[my apologies for the length... the more I read about these asinine objections to reconciliation the more my anger grew!]

I was enjoying some cheese and wanted a little whine to go with it, so I ventured over the Crosstalk blog where the lead headline is “Rick Warren Sponsors Forum with Emergent Heretic“  – accompanied with a picture of Miroslav Volf.  The headline led to an article.  The article led to a  radio broadcast. And of course, the radio program exposed the heretics.

It reminded me of the game called Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon.  It’s a whimsical variation on the “small-world” concept that says all humans are connected by no more than six degrees of separation.  And just to put a fine point on it – I can connect myself to Kevin Bacon in as few as four degrees.

Not to be outdone, Crosstalk appears to be able to connect any disliked Christian to a heretic in much the same manner.  The difference being – connection means guilt.

It goes like this:

Rick Warren sponsors a heretic. The heretic is Miroslav Volf… because he appeared with Tony Jones… at a conference with Jurgen Moltmann… who embraces C. W. F. Hegel.

Imagine my surprise to learn Volf was a heretic because he appeared with Tony Jones, who held a conference with… well you get it – six degrees of GBA.  Problem is – none of these blog connections showed what “doctrines of demons” Volf actaully teaches.  So I listened to the broadcast… until the “caller amen chorus” kicked in. The radio broadcast was hosted by Ingrid Schlueter with Chris Rosebrough as her guest.

Since the radio broadcast was also void of any specifics as to why Miroslav Volf should be considered a heretic who teaches the doctrines of demons (unless of course a hefty dose of GBA is proof enough) I decided to make a few observations of the program itself.

The host began by declaring she does not care about definitions or distinctions when it comes to  Emerging or Emergent.  This, of course, makes things a lot easier – particularly in the game of Six Degrees of GBA.  Ignoring distinctions allows one to paint with a much much much broader brush.  it also relieves one of the necessity to define what individual actually think, say, teach, or belive – just find a heretic and assume they are all unified.

The Guest mocked the Emergent for embracing seemingly contradictory beliefs – he said embracing contradictory concepts sounds crazy.  This made me think of other crazy contradictions like… three persons and one being (the Trinity) or wholly God and wholly man (the incarnation) or free will and… well you get the picture.  This was in the context of Hegel, who (and here I agree with the guest) carried the whole contradiction thing too far.  Yet, in mocking those who embrace contradictions, the guest embraced the hosts disregard for definitions and distinctions.

And of course Warren is guilty of wanting to promote social “reconciliation” and forgiveness between people, but outside of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Why is reconciliation in quotations?

What made me truly angry… What the show, the blog, the host, the guest completely ignored (I’d be surprised of they did enough research to even know) is the context from which Miroslav Volf speaks.  He is a Croatian (a member of the Evangelical Church of Croatia) whose country (and his family itself) suffered greatly in the resent Balkan wars.  He has a very vested and very personal interest in seeing religion used, not to exclude and promote violence, but used to embrace and promote reconciliation. Even if the parties are outside of Jesus Christ.

Forgive the person anecdote -  but it is relevant… several years ago I stood in the Muslim section of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  A village absolutely devastated by the war.  On a mountain overlooking the city stands a very large cross.  Through a translator an elderly Muslim man said to me “They put their guns under the cross and shelled our children.”  The cemeteries in the town are full of graves – have you ever been in a cemetery where all the lives end within a two year span?  Those who shelled Mostar were Serbs and Croats — Christians.  Now of course we understand that they are not truly Christian – but (much like distinctions and ODM’s) that distinction is lost on the Muslims of Mostar.

So until the host or her guest have walked the streets of Mostar (pt. 1) and seen firsthand the devistation and violence done in the name of God and Country (as I have) – or – until such time as they have fled into the night because their neighborhood was being shelled (as Miroslav’s family did) – until such time I invite them both to shut up and quit their bitch’n about someone else who happens to think social “reconciliation” and forgiveness between people even if they are outside of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a good thing.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 at 3:13 pm and is filed under Chris Rosebrough, Emergent Church, In Tone and Character, Ingrid. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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108 Comments(+Add)

1   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 23rd, 2009 at 4:14 pm

The emergent issue aside, you are barking up the wrong tree, Neil. Ingrid could care less about the burdens of people. On that same blog she reprints a song that some gays use to build their self esteem. Of course they stuggle greatly in that area because people openly hate them.

After she prints the words she says, “Pass the sick bag, please.”. She then goes on a rant about Obama.

So to reiterate, she and others like her fight the culture war while people everywhere suffer greatly. And in a final act of heresy, she presents a false gospel, every bit as false as some emergents. You see, I consider Ingrid an heretic as well. Someone named Paul said that without love, you have nothing – including the gospel.

2   corey    
September 23rd, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Miroslav Volf is absolutely brilliant. His book “Exclusion and Embrace”, which is about forgiveness, is a must read. And Neil, your take on the perspective that he writes from is right on. He is so far from an “emergent heretic” that it is simply laughable.

3   Neil    
September 23rd, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Corey,

I have read Exclusion and Embrace and I agree it is a must read – even for the likes of Chris R., Chris P., and Pastorboy (sorry John, doing a little bit of GBA myself).

That said, I am not very familiar with him past that book and his affiliation with the Evangelical Church of Croatia… so I was careful in the OP to not argue for or against his greater theology,

I have, though, travel the Balkans with his brother-in-law who is also a brilliant scholar, member of the Lusanne Committee, and founded an evangelical seminary in Communist Yugoslavia.

So it really torqued me to see them so mindlessly belittling the processes of forgiveness.

4   corey    
September 23rd, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Interestingly, for a number of years he has attended a C&MA church, PB’s (and my) denomination. Not that attending a church necessarily aligns you with everything that denomination believes…

5   Neil    
September 23rd, 2009 at 8:59 pm

I was unaware Volf attended a CM & A church… that’s cool.

