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This entry was posted on Friday, February 12th, 2010 at 12:01 am and is filed under Ingrid, It's Friday, Open Thread. 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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138 Comments(+Add)

1   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
February 12th, 2010 at 9:22 am

I like the new facade on Mars Hill above! ;)

Emergent teaching is alive and well in the PCUSA

Yes, I am being provocative. What do you think of these stats from the PCUSA? Provocative? Wrong? Consistent with the US Church in general?

How has the liberal interspirituality focus of some emergents played a role?

2   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 9:36 am

See, John, the Reformed group are compromisers. :cool:

3   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
February 12th, 2010 at 9:58 am

Not the Pastor in this town- She was VERY clear she is not one of those reformed types….

4   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 12th, 2010 at 10:02 am

Yes, I am being provocative. What do you think of these stats from the PCUSA? Provocative? Wrong? Consistent with the US Church in general?

OMG! Statistics showing that one of the most liberal denominations in the US, is well, liberal! Shocking!

5   Neil    
February 12th, 2010 at 10:08 am

Wait, Pastorboy referrenced the liberal interspirituality focus of some emergents – he’s not learning to distinguish people by their beliefs instead of labels is he?

6   Neil    
February 12th, 2010 at 10:12 am

Consistent with the US Church in general?

Some will never learn that there is no such thing as “the” American church.

7   Eric    
February 12th, 2010 at 10:22 am

I always find it curious when people say they believe in Jesus, but allow for other paths of salvation. Jesus himself claimed exclusivity. So, how can one believe in Jesus but deny His claims of exclusivity? Either Jesus was right, or He was a crackpot.

8   Eric    
February 12th, 2010 at 10:25 am

I prefer “The Streak” by Ray. My brother does a mean version of that song at karaoke night.

9   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 10:29 am

By definition evangelism is useless if all religions lead to God. Same with universalism. If all roads lead to God, then I will return to drinking, cocaine, and women. (At my age the women part is wishful thinking :cool: )

10   Neil    
February 12th, 2010 at 10:36 am

Re 9 – there’s a reason sin is so popular – ya know!

11   nathan    
February 12th, 2010 at 11:07 am

PB,

why do you and your friend constantly have to complain about denominations that you have no connection to or involvement with?

If they are in decline, then what’s the big deal?

Why go on and on and on about it?

It just smacks of you taking another opportunity to celebrate your Gospel of your own goodness.

sheeesh.

and, in fact, it’s quite ignorant of many churches that remain in those denoms AND the polity of those denoms.

12   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
February 12th, 2010 at 11:14 am

I realize my comment will have nothing to do with the thread, but concerning the OP, thanks Chris. That is a good reminder of something I read in Eugene Peterson’s (PCUSA) new book, Practice Resurrection, and posted at my FB today: “The church we want becomes the enemy of the church we have.”

Have a nice weekend fellas. Don’t forget to love one another deeply. So said Simon, the Rock.

13   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
February 12th, 2010 at 11:28 am

Nathan, I feel like you are judging me.

The gospel of my goodness would be an awful short one, cuz all I have is an alien goodness. It comes from Christ.

And that is the crux of the Gospel, Nathan. And there is salvation in no other name, unlike what many/some in the emergent church and PCUSA and UM’s and even evangelicals say.

Thats what I am talking about. There is only one way to be saved, through faith in Christ alone.

14   Neil    
February 12th, 2010 at 11:39 am

I found it interesting, in the video, that some interpreted the farmers jumping as Holy Spirit revival… other as demon possession.

Reminds me of the danger of judging another person’s experience with God from the outside.

15   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 12th, 2010 at 11:48 am

Neil,
That’s some rather deep exegesis from a Ray Stevens song! What, in your opinion, is the meaning of the squirrel? :-)

16   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 11:49 am

“The church we want becomes the enemy of the church we have.”

How about the church God wants.

17   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
February 12th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Misses the point of the quote but that’s ok.

18   thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
February 12th, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Nathan misses the point, again.

It is so funny how you characterize stuff you know nothing about. The PCUSA pastrix in this town hates my dad, and hates that he preaches the Gospel, that is, the exclusive belief in Christ Jesus as the only means of obtaining salvation.

Its so sad, Nate that you seem to have an axe to grind against those who are proclaiming the true faith that you claim to believe.

19   chris    
February 12th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

^^^^^^ so predictable

20   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 12th, 2010 at 12:45 pm

The PCUSA pastrix in this town hates my dad, and hates that he preaches the Gospel, that is, the exclusive belief in Christ Jesus as the only means of obtaining salvation.

First rule in research – correlation doesn’t equal causation. Just because someone doesn’t like your dad, doesn’t mean it’s because of what he preaches.

21   nathan    
February 12th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

well, PB, “feelings” can be mistaken.

I’m talking about your behavior. It smacks of just opportunism and arrogance.

you still haven’t answered the question.

why do you care about a denom that is “in decline” and one that you are not involved in?

22   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 1:12 pm

#20 – It’s called the self righteous martyr’s construct. That is at odds with the Pauline heart:

“I wished I was damned if that meant my enemies would be saved.”

