Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

More Joel Hunter links

January 26, 2009

As I noted yesterday, This American Life recently did a pretty good job of capturing evangelicals’ unhappiness with Rick Warren‘s appearance at Barack Obama‘s inauguration, and they followed it with an interview with Joel Hunter. Little did I realize that Hunter is a once and future news item as one of the pastors Obama has consulted during evangelical-focused listening tours. Here are some links:

  • Joel Hunter Leads Blessing for Obama (Christianity Today).
  • Joel Hunter (Wikipedia). Biographical information including his past denominational affiliations and positions on various issues including climate change.
  • Joel Hunter: Democrats Could “Steal the Title of the Pro-Life Party” (BeliefNet). “If we insist on keeping this an ideological war we’re literally not saving the babies we could save. The Democrats have a huge opportunity here to really steal the thunder from those who are seen as traditionally pro life.”
  • Who Is Joel Hunter, and Why is Obama Praying With Him? (Time). “Hunter shares his movement’s typical pro-life and anti-gay-marriage social commitments. But he became best known to the mainstream press in 2006 when an arrangement for him to take over as head of the Christian Coalition, the political machine founded by Pat Robertson, imploded as it became clear that Hunter intended to steer it into more moderate waters. He has since made a name (and Fundamentalist foes) combating global warming, championing comprehensive immigration reform and extolling a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Less ambiguously than any other leader (including Purpose-Driven Life author Rick Warren, who hedges more bets), Hunter is the avatar of the New Evangelicalism…”

Go figure.

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Joel Hunter on This American Life 372

January 25, 2009

Joel Hunter of Northland Church and author of A New Kind of Conservative appears on last week’s episode of This American Life. Evidently Barack Obama reached out to him before his current relationship with Rick Warren.

There’s nothing groundbreaking here, especially to people who have been following the uproar over Warren’s inaugural prayer.

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OD Today: 22 January 2009 (late edition)

January 22, 2009

Lots of abortion-related links today because today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion a federal issue (and legal with restrictions in all fifty states).

  1. La Shawn Barber name-checks Blogs4Life.
  2. Russell Moore offers a sermon on why the unborn still matter.
  3. Joe Carter offers an open letter to fetal humans.
  4. Frank Turk links to a video where a young man argues that it’s better for babies to be aborted than to be born poor.
  5. Defending Contending offers a retrospective of its own posts devoted to abortion.
  6. Ingrid Schlueter offers comments and a picture of an aborted fetus.
  7. Ralph Petersen compares abortions to body counts from various wars.
  8. Bob Hayton offers a video devoted to a live baby.
  9. La Shawn Barber offers an opinion piece from 2003.
  10. John Ensor guests at Tim Challies, thinks about making abortion unthinkable.
  11. Justin Taylor offers two posts: one on abortion and the early Church, the other a collection of links. Some overlap with those above; sorry.

And just a couple of items unrelated to abortion:

I may have buried the lead. Sorry.

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brief hiatus

January 10, 2009

I have to be out of town and in meetings all of next week, and I’ve all but run out of time today, so its unlikely I’ll be able to do many updates for the next eight to ten days.

OD Today: 7 January 2009 (late edition)

January 7, 2009

Some recurring stories here (virginity pledges, Jett Travolta, John Crowder, N. T. Wright, and of course Rick Warren) and some new stuff. Honestly: had you ever heard of E. A. Adeboye before today?

I was going to hang onto this for several more hours, but then the SGM story appeared again. See item 15 below.

