but specifically the New Testament, fits into one of the statements and ideals preached on the Sermon on the Mount. The church today has paided far too much attention to the Olivet Discourse at the expense of the Sermon on the Mount. In my world, we call that imbalanced.

    I haven’t been in a Fry’s in years. Not too many stores like that where I live.

  144. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Odd how for all of us, our understanding of what a “good Christian” is has evolved over the years. Hunt was always spearing my heroes, so he never ranked too highly with me. But perhaps he was a decent and good man.”

    That’s the problem when your heroes are Men, you don’t like to see them get knocked off their pedastol. They didn’t belong there anyways in the first place. I liked David Hunt, the problem is many don’t want their anchors pulled. Hey John Calvin and Martin Luther weren’t kind to those who disagreed with them but they get revrenced here by some.

  145. PP Vet says:

    A fair point concerning pedestals. Hebrews lists some “heroes” of the faith. It is true though that we have to distinguish between the healthy practice of looking to others for good examples, and the unhealthy practice of man-worship or vicariously living through others. That is not good for ourselves or (if they are still living) for them.

    I do have a problem with putting my wife on a pedestal. But it is hard not to, she is just such a wonderful woman. And, best thing is, she does not know it.

  146. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “I do have a problem with putting my wife on a pedestal. But it is hard not to, she is just such a wonderful woman. And, best thing is, she does not know it.”

    Yup it’s easy to honor those that are humble

  147. PP Vet says:

    So let me cause some trouble here. I know we have walked through this issue before some.

    I am trying to make sense of the Warren tragedy.

    Isn’t mental illness to some extent a sin issue?

    Couldn’t we consider it to be, like say alcoholism, obesity, and some aberrant behaviors I would rather not name, perhaps a combination of a physiological or genetic condition and some degree of personal choice? Wouldn’t that be honest?

    Or – in order to avoid being called an insensitive ignorant hater – do I have to agree that it is purely and entirely 100% physiological/genetic/environment and absolutely always unrelated from any degree whatsoever of personal choice?

    Few will openly suggest that the victims of mental illness are in any way responsible for their condition – that is politically unacceptable. But a lot of people believe it.

  148. PP Vet says:

    Probably should just stick with the big news like Tebow planning to attend the Jets voluntary workouts and Annette passing away.

  149. erunner says:

    PP Vet, Your comment about Annette passing away is cruel. I know we prop up Hollywood types but still…. she suffered terribly for many years and her death was slow and had to take a terrible toll on those who loved her.

    I’m no expert on mental illness but we need to get away from the idea it’s a sin issue. That attitude in portions of the church has done terrible harm to those who are already suffering. I would never go there in regards to Rick Warren’s son. There’s already people suggesting he took his life because he was gay.

    We in the church need to be a refuge for those who are mentally ill. Sadly we’re not doing a good job. There have been countless scientific studies shown that show mental illness is real. Instead of believers confessing sins that don’t exist or being told they are spiritual failures they need hope and encouragement.

    Sin probably does play a part for the emotional turmoils people suffer. The Godly person who is qualified will approach them with love and do all they can to help the sufferer through it. That may be all that’s needed in some cases just as some simply need someone willing to listen to them and give them godly counsel.

    But for multitudes of others they need hope and encouragement to truly believe they aren’t God’s junk and that He has deserted them. They may need professional counseling and/or medication to get their lives on track. That’s a plain fact and it’s no less wrong than a person taking medication for diabetes or the flu.

    I suffer with a mental illness and have been mocked, my faith questioned, been told I was in sin, had someone seek to cast demons out of me… all from believers. I hope you never have to experience dark depression, PTSD, OCD, Bipolar disorder, panic attacks, or anything else of the mind. It can be a living hell and unless you’ve been there you’ll never totally understand.

    There’s tons I don’t know about mental illness but I do know that scores of believers are hiding in the shadows or self medicating because of the stigma that is mental illness. Imagine being ashamed to share with other believers.. it’s something that needs to change.

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