Posts Tagged ‘Rick Warren’

More Joel Hunter links

January 26, 2009

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

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

Go figure.

OD Weekend: 24-25 January 2009

January 25, 2009

There were lots and lots of postings in the ODM community this weekend, but I took the weekend off from following them (well, until now). I will be on an open-ended business trip starting Thursday evening, so updates may be few and far between soon.

  1. Jonathan Falwell offers an open letter to President Obama. “Why do Christians continue to dwell on abortion? Consider this: Since 1971, more than 49 million babies have been aborted in our nation. According to National Right to Life, about 1.2 million abortions were performed in our nation in 2006. While this figure is down from previous years, the abortion holocaust remains our national shame. Dr. Alveda King, pastoral associate of Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., noted this week, “… there is no greater injustice than that suffered by the 4,000 babies, 1,400 of them black, who die on any given day at the hands of abortionists.””
  2. Richard Land hosts Henry Blackaby, who is pushing a book on spiritual gifts and the Holy Spirit. “Henry says of his book, “This book is not an exhaustive study on the Holy Spirit, but it will reorient your thinking to biblical teaching on the Spirit’s role in your life, clarify the apparent confusion between natural talents and spiritual gifts, and help you get in step with God’s purpose…””
  3. Carol at Abomination Nation takes on Feng Shui and Indigo Children. “The Bible clearly condemns Feng Shui, and all other forms of occult witchcraft. Witchcraft is seeking spiritual guidance, power, or information from sources apart from God. There are only 2 sources of spiritual power: God and Satan.”
  4. Jennifer O’Hara connects the dots among Islam, socialism, and sadism. ” There are quite a few people out there who think that President Obama and his staff want another great depression, because it opens the door for them to further dominate, control, and steal liberty away from the American people. As much as I hate to believe it, part of me looks around, listens to what they have to say, and can’t help but accept it as truth.”
  5. Ken Silva continues to take on the Emergent Church, refers to Red Letter Christians as “post-liberal.”
  6. Phil Perkins offers a special article on Henry Blackaby. “The problem isn’t Blackaby. Anybody could be Blackaby and anyone could have written a book that promoted feelings as the primary way of coming to an intimate knowledge of God. The condition that made it possible for this man to make millions of dollars hoodwinking the church is the MENTAL GHETTO conditions in the pew.”
  7. Desert Pastor/Defending Contending take on Charles G. Finney, link to an old article by Phillip Johnson. “Predictably, most of Finney’s spiritual heirs lapsed into apostasy, Socinianism, mere moralism, cultlike perfectionism, and other related errors. In short, Finney’s chief legacy was confusion and doctrinal compromise. Evangelical Christianity virtually disappeared from western New York in Finney’s own lifetime. Despite Finney’s accounts of glorious “revivals,” most of the vast region of New England where he held his revival campaigns fell into a permanent spiritual coldness during Finney’s lifetime and more than a hundred years later still has not emerged from that malaise.” It is probably worth noting that opinions differ on the meaning of the term “burned-over district:” I repeatedly see both the contention (as in this article) that it referred to nobody in western New York having any interest in Christianity and also the view that everyone had been converted. I have not read Whitney Cross, originator of the term, and so can’t say which is correct.
  8. Steve Hays offers opinion on President Obama, good diversity, and bad diversity. “For example, San Francisco would be far better off with more Christian Chinese-Americans and fewer white liberals.”
  9. Cindy Kunsman takes on postmodernism and the public perception of Christianity vs. “totalitarian niceness.” “My husband describes this strange, postmodern twist on the golden rule (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”) as a nearly impossible task: “Do unto others as those others would have you do unto them.””
  10. Kris at SGM Survivors parses the idea of “believing the best” about someone, especially during disagreement, conflict, and mistrust. “Moreover, it’s downright ludicrous to me that anyone would assume that someone purported to have behaved badly years ago and then successfully swept this situation under the rug for a decade would suddenly be willing to be completely open and honest about it with some random questioner ten years later. … Do your leaders extend this grace to YOU? … Yet…if a PASTOR is spoken of negatively, the member is supposed to automatically “believe the best”? Where’s the logic in any of this?  How can this be supported from Scripture?” I’m not going to try to place this on the spectrum of correct and incorrect interpretations of “be subject unto the higher powers.”
  11. Miriam Franklin addresses the new accusations against Ted Haggard. “Why are we only hearing details about this NOW?”
  12. Ralph Petersen offers a contrary view on the end of racism in the Obama administration. “it is evident that this president, even on inauguration day and amid all his .. blather about “coming together,” and “unity,” cannot let racism die.”
  13. Defending Contending asks where Rick Warren goes from here, suggests the answer is “left.”
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Joel Hunter on This American Life 372

