Jun 102014
 

links_image1Ergun Caner is the worst person in the Christian world this week…maybe.

No, it’s Driscoll…maybe next week, Ergun.

On Pentecost…

Nate Phelps details abuse of father Fred…

How Americans view the Bible…

Should Christians listen to the messages of fallen pastors?

Evangelical views on homosexuality and sin…

N.T. Wrights creation model: Adam and Eve were chosen hominids...

Can Christian music be real rock and roll?

Is Bergdahl a prodigal son?

Sorting out the options on hell…

What is ‘relational” Christianity?

The chair of great authority…highly recommended, HT Bill Kinnon

The dangers of theological controversy…

4 questions to ask before joining a church…

Rick Reilly’s last column for ESPN…worth a read.

Majority of religious groups for immigration reform…except white evangelicals.

  145 Responses to “LINKS”

  1. The Bible is literal when it is speaking literally, and figurative when it is speaking figuritively. Most of these place are pretty obvious, but we make sure to get really annoyed with each other over the places that are not.

    I personally like the places where the Bible is speaking literally, but God is speaking figuratively. Some of His best work. 🙂

  2. I do not equate Luther and Calvin as being fallen with today’s pastors. To impose contemporary value sets on past leaders is careless. In context their offenses were hardly the moral equivalents to which they are being compared. IMO

  3. One of the reasons it was important for CCFTL to tell the whole story about Coy’s dismissal is their seemingly kneejerk removal of all teachings did not match with the outward narrative those first few days. Now of course it makes more sense.

    What is not stated in that article is that the messages legally belong to the church. I understand why a church would remove the teachings they own, and yet I can’t argue with anyone who can still listen and benefit from the teaching of God’s word, despite the sinful human vessel that delivers the teaching.

    We are going to make an official procedure, discussed, crafted and voted on by the Board, in the event, God forbid, something happened at our church that disqualified me – since all my messages through the Bible are online for free. I am thinking along the lines of a short period of time where those who so desire may download any and all messages and then the church permanently removes them from the church website. Whatever we finally decide together, it is important to have a plan BEFORE the controversy hits, so as not to add more problems to the controversy (as CCFTL did if you will recall).

  4. I understood Michael’s question, “Should Christians listen to the messages of fallen Pastors?” to be more in the category of the church’s response to a fallen Pastor than a legal issue over rights to the messages. If I’m on track, then my response to the article is that David isn’t a good example as he was a King and not a Priest. I believe that the role of a Pastor carries a stricter judgment on these issues. If I’m missing the question, then I will leave this discussion to those who seem to feel the need to be “all knowing” about all things CC and the function of their procedures.

  5. Babylon’s Dread @ # 2,
    I think it’s also a mistake to try and import the ethos and value systems en toto from past leaders as strictly binding for today.

  6. I get to meet David Barton this week…any messages you want me to pass on to him? LOL

  7. Ricky Bobby,
    Yeah, ask him if he likes to fish for crappies, and if so, what the best batter recipe is for the fillets, and what the best out-on-the-patio propane deep fryer is to cook em’ with.

  8. RB,

    A gesture will suffice… 🙂

  9. The dialog between faith and science is of great interest to me. I’ve studied some of these subjects. I work in the health care field and every class is a miniature presentation of evolution. It is the core of the curriculum.

    Relating Darwin to one of the essential tenets of our faith, that “through one man sin entered the world” is an important topic.

    For example, Romans 5: 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

    It seems like Adam and Genesis is one of the bedrocks of our faith. It is the start of an arc that concludes on the cross. No doubts about the conclusion, but the beginning is not as clear, at least to me.

    Certainly a topic that I’ve looked for more answers on. My faith is based, in a large part, on my personal experiences and revelations. So I’m not teetering on the edge, but still I have questions.

  10. I do need to correct the superintendent of the AoG…Calvin was not responsible for the execution of Servetus.

    In any case, the power of preaching has never been subject to the holiness of the preacher.

  11. It’s only Tuesday morning and I’m already totally burned out on here…time for a break.

  12. From where I’m sitting, it’s Tuesday afternoon… it doesn’t get any better. 😉

  13. Covered, my response was directed to the article. Considering a big picture of Bob Coy pops up in the article, and considering there was a firestorm of controversy in the early days with that church very divided over the decision of the church to remove the messages (before CCFTL explained the whole story)

    The article asks the question about whether people should listen to fallen pastors…but the unasked but relevant subquestion is if the church should continue to make those messages available as things were before the removal of the pastor.

    Just trying to make a contribution….

  14. J.U.,

    Wrights idea is fascinating and plausible …except for the fact that Genesis says Adam and Eve were the first created beings.
    Can’t get around that…

  15. Mike, I’ll tell him you said he’s number 1 LOL.

  16. Michael, No you can’t. But, at least to me, that’s the greatest conflict between faith and science. And I don’t want to see any conflict between these two, since I think they have both proven their worth time and time again.

  17. Michael said, “except for the fact that Genesis says Adam and Eve were the first created beings.”

    No, it does not literally say that in Genesis.

    It says God created mankind on Day 6….”them”…male and female and plural “mankind” and “them”….many humans.

    26 Then God said, “Let us make man[h] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

    27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.
    28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

    2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

    ______________________

    What the bible literally says is that God created “mankind” on the sixth day…he created “them”…plural. Then God rested on the 7th day. Then after his rest God created Adam and Eve….the first intelligent man and put him in the garden where he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (all of this is metaphor for Adam and Eve being the first intelligent more evolved humans in the line of the Hebrew race).

