Posts Tagged ‘Chris Rosebrough’

OD Today: 22 January 2009 (early edition)

January 22, 2009

Looks like everybody’s still got an inauguration hangover. The standout story is probably item 5, regarding home schooling associations and old-earth creationists. The Gerald Warner editorial is also noteworthy, since it offers a perspective from Britain saying much the same thing (but better) we’ve been hearing about what conservative Christians expect from the Obama administration.

  1. Four Pointer calls out Joseph Lowery. “The cheering crowd and the broad smile plastered on the face of Messiah Osama says it all: these are the people who are REALLY living in the past and who the REAL racists are.”
  2. Thomas Heringer is still reading Francis Schaeffer and speaking somewhat obliquely about totalitarianism. “Further, when a government says that some people can have freedom to speak and have actions they desire, but other people are not allowed to speak in opposition to those, then that itself becomes intolerant. “
  3. Jennifer O’Hara reminds us that we need to pray for our political leaders. “it includes Barack Obama, it includes all of those in authority over us. A few years ago, when Nancy Pelosi ascended…”
  4. Dwayna Litz offers a tip on dodging accusations of hate crimes. “PLEASE BE SURE WHEN WITNESSING AT TABLE TO ASK, “Is it ok with you if I read you what the Bible says?””
  5. thatmom revisits the issue of authority and dissent within the Christian home-schooling movement. “Ultimately, Sonlight received no written or full “official” explanation, but got the message: the convention committee was of the opinion that the company isn’t Christian enough . . . primarily because it isn’t strict enough in its young-earth teaching. … This has made me wonder how many more state homeschooling organizations or even Home School Legal Defense, for that matter, who is also participating in the leadership summit, are taking it upon themselves to decide who is and isn’t Christian enough to participate in conferences, conventions, and support services for homeschooling families.” See also the source post by John Holzmann. “Ultimately, Sonlight received no written or full “official” explanation, but got the message: the convention committee was of the opinion that the company isn’t Christian enough . . . primarily because it isn’t strict enough in its young-earth teaching.” Holzmann goes on to say that B. B. Warfield, J. Vernon McGee, and James Dobson were/are “old earth creationists.”
  6. Mike Ratliff continues his series that I understand to be a call to suffer during the Obama administration. “I do understand that non-Christians are not regenerate and have no concept of the Holiness of God and the sinfulness of Man. I understand that and I do not expect the US Government to become conformed to Christian values. However, since this country was founded there has been conformity to Biblical moral standards in the laws and their enforcement. The Obama administration is set to do away with all of that. This would include a reversal of all restrictions on abortion and euthanasia.
  7. Ken Silva offers a quote from John Gresham Machen (1923) and applies it to Rob Bell. Chris Rosebrough has been making essentially the same argument (that emergents are liberals with new vocabularies) via his various outlets and also recommending Machen as applying to emergents.
  8. Christine at Talk Wisdom offers another post on the Bush-Obama transition and crowd reactions. “Their ugliness was in full force yesterday, as the ObamaBorg Bot Kool-Aid drinkers in the crowd jeered and verbally bashed President George W. Bush as he entered the inaugural festivities. These people could not even be respectful enough to just KEEP QUIET if they don’t like the former president.” Interested readers who are having a hard time following the cultural references here, “Borg” refers to a collective of baddies from one of the Star Trek television franchises, not the liberal theologian of the same name, and the reference to Kool-Aid should be taken as a reference to the method of murder/suicide employed by Peoples Temple (Jonestown, Guyana), rather than an actual reference to the consumption of reconstituted soft drinks by people at the inauguration. I hope this helps.
  9. Howard Fisher links to Gerald Warner’s editorial in the Telegraph (UK) regarding the Obama inauguration. “What we are experiencing, in the deepening days of a global depression, is the desperate suspension of disbelief by people of intelligence – la trahison des clercs – in a pathetic effort to hypnotise themselves into the delusion that it will be all right on the night. It will not be all right.”
  10. Scott Ragan offers a contrary opinion regarding Sunday night services on Super Bowl Sunday. “I am not sure that this poor church was aware of the fact that by doing what they have done, they have declared their allegiance to “the gods of the NFL” and have turned their back on the God of the Bible.”
  11. Dorothy Anderson collects Emergent links regarding orthodoxy as a social construct.
  12. Steve Hays dissects federal headship (and its cousin, corporate guilt) in the age of Obama.
  13. Emergent Village offers a collection of clips from Rob Bell’s “The Gods Aren’t Angry” tour (YouTube).
  14. Christine at Talk Wisdom introduces something called Obama Schizophrenic Syndrome.
  15. Anton Hein-Hudson offers an introductory article on C. Peter Wagner/New Apostolic Reformation. Note: I finally figured out why I was incorrectly attributing Apologetics Index articles to Richard Abanes; that shouldn’t be happening again.
  16. Ingrid Schlueter has a rough night’s sleep. “The media bias for Obama has lapsed into farce. CNN is one of the worst. I think they’re on his staff. His new cabinet was called a “dream team” yesterday. Yes, a nightmare. Before the Inaugural ball, I knew they would call Michelle Obama’s gown, “stunning!” Sure enough. Yesterday morning CNN reported on her gown as being, “stunning.” If she’d worn a burlap sack, the drooling media elite would have found it to be “stunning” as well. I don’t think I can stomach this anymore.”
  17. Sharon Lindbloom offers comments on Mormon reactions in the wake of Proposition 8 and the Focus on the Family/Glenn Beck flap, reminds us all we need to be civil when dealing with Mormons. “It would be foolish to say people never cross the line when debating Mormonism vs. Christianity, but in my experience such conversations are nearly always civil and respectful.”
  18. Michael Newnham weighs in on Rick Warren’s use of the Islamic name for Jesus. “The Muslim Isa is not my Jesus…in their doctrine he was not crucified for the sins of the world but was a forerunner of Muhammad.”
  19. And finally, someone named Muammar Qaddafi recommends a “one-state solution” to the Israel/Palestinian situation (Reuters). “Assimilation is already a fact of life in Israel. There are more than one million Muslim Arabs in Israel; they possess Israeli nationality and take part in political life with the Jews, forming political parties. On the other side, there are Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Israeli factories depend on Palestinian labor, and goods and services are exchanged. This successful assimilation can be a model for Isratine.”

