There is much lamenting these days, particularly on blogs, about the state of Christianity in America. It is not uncommon for contemporary (and I strategically avoid the term “modern” at this point) Christianity to be criticized for its lack of biblical fidelity and for churches to be criticized for their methodology and/or beliefs – though the two are often confused. Usually the remedy involves some form of return – return to the Bible, return to tradition, return to…

And today a study was released showing the decreasing value Americans place on religion in general and their decreasing belief in Christianity in particular.

Most often, those complaining the most vigorously display three flaws in their reasoning: 1) an overly simplistic reductionism that assumes there is, or every was, such a thing as monolithic “American Christianity” or “the church in America” in the first place; 2) a dismissive misunderstand of the current trends within younger emerging generations of Christians; and 3) as well as a completely lack of any grasp of history.

There is no doubt that there is a segment of today’s “American Christianity” that is barely biblical… that is, they are Christian in only the most tangential manner. Many voices are promoting an openness to ideas that are quite incompatible with historic biblical Christianity. That this exists there is no argument.

Of course, this is nothing new; a brief review of American Evangelicalism will show it has its very birth in the liberal swing cause by modernism in (predominately) New England over 150 years ago. And those who are so quick to blame and deride post-modernism for Christianity’s downfall in America should remember that it was an embrace of modernism that first gave momentum to the liberalization of the mainline denominations. Couple this fact with the popularity of Deism and Unitarianism in Colonial and antebellum America and any claim that “American Christianity” is, somehow, just now threatened shows an astonishing level of their naïveté.

And while the bloggers lament, and the pollsters poll, hundreds of little churches meet every Sunday as faithfully as their predecessors did in the last century and the one before that and the one before that and the one… And while the bloggers lament and the pollsters poll, hundreds of new churches are being started by a new generation of Christians. And although they may be significantly different in appearance and methodology and even world-view – they to are just as faithful to the Scriptures, to their heritage of the faith, to their Savior as faithfully as their predecessors did in the last century and the one before that and the one before that and the one…

Personally, I have grown tired of the “Chicken-Little-ness” of it all. The beauty of Christianity (its truth notwithstanding) is its translatability. Christianity is ultimately translatable because it is not bound by any one culture… and those who are screaming loudest about the state of “American Christianity” are often those who are the most willing to bind the faith in their own traditions – all the while complaining about the “Man-centeredness” of how others express the faith.

It’s a good things those of whom I speak were not present at the Council of Jerusalem as recorded in Acts 15 – for if they had been, they would have shouted down Peter and Barnabas and Paul as they told stories of Gentiles receiving the Spirit… and when they lost (which the purposes of God would guarantee) they would have been the first to blog their lament of the demise of Palestinian Christianity by those emergents in Antioch.

**UPDATE in response to this post being addressed at CRN:**

This post was not a swipe (not so veiled or otherwise) at “ministries” like CRN (and in this case I use quotations in the same spirit as they are often used at CRN). A “swipe” would be a critical or cutting remark with little or no further comment (e.g. my parenthetic comment above regarding ministries in quotations would be a swipe). What I offered was a reasoned post, an alternative interpretation of “Christianity in America” – which, in true ODM style, was glossed over… the heat ignored for the flash of rebuttal. Just repeating the same “The sky is falling” mantra, yet again, does not make it true.

In true ODM style, though, the editor’s response took a true swipe at my/our biblical literacy by suggesting we blow the dust off our Bibles and read Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians – at least we were given credit for having a Bible. And in true ODM style, it was implied that the editor’s brother in Christ is among those who are unsaved… those who do not have the light of Christ. It’s a shame that instead of addressing the issues raised, my/our status in Christ was questioned. Instead of addressing or rebutting the argument, it is assumed that disagreeing with the editor means I/we lack the light of Christ and are, instead, among those in darkness.

At this point I will not get into a debate on the possible applications of Paul’s warning in 1 Thessalonians 5 – for that is not the point. In this post I never advocated “peace and security.” I did not deny the existence of many unbiblical churches. I even went so far as to acknowledge the same. Further, assuming this passage is speaking of the ultimate end (as we know it) it seems arrogantly ethnocentric to assume this end is at hand based on an interpretation of what may be happening in our own particular culture… ignoring completely the massive work of the Spirit in emerging cultures. This too is typical ODM myopia. If God is supposedly losing his grip on America – the end must be near.

Therefore the editor’s employment of this passage is moot.

If, in the future, CRN wishes to debate a topic or question within the bounds of the brotherhood of Christ, and if CRN is willing to address a topic beyond the myopia of American ethnocentrism, I would be more than willing…

  • Share/Bookmark
This entry was posted on Monday, March 9th, 2009 at 5:12 pm and is filed under Blogging, Church and Society, Commentary, Emergent Church. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
+/- Collapse/Expand All

148 Comments(+Add)

1   nc    
March 9th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Great words.

2   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

One of the main problems I have with most “sky is falling” camps, is their refusal to admit their own sky has major league fissures.

3   nc    
March 9th, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Not to rehash the “language issue”…but I think it’s a bit of chicken little for SoL, and by extension the pyroguy, to talk about “filthy language in the pulpit” in terms of some kind of epidemic…

granted there are some notable folk who have foregrounded the issue (think Mark Driscoll), but where’s the evidence that this is an major problem for the pulpits of America?

I just don’t see it…

4   Neil    
March 9th, 2009 at 7:32 pm

There’s no doubt it’s out there, but you raise a valid point. Too much of the Chicken Little blogosphere is filled with broad-brushed hyperbole.

5   Joe    http://joemartino.name
March 9th, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Always nice to see your work appreciated.

6   Neil    
March 9th, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Wow – that was fast. But repeating the same mantra (e.g. “No, it more like there is barely a segment of today’s “American Christianity” that is biblical.”) one more time doesn’t make it any more true.

7   Neil    
March 9th, 2009 at 9:21 pm

On the one hand I understand where the editor is coming from – there are things worth addressing. But to say there is barely a segment that is biblical is as arrogant as it is laughable… unless or course “biblical” is tantamount to “modernist.”

To bad she chose not to engage in any of the points of my post, choosing instead to be rather loose with the Word of God.

8   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 9th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

You know I really think that when CRN or Slice or whoever volley their assaults at this site and actually do link to it we should be thankful… I mean they take the article and twist it to some evil and vile disgusting thing… the the people come here and read the whole thing and see that Ken or whoever are too lazy to even read what was written… instead they just took it personal (though it does not specifically mention them)
and “reacted” though much what was stated is what they preach every day! And now they try to prove what is said here is wrong… thus proving what they say is wrong!