    Genesis is a very crude metaphorical description of the evolutionary process.

    Mankind was already around before Adam…verifiably so, we see it in spades, overwhelming evidence in archeology. Adam was simply the first intelligent man in the line of the Hebrew race…and all humans became intelligent in a very tight and consistent time frame called First Recorded Human History (man began to speak language and form words and write and design sophisticated metal tools and instruments and create a societal structure etc). Humans were already on the earth during the time of Adam…Cain gets banished to the Land of Nod where there is already civilization, already humans who had formed a society and a city.

  18. RB,

    Highly debatable.

    I think Gen 2: 5-23 is the commentary on Gen 1:27

  19. Too vague Michael. “land” is too generic and probably a reference to the garden of eden which is also symbolic.

    Do you deny there was a whole planet beyond the garden of eden that was created along with the garden of eden?

  20. (before CCFTL explained the whole story)
    __________________________________________________________________

    Steve, maybe I missed it but I don’t remember hearing the WHOLE story. I heard Coy confessed to a moral failure and resigned. That was about it. It seems everything was shoved under the rug in complete shame. That is far from complete in my estimation. I hope eventually the whole story does come out. Possible it will be Bob Coy himself who tells it.

  21. RB,

    Gen 5:23 is pretty explicit in stating that Adam was the first man and Eve was very certainly the first woman created.
    Now…could this be myth and metaphor that points to a greater truth?
    Possible.
    I’m not convinced, but I’m willing to hear out the N.T. Wrights of the world soberly.

  22. But, I won’t belabor the point. There are some interesting theories out there that tend to look at the literal text of Genesis and compare it to the Archeological record that we possess and the what we can observe through science…and remarkably…there are some theories that tend to harmonize the two…whereas the current typical Christian theory is in stark contrast to the archeological tangible record we have.

    That’s may last comment on that issue as I now believe it is fine to conform to a particular group’s rules as an outsider attempting to dialogue with the particular group.

  23. RB,

    I think questions like you posed add to the conversation when you don’t belabor the point.
    We need to think on these things.
    Thanks for working with us.

  24. Michael, question about N.T. Wright’s book on the Psalms. Am I correct that it is more of a discussion about the history, purpose etc. of the Psalms themselves and less an expository study of the 150 individual psalms.

    I am looking for more of the former, and not expositional commentaries, I know you have the book and were blessed by it.

    Thanks.

  25. Andrew,

    I’m convinced that if they didn’t know I was willing to post documented proof of Coy’s issues that we still wouldn’t know.
    It got ugly behind the scenes here.

  26. Michael, I believe you that is why I am not for a moment believing the general public has been told the WHOLE story.

  27. Steve,

    It’s a book about integrating the purpose and theology of the Psalms into our lives.
    I loved it.
    You won’t…at least most of it.

  28. Andrew,

    I don’t think we need to know the whole story.
    We know enough to know he should be out of the ministry…and he is.

  29. I am confused. The details of Coy’s affairs etc are really no one’s business and he owes no explanation to anyone since he resigned.

    Coy resigned / was fired / quit under pressure whatever – but the church is under no obligation to divulge details … in fact it may be illegal.

    The problem is, most Christians are no better than the average reader of the Enquirer

  30. Andrew, maybe “whole story” was a poor choice of words. I was referencing the difference between the vague days immediately following the announcement and the clear message delivered at the midweek service about (if memory serves) 10 days later.

    During those days, there was a ton of controversy about the removal of the messages from the website, I content because too many people did not know (or believe Michael and Alex’s reporting) about the truth of the charges behind the removal.

  31. It’s a book about integrating the purpose and theology of the Psalms into our lives.
    ——————————————————-
    That’s a big part of what I am seeking. This is prep for the class I am teaching.

  32. MLD,

    The only thing that stops guys like Coy from simply moving a mile down the street and splitting their former church is enough disclosure to convince people that his removal was righteous.

  33. Steve,

    The book is interlaced with Wrights eschatological and ecclesiastical theology.
    That would be the last class you ever taught at CCBC.

  34. That would be the last class you ever taught at CCBC.
    ————————————————-
    I wasn’t going to make it the textbook. 😉

  35. I am not suggesting that we need to know the WHOLE story about Coy. I’m also convinced we will never know the full story without Coy telling it with corroboration from others. I do pray for the best for Coy and I hope he repents and eventually gets well and tells the world his story. If he ever does, I am 100% sure his theology will probably change for him to make sense of his life. That could potentially be a very good thing if that ever happens.

  36. Steve,

    I love the book…and everything Bruce Waltke did on the Psalms as well.
    If I were prepping for that kind of a class, both would be indispensable.

  37. Michael,
    I guess tar and feathers might serve that purpose.

    I think ‘outsiders’ have no business demanding more. Everyone should know by now why Coy was removed – the staff left no doubt why, and details add nothing. He had an affair … does it matter one woman or ten?

    He is out and gone – done deal – everyone needs to get a life.

  38. From the How Americans View the Bible link, a large percentage said they believed the Bible is the inspired word of God and *every word* should be taken literally. Sorry, but no one actually believes this unless they think God is a Hen and that he throws his shoes at the nation of Edom.

    These people have confused the word “literal” with the word “true.” What they meant to say was that they believe every word of the Bible is true. I suspect they are thinking of the creation story in Genesis which many people (me included) do take literally. They are afraid to move too far from the word “literal.”