OD Today: 21 January 2009 (early edition)

January 21, 2009

This morning’s update is almost but not quite entirely Obama-free.

  1. Mike Witter explains N. T. Wright‘s New Perspective on Paul: “Wright acknowledges at the end of the interview that Reformed theologians will think that he is “smuggling in works-righteousness” to salvation, but he replies that he is actually just being faithful to Paul’s teaching that Christians “really do ‘please God.’” … Catholic view.  Wright still holds to grace alone, but not faith alone, at least as articulated by Calvin and Luther.”
  2. Henry Neufield offers a post-mortem on the Bush Administration. “But having chosen to go to war, President Bush acted as though there was no need for continued support of the war. There are indications that many in his administration thought the war would be much easier. I have a hard time crediting that level of stupidity.”
  3. Church Relevance offers a list of sixty “top Church blogs.” That’s Church Universal, apparently, rather than local church. Stuff Christians Like celebrates coming in third. Several emergents, no ODMs.
  4. James White offers comment on the Williams/Ehrman debate (from Unbelievable?), as part of an episode of The Dividing Line. I have not yet heard this episode: I’m still about forty hours behind on various audio goodies that accumulated while I was away last week.
  5. Miriam Franklin calls Catholics and various groups represented by the World Council of Churches unbelievers.
  6. Miriam Franklin calls John Crowder demonic. See also Chris Rosebrough, which called Crowder’s behavior satanic.
  7. Dwayna Litz reminds us that Jesus did not come to bring world peace. “I just emailed my friend the following verses for the “New Testament Christian”, which prove that war is in fact part of God’s sovereign plan.”
  8. Kit offers three Zeitgeist (movie)-related posts, including an interview with Jordan Maxwell (1, 2, 3).
  9. Howard Fisher has been reading Michael Horton, and takes on the concept of “time alone with Jesus.” “For years I have interacted with Roman Catholics apologists, who mock the doctrine of Sola Scriptura due to their view of Protestantism, by making the charge that Protestants run to sit with Jesus under a tree all alone. This makes sense to me more now than in the past. When Protestants act as Gnostics in their search for truth (while decrying moral relativism), they feed our critics with much ammo.”
  10. Ergun Caner vs. James White, as recommended by Lane Chaplin (YouTube). Ninety-three minutes; I’m still looking for a free (as in costing $0.00) audio version.
  11. Brian D. offers a batch of links. There’s very little overlap what you’ll see here.
  12. Lane Chaplin/Reformata offers a link for a high-quality video of Paul Washer’s “10 indictments” sermon. This is a biggie, and somewhat to very popular among ODMs. I really should put together a bunch of notes and links for this, since it encapsulates a lot of the claims and rhetoric popular among ODMs.
  13. Boyd Miller offers a check list for deciding if you’re part of the Word of Faith movement. “4. Do you believe God has anointed certain people to collect money in his name?”
  14. Job at Jesus Christology quotes and highlights an editorial from NewsMax saying the now-former President betrayed conservatives. “It should be remembered that, sometime after the invasion, the raison d’etre of the war changed from removing Saddam from power and stopping his weapons of mass destruction program to a dreamy plan of creating a democracy in Iraq.
  15. Darryl Foster offers a video with Samuel Brown’s contrary (that is, positive) opinion regarding gay Christians. “We had a civil exchange but with stark disagreements, so I respect him for his civility in expressing his points. Brown says that he was raised in the COGIC but obviously disagrees with COGIC’s moral stance. What do you think about Samuel Brown’s theology on homosexuality? Is he right, wrong or just another really mixed up gay christian?” (YouTube)
  16. Scott Isebrand/Religious Right Watch/Chris Rodda offer an account of a soldier feeling pressured to applaud at the end of a particular prayer by someone named Rick Warren at a public event yesterday. “…soldiers pressured to conform to commanders’ religious beliefs.” Civil religion, anyone?
  17. Kris at SGM Survivors asks among other things why Sovereign Grace Ministries would want to plant a church in Colorado Springs, of all places. “I know you guys have redefined the word “gossip” to mean any and all sharing of information that you don’t want people to be discussing.  But is it really “gossip” to want to know if one’s senior pastor will soon be swapped out for another guy?  Is it somehow wrong to be concerned about who will be leading one’s “local” church?  Wouldn’t it demonstrate, actually, a strange lack of concern if people did NOT desire to know about these things?”
  18. The Westchester Institute announces a commentary addressing the question “Has the Pro-Life Movement Failed?”