January 25, 2009

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

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

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OD Today: 23 January 2009 (early edition)

January 23, 2009

Yesterday’s late update was very late, so there isn’t a lot new overnight. Mostly a continuation of ongoing stories, with a couple of surprises, including a reference to Henry Blackaby.

  1. Mike Ratliff continues his series looking forward to cultural changes under the Obama administration and their implications for conservative Christians. “I am convinced that how we deal with the Obama administration during this time is a huge part of our sanctification. We must balance out what we are commanded to do in that we must be good citizens, but we must also be obedient to God in all things. Therefore, when our government attempts to enforce unrighteousness upon us we have no choice except to take a stand in obedience to God.”
  2. Kit offers the collection of Rick Warren connections collected by Sandy Simpson. The original is here, and appears to be five years old. I wonder what Rick Warren’s been up to since then?
  3. Darryl Foster calls out Frederick Haynes for speaking at the National Black Justice Coalition’s Black Church Summit. “The Haynes engagement signals the gay church movement’s continued quest to incorporate mainstream false teachers into its mission. False teachers love false christian movements.”
  4. Dwayna Litz reflects on homosexuals and transgenders in the New York area. “I only saw him as a person in need of Jesus. Contrary to what the homosexuals believe, not all Christians hate them.”
  5. Phil Perkins continues his series on the intellectual shortcomings of American evangelicalism with an article on subjectivism, calls Henry Blackaby a heretic. “Churches, schools, and denominations who would never have been guilty of teaching the subjectivism of Barth or Schleiermacher embraced the Evangelical language and style of Blackaby. He was a Southern Baptist preacher, so most couldn’t imagine that he was liberal. But he was heretical.”
  6. Steve Camp parses Rick Warren’s inaugural prayer. “Did he invoke the name of Jesus as he promised? Barely; and with all the conviction that playing politics with God could muster, Mr. Purpose Driven watered-down his prayer …”
  7. Colin Smith offers a side-by-side comparison between particular surahs from the Koran and corresponding passages from the Old Testament. “the Qur’an draws particularly from stories concerning Old Testament prophets to illustrate Muhammad’s warnings, and teach regarding obedience and faithfulness to Allah and his commands. There are two things particularly noteworthy about the Qur’anic use of the Old Testament: first, the stories are always presented as teaching tools to make a present-day (at least for Muhammad) point; second, they are rarely, if ever, presented without embellishment–sometimes to the point where the original Old Testament story is barely discernible.”
  8. Emily H. at Grace in the Triad takes on Shane Claiborne and the New Monastics. “The only problem with the New Monasticism movement is its foundation–and therefore everything built upon the foundation. There is no clear theological basis for New Monasticism; they accept anything & everything that is nominally Christian, promoting what Pastor Dustin describes as a “buffet bar” mentality to Christianity.”
  9. And finally, Mollie Hemingway reports on reporting on the March for Life. “In some cases — notably the Washington Post in the last couple of years — coverage of pro-life events has improved. In other cases, not so much. Each year pro-life march participants joke — a lot — about how their numbers are laughably under-counted. They’ll know, say, that they themselves came in a caravan of 5,000 people in rented buses from Pittsburgh but they’ll read the paper the next day describe the entire crowd as consisting of “thousands.””
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OD Today: 21 January 2009 (late edition)

January 21, 2009

Catching up and catching up.