23   Neil    
February 12th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

“The church we want becomes the enemy of the church we have.”

How about the church God wants.

I assumed the former implied pursuit of the latter.

24   Neil    
February 12th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Re 15: The squirrel in and of itself has no meaning… it’s just a literary tool in a greater parable. The point is not to identify the meaning of the elements (e.g., why a bib wearing farmer?). the point is the greater meaning.

one event, some called it Holy Spiritual, others called demonic.

25   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Neil -

Most excellent – I had never pulled any deep meaning from this particular song, other than a good laugh…

Happy Friday!

26   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

If anyone has had any doubts concerning where Doug Pagitt stands, and if anyone has any doubts as to where Bell stdnas when he offers his pulpit and promtes Doug Pagott’s ministry, just listen to this interview with Bishop Spong by Doug Paggit.

Unless you are completely blinded by loyalty to men and not God you will not defend what is obvious in this clip. Start at 7:40 in and enjoy.

(The “just because you nod and grunt in agreement doesn’t mean you” argument will not hold any water except by those who offer it.)

27   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 12th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Rick,
First, I don’t see a link in your comment.

Also, I don’t see how Pagitt preaching at Mars Hill over two years ago implicates Bell over anything Pagitt says now.

Certainly no one knows for certain what anyone will say about anything tomorrow.

28   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Link.

Bell supported Paggit’s conference several months ago.

29   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

He does not believe the New Testament is literal, however he seems to use the literal narratives of the OT to support that view. He rejects the virgin birth, Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus, the wise men account, the existence of the birth star, and the existence of heaven as a place and the place of rewards.

In short – he rejects Jesus and Pagitt aligns himself with Spong.

30   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:21 pm

*Yawn*

31   nathan    
February 12th, 2010 at 3:21 pm

@Thurstin,

What point would i be missing?

And what does it matter if the PCUSA “pastrix” hates John Chisham?

If she is an “apostate”, doesn’t she already stand under judgement?

What then is the point of being upset by her?

32   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 12th, 2010 at 3:21 pm

He does not believe the New Testament is literal, however he seems to use the literal narratives of the OT to support that view. He rejects the virgin birth, Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus, the wise men account, the existence of the birth star, and the existence of heaven as a place and the place of rewards.

In short – he rejects Jesus and Pagitt aligns himself with Spong.

OK, I actually made it through the interview. It was rough. I actually think Spong lives in his own little universe. How can he actually say that most people don’t believe in God with a straight face (it is radio, so maybe he’s not)?

Anyway, I really didn’t hear Pagitt outright agree with him. I know that simply having him on his show is enough for many to condemn him. I don’t know, I guess. There are many things that Pagitt affirmed in his last book that would contradict much of what Spong talks about. What Pagitt’s actual view are is hard to say.

33   nathan    
February 12th, 2010 at 3:23 pm

furthermore, what’s the point of crowing about it and constantly yammering on and on and on and on about how bad she is?

34   nathan    
February 12th, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Finally,

it’s not about being upset with people who preach the Gospel.

It’s about not understanding why you have to incessantly rant about people you’ve already written off?

35   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Phil – If you could not discern an obvious tone of identification in that interview I would wonder why. Chris L’s “yawn” is a predictable example of why people do not consider many emergent leaning people serious Bible students and interested in any form of discernment when it invades their Bell/Pagitt/McClaren/emergent Maginot line.

I would have accepted a “I see a problem” rather than a yawn.

36   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 12th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Sorry, Rick, I guess I’m not gifted in the discerning of grunts, I guess…

37   nathan    
February 12th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I heard Spong speak in person before a few years ago.

He’s clearly smoking some bad weed…

He also made a wonderful point about how the love of God is “wasteful” in human understanding because we don’t understand a love that would pray for the forgiveness of your murderers. (i.e. the prayer from the cross.)

I think that’s pretty dead on.

Does that mean it’s reasonable for people to think that I’m a big Spong fan now and hate the Gospel?

Also, does that mean there has been some failure on my part because I could sit and listen respectfully and walk out when he was done without having to get on my high horse or tick up my blood pressure so I can convince myself that i’m loyal to Jesus?

38   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 12th, 2010 at 3:32 pm

He’s clearly smoking some bad weed…

That’s one way to put it…

I just love how he’s constantly like “no one believes that”… Umm…exactly what planet does he live on?

39   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Not just grunts, Phil. Pagitt also identifies withy the same attacks on him that some do with Spong. I do not expect even a reluctant degree of impartiality with anyone here. It is interesting that Spong claims his views are in concert with a Hebraic understanding however his views disagree (I guess) with Chris L’s who claims a Hebraic understanding.