It is impossible to tell from the blog or the broadcast just what his heresy is… since they just address Hegel and Moltmann and then regress to just “they/them/those guys” etc…

6   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
September 24th, 2009 at 7:41 am

5.
I think if you listen to the podcast from Issues etc. you will see what the thinking is there. However, In my short amount of research Volf does not seem like he has taken on all the escatological heresies of his former mentor or the heresies of Jones, Pagitt, et.al. In other words, he does not believe in a kingdom theology where men are going to somehow create the kingdom of God on earth and God is going to join them, not coming in Judgment but in reconciliation and redemption for the whole world regardless of what they believe.

7   Neil    
September 24th, 2009 at 10:02 am

Pastorboy,

Which podcast do you mean?

I find it refreshing that you are willing to defend Volf as far as you know against the broad-brushed gba tactics of Ingrid and Chris R.

8   Neil    
September 24th, 2009 at 11:49 am

Another aspect when it comes to guys like Volf is the world he comes from… “evangelicalism” in Europe doesn’t have the luxury of being so knit-picky as we do here in the States… so they tend to ignore (or not even understand) the petty and stylistic objections that are the basis of most ODM blog posts.

9   corey    
September 24th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Anybody else notice that when you go to the Crosstalk blog, the heading says “The Truth is Out There”. Is that their way of saying, “The Truth is Anywhere but Here”?

10   Aaron    
September 24th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

The more I read and follow the new Crosstalk blog (and here I was so excited to be able to comment but it’s all still moderated), the more I find over-indulgent self-masturbatory intellectualism and absurd hatred toward anything not in their political affiliation.

11   neil    
September 24th, 2009 at 6:16 pm

I think “self-masturbatory” is redudant – isn’t it?

12   neil    
September 24th, 2009 at 6:29 pm

I wonder why it’s call “Crosstalk” when so much of it is politics that have nothing to do with Christianity… maybe “cross” is not a reference to the faith but the emotional state of the host?

13   nc    
September 24th, 2009 at 9:42 pm

oh, neil.

come now.

the lady is a, well, lady. and any criticism is online gang-rape.

you’re treading on dangerous ground.

14   nc    
September 24th, 2009 at 9:43 pm

#11

or modifier that demonstrates the extremity and degree of said self-involvement.

15   Aaron    
September 25th, 2009 at 2:02 am

#11 – Good point.

#14 – I’ll go with this one since it makes me sound smarter.

16   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
September 25th, 2009 at 8:16 am

A little further research reveals that Volf believes that the Muslim God and Christian God are one and the same which is not true, though he dances around with using the same name etc. This is against scripture, for if you do not know Jesus, you do not know God. Muslims worship a false Jesus, hence they worship a false God. He also was a signatory as well as one who drafted the common ground with the muslims. It would seem that, even with his experiences with the murderous people (political christians and muslims) he wants to find religious common ground. There is none. We do not worship the same God, for Christians worship the One True God, and have the ability to do so by the blood of the One True Messiah Jesus.

17   nc    
September 25th, 2009 at 8:49 am

PB,

so that means everything else he writes about, etc. is wrong/suspect?

There’s no pure theology/theologian. They all have mistakes.

I’d say read his other works and then one can make a nuanced decision–that’s actually fair, intellectually honest, and reflective of reality since no human or their thinking is a simple, flat, 1 dimensional creature.

18   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 25th, 2009 at 8:59 am

nc,
Don’t you know that in a fundamentalist’s world, when they think a person is wrong about one thing, that means he’s wrong about everything.

Even beyond that, I question how big of it actually if Volf believes that they are the same. It seems like a rather minor philosophical point to start a conversation with a Muslim with the idea that their concept of God has some philosophical similarities to a Christian one, and then go on from there to say how you think God’s character is different from what they believe. I think this is kind of common thing anyway. I think many of us have had an experience where we started with one concept of God, and then came out realizing what we believed before was wrong.

Another thing, I will add is that I’ve always thought the way that many of the staunch Reformed folks talk about God the Father has more in common with a Muslim conception of Allah than the description of the Father in Scripture. I mean, a God who’s full of wrath and needs to be placated through sacrifice doesn’t seem to far from the concept of Allah.

19   corey    
September 25th, 2009 at 9:12 am

I knew the Muslim thing was going to come up!!

20   corey    
September 25th, 2009 at 9:16 am

Don’t you find it instead to be a mark of a genuine Spirit-filled believer if he is able and wiling to forgive and make peace with those who have murdered his own people?

21   nc    
September 25th, 2009 at 10:20 am

phil,

you’re so right.

there have been times on this site before where i’ve said what the ODM’s say sounds islamic.

22   Neil    
September 25th, 2009 at 11:23 am

Pastorboy,

I read the blog post at egalicontrarian and have two repsonses.

First, this is a secondary source – more people talking about what Volf said, but no primary source. Just like the blogs and braodcasts in the OP. Without primary sources we should be more cautious ascribing beliefs to someone.

Second, your conclusion that Volf “believes that the Muslim God and Christian God are one and the same” – is Not supported by the very link you provided. This may be another failure to distinguish distinctions.

Volf very well may believe that Muslims and Christian worship the same God – but he did not say that.

23   Neil    
September 25th, 2009 at 11:26 am

…though he dances around with using the same name etc. – Pastorboy

Now this is funny! Whenever someone as common you you or I speaks of a man as brilliant as Volf as “dancing around” a subject.

The fact is, Volf is absolutely right when he says that the Arabic word to “God” is “Allah.” This is unarguable. And his example of Mexican and Spanish is ironclad.

I have Arab friends who are Christian and they use the Arabic “Allah” in exactly the same way we use the English “God.”