I generally hesitate to be a trend-spotter and prognosticator, but I’m expecting more articles regarding George W. Bush saying, more or less “we’ve been had” now that he’s out of office and no longer the beneficiary of any Pauline commands to be subject to those in authority.

OD Today: 20 January 2009 (early edition)

January 20, 2009

We’re expecting lots of inauguration-related links; we saw overnight more than we’re sharing now.

  1. Darryl Foster calls out the Church of God in Christ regarding elder Ronald Kimbrew and his relationship to an online gay clergy group. “Is COGIC going to be silent while an organized culture of homosexual ministers and bishops populate its pulpits?”
  2. Chris Rosebrough mentions Queermergent. Rosebrough is working on an “emergent church is postmodern liberal (as opposed to modern liberal)” theme going at his various outlets. “Even though Emergents try to navigate a middle road between liberalism and conservatism, then end up supporting the same agenda as their Modern Liberal cousins.”
  3. Henry Neufield reflects on the meaning of race within the Obama inauguration story. “As a Christian I believe we do owe one another allegiance, and that we do have a duty to help free the oppressed, to care for the poor and needy. I think there is a moral duty to do such things not because they are good for me, but because they are good. At the same time, I think God has so ordered the universe that it seems that I can do good for myself by doing good for others, that I will live in a richer and better society if I am willing to sacrifice for others and fight for their rights.”
  4. Jonathan Dodson ponders the pros and cons of churches partnering with non-profit groups. “So the question is not should we partner with non-profits, but when and where should we partner with them. Sometimes it will be best to not partner and other times it will be best.”
  5. John Baker copies Joseph Farah‘s call for Christians to pray that Barack Obama fails.
  6. Chris Rosebrough offers his take on Gene Robinson’s prayer. “This ‘god’ is an idol and a demon. This ‘god’ is powerless to answer and save and worshiping and following this demon ‘god’ will land people in hell.” (YouTube)
  7. Ralph Petersen offers comments of Ron Livesay, a recently-retired principal from a Christian school, suggests that evangelicals voted for Barack Obama because they went to public schools. “What caused the children of the so-called “religious right,” to change their moral imperatives so dramatically? In this article, Phyllis Schlafly suggests that most likely it’s the humanistic attitudes and decision-making they learned in the public schools, which 89 percent of U.S. students attend.” Warning: some readers may be offended by a drawing of an anatomically correct somewhat humaniform rhinoceros.
  8. Phil Johnson at Pyromaniacs on whether he’d pray at the Obama inauguration if given the chance: he’d decline “because Obama’s own stated intention is to make his inauguration “the most inclusive, open, accessible inauguration in American history,” and I would not want to affirm that goal, even tacitly.” This is part of a series, and it starts here.
  9. Ken Silva continues his series on Ravi Zacharias and Henri Nouwen. “In the first place, it needs to be understood here that as a Roman Catholic monk Nouwen not only rejected Sola Scriptura but also the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even so, RZIM recommends we read the Roman Catholic Nouwen and then make up our minds “as to Christian commitment.” But the question that needs to be asked here is: Why would supposedly Protestant evangelical RZIM even want to recommend that we read for our Christian edification writings from someone who denied Christ’s Gospel in the first place?” For the record I think this is a fair question, and I feel compelled to point out that Nouwen was a priest and not a monk.
  10. Miriam Franklin shares an anonymous story with a warning about laying on of hands/impartation. “A week or so after this “laying of hands” and “impartation,” I began to have this intense almost uncontrollable lust and desire for the senior pastor’s wife who I worked with.”
  11. Christine at Talk Wisdom is concerned by how chummy the outgoing President is with the incoming President.
  12. Terry Mattingly, at GetReligion, pushes a book about how the press doesn’t get religion, and also brushes up against the question of American civil religion and the “Orthodoxy of No Orthodoxy.” “The apparent orthodoxy of forbidding all orthodoxies is a philosophical puzzle in liberalism since John Locke. Journalists cannot be expected to solve it.”
  13. Jeremy at Renewing Our Minds posts a link to a sermon claiming that Billy Graham is going to hell. I haven’t seen it yet and can’t summarize.
  14. Mike Ratliff stakes out the most conservative position on abortion: “Rape, incest, and birth defects do not justify taking the life of a child.” Well, the second-most, I guess, since he doesn’t broach the question of the life of the mother.
  15. Job at Jesus Christology comes full circle in his exploration of Israel/Hamas: “Despite my sympathy for the Palestinians and many disagreements with Israeli policies, I have always maintained that ultimately Israel has not only the right but the responsibility to defend itself when faced with a population that throws rocks at Israeli tanks trying to avoid civilian casualties rather than at the terrorists using them as human shields.”
  16. Ingrid Schlueter copies a press release regarding the Freedom of Choice Act. It looks like it originates with American Right to Life. I believe this is the first time Schlueter has referred to Barack Obama as “America’s New Messiah.” The same press release is also here, and doesn’t include the term “New Messiah.”
  17. Chris Rosebrough delves deep into Barack Obama’s religious beliefs. I hope to get to this episode of Fighting for the Faith Today, but it’s a full two hours. Update: The Obama/Cathleen Falsani interview starts at about ninety minutes, and the article Rosebrough reads can be found here. I can’t do this justice; I’d encourage anyone and everyone to read the interview and listen to Rosebrough’s analysis. He says Obama “sounds like a postmodern/emergent” because he prefers the “subjective voice” to the “objective Word of God.” The payoff comes at about 1:52-55 or so; Rosebrough changes his call on Obama’s salvation, if I understand him correctly. Note also Obama’s specific reference to civic religion: “Alongside my own deep personal faith, I am a follower, as well, of our civic religion. I am a big believer in the separation of church and state. I am a big believer in our constitutional structure. I mean, I’m a law professor at the University of Chicago teaching constitutional law. I am a great admirer of our founding charter, and its resolve to prevent theocracies from forming, and its resolve to prevent disruptive strains of fundamentalism from taking root in this country.”
  18. I’m Speaking Truth picks up John Piper’s comments on Barack Obama’s aims for the American church. This is pretty heavy stuff, but I’m guessing most if not all of my readers have already seen the phrase “a minister of condemnation,” and I’m not going to try to unwind all this theology here. I think Piper’s argument is that by including Gene Robinson in the inauguration Obama is making the American church itself a minister of sin and damnation.
  19. Defending Contending also comments on the Obama inauguration. “People, your king is here; may God have mercy on us.”
  20. Mollie Hemingway at GetReligion offers an inauguration link-fest, and raises the spectre of Rick Warren praying “in Jesus’s name.” “We’ll be sure to have more on coverage of the inaugural prayers. Will Warren be chastised for praying as a Christian (or, as Amy Sullivan at Time calls it, “if Rick Warren gets preachy when he prays,” God forbid).”