  1. I totally missed this when I did my big “mark all as read,” but not only did Herescope beat me to the Rick Warren tax deduction story, but they picked it up from The Revealer and mentioned Jeff Sharlet‘s book. Unfortunately they then tie the whole thing back into their “three-legged stool” framework, and go on to suggest a connection between Warren and The Family that I’m not sure is warranted.
  2. Mike Ratliff issues a call to resistance (and subsequent suffering) and evokes the Roman Empire. “I have absolutely no problem with an Afro-American being President of the United States. That is not the issue. The issue for me is that this man is being worshipped and treated as if he is the messiah. … However, let us not forget that the New Testament Church was born in the period of the pagan Roman Empire that was opposed to it in nearly every area. Did our Lord and the Apostles become rebels in an attempt to overthrow the oppressive government? No!” I’d love to know where the “Obama as false Messiah” theme started. It didn’t really start with The One, did it?
  3. Frank Turk reviews Rick Warren’s prayer, admits some ambivalence about doing so, and asks “is it a legitimate thing to pray to God that we as a nation be united by anything other than the cross of Christ?”
  4. La Shawn Barber weighs in on the Obama inauguration. “During the campaign, Obama said one of the first things he’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act into law. Since he thinks women have a right to commit infanticide, I believe him. Then again, he’ll be so busy dealing with friends and foes trying to cash in favors, he might forget.”
  5. Timmy Brister takes on the question of single pastors. “So how does one answer Scott’s question?  If single men are not allowed to pastor or plant churches today, would we exclude many if not most of the men who planted and pastored in the early church?”
  6. Blogger thatmom observes the 36th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. “Jeannie was like most of the women I have talked with who carry the secret of a past abortion. As a Christian, she felt unusable in the body of Christ. Self-condemnation and overwhelming regret visited her daily leaving her unable to live a full and abundant life in Jesus Christ.”
  7. John Sexton compares the Bush-Obama transition to the Clinton-Bush transition. “They were thankful for a system that allows a smooth transfer of power, even when that transfer didn’t go their way. That kind of maturity seems to be in shorter supply on the left.”
  8. Ken Silva does not like the Emergent Church.
  9. Ingrid Schlueter calls out Cornerstone Church, Chander, Arizona, for cancelling its evening service on Super Bowl Sunday.
  10. Israel discovers a vast natural gas deposit off the coast near Haifa. Was it Tim LaHaye that first predicted that Israel would end up in political trouble because of its natural resources? I don’t remember.
  11. Ingrid Schlueter observes the 36th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. “All I could see and hear were the broken bodies and stifled screams of millions upon millions of human beings whose cries ascend night and day before God’s throne. I am the friend of no man who will perpetuate the slaughter. I am the enemy of anyone who is the enemy of life.”
  12. Jeremy at Renewing Our Minds highlights the same sections of various inaugural speeches and prayers Miriam Franklin did yesterday, says the stage has been set for the Antichrist.
  13. There have been several stories about Portland, Oregon mayor Sam Adams in the last few days; here’s a link to one of them. “Adams, as “one of the leaders of the gay community,” said that he also wanted to apologize to them “for embarrassing them.” … While the mayor has so far said that he does not intend to resign, he has admitted, “If it were no longer in the city’s best interests that I stay, yes, I would resign.””
  14. Ingrid Schlueter calls out Mark Driscoll for praising Rick Warren. “That Mark Driscoll couldn’t discern the problem with praying God’s blessing on our death-promoting President should not register as a surprise.”
  15. Ingrid Schlueter comments on the response to a Doubletree Hotel cancelling accomodations for Mid-America Leathers Maneuvers. One of many articles by Peter LaBarbera is here;  a confirming article regarding the cancellation by a lesbian blogger, with comments, is here. Warning: articles include graphic descriptions of sexual acts, etc. along with terms that may not be safe for reading at work.
  16. Job at Jesus Christology parses Joe Lowery’s inagural prayer, ending in “when white will embrace what is right.”

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 (late edition)

January 20, 2009

Same day, same issues, more or less: lots of reaction to the Obama inaugural. I’m facing a long night, so I’m posting a short update here.

