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33 Responses

  1. Dallas says:

    The friendship evangelism article was not what I expected, good read.

  2. Jean says:

    “What happened to Christian intellectuals?”

    LOL. The only two that come to mind are Keller and N.T. Wright. I’m confident there are others, but not being particularly intellectual myself I don’t know them.

  3. richard says:

    i just started reading the book about evolution from bio logos that is mentioned in the article, at least partly due to a recent push in so cal calvary chapels to promote ICR, AIG, ken ham, and the whole young earth crowd.
    it sure would be nice if all of them could get off their high horse and at least listen to the bio logos crowd. now they are saying it’s my way or no way. sad.

  4. Josh the Baptist says:

    I read that article and can only assume he meant “What Happened to C.S. Lewis?”

    The answer is he died. There are tons of Christian intellectuals, just like the ones he mentions in his article. Lewis was a special sort of guy though.

    The friendship evangelism article was a mess. I’m not sure what the author is trying to say, one way or the other. “Don’t make friends so that you can Evangelize. Make friends. And then evangelize.”

    Or something like that. Didn’t get it. At all. In fact, it made me mad.

  5. Dallas says:

    Josh, it was an admittedly distracted read on my part, but the message I took away from it was to not turn people into projects. We need venture out of our safe zones as far as making friends, but to start a friendship with an ulterior motive is to demean the friendship right off the bat.

    Make friends, the gospel is a part of you, it’s something that will come into that friendship at some point. Probably sooner rather than later even (which is the article I expected).

  6. Josh the Baptist says:

    Weird article. Still don’t get it.

    Olsen’s article was good and fair to the Calvinists.

    Mcknight is mis-characterizing all that has gone down with Andy Stanley. It started during an interview with Russel Moore. James White also jumped on it.

  7. CostcoCal says:

    Horton is correct in “Whatever Happened to Hell.”

    In Hell, people are not separated from God, as is often preached.

    However, I might add, people are most definitely separated from Jesus Christ.

    Again, the preaching that Hell is the absence of the presence of God

    is a huge misnomer.

  8. Al says:

    “And Ham said Christians who accept evolution and the idea that the Earth is millions of years old are following “the pagan religion of this age”, which is an “attempt to explain life without God”.”

    1. I like Janet Mefferd b/c she tries to hold the Church and Pastors accountable for their terrible Conduct, which oftentimes is the Sermon they preach louder than any speech from their pulpits. I disagree with her Fundamentalists backward view regarding what Science has discovered about some of the realities of our Universe/Multi-verse.

    2. If God is a God of “Truth”….then you have to accept Truth and Facts when you can consistently observe them in our Present Reality. Gravity is a Fact we live with. To deny such is not being “more godly!” and less a heathen.

    3. Evolution and Natural Selection are likely Fact. It’s likely how God DESIGNED things. There are many Christians who are also well-regarded Scientists who believe such based on mountains of evidence. The Planet Earth is old. So it the Universe. I can list enough facts to fill this blog for the next 10 years that consistently demonstrate such, but doubtful it would be well received or would change any Dogmatic minds b/c the Dogmatist is not out to discover Truth….the Dogmatist is only concerned with protecting and projecting their particular Apologetic.

    Ken Ham is famous and collects a lot of money off of gullible Evangelicals. It would be funny if it weren’t so insidious. It’s not harmless b/c it does stumble many who are intellectually honest and reject Christianity b/c they note that if Christians can be that dishonest with regards to human origins and Scientific Discovery….then they cannot be trusted to be honest with other issues.

  9. Al says:

    Evangelical Though of the Day:

    You believe Adam and Eve are literally the first humans.

    Adam and Eve had Cain and Abel. Cain killed Abel.

    You assume Adam and Eve had daughters and they had more sons.

    That family was having sex with each other.

    Cain gets punished for killing Abel….and they were not that old if you accept biblical genealogies and the biblical timeline.

    Cain gets banished to another area….where there is already Civilization and a City with a Society and other humans. Cain takes wives.

    You cannot square that circle. If you believe in a Literal Interpretation of Genesis, you are buying into a mythology and not being intellectually honest. It does you no good. It is another False Idol among many False Idols in Evangelicalism and Christian Fundamentalism.

  10. Al says:

    How did Adam and Eve and Cain and the City/Society Cain was banished to….skip the Paleolithic Period in history? Which of the Adam and Eve Family were living in Caves? Doing Cave drawings?

    What Language were Adam and Eve and their Family speaking? They were the first and ONLY humans, correct? They were “speaking with God” in the Garden, correct? They spoke to each other, correct? What Language were they speaking?

    ….we don’t see Hebrew Language until late in Recorded Human History. <—Fact.

    If the Genesis Narrative were Literal….the first recorded Language in Human History would be Hebrew. It is not. Not nearly. Adam and Eve are an archetype and if at all literal were late on the scene of Human History. That's what the overwhelming evidence demonstrates and it only takes a modicum of Common Sense and Intellectual Honesty to figure that out.

  11. Josh the Baptist says:

    I take it I said something wrong again?

    Alright.

    I’ll take a break.

  12. Michael says:

    Josh,

    We were headed for strife…carry on.
    I just needed to get this thing back on course…and my computer is not cooperating this morning.

  13. Josh the Baptist says:

    All good. Sorry to go in that direction.