  1. I realize ODMs took the press coverage at face value and moved on, but William McGurn at the Wall Street Journal dug into the “virginity pledge” stories and came away with several bullets. “virginity pledging teens were considerably more conservative in their overall sexual behaviors than teens in general — a fact that many media reports have missed cold.”
  2. The death of Jett Travolta is still a story.
  3. Chris Rosebrough interprets Jesus’s interpretation of Scripture. “Since Jesus proved His claim to being the One True God in human flesh by raising Himself from the dead, there is no greater authority, living or dead on the subject of the Bible than Him.
  4. Miriam Franklin digs into E. A. Adeboye’s theology. “When googling for information on Adeboye and RCCG, there is obviousy great affection and love for Daddy GO among his supporters. And there is nothing wrong with love or respect where it is due. But the type and also the level of this adoration is something else, and his elevation onto a pedestal seems very unhealthy indeed. And this idolatry seems to be widespread and not just the opinion of a few.”
  5. Ingrid Schlueter links to a Star Parker editorial. “I doubt that Billy Graham would see this in the spirit of his own calling to bring the gospel to all who would listen. Nor would I see the Rev. Graham signing onto the Evangelical Climate Initiative, as has Rick Warren.”
  6. Ingrid Schlueter reminds us who Neale Donald Walsch is, links to a story in which he “now says he made a mistake in believing the story was something that had actually come from his personal experience.”
  7. Defending Contending plugs Voddie Baucham’s book Family Driven Faith. “Voddie sounds the call for parents to take back their biblical responsibilities as the primary spiritual mentors and shepherds of their children. He also calls for the church to not only stop interfering and usurping parents’ authority, but to quit dividing and segregating the family.”
  8. Michael Davis on Salah Sultan: “There is freedom of religion in this country and Muslims are free to look forward to and hope that one day America will become a Muslim nation with sharia law. However, that would mean the destruction of America as we know it and actions toward such a cause may cross the line between freedom of religion and sedition.”
  9. Denise at Surph’s Side quotes Arthur Pink, applies his comments to Rick Warren.
  10. John Baker follows suit regarding John Crowder and the Sons of Thunder.
  11. La Shawn Barber quotes Heather McDonald regarding murder rates among black Americans. “Instead of sending “dissenting” e-mail to me or Heather Mac Donald, send it to the men doing the killing and the men and women dooming black babies to fatherless childhoods. They deserve your scorn. We don’t.”
  12. Frank Turk on essentials and inessentials, especially miracles. “It doesn’t seek to get them to first, for example, accept a 6-day creation before showing them that the Law says they are sinful people under condemnation.”
  13. David Reagan offers the second installment regarding the question of whether the Antichrist is a Muslim. “In his book, Goodman argues that the Antichrist will rise from the Eastern wing of the old Roman Empire, coming from the ancient Greek sphere of influence that was incorporated into that empire. Getting even more specific, he argues that the Antichrist will come from the Seleucid area of the Greek sphere — specifically, from Assyria, meaning either modern-day Syria or Iraq.”
  14. James White warns regarding N. T. Wright’s new book on justification. “It is vitally important to note that the Reformation doctrine of justification was forged out of the highest view of Scripture, while modern viewpoints come forth from a far more skeptical, man-centered perspective.”
  15. Christian Research Network links to both Sovereign Grace Ministries and SGM Survivors. I would encourage fair-minded readers not to decide who is right on the basis of doctrinal statements, but rather read through the Noel’s Story thread(s) (1, 2, 3). There is without doubt some plain-vanilla axe-grinding etc. in the comments, but having read the main story and the first 150 or so comments I would have to say that posters Noel and Grizzly present a coherent-to-convincing story alleging that church leadership in one Virginia (Fairfax?) SGM church knowingly allowed an admitted child molestor to work in their nursery. I haven’t read the other thousand or so comments, so I can’t comment on the rest of the thread, etc.
  16. Brian Thornton picks up the virginity pledges story. “Let’s be honest, though. Teens are going to have sex, in my opinion, almost regardless of what is presented to them, whether they are sex educated, gospel informed, or take a vow of virginity or not. Maybe the best prevention is to not allow them so much flexibility and free time away from home.” I’m not going to try to get his comments to mesh with the McGurn/WSJ analysis above.

OD Today: 7 January 2009 (early edition)

January 7, 2009

There may or may not be a late edition today; work is crazy busy and I may not have time for a second pass today.

There’s a lot of meat here, and I mean a lot. Only the John Crowder story is really new, but there’s barely a dud in the bunch today.