Of course, Islamic Arabs use it as a proper noun also – but that is an additional use, not the only use.

24   Neil    
September 25th, 2009 at 11:31 am

A little further research reveals that Volf…

This implies that the was previous research. The point of my OP was the failure of the initial research. So, even if you showed from primary sources that Volf is heretical – that does not address the issues I raised.

25   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
September 25th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

This is just the point that I am trying to make.

When Rick Warren used the term Isa to describe Jesus in his prayer at the Inauguration, I claimed he was not praying to the one true Jesus. The reason? Isa is not the Jesus of the Bible, He was not the Son of God, and he did not die for our sins. As a prophet, he is also not superior to Allah. True believers in the Middle East call Jesus- the Jesus of the Bible, the one whom they worship in order to distinguish themselves from the Muslims El Masi (sp)- the Messiah.

When one tries to find common ground and peace with Muslims as a claimed Christian, it should not compromise the main tenants of the faith, like, who is God? who is Jesus? It is the post modern Emergent and (unfortunately) many Evangelicals who confuse that with we serve the same god, just they call it (or him) Allah. They so desire to find God in the Other that they find an entirely other god.

Read the description of Allah, come down to the trinity- is it the same God? How about the eradication of Christians and Jews? Same God?

I understand wanting peace, but that does not include compromising your beliefs about God. And if we truly believe Jesus is the only way, shouldn’t we share that hard truth about who He really is?

26   nc    
September 25th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

since when do we get to determine “true believer” status by a intercultural term used by different groups?

how can we know, given the disparate and diffuse nature of secret believers in muslim countries, that one group of secret christians using Isa are truly NOT “true believers”?

how can you be sure that your interactions with/knowledge of a group that uses “Al-Masi” is in a position to dictate/determine what is appropriate OR is representative of all believers in the muslim world?

where is your condemnation of the secret church in Saudi Arabia for not being more public in their stand for the Gospel, since apparently anytime someone here doesn’t use every public moment to do so then they must be ashamed of the gospel?

just asking…

27   nc    
September 25th, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Would we be offended that Jesus must have compromised his own divinity and true status by referring to God in Aramaic with a word that basically is the same as “Allah”?

This is linguistic silliness…

made even more ironic by a third grade critique of postmodernity based on a kindergarten understanding of the same…

ugh,

28   Neil    
September 25th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

When Rick Warren used the term Isa to describe Jesus in his prayer at the Inauguration, I claimed he was not praying to the one true Jesus.

And I (along with others) summarily dismissed this as silly pettiness – the reason? – it is a thinly veiled swipe at Warren and it is not true. I personally know Arab believers who use “Isa” and they are referring to the SAME Jesus as you and I.

True believers in the Middle East call Jesus- the Jesus of the Bible, the one whom they worship in order to distinguish themselves from the Muslims El Masi (sp)- the Messiah.

Sometimes your arrogance and modernist simplicity make we want to cuss! Who are YOU to say an Arab believer who uses “Isa” is not a true believer? Who are YOU to say “true believers” use a different or certain name?

29   Neil    
September 25th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

I have yet to see any primary sources that indicate Volf believes Christian and Muslims worship the same God… let along that he is a heretic. That is not to say it does not exist… but so far all I see is dancing around tangential issues and GBA.

30   nc    
September 25th, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Thank you, Neil.

One of our pastoral interns a few years ago had a father from Lebanon, a mother from France. He had a real heart for stateside muslim communities.

He’s the one that told me about the messianic muslims in our area who embraced Isa as the Way, Truth and Life.

There just isn’t a coherence to the believing muslim population that warrants claims like PB’s.

31   Neil    
September 25th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

nc,

You are welcome.

Conceptually I have some issues with the term “Messianic Muslim” from a purely missiological point of view – but that’s not the topic of our discussion…

That said, my objections to Pastorboy’s parochial attitudes stand.

32   corey    
September 25th, 2009 at 5:17 pm

My seminary missions prof. who has done a great deal of work in Islamic countries talks at great length about how Isa is commonly used for Jesus in those countries by believers.

33   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 26th, 2009 at 9:42 am

Any “concept” of god without Jesus and the gospel is antichrist and a demonic delusion. No one worships the true God without going through Jesus, therefore the word “god” may have different expressions and translations in different languages, but without Jesus the word “god” is no more remarkable than the word “shirt”.

The philosophies of men are systematically infiltrating the church and always seem to move toward religious inclusion rather than the exlusive message of the gospel. This phenomenon seems to be given a charitable blindness by some who should know better.

And it would seem only natural, that those who espouse a Christo-exclusiveness would be at least moderately attentive to anyone who was ambiguous concerning that fact, to say nothing of openly challenging it. At what point does a person so challenge, so dismantle, and so dilute the core of redemptive truth that he and his teachings would be challenged? Besides challenging the ODMs, about which I can provide my own credentials, when does even a semblence of redemptive discernment kick in?

The chronology sometimes moves from charitable, to gullible, and all the way to deceived.

34   Neil    
September 26th, 2009 at 11:08 am

I have to admit, Rick, I do not understand your point, nor to whom you are attempting to make it.

35   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 26th, 2009 at 11:13 am

You are not alone.

36   Neil    
September 26th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Interestingly, I received an e-mail this morning from a friend of mine who is true Christian and teaches at an Arab school in the ME.

After relaying some struggles and praises he finished his note – “Allah Akbar!” – which means “God is Great!”

Now, the vast majority of the occasions that this phrase is spoken the “Allah” in question is the God of Islam, “Allah” is a proper noun as well as a simple noun, he is the non-triune, unknowable, the supreme being according to Islam.

And one whose existence we would deny.