  39. I prefer the “literal, historical, grammatical” label when discussing Bible interpretation. Rather than move away from the literal label, we clarify it to recognize the historical and grammatical contexts of the literature.

  40. I agree that outsiders (that’s all of us here on the PhxP) don’t need to know any details about Mr. Coy. The insiders (that’s not us) knew all they needed to know to make a proper decision.

  41. Andrew, are you really hoping that Mr. Coy reveals all the details about his sin? Maybe write a book where he names names and ruins even more lives? What purpose could this serve other than to satisfy a desire to know salacious details of sin? Do you want to know who, where, and how many times? Do you want to know exactly what they did? Better ask yourself why you want to know this stuff.

  42. Former Dodger Bob Welch has died.

  43. The Four Questions were awesome, awesomer, awesomer-still, and awesomest.

  44. I am not a fan of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, however, I do agree with the following statement in Article XVIII:

    “WE AFFIRM that the text of Scripture is to be interpreted by grammatico-historical exegesis, taking account of its literary forms and devices, and that Scripture is to interpret Scripture.”

    Some scholars see Genesis 2-3 as containing temple imagery, others as wisdom literature, others as an Israelite retrojection of its story, still others as a polemic against other ANE surrounding cultures, and still others as a literal historical account of human origins and the origin of sin. It may also contain elements of more than one of the foregoing.

    Whatever your current view, I think it’s worth studying these different perspectives, because if we only read it from our 21st century worldview and/or impose upon the texts questions we want answers to, then we might actually miss the questions the author was answering and in the process miss an important theological truth which God inspired through the author.

  45. Jean,

    That was your best comment ever.
    Because I agree with it. 🙂

  46. Well, Michael, now you’ve got me questioning myself 🙂

  47. “Mankind was already around before Adam…verifiably so, we see it in spades, overwhelming evidence in archeology”

    This would require death before Adam’s sin; biblically death entered the world because of Adam’s sin and as federal affected everything else (Romans 8:20-22).

    Also death before sin seems would be an attack on the character of God because everything he created was “very good”. Death and disease is not “very good”, nor are tsunamis…these things entered through the sin of one man, Adam.

    Wouldn’t this also jeopardize the connection between the first Adam and the second Adam? “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive”.

    Also many other scriptures would end up being errant or in need of reinterpretation.

    Just some thoughts.

  48. Jean,

    As well you should be… 🙂

  49. One of the top ten or so memories of every Dodger fan (except Reggie got the best of us later in the series).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26fRnCj4SYQ

  50. @ Michael & Ricky Bobby regarding origins,

    If I had to have a label or be assigned a general vicinity on the Christian continuum, then I’m a progressive. And yet here’s the kicker:

    I reject the evolutionary paradigm whether it’s atheistic Darwinism or the Theistic version–wildly popular amongst most progressives–and I now opt for special creation. Go figure as they say in present day parlance.

  51. Q, right! I know that creationists like Ken Ham say evolution cannot be true because it has death before Adam. I don’t know about the plant and animal world but if there were human deaths before Adam, then nothing else in the Bible really makes any sense, does it? Christian theology is centered around Adam’s fall and the entrance of death into the world. That is why humankind needed a savior, to rescue us from death. If everyone was already dying, it makes no sense. Is NT Wright saying that all those pre-Adam hominids were dying but Adam and Eve were a special case and He had intended for these two special people to live forever except they sinned and then they, too died?

  52. Q, depends on the context and what “death” is referring to…spiritual vs. physical.

    Physical death isn’t necessarily evil, like the seasons of things and the one animal or plant dying as food for another in the food chain etc.

    If you look at it as two different Groups….Pre-Adam/Pre-Human Intelligence humans and then Adam as Intelligent Man in the line of the Hebrews in the same time period as other Intelligent Man comes on the scene in a variety of cultures and people groups…we see all people groups becoming “intelligent” at the same time.

    Language is a big tell. We have evidence of humans before intelligence who didn’t have a written language or much sophistication…then we have a very defined period in history where Adam and many other adams in a all races, groups etc become intelligent and then we have lots of evidence of that intelligence in metallurgy (which Genesis refers to) and art/music and written and spoken language etc.

  53. It seems to make a lot more sense that the creation narrative (which closely mirrors the order of evolution) is a two part narrative…one general narrative that tells the big truths of a creator and a process of creation…then a more specific and metaphorical narrative that establishes the Hebrew race and line of Jesus through Adam, the first intelligent man in the line of what would be the Hebrews.

    “Man” can be a label for pre-intelligent humans and then later “man” is post-intelligent humans…and humans with a soul and “knowledge of good and evil” would be humans that had finally evolved to a state of sentience and free will…and a different “man” in that sense than mankind that preceded it.

  54. It’s interesting that in the story of Adam and Eve, death does not immediately follow the transgression per the warning from God (Gen 2:17). This might alert us to dig deeper.

    Here’s what Calvin thought:

    “But it is asked, what kind of death God means in this place? It appears to me, that the definition of this death is to be sought from its opposite; we must, I say, remember from what kind of life man fell. He was, in every respect, happy; his life, therefore, had alike respect to his body and his soul, since in his soul a right judgment and a proper government of the affections prevailed, there also life reigned; in his body there was no defect, wherefore he was wholly free from death. His earthly life truly would have been temporal; yet he would have passed into heaven without death, and without injury. Death, therefore, is now a terror to us; first, because there is a kind of annihilation, as it respects the body; then, because the soul feels the curse of God. We must also see what is the cause of death, namely alienation from God. Thence it follows, that under the name of death is comprehended all those miseries in which Adam involved himself by his defection; for as soon as he revolted from God, the fountain of life, he was cast down from his former state, in order that he might perceive the life of man without God to be wretched and lost, and therefore differing nothing from death. Hence the condition of man after his sin is not improperly called both the privation of life, and death.”

