Jan 012013
 

Happy 2013!

  1. Dental assistant fired for “irresistable attraction” (HT)
  2. If the young and restless would-be Calvinists read much in the history of Calvinism they would know that failure and defeat is par for the course of the church militant (neo-Calvinists’ postmillennial optimism to the contrary).
  3. Westminster think tank Civitas is warning that Christianity is in serious danger of being wiped out in its biblical heartlands.
  4. William Paul Young is interviewed for a Christian podcast.
  5. Stanford University has hired a chaplain for atheists. (HT)
  6. There’s always something lost in translation. But how much is lost? Here I want to explore five more myths about Bible translation.
  7. “…the religious idea that the Flood was real has been important to the actual history of geology as a science. But by now, however, science knows better. I can’t say as much for the media.
  8. However, in the preoccupation with Arminianism many students fail to see that Calvinism’s true enemy is Unitarianism…”
  9. Have you ever wondered whether all this–you, your life, the universe–is just a sophisticated computer simulation?
  10. I think church life in America has changed so dramatically that it is hardly recognizable.
  11. John Piper’s last sermon as the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. (HT)

 

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 Posted by at 9:00 pm

  47 Responses to “Linkathon 1/2”

  1. Can’t get past first link. Completely maddening. So sick of women being punished for being attractive/beautiful.

  2. Yeah, #1 is really nauseating.

    As another group reads this and leaves the church not to return.

    The first commenter said, “It’s been good to be out of church. And despite what I was told my whole life by church, my values haven’t changed,…But regarding patriarchy and sexism, it’s good to be removed from church.”

    I mean, this guy really needs to grow up. He’s acting like a friggin’ adolescent and an imbecile. Who knows if this woman is supporting a family.

    Ah well, maybe it’s better for her to find a better job and not have to work for this jerk anymore.

  3. Great list thanks for the faithfulness Briand
    1. Women get treated awful in this country, I hope she finds a great job somewhere. I do know at church some of the really attractive women were flocked on by the single guys and they almost had to brush them off with a fly swatter. Almost all of the men were fine, they smiled and went away but some issues were rather serious. Women take a lot of crap in this culture.

    2. Most of them from what I see follow the Mark Driscoll play book you know people really think he is a great preacher and so on. I know he has helped people on the local level and I give him great praise and support on that. His church does great outreach to the community and I think he really thinks he is right. But he is not the paradigm of delivery and when he fired those pastors and talked about breaking noses. That is enough.

    3. Government needs to stay out of the religious business, just like religion I E supporting any one religion using the secular government needs to stay out of the same. Poorly worded I hope people get my point. The Christian religion is far more resilient then most Christians realize.

    6. The text of scripture is the purest text on ancient history, I dont know all the big words but The Biblical text is clearly consistent to the original or as close as we can get to the original. I had another concept I wanted to post but it would have been emotional so I will think on how to word it with respect to a group of people I care deeply about.

    7. It is a quick article but amen, it did not happen as an historic fact, and that is a fact. So what do we don now with this narrative?

    11. As much as I cant stand this guy, I wish him the very best because I actually think he did what he could given who he was and what he knew. To bad he could not, and never has given, the same grace to people who disagreed with him.

  4. #1 – life isn’t fair – if the physically unattractive pay a price, perhaps there is a price that goes with being “hot” also …
    it isn’t just a matter of beauty – in this instance there may be a chemical or psychological factor that has been building due to the circumstances of the work environment and if you don’t believe that’s a possibility, all i can say is that it sure used to be … :roll: i have some thots on how the churches have abused and distorted this factor that i’ll leave unsaid, but …

    that said, as a Christian man and wife, the dentist should have found a way to notify her that he intended to let her go in the near future, but that he was in contact with other area dentists in an attempt to find similar employment for her … or something to that affect … a bit dicey in this day of lawsuits waiting to happen at every turn … IMHO

    just sayin

  5. I rarely agree with Roger Olsen, but #10 is pure gold…

  6. Lets see if this works.

    From Olsen:

    “I realize that I sound like an “old timer” longing for a “golden age” of the past. I’m convinced, however, that my complaint is more than that. I think church life in America has changed so dramatically that it is hardly recognizable. If time machines existed and someone from a typical evangelical church in the 1950s were transported to a typical evangelical church of the second decade of the 21st century, he or she would be shocked by the change. Other than the building (perhaps), almost nothing would be recognizable. In 1950s evangelicalism we memorized Scripture. Who does that anymore? Then we sang theologically rich hymns and gospel songs. Who does that anymore? Then we studied our Sunday School lessons on Saturday (if not before). Who does that anymore? Then we attended church on Sunday evening and invited “unsaved friends” to hear the gospel. Who does that anymore? Then we gathered in each others’ homes for fellowship and prayer and Bible study. Who does that anymore? Then we went door-to-door with gospel tracts and invitations to attend church. Who does that anymore? Then we knew the people we went to church with well. Who does anymore? Then we were required to give an account of our conversion before baptism. Who does that anymore? Then we had occasional “protracted meetings” (revivals that included special services nightly for a week). Who does that anymore? Then we had warm, even passionate, “altar calls” and invitations to accept God’s call to be missionaries. Who does that anymore? Then we watched missionaries’ “slide shows” and heard their stories of successes and failures “on the mission field.” Who does that anymore? Then we had “missionary barrels” in the church foyer to collect “goods” not available to missionaries “on the field.” Who does anything like that anymore? Then we had church picnics and people stayed after church on Sunday evening to talk and pray and the young people fraternized and flirted as the children played games on the lawn outside the church. Who does that anymore? Then the pastor (and often the pastor’s spouse) visited members and visitors in their homes. Who does that anymore? Then evangelical families had “family altar” at least weekly (if not daily) at home. Then evangelicals called each other “brother” and “sister.” Who does that anymore?

  7. 1. The idiot should have reframed the firing. Unless there was something in play, I’d be very surprised if the woman had any feelings towards this man. So one of two scenarios plays out 1) he finally says something or does something which sexually harasses the poor gal or 2) he manipulates the gal to put her in a position that she will have the affair with him. I think “Man fires assistant for being too sexy” headline should read “Christian man fires woman, to not sexually harass her.”

  8. pondering Papias’ quote at #7 (haven’t read the link) … Olsen asks who does that anymore? i believe that some still do and deserve to proudly wear the title ‘evangelical’ … however, the new model, flailing about for relevance, churches would be better described as ‘evanjellyfilled’ IMHO … BUT perhaps it is simply that our churches have always reflected the sociological make-up of their times and places? it is hard to remold the whole newly redeemed man into someone he has no connection to …

  9. DA (& others) FWIW – please don’t call her a ‘gal’ :|

    BrianD – great links – in the process of reading and keeping my thots to myself today

  10. 1. Some more thoughts that I have had. Christian men in general are afraid to break their vows which is commendable. If a man was having an affair with his assistant, I’d probably tell him to break off the personal relationship and find a way to break a part the professional one as well. However in this case, nothing had occurred. I’ve found myself at various times attracted to woman that I have worked with. I use the following steps to keep me out of trouble.

    1) Admit to myself that I am attracted to a particular gal. Hiding it or denying it seems to keep it’s power over me and then I’m blindsided about the thoughts that I would have.

    2) Work hard to maintain a professional relationship. Don’t go out of my way to maintain a personal relationship. I’m not saying don’t have a personal relationship, but I’m not going to stop by the gals desk after work to chit-chat unless there is a reason to do so.

    3) Avoid certain topics of conversation: her marriage and sex (both btw are typically unprofessional topics of conversation)

    4) Find a brother in Christ to talk to about it and pray with. I have a few guys who I trust who I can talk to about these issues if/when they present themselves. These are guys who I know would lovingly kick me in the balls if I needed it and would also be there to help me up if I ever fell.

  11. Em,

    I mean no offense when I use the term gal. I normally use it for women in the same way I’d use the term guy for a man.

