Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

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).”
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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: 8 January 2009 (early edition)

January 8, 2009

Not an awful lot happened overnight, but we’ve got a bunch of Ed Dobson reaction stories, a new salvo in the Jesus Wants To Save Christians review battle, and more controversy surrounding Mark Driscoll.

  1. Here’s the Ed Dobson appearance on Good Morning America; it looks for all the world like he’s there to push someone else’s book.
  2. Comments singling out the fact that Dobson kept kosher as part of his “Jesus lifestyle.” “Am I the only one who finds it ironic that gentile Christians, of whom the unclean food was a symbol are now flocking back to Kosher living? This is a perfect picture of the state of Graceless moralistic faith in general, as moralism is our attempt to make clean what God has already declared to be.”
  3. Mike Wittmer also comments on Ed Dobson “Ed’s project for the past year seems rather silly … Ed’s national admission that he frequently had beers in pubs blows a big hole through Cornerstone University’s lifestyle statement”
  4. And finally, something I rarely do: a link from the Talking Points Memo weblog about Dobson’s admission he voted for Barack Obama.

Okay. Now for the usual batch of links.

  1. Kent Hovind‘s sentence for tax evasion has been upheld.
  2. Scott Ragan links to Harold Ambler’s piece at the Huffington Post. This is the second link to this article in as many days, all about Ambler calling out Al Gore regarding global warming. “By the way, your contention that the Arctic basin will be “ice free” in summer within five years (which you said last month in Germany), is one of the most demonstrably false comments you have dared to make.”
  3. Lighthouse Trails links to a New American article in which Henry Kissinger encourages the President-Elect to pursue a new world order. “he can give new impetus to American foreign policy … I think that his task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period, when really a ‘new world order’ can be created. It’s a great opportunity. It isn’t such a crisis.”
  4. Lighthouse Trails copies a Warren Smith article, but I can’t find the original anywhere. “Many Christian leaders these days are so sure that what they are hearing and experiencing is from God, they are rarely testing the spirits, or even considering the possibility that they are being deceived.” Smith doesn’t name any of these leaders, etc.
  5. Jerry at CRN.Info continues his review of Jesus Wants To Save Christians, by Rob Bell and Don Golden.”Rob Bell and Don Golden continue to insist, in chapter two, Get Down Your Harps, that God is interested in a relationship with his people. In this chapter, relationship is spoken of in terms of a marriage. They also continue to insist that God’s salvation is much bigger than we sometimes want to admit-and that it has always been much bigger than the people Israel wanted to admit-that it is for all. … Some of you may wish to highlight other aspects of what they are saying, but rest assured, I did not personally pick up any hints whatsoever that this was a universal proposition guaranteeing salvation for everyone, everywhere.”
  6. Chris Lyons comments on Ewan Souter’s decision to take down his church’s crucifix: “I think that all too often we Christians become so obsessed with the cross (Jesus’ death) that we forget the true “uplifting and inspiring symbol” given to us by Jesus – the empty tomb. Perhaps, instead of adorning our churches with empty crosses – literally and sometimes figuratively – we’d be more accurate by decorating them with a stone that has been rolled away…”
  7. John Baker picks up the Ft Lauderdale Muslim protest, where some protestors called for the extermination of the Jews.

And now, a complicated trail regarding Mark Dricoll’s comments on Jesus the Evangelist:

  1. Mark Driscoll’s original comments: “the fact that Jesus remains to this day an active evangelist is of great encouragement to me personally. It means that children who are aborted in the womb, those mentally incapable of understanding the gospel, and those people who have lived in times and places that missionaries did not visit are not necessarily beyond the hope of salvation. Indeed, Jesus could visit and save anyone anywhere because He remains The Evangelist.”
  2. Timmy Brister parses these comments: “what is so confusing to me is that Driscoll’s response could be taken potentially all three ways:  (1) post-mortem evangelism because Jesus will “evangelize” them Himself, presumably after they die; (2) a variation of inclusivism; or (3) a form of soft exclusivism where Jesus reveals Himself to people in dreams or visions savingly.  I am inclined that, given Driscoll’s charismatic beliefs (or mysticism) and theological influences, he would likely be in the third category. … Inasmuch as Driscoll hopes that the unevangelized will be evangelized by Jesus, I hope that the unevangelized will also be discipled by Jesus because there will be no one around to do that work. … ironically, creates a divide between Christ and His Great Commission.”
  3. Puritan Reformed offers abbreviated comments: “Barring the mentally handicapped and the unborn, the mention of unreached peoples and people groups is very troubling. Is the Gospel necessary unto salvation, or can salvation be mediated by some sort of supernatural encounter apart from the Scriptures and cognitive belief in Christ? Something stinks over in the New Calvinist camp, that’s for sure.”

