(Note: This is not an indictment of the commenter that I reference here.  Several folks here and on similar and dissimilar blogs — myself included — have been guilty of the same thing.  This is an “if the shoe fits” observation.)

Earlier today, Jerry put up the first part of a multi-part post reviewing Rob Bell’s latest book, Jesus Wants to Save Christians.  Being the lightning rod that Bell is ’round these here parts, I fully expected the comment thread to degenerate quickly, and I wasn’t let down.

The third comment expressed disappointment that supposedly (according to the commenter) “those who have not read the book do not qualify for this thread”.  Jerry wrote over 1400 words, none of which (apparently) provided any ammunition for Bell to be crapped on.

So according to this commenter, Jerry just wasted his breath, because no ammo means no point in having a discussion.

God help us.

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48 Comments(+Add)

1   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net
December 30th, 2008 at 12:34 am

I try to save the dramatic “God Help Us” finale for things like:

1. Ships that have hit an iceberg and are sinking.
2. Zombie attacks, particularly when the outlook is bad and the camera is fading to black.
3. Thinks in life that actually matter in which we need God’s help.

I try not to waste the dramatic punch offered up by “God Help Us” on things like book reviews.

Just a little personal FYI.

2   Neil    
December 30th, 2008 at 12:44 am

Nearly 200 comments and none really dealt with the the original post nor the book in question.

We allowed a commenter to distract us on a meaningless rabbit trail – accusations we have proved false in the past.

I was a contributor to this since I engaged the commenter.

My apologies Jerry.

3   Neil    
December 30th, 2008 at 12:47 am

Julie,

I think the “God help us” was appropriate in the sense that Jerry offered up a critique on the words and thoughts of a brother in Christ… as we started to argue an irrelevant tangent – again.

So maybe it was dramatic, but not wasted.

4   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net
December 30th, 2008 at 12:54 am

In great irony, I didn’t read the post in question.

WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE ME?!?!?!?!

5   Neil    
December 30th, 2008 at 12:56 am

It’s actually a pretty good post.

6   Neil    
December 30th, 2008 at 12:59 am

Nice to see you’re still addicted Julie. Wish you’d comment more.

Neil

7   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net
December 30th, 2008 at 1:01 am

For the record, I’ll never read the Rob Bell book being discussed.

My motives are probably the purest here: I have problems with the cover.

Ugly.

8   Neil    
December 30th, 2008 at 1:02 am

Unfortunately, authors usually have nothing to do with the cover… I’m not sure what the meaning is suppose to represent.

9   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
December 30th, 2008 at 1:08 am

I have problems with the cover.

Ugly.

Gee, you’d think Julie was an artist or something. ;-)

10   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
December 30th, 2008 at 1:51 am

Yeah, Julie, it may be dramatic, but if this is what passes for Christian dialogue these days, I think we need some divine intervention.

11   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 30th, 2008 at 2:51 am

Julie…

Buy a pretty book cover or get a paper bag or some other paper and design a cover to your satisfaction… :smile:

I guess I will go out and get the dang book…

I do have a gift card… but Bible book stores sort of creep me out…

iggy

12   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
December 30th, 2008 at 6:07 am

Neil (#2) – I believe my first comment actually did deal with the subject of the post. I stand without sin.

I do believe Bell has a penchant for provocative titles. As far as the “God help us” request, I firmly believe God’s involvement on Christian blogs is severely limited by His own will. Most times He doen’t even lurk anymore, much less participate. If God would give us direction in response to the “God help us” we might be very surprised to hear something like this:

“Please, really believe in Me and act like it. The world is still waiting to see that”.

13   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 30th, 2008 at 10:02 am

Why can’t everyone just write godly comments like me? :-)

14   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
December 30th, 2008 at 10:12 am

Neil,
I am also guilty of your poignant observation in #2.

Jerry, I’m sorry.
I’m reading the book now and am loving it. I’ve been very distracted lately and my reading has suffered.

But Rob has struck a chord yet again with this stumbling Jesus-follower.

Shalom

15   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 30th, 2008 at 10:21 am

Phil…

Why can’t everyone just write godly comments like me?