  12. I often agree with Olsen, or at least appreciate his thinking, but in this case I think he is involved in a little nostalgic coloring of his memory.

    Case in point: I grew up with an alcoholic father who also happened to be a successful hustler in the game of billiards. In tiny southern town, the pool hall was the closest thing we had to to a whorehouse. No kids, or decent people would ever go to the pool hall. There were literally railroad tracks that ran outside the establishment. Those tracks marked the good-side and bad side of the tracks. Pool Hall was obviously on the wrong side of the tracks.
    At a very early age, my drunk dad would take me in there and hide me in this little broom closet. It was dark, only lit in the wintertime by a the glow of a kerosene heater and the Donkey Kong machine. My dad would stick in a handful of quarters every hour or so to keep me quiet, while he tried to fleece another poor sucker of his hard-earned (or not-so) cash. Since the only other thing in the room besides me, Donkey Kong, and the kerosene heater was a cigarette vending machine, I saw a steady stream of characters in and out of my little room. Often, they would stand and joke with me while taking a few drinks out of a brown bag. I didn’t know who any of these guys were, just first names and nick-names, which my father made me swear would never be spoken around our home.
    When I became a teenager, and started having regular run-ins with my dad, I started recognizing faces from the mugshots in the papers. These guys were all criminals. Dealers, murderers, pimps…you name it. Over the years, as I paid closer attention to the police reports, I understood that my dad had put me in incredible danger. Made me question if he ever even loved me.
    Still, even right now, I think about that Donkey Kong machine, and the smell of the kerosene, and that orange glow on a cold night…and I miss it. I feel like my children are being cheated out of some rich experience by my sheltering them.

    How that story relates to Olsen’s story: There is a reason church’s stopped doing stuff like watchnight services. They were creepy, scary, and weird. Nothing of the sort can be found in Scripture. Church have replaced those things with other things. Some are more scriptural, some have no basis in scripture whatsoever, but the abandoning of Watchnight services, should be applauded, not mourned.

  13. Josh,
    Sorry for how your dad treated you.
    Btw… that was a beautifully written paragragh my friend. Still not sure how that relates to church though….

    While your experience with watchnight was different than Olsens, I think he is only using the watchnight service to make the point that he remembers church VERY differently than how most seem to be experiencing it today.
    I have to admit that there are times I miss the sense I got when we went to CC, that life shared is the way to do church. In our SBC church, it seems compartmentalized.

    Mileage may vary. :)

  14. IMO, the church needs more men like John Piper!

  15. Thanks, Papias. I always have to point out that my dad was radically changed by God in my late teens. He is my very best friend in the world. Still, made for a tough childhood.

    How it relates: Olsen likes to reminisce about his childhood in church, and he has fond memories, much like I do about the Pool Hall. However, churches should not go back to Watchnight services, anymore than I should start taking my kids to a Pool Hall. Watchnight services are the very type of manipulative, rapture ready, prophecy update type thing that we have always called out on this blog.

  16. #12 – DA, i know that you meant no disrespect … here are my thots – FWIW – reference to a group as ‘guys’ or ‘gals’ seems to have a connotation familiarity that is general and affectionate, BUT (smile) when used to refer to a single person – guy or gal – it seems somehow dismissive – marginalizing perhaps – in the context of a specific person, i think the terms man or woman gives their personhood validity … respect … er something … i wonder if i’m the only one who never did and doesn’t now want to be called a gal (unless i’m playing a part in a western movie or something LOL ) …

  17. “IMO, the church needs more men like John Piper!”

    Bob, do you mean more pastors who will step back and retire, or something else? :)

  18. Regarding number one:

    I read the original story last week, and my initial reaction was close what has already been expressed. No person should be hired or fired based on appearance. But I think there is more going on than what the link provides.

    From this link provided in the article: http://www.businessinsider.com/melissa-nelson-fired-for-being-too-sexy-2012-12
    “And at one point when Knight discussed infrequency in Nelson’s sex life, he told her “that’s like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it.”

    What was either one of them doing discussing their sex life with each other?