I love it when they show their poor reading skills!

In the end I think more people see them for the farce they are and the ODM’s lose more supporters.

iggy

9   Neil    
March 9th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Even if we were to grant their hyperbole, it’s not like it’s anything new (for example). It reminds me of the laments that surface from time to time about how “bad” modern teenagers are – only to find out it was written in ancient Greece – or the like.

10   M.G.    
March 9th, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Don’t the fans of ODMs realize the intellectual bankruptcy of posts like the reaction to the OP?

I mean, there’s not even a half-hearted attempt to address the arguments Neil offered.

And this is what passes for discernment?

11   M.G.    
March 9th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

And what’s funniest of all:

CRN cites in defense of its “it’s never worse than before” mentality, scripture that says the Lord will return “like a thief in the night,” when people are saying “peace and safety.”

Why cite a passage of Scripture that communicates the mysterious and sudden nature of Christ’s return to argue that history is unfolding in some linear fashion, allowing us to predict with certainty that the end is near?

This is when I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

12   Neil    
March 9th, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Apparently they don’t dialogue with those with whom they disagree… they just criticize. So their addressing actual points is not expected.

The funny thing is, it was stuff I read elsewhere that I had in mind – though it’s not too much of a stretch to apply it to ODM’s.

13   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 7:37 am

Gentlemen – Let us recognize that in many places Paul outlines some seemingly unique circumstances that will define the end times. He outlines a series of pervasive sins, including the true church helping to raise up tickling ear teachers, that the Spirit chose to reveal would be a distinguishing factor in the end times.

It is not that all sins haven’t been present in all generations, but it does indicate an acceleration and pervasiveness of these sins. It is note worthy to understand the wars and earthquakes and other signs that the Word indicates will accompany the days before Christ’s return.

As I alluded to in my previous comment, my problem is that so many of those who point out these sins and signs are oblivious to their substantive donation to the overall flavor of these end times.

Let me cull out a few sins in some of those Scriptural lists that would aptly apply to some ODMs:

“lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, false accusers, despisers of those that are good, highminded, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron,”

In summation – I believe things are very bad all around, much of wish we do not recognize due to the “frog slowly boilded in the pot” principle. It does not mean the former days were pristine, but I can’t deny the Scriptures are clear on the issue.

14   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 8:03 am

BTW – the fact that less people are stating that they are Christians indicates an increase in honesty, which should please the ODM crowd. :cool:

15   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 8:50 am

BTW – the fact that less people are stating that they are Christians indicates an increase in honesty, which should please the ODM crowd. :cool:

I believe our culture’s swing to the secular will be a good thing, or at least not such a bad thing for the church.

16   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 8:55 am

It is also true that what I look for I usually find. If I am looking for things to rejoice in and to praise the Lord for in my generation, they are innumerable.
However, if I look for things to criticize and find fault in, it would be a full-time job, as we’ve seen.

My wife always teases me because when she asks about someone, I always speak about the positives I see in them. She says I’m an eternal optimist.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think the Spirit of the risen Christ is an eternal optimist as well.

…or maybe I’ve just created him in my own nature.

I don’t know.

17   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 8:58 am

I do know that when my God looks at me, He does not see a struggling, fallen, wretched, unfaithful sinner.
He sees me as the perfect spotless righteousness of Christ.

And that makes me want to love and serve and obey Him all the more.

Oh, that I lived in this reality all the time!

18   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 10:24 am

CRN cites in defense of its “it’s never worse than before” mentality, scripture that says the Lord will return “like a thief in the night,” when people are saying “peace and safety.”

Why cite a passage of Scripture that communicates the mysterious and sudden nature of Christ’s return to argue that history is unfolding in some linear fashion, allowing us to predict with certainty that the end is near? – MG

Employing this passage would be relevant if this were a discussion between those in the light of Christ and those in darkness. But since we are all share the light of Christ – it’s moot.

The bigger shame is, once again, an ODM has equated disagreement with them as being outside of Christ.

19   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 10:57 am

For the Naive ‘editor’ or ‘donkey’ at C?N (I don’t what they are since they won’t tell us): I thought I would provide a little context for their scripture quotation:

“Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.

11Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.

1Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

12Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22Avoid every kind of evil.

23May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

25Brothers, pray for us. 26Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. 27I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.

28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

I guess we don’t have much to worry about after all, do we? It would do the ‘editor’ or ‘donkey’ at C?N, I don’t know which it is because ‘it’ refuses to identify itself, to blow off the dust out of his head and heart and pay attention to the entire counsel of God: Love each other.

20   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 10:59 am

Jerry,

“Donkey”-?

Neil

21   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 11:01 am

The Editor’s use of the Thessalonian passage is all the more ironic since she stopped short of the application of the passage as provided by Paul:

11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…

22   pastorboy    http://www.pastorboy.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 11:07 am

Here is my response to this article

23   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 11:27 am

This attitude seems tobe missing in the overall view of a declining society as outlined in Romans 1. -

“Things are getting worse in the world, and the church is being affected negatively by the culture, but to be sure I am part of the problem.”

It is the constant exclusion of that last phrase that exposes the self righteous attitude of some.

Believing the Bible doesn’t always mean you live out the Bible which actually means you don’t believe the Bible.

Rick Frueh circa A.D. 2009

24   jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 11:43 am

#20 well I was going to say ass, but I thought it too ambiguous.

25   M.G.    
March 10th, 2009 at 11:51 am

PB,

I read your reesponse. My first question is, why when I search for “gospel” on Sermon Central, I get 907 results instead of none?

I know you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. Please do not make them up. Thanks!

26   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 11:53 am

Pastorboy,

There was a problem with your link… I fixed it. Just wanted to let ya know I edited you comment.

Neil

27   pastorboy    http://www.pastorboy.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 11:55 am

#25
My search came up with 0

guess I have to look again..

Thanks.

28   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 11:56 am

Pastorboy,

I got as far as “C?RN.info writers claim that everything is okay…”
…and stopped.

When you question my status as a Christian, and when you hyperbolize my point I see no need to continue.

I DID NOT SAY everything is OK. As you have done with others you have done with me – created a caricature that IS NOT what I said -then addressed it as if it were.

When you choose to address what I actual say, I’ll read your response- let me know…

29   jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Neil,

PBs article actually perfectly illustrates your point. Its even filled with fake survey results, broad generalizations, and not very carefully worked out theology.

30   Bo Diaz    
March 10th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

I don’t believe you pastor boy. You’ve got sermons on sermoncentral yourself, so its not as if you were unfamiliar with the site.