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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OD Today: 5 January 2009 (late edition)

January 5, 2009

Everything proceeds apace today except for a couple of stories we’ve discussed here hitting the greater blogosphere and the Sovereign Grace Ministries abuse story. See below.

  1. Darryl Foster recounts contacting Beulah Heights University regarding Lewis Tait, an adjunct professor who signed the Equal Partners in Faith “Open Letter to Martin Luther King, Jr,” which reads in part “The “whosoever” of today are the diseased and the dis-eased, the discomforted and the distressed, those who live on the margins of the marginalized, who are the oppressed of the oppressed, the sexually battered and the abused, the homeless and the bereft, the HIV/AIDS infected, who are the young and old, female and male, lesbian and bisexual, transgender and straight. These are they, the children of God.” Foster’s comments include “We wanted to know why Dr. Tait signed the letter and if he still advocated homosexual rights as an instructor at a Christian Bible College.  Tait is a former member of the United Church of Christ, the first Christian denomination to openly ordain gay christians. The UCC is also home to Jeremiah Wright and lesbian bishop Yvette Flunder.”
  2. Michael Davis comments on vandalism at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Diamond Street, San Francisco. “These activists are actually helping those of us who support traditional marriage.”
  3. Jeremy at Renewing Our Minds shares a link for The God Makers II (Google Video).
  4. Jim Hamilton calls on preachers to preach the superscriptions to the Psalms. “the choice to ignore the superscriptions of the Psalms is nothing less than a radical text critical decision to exclude from consideration evidence that is in the text.”
  5. Michael Newnham picks up Noel’s Story at Sovereign Grace Ministries Survivors. Be warned that the story at SGMS is disturbing and involves (allegations of) child molesting and church coverup.
  6. Beaconlight at A Peculiar Pilgrim offers a summary/review of all seven volumes of C. S. Lewis‘s Chronicles of Narnia.
  7. Four Pointer shares a Rick Warren video on unholy alliances. “I guess Warren doesn’t practice what he preaches, having invited such people as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (both unabashedly pro-abortion) to speak at his church and removing any reference to homosexuality as being a sin from the Saddleback website.”
  8. Ken Silva offers part two of his response to Margaret Manning of Ravi Zacharias International Missions: “One can listen to mystic dreamers like Foster and Nouwen if they want to, but, I’ve got real news for you; what you just read above—from God Himself through Paul—is your authentic, true, real, sinful, and wicked, self.” He also reminds his readers that the Protestant Reformation was The Lord’s Reformation, and both Henri Nouwen and Thomas Merton were Catholic, while Martin Luther repudiated the Roman Catholic Church.
  9. Christine from Talk Wisdom comments on this past weekend’s Fox News special on Mosab Hassan Yousef: “One of the reasons why I might doubt this former Hamas member’s conversion is because I did not see (at the article link), nor hear (during the documentary) that he has been born again in Jesus Christ.”
  10. Job at Jesus Christology continues asking questions about Israel and the Palestinians, looking at God’s covenant with Israel. “Though I reject premillennial dispensationalism, I acknowledge the historical legitimacy of other forms of premillennialism, and I do not subscribe  to amillennialism, preterism, covenant theology, nor do I subscribe to replacement theology in its classic sense..”
  11. Kurt Nimmo (not an ODM) connects the dots between Pat Robertson’s recent comments on Barack Obama and socialism and Pat’s 1991 book The New World Order. “Last week, Robertson claimed to have a conversation with God and in this revelation — Robertson makes predictions based on his supposed conversations with God at the start of the new year — the preacher was told the “people will welcome socialism in order to relieve their pain. Nothing will stand in the way of a plan by Obama to restructure the economy in the same fashion as the New Deal in the ’30s.””
  12. Ron Paul (not an ODM) picks up the Stowers/Manna Storehouse story. Does anyone know the Stowers’ religious affiliation?