    “Knight’s wife, who also worked in the dental office, put her foot down when she discovered the two were texting each other.”

    What was either one of them doing texting each other?

    While the slant on the article is provocative, it appears to not be the whole story. This woman was fired from her job for having an emotional affair with her boss. It takes two to tango, so the fault lies with both of them, who originally instigated the affair is open to debate. If Doctor Knight was grooming Melissa, it was only a matter of time before the affair turned physical.

    What the wife of the wayward spouse did is classic Marriage Builders; get the temptation out of the way. I hope they are working the other side of the program, which teaches how to meet the emotional needs of spouses, which lessens the possibility of an affair.

    The theory of irresistible attraction is a bunch of crap. Where the mind goes, the heart follows, then the physical. Take every thought captive, don’t entertain evil.

  19. Thoughts on other articles:
    1. Crazy. I can’t believe that’s the real, or only, reason she was fired. I’ve got a feeling there is a rebuttal from the Dr., and neither party will end up looking very attractive.

    4. Didn’t listen, but I did read the first chapter of the new book by Young. Looks really good!

    6. Dan Wallace is great. This article is no different.

    7. SO all scientists agree no flood ever happened, except for the very ones he mentions in this very article, but then dismisses because he disagrees? I believe the flood happened. Once again, we will always have trouble scientifically proving a supernatural event.

    8. This is a good read, but I think he goes a bit overboard in making Arminius into a modern evangelical. True, the Remonstrants took his views father than he intended, but I don’t think Arminius would have stated his beliefs at all like the author of this article does.

    9. That’s an interesting thought for real.

  20. 1. I read this story last last week, and the thing that strikes me about it today is this: the dentist went and talked to his pastor, who told him it was OK to let this woman go in this fashion.

    Think about that one minute. Talk about bad pastoral advice! This pastor is an enabler…

    “Its the womans fault!” PFFFT!

    I glad that he finally saw the danger this was causing to his marriage(as his wife worked for him as well).

    This guy does not seem like he saw the danger inherent in his flirting until it was pointed out to him. And his pastor didn’t help this man at all by giving him this as a way out.

  21. jlo’s observation that there is no such thing as irresistible attraction may well be true … but that ‘resisting’ may distract from good job performance … from a practical standpoint i don’t want two people fighting their libido as they hover over my numb, wide open mouth …

  22. I agree with Jlo. They had no business discussing their sex lives or problems in his marriage if there was any attraction at all between them.
    Stupid and unprofessional at best.
    What is equally troubling is that the court upheld it.
    If a wonan had fired a man for the exact same reason, she would have been laughed out of the court. He should have been told to grow up, get some counseling and concentrate on his patients instead of his staff.
    The fact that any pastor would tell some one to make a person loose their job because his congregant chooses to act a prat, is ridiculous.
    Hopefully some dentist with a higher rate of professionalism hired her.

  23. I wish to disagree a bit with Lutheran;
    “As another group reads this and leaves the church not to return.”

    If someone were to leave their church over this issue, I think they were in church for the wrong reason. Let them leave and return when they are called by the gospel.

  24. On one level, #1 ticks me off. But, I do question what the woman was thinking. Why would you exchange personal, even if non sexual, texts with your boss? Weird. Work is work. You shouldn’t be friends with your boss–you should be his employee. Also, if I were in the same situation as that man’s wife, I also would want the woman he’s exchanging texts with gone, and I would be extremely hurt and offended (to say nothing of extremely suspicious of him) if he didn’t do that.

    I also don’t understand what’s up with the guy. Honestly, it’s not that hard to just act professionally at work. Don’t pretend it’s difficult. Just do it. He sounds like a jerk.

    And, if it’s any consolation to the woman he fired, he acted like a jerk and fired her for a jerky reason, and now everybody in the United States knows that James Knight: Dentist – Fort Dodge, Iowa is an immature, chauvinistic jerk who is incapable of acting professionally or of maintaining control over his sexual impulses in an adult-like manner.

  25. #7- now why should i take BROOK WILENSKY-LANFORD’s validation of what science has concluded as the final word on the subject?

