Oct 272014
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. When all the smoke clears and the legal maneuvering is done my guess is that the churches that once comprised Mars Hill are all independent and Mark Driscoll takes the brand with him. He is the brand…one that is doing about as well as “New Coke”.

 

 

2. Rumors were flying that Driscoll could end up teaching one night a week at Costa Mesa on his comeback tour. My sources called those rumors “foolish”. I concur…

3. I’ve become one of those people who believe that their cats not only understand English, but actively seek out conversation with their owners. If I start scanning the TV listings for episodes of “The Golden Girls” I’ll seek help….

4. What Richard Baxter was to the theology of pastoral ministry for centuries, Eugene Peterson is today…

5. I’m far more afraid of the people who are really afraid than I am of what they are afraid of…

6. I was harshly reminded once again that prospective employers (including state and federal governments) Google the names of prospective employees. I note also that “Google” is now a verb as well as a name…I digress. Take care of your online reputation and remember that everything online is online forever.

7. I will never understand the evangelical mindset that believes that all negative trends and events are harbingers of the Second Coming…and act like thats a bad thing.

8. I‘m having a hard time believing that the online rage I see in ever increasing measure will stay only online. 

9. Your Facebook posts speak as much about your view of God as any theological profession of faith…

10. If when you teach about the grace of God your listeners don’t believe it’s too good to be true, you’re teaching heresy.

In case you missed it, here’s last weeks Calvin’s Corner.

  37 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. Michael, I’m one of those #3 cat people too…(but no way on the Golden Girls tv).

  2. Well I am about to strangle our orange cat Mr. Noodles. He spends most of his day and a good portion of the night flying through the house as if he were a bat from hell, terrorizing the humans, the other (elderly) cat and especially the long-suffering Chihuahua, Lilly. The couch is in shreds and the butter isn’t safe. He recently killed five mice in a 2-day period. Yet when he snuggles up and purrs, he makes up for it all.

    I could learn a lot from the dog. She never asked for us to bring this little monster into our house (she wanted a rabbit) but she took a deep sigh and decided to let him chew on her ears and steal her favorite dog food (the brand with the wolf on the can) without any display of anger or even irritation.

    I have learned more from watching the cat’s crazy behavior (analogous to *me*) and the dog’s gentle patience (that’s God) than I have from most sermons I have heard.

  3. In my stories, the cat is always the villain and the dog is the hero.

    🙂

  4. Xenia,

    It’s amazing what we can learn from these relationships with our pets…my cat is usually acting just like me….

  5. What really drives me up the wall about Facebook are the postings that say Do you love Jesus…click like then share.The pictures of Jesus are absolutely creepy.My FB friends are mixed….I have believers and nonbelievers….I refuse to share creepy Jesus postings with any of them.

  6. 1. “He is the brand”. No truer words have been uttered. Oh, MHC may continue to keep their doors open and be a thriving beacon of the hope we have in Christ( I would hope they do!), but MD… nothing tells me that he won’t be back to setup shop somewhere….soon.
    Caveat Emptor.

    4. Are you speaking of “5 Smooth Stones”, or “The Pastor”, or something else?

    6. I was reminded last week of this fact on a LinkedIn article and Googled myself. So far, I am still a nobody. 😉

    7. (Did you mean “I will never understand the.. “), but it looks like just about everything is a sign of the Second Coming to some folks….

    10. This should have a LIKE button next to it. Yeah, I may steal this and post it. 🙂

  7. “7. I will never understand the evangelical mindset that believes that all negative trends and events are harbingers of the Second Coming…and act like thats a bad thing.”

    First there are no negative trends or events … those are always neutral. Somebody is making money when the bottom falls out of the stock market.

    When your bank only pays retirees .25% on their savings, homeowners are rejoicing over low mtg rates.

    So how does anything relate to the 2nd coming? Is Jesus waiting for another tsumani to return?

  8. Number 10…..YES! I believe that is true, but I struggle to “really” believe it sometimes.

  9. Regarding #9, the chasm between our orthodoxy and orthopraxy might as well be the Grand Canyon…less the dramatic views or the Colorado River in the bottom. Our belief often doesn’t translate into anything tangible.

    I agree with MLD on the second coming statement. It’s either good for the bull or the bull-fighter.

