Posts Tagged ‘John Baker’

OD Today: 20 January 2009 (bonus edition)

January 20, 2009

So many links. So little time. I wasn’t online the last time a Democrat became President, so I have nothing to compare today to.

  1. Ingrid Schlueter comments on a World Net Daily story about the new Administration’s agenda regarding hate crimes. “I believe it’s time to inject a little cold reality into some minds. Change is underway, and it will cost all of us who believe what the Bible says about homosexuality.” This article caught on like wildfire today and ended up in so many places I lost track (whitehouse.gov).
  2. Thomas Heringer weighs in, promises to resist. “Problem is I doubt that the present idiot in the WH feels the same, in fact I think he wants us all to follow like a blind heard of sheep. … My first grievance is how he took the nomination and used tactics reminiscent of the Nazi’s. I pray that he fails in everything he tries to do and for what it is worth that America falls even deeper into the mess we have created for ourselves and I ask God in heaven to judge America starting with Obama.”
  3. Michael Davis calls Obama “a new President to pray for.”
  4. Brian Thornton echoes Albert Mohler‘s prayer for Barack Obama. “Father, lead him to see abortion, not as a matter of misconstrued rights, but as a murderous violation of the right to life. May he come to see every aborted life as a violation of human dignity and every abortion as an abhorrent blight upon this nation’s moral witness.”
  5. Jennifer O’Hara gives Obama a failing grade for today’s speech.
  6. Timmy Brister shares the text of Rick Warren’s prayer, with video (YouTube).
  7. John Baker finds Islamic themes in Warren’s prayer. “The meaning of the phrase: “Allah is compassionate and merciful” has a completely different meaning within the context of Islam and the Qur’an than the phrase: “God is compassionate and merciful” would have within the context of Christianity and The Bible. Finally with Rick Warren’s history he has made it pretty clear that he conisders “Allah” as one and the same as The God of the Bible.”
  8. Miriam Franklin is troubled by the use of the phrases “new age” and “new era” in Obama’s inaugural address.
  9. Bill Wilson focuses on Eugene Robinson, says he’s evidence of national heresy. “What has occurred is the cursing of our nation and its leadership with heresy.”
  10. Christian Worldview/David Wheaton shares the full text of Albert Mohler’s prayer for Obama.
  11. Daniel Pulliam mentions Sharon Watkins’s prayer at the inauguration, and includes a link to an inaugural prayer summary article by Rachel Zoll. Names, names, names. Zoll hits all the facts really quickly, and I defy anybody to find a mistake in anything she writes.
  12. Orrin Judd picks up an article from Daniel Finklestein of the Times of London, on the “no we can’t” Obama we didn’t see on the campaign trail. “He described a nation at war, an economy badly weakened, a collective failure to make hard choices. And while the new President promised to face these difficulties, he was extremely careful not to promise to eliminate them.”
  13. Job at Jesus Christology gives a contrary opinion regarding Joseph Farah’s “Pray Obama Fails” campaign. “So the difference between Caesar when Paul was writing Romans and Obama right now is what exactly? … Well Joe Farah, I say the same about you. The reason is that you are willfully creating confusion between using spiritual warfare, evangelism, foretelling and forthtelling, etc. to oppose evil rulers and their policies, and between being a sinful seditionist.”
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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: 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 (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 (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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OD Today: 6 January 2009 (late edition)

January 6, 2009

This is a little early for a late edition, but I’ve got a lot to do this afternoon. More ReJesus, more Islam, and a cameo by Rick Warren. The best of the bunch is the second-least likely: one of the ODM detractors says global warming is done.