    “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up,…
    …..

    “Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.

    “The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters.

    “And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered.

    “The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered.

    “And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man.

    “All in whose nostrils [was] the breath of the spirit [fn] of life, all that [was] on the dry [land], died…”

    was God not able to break up the fountains of the deep? do any of us understand that phrase – really? who says that there was not a time when the dry land looked quite different? scientifically speaking it couldn’t happen they say … i’m not too concerned about that …
    except that little thing about God’s patience giving out in Genesis 6 “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, …..
    “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.
    “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
    …..
    “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” there must be a (non-scientific) reason that God mentioned this … course, if we can prove scientifically that God didn’t drown everyone … well, then i guess we just don’t have to worry

  26. And speaking of chauvinistic jerks…I have zero respect for John Piper. Anybody, man, woman, pastor, or layperson, who tells women to take physical abuse for a night and then report it to her pastor the next day (as opposed to calling the police, filing a report, getting a lawyer, and starting divorce proceedings) is, at their core, a despicable person who deserves nothing but contempt.

  27. J2theperson,
    Amen to your #27. Nobody should take physical abuse subjectively. Not even a man – much…, much less, a woman or a child. The thought of suggesting this just sickens me.

    Regarding #1:

    I have not read the full article, mainly b/c I personally don’t care.

    Although I feel somewhat sorry for her, I have seen the photo of her and fail to find her “irresistibly attractive”.

    After saying that…., If she has no record of this illness/injury of being “irresistibly attractive “ (and therefore unable to work, prior to working for Dr. Knight) I would recommend that she file a “Worker’s Compensation” claim, since it was originated particularly due to her employment, with Dr. Knight.

  28. 1. Read it last week…unbelievable then and still mind boggling. This guy has issues and his pastor gave him bad advice.
    3. Sad, but I really think it won’t be an extinction level event there. Believers will just be on the down low.
    4. Face palm.
    7. Josh has the best comment yet on this.
    9. No. Another face palm.
    10. Ecclesiastes 7:10 always answers it for me when I get to nostalgic. Also, Matthew Henry had some good commentary on that verse.

  29. “L” YEAH….Sugar Bowl Champs!

    GO CARDS

    :)

  30. https://www.odesk.com/

    I hope this helps some folks it allows people to connect with contractors for IT services. I have not fully vetted this site but it seems to be really basic. I E you have a service and you contract with a consumer / business that needs your service. It is contract so it is not traditional. I hope it helps some folks.

  31. Wow. Re your 32, BrianD–what a mealy mouthed excuse for a “clarification”. How hard is it to say it’s absolutely unacceptable for one spouse to hit or otherwise physically assault another spouse, and if it happens the person who was abused should go file a police report and do whatever they need to do to achieve and maintain their safety? If an abused woman has to worry about her motivations, attitude, and spirit while dealing with an abuser, it’s just one more hurdle to overcome in an already difficult situation. She shouldn’t have to worry about whether she has a humble heart as she frees herself from her abuser, and she shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not she cares if her abuser repents. Statistically, we already know that abused women return to their abuser a ridiculous number of times before they leave for good. Why make it harder on a woman to make that break? What a jerk. Piper and the ridiculous mental hoops he has to go through to justify a woman leaving her abusive husband is a prime example of why complementarianism is dangerous, unhealthy, and degrading to women.

  32. I’m with J2 on her comments. Any pastor that would have a woman (or man) put up with physical abuse from a spouse for any amount of time….ridiculous!
    Forgiveness and grace, yes, but from a safe distance. No one should be forced to live with an abuser for one second.

  33. #10…agreed, is pure gold. We talk about “living life together”, but our reality is a cheap imitation. I read something recently that 20-something evangelicals in the 1980’s outnumbered their “no religious” counterparts 2:1. Now, the ratio is 1:2. How difficult it is to persist in the faith without a peer group and how important it is to find an accepting and invigorated group at church.

