Things I Think

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86 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    #2 wrestling w/ demons…

    The Desert Fathers would disagree with you…and so do I.

  2. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I acknowledge the presence of supernatural evil.
    I’ve been roundly hooted for talking about it here.
    However, I don’t ascribe every physical or psychological malady to it.

    To speak of “wresting with your demons” is a common metaphor for struggling with personal weaknesses…not a confession of demon possession.

  3. papiaslogia says:

    “I think the single most important theological development in my lifetime is N.T. Wrights exposition of the kingdom of God.”

    Are you referring to one of his books, or his commentaries, or overall positions?

    Its either too early or I”m too confused… or both. 🙂

  4. Xenia says:

    The phrase may have become a catch word for struggling with one’s sins but there is more truth in that phrase than people who toss it around casually might suspect.

  5. Ixtlan says:

    A lot of strange things happen in desert.

  6. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I wrote that in response to a plethora of articles that declared Robin Williams demon possessed because he made good use of metaphors.

  7. “When…I must ask again,when.. will we learn to stop making judgments on the eternal destiny of deceased celebrities?”

    Sad to say, but when I learned of the death of Robin Williams, my very first thought was: I wonder how long it will take before Tony Miano et al. try to Jesus-juke this. Ans: Not long.

  8. papiaslogia says:

    On wrestling with demons…

    They are real.
    They may manifest themselves as maladies.
    Not every malady is due to a demon.

    When speaking with non-believers I would rather speak metaphorically about them. With Christians….would rather speak as a possibility for some behavior.

  9. Jean says:

    Michael. Thank you for your thoughts this week. I love the quote in #10. Sounds like Luther was a “radical” reformer. By the way, is “radical” a vocation or part of the cloak of Christ which every Christian is called to put on?

  10. Babylon's Dread says:

    As a desert dweller I agree…. Very strange

  11. Xenia says:

    Ah, you were talking about FB posts about a celebrity.

    My advice for us all: Let us be more influenced by the writings of the heroes of the faith than the writings of people on FB and Twitter.

  12. Michael says:

    papialogia,

    His overarching narrative (which to me is a development of Ladd’s) is a thing of wonder to me. It’s a thread that runs through all his books and commentaries.
    I don’t always agree with him…but on this he has utterly refreshed my faith.

  13. I don’t think I saw a single bad comment on my FB feed about Robin Williams death. Most were just “so sad” or RIP.

  14. Judy says:

    #4 – So true.

  15. Sergius Martin-George,
    If you know that Tony Miano (the name sounds familiar but I can’t place it) has nothing worthwhile to say and in fact may be out to do harm, why do you follow him?

    I find this curious that so many people are like ambulance chasers, but just apply it to professional bloggers.

  16. “I just saw that Mars Hill is down to about 7500 people…”
    Who does the count?

  17. MLD, that’s a good question. Part of the reason I follow him is that sometimes, he does say worthwhile things. I also follow him because he’s teamed up with a pastor who has tried to sue one of my blogger friends, and occasionally Tony Pro takes potshots at her and other mutual acquaintances.

  18. Babylon's Dread says:

    Three cheers for getting it wright.
    Sounds like the exit interviews are backed up
    And lighten up people about Robin … now he knows where Elvis is.

  19. “Demons” are metaphor…it’s the innate evil that is latent in the human psyche of every human…and can be triggered or inflamed by feeding to the animalistic side of humankind…like orgy, violence, drugs, etc.

    The Shamans enter the “spirit world” through psychedelic drugs…chemicals in the brain…either chemically altered through drug use…or a physical condition due to chemical imbalance and biology or sometimes brought on by stress and environment (think PTSD, etc)…it’s all in the mind, in the brain. “Demons” are literal only in the sense they are a man-made personification of the biological chemical cause/effects on human perception and action (PSP causes “demon possession”…so does Paranoid Schizophrenia).

    There is no direct evidence of any “demons” as in literal imps/spirit-beings. 100% of those who demonstrate “demon possession” like is described in the bible…are either on drugs…or have a severe mental illness and chemical imbalance…and this is proven over and over and over. Take away the drugs…their “demons” suddenly disappear, including their super-PCP strength. Give the Paranoid Schizophrenic the right drugs…and wa-la, they are no longer ‘hearing voices’ and no longer ‘possessed’….

  20. papiaslogia says:

    Thanks Michael.
    NT Wright confounds me and I was looking for a one stop shop for his thoughts on the Kingdom of God.