OD Today: 19 January 2009 (early edition)

January 19, 2009

Many many links and we try to catch up from a week off. The anti-Obama crowd is stepping up rhetoric ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration (see also the Gene Robinson stories), and accusations against Sovereign Grace Ministries are not going away. Other than that? Emergents and Nazis, but not in the same story.

  1. Religious Right Watch alerts on Blogs for Life, also notes an article about Rick Warren at The Nation accusing him of tax fraud. “The facts were simple: in 1993 Warren deducted $77,663, his entire Saddleback Church salary that year, as a housing expense–and paid no taxes at all on that salary.”
  2. Chris Rosebrough connects the Emerging Church to John Shelby Spong. Rosebrough spent most of last week and a couple of days before that on this topic, both at his weblog and on his podcast. I will put together a summary if I have time. “The Emergents claim that they are a ‘third way’ or a synthesis and middle ground between liberalism and conservatism. Yet, they are coming to the same conclusions as “modern” liberals. The Emergent movement is nothing more than a Post-Modern form of Liberalism.”
  3. Chris Rosebrough calls out Rick Warren for making a passing reference to Hitler Youth (and devotees of Mao Zedong) as an example of dedication to a cause. I can’t agree with Rosebrough’s parsing of Jesus’s message (I don’t see the dichotomy between meeting felt needs and making disciples that Rosebrough sees), and I don’t agree with Rosebrough’s parsing of what Warren says, but I have to agree that modern Christians need to get as far away from Nazi narratives and imagery as possible. Not only that, but it reminds me of repeated references to exactly the same language used by e.g. Doug Coe (of The Family) fame, as cited by Jeff Sharlet in his book The Family. Note that Warren does not actually praise the Nazis (YouTube). “Lifting up Nazi passion and commitment and asking Christians to have that same passion and commitment is not just tacky, it is out right creepy. Is Warren building an army?”
  4. Robin Brace takes on the question of whether Christians need to observe the Sabbath. “The common Seventh Day Adventist error is in failing to notice the difference between the original institution of something and the point at which a particular divine prescription comes into effect.”
  5. Thomas Heringer interpolates some comments from Barack Obama, returns to the common theme that Obama is preparing the United States for a place in a global government. “If what is meant in the bold type, that Obama means for those of us who still believe the Bible should give it up to a global ideal, then I have a problem with it.” There are really two strands here that are fairly common among conservative Christians with an ODM bent: Christianity as a religion among other religions, and global government. These are related ideas but they’re not really the same.
  6. Russell Moore hates Sanctity of Life Sunday. “I hate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday because I’m reminded that we have to say things to one another that human beings shouldn’t have to say. Mothers shouldn’t kill their children. Fathers shouldn’t abandon their babies. No human life is worthless, regardless of skin color, age, disability, economic status. The very fact that these things must be proclaimed is a reminder of the horrors of this present darkness. … I’m reminded that there are children, maybe even blocks from my pulpit, who’ll be slapped, punched, and burned with cigarettes before nightfall. I’m reminded that there are elderly men and women languishing away in loneliness, their lives pronounced to be a waste.”
  7. Kris at Sovereign Grace Ministries Survivors picks up the question of whether SGM pastors bug their offices and meeting rooms. “And then someone sent me a snippet of an email that had been received from someone … who reported positively ”knowing” that some of the things shared here on this site were inaccurate, because he’d had access to the “transcripts of conversations” between the SGM member and his/her SGM pastors, and the SGM member sharing his/her story on this blog had relayed false information, based upon a comparison with the “transcript” to which this SGM staff person had access.”