Yet, it is equally valid and accurate for true Arab believers to declare the same “Allah Akbar!” – in this case however, the “Allah” in question is the God of Christianity, “Allah” is not a proper noun but only a simple noun, he is the triune , knowable, the supreme being and creator – according to the Scriptures.

37   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 26th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

“I do believe that Muslims and Christians and Jews pray to the same God. And yet they understand who God is in significantly different ways.” – Volf

Absolutely wrong. He does not speak of Arab or Jewish believers, he speaks of different religions praying to the same God.

38   Joshua Blanchard    http://www.egalicontrarian.com
September 26th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Neil and Pastorboy,

Volff clearly does think that the “God of Jesus” is the same as the “God of Muhammad,” but it’s important to realize in what sense he thinks this. He analyzes it along the four indexes I outlined in my post.

While some may want to get excited and throw the word heretic around, it’s important to note that Volff has a somewhat idiosyncratic way of looking at the question, not identical with any official heresy.

39   nc    
September 26th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

pure monotheism acknowledges that there is only one God that exists…not multiple Gods…

for me, the issue isn’t whether or not any particular religion is praying to a different “god”.

as a monotheist i do not concede there are any other “gods” to be prayed to.

the “different jesus/god” stuff is sophistry.

there is only one God.

that whole mode of discourse/debate is a waste of time.

the real issue is at the level of the particular religion/revelation.

in other words:

i believe when muslims call upon God there is only One that can hear. That One is revealed through Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit.

thereal issue is that what a muslim holds to as the revelation of God is not salvific, incomplete and in other areas simply dead wrong.

i’ll come right out and say this:
you can’t be a christian and be a heno-theist wherein you acknowledge the existence of a multiplicity of divine beings but merely have a single loyalty to only one.

THAT is not mono-theism. For all the supposed loyalty to Scripture, i don’t get the henotheistic rhetoric.

all this language about “different gods” is heno-theistic. it is not Christian.

40   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 26th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

i’ll come right out and say this:
you can’t be a christian and be a heno-theist wherein you acknowledge the existence of a multiplicity of divine beings but merely have a single loyalty to only one.

THAT is not mono-theism. For all the supposed loyalty to Scripture, i don’t get the henotheistic rhetoric.

all this language about “different gods” is heno-theistic. it is not Christian.

I may disagree with you on this, nc. I think a very good case can be made that the Jewish scriptures allow that Yahweh is Almighty God, but they do not say He is the only spiritual or being in the heavenlies. I think it’s very likely that they were henotheistic, and I really think that that view makes a Scriptural theodicy much more coherent.

I also think that there are people on the planet who do willfully or inadvertently worship other gods, and I mean that more than just as figure of speech. There are other spiritual forces at war with Yahweh.

Now perhaps your issue is with calling these beings “gods” instead of something else. If that’s the case, than I see your point.

41   nc    
September 26th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

i don’t doubt there are spiritual beings…angels…demons…etc.

and i would also agree that we see a developing trend/tension in the hebrew scriptures between a heno-theistic/folk religion orientation in Israel (in the ancient near east after all) and a more explicitly “pure” monotheism.

good points from you…and you’re right…i’m really big on the “God” term.

42   nc    
September 26th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

i would also say that spiritual beings are very different from acknowledging divine beings…

there is no pantheon of deities….

even hinduism, not a uniform system by any stretch, but anyways…

even hinduism has always had a major “sect/perspective/stance” within it that sees the multiplicity of deities as not actual beings, but metaphors for the infinite range of expressions that infinitie ultimate reality may manifest….

43   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 26th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Some speak/pray to President Obama.
(He is black, married, with 2 daughters)

Some speak/pray to President Boomarang.
(He is an eskimo with seven wives, no kids)

Some speak/pray to President Ostrich.
(He lays large eggs)

* Only one prays/speaks to the President, the others speak to non-existent entities.

There is only one God and His name is Jesus, among other descriptive names. Without Jesus there is no God. Muslims pray to a spirit of antichrist as do all other religions including Judaism. It is futile to attempt to pray to the OT God without Jesus – He does not exist. God “winked” at that in times past but rejects all so called prayers without the only mediator, Jesus.

That is not a hard concept to understand, but it is the very concept that many today wish to change.

44   nc    
September 26th, 2009 at 5:13 pm

But Rick, couldn’t we also say that there is only one God and that God’s name is Father/Creator/etc. etc?

PB has fallen strangely silent….

45   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 26th, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Yes, but when you devise a religion that calls Him Father but without Jesus you have created a deity that does not exist. As a result, you have given billions false eternal hope.

And when those who know Jesus suggest some form of spiritual inclusiveness then the deception is complete. We should be respectful, we should be compssionate, we should be humble, and we should love those outside of Christ.

But we must never compromise the exclusiveness of the gospel, and especially among believers, we should reinforce it continually. But let us be frank, many are beginning to teach otherwise.

46   Neil    
September 26th, 2009 at 7:38 pm
“I do believe that Muslims and Christians and Jews pray to the same God. And yet they understand who God is in significantly different ways.” – Volf

Absolutely wrong. He does not speak of Arab or Jewish believers, he speaks of different religions praying to the same God. – Rick

Assuming the quote is accurate, I agree with you Rick.

47   Neil    
September 26th, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Volff clearly does think that the “God of Jesus” is the same as the “God of Muhammad,” but it’s important to realize in what sense he thinks this. He analyzes it along the four indexes I outlined in my post. – Joshua Blanchard

Thanks for joining the conversation. Since you are here, let me say I thought the blog you posted (to which Pastorboy linked) was well written and balanced. Usually, things presented and linked to by our detractors – not so much.

The issue of Volf and his view of Islam is interesting but tangential to the OP. If you wish, you can follow the links in the OP, read the blog, listen to the broadcast (although it’s pretty much a waste of time) and you will find that none of their accusations are based on specifics or primary sources. It’s all guilt by association.