    It would be grand fun to mix #s 2 and 3. 😉

    #5 I’m afraid you’re right.

  10. 7.) Rapturology leaves me perplexed.The world is already extremely bad……things like wars and rumors of wars have been going on since the fall.Let’s not forget about mass genocide…..Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union……..

  11. “If I start scanning the TV listings for episodes of “The Golden Girls” I’ll seek help…”

    You already need help. You need a trip to Idaho to go shooting and fishing etc to get your man card back 🙂

    Heck, we could go shoot some varmint and then watch some UFC.

  12. Martin Luther’s Disciple wrote @ # 7:
    So how does anything relate to the 2nd coming? Is Jesus waiting for another tsumani to return?

    If there’s a way to connect even the most innocuous dots, Hal Lindsey and Chuck Missler will find a way to do it and make good bank on it to boot.

  13. Both Paul and Jesus were accused of antinomianism, ie preaching too much Grace. I feel, if I have to defend my preaching of too much grace I’m in good company. And if I error, I error on the side of grace because that “error” gives greater credit and glory to the work of the Cross than the error of legalism.

  14. This touches on why I find the pre-trib Rapture so emotionally unsatisfying.

    1. We are expected to keep an eye on world tragedies as an “index.” There’s wars, floods, droughts and diseases a-plenty. (There always has been, but set that aside for a bit.) Are we to be glad or sad about these things? Are we to fight against agents of anti-Christ or should we cheer them on because the Rapture will come all the sooner if they prevail? And how are we to feel about the Jews? We are Zionists one minute and watching them get slaughtered from the safety of heaven the next.

    2. These catastrophes mean the Rapture is about to occur and the true believers will be whisked out of harm’s way without most Christians experiencing any discomfort whatsoever.

    3. So what are we rich and fat Americans being rescued from, exactly? I am slouching on the sofa, watching Duck Dynasty and eating Cheetohs- oh, the horror!- and I am suddenly raptured? Where is the sense of rescue? How is this the Blessed Hope? The psychology of it is all wrong.

    4. In the Amil view, the world gets worse and worse, everywhere, not just in Liberia and Syria. Christians are persecuted everywhere. We are all running for our lives and *then* the Lord appears in glory and saves His people, effecting a true rescue. All the Christians are waiting for His appearing. It is a genuine Blessed Hope.

  15. Xenia – ya gotta read the charts! 😉

  16. Xenia – two quick comments in reply. First, would not maybe the majority of Christians worldwide feel “rescued” if the rapture happened today (i.e. America being the anomaly).

    Could you really say that “most (your word) Christians experience no discomfort whatsoever” (today)

    Second – if America became the hell-hole for Christianity that Iraq, North Korea, the Sudan and so many places in between…would that alter the theology? It seems it would connect to what you call the amill view…namely the whole world experiencing Christian persecution

    Because I certainly agree with you about the state of Christianity in America today. But the “psychology” of the rapture (as you say) needs to be seen worldwide. Almost every week I preach through the word I remind the people how rare and unique their freedoms happen to be given most of the world throughout most of the 2000 years of church history

    (That said, the issue of God’s bride dodging God’s wrath, or the conflation of Satanic persecution against the Bride for 2000 years and God’s holy wrath on the unrepentant world is where I rest, not the state of the American church)

  17. I don’t disagree too much with what you have written, Steve.

    We are all familiar with teachers and web sites that believe “things are so bad” that the Rapture has to happen soon and very soon. I think things need to be bad on a global scale where you and I are running for our lives before either the Rapture (your view) or the 2nd Coming (Amil [my]) view will take place.

    But it could happen just like that.

    Russia was a Christian nation in 1916 and sending Christians to the Gulag in 1918.

  18. But don’t you cringe a little when some rich materialistic American Christian gloats about how he’s going to miss all the bad stuff cuz God’s gonna rapture him outta here? This would be so much less distasteful coming from the lips of an Iraqi Christian.

  19. Imagine how much better ‘getting raptured out of here’ would sound if it came from the Bible. 🙂

  20. Well, if the Global Warming alarmists are correct…then the “I Can’t Wait to Be Raptured!” Crowd should all buy the smelliest polluting diesels they can and get this show on the road…God would rapture them just before the cataclysm of Climate Change LOL.