  21. Michael says:

    papiaslogia,

    He is far too prolific and complex to boil down to one stop shopping.
    To digest the works of any great theologian takes a lot of time and work.
    I haven’t spent nearly as much time with Wright as I have with Calvin, but hope to live long enough to do so.

    I would suggest getting one of his commentaries on one of the Gospels and working through it…his seminal thoughts are in them.
    This page has a lot of his material as well that is helpful.

    http://ntwrightpage.com

  22. Michael says:

    I completely and wholly believe in the existence of supernatural evil and spiritual beings who promote it.
    Without question or equivocation…I’m as sure of them as I am of Jesus.

  23. Alex,
    “are either on drugs…or have a severe mental illness and chemical imbalance”

    That’s where the demons hide

  24. Keith says:

    Michael where would you recommend I start reading NT on the Kingdom. Be well

  25. Why is it a Theological development?

  26. Francisco Nunez says:

    Our brother Michael makes a compelling point that one can’t force repentance on an unrepentant man. This is true. The ability to repent is a gift that hallmarks a true follower of Jesus. Christ himself said, unless you repent, you will not enter the Kingdom of God(Lk 13:3) Repentance and stepping down were things that men like king Saul, Ahab, Herod among others, were just unable to do, choosing instead to cling to their earthly kingdoms at all costs vs trusting the Lord to restore them. When David finally confronted Saul in love in the cave of en Gedi , Saul recognized that he had sinned but his subsequent actions proved that he did not truly repent. It was just lip service. He didn’t step down when he should have.

    May the Lord by His Grace keep us humble in the ministries He has allowed us to serve. If he allows us to continue to minster to His bride may we continue to feed His flock, not our egos. And if we sin and we are asked to step down at least until we get our house in order, may we do so graciously for His glory and the for Church He died for.

    Just a thought to meditate on, if you have the freedom to repent and to step down from you’re the pastoral role graciously if asked by Him, consider yourself blessed.
    In Him,
    Francisco

  27. Michael says:

    Keith,

    I’d probably start with one of his more popular treatments…”How God Became King” or his lay level commentaries.

  28. Michael says:

    Good word, Francisco…

  29. Nonnie says:

    There is a 6 part video series called Surprised by Hope by NT Wright. You can find it on Youtube, as well as many of his lectures.

  30. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    That is even better for those who learn better visually.

  31. Michael says:

    Josh,

    In my opinion, Wright builds on the best what came before him and presents the fullest vision of the kingdom that I’ve ever encountered.
    As I said, there are places where i don’t agree, but his overarching narrative is a thing of holy beauty.

  32. Babylon's Dread says:

    I agree with Michael on WRIGHT and demons.
    Grenier lives in a material world… 😉

  33. What’s the source on the MH attendance numbers?

  34. Alex speaks the truth. He lives in the empirical world that we all live in and has cited empirical reality (science).

    Thanks Alex.

  35. “a plethora of articles that declared Robin Williams demon possessed”????

    :: FACEPALM ::

  36. “PSP causes “demon possession”

    Freudian pawn shop slip above LOL, meant “PCP”…pawned too many Sony PSP’s 🙂

    G, thanks, agreed as usual 🙂

    Dreadly: “Grenier lives in a material world”…hilarious my friend 😆

    MLD: I agree to a small degree….I think there is a physical, tangible reality to evil and a “spiritual realm”…but I think the Neuroscientists and Theoretical Physicists are much closer to the real truth than are occultists, devil worshippers, charismatics or witch doctors.

  37. Jean says:

    “Why is it a Theological development?”

    It would be perilous and perhaps even foolhardy to attempt to summarize Wright’s exposition of the kingdom of God. With that caveat, I can offer three simple observations that have made Wright’s exposition of the kingdom of God refreshing and important to me:

    1) From the Apostles Creed: “…who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.”

    Wright wants us to ask the question: Where did all the stuff in between Jesus’ birth and crucifixion go? Why did the Gospel writers include that middle stuff (i.e., his earthly ministry)? Why is it important? What might happen in the Church if it could recover that middle stuff in the life and teaching of the Church and for the lives of Christians?

    2) Wright recovers for the Church the essence of the OT for Christians. He frames the advent of Jesus as the fulfillment of the historical narrative of God’s people and God’s plan for his creation. By giving us this bigger picture, we are able to more fully read, understand, enjoy and learn from the OT.

    3) Wright challenges Christians to view themselves and salvation from less of an individual perspective about personal salvation and heaven, and from more of a corporate perspective about a King who is reconciling all things to himself through the image bearers he has redeemed right here to carry out this reconciliation.

