Duct Tape - Use Some

Ah, the silly season has arrived, yet again.

Over the past several years of blogging, I’ve noticed a number of trends in topics, discussions and general attitudes which seem to cycle with the calendar. For example, it seems that July is the month for a large uptick in seeing commenters, cited articles and site authors (including myself) to lose patience and get ultra-snippy and personally petty about one another.

Christmas season settles down (from a personal-tone standpoint), but conflicts about personal preference (of all orders – music/worship style, dress, drinking, etc.) come to the forefront.

January/February seems to foster a bit more focused theological debate (often with systematic theologies in the crosshairs), etc.

It’s not that these things don’t happen other times during the year, it is just that they tend to “spike” at certain parts more than others.

Early fall, though, seems to be a season where a lack of basic reading comprehension and any sense of charity toward ones theological “enemies” seems to ratchet up. And this one, like last year, (or previous years) is gearing up to be no exception to the rule.

For example, we have a frequent commenter in one thread who is so blinded in his hatred for another brother in Christ that he reads/hears his brother say and explain one thing (”early Christianity was a subversive movement in the Roman Empire, which hijacked its symbology to declare Jesus as Lord of all, not Caesar”) and accuses him of saying the opposite (”early Christianity was just a cheap knock-off of Rome”).   It is like either A) basic literary comprehension or B) any guise of honesty has taken a holiday…

And then, we have this example, submitted to us by M.G., where a similar “perfect storm” of hatred, ill-will and an utter lack of charity or comprehension (or, possibly, tinfoil-hattery) has led tinpot ODM’s to accuse Rick Warren of trying to merge the church and state – completely misunderstanding (or misappropriating) “reconciliation” to mean something it does not…

And then, there’s the frequent purveyor of misapplication and miscomprehension, Mike Ratliff, who apparently has no clue about what orthopraxis is, or, apparently, that ’systematic theology’ and ’sound doctrine’ aren’t synonymous.  (Though, once again, I think ODM criticism has led me to want to purchase a book subjected to their criticism).

And on… And on…

As I read this screed over the weekend, I was struck A) by how little I missed reading C?N – I’d gone a couple of months without “researching” it; and B) How right Rob Bell was in his August 16th message “The Importance of Beginning in the Beginning” , in which he laid out (in a 65-minute message that intentionally ran long) his view of how Christians fit into Creation, and how important it is that we root our understanding of Christianity in Genesis 1, and not Genesis 3.

But I’m sure there will be some who purposely “misunderstand” him, and will argue (somehow) that he is stating the opposite of what he’s saying.

But let’s not blame them for their stupidity.  It IS that time of year, you know…

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This entry was posted on Monday, October 5th, 2009 at 11:32 am and is filed under Commentary, Editor, Mike Ratliff, ODM Responses, ODM Writers, Original Articles, What Can You Say?, pastorboy. 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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33 Comments(+Add)

1   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 5th, 2009 at 1:13 pm

I do not Hate Rob Bell.

I hate his message which lacks the cross and the resurrection of Jesus as central to the message of the Gospel.

Thats all. Please do not lie and accuse me of hate. I am sure if Rob Bell had the time between his ‘church’ and his book promotion tours I would enjoy having a conversation with him and hanging out.

Of course, he would likely leave because I would witness to the waitress or the barista and Rob would see it as converting somebody and criticize it. He would just encourage me to be the gospel and not preach it…

2   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
October 5th, 2009 at 2:00 pm

With all the links to former .info posts contain herein, I’m under the impression that Ken Silva wrote this article and not Chris L. Is this true? Ken did you write this? :)

3   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
October 5th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

PB~

We know you don’t actually hate Rob Bell. You just pray for God to judge him or kill him as one of His enemies. We understand the subtle difference.

jerry

4   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 5th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Of course, he would likely leave because I would witness to the waitress or the barista and Rob would see it as converting somebody and criticize it. He would just encourage me to be the gospel and not preach it…

Well, that might not be such bad advice. Some of us need to quit running our mouths all the time. Talk is cheap, as they say…

5   nc    
October 5th, 2009 at 4:37 pm

why, oh why, would people want to support “false conversions” by fear?

fear of hell is in reality a love of self. it is man-centered. it is “another gospel”….

sorry, i can’t keep it up…i don’t know how they have the energy for all that theological sophistry…

(stumbles away with self-induced headache.)

6   Neil    
October 5th, 2009 at 6:10 pm

Of course, he would likely leave because I would witness to the waitress or the barista and Rob would see it as converting somebody and criticize it. He would just encourage me to be the gospel and not preach it…

Pastorboy,

I do not read a lot of Bell, nor watch a lot of his videos… so I can only say that I have seen him encourage believers to be the Gospel… to be the first-fruits of God (and who can argue with that – oh, never mind… we all know the answer)

But I have NEVER seen/heard him say we should not preach it.