That is why I wrote, early on, that I was not addressing Volf’s views – I was addressing sloppy and harmful methodology.

Pastorboy’s comments about Volf dancing around the linguistics and his absurd notion that “true” believers do not use “Isa” shows you what we are addressing.

48   nc    
September 26th, 2009 at 7:57 pm

more and more i’m becoming convinced that when evangelicals go after people like volf, etc. etc. it’s for a total lack of comprehension.

nuanced, careful focused theological thought within the context of a larger sustained theological argument must be too much work…

at the end of the day the only thing that matters is

sola scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, sola christus, sola dei gloria

and all other theological thought (ummm…the other 1500 years across more theological issues than soteriology) is just worthless or suspect.

ugh.

lazy. lazy. lazy. stupid and lazy.

49   nc    
September 26th, 2009 at 7:57 pm

this doesn’t apply to Rick though….

;)

50   Neil    
September 26th, 2009 at 8:02 pm

at the end of the day the only thing that matters is

sola scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, sola christus, sola dei gloria

And all of these are interpreted and applied “sola-americana”

51   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 26th, 2009 at 8:29 pm

I do not pronounce the death sentence on many issues. Second tier issues like woman pastors, or drinking, or Bible translations mean nothing to me in the scheme of things. Even issues like inerrancy or the Trinity do not an heretic make.

But issues of redemption and the exclusiveness of Jesus are deal breakers. Evangelicals would do well to defend that hill and not every hill that presents itself.

52   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 26th, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Of course I forgot to mention that Carrie Prejean is another horse about which we need to continue to beat. Ingrid continues her obsession with that woman.

OK Ingrid, we get it, you are modest in your apparel. (listen to the applause of sound doctrine.) I guess a wmoan like that deserves continued castigation, but Charles Krauthammer gets accolades even though he is pro-choice. The difference is Krauthammer dresses modestly. :cool:

53   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 26th, 2009 at 9:36 pm

BTW – I have meditated upon the “faith without works” axiom. I have so often seen it through the prism of what I no longer do. (smoking, drinking, drugs, etc.) But what if we see it through the prism of what we should be doing? Aren’t humanitarian works part of that axiom, especially since James talks about meeting needs of the poor in the context of “faith without works is dead”?

With all the discussion concerning Rollins etc., I do not want to miss what the Spirit is saying to my heart about being Jesus to the poor.

54   nc    
September 26th, 2009 at 9:55 pm

isn’t incredibly immodest to go on and on and on about how modest they are?

55   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
September 26th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

I was shocked that my comment about Krauthammer being pro-abortion didn’t make the cut, Rick.

56   Neil    
September 26th, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Even issues like inerrancy or the Trinity do not an heretic make.

But issues of redemption and the exclusiveness of Jesus are deal breakers. Evangelicals would do well to defend that hill and not every hill that presents itself.

I’d add the Trinity to the list… I think it a definer of what is Christian. That said, Does Volf deny the exclusiveness of Jesus?

57   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
September 27th, 2009 at 8:33 am

I will say that if Volf believes anything but the exclusiveness of Jesus Christ for salvation, in other words, that Jesus is the only way to the Father, he is a heretic.

You cannot believe that the Allah and the God of the Bible are one and the same!

58   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 27th, 2009 at 8:53 am

The deity of Christ is the issue. The Trinity is very loosely addressed in Scripture and is in fact, impossible to define. The two doctrinal cousins that define us are:

1. The gospel – the substitutionary death of Christ, and His resurrection

2. The necessity of faith and faith alone in Jesus for eternal life

These doctrinal truths must be made exclusive or they lose their inherrant truth. You can use the word “Allah” to mean God the Father if you are an Arab believer, but it may be advisable to alter your terminology to avoid confusion.

But Volf and others suggest that people can be saved through other religious systems that do not espouse the Biblical gospel or the incarnate Christ named Yeshua. YHWY without Jeshua does not exist.

59   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 27th, 2009 at 9:19 am

I think the issue of the Trinity is historically a marker of Christian belief. It’s actually probably one of the the theological issues that was the most contentious in the first 500 years. The debate was more about the nature of Christ than the three-in-oneness aspect of the Godhead.

I find the debate over the Muslim thing a bit odd. I guess it would be interesting to hear the testimony of a former Muslim who’s now a Christian. When they think back to their life prior to conversion do they think that they were previously worshiping another deity altogether, or do they think that there conception of who is was just wrong and the Jesus has now revealed God to them. It seems to me that if were saying that all people who don’t Christ are worshiping a false god, than it seems that we have to say that about Jews as well. And that’s something not even the Apostle Paul would say.

60   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 27th, 2009 at 9:31 am

“It seems to me that if were saying that all people who don’t Christ are worshiping a false god, than it seems that we have to say that about Jews as well. And that’s something not even the Apostle Paul would say.”

Where do you arrive at that? Of course Jews worship a flase god. All gods without Jesus are false. Paul wished himself accursed for the Jews because he recognized they were accursed without Christ. Read Romans 11 where Paul specifically teaches the Jews were broken off the salvation tree of God.

Ask the many missions to the Jews, most of them saved Jews, what they think about unsaved Jews and who they worship.

61   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
September 27th, 2009 at 9:36 am

#59
Jesus would seem to say it…

24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are i the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

And John would even confirm it:

1 John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

And of course John 5:11-12

11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

62   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 27th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Where do you arrive at that? Of course Jews worship a false god.

This statement makes no sense to me. The Jews worshiped Yahweh, but they are simply operating under an obsolete covenant. Yes, they are accountable for their rejection of the Messiah, but the statement that they worship a false god is almost like saying we should just throw the OT away.