I do… all the time… but no one reads them. And when they do they do not listen or they twist my words to mean whatever they want them to mean… In fact that makes me just like God huh? :smile:

iggy

I was told once I have a “god complex” … I responded, “Oh, I am not that complex.”

16   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
December 30th, 2008 at 10:22 am

Why can’t everyone just write godly comments like me?
Phil

Where’s the fun in that?

17   Neil    
December 30th, 2008 at 10:30 am

I do have a gift card… but Bible book stores sort of creep me out…

Ain’t that the truth!

18   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 30th, 2008 at 10:33 am

I like the book cover. Reminds me of Tetris.

I’ll try to avoid the cliche “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Dang, stepped in it.

19   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 30th, 2008 at 10:38 am
I do have a gift card… but Bible book stores sort of creep me out…

Ain’t that the truth!

Yes, thank God for Amazon.com!

The inventory of most Christian bookstores could go up in flames and almost nothing of value would be lost.

20   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 30th, 2008 at 10:40 am

The inventory of most Christian bookstores could go up in flames and almost nothing of value would be lost.

Seeing as how I am sitting in one at this very moment I beg to differ :)

This coffee is fabulous.

21   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 30th, 2008 at 10:43 am

I wish ours served coffee… I might hang there a bit more…

22   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 30th, 2008 at 10:46 am

Seeing as how I am sitting in one at this very moment I beg to differ :)

This coffee is fabulous.

Well, you must have found the one decent one in the US…

Seriously, it seems like finding something I’m interested in at a good price at one of those stores is, to borrow a phrase from Rick, like finding a nickel in a spittoon…

I’m much more likely to find something at the heathen Barnes & Nobles.

23   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
December 30th, 2008 at 11:00 am

#22
This is because you, like many other commenters here, like books that are not the Bible, and like books that would not be sold in Christian book stores.

Unfortunately, I do not go into Christian Book Stores for the opposite reason; I made a promise if a bookstore sold the Shack or any Nooma videos, or books by TD Jakes, Joel Osteen they were not a ‘Christian’ bookstore, they were just a moral Barnes and Noble.

But thats okay. I like a great bookstore when I can get to one. We do not have one here. I bring my ESV to the coffee shop, and I have all I need.

As to this post, My comment on the last post was to disqualify myself for not having read the book. I think it is important to examine the point of view an author comes from before we blindly read a book.

I have promised Jerry I would read it, so I will.

24   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 30th, 2008 at 11:04 am

This is because you, like many other commenters here, like books that are not the Bible, and like books that would not be sold in Christian book stores.

Fortunately for the Athenians St. Paul was not so simple minded.

25   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
December 30th, 2008 at 11:13 am

Holy intellectual idolatry Batman!

I read more books that are not the Bible than you do- so I am smarter, wiser, and can communicate in a contemporary manner!

26   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 30th, 2008 at 11:17 am

This is because you, like many other commenters here, like books that are not the Bible, and like books that would not be sold in Christian book stores.

LOL, it’s true. You caught me…

Actually, most of the “Christian” books I’m interested in aren’t in stock at most Christian bookstores. I could probably have them special ordered, but with Amazon Prime I can get them for 40-50% less, and have them in two days (sometimes one since there’s a large distribution facility less than two hours away from me).

27   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
December 30th, 2008 at 11:23 am

Wait a second…this is a post about me…I am commenter # 3!

Oh, I feel so honored.

Right about now, The dead catcher and Joe should be putting together some zingers, and Tim Reed ought to come out of retirement to get their shots in.

28   Bo Diaz    
December 30th, 2008 at 11:35 am

So Paul was an intellectual idolator? You get sillier and become a bigger waste of time in every passing moment.

29   Neil    
December 30th, 2008 at 12:03 pm

This is because you, like many other commenters here, like books that are not the Bible, and like books that would not be sold in Christian book stores. – PB

The shame of it is, you probably believe this about us… just like you believe (and tell others) that we are out to destroy the Bible.