    Thus, apparently Calvin did not believe that Adam was created immortal in the way we think about immortality and Calvin was fully aware of Paul’s writings. It makes me wonder if some of the current literalistic approaches to origins in Genesis arose in the past couple hundred years in response to the Enlightenment and Darwinism.

  55. Four questions I would ask before joining a Church:

    1. Is it a canonical Orthodox Church?
    2. How close is it to my house?
    3. What language is used?
    4. Mediterranean or Slavic? (Olive oil and wine or butter and beer?)

    The only one that really matters is #1
    Number 2 would determine how many services I would be able to attend,
    3 and 4 don’t really matter at all. I have some personal preferences based on style but they aren’t important. Everything being equal I would tend to gravitate towards a Slavic parish because of a personal fondness for Russian culture.

  56. My four questions would be
    1) how close can I sit to the door?
    2) does anyone flop around and make crazy noises
    3) am I going to learn something new or isit same old stories I’ve always heard?
    4) where will I be able to find a place to participate?

  57. That Iraq report is terrible.
    I have been in and around Mosul a lot during my last deployment.
    Sad to hear.
    We need to continue to pray for the Chaldean Christians.

  58. Here is the oldest monastery in Iraq, St. Elijah’s Monastery. It was inside of Forward Operating Base Marez which we were at quite a bit.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dair_Mar_Elia

  59. Derek, that monastery is older than the entire religion of Islam.

  60. Jean @ # 56,

    From what I read, Calvin proceeds–as does Luther & a whole panoply of exegetes and theologians who followed–from the presupposition of an angry Deity at the fall, one who had to exact some kind of penalty from his humans, as if all the human misery and suffering caused by the domino effect of the fall are not enough.

    Around the turn of the century I could no longer in good conscience accept as a given the concept of an angry God at the fall, one who was pissed off enough to dish out death and dissolution to his beautiful kids in order to satisfy his lust for punishment. But rather, God as a horrified father who saw them make an honest mistake as opposed to blatant rebellion.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing to read the writings of Augustine and all who followed, but for me personally, I now reserve the right to use my own conscience and my own critical thinking skills as applied to Holy Writ, to either sign onto or reject what its exegetes say, and to decide for myself what I believe concerning Scripture.

  61. Xenia,

    I think that is what N T Wright is saying that death occurred before the fall, not sure on his thinking of the immortality of Adam and Eve.

    He speaks and writes with flare but I think he uses many words to obfuscate (complicate) things, therefore making his ideas possible. I do not agree with a lot of what I know of his teachings.

  62. Jean,

    I not sure about the immortality of Adam and Eve…The tree of life was for something, it would take more study to come to a firm conviction.

    I do not have a problem with new responses from the church or theologies being newer per se, some times issues are not addressed until needed.

    Saying the pre-trib rapture is not true because it is a newer idea seems dumb to me, or believing something because a church father did seems equally unreasonable.

    Not saying that is what you are doing.

    What does the bible say sounds reasonable.

  63. The first time in Iraq, I was based in Najaf in southern Iraq. Never saw any evidence of Christians there. Pretty much exclusively Shia and a few Sunni.
    Second deployment was in norhtern Iraq and a lot in the Kurdish areas. A lot more evidence of Christians there.
    Somehow, I feel there are probably a lot less than when I was there now though.

  64. Ricky Bobby,

    I believe the biblical narrative, God created man very intelligent, Man (Adam) sinned, death
    spiritually entered and eventual physically (dying you shall die). Death entered through sin, and God subjected the rest of creation to frustration so man would not loose preeminence.

    I am one of the ‘simpletons’ that believes the flood explains much. Maybe it is just childlike faith.

    God’s remedy is faith in Christ’s abundant provision (Romans 5:17).

  65. Muff and Q, I was not endorsing Calvin’s interpretation. I didn’t give my view. The purpose of the quote was primarily to demonstrate that there has been a diversity of interpretations of Genesis 1-2 for a long history of the church.

    I agree that what the Bible says is of paramount importance. However, hearing what the Bible says is sometimes more involved than simply reading the text from my personal perspective and worldview.

    There are strengths and weaknesses in some of the modern church movements. One of the weaknesses I see in some parts of evangelicalism and some of these mega-church outfits is that they’ve forsaken historical church teaching and traditions and have remade Christianity in a sort of American style, capitalistic (or as Wright might say, Darwinian) type of Christianity, where leaders don’t recognize themselves as standing on the shoulders of those who came before, but who instead believe that they have recovered what they believe to be a more pure Christianity. Those who don’t belong to their movement are either substandard or perhaps not legitimate Christians. Members of the movements are so shallow in their theology that they often resemble a cult.

    I read a lot of different views and participate in blogs like this because I don’t want tunnel vision and I learn a lot even from people who I do not always or often agree with.