Interesting…

40   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

1) I disagree with Spong & his take on the virgin birth (and on what is literal and what is figurative). I think he’s about 180-degrees off from the truth, in terms of interpreting the actual events.
2) Maybe I missed it, but Pagitt acts as an interviewer (getting to what the subject of the interview believes) not as a participant (giving all of his views) – so I can’t tell whether or not Pagitt fully agrees w/ Spong.
3) I do not believe Heaven is a “place” to which we go at the end of time, but rather – per Revelation – that the Holy City comes down to earth (not that we evacuate earth to go somewhere else, while the earth is blown to bits and forgotten, because we’re all “in heaven”.
4) Drawing the whole “Bell supported Pagitt’s conference -> Pagitt uncritically interviewed Spong -> ergo, Bell is in agreement with Spong” logic trail might fit in a Kafka novel, but should be taken about as seriously by Christians as the latest pronouncements by Hugo Chavez…

41   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

No Nathan, but it might mean that just once in a while, in the face of such exquisite heresy, you and others might have a level of Biblical outrage concern well, interest.

42   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:37 pm

“so I can’t tell whether or not Pagitt fully agrees w/ Spong.”

Again, interesting.

I gave this link fully expecting the reaction it got and reinforcing some opinions I have come to about the inability of any to criticize Pagitt or others like him. But if Silva coughs without covering his mouth he gets an efferfescent rebuke.

Interesting…

43   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I would have accepted a “I see a problem” rather than a yawn.

I see a problem with Spong… I don’t see (as Phil notes) that Pagitt was in agreement with him.

Interviews, when done correctly, should not reveal the beliefs of the interviewer, but should allow the subject of the interview to give their belief, and probe the nuances without critique (which is why so many of the commentators on Cable TV – Fox and MSNBC – suck at interviewing).

Tim Reed, for example, is actually a very good interviewer. When he was doing the podcast here, I know for a fact that he disagreed with me (and other folks he was interviewing), but when you listened to the podcast interview, you couldn’t tell it. Listening to Pagitt’s interview, I could not tell you whether he was in agreement with Spong or whether he was simply doing a straight interview. And, as Phil notes, Pagitt’s book would suggest that the latter is the case, not the former.

As for the Spong -> Pagitt -> Bell connection, I think I’ll watch late night TV and the 10th special about the grassy knoll to get my fill of “connect-the-dots” conspiracy theories…

44   M.G.    
February 12th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I heard Bishop Spong throws rocks at little kids and thinks that old people smell funny.

45   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
February 12th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I do not expect even a reluctant degree of impartiality with anyone here.

Seriously Rick? If that’s true, then that is really sad. I shouldn’t have to explain to you why but I will if you need me to.

46   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

BTW – Tune in tonight as I interview Christopher Hitchens since he is often judged unfairly as am I. I hope I can provide a noncombative forum so he can explain himself and let us see he really is a Christian. :cool:

47   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 12th, 2010 at 3:42 pm

It is interesting that Spong claims his views are in concert with a Hebraic understanding however his views disagree (I guess) with Chris L’s who claims a Hebraic understanding.

Well, Spong is simply wrong. He may find some in the Reformed Jewish camp who would agree him on some things, but Orthodox Jews probably read Scripture in a more literal way than fundamentalist Christians, to some extent.

In any case, just like there’s a liberal to conservative spectrum of Christian thought, there’s a similar one in Jewish thought as well. Spong is so far off the end of the spectrum, though, I wonder why he would even call himself a Christian, really. If you outright deny things in the creeds which define what a Christian is, why consider yourself a Christian?

48   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
February 12th, 2010 at 3:42 pm

#44 – Who doesn’t throw rocks at kids and think that old people smell funny? :)

49   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 12th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

#44 – Who doesn’t throw rocks at kids…

Was that wrong? Should I not have done that?

50   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

CP – Anything that comes close to the 3rd rail called Bell eliminates all impartiality and sometimes all reason. Unless someone stands up, openly rejects Christ, and openly states he is not kidding, and openly states he is not being sacrcastic, and openly states that it is actually him and his belief, there is always “wiggle room”.

If Spong cannot be denounced then who can? Answer – Those who disagree with Bell, Pagitt, McClaern, etc.. It is true that Pastorboy and Silva will never criticize MacArthur or others, but the same thing happens here as well. Even in the face of blasphemy.

51   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I gave this link fully expecting the reaction it got and reinforcing some opinions I have come to about the inability of any to criticize Pagitt or others like him.

I’ve been critical of Pagitt in the past (his dabbling in politics, his off-camera comments about JMac, some other comments he’s made), and I’m sure I will be in the future. In this case, I did not hear him agree with Spong. I heard him interview Spong. And Spong is a whack-job. No arguments here.

But if Silva coughs without covering his mouth he gets an efferfescent rebuke.

Really? The last article on this site that specifically addressed Ken was from July 11 last year, asking for prayers for his brother. The last deconstruction of his drivel was July 3 of last year… I guess he doesn’t cough all that often. [Also, I should note, that I wish I'd paid attention to the URL of your link, as I'd made it almost three months without opening Apprising "Ministries"...]

52   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:52 pm

“his dabbling in politics, his off-camera comments about JMac, some other comments he’s made”

Those are insignificant when compared to what he teaches. But as you have admitted you don’t know, or care to know, what he teaches. There’s a real quandry.

53   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Tune in tonight as I interview Christopher Hitchens

Interesting you say that. Here’s a clip from a transcript of a debate between Hitchens and a liberal Christian from last year:

Maryiln Sewell: The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make and distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?