  1. Student of megachurchs Ed Stetzer repeats an article he wrote for the Nashville Tennessean on how to stop the decline of the Southern Baptist Convention. “Yet, such change will require an openness to other approaches to church and ministry from different cultures and generations. Openness will be difficult since preaching against other ways of doing church still gets the “big amen” at the SBC meeting– even though the “Amen Corner” is getting older and smaller every year. If we share a common theology, we need to hold out a chair and ask new generations and ethnicities to sit at the table of leadership. We need leadership change.”
  2. Ed Stetzer interviews Alan Hirsch, co-author of ReJesus. “Every time we attempt to image God, be it mental or metal, we limit him and thereby seek to control him. We must always allow Jesus to be beyond any stereotype that we might wish to make of him.”
  3. Dan Phillips on analysis paralysis. “It’s just that we’ve moved the focus from my obeying right, in faith and by grace (which is an explicitly Biblical focus), to my yielding right (which is not). And I still fail, because I have to strike the right mystical attitude to shift into “J” for Jesus-life. If I’m not there, there’s something more for me to do.” This would be so much more helpful if he would point out examples of people recommending “doing nothing to avoid doing something in the flesh” rather than setting up a straw man and pushing it over. He mentions but does not cite Andrew Murray.
  4. Bill at Defending Contending blames sin generally and divorce in particular for the current state of the American economy. “Capitalism must break down; it’s not designed for a completely unrighteous people. As America slips into paganism, our economy will become the economy of a pagan nation.”
  5. James White on offending atheists; Daniel at Puritan Reformed amens. I haven’t seen or heard this sixteen-minute clip yet, but the “it’s time to stop being polite” argument sounds familiar to anyone who has listened to Richard Dawkins recently.
  6. Daniel at Puritan Reformed offers a link to Brannon Howse interviewing Matt Smith; Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef, attends Smith’s church. “Until and unless the people of the Middle East embrace Christ and surrender their hatred and their hearts to Him, there will be no peace in the region.”
  7. Chris Lyons talks about the end of the global warming debate. Like Lyons we typically avoid the Huffington Post here, too. No quote necessary, really.
  8. John Baker links to a Guardian (UK) article about the Richard Dawkins/New Atheist bus campaign. And with that color scheme I suspect Dunkin Donuts is involved somehow.
  9. Bill Wilson talks about Islam in America, touches on the protests in Ft Lauderdale on December 30th. I think I also linked to this article dealing with those protests a few days ago. “Throughout the Bible it is shown that nations perish when they allow false religion to gain a foothold.” Yeah, that article on Dominionism is starting to feel overdue.
  10. Speaking of which, Scott Isebrand at Religious Right Watch (not an ODM) tries “gays and lesbians are the new Jews” as a sound bite. “Fundamentalists the world over spread myths about gay people, sexual and reproductive health, and science, they do so hoping to leverage the fear they create into power and access for fundamentalist leaders and cultural influence for fundamentalism as a movement.” For the record, we here at ODT agree that some conservative Christians got way too cozy with Adolph Hitler and his ideas before and during World War II (but of course see also Dietrich Bonhoeffer). Are Christians (apart from maybe Fred Phelps?) recommending killing homosexuals?
  11. James Swan spotlights Catholic apologist Tim Staples’s interpretation of Romans 5:12 (mp3 at link).
  12. Paul Walker says the Southern Baptist Convention’s (offline?) Missions Mosaic magazine is recommending lectio divina and labrynth-walking. I can’t find original sources for any of this online.
  13. Henry Neufeld starts off talking about Rick Warren’s “try it for sixty days” quote, ends up telling Christians generally to “get over it.” “What can we Christians be thinking? We expect Christianity to be easy (try it for 60 days). We expect to be prosperous, and for some reason, certainly not derived from experience, tradition, scripture, or even from any reasonable thought process, we think we shouldn’t be attacked, criticized, or ridiculed.”
  14. David Reagan ponders the question of whether the Antichrist will be a Muslim. “I recently read four books that relate to this topic. One lays the biblical foundation without asserting that the Antichrist will actually be a Muslim. The other three use that foundation to make the assertion. Each of these books will be reviewed over the next couple of entries.”
  15. Denise at Surph’s Side links to Clifton Loucks, who dissects and rejects the Apostles’ Creed. “What do unbelievers think as they attend our assemblies and hear us say, “He [Jesus Christ] descended into Hell” after his death, and then try to explain away the obvious meaning of the words by saying that Christ really didn’t go to Hell? Why should they believe anything else they hear in our assemblies?”
  16. Chris Rosebrough: Book of Mormon “best used as toilet paper.” (~28:00).

OD Today: 6 January 2009 (early edition)

January 6, 2009

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

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

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

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OD Today: 5 January 2009 (early edition)

January 5, 2009

Not much new news overnight, and nothing on Gaza.

  1. Kit links to a 2006 article by Jack McNeil defending Paul the Apostle from charges by various unnamed accusers.
  2. Howard Fisher offers more quotes from Michael Horton’s book Christless Christianity.
  3. Darryl Foster makes good on his promise to give scriptural arguments for his “Top 15 lies” article. “In Matthew 19: when Jesus was asked about divorce, the answer he gave condemned all sexual activity outside the male-female marriage covenant.”
  4. Miriam Franklin promotes a comment regarding Cal Pierce to an article of its own. “I recently went to one of their services, and they had a cameo appearance from Cal who preached a brief sermon on the “removal of our minds” (instead of the “renewal of our minds”). He literally claimed that renewal meant removal.”
  5. Miriam Franklin on the free-spending (now-former) Episcopal priest, Gregory Malia.
  6. I’m Speaking Truth picks up the Phyllis Tickle/Sola Scriptura story. This article is mostly a quote and a collection of links.
  7. I’m Speaking Truth offers a long quote from Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, author of Brand Jesus. “don’t believe that all church marketing is evil and misguided, but this article is proof that we must be careful what we seek when marketing the Gospel message. Overall, this article is a good read.”
  8. John Baker picks up Timothy Paul Jones’s article on modesty.
  9. Mike Ratliff takes on the question of unpardonable sin. “I heard one preacher say that only first century Jews could commit this sin. Is that right?”
  10. Jeremy at Renewing Our Minds links to part one of The God Makers. This is a 1982 anti-Mormon film; this appears to be available in various bit torrents, but I don’t see a stream for the full movie anywhere online.
  11. Lighthouse Trails offers a Paul Proctor article on Rick Warren and Barack Obama. “Come on – we’re talking about Huggy Bear Rick in Washington D.C – not Jonah at Nineveh.
  12. Boyd Miller takes on Obama/Warren, asks why nobody appeals to Matthew 6:5-6; “This unscriptural and hypocritical practice is so widely accepted in the public church (I am distinguishing between public and private church, which I won’t address here.) by people who boldly claim the inerrant nature of scripture and rigorously hold to Holy Scripture as the final authority in all matters, yet not a single word can I find on any of the ODM’s about this hypocrisy, nor have I ever heard this scripture taken seriously in the traditional church. Why is this ignored?”
  13. James Swan on Catholic apologists’ claims that there are 33,000 Protestant denominations. This is followup on an article by James White dissecting the 33,000 number.
  14. Dorothy Adams gives a quick overview of hyper-preterism.
  15. Phil Naessens links to a five-part series by Walter Martin on witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  16. Darryl Foster links to an article about a suit by Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster against the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, predicts dire consequences. “So now if atheists, polygamists and wiccans want to get married on the church’s property all they have to do is claim discrimination based on this precedent. Get ready, homosexual marriages are coming to a church near you, whether you want it or not.”
  17. Sharon Lindbloom offers comments from Christian ex-Mormon Katrina Marti on the differences between Christianity and Mormonism. “So, in the end, for me, I can see so clearly that there’s a wide, vast gap between us and them, and it’s not just in doctrine…”

