Archive for February 5th, 2008

The latest article at CRN is entitled Rick Warren tells Jewish leader “There are More Than Enough Christian Souls…” Sounds absolutely scandalous, doesn’t it? I mean, this obviously shows that Warren doesn’t want any more people to come to Christ, and is rooting for modern Judaism, right?
Or, we could simply look at it in context. With creative editing, you can make a story look so juicy. Let’s look at the quotes unedited.
CRN wrote

Warren managed to speak for the entire evening without once mentioning Jesus — a testament to his savvy message-tailoring…

The full quote

The other secret to his success is his passion for God and Jesus. Warren managed to speak for the entire evening without once mentioning Jesus — a testament to his savvy message-tailoring. But make no mistake, the driving purpose of an evangelical church is to evangelize, and it is Warren’s devotion to spreading the words of the Christian Bible that drive his ministry.

CRN wrote in the title

There are More Than Enough Christian Souls

leaving out the ending…

There are more than enough Christian souls to deal with for starters

obviously a joke, responding to why he was not trying to convert all the Jews he was working with. And finally, CRN wrote

The success of Warren’s second book, “The Purpose-Driven Life” (Zondervan, 2002), demonstrates his ability to turn a particular gospel into a universal one

However, we already saw from the first quote that the author clearly saw Warren’s agenda of “spreading the words of the Christian Bible” out of “his passion for God and Jesus”

On top of all this… the article is dated June 23, 2006. If you have to go back two years to dig up some dirt, you may be a bit to zealous for your cause.

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From here:

The other secret to his success is his passion for God and Jesus. Warren managed to speak for the entire evening without once mentioning Jesus — a testament to his savvy message-tailoring. But make no mistake, the driving purpose of an evangelical church is to evangelize, and it is Warren’s devotion to spreading the words of the Christian Bible that drive his ministry.

Just saying.

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Capstone in CapernaumIn Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, we have examined what a first-century ‘rabbi’ was (as opposed to the modern Orthodox Jewish Rabbi) and established that Jesus was personally living and acting within this religious & social role. With that as background, I will be spending the next two or three articles differentiating Jesus from his contemporary sages/rabbis.

This first area of differentiation is in the realm of miracles, and it is an area that I expect will not be without a little bit of controversy.

One common question that comes up in discussions about Jesus is “if he was performing all of these miracles, why didn’t people believe in him based on these, alone?” In addition to some Western theologians’ answers to this question, I believe that there’s a rich Hebrew cultural answer contained within scripture, as well.

Background

According to numerous Hebrew accounts, a number of sages with s’mikah were differentiated from Torah teachers in that the people believed they could, via God working through them, perform certain types of miracles. This, in itself, is difficult for many Christians to understand/accept, and in response to this, I would look to two potential responses to this from Ray Vanderlaan:

1) Why not? The Jews, despite the faults that developed in the religious system, are God’s people, and their religious leaders – particularly the devout hasidim from whence came the rabbis – loved God, were known to pray and fast, and many were known to be healers. Why wouldn’t God listen to their prayers and provide miraculous relief?

2) Even if God did not provide miracles through them, the people believed they did.

One example of many, translate by Brad Young in his book The Parables, describes a miracle performed by the rabban Choni (”the Circle-Drawer”) a century before Jesus’ birth:

One example of many, translate by Brad Young in his book The Parables, describes a miracle performed by the rabban Choni (”the Circle-Drawer”) a century before Jesus’ birth:

Once they asked Choni the Circle drawer, “Pray that rain may fall.” He answered them ‘Go out and take inside the Passover ovens so that they may not be softened.’ He prayed by the rain did not fall. What did he do? He drew a circle and stood within it. He spoke before him, “O Lord of the universe, your children have turned their faces to me, because I am like a son of the house before you. I swear by your great name that I will not move from here until you show mercy upon your children.” Rain started to sprinkle. He said, “Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill the cisterns, pits and caverns.” It began to rain with more violence. He continued, “Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of goodwill, blessing and graciousness.” Then it rained in moderation [and continued] until the Israelites went up to Jerusalem to the Temple Mount because of the rain. They went and asked him, “In the same way you prayed for rain to come, so pray that it may go away!”

There are other examples, as well, related to Choni, Hillel and others. So, even if these were not ‘true’ miracles, the people certainly taught that they were and believed them.

Limitations

Despite the apparent ability to perform miracles, there were recorded limitations as to the miracles that could be performed. Marvin Wilson records three of these limitations in his book Our Father Abraham:

  1. Curing genetic blindness
  2. Casting out muting demons
  3. Raising the dead after 3 days

Read the rest of this entry »

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I have to run this morning, but was amazed at the ignorance and extremely tainted bias that this article showed.  For the last time Ingrid, RICK WARREN IS NOT ADVOCATING RELIGIOUS PLURALISM!  He is simply stating where our society is headed, and painting a picture of the culture that is emerging in America!  Second, none of the things that describe pluralism in this article are bad things.

  1. engaging with those who are of different faith
  2. seeking to understand where non-believers are coming from in open and honest dialoge
  3. it’s not relativism (mind you, Harvard used that term), but understanding out diversity
  4. Dialogging about similarities and differences

Now, in third grade I took a strenuous course in reading comprehension.  And, no where can you conclude from this description of “pluralism” that

“If Christians insist on their exclusive views of salvation through Christ alone and refuse to participate in ecumenical/interfaith dialogue and even worship, they will become a threat to public order in our global society.”

In fact, a strong theme throughout the article was KEEPING one’s own faith and culture, while trying to understand another’s.  But I guess that is why we are extremely irrelevant today.  We have bowed out of any conversation with those that we disagree with.

Here are some of the highlights in the article

“(Photo: Rick Warren gets tested for HIV to promote AIDS awareness. Warren ignores the fact that the “gay” bathhouses that run rampant in his home state are a primary source of HIV infection as well as the spread of over 30 other venereal diseases. Charity begins at home, Rick. How about a Saddleback picket outside one of those places? )”

“You give me a pentagram and I’ll hand over my cross. Then we’ll have world peace, right?”

““Global Strategist” and apostasy enthusiast Rick Warren was at Georgetown University yesterday and declared that “faith-based organizations” are the missing link to solving the world’s problems. Wiccans apparently would qualify. They do, after all, have faith.”

I have been trying to figure out how to solve the aids crisis… and there is the answer.  Picket all the gay hangout!  Isn’t there a website and organization devoted to doing that?  Maybe they could get around to doing it after Heath Ledger’s funeral.

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