  8. Christine at Talk Wisdom picks up the “Obama is a one-worlder” theme again.
  9. Miriam Franklin offers a recap post on Chuck Pierce and his complete line of Christian charm bracelets, complete with pictures. “It ain’t just the merchandising and false prophecy that is wrong in this case. This is pretty blatant stuff – are “Christians” really so naive as to be taken in by it? And are they really so superstitious?  I guess so, as Chuck’s ministry has brought out more than one range of this type of jewellery.”
  10. Phil Perkins announces a series in which he will be taking on Frank Turk regarding usage of gender in Bible translations.
  11. Miriam Franklin parses an upcoming New Ecstatics meeting including John Crowder. “John Crowder is also known to dress sometimes in brown monk’s habits, use the Latin Vulgate, quote Catholic mystics and heretics, and use Gregorian monk chants as background music to his videos. As well as to heavily promote ecumenicism.”
  12. Timmy Brister parses Gene Robinson’s theology. “nothing is said of the nature of this god, and nothing is asked in reference of him doing what only a god could do.  The prayer is fundamentally ethical, not theological.”
  13. Mollie Ziegler Hemingway offers an omnibus post on press coverage of tomorrow’s inauguration. Have I said lately how much I love MZH? Catch her also, occasionally, on Issues, etc.
  14. Rick Frueh warns against interpreting contemporary events in the light of eschatology. “Let me say that any nation has the right and responsibility to protect its citizens, however that is not the concern of the church neither is it our message.”
  15. Ingrid Schlueter comments on Gene Robinson. “Fox Religion Correspondent, Lauren Green, has a column on sodomite rebel, Rev. Gene Robinson, who is scheduled to pray at an Inaugural prayer event. Robinson, who lives with his gay lover, is just “horrified” over aggressively Christian prayers. Yeah, Gene, well, some of us are “horrified” at what passes for Christian clergy these days.”
  16. Sharon Lindbloom parses a recent sermon by Thomas Monson. “Amazingly, Thomas Monson took the clear and powerful Word of God — a revelation wherein God declared His divine initiative in blessing His people — and misapplied it to teach his followers that God’s blessings are bestowed according to human attainment.”
  17. Ingrid Schlueter takes up the story of Edward Purvis, who defrauded Christian investors in Arizona and twelve other states by promising them big bucks for funding a ministry. “It takes two sides to make a fraudulent financial scheme work—a criminal or criminals on the one side and greedy, simple-minded people on the other.” I for one applaud Schlueter’s focus on profiteering in Christianity, and look forward to her bringing up the topic the next time she welcomes an author who visits Crosstalk to push a book.
  18. Stephen Shields at Next Wave gives a history of the Emerging/Emergent Church, with quotes from all the usual suspects. Thanks to Jonathan Dodson.
  19. Ingrid Schlueter pulls an Obama two-fer: following Concerned Women for America in calling Barack Obama the most virulent pro-abortion President, and joining Joseph Farah in praying Obama fails. “Joseph Farah, I, and millions of other believers are praying for the failure of Barack Obama in his attempts to widen access to child-killing in abortion clinics, grant full legitimacy to homosexual relationships through civil unions, and establish a socialist economic system in this country.”
  20. Michael Newnham calls out C. J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries, particularly for suggesting that he/they are apostles. “we can assume that the “apostles” are going to stonewall the situation unless forced by bad publicity to do otherwise. Side note here…when your church is run by men who call themselves “apostles”…run.”