Christopher Hitchens: I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.

So, while Hitchens is an atheist, I’d say he has a better understanding of Christianity than a number of professing Christians do…

54   Neil    
February 12th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I see no value in the teaching of Sprong. I also see no value in the teaching of Paggit.

55   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

#54 – Eureka!!

56   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

“no value”

Pretty strong, Neil. I would expect that means you would not have him “feed” your flock?

57   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 3:57 pm
It is interesting that Spong claims his views are in concert with a Hebraic understanding however his views disagree (I guess) with Chris L’s who claims a Hebraic understanding.

Well, Spong is simply wrong. He may find some in the Reformed Jewish camp who would agree him on some things, but Orthodox Jews probably read Scripture in a more literal way than fundamentalist Christians, to some extent.

Exactly. Orthodox (and Ultra-Orthodox) Judaism is, and has become even more, literal in its treatment of Scripture over time. Reformed Judaism? Not so much.

It’s like comparing the Amish to the UU’s.

58   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
February 12th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

#50 – It has been said here before by others that our job is not to go around denouncing everybody. If somebody here feels the need to say that a particular person’s theology is wrong and why, that’s up to them.

In addition to that, a couple of guys just did “denounce” Spong and just a few seconds later you say that that didn’t happen.

I can’t stand it when commenters make blanket statements like you did. I AM NOT THESE OTHER GUYS. WE ARE ALL OUR OWN PEOPLE. I personally have not and am not saying anything about Pagitt because I don’t know the guy at all. So just stop.

This goes for all of our commenters: Stop with the blanket statements. Stop with the unfounded accusations. Stop looking at other people as if they are exactly the same because they talk to each other. Stop making self-righteous judgments about the motives of men’s hearts and stop trying to trap people.

59   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
February 12th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

#52 – Why does Chris L. need to know what Pagitt teaches? Why do any of us need to know unless we know others reading his stuff?

60   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I will not stop observing the reluctance of people to denounce blatant heresy. I never said it was anyone’s “job” to denounce people, but sometimes it is our duty.

I am my own person as well.

61   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I would expect that means you would not have him “feed” your flock?

Ah yes, and here we go.

Let’s at least set the stage, rather than just hinting at it. Three years ago, Rob Bell was out sick with bronchitis. Steve Carter (from Mars Hill) invited Pagitt to speak in Bell’s place, at the last minute, and Pagitt came and basically gave a straight exposition from Acts 11, with no ensuing controversy over what he said – just simply that he was there in the first place.

62   M.G.    
February 12th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Re: 58

Bravo.

63   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Never mind all. The rest would be redundant. My point has been made. :cool: (Open thread and all that stuff)

64   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

I will not stop observing the reluctance of people to denounce blatant heresy.

I believe we all pretty much just said that Spong was so far out in left field that he was observing the game from a building across the street. If that’s not “denouncing blatant heresy”, I’m not sure what is.

Just because we’re not willing to uncharitably play the Chinese Telephone Game to suggest that failing to denounce Bell for what Spong said has nothing to do with failing to do our duty. It is simply a matter of basic Christian charity (or a lack thereof, when we get trapped in the gossip game).

65   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I did not call for a denouncing of Bell. As I had said, I would have accepted a “I see a problem” OR EVEN “I can see why others might see a problem”.

It is all useless rhetoric if no one actually knows what Pagitt believes except Neil who sees no value in it.

66   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 12th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I will not stop observing the reluctance of people to denounce blatant heresy. I never said it was anyone’s “job” to denounce people, but sometimes it is our duty.

I am my own person as well.

Who exactly isn’t renouncing blatant heresy? I think everyone here has pretty much said that they think Spong is wrong. All we’re saying is that it isn’t clear from the interview that Pagitt really agrees with everything he says.

I have read several of Pagitt’s books, and he does sort of seem to enjoy giving “non-answers” (he would probably make a good politician in that regard). I think one thing I saw from the get-go was that he came from a very fundamentalist church before starting Solomon’s Porch, and it was the sort of situation where he pretty much had to agree with every dot and tittle of the church’s theology. So, I think there’s a lot of reaction against that type of thinking in his books and on his blog.

67   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I did not call for a denouncing of Bell.

Then maybe I read the following as a request for a GBA denouncing of Bell and Pagitt incorrectly:

If anyone has had any doubts concerning where Doug Pagitt stands, and if anyone has any doubts as to where Bell stdnas when he offers his pulpit and promtes Doug Pagott’s ministry, just listen to this interview with Bishop Spong by Doug Paggit.

My reading comprehension could be getting bad… need to work on that.

68   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 4:22 pm

You must have missed my “update”.

“I would have accepted a “I see a problem” rather than a yawn.”

My original statement was about removing doubts – I did not read the word denounce. I must work on that.

69   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 4:30 pm

:-)

Reading comprehension lessons, all around!

70   nathan    
February 12th, 2010 at 5:09 pm

@ Rick,

but no one in my context reads Spong or is even aware of Spong really…

so what’s the point?

I can have my convictions…it doesn’t serve any purpose to express them to people who don’t really care.