I’d say the notion that when someone gets something wrong about God, they are automatically worshiping a false god is strange. Are Calvinists or Catholics worshiping a false god? I’d the issue isn’t so much whether they’re worshiping a false god, but rather if they are in a relationship with the Living God through Christ. I think saying to someone, “you’re worshiping a false god” is a very confrontational way of framing the argument that probably isn’t necessary. What Paul said in Acts 17 to the men of Athens is a good example of what I’m talking about:

22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

He claims that in their worship of an unknown god, they were actually attempting to worship Yahweh and went on to describe what He was like. I think most people have some idea of God in their heads, but they have a messed up idea of what He is truly like. Our jobs as a royal priesthood is represent what God is truly like and to proclaim reconciliation with Him through Christ.

63   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 7:08 am

Without Jesus it is a false God. He is the definer. In the OT they worshiped God ignorant of the Incarnation, however, when Jesus came they rejected Christ. That is like saying, “No, God, that is not the God we worship”.

You may consider the false god just semantics, but the modern Jews do not worship the true God and they are just as lost as unbelieving Gentiles. Hebrews and Paul tell us the Old Covenant is now a covenant of spiritual death.

****

OK, tell me, which is it. Ingrid is always sounding the alarm about radical Islam taking over around here, and then this post points out the lack of attendence at their Washington rally.

I get it, the shabby numbers were because God intervened. It seems some believers made an attempt to engage them. Good. Screeching about them on blogs is fruitless, except the fruit of a self righteous conscience salve.

64   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
September 28th, 2009 at 7:16 am

I believe that Rob Bell worships a false god. He seems to be ashamed of using His name and His gospel. Instead, he likes to talk about being fully human. What a sham.

65   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 7:50 am

I am not sure who Bell worships, but his teachings are heretical and full of deception. Is it possible that someone who you once trusted has strayed? Sure, I was won to Christ through Billy Graham but I have distanced myself from some of his teachings in these latter days.

Some of Bell’s supporters should take a new and impartial look at what he is, and what he is not, saying. I have yet to hear someone who was supportive of Bell who even has a problem with some of his teachings. That suggests a form of deception as well as human followship.

66   nc    
September 28th, 2009 at 8:20 am

or maybe, just maybe, people shouldn’t really care about bell, because if you look at the real demographics…christians, in general, are pretty irrelevant to this culture when it comes to things that matter.

it’s like when people get all jolly about how “big” Piper and j-mac are…

you go outside the incestuous ghetto of evangelicalism and most people have never heard of any of these people…emergent or not…

maybe, just maybe, we should get a little friggin perspective on how ineffective we are…and realize most of what we argue about doesn’t deserve the apocalyptic tone or chicken little craziness…

i just don’t care about what other churches are doing…then again, i don’t drink from the toilet of evangelical popular literature either…

67   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
September 28th, 2009 at 8:26 am

i don’t drink from the toilet of evangelical popular literature either…

What a beautiful metaphor…..

Amen. Living water is always better. And its not full of urine and feces like so much of the tripe going out today from Pagitt, Bell, Jones, Claibourne, Wallis, McLaren, et.al.

68   M.G.    
September 28th, 2009 at 8:34 am

The idea that God wants us to be more human, not less, has been a consistent theme in Christian writing, from the Church fathers through C.S Lewis.

“The glory of God is man fully alive.”

St. Irenaeus

“To enter heaven is to become more human than you ever succeeded in being on earth; to enter hell, is to be banished from humanity.”

C.S. Lewis

69   nc    
September 28th, 2009 at 8:49 am

PB,

yes, they with all their massive amounts of books…

they’re still having to catch up with crusted on legacy of j-mac…thanks to him that toilet bowl was pretty yellow long before your favorite whipping boys came along and took a piss.

regardless of where you sit on the spectrum, just look at the caca- fest that is the CBD catalog…

your boys are part of the prob too

70   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 28th, 2009 at 9:09 am

All this talk of false gods reminds me of a story my wife told me about that she did when she was like 5 or 6. She was staying with one of her relatives, who happened to go to a United Methodist church. She was asked to pray for the meal, and she started out by saying, “Dear god of the United Methodist church…”. I guess according to some here, she was right.

I guess if people don’t agree exactly with our conception of God now, we somehow feel justified in saying they worship a false god. That’s just ridiculous. You’re simply saying that our standing with God is based entirely on our head-knowledge of Him and having whatever model we have of Him correct. That’s simply not what Scripture says. We know God by knowing Jesus, and I believe it’s possible to have some pretty wrong ideas about God and still know Jesus. I also believe that God reveals himself partially to humans in other ways. That’s what Romans 1 says.

71   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 9:35 am

” That’s just ridiculous.”

As usual there can never be a dispassionate discourse without maligning the other perspective. And true to form, the particpants retreat to their usual corners. I await the hope that someday, somehow there will be a genuine disagreement with those who are usually defended.

Until then, I anticipate the redundant and predictable evolution of the thread dialogue many times driven by displeasure with certain personnel rather than with substance. Even a stopped clock…never mind.

72   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 28th, 2009 at 9:43 am

Rick,
I apologize if I offended you. I was not meaning for it to be a personal attack. I just think the idea you’re putting forth here seems to be pretty harsh. If everyone who claims to be a Christian but somehow disagrees with you about the nature of God worships a false god, well than just seems to be completely uncharitable. I think we’re all probably wrong in our conception of God in some way or another.

73   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 9:51 am

I will reiterate my only issue. Anyone who worships a god without Jesus Christ is worshiping a false god, and in fact, one that does not exist.

A Calvinist has a wrong concept of God, however he views God through Jesus Christ. He worships the true God.

A Jew or Muslim has a wrong concept of God, and their god has no Jesus. They worship a god who does not exist.