  66. Derek, in 2009 there were 35 registered Evangelical Christian Churches in Iraq including Baghdad and Mosul. This does not include underground churches. Now there are less than 15 throughout Iraq and many of them are leaving. When the U.S. pulled out of Iraq, it became a “sport” to kill or run pastor’s and their families out of town. There are a couple churches thriving in Baghdad but the pastor’s and their families are threatened daily. You are correct in saying most Christian churches are in the north primarily in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah. Mosul has a couple of churches but there’s a question how much longer they can survive given the current conditions.

    Our media won’t report the atrocities that are happening to the churches and pastor’s over there. It is very sad.

  67. I wish I had been able to interact more on my second deployment, but we were tasked with convoy escort and it was pretty much escort and provide security from base to base. I spent months on the road at a time sleeping at a different base every night. Also, by that time in the war, we had an agreement with the Iraqi government to do our missions exclusively by night, when there was pretty much a travel curfew.
    The reason I could tell a more Christian presence in the north was that I actually saw crosses quite a bit on the second deployment.
    I can’t remember seeing any in Babil and Najaf provinces where we mainly did our missions in 2005.
    The first deployment was a lot better, a lot of our missions involved interaction.

  68. Jean,

    Good points.

    “I don’t want tunnel vision and I learn a lot even from people who I do not always or often agree with.”

    Agree. I do not want tunnel vision either.

    Cults or cult like organizations don’t mind people having tunnel vision!

  69. Agreeing with X’s #38.
    I think it is a case of people mistaking “literal” for “truthful”.
    Most people can read and are able to tell the difference in writing when someone is speaking literally, figuratively or metaphorically.
    There is only a small segment of the population that is unable to tell the difference.
    I know a few people on the autism spectrum that have trouble there.
    But, by and large most people can tell the difference.
    I would be interested to see a poll that phrases the questions a bit better.

  70. Derek, thank you for your service. The Iraqi people are for the most part very special. They also love Americans in spite of what the media says. My first time there was in 2009 and l fell in love with the people and the food!

    When I was there again in 2012, a small group of pastor’s came across the border from Iran to meet with us and that was special. There has been some amazing things happening in Iran and churches are popping up in some peculiar places.

  71. Q, here’s another observation I see in some of these movements:

    Some pastors know that for some bible issues, there is a diversity of legitimate interpretations or that there is some measure of mystery in the interpretation, but they don’t trust their members to chew on them and mature, so they simplify the matter and give them an simple answer. In some cases it’s like keeping them on milk when they should be discipling them onto solid food. In other cases, they give them a doctrine as final, which, while not settled or even speculative, is expedient for church membership or other profane purposes.

  72. Jean @ # 69,
    Point well taken, I never meant to imply that you endorse Calvin’s ideas.

    Q @ # 68,
    I too believe in a global and catastrophic flood, contrary to many of my progressive peers who insist that geological uniformitarianism argues against any such global event.
    You might enjoy this link, it gives new meaning to the Biblical narrative of the Almighty breaking up the fountains of the deep by supernatural means:

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/mar/12/rough-diamond-water-earth-wet-zone

  73. Should Christians listen to the messages of fallen pastors?

    We read Bible stories full of fallen leaders.

  74. Jean, agreed.

    I prefer to cover other views, and what my particular take is and why, even though they may not be completely grasped there is an awareness to the different thoughts which can be built on and will not come as a surprise later.

  75. Muff Potter,

    Thanks for the article, maybe that is where the excess waters receded to.

  76. G. I was serious.
    LoL

  77. You know what I would love to see some sensible immigration reform, but right now I just have to say no.
    It appears that this administration has given up on ANY enforcement. They let murderers and rapists from foreign nations back out onto our streets.
    They seem to have some kind of camps set up with children.
    They are dumping illegal immigrants en masse in cities in the Southwest.

    It seems to me that they are trying to create a crisis they can come along and solve.
    This administration constantly feels like they are trying to manipulate the American people and I don’t like that.
    Something smells fishy here.
    I can’t support them ’cause they have given me no reasons to trust them and every reason to feel they think I am a rube who can be manipulated.

    There is a way to balance security and reform, but you can’t do that by reducing security to almost nil.
    People will be people and they don’t like the idea of this uncontrolled mess this administration has created.
    This is going to come back and bite somebody in the posterior.
    The bad thing is it will probably be the poor immigrant who actually gets bit.

  78. Xenia @ 41

    You misunderstood me. I don’t want to know any salacious details of Mr. Coy’s moral failures. I am more interested in hearing his story of his personal faith and how he got to this point of failure. This isn’t about naming names but possibly about rethinking old beliefs are are not biblical. Coy is not alone in his failure with big name leaders but I think many are catching on that something is seriously wrong. The problem seems to be with American evangelicalism of which Coy was a poster boy of. Coy’s moral failures are serious but I am wondering if possible false teaching accompanying the failure maybe just as serious. Everybody is looking at this as simply a moral failure but I am not convinced that gets at the root.

  79. I am more interested in hearing his story of his personal faith and how he got to this point of failure.<<<

    Ah, my mistake, forgive me.

    I agree, this would be beneficial.

  80. Xenia, no worries. I am thinking of becoming Lutheran and leaving American Evangelicalism and this story is helping me see the truth more clearly. I see Bob Coy as a victim of the American evangelicalism pop culture. I can’t help think that contributed to his problem.

  81. Derek,

    This administration has deported more people than the the previous three combined.
    The size of the Border Patrol has exploded and an insane amount of money has been spent on border security.
    The issue right now is that there is little mainstream truth being told because it is such an easy political football to throw.
    Obama has been an absolute disaster for those of us hoping for true reform and recognition of the issues in Mexico and Central America.