31   nc    
March 10th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

here we go…

32   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Another observation:

Consider the hyperbolic rhetoric concerning the multitude of ills in this country. Abortion, sexual perversion, greed, etc. ad infintum. And yet I drive by these churches that are in agreement with the discernment blogs and I see the lights out most nights.

No prayer meetings.
No corporate fastings.
No solemn assemblies.
No extreme evangelisitc outreaches.

And as I watch the people leave the Sunday morning service I don’t see any tears or brokenness, as a matter of fact, their demeanor seems to mirror those filing out of Mars Hill Church, and many doctrinal enemies eat at the same retaurants Sunday afternnon. Hmm…

Life goes on as usual since the fathers slept. What that tells me is words without works is dead.

33   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

I search for “gospel” and find 907 sermons, as well. Here’s my search URL.

34   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 1:05 pm

My sermons are available on parchment paper. :cool:

35   pastoraldude    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

to clarify..go under search topics a drop down bar has nothing that says gospel.

36   M.G.    
March 10th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Bo,

I would give PB the benefit of the doubt. He must have had some reason to believe what he did, because a lie would be so inconceivably stupid, it would be beyond the pale, even for PB.

I mean, zero results? I knew the second I read it that it couldn’t be true. I did a search for “gospel” on Huffington Post and even there I got 10 results.

Common sense I fear is not as common as it used to be.

37   Bo Diaz    
March 10th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

MG,
It appears to be that lack of common sense you cited is the culprit.

Somehow a creator of a sermon website doesn’t list “gospel” as a topic in a drop down menu, but hundreds of pastors do as a topic in their sermon and that means things are worse now than ever.

Really, this ridiculous left-behind theology nearly all the ADMs have in common leaves them unable to evaluate reality effectively. The evidence be damned, they know how things really are and they’ll use the most trivial of reasons to prove.

38   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

to clarify..go under search topics a drop down bar has nothing that says gospel. – Pastorboy

The proves nothing.

There are topics such as salvation, repentance, worldiness, evangelism… ten on sin, two on sharing – that none are specifically titled “Gospel” is completely vacuous of any relevance and meaning.

39   John B    
March 10th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

As of 1 minute ago PB’s blog has not been changed to accurately show the truth about “gospel” and current messages on SC. Only a change in his blog will show any sort of integrity in this case.

40   M.G.    
March 10th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

PB,
Okay, so there is a topic for “Becoming a Christian,” one for “grace” and no less than *seven* for sin, and you lament the lack of one for gospel. You then distort that fact to mean you get zero results for a key word search for “gospel?”

As Ingrid Schleuter is fond of saying “you can’t make this stuff up.”

41   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 1:45 pm

I think Pastorboy clarified what he meant in comment #35

That said, comment #38 still stands… actually just the very existence of sermoncentral.com may foster “their” position – but then someone said PB’s sermons are one there to…

42   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

You gotta love this…

David Wilkerson is an example of “The Sky is falling” right now and John Piper has made a response to DW declarations.

I thought of this the day the article but now how will the ODM’s backpedal to defend Piper over Wilkerson?

So much for the discernment as now if CRN attacks Wilkerson, and backs Piper then they are hypocrites. Yet if they back Wilkerson, then they are backing an Arminian!

So really they dug a hole for themselves and it seems show what little discernment they really have.

So I guess PB and those at CRN advocate running out and getting stock piles of food and weapon and ammunition? Yep, I have heard a few pastors stating this is what they are doing…

And Jesus said, “Do not fear…”

Sorry PB, Ken and whoever… I will choose to not live in fear, even fear of God punishing the USA… I will choose to be perfected in God’s love… and if I perish, I perish.

iggy

43   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

This whole concept of God judging America smacks of myopia as well. No doubt abortion is an abomination and tolerance to homosexuality is as well… but think back one, two hundred years when whole races were imported as chattel and treated as sub-human… as genocide was carried out in the name of Manifest Destiny and as immigrants were indentured to build our infrastructure… where was God then if he’s judging us now?

Myopic!

44   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Most importantly, the Gospel needs to be preached in its entirety, that Jesus Christ was crushed for our iniquities- for we are a wretched people, devoid of any good whatsoever, and despite this Christ died for us (Romans 3:9-19, 5:1-8) The gospel is what we need to strengthen what remains, and to drag us back from the deep chasm of apostasy we are approaching..

Gotta love a guy who states that the Gospel need to be preached in its entirety and then leaves out the resurrection!

I mean that was the message in Acts… not that Jesus died, but that He rose from the grave… Also Romans 5:10 which I quote here often states that we are not saved by Jesus’ death, but by His life!

10. For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

So, I gotta laugh… this is an example of the Gospel not being preached in its entirety right in the article itself… by a pastor condemning others for not preaching the whole Gospel…

Rich with.. Irony?… or ignorance?… you tell me!

iggy

45   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Iggy,

I think we’ve disagreed on this before, but that’s OK – I suspect PB would agree that the resurrection is part of the Gospel even if he omitted it. Though you are correct that it is ironic that he leaves out a portion in a rant about it needing to be preached in its entirety.

Is that a section from his response you quoted? – like I said, I refuse to read it is he’s gonna open it by questioning my Christianity and creating a strawman caricature… bu since he’s done that so famously with Bell, I’m not surprised he does it with me – though he knows me better so it is disappointing nonetheless.

I contend it is being preached – just not in a way, or with the exact words (as we have shown in Bell’s case for example) that he prefers.

46   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Rob Bell’s last two sermons dripped with the gospel.

47   nc    
March 10th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Uh-oh…

to make matters worse, Piper posted the following today:

http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1671_good_news_relying_on_grace_gives_god_glory/

In it he says that Christian living is good news…not just words. and the first verse he cites is the call “to serve”.

Sounds very emergent to me…

;)

48   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Neil,

I was going by his article… as he wrote it and what he defined in it as the Gospel as he claimed and condemned others for not giving a it in its entirety.

Of course PB (still switching names on us though the “rules” were explained to all of us) would agree, but isn’t it interesting and telling that was what his view was in the article… to me it is very telling of him…

I have heard more of the Gospel from Brian McLaren that what I read in PB’s article…

Just saying.

And why the need to defend PB? What if that is what he truly believes! What if the whole Gospel is that we are sinners and Jesus died and he has never considered that was only half the Gospel? Believe me I run into people like that in ministry many times.

iggy

49   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Wilkerson is a sincere man of God who erroneously nationalizes God’s dealings with mankind. Piper is a man of God who erroneously limits God’s atonement.