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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OD Today: 3 January 2009 (late edition)

January 3, 2009

Some backing and filling, some stray links.

  1. Bruce Prescott, liberal Baptist, on Southern Baptist families and divorce. “SBC leaders leaders still think the solution to the problem of divorce is to tell wives to “submit” to their husbands. “Submissive” wives don’t question their husband’s directions and they hold their tongues when they know their husband is leading the family astray.”
  2. A transcript of Paris Reidhead‘s sermon Ten Shekels and A Shirt.
  3. Orrin Judd links to a Jerusalem Post article on the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, thanking George W. Bush for his support.
  4. Orrin Judd excerpts a couple of articles, one suggesting that reason is insufficient as a basis of government, the other on results from a recent Harris poll regarding American attitudes toward abortion.
  5. Henry Neufield on the case of Keith John Sampson, a student and janitor at IUPUI found guilty of racial harassment for reading Todd Tucker’s book Notre Dame vs. The Klan (see als0).
  6. Michael Davis on Muslim unrest in Rosengård, Sweden. “The problem is that those in the West fail to understand that Islam is far from being just another religion–it is at its core a way of life. A way of life which is in many ways at odds with much of the free societies that it is transplanted in.”
  7. David Hocking relays talking points regarding Israel and Hamas from Shimon Erem of Israel Christian Nexus. “The Consulate General of Israel has asked me to convey some basic points to help you better understand the facts of the current military operation in Gaza. We hope they will assist you in communications with your congregation and others with whom you are in contact.”
  8. Christine at Talk Wisdom links to Mike Rucker’s comments on Israel/Hamas, offers her own comments. “I have often believed that Israel needs a strong leader again. They need a man like Benjamin Netanyahu.”
  9. Howard Fisher on Muslim perspectives on Jesus. “To be honest, I have to wonder if the Muslim mind is able to grasp that Jesus had a purpose which required far more cunning and wisdom than man would ever conceive.”
  10. Chris Rosebrough shares video clips from Patricia King and Joshua Mills regarding “transports in the Spirit,” in this case to China; she also plugs something called the Extreme Plunge Volunteer Program.
  11. John Sexton plugs a Fox News program on Mosab Hassan Yousef.
  12. Kit passes on links to claims that Keith Green was murdered by Catholics.
  13. Ingrid Schlueter, this time at her personal weblog, discusses outrages regarding sexuality and femininity in America. “I recently watched a program on EWTN, the Catholic TV channel. While I disagree on some things, their teachings on family and God’s plan for motherhood is beautiful and helpful, and is utterly absent in freak show evangelical television.

We’d like to wish Ingrid Schlueter and her baby good health.

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OD Today: 2 January 2009

January 1, 2009

Today the new year begins in earnest; let’s hope we’re done with recaps, resolutions, and top ten lists.