  1. Thomas Heringer is reading Francis Schaeffer’s book How Should We Then Live? and blames the current state of the United States on its cultural inheritance from Greece and Rome. “We refuse today to put the ten commandments into our schools and courts, because of the mistaken view that this would violate separation of church and state. Instead we rely on the word of man, which changes daily if not moment by moment. We have even gone so far as to put Christ on the back burner in our churches and have opted instead for man made programs, such as The Purpose Driven life.”
  2. John Baker links to this slideshow from Aish.com on the Arab-Israeli conflict. “The goal of the Arabs is the destruction of the Jews.”
  3. Henry Neufeld offers a post and links on evangelical Christianity and evangelism from an atheist perspective. “The trouble is, it’s often the behavior of the messenger much more than the honesty of the beliefs that often offends other people.”
  4. Watcher’s Lamp links to a column in the Salt Lake Tribune (originally from Bloomberg) by Paul Kennedy on global financial prospects for 2009. “The biggest question concerns the United States. My instinct tells me it will lose ground in 2009. I simply don’t see how the Treasury can print $1 trillion to cover deficit spending, offer those bills at very low interest rates, and expect foreigners (not Americans, because we don’t have the savings) to buy them, persuading the world to keep afloat its greatest debtor since Phillip II of Spain. … Yet if Asians decline to buy tens of billions of Treasuries each month in 2009, U.S. interest rates will have to go up again. “
  5. John Chishem continues his review of Jesus Wants To Save Christians, by Rob Bell and Don Golden. “Bell does not like government, specifically, Bell does not like government that does not function within his view of the purpose of government, which is a very liberal one, from my reading. … Clearly, Bell has a low view of the need of the military and the use of force to protect the gifts and the country, and those who are poor and oppressed, which God has entrusted to the rulers.”
  6. Dwayna Litz shares email in response to her earlier post regarding Gary Gilley’s review of Tim Keller’s book; the unnamed author is concerned about ecumenicism and syncreticism: “We used to pray for the nations through the book Operation World by Patrick Johnstone, but it was always disturbing to find him including Catholics, Orthodox, and other non-saved “Christians” within the statistical percentage of Christians in each country. We also observed the shift in missions from “conversion out of” to “adding Jesus within” other religions as missionaries would redefine pagan religious practice and teaching to “Christianize” them. “
  7. Thomas Ice discussses the history of the doctrine of the pre-Tribulation rapture of the Church prior to John Nelson Darby.
  8. Ingrid Schlueter calls out Glenview New Church of Glenview, Illinois for their Summary of Beliefs. “I have news for them. This isn’t Christianity at all but an apostate counterfeit.” This is a somewhat measured response from Schlueter given that Glenview New Church is universalist and Swedenborgian.
  9. Yet another emergent/emerging Christian expresses doubts about global warming.
  10. Dwayna Litz links to and excerpts Sidney Dyer regarding N. T. Wright, author of the New Perspective on Paul, Wright’s ecumenicism, and his new perspective on the Gospel. “A major problem with Wright is that, if he does hold to Christ’s vicarious atonement, he believes Christ died for and will save all men.”
  11. Jason Lisle calls atheism irrational. “In other words, if atheism were true, it would be impossible to prove anything!” I haven’t worked through the details, but I think I smell an excluded middle.
  12. Ken Silva recaps his positions on contemplative prayer, etc. and explains why he focuses only on points of disagreement with other writers. “Those familiar with AM know I’ve referred to that style of writing as the plus/minus approach. It’s by far the most common method, which no doubt you’ve seen many times. One begins by listing the 3-5 good things about a given subject, this is then followed by the 8-10 bad things, in order to reach the foregone conclusion that they can’t recommend said subject. And as I’ve said before it’s not wrong; however, I just chose to leave out the often patronizing step one is all.”
  13. Anton and/or Janet Hein-Hudson on John Crowder. “The essence of John Crowder’s ‘ministry’ appears to be this: experience over doctrine.” I didn’t note it at the time because it was a clip without comments, but Chris Rosebrough linked to this same video clip yesterday. It was also a major chunk of yesterday’s Fighting for the Faith podcast.
  14. Phil Perkins offers the second installment in his series regarding Online Discernment Ministries. “Nevertheless, there are some in the ODM world who aren’t even saved. The proof is in their lives. Part I dealt with two sins currently rampant. One is a general looseness in ethics. … The second sin is rooted in team spirit of a sorts.”
  15. James White pounds the table regarding Tim Staples and his “33,000 Protestant denominations” claim, and reviews an appearance by Bart Ehrman (audio).
  16. Chris Rosebrough calls out Pam Shepherd of First Congregational Church of Christ in Ashland, Oregon for refusing to marry heterosexual couples unless and until homosexual couples are able to marry too.
  17. Job at Jesus Christology asks whether Israel has a right to exist as a nation. “it is my proposal that Old Testament Israel’s right to exist as a unique sovereign political entity tied to the land that was formerly Canaan ended by virtue of their breaking the Sinai covenant….”
  18. Boyd Miller on tithing and bankruptcy; USA Today article here. There are some interesting numbers regarding tithing here, but the main story, about people who go into bankruptcy while still tithing, sounds anecdotal.
  19. Roderick Edwards, former preterist, gives an overview of preterism and distinguishes between preterism and hyper-preterism. “The present day versions of hyperpreterism all originated in the 1970s with a man named Max King. King was a “church of Christ” minister who wrote several hyperpreterist books in the 1970-1980s. Hyperpreterism before that was mainly manifested among Universalists.”
  20. Cindy Kunsman gives some background on the Shepherding movement. “All of the Shepherding/Discipleship groups observed this focus on submission and the “umbrella of protection” concept to varying degrees and continue to do so, despite the fact that shepherding was theoretically denounced and renounced by most Evangelical leaders and some of the leaders of shepherding themselves.”
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Ehrman vs. Williams on Unbelievable?