Link please?

7   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 5th, 2009 at 8:28 pm

# 6 Here

8   Neil    
October 5th, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Pastorboy,

Thanks, just one follow-up just to be clear; after watching that video what you took away was Bell saying we should not preach the word? As in “He would tell me to live the word, not preach it?”

9   M.G.    
October 6th, 2009 at 8:56 am

I had no idea that Pastorboy uses bullhorns in restaurants and coffee shops.

That may be your number one problem, PB.

10   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
October 6th, 2009 at 9:01 am

#8 I didn’t see the video making John’s point either….

11   Neil    
October 6th, 2009 at 10:22 am

#8 I didn’t see the video making John’s point either….

Before I say this, I just want to make sure I understand John’s point… just what does he think Bell is saying.

12   Neil    
October 6th, 2009 at 7:03 pm

It has been a day and Pastorboy has not responded with clarification (a simple declarative statement – nothing more) so I will respond.

Re #1:
Your first statement is rather absolute.

[Bell] would just encourage me to be the gospel and not preach it.

and when I said I had never heard him say as much you offer

# 6 Here

I assume this will fall on deaf ears, Pastorboy, but I encourage you to discern the difference between an absolute statement and a subjective statement.

Do not preach the Gospel – absolute statement.
Do not preach to strangers using a bullhorn – subjective statement.

The former prohibits preaching the Gospel, the latter prohibits preaching the Gospel in a particular manner. One is an absolute prohibition (which you implied). The other a prohibition of ONE manner/style. It’s as if someone prohibiting thong bathing suits was accused of promoting skinny-dipping.

Now I understand why you take offense at the video… since you have been known to be party with people preaching on the proverbial street corner using a proverbial bullhorn. But I do not think getting into an argument with a non-believer over the morality of a particular sin – which leads to calling her a highly insulting name – is preaching the Gospel. I know, that was an anomaly.

Jesus preached on the street and he got mad at people – but interestingly, the one’s he got mad at most often, the one’s he really threatened were religious leaders. Leaders, who in a misplaced zeal, actually made following YHWH harder.

Bell does not tell anyone to not preach the Gospel. In fact, he encourages it. He simply asks bullhorn guy to extricate himself from the 1950’s… lest he actually make it harder for people to follow Jesus

13   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 6th, 2009 at 11:36 pm

#8 Yes, and his interview in Boston as a follow up.

#9 Thanks MG I will stop now.

#10 No one is blinder than he who will not see- Bono, October

#11 Bell is saying that the Bullhorn guy is wrong for preaching the Gospel. Bell is saying that it seems as though he is trying to convert people, like that is bad.

#12 Bell stated in his interview with Boston.com that he believed that people should not try to convert other people. To me that is saying they should not share the good news.

14   Neil    
October 6th, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Bell is saying that it seems as though he is trying to convert people, like that is bad.

Maybe it is, if that is all someone is after – and I have far too many of those – did you catch the comment about spiritual notches – THAT is what he is addressing.

15   Neil    
October 6th, 2009 at 11:56 pm

#12 Bell stated in his interview with Boston.com that he believed that people should not try to convert other people.

And the great commission is to make coverts – no, disciples.

To me that is saying they should not share the good news.

Interesting you say “To me…” as if you get to determine what he meant. That is a very postmodern way. Of course, I know this is not what you meant.

Again, I have no dog in this fight since I can take Bell or leave Bell – I just wish you would provide something that proved you accusation without having to assume a different meaning.

Not making converts does not mean do not share the Good News.

Don’t argue with people on the street with a bullhorn does not mean do not preach the Gospel.

16   Neil    
October 6th, 2009 at 11:58 pm

If you have a quote of him saying we should not share the Gospel…

or

If you have a quote of him saying we do not need a Gospel…

or

If you have a quote of him saying we should not make disciples…

Any of those would do.

But saying certain METHODS are bad (even if he is wrong) is only his opinion regarding a METHOD.
And saying we should not make just converts (when the Bible clearly says we should make disciples) is correct.

17   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 12:03 am

Again,
(a) saying Bell is prohibiting the preaching of the Gospel
(b) because he prohibits bullhorns
is
like
(a’) saying someone prohibits clothing at the beach
(b’) because they prohibit tuxedos.

18   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 6:27 am

It is the modern mindset that has seperated the word “convert” and “disciple”. They are one and Jesus’ commission obviously was evangelistic. My Calvinistic brothers always make those distinctions erroneously. If you are not a convert you are not a disciple; if you are not a disciple you are not a convert.

Clumsy attempts to convert people can be counterproductive, however Bell never makes any distinction and seems to demean those whose purpose is evangelism. The problem with Bell’s teaching is that it it never evangelistic or gospel centered.

Even a supporter admitted on his “spiritual” tour that no one could have gotten saved from his lecture.