71   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

#70 – Are Pagitt or Bell in your “context”?

72   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Let us forget Bell for a minute. When faced with obvious evidence some disingenuously suggested they could not interpret grunts and could not discern Pagitt’s not so subtle sympathy for the way Spong has been unjustly accused. And yet I was accused of calling for a denounciation of Rob Bell when I said nothing like that.

That is evidence of entrenched partiality that knows no boundaries. On this subject there seems to be no reasonable discussion void of historical trenches. Even if Bell would reject Spong and Pagitt, there is ample evidence that Pagitt sympathizes with Spong’s views and attempted in that interview to help “repackage” Spong’s views with a more palatable spiritual objective.

I would have asked Spong if Jesus was God in the flesh and if He is the only Savior and Redeemer. (When he answerd I would confront him not help him)

73   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

#71 – Folks around me know Bell through his Books, Lectures, Nooma, etc., but likely couldn’t tell you who Pagitt, Spong, Crossan or Jones are (or even care to know). They’re likely to know Louie Giglio, Rick Warren, Beth Moore, Mark Driscoll and (maybe) Francis Chan.

Even though they’ve not heard of them, they could listen to Spong and Crossan and say “there’s something seriously wrong with that”…

74   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

there is ample evidence that Pagitt sympathizes with Spong’s views and attempted in that interview to help “repackage” Spong’s views with a more palatable spiritual objective.

Maybe you listened to a different interview than I did, but I got the idea that if Pagitt was interviewing John Piper, his demeanor would have been pretty much the same – making sure that the subject’s views are accurately reflected (even if they are off-base).

75   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 6:22 pm

I listened to the very same interview but with much different ears. I would say that when asked Pagitt would agree with more of Spong’s views than you seem to think.

At least Piper and Spong have honestly and openly expressed their views at the expense of reputaion and attack. That is certainly not true with everyone.

76   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

“Folks around me know Bell through his Books, Lectures, Nooma, etc., but likely couldn’t tell you who Pagitt, Spong, Crossan or Jones are (or even care to know).”

I doubt that could be said for the members of Mars Hill. I would include Rollins and Shane Hipps among Pagitt and Spong.

77   chris    
February 12th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

And yet I was accused of calling for a denounciation of Rob Bell when I said nothing like that.

Rick that is probably because you have been very vocal in the past about your feelings toward Bell.

78   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I would include Rollins and Shane Hipps among Pagitt and Spong.

And I would not…

79   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 12th, 2010 at 7:32 pm

“And I would not…”

Some progress. At least you have admitted that Pagitt is so far out there that Rollins and Hipps should not be included in their collective. Unless you were suggesting the opposite. :cool:

80   nathan    
February 12th, 2010 at 8:46 pm

@ Rick…

Pagitt…nope.

Bell is a couple hours away from us…some people have heard of him…but nobody is reading his books here, etc. etc.

We are historically connected to U of M and our missional context is intensely academic.

The infighting tantrums of evangelicalism don’t really obtain here.

We’re glad for it. Precisely because if we over-identified with such things it would not only (a) distract us from what really matters here on the ground and (b) overly connect us to a community that has done much to alienate and hurt the university community here.

We’re happy to simply be a community that follows and love Jesus and the world that needs him.

That being said, there were some people who got into Driscoll’s podcast, but since we’re an egalitarian community people weren’t long for that particular toilet.

We really walk a different path where we are encouraging people in our church away from Piper and Co., etc. etc., away from the typical evangelical media outlets and toward the spiritual needs of Ann Arbor and some international commitments we have.

Like I said, we don’t have time for introducing things to people just so we can refute them.

81   nathan    
February 12th, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I mention Piper not because there’s a huge following here, but as a symbol of the standard “popular”, “theological” texts that get pushed in evangelicalism.

82   nathan    
February 12th, 2010 at 8:53 pm

THURSTIN AND PB,

do you have any idea WHY you complain about a group of people you don’t have any involvement with or power to influence?

any thoughts why you have to go on and on and on?

83   nathan    
February 12th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

i wonder why Bell has to openly REJECT anyone…

or any pastor for that matter…

i suspect most pastors are concerned with real issues on the ground and would address issues as they came up…

I mean, with the exception of a pastor like John Chisham, i don’t really have time to go about relishing my “right-ness” in the face of other people’s mistakes OR saying things differently than i do.

When (fill in heretic of choice name here) shows up in my church and IF they create a problem…i’ll worry about it then…until then none of my people really give a crap about 99% of what evangelicals get all twisted over.

84   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 13th, 2010 at 1:11 am

i wonder why Bell has to openly REJECT anyone…

I believe it was in the Second Sermon on the Mount:

‘Blessed are the watchdogs, who sniff the butts of everyone they meet to determine if they are friends of friends of friends of people who might possibly have once said something nice about a potential heretic.’

85   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 13th, 2010 at 7:43 am

It has something to do with being a shepherd; if that is what you purport to be. The shepherd loves and carresses and teaches and feeds and heals; but sometimes that shepherd has to fend off wolves. (Paul’s word not mine)

In some circles there is no issue and no error so grevious as to elicit a strong response – except confronting confronters – until you get tired of that and change your “mission”. We can say one thing about the confronters – they have remained consistent and convinced of their mission. They have not tired.