  38. “Wright wants us to ask the question: Where did all the stuff in between Jesus’ birth and crucifixion go? ”

    Is that really his question??? All the ‘stuff in between” didn’t go anywhere – it is where it has always been and where it belongs… in the scriptures.

    I think this is a problem that I have always had with NT Wright – he has this insatiable need to make the simple complicated. Is he really having trouble with the purpose of a creed – that it is just a summary statement and not a replacement? Because someone summarizes that means that they have eliminated the remainder?

    If someone were to ask, what do you believe? Do you read to them the entire New Testament or do you state your creed?

  39. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Very good summary…

  40. Jean says:

    #39,

    MLD, I think you missed my point. Wright’s argument, to use his metaphor, is that the gospel is like music coming from 4 speakers and if one is to enjoy the fullness of the music, one must have all 4 speakers turned on and at their proper volumes. Those 4 speakers are (1) the narrative of Israel, (2) the story of Israel’s God revealing his identity to his people in a new way, (3) the story of the renewed people of God, and (4) the story of the kingdom of God clashing with the kingdom of Caesar.

    Wright believes that over the past few generations speakers (2) and (3) have been turned up too high at the expense of speaker (4). Speaker (4) too often has been turned off altogether in Wright’s view. Wright believes that speaker (4) needs to be turned on and played in harmony with speakers (1), (2) and (3), if one is to fully grasp the Good News. Speaker (4) is heard in the middle stuff in the 4 Gospels.

    I whole heartedly agree with Wright and have noticed that he is correct about the current focus in the American church on speakers (2) and (3) at the expense of speaker (4), and the effect this has had on the health and effectiveness of God’s people.

  41. “If someone were to ask, what do you believe? Do you read to them the entire New Testament or do you state your creed?”

    You read them the Gospels, which are about Jesus, God, 2nd Person of the Trinity, then stop and let them absorb that and invite them to spend a couple years, with you, both focused solely on Jesus.

  42. …yes, heresy, I know

  43. How long do you stand there reading them the Gospels before you stop to let them absorb. I think it takes about 5 hours or so to read the 4 Gospels.

    I will bet they shut you down by the time you get done with the genealogy in Matthew.

    Sir, I am glad, that while we are waiting for this bus, that you have asked me what I believe

    I believe – “1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:

    2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,

    Isaac the father of Jacob,

    Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

    3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,

    Perez the father of Hezron,

    Hezron the father of Ram,

    4 Ram the father of Amminadab,

    Amminadab the father of Nahshon,

    Nahshon the father of Salmon,

    5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,

    Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,

    Obed the father of Jesse,

    6 and Jesse the father of King David.

    David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,

    7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,

    Rehoboam the father of Abijah,

    Abijah the father of Asa,

    8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,

    Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,

    Jehoram the father of Uzziah,

    9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,

    Jotham the father of Ahaz,

    Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,

    10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,

    Manasseh the father of Amon,

    Amon the father of Josiah,

    11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.

    12 After the exile to Babylon:

    Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,

    Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,

    13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,

    Abihud the father of Eliakim,

    Eliakim the father of Azor,

    14 Azor the father of Zadok,

    Zadok the father of Akim,

    Akim the father of Elihud,

    15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,

    Eleazar the father of Matthan,

    Matthan the father of Jacob,

    16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

    17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.

  44. G,
    Your point is well taken in relation to my post to Jean – all of it is in there and no one is slighting the Gospel Message as NTW would lead us to believe.

  45. actually, no, I would journey with the person, not speed read.
    I wouldn’t get bogged down in the genealogy unless there was some question raised about the lineage of Jesus, I’d get onto “the stuff” that is more fruitful and challenging, and use the other stuff as reference if/when needed.

    I would ask more questions than the usual declarative approach I have experienced or participated in.

    Most of all, I would continually point the person back to the Gospels for the best Model of our Kingdom, The King Himself

  46. I am just yanking your chain – you said “You read them the Gospels, … THEN stop and let them absorb them 🙂

  47. Jean says:

    #45,

    “no one is slighting the Gospel Message as NTW would lead us to believe.”

    It is not the Gospel Message that many contemporary Christian’s slight, I believe Wright would say that it is our walk with Christ and our participation in His kingdom that we are slighting. And the blame would fall squarely on pastors, commentators and other Christian opinion makers who have reduced the gospel to the Roman Road.