Question: It has been reported that tickets for Bell’s current tour begin at more than $100, is that accurate?

19   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 7:08 am

I’ve known many people who were converted but never properly discipled. I’d say ideally, there shouldn’t be a difference between the two, or they should be seen as a continuum of the salvation process. But I do think there are some churches and organizations that make salvation entirely out to be a matter of mental assent – just pray this prayer and sign this card, and you’re good to go.

So I don’t necessarily think convert has to be a negative word, but I do think it can have negative connotations. How many altar calls have I sat through where a speaker tries to manipulate people and does everything but physically drag them to the alter? I couldn’t even begin to count.

The thing is, if you look at the statistics of how people become Christians, the percentages of people who will honor a commitment made at a large evangelistic event is like less than 5%. If you look at people who were brought to Christ through relationship with another Christian, it’s much higher. Yet, we seem to invest and inordinate amount of time, energy, and money into events where one guy is speaking to the masses. Why is that?

20   chris    
October 7th, 2009 at 7:12 am

Question: It has been reported that tickets for Bell’s current tour begin at more than $100, is that accurate?

NO! Simple research.

http://www.tbpac.org/shows/show.asp?showId=2350

21   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 7:37 am

What about this?

http://ticketstumbler.com/rob-bell/2009-10-10/rob-bell-251581/

22   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 7th, 2009 at 7:40 am

Phil and Neil,

How can one be a disciple without being a convert? How can one be a convert if they never hear the Gospel? How can anyone hear if no one will preach?

With all your whining about orthodoxy vs. orthopraxy, that is, the faith vs. the practice, why cant you show a little grace here? I believe that the Bible teaches that conversion is a process that is started and finished by God Himself, but He gives us the privilege of participating by preaching the Word.

A true convert knows the Shepherds voice, and desires to follow Him. That is the very definition of being a disciple. If a person is a true convert, he or she will become a disciple.

23   chris    
October 7th, 2009 at 7:43 am

That’s a scalping site Rick. Different story. You can’t blame Bell for the economics of supply and demand.

24   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 7:44 am

Rick,
That site is for a ticket broker. They buy blocks of tickets and sell them for a profit. The artist or speaker has no control over what those sites do. It’s not uncommon for them to be marked up outrageously like that.

25   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 8:16 am

PB (#22) – Did you just ask Phil and Neil to show you the kind of grace that you refuse to give to Bell or anyone else you disagree with????

26   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 8:21 am

Making disciples is making converts. The misunderstanding centers on the verb disciple and the noun disciple. In short, we are to make disciples and then disciple disciples.

27   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 8:59 am

In short, we are to make disciples and then disciple disciples.

I would agree that that’s the Biblical model, but I just don’t see that a lot of people operate under that paradigm. I think that in the American church we put such a huge emphasis on the moment of salvation that we end up giving people the idea that’s all there is.

I have a question. When were the disciples saved? Do we know? It seems to me that there are relatively few examples in Scripture of people having the type of conversion experiences that the Apostle Paul or even the Roman jailer had, but yet those are what we have made the model. It seems Jesus’ model was just asking people to follow him, and a person could choose to or choose not to. My question would be when, for example, Matthew decided to get up from the tax collector’s booth, was he at that instant a convert? Was he saved? If he died that night, would he go to heaven?

To me those questions really don’t seem like something the Gospel writers even attempt to answer, but those are the questions that many Evangelicals focus on. Doesn’t something seem off about that?

28   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
October 7th, 2009 at 9:49 am

Who cares anyhow how much tix cost? What’s that go to do with anything?

29   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 1:29 pm

If a person is a true convert, he or she will become a disciple.

I agree. Yet much of 20th Century evangelism and missions was not disciple making but comvert counting… how many people can we get to repeat a prayer, walk an aisle…

I believe THAT is what Bell is arguing against, and in that context there is a difference between counting converts and making disciples.

30   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

“When were the disciples saved?”

They were transitional between the OT and the NT, however they were born again on Pentecost.

31   nc    
October 7th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

A true convert knows the Shepherds voice, and desires to follow Him. That is the very definition of being a disciple. If a person is a true convert, he or she will become a disciple.

the sad thing is that “desiring to follow him” has to look exactly the way you and your ilk “follow him”…otherwise you claim people aren’t really “following him”.

32   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

They were transitional between the OT and the NT, however they were born again on Pentecost.

What does this even mean? So if one of the disciples had died prior to Pentecost they would not have been considered born again? I’m not trying to be facetious here, I just have never heard anyone make that claim.

Also, if it weren’t possible for someone to be born again until Pentecost, why did Jesus tell Nicodemus that he must be born again a good deal prior to that event? He didn’t tell him he had to wait to be born again until Pentecost.

33   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

They were transitional between the OT and the NT, however they were born again on Pentecost.

That’s an interesting interpretation; a) what makes you say that, and what difference does it make?