(And they use the same base hyperbole as evidenced in comment #84. That seems to be acceptable verbiage in all Christian circles. Interesting.)

I love the word “potential”. Chris cannot even bring himself to admit their actual “now” existence. To say discernment is not an emergent strong suit is to say fidelity is not Clinton’s strong suit.

86   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 8:22 am

Rick,

So there is a list?

87   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 8:32 am

Once a person becomes convinced that it is particular doctrines that save or damn a person than the game of who is in and who is out becomes the most fun (and only) game in town.

I don’t think a person who is afraid of being heretical can truly take the scriptures seriously.

88   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
February 13th, 2010 at 8:43 am

nathan
More Lies about me. Thats fine.

I do not go after anybody unless someone in my context/congregation is interested. In my little town here there is a Zondervan rep who has made the teachings of Bell very available in this town. I get asked a lot about Bell and his teachings, that is why I am interested.

Pagitt is associated with Jones, who I was associated with loosely when I was in youth ministry. Our youth ministry found Solomons Porch to be an alternative church for these alternative youth. I got greatly disturbed then also. Jones’ teachings creep in through the youth groups here.

When people are published far and wide like McLaren, Bell, Jones, and a great extent the heretical Shack, I must address it, because it has an impact on my people. I spend a lot more time, however, preaching the truth so that people can discern for themselves the lies. But a good shepherd also has to smack around some wolves once in awhile.

89   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
February 13th, 2010 at 8:44 am

Chad,

Hows your pops?

90   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 8:56 am

He is recovering remarkably well. Had 2 stints put in to take care of the 2 arteries that were 100% blocked. 50% damage was done but his prognosis is very good, praise God.

Thanks for asking.

91   chris    
February 13th, 2010 at 9:06 am

When people are published far and wide like McLaren, Bell, Jones, and a great extent the heretical Shack,

I would bet that most in YOUR congregation know about them because you brought them to their attention and not because “they” were working their way into your church.

“Published far and wide” Hardly…Bell comes close but not really. If I said McLaren in my congregation some would think I was talking about a car designer. A picture of Jones could be hung from the pulpit and maybe in a congregation of 350 could 10% know who he is.

As for the shack…IT’S FICTION. Just like Pilgrims Progress.

92   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 13th, 2010 at 9:10 am

It is unwise to wait for the enemy to move in next door and hold a welcome barbecue. It is better to warn about him while he is still afar off.

Many SBC churches are using MacClaren’s stuff here in Florida, and the 1st Baptist Church of St. Petersburg had him as a guest speaker. So the influence of such men is wider than some of you think.

93   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 9:11 am

Just watched the video – funny.

It reminds me of the time I was dating the woman who is now my wife and in order to date her I had to attend her church. She was raised Pentecostal and I was raised believing that Pentecostals were demon possessed. I can clearly remember the smug, self-righteous attitude I had in the large Church of God worship services I attended for over a year. When people would raise their hands in praise to God I would stuff mine in my pockets. When people would dance or shout or, God-forbid, speak in tongues, I would roll my eyes and think of the number of reasons why this just can’t be real and how I was going to convince my girlfriend that MY way of thinking on this subject was the RIGHT way. After all, I was the one working on my theology degree in undergrad.

To this day the denomination I grew up in takes a hard line against speaking in tongues – they have chosen to draw a line in the sand – it’s on their “list.” And the smug, self-righteous jerk of 6 years ago finds himself praying for the gift of tongues and acting more “pentecostal” in worship than my wife, who ironically, has fallen in love with the liturgy of the Church.

God is awesome.

94   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 13th, 2010 at 9:12 am

Perhaps the most insidious deception of all is to be deceived about deception itself.

Rick Frueh circa A.D. 2010

95   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
February 13th, 2010 at 9:24 am

chris,
I have read Pilgrims progress.

I know Christian and the metaphors like the back of my hand.

Pilgrims Progress is my friend.

The Shack is no Pilgrims Progress.

Unless you are talking about a Pilgrims Progress for Modalist Christian Reconciliationists!

96   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
February 13th, 2010 at 9:25 am

Insert Universalist for Reconciliationist, please

97   nathan    
February 13th, 2010 at 9:30 am

PB,

I can see how you would feel you need to “address” something if it actually comes up.

So i understand what you’re saying.

That being said, instead of being in a defensive posture as a pastor…why not be proactive and direct your people away from the outlets that transmit the stuff you have problems with.

Also, why go on and on and on and on and on about it? Hasn’t it been addressed with your people?

98   nathan    
February 13th, 2010 at 9:35 am

uh-oh Chad!

your admission about tongues only serves to confirm you are under the influence of demons.

just ask John MacArthur…

;)

99   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 9:35 am

McLaren was so right in his book Generous Orthodoxy when we said we Protestants can’t feel like we are worth anything unless we are consistently protesting against something. We are a people born from protest and 500 years later have not found a way to define ourselves in a better way.