January 6, 2009

I picked up the trail on this story via either James White or Justin Taylor. I don’t remember. These are my raw notes from an episode of Unbelievable? on Premier Christian Radio in the United Kingdom.

Bart Ehrman is the author of a book called Misquoting Jesus. He was born Episcopalian, then was born again; he attended Moody Bible Institute, then Wheaton, and finally Princeton Theological Seminary, where he was a student of Bruce Metzger. He first believed that the Bible was inerrant, with no problems or inconsistencies, completely correct in all matters scientific and historical. To him the original words matter, and as he lost his faith in this model of the Scriptures he lost his faith, period.

Peter Williams takes the position that the Scriptures are “inerrant with some problems, but still true in the normal sense.”

Ehrman’s opening argument:

  1. There are no original copies of the (New Testament) text available; the copies available were made much later than the originals. For example, the earliest complete collection of Paul’s writings dates to about 350AD, nearly three centuries after Paul’s death.
  2. The copies differ; this means that scribes changed the texts
  3. We have no clue how much; the changes are extensive: there are thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of changes across the body of available text
  4. Most are not material, but some are; some are doctrinal

Ehrman is advocating a model of scribal error that propagates and compounds errors, and furthermore the important errors were introduced intentionally.

Peter Williams starts here; he agrees on the facts regarding dates, but takes a “half-full rather than half-empty” view:

  1. The quality of Scriptural textual traditions is much better than for e.g. classical texts
  2. Agrees there are hundreds of thousands of errors across the total textual tradition
  3. Agrees most are of secondary importance
  4. Says the many texts imply a strong tradition, even with many errors, and claims that Ehrman suggests just the opposite: the more texts there are the weaker the textual tradition is.

The host asked offhand why God didn’t keep errors from creeping in, then deferrs the question for a later show.

Which changes matter:

Ehrman: Mark 1:41: the angry Jesus. Claims the minority tradition, where Jesus is angry (at the man who wants to be healed) is authoritative, vs. the majority tradition, where Jesus is compassionate. This fits Mark’s Jesus better.

Williams: Agrees it matters but not much in this case; questions that there’s any evidence of intent: the minority tradition is geographically concentrated.

Ehrman: gives a weak direct response, then appeals to Matthew/Luke: they both give this story, presumably from Mark, but neither portray Jesus’s emotional state.

Williams: Ehrman consistently prefers an “intelligent design” theory of textual problems, rather than a “random chance” theory. Suggests the spread of changes from Mark to Matthew/Luke suggests accidents, not intent.

Host introduces the story from John of the woman taken in adultery.

Ehrman: this story doesn’t belong in John; how did it get into the text? Williams agrees on the facts, differs on interpretation.

Host: next week Ehrman will be back debating Richard Swinburn and pushing his book God’s Problem, on the problem of evil.

Williams: We can reconstruct the original text from the available textual tradition. Translations improve over time due to 1) more texts and 2) better scholarship. Tradition regarding existing translations is a drag on progress; Bible translators are unwilling to jump whole-hog into modern translations because doing so would hurt sales.