74   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
September 28th, 2009 at 10:20 am

Rick,

I understand what you are saying, however, I think you are assuming that those people who are Jews or Muslims have had the opportunity to reject Christ. An incomplete understanding of who God is does not automatically mean that they are worshiping a false God. For those who have had the opportunity to reject Christ, I would agree with you.

75   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 10:45 am

Any worshiping of any god without Jesus is a false god regardless if they know of Jesus or not. Hence, the Great Commission and its purpose. The buddhist peasant living in the Gansu province in China who has never heard of Jesus and worships a god concept is worshiping a false god.

Without the redemption only found in Jesus all “god concepts” are useless and even deadly. To believe in the existence of god will not save without being born again through Jesus Christ.

76   John Hughes    
September 28th, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Rick,

I agree that a practicing Jew without Christ is just as lost as any other un-regenerate person, but they do worship the true God. Worship does not equal salvation. God has criticized the Jews for false worship throughout their history. Jews are certainly NOT worshiping a false God. They are simply worshipping GOD in vain.

Matt 15:7-9 – You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’”

Romans 10:1-3 – Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.

Speaking of the Samaritans Jesus told the woman at the well:

John 4: 22 – You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.

Like the Jews of today, the Samaritans were not worshipping a false God. Again, they were just worshiping the true God falsely.

I guess the result is the same, i.e., being Lost, and in this respect you do have a valid point. But technically they are not worshipping a false god.

77   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

A deity without Jesus does not exist. Jesus is God and He cannot be removed from the Godhead without creating a false god.

78   Neil    
September 28th, 2009 at 2:36 pm

I will say that if Volf believes anything but the exclusiveness of Jesus Christ for salvation, in other words, that Jesus is the only way to the Father, he is a heretic.

You cannot believe that the Allah and the God of the Bible are one and the same! – Pastorboy

These are, of course, two distinct issues.

79   Neil    
September 28th, 2009 at 2:39 pm

You can use the word “Allah” to mean God the Father if you are an Arab believer, but it may be advisable to alter your terminology to avoid confusion.

So says the English speaking American. Why should we advise speakers of another language which terms are acceptable for them to use? I could just as easily say we should not use the phrase “God” to avoid confusion.

80   Neil    
September 28th, 2009 at 2:41 pm

But Volf and others suggest that people can be saved through other religious systems that do not espouse the Biblical gospel or the incarnate Christ named Yeshua. YHWY without Jeshua does not exist. – Rick

I agree – except I have not seen anywhere that Volf says or suggests that one can be saved through other religious systems.

81   Neil    
September 28th, 2009 at 2:49 pm

A deity without Jesus does not exist. Jesus is God and He cannot be removed from the Godhead without creating a false god.

And the same goes for the Holy Spirit.

82   Neil    
September 28th, 2009 at 2:50 pm

I agree that a practicing Jew without Christ is just as lost as any other un-regenerate person, but they do worship the true God. Worship does not equal salvation. God has criticized the Jews for false worship throughout their history. Jews are certainly NOT worshiping a false God. They are simply worshipping GOD in vain.

Agreed.

83   Neil    
September 28th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Pastorboy,

I am glad to see your insistence on certain words being used to validate the Gospel or one’s concept of God is also applied to those speaking English.

Fortunately for us, your position did not prevail at the Counsel of Jerusalem where it was decided no one culture could dictate to others how God is to be worshiped or referred to – I have a hunch you would have opposed the Gentile use of “Lord” when referring to Jesus… since we all know that true Christians use “Messiah” and “Lord” is a pagan term.

84   Neil    
September 28th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Rick,

I do not understand how you say the Jews worship a false God, when they worship the same God they did in the Old Testament.

Granted, they worship a false concept of him. They certainly worship him in vain since no one can come to the Father but through Jesus. But worshiping an improper concept of God is not tantamount to worshiping a false God.

To use your statement “A deity without Jesus does not exist” in a hypothetical situation: Would a tribal leader who worships the creator of the heavens and the earth, an unknown God whose name he does not know, but knows he exists – would he be worshiping a false God, or an incomplete concept of the biblical God?

85   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

“Would a tribal leader who worships the creator of the heavens and the earth, an unknown God whose name he does not know, but knows he exists – would he be worshiping a false God, or an incomplete concept of the biblical God?”

In some cases, an incomplete god is a false god. But your example is different than a Jew or Muslim who openly denies Jesus as God. The tribal leader whom you reference worships an incomplete god who at that level of knowledge cannot save him.

86   room2blog    http://room2blog.wordpress.com
September 28th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

In some cases, an incomplete god is a false god. But your example is different than a Jew or Muslim who openly denies Jesus as God. The tribal leader whom you reference worships an incomplete god who at that level of knowledge cannot save him.

What if, hypothetically, the hypothetical tribe leader of that hypothetical tribe (I think you get the gist) somehow knows that he can do nothing to please that creator of the heavens and the earth and that his inability to live up to his standards condemns him?

What if at the same time he has this odd assurance that the creator of the heavens and the earth is so gracious and loving that he would do anything to redeem the tribal leader, even if that would mean that the creator pays the punishment for the tribal leaders failure?

87   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 3:56 pm

That scenario would be a legitimate question. I have yet to meet that tribal leader. Almost all religions are works oriented and filled with superstition.

BTW – It would be a step forward if most American evangelicals would believe what you imaginary tribal leader believed.

88   Neil    
September 28th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

In some cases, an incomplete god is a false god. But your example [cf. 84] is different than a Jew or Muslim who openly denies Jesus as God. The tribal leader whom you reference worships an incomplete god who at that level of knowledge cannot save him.

OK – thanks, I agree.

89   Neil    
September 28th, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I hate it when people introduce hypothetical situations…

90   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

There are definitely times when I feel my neurotransmitting receptors have been highjacked and everyone else is on another neropathway than am I. Am I more difficult to understand than I believe I am? I hope everyone can see through the pretentious erudition.