  82. It would be impossible to overstate the significance of Cantor’s stunning primary defeat tonight. Political earthquake as a term gets tossed around too much but this race does qualify. The next few weeks are going to be fascinating.

  83. Derek,

    You’re right…it is the immigrant and the poor in Mexico and Central America that will be the victims.

  84. I don’t know a thing about the guy but I offer this FWIW:

    His academic background isn’t all economics, though. Brat got a business degree from Hope College in Holland, Mich., then went to Princeton seminary. Before deciding to focus on economics, he wanted to be a professor of systematic theology and cites John Calvin, Karl Barth, and Reinhold Niebuhr as influences.

    And he says his religious background informs his views on economics. “I’ve always found it amazing how we have the grand swath of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and we lost moral arguments on the major issue of our day,” he says, referring to fiscal-policy issues.

  85. I’ll pray for whoever opposes him.
    I can assure you that Calvins social theory looked nothing like his.

  86. Steve, I would be interested in a biblical perspective on national fiscal policy. Do you have view or a book to recommend?

  87. Jean,

    Do you really believe such a thing could legitimately exist?

  88. Jean, I think the BIble is pretty clear. I am not being flippant either. If someone wanted other reading I would read the political philosophers that founded this nation.

    I think his quote you are referencing (that I cited) was mostly about the immorality of the debt we are passing onto future generations which both political parties have been equally guilty of, including the guy he just defeated.

  89. Michael, I know the bible doesn’t explicitly address every modern issue we face, like human cloning or in vitro fertilization, but I always go to the bible first to see if I can find relevant principles to apply, and it’s usually there.

  90. Steve, Proverbs does teach that the borrower is the servant of the lender. Not pretty when you consider who the lender is.

  91. Jean,

    You have to understand that as a social liberal/biblical conservative I’ve had to endure the slings and arrows of those who believe Jesus was a Republican and twenty years of my tribe trying to convince people that Calvin would have founded the religious right.

    It has been less than fun.

  92. Michael, we get along fine. I abhor the syncretistic religion evangelicals have created with the Republican and, now in some cases with, the Tea Party. I’m not very good at labeling myself so I’ll pass on that, but I’m definitely your neighbor.

  93. I think Cantor’s defeat is good for 2 reasons – and i could not tell you a single program that Cantor was for or against.
    1.) Term limits at work – we have no need for legislation.
    2.) It makes us realize that politicians come and politicians go – and we get along fine

    You know, it’s like trying to remember who won the World Series in 2012 – hey it was the biggest event happening that day and no one remembers and no one cares.

    I just looked him up – he has been in office since 2001 and we still don’t live in any kind of golden age – so why the tears?

  94. Check out this Oregon wedding during a forest fire. The photos are very unusual as a result…
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/incredible-wildfire-wedding-photos

  95. Ralph Kiner played baseball for 10 years – something like 1946 – 1955 – and led the league in home runs 7 of those years. He was making something like $30,000 and went to Branch Rickey for a raise … which Rickey wouldn’t give him. He reminded Ricky that he had led the league in home runs all those years. Branch Rickey said, “let me ask you this – what place are we in?” Kiner replied “Last place”. Branch Rickey said “well, I can finish in last place without you.

    Well, that’s where we are and we can do just a bad politically without Eric Cantor.

    And I will assume that he was a good guy, but we don’t need him.

  96. Jean,

    We are a minority here, so it’s good to have some company. 🙂

  97. Michael,

    The term you use, “social liberal”, sounds like you believe Jesus came to unite the brotherhood of man on political level.

    The bible is clear that in the interim, he came to cause division, some would be for him some against.

    He would even divide families.

  98. Q,

    “The term you use, “social liberal”, sounds like you believe Jesus came to unite the brotherhood of man on political level.”

    That’s an interesting definition of the term.
    It has nothing whatsoever to do with what I believe.

  99. I’m not a republican or tea party so no ax to grind on that.

  100. “That’s an interesting definition of the term.
    It has nothing whatsoever to do with what I believe.”

    What do you mean?

  101. Q,

    I mean that you imputed something to me that has nothing to do with what it means to me to be a social liberal.

  102. Michael @ # 95,
    I hear ya, you’re not alone. When those in your own camp look at you with a jaundiced eye for not toeing the party line on everything, it can get dicey at times.

  103. Muff,

    I’ve learned to keep it off the blog…but I’m pretty loud at home.
    Trey learned to cuss watching me yell at Fox News… 🙂

  104. Michael,

    I’m asking what social liberal means to you so I can understand.

    Don’t be coy. 🙂 sorry.

  105. Q,

    I don’t like labels, but it basically means that on what most consider social issues I would be a liberal.
    I’m a huge advocate of immigration reform, a huge advocate for immigrants, support health care and poverty programs and I’m generally anti-war.
    I think the Bible speaks much about caring for aliens, the poor, the sick, and the oppressed, and very little about national fiscal policy.
    It’s pretty irrelevant politically because I also believe that we are living under an oligarchy and the only thing the Bible would say about us at this point is that we are a beast empire.

    Thankfully, I’m leaving town tomorrow. 😉

  106. I think I agree with all those things in your first paragraph, except we are not Israel, so some of that does not fit USA…different hermeneutics I suppose.