OD Today: 9 January 2009 (late edition)

January 9, 2009

Today we’ve got a bumper crop of links. Marcus Borg appears out of nowhere and everybody’s interested in him. Go figure.

  1. Daniel Pulliam discusses a Tribune article on Trinity United Church of Christ now that the Obamas have left. “I knew we would come out better and stronger for enduring the attack. Now we can accomplish what Rev. Wright wants. We can accomplish what Rev. Moss wants. We can accomplish what God wants.”
  2. Stuff Christians Like post 469, about being pastor or staff: “Can you keep complex counts in multiples of 2s, 3s, and 4s but can’t remember how many times in a row you’ve sung a song?” (Then you might be a worship leader.)
  3. Yomi at Theology Today calls out false prophets. “Now think clearly about it: every Chris, Enoch, Matthew, and David are claiming to be anointed ones all over the place. Such a claim was not made by even those specially chosen by Jesus to lay the foundation of the Church. None of the apostles claimed to be “anointed ones”, though they had more right to the claim than anyone else!” (I had originally accused Yomi of not naming names here; these are apparently the first names of prominent people in Nigeria. Please see the comments.)
  4. David Reagan offers part four of his series on whether the Antichrist is Muslim. “Another misleading aspect of Richardson’s presentation is his constant talk about the “amazing parallels” and “startling similarities” between Islamic and biblical end time prophecies. Actually, there is nothing startling or amazing when you consider the fact that Mohammed borrowed nearly all his key ideas from Bible stories he heard from both Jews and Christians, stories he often got thoroughly confused.”
  5. Religion News Blog is still on the Jett Travolta/Scientology story. Why don’t any ODMs pick this up?
  6. Underdog Theology shares an illustration from John MacArthur, taken from a story by Anton Chekov. Why must The Truth be illustrated by fiction?
  7. Herescope sees planned African food voucher programs as creeping Communitarianism and an attempt to undermine local churches in Africa.
  8. Kris at Sovereign Grace Ministries Survivors says Sovereign Grace Ministries have called in a third party (Ken Sande’s Peacemakers) to arrange reconciliation with the Noel/Grizzly situation. Kris asks a bunch of rhetorical questions I won’t repeat here. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad that SGM finally got around to taking an action – involving Sande and his organization – that apparently acknowledges that they may not have handled Noel’s situation appropriately. But so many questions remain.”
  9. Jeremy Nelson jumps on the Billy Graham clip Ken Silva commented on earlier in the day, says “Not a surprise from a Freemason.”
  10. Jonathan Dodson picks up the New Atheist British ad campaign.
  11. John Chishem offers the latest installment of his review of Jesus Wants To Save Christians. Unlike most ODMs he allows comments on his site, and he’s drawn some attention from Emergent types.
  12. Chris Lyons offers random thoughts on Israel. “Thus, when someone says “can you give me the short answer”, my answer is “I don’t think there is one”…”
  13. Darryl Foster opens for comments on megachurches in general. “I dont think the “megachurch” model currently reigning as the desired after church standard is biblical. I think after a while it will run its course and become a religious dinosaur. I think all those who have built their careers on megachurch mentality will be in a spiritual soupline. What do you think?”
  14. Chris Rosebrough shares a clip featuring Marcus Borg (YouTube).
  15. Scott McClare collects links, including Albert Mohler on the atheist ad campaign.
  16. Terry Mattingly (not an ODM) on the treatment of facts and opinions, particularly editorial shortcomings when hard facts are abundant. This sort of speaks to what I’m trying to get at in item 6 above.
  17. Dave Marriott begins a review of a book by Marcus Borg. “Borg holds that Jesus is the decisive revelation of God (even “more decisive than the Bible”), but yet he admits that a human body cannot display omnipotence or omniscience, characteristics he knows to be true concerning God. Where did he get this conception of God if not from the Jesus?”
  18. Phil Perkins issues apologies and corrections. “some have asked if I believe that anything but a word-for-word translation is a sin or incorrect. No, I don’t. In fact, some of my readers are multi-lingual, so I know that they know there is not such thing as a word-for-word translation unless the document is very short. No two languages have vocabulary with a one-to-one correlation and no two languages have identical grammar and syntax. Literal, word-for-word translation is preferred, but never possible in all situations.”
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OD Today: 9 January 2009 (early edition)

January 9, 2009

There were lots of links overnight, and I’m running behind.