I think Satan’s strategies are much more subtle than a thousand fires. Of cousre I find it amusing how one preacher finds it necessary to deal with another by name who didn’t ask for his commentary. Piper’s condensced adise was something like the “Bible is scary enough without adding to it”.

How about Wilkerson posting this:

Dear John Piper, enough with the extraBiblical teachings you call Calvinism. I mean the Bible is hard enough to understand without regurgitating the aberrant ramblings of a deluded 16th century religious dictator.

If I am not mistaken CRN has posted some of Wilkerson’s material and he was a friend of Ravenhill. In retrospect, I believe Gutenburg was the antichrist. :cool:

50   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Neil,

How did I question your Christianity?

How did I misstate what you wrote? Other than maybe stating you said everything was okay…that is my condensed version of its just history repeating itself.

But I guess you can interpret how you want…

51   nc    
March 10th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Ummm…
#49

Did DW really write that?

52   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

How did I question your Christianity? – PB

C?RN

By writing it CR?N we are questioning their research. When you write C?RN you are questioning my Christianity are you not?

53   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Q (as asked by PB) – “How did I misstate what you wrote?

A (which was answered by him as well) … by “stating [I] said everything was okay…its just history repeating itself.”

I never said everything is OK. And reducing my post to “just history repeating itself” is overly reductionistic – which is a charge I made in the post, so I guess at least you are consistent.

54   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Neil,

BTW I never accused PB of not believing in the resurrection… I am only pointing out that if that is his “entire” Gospel he is part of the problem not the solution…

Also if PB had stated the whole gospel and reference 1 cor 15… I would not have had much issue with it other than being reactionary to something that was not stated in your own article.

iggy

55   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Iggy,

Understood.

Neil

56   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Rick

It will be interesting in who CRN backs… Piper or Wilkerson?

It will most likely come down to Calvinism vs Arminianism…

I mean semi-pelagianism as CRN is pretty clear they do not like anyone who is Arimian.

iggy

57   M.G.    
March 10th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

PB,

Do you know the difference between normative and descriptive statements? Descriptive, well, describes a state of events without opining on the rightness or wrongness. Normative statements are evaluative, juding whether something is the way it ought to be.

Stating that rampant and pervasive sin has been part and parcel of the Christian experience for the last two thousand years is a descriptive statement, not normative. It does not logically imply that Neil or anyone here thinks that things are “okay” just the way they are.”. Recognizing the flaws of a previous generation does not imply that we cannot be aware of our own. Saying the sky isn’t falling is simply descriptive, and does not mean that present day is somehow ideal or even acceptable.

I think that the normative/descriptive distinction is perhaps the number one problem for ODMs and their fans. They read statements that are descriptive and repeatedly think that the author/speaker is offering a normative statement. It then feeds into a cognitive dissonance, creating a need to alter/distort facts to fit a pre-existing filter.

58   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 3:30 pm

M.G.,

Good observation. Though I do not think it is the biggest problem that faces the ADM’s. I think their biggest errors are ethnocentric myopia and caricature building.

59   M.G.    
March 10th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

PB,

Two more questions. Can I see a cite for your claim that “96 percent of churches failed to specifically present the gospel” in 2008?

Also, you write that “is it any wonder that people are leaving the church in droves? Where there is no life, there is no attraction.”

How is that not a condemnation of Pastor Ken Silva’s church, which has shrunk considerably under his leadership?

60   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 5:15 pm

“96 percent of churches failed to specifically present the gospel”

I guess it’s good thing I didn’t read his response… I don;t buy this at all, not without a) documentation and b) define “specifically.”

I can easily see very good churches being written off as belonging to the 96% percent because they do not have alter calls, or use the right Christianese, or other methodological stuff that is extsr-biblical.

61   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

“…is it any wonder that people are leaving the church in droves? Where there is no life, there is no attraction.”

Yet – when churches do grow, when they do attract- they are attacked by ADM’s for using the wrong methods to do so… damned when they do and damned when they do not…

62   John B    
March 10th, 2009 at 6:52 pm

I don;t buy this at all, not without a) documentation and b) define “specifically.”

Maybe by the same criteria when he didn’t find the term “gospel” at SermonCentral while the rest of us immediately found 907 hits.

63   John B    
March 10th, 2009 at 6:58 pm

This is how PB re-worded his blog:

A recent search on the topics bar at SermonCentral.com for the topic ‘the gospel’ produced 0 results.

Please! When I went there I didn’t even notice a “topic bar”. He is knowingly being misleading. Have you no shame PB? Wait, I already know the answer.

64   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 7:24 pm

John B.,

I’m not sure if I’d call it misleading… but it certainly is irrelevant. I mean seriously, does he actually use that in his response as a proof that barely any church is biblical?

65   Joe    http://www.joemartino.name
March 10th, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Neil you said,

I’m not sure if I’d call it misleading

Then what would you call it?

66   Joe    http://www.joemartino.name
March 10th, 2009 at 7:54 pm

By now, I assume most have seen John Chisham’s post about the sky actually is falling, or has already fallen. One thing I do not get is why is the one’s who scream the loudest about God being in control, also be the one’s screaming the loudest about the sky falling. Even if it is (and I don’t believe that it is), God’s in control of it, God’s allowed it. Relax, it didn’t catch God by surprise, did it?

67   John B    
March 10th, 2009 at 8:04 pm

A recent survey of local pastors and churches in America found that 96% of churches failed to specifically present the Gospel in the calendar year 2008.
Neil you said:

I’m not sure if I’d call it misleading… but it certainly is irrelevant. I mean seriously, does he actually use that in his response as a proof that barely any church is biblical?

I’ll let you be the judge…..his quote in greater context:

This means simply that either an incomplete gospel message was preached, focusing only on the love of God without describing the need of man to be saved- our wretched, sinful, and lost position before Him (Romans 3:9-19), or no mention of salvation in Christ alone whatsoever. A recent search on the topics bar at SermonCentral.com for the topic ‘the gospel’ produced 0 results.

68   John B    
March 10th, 2009 at 8:07 pm

I wish you could delete past posts when you screw them up with a formatting error. Sorry…….let me try PB’s post again……

A recent survey of local pastors and churches in America found that 96% of churches failed to specifically present the Gospel in the calendar year 2008. This means simply that either an incomplete gospel message was preached, focusing only on the love of God without describing the need of man to be saved- our wretched, sinful, and lost position before Him (Romans 3:9-19), or no mention of salvation in Christ alone whatsoever. A recent search on the topics bar at SermonCentral.com for the topic ‘the gospel’ produced 0 results.