100   nathan    
February 13th, 2010 at 9:36 am

@84…

“sniff the butts”…

i just pissed myself from laughing!

101   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 9:39 am

just ask John MacArthur…

I did! I devoured his book, “Charismatic Chaos” during that time and would cite it to anyone who would listen.

Perhaps I am less concerned about stringing people up for what some insist is “bad doctrine” or even damnable heresy because I can only laugh at how I once thought only 5 years ago as compared to today.

For some it seems like faith is like a game of Russian Roulette. You better pray to God you either die or Jesus returns during the season in which you got all your thinking “right”.

102   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 13th, 2010 at 10:01 am

Tongues and gifts and eschatology are all sub-doctrines. But when you allow Spong to present his views, which include denying the Incarnation, and you agree with him then you are demonic. But who really cares?

Nobody is being deceived in our own congregations. :cool:

103   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 10:05 am

Rick,
Which part makes you demonic? Allowing Spong to present his views or agreeing with him? And which parts can you agree with Spong on and not be demonic?

Tongues and gifts and eschatology are all sub-doctrines.

HA! Says who???
Rick, just because YOU label something as a “sub” doctrine (which isn’t biblical to begin with) doesn’t make it so. For some, it is essential.

Which brings me back to the other question in another thread: Who makes the list?

104   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 13th, 2010 at 10:07 am

I refer you to comment #94.

105   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 10:10 am

And Rick, I’ll remind you of a comment I have made numerous times with you:

If we are truly good students of Rick Frueh’s philosophy then we don’t care what you think.

106   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 13th, 2010 at 10:13 am

“If we are truly good students of Rick Frueh’s philosophy then we don’t care what you think.”

Good. Except you left out the second semester. We must care what the Word says instead. :cool:

107   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 10:19 am

We must care what the Word says instead.

Of course, Rick. But the word does not come to us without interpretation. Who decides who is interpreting rightly and who is interpreting wrongly?

108   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 13th, 2010 at 10:20 am

The Holy Spirit and Scripture interprets itself. Again, I consider the issue of redemption the deal breaker.

109   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 10:25 am

The Holy Spirit and Scripture interprets itself.

What does that mean? What if the Holy Spirit told me something entirely different then you?

110   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 10:32 am

Rick,
Where in Scripture does it say that the Holy Spirit interprets it or that Scripture interprets itself?

Where did you get that idea?

111   nathan    
February 13th, 2010 at 11:10 am

@Rick…

to allow someone to share their ideas makes the host “demonic”?

really?

Talk about a can of worms…

112   nathan    
February 13th, 2010 at 11:13 am

@109:

Chad, isn’t it funny how your question is already demonstrated by most commentaries?

All those interpretations/emphases/etc. etc….

what’s funny is how so many people think “expositional” study will guarantee clarity, and yet expositional commentaries proliferate….

113   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 11:15 am

Nathan,
Yep, by most commentaries and even these sorts of blogs. The fact that we are even having this discussion refutes the notion that Scripture is black and white or that we can interpret it “rightly.”

114   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
February 13th, 2010 at 11:17 am

“The fact that we are even having this discussion refutes the notion that Scripture is black and white or that we can interpret it “rightly.””

I refer you to comment #94.

115   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 11:19 am

Rick, I refer you to the question in 110.

And then back to 105.

116   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 13th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Chad – I’ve caught up on reading threads, etc. from the past week or so, and I’m glad to hear your father is doing better…

117   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
February 13th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

The shepherd loves and carresses and teaches and feeds and heals; but sometimes that shepherd has to fend off wolves.

Along with sheep who once endorsed a book which quoted a speaker who had lunch with the sister of a wolf’s second cousin. (See Lighthouse Trails, etc.)

And along with sheep who happen to have mottled coats instead of gray coats, and who might have drank from the stream next to the striped sheep. (See Silva, etc.)

And along with sheep that walked into the pool to drink instead of turning in three circles and tentatively sipping from a puddle next to it (See Schlueter, etc.)

And along with sheep who once had another sheep stand in their place that once spoke to a wolf without eliciting the appropriate grunts, moans and whimpers. (See Frueh, etc.)

In some circles there is no issue and no error so grevious as to elicit a strong response

Let’s see: we’ve had a strong response against Spong, “Christian” Universalism, plain vanilla Universalism, etc., etc.

I love the word “potential”. Chris cannot even bring himself to admit their actual “now” existence.

I wasn’t referring to anyone specifically (i.e. Spong), just the basic GBA-mentality the follows the Chinese Phone Game down the line.

When faced with obvious evidence some disingenuously suggested they could not interpret grunts and could not discern Pagitt’s not so subtle sympathy for the way Spong has been unjustly accused.

No disingenuity here. Pagitt never agreed with Spong in the interview, and (not having heard the specific criticism involved) it is quite possible that Spong was unjustly accused of saying/believing something. That does not preclude Spong’s actual view from being wrong, as well. Even so, the truth ought to be important in relaying Spong’s (heretical) belief – and relaying that accurate belief is not tacit approval of it.