    The theology I shared is not from an evangelism manual, it is from, How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels. I would describe the genre as discipleship.

    Also, please don’t judge Wright by what I share. I am trying to be as accurate as I can, but it’s possible (even probable) that I am not perfectly reflecting Wright’s teaching. Thus, feel free to critique my interpretation of Wright; I am fine with that. For those that care, the book was endorsed by Packer and others.

  48. Jean,
    I don’t discount what Wright may say about what is called gospel reductionism. But i don’t agree that it is done because folks miss the message. i think it is done because pastors many times are wimps and think that the message of the NT is just too hard to (1) preach and (2) too hard for the pewsters to listen to.

    Rick Warren is a classic example. Back in 1980 he walked door to door in the Saddleback Valley asking people why they didn’t go to church and what they would like to see in a church. And he gave it to them – the perfect man centered church and people flocked in.

    Rick Warren is a great guy – but hey, he didn’t miss the message, he made his own.

    Disclaimer – I only use RW as an example because his story is so well known and he is my neighbor – pick your own if you know a better example.

  49. Jean says:

    #49,

    “But i don’t agree that it is done because folks miss the message. i think it is done because pastors many times are wimps and think that the message of the NT is just too hard to (1) preach and (2) too hard for the pewsters to listen to.”

    MLD, I think we (and I would venture to say you and Wright) have found common ground. I will rest on this statement.

    P.S., You must live in a nice neighborhood. RW, you and the kids from Laguna Beach; life must be to die for 🙂

  50. Actually RW lives very modestly … and his grandaughter goes to our church pre school. I see him every once in a while at the pre school event. He is a proud grandpa like me.

    We just need to get her to the baptismal font. 😉

  51. Xenia says:

    MLD’s #44, the reading of the Genealogy of Christ…

    At a Liturgy near Christmas, the deacon was reading aloud the appointed Gospel reading for the day, which happened to be the Genealogy of Christ and he got so emotional that he began to weep as he read. (And he is not a weepy person normally.)

    So you never know.

  52. Jean says:

    What baffles my mind is how Michael, week in and week out, weaves together ostensibly disparate articles and threads that actually build on one another and/or interrelate with each other in overall themes. I see this (and I will describe it) as art work, for example, most recently, in his introduction to and articles regarding the Anabaptistism, followed by the article on the Harvest Crusade, and followed further by today’s article, particularly #7. I find myself taking this all in and pausing with a “woe”, what’s going on here?

    Then I’m like, did Michael put these articles together consciously, unconsciously or a combination? Whatever the case, I see the Spirit at work here in powerful ways. And where the Spirit is at work, I thank God. And thank you Michael!

  53. Anne says:

    The definition of “lives modestly” is far different in Orange County CA, than the majority of the country :mrgreen:

  54. brian says:

    “You read them the Gospels, which are about Jesus, God, 2nd Person of the Trinity, then stop and let them absorb that and invite them to spend a couple years, with you, both focused solely on Jesus.”

    You spend five minutes tops then kick the dust off and walk away on to the next mark. Just like Ray Comfort, stand on a box at the beach and play little mind games and bait and switch tactics, sell Jesus trinkets to my supporters and write pathetic nonsensical books or just plagiarize a few pages here and there. Oh or make ridiculous videos edited for effect.

    Or maybe do what G said, that might work. na wheres my soap box?

  55. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Thank you for the kind words. It’s all accidental…I hope God is in my confusion… 🙂

  56. Michael says:

    As an example of what I was speaking of…

    Calvary Chapel pastor Ken Graves posted this old article this afternoon.

    http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=24227

    This is ignorant, irresponsible, and anti-Christian.

    Ken Graves just adds another to a long list of disgraceful utterances from his ignorance.

  57. brian says:

    Michael to answer your 1. if fulfills one of the most important criteria with in the American Religion far more important then the cross or the resurrection etc. It works in the short term in a cheap and very shallow way. Thus it is holy. The first creed pragmatism and utilitarian.

  58. brian says:

    number 3 that is MD’s sin and as I have said in the past, even God cant forgive it, he is messing up the revenue flow. That is Satanic. Of course I think that is nonsense but it sure seems to work out that way at times. I actually have to admit JD Hall could teach Mr. Driscoll a few things. I am respectful that he was willing to talk to some of his most ardent critics if I am reading it correctly.

  59. And Graves seems to have been taken to task for his comment… almost all the comments were negative. I don’t have him on my FB feed but someone here made a comment so he showed up.