  1. Kat summarizes New Age perspectives on the Rapture.
  2. Wendy at Joyfully Growing in Grace takes on the question of interpreting Paul’s writings, particularly Romans 14, using the Torah within the Hebrew Roots Movement. “t’s become clear that the concept is not uncommon among several facets in the Law-keeping community, including but not limited to those in the Hebrew Roots Movement, “Messianics”, Seventh Day Adventism, and Church of God sects.”
  3. Kit shares a link to The Keith Green Story.
  4. Dwayna Litz connects the dots between the New Age group The Fellowship of Friends and contemplative prayer. She also links to an older article where she calls out J. P. Moreland for his endorsement of spiritual disciplines. “Isn’t it clear that ‘practicing the presence’ is for those who are not indwelt with the presence of Christ through the Holy Spirit? There is no need to ‘practice’ a ‘presence’ when the perfect God of the universe dwells within you in all of His perfection.” Her discussion of this issue is as clear and succinct in its elaboration of ODMs objections to contemplation as I’ve seen.
  5. Ken Silva calls out Focus on the Family for recommending The Message via its brio magazine.
  6. Dwayna Litz shares verses for confronting New Agers. “A typical “spiritual” seeker of “esoteric Christianity” would read what he or she likes and not read the verses that convict of sin and tell of the depravity of people apart from Jesus.”
  7. James Swan responds to Patrick Madrid (Catholic Answers Live)’s interpretation of the woman “clothed in the sun” in Revelation 12 as being Mary, the mother of Jesus. “This is a striking example of private interpretation. Rome’s apologists may claim to be part of a monolithic church in which all her devoted apologists are on the same page, but when one surveys their writings it becomes quite obvious such is not the case.”
  8. James White takes on the question of whether Mormonism is Christian; his primary thesis is that Mormonism is polytheistic and Christianity is monotheistic (YouTube).
  9. John Kubicek links to The Farahness Doctrine, Joseph Farah’s Christian Libertarian manifesto.
  10. John Kubicek picks up the story of Igor Panarin and his prediction of the breakup of the United States in 2010 (Wall Street Journal).
  11. John Kubicek picks up the story of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, two Border Patrol agents George W. Bush has declined to pardon (World Net Daily).
  12. Dorothy Anderson asks what hyper-preterists do with the Devil. “The question is – who or what is/was Satan? Is he still active today? How do they define him/it?”
  13. Dorothy Anderson asks what creeds hyper-preterists can affirm. “What has happened in hyper-preterism is their eschatological (end times) position requires them to redefine, or at best reschedule the resurrection and after 25+ years, they still have no unified solution to offer.”
  14. Jeremy at Renewing Our Minds links to an article about the difference between a recession and a depression, and the question of which describes the current economic climate (Economist).
  15. Jeremy at Renewing Our Minds links to a couple of Gaza-related articles: one on dangers to Israeli nuclear plants, another on Hamas battle plans. With lots of links.
  16. Miriam Franklin summarizes the return of Todd Bentley.
  17. Michael Newnham asks, among other things, why conservative Christian supporters of Israel don’t demand Israel change its religious policies. “Do we deny a part of our faith by not demanding the freedom to proclaim Christ?”
  18. La Shawn Barber parses this news story, regarding a gang-rape. “Then it dawned on me. The races of the gang-raping thugs: three hispanic and one black. I’d venture a guess that the victim is white.”
  19. Cindy Kunsman offers a glossary regarding cults, cultism, and cultic groups.
  20. Jeremy at Renewing Our Minds links to a story claiming Republican National Committee members are considering accusing the outgoing President of socialism.
  21. Mike Ratliff offers an article by Arthur Pink on Present-Day Evangelism.
  22. Watcher’s Lamp links to a document from the Vatican titled “Fighting Poverty to Build Peace,” comments: “Looks like America’s Pastor, Rick Warren, has been echoing the message from the Vatican…” and another article on the head of the Roman Catholic Church offering a prayer to Mary, the mother of Jesus, on behalf of the global economy.
  23. Ingrid Schlueter links to this Yahoo article on inaugural prayers, repeats that the Obama inauguration story is about abortion: “Will God be moved if Rick Warren mouths the name of Jesus while asking for the blessing on America’s radical, pro-death President? What a farce this is.”
  24. Ingrid Schlueter passes on a picture of a large pro-life billboard in San Francisco.
  25. James Hutchens on Israel, Hamas, and proportionate force.
  26. Christine at Talk Wisdom offers a long article by Susan Smith of Life in Israel – One Body. “Because I am convinced the one Church body and Israel are one and the same, spiritually speaking, I changed the name to “Life in Israel-One Body.”
  27. John Sexton parses a Newsweek article on recent relations between the United States and Iran. “I predict that within a year this same idiot will cheer Obama on when we give Israel the go-ahead for preemptive strikes on Iran’s nuke capability. Wait and see. The rules are different for Democrats.”
  28. Bill Wilson on media coverage of Israel/Hamas. “While the news media is clamoring about how Israel is targeting civilians, the story of why some homes are targeted is totally missed. Hamas and the Palestinians house their weapons, command centers and leaders in civilian communities for two reasons…”
  29. Joel Rosenberg on the range of Hamas missiles. “There were growing fears in Israel last night that Hamas missiles could threaten its top-secret nuclear facility at Dimona.”
  30. Ken Silva links to a two-part teaching from John MacArthur on the sufficiency of Scripture.
  31. Chris Lyons comments on recent focus in Online Discernment on Universalism/Christian Universalism.
  32. La Shawn Barber on the Word of Promise Next Generation audio New Testament: “I just find it…wild, weird, and smart!”
  33. James Thomas on Ted Haggard and true repentance. “If we Mis-Represent the work and power of God through true Repentance then we His Church on earth will become the cause of shipwrecking the faith of many of His people, and even worse, lead the lost into the deepest and darkest pit that we ourselves are destine to fall in as we ourselves temble in right beside them.”
  34. Kit offers a response to the Zeitgeist movie.