  1. From Mike Wittmer, the last word regarding Ed Dobson. Dobson deals with the problems regarding his appearance on Good Morning America, namely his support for pro-life issues, his voting for Barack Obama and his consumption of alcohol, which is important because of his position at Cornerstone University. Kudos to Dobson, for responding to the questions people raised, and to Wittmer, for relating and responding to Dobson’s words directly.
  2. Steve Knight regarding litmus tests, essentials, and non-essentials. “The very first thing they wanted to know was my stand on homosexuality, my opinions about abortion, and my beliefs about the Bible. I don’t think I passed.”
  3. Phil Miller discusses LifeWay Christian Stores’ new Read With Discernment program. “(I will note, though, that it does seem somewhat hypocritical to continue to sell a product you think dangerous enough to require a warning label).”
  4. John Baker links to a video purportedly showing Hamas killing people at a wedding for playing music, footage of men being rounded up, Fox News footage of people dancing in the streets in East Jerusalem on September 11, 2001, and Islamist propaganda videos (YouTube).
  5. Defending Contending calls out Guitar Praise (a Rock Band knock-off with Christian Music). “I also wonder if this is being marketed to the underground Church in Communist countries.”
  6. Christian Research Net shares a link to Stacy Campbell blessing Todd Bentley (YouTube), “who are Emerging Christ-followers, or any believers in Jesus the Evangelist for that matter, to think this use of Scripture and prophecy by people who “love” Jesus could be wrong.”
  7. Four Pointer at Defending Contending shares quotes from Mormon texts. “The purpose of this post is not to “bash” Mormons, but rather to show them that they have not been told the truth about the history of what the former leaders taught and practiced.”
  8. Ken Silva calls out Billy Graham for being a closet universalist. “Graham announces, and he far from alone is this, “everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re members of the Body of Christ.” Zow-ee; now we even have salvation via osmosis with none of that nasty ol’ preaching of the Gospel.”
  9. Orrin Judd shares a column by Irshad Manji from the Globe and Mail, calling for Muslims to embrace independent thinking. “Still unable to draw the link between self-protection and suicide, I proposed this analogy: ‘If my boss steals my job and I kill myself because something that is mine has been taken away, am I a martyr?’ Horrified, the translator shook his head. ‘No, no, you can’t ask this.'”
  10. Ralph Petersen shares a story of false hope. “I thought about the gospel appeal as described at Tom’s memorial service. What was the object? What was the compelling argument for faith? It was just the hope of heaven and the reunion of the family. There was nothing about Jesus or the forgiveness of sin or his need for a savior. As I looked around the room, I noticed that there were several who had never heard the gospel and this memorial service was a lost opportunity.” Petersen doesn’t give Tom’s last name or identify the pastor officiating at the memorial service.
  11. Jeremy Nelson at Renewing Our Minds shares a couple of clips from the Alex Jones expose of Bohemian Grove (1, 2) and his own video clip about occult symbols, etc.
  12. Dwayna Litz shares quotes from John Shelby Spong. “When you ask about “believing in Jesus Christ as your personal savior” you are using stylized evangelical language. That language has no appeal at all for me. To assert the role of savior for Jesus implies a definition of human life as sinful, fallen and helpless. It assumes the ancient myth that proclaimed that we were created perfect only to fall into sin from which we need to be rescued. It was a popular definition before people understood about our evolutionary background. We have been evolving toward humanity for billions of years. “
  13. E. E. Evans discusses press coverage of the British atheist advertising campaign. “What is a “non-religious belief”? I’d also like to see some independent corroboration of those statistics.”
  14. Phil Naessens continues discussing preterism, asks where the New Heaven and New Earth are. “If righteousness dwells in this new heaven and new earth, as Peter points out then how come there is so much unrighteousness in this new heaven and new earth?”
  15. Chris Rosebrough responds to listener comments, repeats that Barack Obama is a Christian, says George W. Bush and Glenn Beck are not (podcast).
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OD Today: 8 January 2009 (late edition)

January 8, 2009

Really nothing but continuing stories in this update; Desert Pastor (see item 14) summarizes the views of most everything I’ve heard or read from conservative Christians regarding the current conflict in and around Gaza.