  34. add another ‘amen’ to #34 … even if it’s a given that a woman can goad a man into such behavior (i believe it is, but doesn’t speak well of the woman’s character either), the reason is not an excuse … if either a man or a woman sees themselves ramping up to violence it is incumbent on them to leave (kind of like the irresistible attraction principle yesterday) …

    IMX, it is a rare pastor that is qualified to counsel on the horizontal – they should stick to their understanding of man and God … IMNSHO …

  35. Sometimes Piper seems to speak in a way that I can only describe as “he’s been reading too much Jonathan Edwards of late”. Not to fault JE, but that Piper comes off as somewhat obscure and verbose in some of his statements.
    Perhaps Piper is thinking of a specific instance of abuse that he is aware of, where this advice would apply?
    His attempts to tell a woman that its OK to call the police if she’s being abused fall short of clear pastoral advice: If a woman is being abused, law enforcement needs to get involved. Period. End of story.

  36. Perry Noble and NewSpring Church Settle Lawsuit Over Church’s Harrassment of Blogger and His Family:

    http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/2013/01/perry-noble-and-newspring-church-settle.html

  37. if i were to counsel a woman :roll: it would be drilled into her head going into marriage that, at the first sign of physical violence, put the man on notice, “you won’t get a second chance” … but, you know … that said, i had a good friend in my youth … she was a fellow Christian with a good heart, but the ingrained stubbornness of an only child who was used to being solicited to … she married a Lutheran fellow who finally put her over his knee and spanked her … her parents were outraged and made the fellow swear to never do that again … but the end result was a good marriage of give and take that has lasted over 50 years … if she had picked up the phone and called 911 the outcome might have been quite different … perhaps Piper sees it from this angle? … the sociology of today’s world brings two good people into marriage with much more complicated expectations – wiser in some ways, but many, many more shadings – it sometimes seems that there are no black and white issues anymore

  38. Nope, I can’t approve of spousal abuse, even if it was only one time and they went on to have a long and supposedly good marriage. If she was basically a nice, good-hearted person, then there is no reason why the problems in their marriage couldn’t have been solved via non-violent means.

    Plus, that’s what dating is for–so you get to know someone and figure out if you and they are suited for each other. If you have to spank them to somehow make the marriage work, then maybe you shouldn’t marry them in the first place.

  39. “I’m with J2 on her comments. Any pastor that would have a woman (or man) put up with physical abuse from a spouse for any amount of time….ridiculous!
    Forgiveness and grace, yes, but from a safe distance. No one should be forced to live with an abuser for one second.”

    Yup

  40. j2, i knew this couple pretty well and i’m not saying that what he did was right, i wasn’t privy to the argument that precipitated the good Lutheran boy spanking his bride ala “Taming of the Shrew” – i do know that he was never an abusive or short tempered man and the two of them did outstandingly well raising a terrific family … if she, in her snit had picked up the phone and called the police it likely would have destroyed what was an outstanding home and family from ever happening … if Piper is thinking along those lines, then i can agree with him … HOWEVER, that said, with all the violence today he should not have made his thinking public – too many insecure men would see his words as a green light to muscle their wives into a state of mindless submission – as to the engagement period sorting out potentials for abuse, you are correct – too many young people aren’t well equipped to understand and use that tool – perhaps your generation will raise wiser children smile:

  41. and i need new glasses :smile:

  42. extreme Jealousy is the first clue that physical abuse is not far behind and this goes for male or female

  43. As part of the discussion here was talking about domestic abuse, I thought this 4 minute video would be appropriate:
    **TRIGGER WARNING***
    From the comfort women who suffered sexual slavery during the Japanese occupation to domestic workers subjected to assault and isolation by their employers, to systemic causes of intimate partner abuse, the Philippines has had enough of violence against women. Watch as they RISE in this short film for ONE BILLION RISING, a campaign by V-Day culminating on Feb. 14, 2013 with a billion people strikingand dancing in the streets to oppose violence against women.

    ONE BILLION WOMEN VIOLATED IS AN ATROCITY
    ONE BILLION WOMEN DANCING IS A REVOLUTION.

    http://onebilionrising.org

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