Williams also distinguishes between textual traditions according to their moral value vs. their historical value, and suggests that the older witnesses (secondary sources) are more important than later extrabiblical witnesses.

Ehrman: picks up Hebrews 2:9: did Jesus die by the grace of God? Or did He die apart from God? One word separates these two traditions, and the words are spelled very similarly. Argues the latter/more difficult reading is more likely correct, and the change was a response to a 2nd Century argument with Gnostics, who claimed Jesus “had the Christ” rather than “was the Christ.” This sort of change is the most worrying, because it suggests that the text may have been changed to fit theology, rather than the other way around.

Williams: the preponderance of the evidence suggests chance/random changes.

Host: what does this imply for what/how people believe?

Ehrman: rejects that he has taken a “falsus in uno” position. Brings up the point of 1 John 5 regarding the Trinity. Says theologians don’t generally change their minds regardless of what the Scriptural text actually says, or in response to changes in the understanding of the history of the text.

Williams: Ehrman’s book overstates the problem/how much is really at stake. The overall significance/impact of the Bible is not touched by Ehrman’s argument.

Ehrman: these issues per se didn’t ruin his faith. Reasserts that there are hundreds of important changes.

Williams: early variant readings represent small disagreements. Scholarly agreement is not the central issue; it isn’t the foundation of the authority of Scripture. Appeals to the Old Testament story of Josiah: the Scriptures were completely unavailable, but that didn’t mean they weren’t authoritative.

Analysis: Ehrman is probably correct in that he was constrained by the format of the show: he presented two, maybe four cases, out of what he claims are hundred of important textual problems. Williams had better soundbites: his “glass half-full” and “intelligent design” bites were better than anything Ehrman had in response. Williams had the advantage that he was free to attack Ehrman’s book, while he had no corresponding book to defend.

Conclusion: each man presents and argues a model of scribal error inferring a model of textual variance. It’s difficult to argue conclusively back from the text, which is available, to the scribal process, which can’t be observed. Neither side really has a knockout punch: Ehrman would need say the minutes of a text-changing committee, Williams a cache of authentic texts from 120AD or so closely resembling what’s available today.

Unfortunately, the question they’re purporting to answer, regarding the importance of variations in textual traditions, don’t touch the question of whether the Bible is the Word of God. They both agree in essence that that’s still a matter of faith, and Williams has it, in some form, while Ehrman doesn’t.

OD Today: 6 January 2009 (early edition)

January 6, 2009

I’m picking up some stragglers from after the cutoff on the 5th, so I apologize if any of these are stale already. As it stands this looks like a pretty slow news day on the ODM front. The highlights are probably John Chishem (#5), Gary Gilley (#9) and Phil Perkins (#10).