69   Joe    http://www.joemartino.name
March 10th, 2009 at 8:15 pm

A recent survey of local pastors and churches in America found that 96% of churches

Who did the survey? Where can we see their methods? What kind of verification did they use? Internal? External? What was their sample size? Who was deciding what was and what was not the gospel?
John Chisham, can you point us to this survey you cite?

70   M.G.    
March 10th, 2009 at 8:20 pm

PB changed the language regarding “Sermon Central” without alerting anyone, or apologizing for putting something so wildly inaccurate about the website up in the place.

As if no one was going to notice.

71   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 8:26 pm

So0meone please give the before and after so those of us who do not completely understand can see.

72   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Yeah – that seems misleading. Again, I get suspicious anytime someone modifies the gospel – more times than not, when they say “complete gospel” or “full gospel” or specific gospel” etc… they have a hobby horse… and it you ain’t on the bandwagon your part of the 96%.

73   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Let me know if he drops the questioning of my Christianity and drops the mischaracterization of my post (both in the opening sentence) – if he does I’ll read the complete response.

74   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Even if (and that’s an IF so big it would choke an…) the 96% was accurate, that simply defines how things are now. And as M. G. pointed out as well, no one is saying it’s fine and dandy…

To make comparative comments you’d have to know the percentages at another point in time. And the very fact that there was a Half-way Covenant in Puritan New England shows the good ‘ol days were problematic as well.

75   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 8:42 pm

I decided to see how pervasive this problem is. I asked LifeWay Research, the research arm of LifeWay Christian Resources, to conduct an independent survey of sermons from churches across the country—churches large and small, denominational and non-denominational—to see how often the Bad News and the Good News are being explained in a meaningful and understandable way. LifeWay Research conducted a survey of hundreds of sermons. The results are in, and Dr. Ed Stetzer with LifeWay Research called them “unsettling.”

It seems that the overwhelming majority of pastors have assumed that the Gospel, as set forth by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, is Christianity 101 and that the people listening to their sermons already grasp the basic concepts of the Gospel.

“Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you—unless you believed to no purpose. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (HCSB)
The LifeWay Research survey revealed that 94% of pastors are not preaching the Bad News (our sin and death problems and why good works don’t work) and the Good News (what God has done through Christ to overcome our sin and death problems).

The author?

Dr. David Nicholas attended Dallas Theological Seminary for three years and received a M.Div. degree from Columbia Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from Westminster Theological Seminary. He has been the Pastor of Spanish River Church in Boca Raton for the past 42 years, having founded the church in 1967. Under his leadership, SRC has planted over 200 self-supporting churches in the U.S., Canada, Portugal, France, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Columbia and India. Dr. Nicholas currently serves as President and CEO of Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Look for the upcoming release of Dr. Nicholas’ book, Whatever Happened to the Gospel?

Survey: Lifeway

I don’t know the method Joe….but…without the Typo…it is 94%

And if you judge the sermons on sermon central labeled Gospel, you would find about the same percentage….

And Bo, I do not use Sermon Central. Please watch or read any of my messages. I publish them all. I have nothing to hide. Do you?

76   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 8:49 pm

#73
To my knowledge, Neil, you are not C?RN.info. And C?RN.info is not you.

I do publicly question the calling of this site as Christian with the way you personally attack brothers and sisters in the faith who are contending for the faith.

I have not, and will not (yet) call into question your faith.

I question (still) Chris L calling people who are Christians members of the Synagogue of Satan. Anyone who writes something so over the top should be questioned.

I question the purpose and the hypocrisy of those who comment on this site honestly and frequently.

Except for Henry Freuh, who seems to keep it real for the most part.

So whether you all approve of or read my posts is not my concern. My concern with you all and with anyone who reads my stuff is that it turns people to Christ who are turned away from him, and brings out the glory of God.

77   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

I question the purpose and the hypocrisy of those who comment on this site honestly and frequently.

Back at up PB… many here feel this about you…. thus the why you were asked to back up you facts..

iggy

78   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Oh, but I don’t question your hypocrisy… there is no doubt about that with you!

:lol:

iggy

79   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 8:57 pm

RE #75: Thanks Pastorboy, I guess I just disagree that this is relevant. All it shows is that 94% of the churches surveyed have not had a specific good news bad news sermon. It says nothing about the state of “American Christianity.”

Furthermore, it begs the question that just because a sermon is not given, that the gospel is not preached. It does not follow.

It’s like lamenting that alter calls are no longer popular – so what? It’s just a method.

80   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 8:59 pm

I do publicly question the calling of this site as Christian with the way you personally attack brothers and sisters in the faith who are contending for the faith. – PB

There is more of that here than I would prefer – this is true. But you must admit that our approach is much higher than those who we oppose. granted, that’s a pretty low bar to clear – but we clear it nonetheless.

81   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 9:00 pm

I think alter calls are messed up and make lots of false converts, personally…

:)

82   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

I question (still) Chris L calling people who are Christians members of the Synagogue of Satan. Anyone who writes something so over the top should be questioned. – PB

You may have a point here (sorry Chris), though I have not read that post and the comments are too long to catch up now. Yet, I believe he has been questioned on that very thread of comments.

Now, when do you suppose our favorite ADM’s will allow themselves to be challenged?

83   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

I question (still) Chris L calling people who are Christians members of the Synagogue of Satan. Anyone who writes something so over the top should be questioned.

OK,,, but then go after Ingrid and Ken as this is what they do often… Hannah Montana is a “painted girl of Sodom” (I tried to work that in for Paul C! :lol: ) which if she is a true believer, equates here with Satan… but you seem fit to turn you eyes away from the times Ingrid and Ken state things like this over and over and then attack Chris L for pointing out what Paul stated in Galatians and elsewhere.

Did you realize that the Judahizers were “believers in Jesus”? Gasp! Paul had the audacity to call them all sorts of names and also state they should go and get completely castrated! Oh that Paul was one SOB and such a hateful Christian hater!

You are a joke PB, plain and simple…

iggy

84   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 9:03 pm

I think alter calls are messed up and make lots of false converts, personally…

:) – PB

Exactly… yet, for a while in the 90’s our church was constantly questioned for not doing so… we were viewed as less evangelical… much the same as you question churches based on methodology.

85   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 9:05 pm

I do not remember anyone here openly dismissing, or even questioning, the salvation status of any ODMs. The same cannot be said about the ODMs.

86   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Iggy,

As I said, behaving better than “them” is a pretty low bar… and one we easily clear. I think we should set our goals higher.