  1. Ingrid Schlueter quotes Albert Mohler on American religion, meaning (more or less) Christianity as it is filtered through American values. “As much as Christians in this blessed nation should respect and cherish our democratic ideals and system of government, we must keep ever in mind that the Kingdom of God is ruled by a higher and infinitely more perfect law and system of governance. Be warned: God is not running for office, and heaven is not a democracy.”
  2. Tim Challies offers links a la carte as he does most every day; a couple of them are “1.20.09” related, including John Piper‘s advice on being pro-life under a pro-choice president (circa 1992).
  3. Lighthouse Trails excerpts an article by Berit Kjos warning against creeping Socialism. Kjos connects a number of dots (Hitler, Stalin, Rick Warren, and Barack Obama), but mostly warns against (if I am reading her correctly) the quest for solidarity and common ground as ingredients in a recipe for totalitarianism.
  4. Terry Mattingly parses some numbers regarding the popularity of Barack Obama’s decision to invite Rick Warren to pray at his inauguration. “By the way, did I read that right? Did a higher percentage of DEMOCRATS favor the Warren choice than Republicans?”
  5. Confessing Lutheran Mollie Hemingway offers yet another take on more or less the same story we’ve seen in the 2004 Cathleen Falsani interview with Barack Obama and related articles. “The ultimate civil religion president, perhaps?”
  6. Desert Pastor recaps, comments on Rick Warren’s prayer. “Good ending by concluding in the name of Jesus (and the inclusion of the Muslim, Spanish, and Hebrew variations of Jesus). I am just afraid that this man has chosen to misrepresent the true nature of God and His Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!”
  7. Ken Silva puts Queermergent into context within his ongoing study of Phyllis Tickle and the Emergent Church, also mentions Peter Rollins and Adele Sakler.
  8. John Sexton excerpts Barack Obama’s inaugural address. “Will he deliver [safety] or will he make the same mistakes previous Democratic Presidents have made? With Gaza in flames and Iran on the verge of constructing its first nukes, I think we’ll know soon enough.”
  9. Terry Mattingly catches ABC News fumbling a Rick Warren reference to a “great cloud of witnesses” as being a reference to Martin Luther King Jr.
  10. Rich at Take Up Your Cross offers a term for a religion with Barack Obama as its Messiah: “Obamianity.” “In the minds of many people, our new President has been elevated to an almost Messiah-like status.”
  11. Christine at Talk Wisdom takes up the question of Bible Codes referring to the new President. I’d completely forgotten about Bible Codes. Completely.

Why didn’t somebody at one of the the various conservative news sources dig up the Falsani interview in (say) September 2008?

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Rick Warren’s tax deductions

January 19, 2009
Saddleback Chur...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

This article surfaced during the links overnight, and I listed it in this morning’s OD Today, but I’d like to return to it now that I’ve had time to look at it a bit more carefully. Jon Wiener reports in The Nation that in 1993 Rick Warren was claiming that his entire salary ($77,663) from Saddleback Church was exempt due to the “parsonage exemption,” which makes a pastor’s housing allowance exempt from income taxes. Never mind

  • The general question of whether income taxes (and income tax exemptions) are moral or ethical
  • The amount Warren was being paid (does your pastor make the equivalent to $77,663 in 1993 dollars?)
  • Any establishment clause issues (Wiener deals with these in the main article)

Claiming a tax exemption for an entire salary stinks. It’s corrupt on its very face, and any pastor who claims his salary is exempt because he’s allowed to exempt his housing allowance should be ashamed of himself. Especially if, as Wiener alleges, Warren’s housing costs were covered by Saddleback Church.

Wiener goes on to say (and this is the main point of his article) that the United States Congress stepped in to give Warren a pass, by passing a law exempting him from back taxes while clarifying that the parsonage exemption should apply only to the fair value of the parsonage in equivalent rent.

The Clergy Housing Allowance Clarification Act of 2002 was approved unanimously by Congress, then signed into law by George W. Bush on May 20, 2002, rendering the IRS case against Warren moot. “I have filed hundreds of briefs in federal courts,” Chemerinsky told me, “and this is the only time that Congress passed a law to make a specific pending case moot.” He added, “It is very rare for Congress to pass a law to make a pending case moot before there was a decision.”

I’ve made every effort to be charitable to Rick Warren on this weblog, especially when ODMs say things I think are unfair or mean-spirited. I still find this troubling.

OD Today: 19 January 2009 (early edition)

January 19, 2009

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

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

OD Today: 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.