  1. Carl Trueman on culture, generally. “Talk of `Christians can watch anything as long as they do it critically’ is as daft, unbiblical, soft-headed, ill-thought-out, and confused as anything one is likely to come across.”
  2. Jennifer O’Hara addresses the same issues, more or less, via a meander through pop music and is er, cousin, Contemporary Christian Music (some rated-PG language). “This dearth of real wealth, combined with the loss of wonder and an eschewing of widely accepted standards, is now making itself heard not only in pop music, but in other forms of entertainment, with waves of vapid and dystopian books, plays, films, and television filling our theatres and bookshops, crowding out what used to be referred to as “the good stuff” in the process; after all, those things are old-fashioned, restrictive, and unenlightened.”
  3. Jonathan Dodson presents part two of a review of ReJesus, by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch. I’m including it because it mentions a concept I haven’t seen recently: “How then do we become like Jesus?”
  4. John Baker shares an anti-Rick Warren video (YouTube). This is the same video that appeared on Four Pointer a few hours ago.
  5. John Chisham begins his review of Rob Bell‘s book Jesus Wants To Save Christians. Not to be confused with a similarly-titled post on a similarly-named weblog regarding the same book a week ago. “I was suckered in to purchase this book by the crowd which states that I have no right to discuss ideas found in the book without having first read it. I always say to them that I do not have to go into a chicken barn to know that it stinks…”
  6. Miriam Franklin picks up the Harriet Bernstein/Luisa Paster/Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association story. Additional procedural details regarding the history of the case, from the State of New Jersey are here.
  7. Lane Chapin revisits a year-old post dealing with the question of whether doctrine divides. “It’s the “cry of anguish” from the culture. They insist that we shouldn’t preach doctrine, just love, but is this possible?” Does Chapin name his “they?” I couldn’t find any names or references.
  8. Defending Contending takes issue with Jay Bakker‘s choice of language (note: Jay’s church’s website contains language some may find offensive).
  9. Gary Gilley reviews Tim Keller‘s book The Reason For God (thanks Dwayna Litz). Gilley objects to Keller’s credal criteria for who is (and is not) a Christian; “Keller’s arguments are largely philosophical, not biblical … when he gets to the gospel invitation, without any direct support from Scripture he offers three steps: repentance, faith in Christ, and becoming part of the church … Keller infuses a social dimension into his gospel definition … he is a strong proponent of theistic evolution.”
  10. Phil Perkins calls out Frank Turk for “Googling himself.” “Here are some recent examples I’ve come across in the last few weeks: Tim Challies showed up at Surphside here to once again assure everyone that he didn’t say what he said. Yes, all our screens were lying. It’s a virus. Rick Warren apologist, Richard Abanes, showed up here to defend RW and so did Ken Silva to defend himself. And then there was another who had a shill show up at another site, but I will refrain from naming him. Finally, Frank Turk turned up on the comment thread of yesterday’s post here at Al Tosap.” It’s a fine line between defending what one believes and defending one’s self, etc.
  11. Christine at Talk Wisdom cheers some of the results of the Madoff fraud. “The second page reveals some unfortunate victims of this Ponzi Scheme. But, am I glad that the aforementioned ones got hit? YES!”
  12. Sovereign Grace Ministry Survivors discussion of molestation/coverup story passes nine hundred comments. Cindy Kunsman weighs in.
  13. I’m Speaking Truth picks up the You Will Suffer/Prepare To Die meme. “For every sound teacher and sheep thirsty for the Word, their are thousands of pretenders who are leading millions dutifully into the lake of fire.”
  14. John Baker quotes Michael Horton’s book Christless Christianity. “I am not arguing in this book that we have arrived at Christless Christianity but that we are well on our way. There need not be explicit abandonment of any key Christian teaching, just a series of subtle distortions and not-so-subtle distractions.”
  15. Phil Naessens gives equal time to preterist Samuel Frost. No word on whether he’s found a self-proclaimed hyper-preterist available to do the same.

Here’s your bonus question of the day: What comes next in this series: “CRN,” “CRN.Info,” “CRN.Info2?”

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OD Today: 4 January 2009 (late edition)

January 4, 2009

I have a lot to do this afternoon, so I’m catching up and calling the day early. Tomorrow work starts in earnest again after the holiday, so I’m going to have to tighten the criteria I use for linking here. I will probably end up dropping articles that just link or quote another item without comment.