  1. Chris Rosebrough says Barack Obama “is a Christian” even if he is heterodox (podcast, at about 23:00).
  2. The Frog in the Kettle says God is not blessing America. “God stopped blessing us many many years ago.  Perhaps He’s restraining His judgement upon us or we’re benefiting from His mercy, but c’mon, do we really think He’s blessing us? … take it for what its worth, just a gimmick used by career politicians to trick you into thinking they’re on your side, they’re like you.”
  3. Ingrid Schlueter calls out cowboy churches. “A cutting-edge idea would be to have a dual-theme church where men and boys go off to the pirate service and women and girls go to a Disney princess service. There could even be some dramatic interplay between the two where pirates kidnap a damsel and Prince Charming rides into the service on his white horse to rescue the maiden. The sermon potential here is rich.” She also manages to tie in Rick Warren and says “If people have a problem with long sermons and being taught about sin and hell, their greatest need is not accommodation—it is repentance. Sadly, few will hear that message in these circus-driven churches.”
  4. Justin Taylor lists life highlights for Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009), including Evangelicals and Catholics Together (1994).
  5. Dwayna Litz on women teaching men. “See Acts 18:26—Priscilla taught a man!”
  6. David Reagan presents part three of his series on the question of whether the Antichrist is a Muslim. “Next, he claims that since Antiochus Epiphanes — a type of the Antichrist — came from the Seleucid or Assyrian area of the Grecian Empire (Syria and Iraq), the Antichrist must also come from that area.”
  7. Christine at Talk Wisdom says Barack Obama will turn America’s back on Israel. “I think that Israel already knows that her security will mostly fall upon Her own shoulders once Obama is in office. The steadfast loyalty, security, unconditional stance and friendship of the United States government (of the past) with Israel might (tragically) be severely at risk.”
  8. Ingrid Schlueter endorses home schooling, Abeka, and Bob Jones Press. “As a homeschooling parent for a number of years, I can tell you that it is possible to have top-drawer Christian education in your own home. … The peer segregation in churches and schools today breeds rebellion and disregard for adults and authority. … The biblical model is for the older to teach the younger.”
  9. Phil Perkins concludes his series on Online Discernment Ministries; he offers advice on how to fix ODMs and calls out Frank Turk. “Of HUGE CONCERN to most ODMers is the loss of formerly “Christian” institutions, like denominations, colleges, and seminaries. Did you know that God isn’t concerned about it?  He isn’t.”
  10. Ingrid Schlueter extolls the virtues of being old-fashioned. “Those of us who still have appreciation for the old ways that worked will have to band together. There aren’t very many of us!”
  11. Dave Hunt warns regarding the National Council of Churches‘ year-old warning regarding Christian Zionism. Does anyone call himself a Christian Zionist? Or is it always pejorative? “In fact, according to the NCC, Christian Zionist support for Israel is the main stumbling block to tranquility in the Middle East.”
  12. Ken Silva proclaims a split in Evangelicalism. “The time has come in the American Christian Church for division; for a reformation every bit the same as when Luther stood hammer in hand. Since my time is looking as if it’s nearing an end I’ll simply say that someone must arise and declare that there is no way to harmonize what you will hear in the following sermon from Dr. John MacArthur with the egregiously ecumenical postliberal cult of the Emerging Church and postevangelicalism, which is right now completely swallowing up centered on the self semi-pelagian evangelicalism.”
  13. Ingrid Schlueter advertises a Crosstalk interview with Albert Mohler. “I believe that legalized child-killing and homosexuality issue are the defining moral issues facing the church today. The impotent response of God’s people to these abominations are resulting in God’s judgment on our land.” Mohler will be pushing a book.
  14. And finally: Gaza updates and analysis from Desert Pastor and Joel Rosenberg.

OD Today: 7 January 2009 (very late edition)

January 7, 2009

Warning: if this weblog were a movie, it would be rated R due to repeated uses of the words “death” and “abortion” and occasional uses of the words “hell” and “kill.” We’ll try to keep the language tame, and warn on content when appropriate.

Most of tonight’s items are continuing stories; the exceptions are the “pathological antagonists” article and the news item about Ed Dobson.

  1. Chris Rosebrough calls out Jane Dratz again, this time for her Christian Post article on how to share your faith using a song by Leona Lewis.
  2. Chris Lyons shares an article from Frontline Fellowship that appears to be taken entirely from Guy Greenfield’s book The Wounded Minister (2002), regarding pathological antagonists. It’s a shame these pathological antagonists don’t seek out abusive pastors, and vice versa.
  3. But the reasons why Origen may have preferred one reading over another can be quite complex, to be sure. In any case, all we can glean from the references Ehrman himself provides is that Origen knew of the variant in the third century.”
  4. Ingrid Schlueter links to an article by Matt Trewhella regarding Ed Dobson (not James Dobson, but the former Moral Majority lieutenant) who said recently that he voted for Barack Obama. “I have seen this with other Christian leaders who have become leftist in their political views. They call upon Christians to have nothing to do with politics, and then they involve themselves with politics – leftist politics.” Both say Dobson is apostate: “When a Christian leader boasts about voting for Barack Obama he has apostatized. Christianity opposes the killing of the preborn and the legitimizing of sodomy. Always has.”
  5. Miriam Franklin comments on the return of Todd Bentley and Rick Joyner’s work in restoring Bentley. Bentley is apparently not returning to his wife.
  6. Dwayna Litz picks up on the popularity of the doctrine of soul sleep among some in the Hebrew Roots movement, calls out Lew White. Full article here.
  7. John Chishem continues with part three of his review of Jesus Wants to Save Christians, by Rob Bell and Don Golden. “From the reading of this book, and the reading of the narrative theology along with other books and videos and recordings, it is clear that Bell is teaching the Christian Universalist Heresy and wrapping it in the poetic language of the New Exodus. “
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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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