    I think all empires are ‘beast’ empires (under the control of Satan), until Jesus returns, so where ever your “leaving” to, won’t help.

    But you could get refreshed…I do on breaks.

  107. MLD, who do you think is crying at his defeat? (Other than the usual suspects)

    The only downside I see is Boehner is probably going to stick around at Speaker now since he can’t turn it over to Cantor in a few months.

    It would be nice if the Democrats were ever willing to vote one of their entrenched guys out. At least the GOP has been doing so for the last few years. I’m talking trading liberal for liberal but just to get new blood into D.C.

    The only one I can recall is Lieberman a few years back (who just ran as an independent and won anyway). Fortunately, VA has a “loser law” which does not allow for Cantor to run as an independent.

    Senator Cochran is next in 2 weeks. 🙂

    (and as you know, here in CA they are just recycling the dinosaurs like Brown)

  108. “here in CA they are just recycling the dinosaurs”

    California is always first, how big is the container and how do you get it to the street? 🙂

  109. I had about a five page post but decided I wish not to argue with people I care about. It does no real good. To those of us that hold to the aspect that the evidence across many scientific disciplines that support the validity of the ToE. We, or at least myself, are not being dishonest or seeking to find an excuse to continue to sin or involved on some type of Romans 1 conspiracy. I would invite people to go view the biologos website. Thank You have a nice night.

  110. Things I am grateful for, being able to mute live video meetings of city council members when you cant do that in the real movie. They really do sound very intelligent on mute.

  111. There is something entirely wrong I think with the whole PNW. Why is Wenatchee The Hatchet still brooding over a personnel decision that transpired in 2007? Really? 7 yrs ago and no one will let it go?

    Are we talking small bored lives here? We are talking a time before the great economic crash, before TARP, Bush was still President – I mean this was a time that Grady Little was still managing the Dodgers – and we have gotten over that.

    Come on, deep breath, this is 2014 … or was that a Throwback Tuesday article?

  112. ” think the Bible speaks much about caring for aliens, the poor, the sick, and the oppressed, and very little about national fiscal policy.”

    And in spite of him being a “Calvinist,” that statement is why I like Michael and much of what he publishes on this sight.

    That single paragraph spell out what it means to be, “a son of Abraham!”

    “Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

  113. MLD,

    We’re talking about establishing a timeline and behaviors that effect (and are being lied about) today.

  114. Q, I have no doubt you are sincere in your belief in the typical evangelical Genesis narrative. Unfortunately, the tangible evidence we can and do observe in archeology and the historical tangible record doesn’t affirm you position…which causes some to rethink the consensus evangelical interpretations of Genesis.

  115. Glad to see the Tea Party chipping away at the Establishment.

    We are the Minority Position now…so we need to assume the role of the very vocal and very disruptive Minority.

    We’re a Republic, not a Democracy.

  116. The Tea Party is no different than any other party. Once they gain some sense of power and influence, their only goal will be to continue in power and the voice of their constituents will fade away.

    Just remember – if voting mattered, they wouldn’t let us do it. 🙂

  117. MLD, agree.

  118. Yes, that is the nature of man and the nature of politics. Very predictable…very observable and quantifiable…as consistent as Gravity.

  119. London,
    I knew you were

  120. RB, you’re sounding very erudite this morning. Good cup of coffee?

  121. Jean, LOL, always a good cup of coffee 🙂

    Actually, I’ve just finally settled a philosophical issue I’ve been wrestling with for a long time regarding Groups, Group Dynamics, Conformity, Control, Dissent, etc.

    Unfortunately for Michael, this was one of the primary Groups I focused on (with a few others) in testing out some things.

    I’ve got the answers I was looking for (I think)…so I’m more comfortable in conforming and submitting to a Group’s rules. All Groups tick the same, there is no spiritual or ideological pure for tolerating dissent and non-conformity. Everyone requires conformity (to varying degrees) to participate within a Group whether its an outsider wanting to become part of the Group…or whether it’s an outsider wanting to speak to the Group.

  122. It’s not that I didn’t have the ability or the awareness to participate in this Group and conform to the rules (I have participated in many Groups in a very erudite (love that word btw 🙂 manner)….it’s that I chose not to in testing some things out within this Group (and a few others as well).

  123. RB,
    “Group Dynamics, Conformity, Control, Dissent, etc.”

    So tell us – how are you, you behaviors and your actions all controlled by groups of others. Why are you just another groupie?

  124. Well, I imagine many are glad that the experiment is over, eh?

  125. Not as much an experiment as it was wanting to know the truth about some things. Life is one big experiment.

  126. Michael wrote @ # 109,

    It’s pretty irrelevant politically because I also believe that we are living under an oligarchy and the only thing the Bible would say about us at this point is that we are a beast empire.

    Agreed. Financial oligarchs pull the strings and the marionettes in both houses of Congress dance to the tune they pipe. Even Cornell West has referred to Barack Obama as Wall Street’s ‘black mascot’. What’s even funnier is the tea party in their 18th cent. costumes claiming that they’re somehow ‘different’ and represent the ‘true’ intent of the founders. A couple of years back I went with some grad students to a tea party rally. We passed out leaflets asking if it was okay that the American taxpayers pay for the pacification of Afghanistan so that private industry can extract its rare-earth minerals–well over a trillion dollar’s worth– and pay no taxes. Needless to say, we got ejected from the rally. Apparently, the only government spending they’re against is social security for gramma and grampa, school lunches for poor kids, and medical care for the indigent, you know, that kind of stuff.