  1. Cindy Kunsman gives an overview of authoritarian teachings within Christianity, particularly Bill Gothard and what Kunsman calls “submission doctrine.” “Bill Gothard openly promotes this teaching as the ‘umbrella of protection’ teaching, and many of the groups that originated during this same era espouse some similar version of this ‘umbrella’ exemplar which they communicated to their spiritual posterity.”
  2. Ingrid Schlueter continues her comments on modesty with a link to an article by Timothy Paul Jones. “When I see a young girl displaying her sexual charms to the world at large, my first thought is, where is her father? Why is he endangering his daughter by allowing her to dress this way?”
  3. Jeremy at Renewing Our Minds discusses some of the ways in which Mormonism deviates from Christianity, then calls out denominations as being cults writ small. “It appears that a denomination is a liberal cult.”
  4. Jason Garwood shares Arthur Pink‘s “Present Day Evangelism.” I think this is the third time this particular article has surfaces in the last couple of weeks.
  5. Michael Newnham talks about Sabbath-keeping, then announces he’s taking the day off. Good for you, Michael.
  6. Miriam Franklin comments on Charlie Robinson and his “Third Heaven” experience.
  7. Christine at Talk Wisdom discusses coverage of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, calls out Larry King/CNN.
  8. Bill Salus on Israel/Hamas.
  9. Stan Goodenough on Israel/Hamas.
  10. Joel Rosenberg on Israel/Hamas.
  11. Richard Land on Israel/Hamas (1, 2). Land appears to be tilting in favor of a two-state solution.
  12. Miriam Franklin opens a discussion on whether the apostolic authority to heal the sick, raise the dead, and drive out demons is applicable today.
  13. Job at Jesus Christology delves into the implications of postmodernism in understanding the attributes of God. “So for some issues, modernism, postmodernism, and premodernism are inadequate. Modernism can only deal with truths that can be observed or measured according to some rational system so that mind makes right. Postmodernism makes truth a moving target so that it can be the instrument of whoever is best able to use – or misuse – it so that feelings make right. And premodernism allows truth to be defined by human institutions and authority so that might makes right. So when it comes to the Bible, all of them come short.”
  14. Emily H. at Grace in the Triad visits an abortion clinic. “I don’t just want to tell them they are wrong to abort their babies, although that is true. I want to hug them and cry with them and show them how my heart breaks for them. I wish we had the chance to pray with them and figure out an alternate plan. I wish that just one of them had listened.”
  15. Miriam Franklin picks up Tony Blair‘s comments on religion generally and Islam in particular.
  16. Cia W. at EFT & Spiritual Warfare encounters an NIV/The Message combination Bible, gives it a thumbs down, links/quotes this article from Berean Call (Dave Hunt/T. A. McMahon).

And finally, something completely different: at Secular Right, Heather McDonald comments on Christopher Hitchen’s comments on Rick Warren’s invitation to give the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration: “How, then, do they live with the knowledge that their friends and loved ones face an eternity of torment? … Either believers live with an extraordinary degree of cognitive dissonance between the inclusive values of their society and the dictates of their religion, or they unconsciously mitigate those bloody-minded dictates as atavistic vestiges from a more primitive time.”

My apologies to anyone who thought this might finally be an update without a reference to Rick Warren.

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Chris Rosebrough end-of-year issues (2008)

January 1, 2009

Chris Rosebrough’s end-of-year recap is here, at Extreme Theology. Here are the bullets:

  • Marijuana ministers Green Earth Ministries. Article from A Little Leaven here.
  • 30-day sex challenge: Paul Wirth/Relevant Church. Mahalo link here. Ed Young followed suit with a seven-day sex challenge. Ed Young’s own video is here, but it’s a private video; see also lots of comments there. 
  • The Mountain Lake Church/Naked Church campaign. The article from A Little Leaven with video and link is here.
  • The Oaks Fellowship for its television-themed sermon series. See here for a GodTube video for Real Life: Dancing With The Stars part 5.
  • Gay Episcopal bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori.
  • Exegesis of nursery rhymes (Wayne Dyer). Link with video at A Little Leaven.
  • Pastor (Chad Smith) and family for sale on eBay (link).
  • Christian rap, particularly Act Like a Christian/Lean like a Cholo (video).
  • Obama Be They Name (video).
  • Saddleback/Simply Youth High School Musical 3 Bible Study.
  • Bill Scheer of Guts Church “I Am Not A Sinner” (link).
  • Sonseed’s “Jesus Is A Friend Of Mine.” (video).
  • Brian McLaren on the Bleeding Purple podcast, refuting the doctrine of Hell (audio with pictures). 
  • The Voice Bible
  • Rob Bell’s appearance at Seeds of Compassion; (A Little Leaven, Youth Ministries Alert).
  • Peter Popoff’s Miracle Manna (video).
  • Mike Murdock’s miracle seeds (link, video).
  • Paula White & Larry Huck’s Seven Places Jesus Shed His Blood (video).
  • Todd Bentley’s Florida Outpouring (head kick video).
  • Patricia King’s sapphire glitter (link).
  • Granger Community Church’s Reveal Study (link).
  • The Shack (book website).
  • John Crowder & Ben Dunn and their spiritual intoxication (video).
  • Dutch Sheets interprets a dream (link).
  • Rick Pino’s “You Spin Me Round” (video).
  • Jane Dratz’s How To Share Your Faith Using Paris Hilton’s My New BFF (link).
  • Rob Bell’s lectio divina (link, with parody sketch).
  • Rick Warren, generally, but in particular his appearance on The Colbert Report.