87   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 9:08 pm

BTW did you ever fix the error in what you state is the entire Gospel on your post?

It seems you fall into the same error you critique!

iggy

88   M.G.    
March 10th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

PB:

The survey is nonsense. You can’t sample “hundreds of sermons,” decide that 94% don’t address the gospel to your liking, and then conclude that “94% of pastors aren’t preaching the gospel.”

What does one sermon tell you about a pastor?

89   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 9:13 pm

#85
So saying they are a part of the synagogue of satan is not calling into question their salvation? gimme a break.

90   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 9:15 pm

I believe Chris was identifying their accusatory ministry as being like the Accuser. I have seen Chris often say that they were believers.

91   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 9:15 pm

#88
not to my liking…

the GOSPEL

Man is utterly depraved, sinful
Christ is crushed for the sins of man
He is resurrected, as proof of God’s acceptance of His sacrifice.

See 1 Corinthians 15

92   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Who is the Accuser? Satan.

Can Satan be a Christian? Nope.

93   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Like Satan. By your standard Jesus was calling Peter Satan himself, and we know He was not.

94   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Man is utterly depraved, sinful
Christ is crushed for the sins of man
He is resurrected, as proof of God’s acceptance of His sacrifice.

See 1 Corinthians 15

Good that is what I recommended above!

good job PB, there might be hope for you… :lol:

iggy

95   M.G.    
March 10th, 2009 at 9:21 pm

PB:

Way to avoid the point. Let me repeat myself:

“hundreds of sermons.”

How is that significant enough to claim that “pastors are not preaching the gospel?”

If a pastor fails, once, to present the gospel, does that = “does not preach the gospel?”

That’s essentially a return to altar calls.

96   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Who is the Accuser? Satan

WOW! So are you calling Ken, Ingrid, and other ODMs who accuse other Christian brothers and sisters Satan also?

iggy

97   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 9:34 pm

not to my liking…

Fine… you don’t like the method.
But it’s still moot to my point.

I’d like an ADM, or anyone for that matter, to address any of my points – such as modernism causing liberalism.

98   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 9:39 pm

No, not my point…

The Gospel is the Gospel, no matter what I like

Thats what I meant. The Gospel, clearly presented. Bad news: man is utterly depraved, God crushed Christ to make atonement for our sin, and raised Him up on the third day as proof that He accepted Jesus’ sacrifice.

99   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

ok – I guess…

100   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 10th, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Thats what I meant. The Gospel, clearly presented. Bad news: man is utterly depraved, God crushed Christ to make atonement for our sin, and raised Him up on the third day as proof that He accepted Jesus’ sacrifice.

Even that’s one very specific way of explaining the Gospel. The phrase “God crushed Christ” is subscribing to a specific view of the Atonement popularized by Charles Hodge in the 19th century.

The Gospel writers never felt the need to get into that sort of editorializing. In fact the closest thing to an exact theory of atonement in the Gospels is where Jesus says in Matthew and Mark that He came to give His life as “a ransom for many.”

In other words, the presentation of the Gospel does not depend on an adherence to one specific theory of the atonement.

101   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
March 10th, 2009 at 9:49 pm

I do publicly question the calling of this site as Christian with the way you personally attack brothers and sisters in the faith who are contending for the faith.

If this is true, then you ought to be publicly questioning SOL, AM, Ratliff, C?N, oh, well, just see their blog roll.

On the other hand, once again, you don’t really believe what you are saying. Do you?

102   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 9:57 pm

PB,

In your article you stated the Gospel was in it’s entirety which you state is this:

Most importantly, the Gospel needs to be preached in its entirety, that Jesus Christ was crushed for our iniquities- for we are a wretched people, devoid of any good whatsoever, and despite this Christ died for us (Romans 3:9-19, 5:1-8) The gospel is what we need to strengthen what remains, and to drag us back from the deep chasm of apostasy we are approaching.

Now, by your own standard, you have given an incomplete gospel… and a poor one even at that! Yes Jesus died for us sinners, yet it was not so that the Gospel can strengthen what remains… What does that even mean? Show me that is even part of the gospel at all! In fact that is contrary to the gospel as we are not New Creations! The gospel is not about having what remains strengthened! The Gospel is not about “dragging us back from deep chasm of apostasy we are approaching.” It is that once Jesus was dead and now is alive and through the Resurrection we also may live through the Life of Jesus Christ!

I do not know what “gospel” you are preaching, but it is not the gospel of 1 cor 15 that you now state you believe.. but I hope you forsake that other gospel of apostasy for the True one and realize that you are just as much of the problem as those you are attacking…

Now, I once I learned the whole Gospel message, I have never presented the half Gospel… not once… And you call me the apostate… :lol: You complain about those who do not preach the whole Gospel then do not do it yourself.. then attack someone like me who does…

Go figure!

I pray you come out of you double mindedness that clouds your view of the Gospel and that you grow to maturity of the Truth of God in Christ.

iggy

103   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 10:11 pm

All it shows is that 94% of the churches surveyed have not had a specific good news bad news sermon. It says nothing about the state of “American Christianity.”

I’d like an ADM, or anyone for that matter, to address any of my points – such as modernism causing liberalism.

104   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Funny for all this assertion that the Gospel is not presented… I attended a local PD church who gave it every Sunday.. but they are supposedly “man-based”.

Every Sunday though there was at least 6 or more people per service that rose their hands to receive Jesus….

And they gave a better explanation than PB did of the gospel than in his article… :lol:

So here we have an apostate PDL church preaching the gospel and someone is complaining about the Gospel not being preached every Sunday…

Again, go figure!

iggy

105   John B    
March 10th, 2009 at 10:43 pm

I just happened to be a member of this little small PD church in Lake Forest, CA ;) for 20+ that taught the plan of salvation straight from the Bible (and as repeated in the Baptist Faith & Messenger) not just in the weekend services but also in a four hour membership class that any new member had to take.and this pastor dude name Warren repeatedly said “Christ died on the cross to save us from our sins.?

Yep, no “whole gospel” there either. :)

106   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 10th, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Come to think about it John B. I was part of a PD Church in Montery Ca that also gave a Gospel presentation on a regular basis and gave new believer classes every month for all the people that came to Jesus.

I know that the first church I mentioned was a sister Church to another across town who also did the PDL thing… as well as the largest one in town did the PDL thing and also give regular presentation and offer discipleship classes.