  14. EricL says:

    The link that surprised me was that BGEA had asked the IRS to change its designation to “church” allowing them to get away from all the paperwork required of non-church NPOs. I wonder if Billy would have gotten anywhere near the fame he did if the organization had done that change back in the 60s or 70s. How many churches would get behind a crusade put on by another “church”? (Though I will note they no longer call them crusades; they are now festivals and celebrations according to the BGEA website.)

    Is Franklin now the Senior Pastor of the First Church of BGEA?

  15. Josh the Baptist says:

    I wonder what BGEA counts as its congregations. That was a really weird article.

  16. EricL says:

    I found the “music minister” intriguing, which is why I sent the link to Michael. This lady is working at two Catholic run hospitals, which I don’t think the article makes clear. Those two hospitals are the only ones left in troubled San Bernardino since the county hospital relocated a decade ago, so they get a lot of hard cases.

  17. Owen says:

    I think what she is doing as a music minister is wonderful, and I am impressed that when she found the job, they were actually looking for someone who prays AND sings. Nice to see the medical community (or at least, that one) realizing the need for more diverse care.

    Also enjoyed the other link about singing. Music has always been a large part of who I am, and it’s often how I get through my day.

  18. Michael says:

    https://cccdiscover.com/12-reasons-i-love-my-smaller-church/

    Half of Americans attend churches of less than 100 people…

  19. Michael says:

    EricL…that was a great link…

  20. Muff Potter says:

    “You cannot square that circle. If you believe in a Literal Interpretation of Genesis, you are buying into a mythology and not being intellectually honest. It does you no good. It is another False Idol among many False Idols in Evangelicalism and Christian Fundamentalism.”

    I can square any old circle my pointy little head wants to Al:

    (2*pi*r)/4 , where r is the radius of said circle, will give me the lengths of all four sides.

  21. Dallas says:

    I remember my wife telling me stories about elderly dementia patients, when she was a social worker in a nursing home, who would be either agitated, withdrawn, or just incomprehensible most of the time that would be filled with life when she would bring her radio upstairs and play old gospel music to them. Many of them who only had vague memory of their family members would remember word for word these songs from their past.

    Music is a wonderful gift.

  22. Erunner says:

    If I remember correctly we have an infrequent poster who ministers to those near the end of life similar to what the lady in the article is doing. What a beautiful ministry.

  23. Owen says:

    Dallas,

    Your story makes me wish I could have been there to witness that…..

  24. Owen says:

    Michael,

    I have to echo the sentiments in your “smaller church” link. My church experience has been pretty limited, actually – never been a member of one bigger than 2-3 hundred, and my current church is around 250 (we average 80-90 per Sunday in attendance.) So I can’t speak to any benefits larger churches may/may not have.

    Been having a good discussion about Christian Community over on Dallas’ blog (the link “on Christian Community”. ) It’s really been making me think about how “church” is set up….

  25. Dallas says:

    Same here, Owen. Despite all of the things that she had to put up with in that job, and they were many, she has tons of stories like that to show that it was work worth doing.

  26. Duane Arnold says:

    #19

    Michael

    Great link. I was talking with a Latin American friend about the base community movement that flourished in the 80s and 90s – small groups (20 people or so) that were established as faith communities all over Central and South America. The Catholic hierarchy, with John Paul II in the lead, fearing the advancement of liberation theology, pressured them to “return” to the mainstream – i.e. larger parish churches. They had provided small spiritual and social settings for those in the countryside and in the city barrios not served by normative parish churches. They also encouraged literacy and Bible study. As most have now disappeared, there are few, if any, small Christian communities left to counteract the influence of gangs and random violence. It struck us in our conversation that to be in a small community of faith, with a large degree of mutual accountability, may be something that deserves a second look – not just in Latin America, but here as well.

    I hope this isn’t “off topic”…

  27. Michael says:

    Duane,

    Very on topic…especially when we also consider the “State of Theology” survey that came out this week.
    I pastor a house church and have advocated for smaller groups of committed Christians for years.

  28. Em ... again says:

    while i think today we’ve sublimated hell into oblivion (not ours to do), the article claiming that God is present in hell makes no sense …?… since God is omnipresent, He’s there in hell, also? … well
    with or without His presence, it is a place not to be visited…
    that picture looks like our neighborhood has for the last 3 years – i wanted a peaceful old age… sigh…

  29. Babylon's Dread says:

    I thought 7% ended a relationship over election as in Calvinism … so I chuckled when I turned to the post only to remind myself that the 7% was way too small.

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    This is the funny thing – how everyone wants to make their dime critiquing ‘church’ type things.

    What does it mean that 7% divide friendships over election? – that many probably do so over the Superbowl.

    Isn’t that the biggest day for men to beat their women folk? It’s not about Christians and Church – it is about people.

  31. Josh the Baptist says:

    I don’t end relationships over elections, but I certainly suspend some until it’s over.

  32. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    in continuing thinking about the Jacobs’ piece, it seems important to note that Lewis had established himself as a literary critic and a scholar before his conversion. Alastair Roberts has pointed out that what evangelicals in particular often forget is that the intellectuals Jacobs’ mentioned were MAINLINE Christians by church affiliation and practice, not of the sort we’d now identify as evangelical in the contemporary sense.

    I’ve been thinking one of the challenges that would face Christian intellectuals is that, assuming they’re out there, they would have to address issues that the world at large would consider worth addressing rather than strictly address intra-faith communal anxieties about a loss of academic prestige.

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