In fact, I am a lot less intelligent than I project, that is unless you’ve already made that accurate assessment. But issues that deal directly with people’s eternal destiny will always elicit displays of passion and intensity from me. The only other issue about which will stir up righteous emotions is the demeaning, cataloguing, and castigation of sinners and their sins.

Concerning Jesus and His redemption I see a growing nebulousness and in many cases an observable departure. I am not sure why others cannot see even some of it.

91   John Hughes    
September 28th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Rick,

I am not going to get in to the hypothetical tribesman, but you yourself have argued that complete head knowledge of the Trinity is not a prequisite to salvation. Trusting Jesus is. As Jesus is God and the Father is God and the Holy Spirit is God someone who whorships the Father is worshiping the true God, but again, worship is not tandemount to salvation. Agreed, that anyone who denies the Son, denies the Father, but techncially they are not worshipping a false god.

92   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 5:22 pm

A Muslim worships/believes in a monotheistic god called Allah. Is he trusting in Jesus?

93   Neil    
September 28th, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Concerning Jesus and His redemption I see a growing nebulousness and in many cases an observable departure. I am not sure why others cannot see even some of it.

Obviously there are those who are nebulous and have departed – whether or not that is “growing” I am not so sure.

94   Neil    
September 28th, 2009 at 5:45 pm

A Muslim worships/believes in a monotheistic god called Allah. Is he trusting in Jesus?

Impossible to say. But probably not. Safe to assume no, untill known otherwise.

95   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
September 28th, 2009 at 5:50 pm

For those who have had the opportunity to reject Christ, I would agree with you.

Nope…

You do not get condemned to Hell for rejecting Christ. Your sins place you in that condition; You are condemned because you have sinned and you have not been justified by Christ.

All people who have not repented and trusted Christ for forgiveness of sins are condemned. Muslims, Christian, Jewish, or otherwise. We are in a condition of condemnation- John 3:16-19- and we must believe in (trust in) Christ to have our sins forgiven.

96   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 6:05 pm

#95 – Absolutely correct. Bible 101.

97   Neil    
September 28th, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Pastorboy,

You say things like that and it sounds great – even true. Then you apply it by saying true Arab believers use something other than “Isa” —

Come to think of it, I just noticed that you have stopped addressing my points all together.

98   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
September 28th, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Well, PB, if I were talking about salvation, then your comment would be valid. I wasn’t, I was talking about worship.

The problem as I see it is that you and Rick seem to be purporting that you have to be saved to worship God. I, on the other hand, am not so sure that that is true.

99   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 7:40 pm

You do not have to be saved to worship, but you must be saved to worship the one true God. God will not receive worship from His enemies, and only His children can worship Him in spirit and in truth.

100   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
September 28th, 2009 at 7:54 pm

#98
See #99

Amen, Rick. You can worship anything. Only worship purchased through the blood of Christ gains access to the Fathers’ throne.

101   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
September 28th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Interesting theology gentlemen. I guess the praise of children must just be a lesson in futility. I’ll be back in a bit with some scripture passages.

102   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Rick: You do not have to be saved to worship, but you must be saved to worship the one true God.

You can worship anything. Only worship purchased through the blood of Christ gains access to the Fathers’ throne.

Chapter and verse, please.

I can think of a number of OT examples that would contradict this, and a fair reading of Paul in Romans (and the evidence of Creation) would suggest you’re incorrect, as well.

103   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Anyone can worship anything. But what worship does the Father God receive? Does He receive worship from demons? Can He receive worship from idols? There is no access, none, without the blood of Christ.

Paul tells us in Romans 5 that only through the blood can we have peace with God. How can God receive tryue worship from those with whom He is not at peace? And does the worship of an unsaved sinner allow his unforgiven sins to enter God’s presence?

Even save people who are living in disaobedience cannot truly worship God. “Your sins have seperated you and God will not hear you” says the prophet. Anyone can worship in words and sacrifices and positions, but no worship goes up before God’s throne without going through the ONLY mediator, Christ Jesus.

This is the core of redemption, I cannot understand why anyone would disagree except the same team concept which is evident on both sides. No one can know God through Christ without being born again by God’s Spirit, so how can they possibly worship Him who they do not know?

It is a religious behavior with no validity. Ask a saved Roman Catholic if he was actually worshiping Christ before he was saved. Almost all will say they were sincere and they went through the worship motions, but they never knew worship until after conversion.

104   Neil    
September 28th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

One thing we know for sure – God hears and may answer the prayers of those who are not in Christ. So, even though the Scriptures speak of prayer in the name of Jesus he may hear and respond outside this norm.

105   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 9:14 pm

“One thing we know for sure – God hears and may answer the prayers of those who are not in Christ.”

I do not now that for sure. There may be an anomalie or two, but that is just the sovereignty of God on display. It has nothing to do with proving a doctrine that suggests God answers the prayers of the unsaved. EXCEPT – in the context of seekers. Then the Cornelius principle kicks in.

Of course there are many instances of unsaved people sincerely seeking God and finding Joseph Smith etc..

106   Neil    
September 28th, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Got this in an e-mail just this week:

Just today I heard the testimony of ****** from *******. He was a Muslim Sheik who prayed asking for the truth. He had a dream where Jesus rescued him from a well.

I sure hope this believer is taught not to use his native “Allah” or “Isa.”

107   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 28th, 2009 at 9:39 pm

I love how God is reaching Muslims through dreams! Again, the Cornelius principle is still alive and well.

108   nc    
September 28th, 2009 at 9:56 pm

yes, cuz salvation hinges on not using the word Isa and that poor sod would be damned to hell by virtue of that word.