And finally, another post from Rod Dreher on Arab reactions and rhetoric in Florida to the situation in Gaza. “Thus does jihadism manifest itself (once again) in America, despite the denial of bien-pensants.”

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Israel vs. Hamas

January 1, 2009

ODMs usually take Israel’s side in whatever conflict it is in, for reasons I won’t attempt to explain here. Here are some links from people who are definitely not ODMs, also taking Israel’s side, saying Israel has the moral high ground, and it’s not even close:

  • Yesterday Jordon Cooper commented on Gaza, linked to an article by Warren Kinsella
  • Rod Dreher gives a breakdown of an article by Robert Leiber, from the Washington Post. “Israel wants to reach a two-state solution so Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace side by side. Hamas wants to destroy Israel and any Palestinians who want to make peace with Israel.” (Dreher)

OD Today: 1 January 2009

January 1, 2009

A new year, the same old struggle in new forms. With new stories and new links!

  1. Michael Davis on an attempt by Michael Newdow and an unnamed coalition of atheist groups to remove any reference to God from the Obama inaugural. “A majority of the framers of the Constitution were alive at the time and many were present at the first inauguration. Not one of them objected to the Prayers or the references to God. Obviously their understanding of the ’separation of church and state’ was considerably different than Dr. Newdow’s et al.”
  2. Jonathan Dodson asks whether attempting to redeem the culture (as opposed to separating or embracing) is biblical. “I think so, but we must be careful not to call the creation of Christian sub-culture redemption of culture; that, of course, is often just bad culture creation and Andy Crouch recently has helped us out with that. I say, redeem, but redeem wisely!”
  3. Jean at The Virtuous Woman shares her testimony: “but God performed a supernatural work in my heart and raised dead bones to life, and behold 5 years later after I had an abortion, I was saved!”
  4. Ken Silva takes on Glenn Beck and Jesus as he his portrayed in Mormonism: “And since the Bible gives us eyewitness depositions aka Gospels from eyewitnesses, the Apostles Matthew and John, we must conclude from the extant evidence the Mormon “Jesus” is not the real Jesus.”
  5. Chris Rosebrough offers the worst moments of 2008 (audio/podcast). This installment of Fighting For The Faith is 112 minutes long, and I haven’t heard it yet.
  6. Jason Garwood offers thoughts on redemption in Scripture. “It is virtually impossible to approach Scripture without presuppositions, and if that is the case, we might as well have some good ones.”
  7. Dwayna Litz shares a couple of Stanley Monteith’s Radio Liberty episodes regarding Jeff Sharlet’s book The Family.
  8. Dwayna Litz accuses Campus Crusade of creeping Dominionism.
  9. Truth Matters relays a link to a section of Paul Washer’s sermon Ten Indictments; he says a firm grasp of the doctrine of regeneration is more important than being a Calvinist, etc. and calls himself a “five-point Spurgeonist.”
  10. James White shares a half-hour video from Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church titled “Christian Contentment in 2009.”
  11. Beaconlight/Peculiar Pilgrim shares part one of a series of book reviews from 2008.
  12. Phil Naessens calls for a day of prayer for Rick Warren on January 15, 2009.
  13. Dan Cella starts a series on what Christians need to know about the American economy in 2009. “Regardless of our political affiliation, we need to be praying specifically for the Obama Administration.”
  14. Defending Contending offers a link to a 1968 debate between Walter Martin and Madalyn Murray O’Hair.
  15. John Kubicek links to a World Net Daily/Drew Zahn puff piece on Ann Coulter. 