    But when you have a theology that requires you to be in everyone’s business, you come uup with statements like his.

  60. Michael says:

    I’m trying to be restrained…but a pastor posting such crap is shameful.
    I’m losing restraint…out for a bit.

  61. Jean says:

    #57,

    I noticed Graves slipped the “gay” issue into his theme in his analysis of Ledger. Graves was hitting all the notes his readers apparently like to hear.

  62. brian says:

    One of the commenters who said this is silly got the standard reply, you must be deceived because Hollywood always does this, does what play to the crowd well Duh so do evangelical wannabes. They play to the crowd with the gaudy graphics and the end time the sky is falling clap trap. Try coming up with real solutions instead of some make believe nonsense. Michael he is playing to the crowd, its a shell game.

  63. Calvary Chapel pastor Ken Graves posted this old article this afternoon.

    http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=24227

    This is ignorant, irresponsible, and anti-Christian.

    Simply put, it’s flushworthy

  64. Since this is Things I Think – I think that the cop in Fergusen MO needs to be thrown in jail with no bail to end the violence there.Nan, the cops need to stop killing the kids.

    If the kid had killed the cop, he would be in jail.Talk about blame the victim.

  65. Completely agree with MLD’s #65.

    Back to tributes & remembrances of the honorable Robin Williams
    http://i.imgur.com/wL4RT1w.jpg

  66. brian says:

    You know MLD in my neck of the woods as a kid I learned one thing and it was true, still is, they have a gun and they have a badge, and they can do what ever they want. Always.

  67. I respect the police, but when you have a rogue, you take him out.

  68. If only the people who support Ken Graves, or Mark Driscoll, or any of these other twits would just realize, all they need to do is walk away and…

    http://i.imgur.com/723w8fc.jpg

  69. brian says:

    I respect police as well, but I am utterly terrified them and if it meant calling them to save my life, I would die, I will never ever call a police person. Ever.

  70. Jean says:

    The cop in the Village People wasn’t so bad.

  71. Xenia says:

    MLD, I am inclined to agree with you about the Ferguson situation. At first I bought the Fox News spin but after reading the accounts of several eye witnesses it looks to me like the cop chased Brown down and shot him to death.

    That doesn’t justify the looting and rioting, of course, but I am starting to have a little more sympathy for the peaceful protesters. Of course, most blacks that are shot in this country are shot by other blacks and not by cops. We talked about the militarization of the police here a while back.

    We want a clean story, with bad guys that are 100 percent bad and good guys that are 100 percent good. That’s not going to be the case in Ferguson.

  72. Bob says:

    “Rick Warren is a great guy – but hey, he didn’t miss the message, he made his own.”

    MLD your brush is so broad you could paint half the state of California in one stroke.

    While I’m not a fan of seeker sensitive church I have always found in RW a man who preaches a message of loving God and loving others. He is totally Christ and gospel centered in his to preaching, but Of course he would disagree with your take on the cup and baptism.

  73. Bob,
    “he would disagree with your take on the cup and baptism.”

    It has nothing to do do with those 2 things and I didn’t say he was not Christian – but try for once in these conversations to stay withing the context of what is being said – we were talking about how NT Wright was categorizing ‘Christians’

    You stalk my comments each morning and come to cartoonish conclusions.

  74. Jean says:

    “we were talking about how NT Wright was categorizing ‘Christians’”

    MLD, I don’t know who “we” are or what blog you got that off of, but on this blog, I didn’t see NT Wright or anyone else categorizing Christians. I participated in a discussion about his theology and where he sees room for improvement in the teaching of theology regarding the kingdom in the western Church.

  75. Jean,
    In your example NTW was categorizing those who were “in tune” to the true message of scripture and those who were not. (remember the 4 speakers? Some people have them balanced right and some don’t)

  76. Jean says:

    MLD, NTW was talking about the gospel being in tune, not people. Re-read my comment.

  77. Jean,
    That is not what you said … and I quote;
    “…is that the gospel is like music coming from 4 speakers and if one is to enjoy the fullness of the music, one must have all 4 speakers turned on and at their proper volumes.”

    Beginning at “and if one is to enjoy the fullness of the music, ” – you have placed the action on the Christian – you either have it in tune or you have it out of tune.

    I could word it this way … “if you want to hear the gospel message my way – tune your speakers this way – otherwise you are not hearing them right (the way NTW would like you to hear them.)