Now that is PD churches that give the Gospel… maybe there is something more there going on than the ODM’s/ADM’s want to see… I mean as I stated, there are some that complain about what others are not doing then do not do it themselves and seem to love to attack those that are actually doing what the ODM is complaining is not being done…

Talk about messed up! :lol:

iggy

107   Bo Diaz    
March 10th, 2009 at 11:15 pm

And Bo, I do not use Sermon Central. Please watch or read any of my messages. I publish them all. I have nothing to hide. Do you?

Liar liar pants on fire.

108   Neil    
March 10th, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Bo – I understood PB to say he posts some sermons there, but does not use it in prep… I could be mistaken…

109   Bo Diaz    
March 11th, 2009 at 12:34 am

Neil,
That doesn’t make sense in the context of what I wrote. I wrote that he can’t use ignorance as an excuse because he himself uses sermon central.

He responded with “I do not use Sermon Central”. Which is a lie.

PB,
I’ve rarely seen someone have as much trouble with the truth as you do. Please, just stop posting publicly for the sake of the kingdom if for no other reason.

110   Neil    
March 11th, 2009 at 9:02 am

I’d like an ADM, or anyone for that matter, to address any of my points – such as modernism causing liberalism.

111   Neil    
March 11th, 2009 at 9:14 am

I question (still) Chris L calling people who are Christians members of the Synagogue of Satan. Anyone who writes something so over the top should be questioned. – PB

I finally read the first handful of comments on that post and he was questioned. And he clearly defined what he meant. He also clarified that it was a Hebraic technical term and should not be taken as questioning heir salvation.

Is it offensive – I would be…

Did he question their salvation – no.

112   Neil    
March 11th, 2009 at 9:16 am

And after 100+ comments no one who disagrees with me has addressed any of my contentions. All that has been offered is repetition of the mantra and meaningless survey’s of methodology.

Typical.

113   Bo Diaz    
March 11th, 2009 at 9:20 am

Neil,
Concerning the use of “synagogue of Satan”, I noticed that too. At some point you really have to question pastorboy’s ability to comprehend. THese things are explained over and over to him and he still states things that have been blatantly rejected by the original author.

Or you can just conclude that he doesn’t give a damn about the truth, and is more interested in smearing and slandering those who follow Christ.

114   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 11th, 2009 at 9:29 am

Chris was questioned over the use of those words by many people, including me. So let us now find some instances where one ODM questioned another ODM over words.

Waiting….chirp….*crickets*….

OK, time’s up and we have a winner. It is the open forum provided on crninfo which allows all comments from any perspective, even when it vehemently is at odds with the writers here. (reference my comment about Mark Driscoll for a typical example of strong disagreement among brethren)

115   Chris P.    
March 11th, 2009 at 9:32 am

“Christianity is ultimately translatable because it is not bound by any one culture… ”

Better tell Lyons that.

“smearing and slandering those who follow Christ.”

What Christ are you following?

Christianity is just a religion among other religions. Who cares how many churches are being started.

116   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 11th, 2009 at 9:39 am

And… Ken Silva is a Universalist…

Jesus died, He shed His blood, He’s not willing to lose — anyone.</

And no one can convince me otherwise… this is a song written from his heart so this must be what HE REALLY BELIEVES!

:lol:

iggy

117   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 11th, 2009 at 9:40 am

Don’t try to put a link in a quote… the thingy goes wonky!

118   Neil    
March 11th, 2009 at 10:08 am

Fixed it…

119   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 11th, 2009 at 10:15 am

Thanks!

120   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 11th, 2009 at 10:21 am

I like his words greatly! More Arminian than Calvinistic, and surley not Universalist.

121   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 11th, 2009 at 10:22 am

BTW – I think Ken was an Arminian when he wrote them. I call them the good old days. :)

122   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 11th, 2009 at 10:28 am

Rick,

Ken is saying that Jesus saved everyone… not just that God frogave everyone…

God “was not willing to lose anyone”

If you are not lost you are found… if found you are saved….

Ken is preaching Universalism much more plain that Rob Bell ever has. (if anyone looks at page 99 in JWTSC would see that Universalism is not even a thought in the book!)

Ken is not even a good Arminian… he is preaching Universal salvation…

iggy

(I am being rather snarky today… so if I offend anyone, well then you have been offended! :lol: )

123   Neil    
March 11th, 2009 at 10:30 am

Iggy, as ridiculous as that is… you are basically using the same logic as others have against Bell…

124   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 11th, 2009 at 10:38 am

Neil…
HUH? WHAT? Oh I would neeeeveeerr do that…

:lol:

And yes it is rediculous isn’t it?

iggy

125   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 11th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

#110
Neil

Here ya go

126   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 11th, 2009 at 5:50 pm

“Christianity is ultimately translatable because it is not bound by any one culture… ”

Better tell Lyons that.

I never said it was “bound” by one culture. I said that if we want to best understand how to live it out in our culture, we should try to understand what it meant to the culture in which it was written.

By your logic, we should never have bothered to translate it from the original Hebrew/Greek – or to have printed it. We’d need to continue passing it on orally in the original tongue…

127   Neil    
March 12th, 2009 at 9:56 am

Pastorboy, you link in 125 seems to be missing something…

128   pastorboy    http://www.pastorboy.wordpress.com
March 12th, 2009 at 10:11 am

it is supposed to take you to crninfo.wordpress.com

129   pastorboy    http://www.pastorboy.wordpress.com
March 12th, 2009 at 10:14 am

or more precisely….

http://crninfo.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/open-response-to-neil-ode-to-chicken-little/

130   nc    
March 12th, 2009 at 10:14 am

128:

It must not be God’s will.
It seems good in the Lord and the internets that thy link will not work.

;)

131   nc    
March 12th, 2009 at 10:14 am

dang.

You put the whole link in…

haha!

:)

132   pastorboy    http://www.pastorboy.wordpress.com
March 12th, 2009 at 10:20 am

Just trying to answer Neil’s questions that he asked.

I don’t know if I am an ADM or ODM, but, I tried to answer from a my Biblical perspective.

:)

133   nc    
March 12th, 2009 at 10:34 am

132:

PB, thanks for hanging with my kidding around.

peace.

134   pastorboy    http://www.pastorboy.wordpress.com
March 12th, 2009 at 10:39 am

#133

No problemo!

But now it must be His will because it Got posted…

:)

135   nc    
March 12th, 2009 at 10:51 am

uh-oh…sounds like Open Theism…God changed…

;)

136   Neil    
March 12th, 2009 at 11:51 am

There is a decreasing value on religion and Christianity because it has become a shadow or caricature of its former self. We have gone away from the stated purpose of the believer and the church as given in scripture. – PB

This is an assertion you do not back-up, nor can you prove. And even if this is true, it began (most recently) in the fundamentalist era, not the the recent era – though the more recent probably just perpetuated it. What we see today are the children of those who rejected the surface legalism of so many fundamentalists in the generation before that. It’s not like the church left the purposes of Scripture in the 80’s and 90’s and now we are seeing the results.