  16. Aaron Shafovaloff offers a thought experiment in which a prominent Protestant and/or the head of the Roman Catholic Church switch positions on a controversial issue (e.g. homosexuality) and compares that to the pre-1978 Mormon ban on black priests. “So while you could conceivably hold me accountable for sticking around my local church while my local pastor was doing or saying horrible things, you can’t accuse me of being immoral for refusing to take responsibility for someone like Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Ted Haggard (let alone any dead guy), etc.”
  17. Frank Turk declares January 2009 Global Post-Scriptural Parable Month. He offers an example.
  18. Mollie Ziegler parses press coverage of the “virginity pledge” issue. “Here’s Fox News, for instance, saying that this very limited study actually proves that ‘Abstinence-only programs do not delay the onset of intercourse.’ This study didn’t even look at abstinence-only education programs. It looked at abstinence pledges, which may or may not be a part of abstinence-only education programs.”
  19. Orrin Judd comments very briefly on a Georgie Anne Geyer column at the Washington Times about the exit interviews the outgoing President and Vice President have been doing. “He governed Texas as a compassionate conservative, ran for president as a compassionate conservative, governed America as a compassionate conservative, and leaves office proud of his record of compassionate conservatism. What could be more mysterious to the sufferer of [Bush Derangement Syndrome]?”
  20. Orrin Judd excerpts a Larry Elder column giving the history of “Barack Obama as Magic Negro.” “Elections are all about narrative and Mr. Obama just happened to fit the contours of a stock character from our cultural tradition.” For the record, I consider the term “magic Negro” distasteful and hope the ODMs give the whole narrative a miss.
  21. Orrin Judd parses a Mirko Bagaric column about Hamas, Israel, and the targeting of civilians in Gaza and Israel: “In a clash between Hamas and Israel both sides are justified–Israel ought to be allowed to live in piece by neighboring peoples and Hamas ought to be allowed to govern the nation of Palestine–but neither will achieve its aim by fighting the other, so casualties are justified, but inappropriate.”
  22. Julio Severo shares a column he contributed to LifeSiteNews about “contraceptive culture and prophecies in Revelation:” “Sanger also had profound links to Nazism.”
  23. Dwayna Litz comments on the Hebrew Roots movement and links to another article by Wendy at Joyfully Growing in Grace Ministries. Her link is broken, but I think it’s supposed to go here. “these HR followers have been given the true and “hidden” meanings of Scripture, as opposed to what the mainstream church has been teaching down through the centuries, or they profess to be enlightening us to the true meanings of Scripture which have gotten “lost” since the time of Jesus and the first century after His death.” She also deals with Hebrew Roots in an older article here.
  24. Roger Oakland shares his top 25 issues of the year for 2008. Anyone looking for a good primer on ODMs would do well to start with this list and Oakland’s summary.
  25. John Baker links to an article on Eddie Long’s Obama inauguration party.
  26. Dwayna Litz links to two posts by Cindy Kunsman, one on the Council for National Policy and another on Geoffrey Botkin/the Shepherding movement.
  27. Cindy Kunsman discusses two models for cults.
  28. Ken Silva shares email from a contrary point of view and his response regarding Mormon doctrine.
  29. Darryl Foster gives a Top 15 gay christian lies and promises to give Scripture for each item in a later post.
  30. Truth Matters gives quotes from Michael Horton’s book Christless Christianity.
  31. Darryl Foster shares a video from Celebration Church.

What’s new today? The Michael Newdow/inauguration issue, the Hebrew Roots Movement, and that’s about it. I need to do a longer piece on Jeff Sharlet’s book, and another on Dominionism as it is viewed by different groups, but not yet.