  127. The Experimenter Effect:

    The ‘experimenter effect’ – refers to a situation where the experimenter, willfully, or on an unconscious level, influences the results he/she wants to obtain.

  128. EVERYONE wants reform of the current immigration system in America. Even the article is titled What Americans Want From Immigration Reform and one of the survey notes is that only SIX (6) percent surveyed think the current status quo is generally working.

    Of course when reform is simply defined in a partisan manner….well, imagine someone interpreting a survey about feelings on the War on Terrorism in the Middle East by concluding that a large number of folks do not believe in national security.

    Not a very fair or accurate conclusion, is it?

  129. Agree with Steve. Virtually everyone in the US views the current Immigration system as broken and in need of reform…what reforms, how it is reformed, etc…that’s where there is difference of opinion.

  130. “Senator Cochran is next in 2 weeks”
    Hopefully!
    42 years is too long. Time for some fresh blood.

  131. RB,

    “Q, I have no doubt you are sincere in your belief in the typical evangelical Genesis narrative. Unfortunately, the tangible evidence we can and do observe in archeology and the historical tangible record doesn’t affirm you position…which causes some to rethink the consensus evangelical interpretations of Genesis.”

    Do you have a couple easily verifiable facts to back this up?

  132. “The world was created in 4004 B.C., complete with fossils, which were inserted to try our faith. The world was created suddenly, but was made such as it would have been if it had evolved. There is no logical impossibility about this view. And similarly, there is no logical impossibility in the view that the world was created five minutes ago, complete with memories and records”–Bertrand Russell.

    There is a ton of evidence, Q, but I don’t want to take over the blog. I would suggest you do some private research into the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Eneolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age etc.

    You can trace the evidence of man/humanoid through crude implements, tools, cave drawings, metals use, civilizations/settlements etc etc. and literally see the timelines and development of mankind and man’s “intelligence” coming online around the time of Adam and the Hebrews in what is called Recorded History. Previous to Recorded History you have a massive pile of evidence of what is called Prehistory…around the planet.

    There are many reliable dating techniques, many many more than carbon dating (which has also proven reliable in many cases, though there are anomalies…to state that a small percentage of anomalies wipes out the whole dating technique is like saying that because a pregnancy test fails once in awhile, you can’t rely on pregnancy tests at all).

    Some of the best evidence is found from the Natufian cultures that existed pre-Adam in the geographies pre-dating the Hebrew culture. Tons of evidence…and the this culture existed beginning in the early Neolithic period beginning some 12,000 years ago, which predates Adam and a subsequent Hebrew culture by quite a wide margin.

    Mesolithic period has a ton of evidence, as well as the Paleolithic period.

  133. Shanidar Valley and the evidence found in caves there provides a ton of documented facts and tangible pieces of a prehistory race of what were probably pre-Adamic neanderthals and the transition to Adamic homo sapiens or intelligent man.

    You can view one of many many reports/studies here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/93383980/Prehistory-in-Shanidar-Valley

  134. Unbelievable

    Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) blamed Cantor’s defeat on President Barack Obama, saying Americans are fed up with him causing the nation’s influence to decline.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/11/eric-cantor-steps-down_n_5484646.html

  135. They found evidence that they think was preAdam…

    Adam was the first man and made by God.

  136. they found tools they thought dated back thousands of years, but later found were made within this century….carbon dating is not accurate.

  137. Michael ignore the previous post, keep it in mod. I forgot the link 🙂

    Dusty, please read this link, it explains radiocarbon dating and succinctly and accurately answers your questions. The science is in fact very reliable and the anomalies are very easy to explain. There are very consistent results in virtually all testings dating to 20,000 years of evidence of mankind, well beyond what the bible asserts through genealogy was the time of Adam.

    http://ncse.com/cej/3/2/answers-to-creationist-attacks-carbon-14-dating

    Let’s not discuss it further. It’s not the topic of this thread.

  138. “Do you have a couple easily verifiable facts to back this up?”

    uh no.

    But there’s tons of evidence!

    Hmm…Maybe you can give a few easily verifiable evidences of Benny Hinn healing’s instead. 🙂

  139. RB

    Just for some clarification; I fully understand your comment about “pre-Adam,” but you throw around the term “Hebrew” rather carelessly. What do you mean by “Hebrew” people?

    Also it’s no secret that language, writing, laws, god(s) worship, sacrifice, murder, morals, and more were around many years prior to Abram/Abraham and then many more before God writes on the stone and Moses writes his narrative. The scriptures don’t hide nor deny these facts. The difficulties with Genesis lie in the assumed time spans between Adam and Eve, the Garden (which the narrative clearly says was something special) and when the promise was made to Abram.

    Also if you were to study the Jewish teachings about death in creation they, the Jewish people, taught long prior to the Christian position of “spiritual death,” that man and creation was created to live a life followed by physical death. Humans would only escape death by eating of the “tree of life,” and it was this meal from which they were denied after they fouled up and ate of the Tree of Knowledge. We seem to forget they were never commanded not to eat of the Tree of Life,” so what was it’s original purpose and if one didn’t eat of it would they have physically died? Some ancient sages even taught that Adam and Eve would not have know what the penalty of death was had they not seen it around them.

    Gen 2:16,17 – “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

    I’m tired, been up all night got to get a nap. Cheers!

  140. It would appear that my comments have bee removed? Was it something I said?

  141. randall,

    I haven’t moderated anything at all of yours…

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