137   Neil    
March 12th, 2009 at 11:55 am

The very fact that our enemies (and even our friends) point to our nation and call it a Christian nation, and hate us for this result shows that there is a generalized picture of American Christianity that is a very negative one given by those inside and outside the church.

I agree – though this is more due to the attempted marriage between religion and politics. When a President wages war using thinly veiled biblical references and unfortunate phrases from one of Christendom’s most embarrassing actions – it’s no wonder this is the result.

138   Bo Diaz    
March 12th, 2009 at 11:56 am

There is a decreasing value on religion and Christianity because it has become a shadow or caricature of its former self. We have gone away from the stated purpose of the believer and the church as given in scripture.

Uh, no. What we see now is a whole bunch of people who rejected the kind of churches the ADMs love, who are now having children.

The ADM storyline goes that the church in the US was all fine until PDL/emergent(ing)/churches that generally rejected the ridiculous interpretations imposed on the text by modernist fundies (aka ADMs) came along and then people stopped liking church because of those churches.

The reality is that the PDL/emergent(ing)/churches that generally rejected the ridiculous interpretations imposed on the text by modernist fundies were a rection to that rejection that had already begun a long time ago.

Not to mention that church attendance in the 50s was near 90%. Are you really trying to tell me that 90% of the American population was following Christ? It also means that the types of churches the ADMs crave were filled with far more false converts than the ones they spew venom about.

139   Neil    
March 12th, 2009 at 11:59 am

I would remind the author that during [the liberal swing cause by modernism in (predominately) New England over 150 years ago] it was those who preached the Bible unapologetically, without being given to modernist proclivities sparked the first and second great awakenings in America and abroad. They didn’t worry about the opinions of the modernists, or the liberals. They worried about being pleasing to God rather than man. Anytime we elevate a tradition or the spirit of an age )modernism, post-modernism) over God, it is idolatry. – PB

Again, I agree. Yet, it was modernism that they were bucking – that’s my point. You and som many of the others tend to mock post-modernity, lamenting the good ‘ol days as if modernity was a friend to Christianity – that was my point.

140   Neil    
March 12th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

It is not naive to say that there is something shockingly wrong with modern christianity- it would be naive to say that there is nothing wrong with it! – PB

Agreed – that is why I went out of my way to say that there are issues with today’s “American Christianity.”

141   Neil    
March 12th, 2009 at 12:09 pm

…there are many being planted that hold to a reformed view of scripture and of church government,

Here you are inserting YOUR particular system and making it normative – which can also be a form of idolatry.

…preach the Word expositionally,

Here you are inserting YOUR particular method and making it normative – which can also be a form of idolatry.

…having biblical church leadership that examine their converts before baptizing them and inviting them into church membership…PB

Here you are inserting YOUR particular systems and methods making them normative – which can also be a form of idolatry.

All of these things:
Reformed view of Scripture
Forms of church governance
Expository Preaching
Examining baptism candidates
Church membership
There are all extra-biblical culturally developed practices that may be fine… but you are elevating them to the standard of normative.

So who is being effected by their culture?

142   Neil    
March 12th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Yes, there are many biblical churches being started and older ones being reformed even now. But it is a small percentage compared to the falling away that is happening in most congregations across this great land. – PB

Again, just repeating the claim does not make it so.

143   Neil    
March 12th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Watch most televangelists and ‘seeker’ sensitive churches, even many emergent churches and you will see that is mans senses and sensibilities that are being worshipped. – PB

Agreed. Though televangelists and seeker-sensitive churches (in the Hybels’ sense) are not our usual topic of discussion. As for “emergent” I believe I referenced them in the OP.

What you fail to do quite regularly is distinguish between seeker-sensitive and seeker-driven… as between emerging and emergent.

I’d say the vast majority of my complaints against you lie in your inability or unwillingness to distinguish nuances… you are quick to create broad-brushed caricatures then attack.

144   Neil    
March 12th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Most of my friends see the only tradition that they will hang their hat on is the clear teaching of scripture.

Now who’s being naive. WE ALL hang our collective hats on traditions. Saying otherwise pretty much the most naive things I’ve seen you write.

145   Neil    
March 12th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

We have been so focused on looking like the culture that surrounds us than the God that has bought us that people see nothing worth living or dying for in what American Christianity has become.

Again – I reject your “what American Christianity has become” as if it has become, or every was, one thing. This is sloppy.

That said, I agree that much of the seeker-driven emphasis of the recent past, and the liberalization of the mainline denominations in the distant past are guilty of this. And some are continuing this to this day.

But this is also why I am so encouraged by those who have recognized this and are rejecting it – such as Bell, Kimball, Driscoll, Stanley, et. al. – it excited me for the future of churches in America.

146   Neil    
March 12th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Not to mention that church attendance in the 50s was near 90%. Are you really trying to tell me that 90% of the American population was following Christ? It also means that the types of churches the ADMs crave were filled with far more false converts than the ones they spew venom about. – Bo

This is why I do not fret reports like the one that came out this past week. It’s not like lots of people are leaving Christianity, it more like a new generation are just not following their parents into a veneer Christianity.

Personally, I’d much rather have a culture that mocks Christianity (not say’n I want to be persecuted) than one that props it as we saw for the bulk of the 20th century.

147   Neil    
March 12th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

What a lousy exegesis of scripture, that aside, The Jerusalem Council had to do with the Judaizers adding the keeping of the law to the Gentile believers, such a dietary laws and circumcision. Your perception of those who say that the apostasy is coming (and it is coming) and can see examples of it in modern Christianity are trying to add to the Gospel. No, they are saying lets get back to the preaching of the Gospel and hold to it alone rather than the false advertising for Christ done in so many of the modern churches. – PB

Actually, I was not exegeting Scripture, I was making an historical parallel – again, your haste has made you sloppy.

As well you show more historical naivete. People have always added to the Gospel… there has always been apostasy… and always will be this side of the parousia.

My point in bringing up the council was to make a parallel between those who wanted pagan believers to become Jews (both religiously and culturally) and those today who want new believers and new churches to remain culturally monolithic with what they believe to be normative.

148   Neil    
March 12th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I have not, and will not (yet) call into question your faith. – PB

Thanks