    I watched the You Tube video of this talk – I am not a stranger to this

  78. Jean says:

    MLD,

    “Beginning at ‘and if one is to enjoy the fullness of the music, ‘ – you have placed the action on the Christian – you either have it in tune or you have it out of tune.”

    In your sentence the “it” is the gospel, not the person. So, it is the gospel that is in or out of tune.

    But the reason I responded in the first time was your unfair description of the discussion. Saying that Wright “categorizes” Christians was a put down of him, and that is not what I have ever heard him done. In theological debates, he, like any theologian, will disagree and argue with other theologians about theological issues. But I’ve never heard him get personal or categorize any Christian in terms of better or worse.

    If you want to say that because the Christian is in charge of the speakers, Wright is somehow categorizing them for how they tune them, I suppose you can go there if you want, but then Wright would be no different than all Christian scholars, authors, pastors and most people hear who have an opinion about how to (or not to) read or interpret the bible or any particular theological or ethical issue. So, when you make that claim about Wright, you are being inflammatory about him. Wright’s point was that the kingdom message of the Gospel’s has been largely forgotten by the Western Church, not that there’s a deficient category of Christians in the Western Church.

    For people who read and have listened to Wright, one of the reasons he draws such a broad following and is invited to speak to such diverse groups is because he is scholarly yet accessible, pastoral, and biblically inclusive. I don’t think he would have the reputation he has if he went around “categorizing” Christians.

  79. Jean,
    It’s OK for you to hold that opinion.

    “But I’ve never heard him get personal or categorize any Christian in terms of better or worse. ” That is why people like him – he does it in a way that you don’t know that he put down your position. I think it’s the accent.

    And you are right, he is just like the other scholars who come across the stage and have an opinion. Look, I agreed with him as to what the problem is – I disagreed as to the reason – go back and see my #49 (of which you agreed.)

  80. Jean says:

    MLD,

    Your #49: “I don’t discount what Wright may say about what is called gospel reductionism. But i don’t agree that it is done because folks miss the message. i think it is done because pastors many times are wimps and think that the message of the NT is just too hard to (1) preach and (2) too hard for the pewsters to listen to.”

    On a blog you can say stuff like that (e.g., call people wimps). However, if you want to influence people, some people find it more effective to take a more congenial tact.

    I don’t agree with your #80: “he does it in a way that you don’t know that he put down your position.” I don’t think Wright pulls punches, but neither do I think he disguises his message. Why do you feel he is putting people down? Why don’t you feel he is trying to build up the body and people’s faith?

    If you were a theologian and thought something integral to the gospel had fallen out of use in the Western Church, how would you communicate your message differently from Wright in a way that wouldn’t be seen as you see it (i.e., as a put down)?

  81. Jean, just so you know, the man you’re trying to interact with once described to me what does here as “blog drama”.

    Make your own application

  82. Jean says:

    G, Note to self.

  83. Jean,
    Now you are being dishonest – You say “Why do you feel he is putting people down? ”
    I never said he was putting people down – never, ever, never, ever.

    Read again and adjust your comment and we can talk.

    “he does it in a way that you don’t know that he put down your position.” – note “your position” – not the person.

  84. Bob says:

    MLD:

    Basically you are a bully here on this blog. You make all sorts of off hand comments for no other reason than to draw people into the silliness of what you write. You don’t really like NT, MD, RW, CC, or just about anything outside of your sports and Lutheran dogma, so it doesn’t matter if I mention NT or RW, the outcome is the same, just the intials have been changed.

    I come here to PP now for two reasons; the first is to see what Michael has posted. He tends to confront the issues of life and the struggle with Christian doctrine and quite well; and yes you are the next thing I look at of for, but not for the same reason I read Michael.

    You make “the application.”

  85. Hmmm, in the post you criticized me for I went out of my way and said Rick Warren was a great guy – I even put in a disclaimer that I used RW because his canvassing story is so well know, but that you could substitute a whole host of guys. But even though he is a neighbor, even though I know him through our pre school does not mean I have to agree with him theologically … otherwise I would drive the 1.5 mile up the street to his church.

    To NTW, I didn’t say anything bad about him – I didn’t call him an child molester or anything – I even agreed with his point, just not his conclusion.

    I don’t know who you are referring to by MD or CC. Perhaps I agree with them on some points and on others I don’t.

    I like Michael Horton, Kim Riddlebarger, Greg Koukl, J Warner Wallace (we were old jogging partners), I like Tullian Tchividjian, Bruxy Cavey (an anabaptist) and a whole slew of people – – not one of these a Lutheran.

    We just run in different circles.

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