    It almost seems like those 2 Groups are two sides of the same coin…”The END is near!”

  21. Michael, regarding your point #6, I’ve been thinking for some time now that in this day in age, the best thing a parent could possibly do for their child is to name him/her Bob Smith or Michelle Jones.

  22. But don’t you cringe a little when some rich materialistic American Christian gloats about how he’s going to miss all the bad stuff cuz God’s gonna rapture him outta here?
    ———————————————————
    That’s the main point for my almost weekly admonition mentioned earlier about our freedoms. That mindset needs to disappear.

    I almost never mention the rapture..unless of course when I come to the places in the Bible where it is taught and then of course I teach it. (That was for MLD 🙂 )

  23. My wife is afraid of those who are afraid also; she says they are not being realistic.

    I am afraid because I just now realized that I am eagerly reading MLD’s comments…

  24. #10 – If I recall correctly, The Doctor, DMLJ, said something similar. Can’t get much better company than that!

  25. Why am I still in shock at the pathetic “shoot our wounded” defense of MD given to introduce the shooter last week?

  26. Actually Xenia,

    The pretrib (my spell check insisted on perturb) rapture view is simply horrific exegesis … of the scripture and the world but I have chased that hare around the field enough here. The reality is that that hegemony it held over the Jesus People generation is giving way just like everything else about that ‘happy’ moment. The hippies became hucksters and their tale of doom became their means of gain. The serious fly away dates are almost all gone and a disappointment has set in … On the other hand robust healthy and reasonable eschatologies are rising to the hour … most with a kingdom optimism.

  27. I have noticed that the general trend in sermons lately is less rapture and more how do we get along with one another.

    The blood of Christ and why we need it is also a non issue, we used to sing about nothing but the blood of Jesus and now we sing this is modern day songs about grace.

    It is becoming less of an issue with our salvation and more of a way to keep peace with one another.

    God save us all from our selves.

  28. Charles, it’s bait and switch – it is the reason so many churches changed their names to 1st Sweetheart Church and removed the crosses. They don’t want anyone for the first 6 months to know they are in a Christian church. It’s better is they think they are at a taping of an Oprah show.

  29. MLD, I was thinking along the line of The Church of What’s Happening Now! Or. The Church of What’s Happening Next!

  30. “If your preaching of the gospel of God’s free grace in Jesus Christ does not provoke the charge from some of antinomianism, you’re not preaching the gospel of the free grace of God in Jesus Christ.”
    ― D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

  31. You preach the pure unadulterated gospel in all its goodness and grace after you have preached the law to show the need for grace.

    We open our service with confession on our knees – evangelicals recoil from that – “what, we’re in a room full of sinners???? – I thought these were Christians!” 🙂

  32. Steve Wright said: “I almost never mention the rapture..unless of course when I come to the places in the Bible where it is taught and then of course I teach it.”

    So you’ve never taught on the rapture?

  33. MLD, do you realize that as soon as you’ve bragged on your humility – starting your services on your knees in confession – that you have diluted your humility?
    human nature being what it is, I suspect – dunno – that half of those on their knees are only physically in that position…
    just like the evangelical admonition to not take the cup and the matzo unworthily… the repetition becomes an almost rhetorical admonition with no impact… we have a long suffering God

  34. Em, you are 100% correct. Every step I take, every move I make is in deep sin. I even try to fool myself while doing acts of contrition. Even my good works are done in sin. I don’t say anything in humility, I say things only as prideful boasts

    Help! I can’t get out of my flesh!!! The only truthful words I ever speak are “I a poor miserable sinner…”

  35. “Help! I can’t get out of my flesh!!! The only truthful words I ever speak are “I a poor miserable sinner…””
    MLD – ah, that is not so – according to Isaiah and Paul you are rich and have beautiful feet 🙂

  36. Driscoll may get the brand Jesus keeps His Church and refines her through the fires and trials of discipline, revealing more of Himself to those who want it.

    The impostor quit but here is one owning to the call of an under shepherd.
    This is worth reading. This man understands his ecclesiology because he holds Revelation 2 and 3 in high regard and is willing to head what is revealed and declare by the Head of
    Church.

    https://www.evernote.com/shard/s296/sh/08f9a50a-34eb-4853-95df-df5dd9c6eb8d/8ff0270968e1deed574553096bc874f1

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