OD Today: 4 January 2009 (early edition)

January 4, 2009

The links overnight were few in number, but some of them are fascinating (Henry Neufield on belivers in liberal churches), troubling (Job at Jesus Christology on Palestinians), and outright disturbing (Miriam Franklin on charismatic ties to Guatemalan death squads). Enjoy.

  1. Miriam Franklin links to this article from the Western Standard (Calgary, Alberta) regarding the return of Todd Bentley, with some speculation about how he’ll make money. “There’s a new revival flavour-of-the-month, which is being led by Steve Gray out of Kansas City, and yes, has it’s own international TV hook-up.”
  2. John Baker quotes a Bloomberg article on current U. S. manufacturing output. “Every component suggests that the weakness is going to carry over into 2009.”
  3. Chris Rosebrough links and comments on Next Level Church‘s upcoming sermon series “The Gospel According to The Beatles.” “Notice that the Fab 4 have been promoted to ‘sainthood’ despite the fact that they all openly and bluntly rejected Jesus Christ (especially John Lennon).”
  4. Defending Contending links to an anti-Seventh-Day-Adventist documentary (YouTube).
  5. Miriam Franklin has a long article on Harold Caballeros, associate of C. Peter Wagner and his association with death squads in his native Guatemala, excerpted in part from this document (PDF). This may be the most disturbing thing I’ve read today.
  6. John Baker quotes an article from the Arizona Republic about the Green Bible with comments from some of its critics. “The effort has received strong support from such prominent theologians as the Rev. Richard Cizik, former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, who has said that Christians had a Biblical mandate to take care of the Earth and that climate change was a crisis that needed to be addressed immediately.”
  7. Phil Perkins starts a series on Online Discernment Ministries. “When I saw that Team Pyro was shilling for Challies, I warned Phil Johnson, Frank Turk, and company of the sinful things Challies was doing. Instead of thanking me and checking it out to make sure I wasn’t lying, they immediately gave me the you’re-too-stupid-to-live treatment.”
  8. Cindy Kunsman offers a bunch of links on church abuse and recovery.
  9. John Kubicek links to a Joseph Farah editorial on Rick Warren’s “try Jesus for sixty days” comments.
  10. Job at Jesus Christology offers a long discussion of whether evangelical Christians, in their zeal for Israel, especially as part of its Dispensationalist picture of the future, consider the plight of rank and file Palestinians. “So the people suggesting that everything would be better if the Palestinians simply left en masse – or were Israel be bold and courageous enough to stand up for themselves by driving them out – either know full well that they are not proposing a workable solution or have not studied the situation enough to know that what they propose is not viable. Either way, they are no help to the situation, which means that they are no help to Israel or to the Jews. The truth is, though, that the people who believe that a solution for the Palestinians involves them remaining in Israel are not being much more realistic.”
  11. Henry Neufield offers links regarding claims by Casey Luskin, of the Discovery Institute, and responses from Ken Miller, Brown University biology professor.
  12. Henry Neufield offers a longish post on being a believer in a liberal church. “A friend of mine once commented to me that the main attack form of liberals is intellectual ridicule, while the main attack form of conservatives is moral condemnation. I’ve since had several conservative friends point out that many liberals are quite capable of moral condemnation, and I know the reverse to be true as well. Belief often does not stand up well to intellectual ridicule.”
  13. Henry Neufield offers a link to a televison ad by First United Methodist Church of Pensacola, Florida for their new program with “modern music” that “embraces the creative arts” (YouTube). I am guessing the latter term means there will be skits.
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