30   Neil    
December 30th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

This is because you, like many other commenters here, like books that are not the Bible, and like books that would not be sold in Christian book stores. -PB

But seriously, it’s now wrong to like books that are not the Bible? YIKES, I have 14 Bibles on my shelf in various versions and languages… and probably 20 times that number of books that are not the Bible. Who knew it was wrong to like books that were not the Bible?

31   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
December 30th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Who said it was wrong?

What is wrong is taking pride in being more intellectual than me or anyone else because you read all these different books.

I am just a dumb yokel who loves His Bible.

32   Neil    
December 30th, 2008 at 12:39 pm

What is wrong is taking pride in being more intellectual than me or anyone else because you read all these different books.

I take no pride in it. But it equally wrong to pride yourself in your ignorance of what others actually write.

Now, if you want to remain ignorant of original sources, that’s fine, no one can read everything – but then you should also remain silent on them.

The problem comes about when you pontificate on things you have not properly and thoroughly researched.

33   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 30th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

What is wrong is taking pride in being more intellectual than me or anyone else because you read all these different books.

Please…

I don’t think anyone has exhibited any type of snobbery. There’s nothing wrong with availing yourself to knowledge that’s readily available. There are plenty resources available to all of us, and we should all use them.

You wouldn’t go to a doctor who hasn’t learned anything new since he graduated from med school, so why should a pastor stop learning new things when takes a pastorate position?

34   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
December 30th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

I’m much more likely to find something at the heathen Barnes & Nobles.

I only go to B & N to peruse books by obscure Duke Religion Profs…err…wait that’s not me. My bad.

35   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
December 30th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

so why should a pastor stop learning new things when takes a pastorate position?

God is the same today, yesterday, and forever.

Come on Phil didn’t you look at your “ready response” ADM pocket card.

36   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 30th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

What is wrong is taking pride in being more intellectual than me or anyone else because you read all these different books.

It is not pride, but hope that you will be challenged to better youself…

iggy

37   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
December 30th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

All those books are beneath me. Am I wrong for expressing that? :cool:

38   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
December 30th, 2008 at 1:09 pm

LOL Rick.

But lets get back to the original purpose of this OP:

To criticize commenter # 3 on Jerry’s OP (Thats me) without criticizing Him for taking us on rabbit trails…

39   John Hughes    
December 30th, 2008 at 1:38 pm

What is wrong with you people.

Christian Book Distributors:

http://www.christianbook.com

is the only way to go.

40   Rick Frueh    http://http?//followingjudahslion.com
December 30th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

“What is wrong with you people.”

Quite a menu, can you limit it to a category??

41   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
December 30th, 2008 at 1:50 pm

What is a dead catcher?

42   Bo Diaz    
December 30th, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Pastorboy is convinced I am THE Bo Diaz.

43   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
December 30th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Still confused…I’m not very bright.

44   Nathanael    http://borrowedbreath.com/
December 30th, 2008 at 2:03 pm

Ah…I just got it…the catcher as in the baseball position.

I kept reading it as one who chased and caught the dead.

Now I’m okay.
The world is right again.

45   John Hughes    
December 30th, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Do you know I spend more time with you guys discussing theology than with my friends at church?

Group hug!

Or, I need to get out more is probably more like it.

46   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
December 30th, 2008 at 6:24 pm

You mean you are not THE Bo Diaz?!?!!?! I was gonna ask you to autograph one of my bubblegum cards.

Snap!

47   Brendt Waters    http://www.csaproductions.com/blog/
December 30th, 2008 at 7:53 pm

PB #23: I think it is important to examine the point of view an author comes from before we blindly read a book.

And is it equally important to examine the point of view an author comes from before we discuss anything with someone who is simply writing about the book?

That’s my point. Not looking for blind praise for Bell from you (or anyone). But considering the length of Jerry’s post, there had to be something to engage him about.

48   Brendt Waters    http://www.csaproductions.com/blog/
December 30th, 2008 at 7:54 pm

PB #27 Wait a second…this is a post about me…I am commenter # 3!

VERY FIRST LINE of original post: Note: This is not an indictment of the commenter that I reference here.

I thought seeker-sensitive types were the only ones who thought everything was about them.