Example: I have categorized the difference between the UU view and Chad’s view thusly: The UU’s say all roads lead to heaven. Chad’s view would just say “all roads lead to heaven…eventually”. While that might (after discussion) be true, it misrepresented Chad’s view such that I have since tried to be more accurate in conveying his view. Me being more accurate in describing it doesn’t make it any less of a heretical, morally bankrupt view – it just ensures that the view is condemned for the right reasons, rather than the wrong ones.

At least Piper and Spong have honestly and openly expressed their views at the expense of reputaion and attack.

Yeah, that’s another load of crap, Rick. The whole “Bell/Pagitt/Kimball/etc. are really heretics underneath, but they won’t say so openly.thing is pretty stupid.

How exactly do you accurately teach a heresy if you will never actually teach it or explicitly espouse it? Saying John Doe believes “X” if John Doe has never said he believes “X” seems pretty uncharitable, in the least.

It is unwise to wait for the enemy to move in next door and hold a welcome barbecue. It is better to warn about him while he is still afar off.

And better yet to just nuke them all from afar and let God sort out those who are His…

Perhaps the most insidious deception of all is to be deceived about deception itself.

Rick Frueh circa A.D. 2010

Perhaps the most insidious obstructions to the church is to be deceived in ones fear of deception.

Chris Lyons circa A.D. 2010

McLaren was so right in his book Generous Orthodoxy when we said we Protestants can’t feel like we are worth anything unless we are consistently protesting against something.

While I would disagree with McLaren on a number of issues, I would agree.

But when you allow Spong to present his views, which include denying the Incarnation, and you agree with him then you are demonic.

Perhaps I wasn’t listening well enough during the interview. Could you please give me the time-stamp of the place where Pagitt said “I agree with everything you’re saying…”?

So there is a list?

I would say yes, though I would suspect it’s much shorter than what many of us have created. At minimum, I’d say it was:

1) Jesus lived, died for our sins and was resurrected on the third day.
2) Belief/Trust in Jesus, not our good works, is the only way to the Father.
3) God the Father is the One and only God of, and in, the universe.

Outside of those (and maybe a couple more), I think there are a number of key doctrines that a Christian should understand in order to be a good disciple (and wrong doctrines which would lead to invalidating #’s 1-3), but I don’t see Scripture defining a lot of cardinal, salvific doctrines that some Christians treat as such.

118   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Chris L, re 116: thanks.

1) Jesus lived, died for our sins and was resurrected on the third day.
2) Belief/Trust in Jesus, not our good works, is the only way to the Father.
3) God the Father is the One and only God of, and in, the universe.

Agreed.

119   Neil    
February 13th, 2010 at 4:32 pm

I have read one book of which Pagitt was a contributor. I would label his teaching questionable but I will admit I would have to get the book out and review it to go much farther than that. I just remember my impression on how he stood for the orthodox faith, and I was impressed – negatively impressed.

120   Neil    
February 13th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

What Sprong teaches is not Christianity regardless what he calls it. I’m not say’n he’s not a believer – that is up to him and the Lord. I say this based on his basis being that the Bible is not a record of truth but a record of what views won.

121   Neil    
February 13th, 2010 at 4:37 pm

In the interview it sure sounded like Pagitt was agreeable. I understand the concept of neutrality during an interview – but it’s not like that is ironclad.

What is the point of Pagitt radio? If it is like NPR and all things are considered (poor example since NPR is so far left) – fine. But if his Pagitt radio is supposed to be from a Christian worldview, then allowing false-teaching to be taught unchallenged is not a good interview.

122   Neil    
February 13th, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I don’t think Kimball should even be mentioned in this conversation.

123   Neil    
February 13th, 2010 at 4:43 pm
We must care what the Word says instead. – Rick

Of course, Rick. But the word does not come to us without interpretation. Who decides who is interpreting rightly and who is interpreting wrongly? – Chad

This is where the collective interpretations and leading of the Holy Spirit through the church come in. This is why I can reject your Christian Universalism… not only because I interpret the Bible otherwise, but so has the overwhelming body of the Christian Church for 2,000+ years.

This is not perfect, but it’s good correcter of cardinal doctrines.

124   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Neil re: 123-

I agree completely.

125   chris    
February 13th, 2010 at 6:37 pm

In the interview it sure sounded like Pagitt was agreeable.

When people discuss stuff with me I often utter “uh uh” not in agreement but in a statement of understanding. It’s spurious at best to try to discern agreement by noises.

I understand the concept of neutrality during an interview – but it’s not like that is ironclad.

What is the point of Pagitt radio? If it is like NPR and all things are considered (poor example since NPR is so far left) – fine.

Do you listen to NPR?

But if his Pagitt radio is supposed to be from a Christian worldview, then allowing false-teaching to be taught unchallenged is not a good interview.

Why?

126   Neil    
February 13th, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Re 125: Chris, I understand it is hard to interpret. I was speculating.

I listen to some NPR.

If it’s purely news that’s fine. But if he is formatting the show as Christian teaching, than non-Christian teaching should be challenged – or what’s the point?

Or, to put it another way – I would expect any show that promotes a particular worldview to challenge opposing worldviews. If you do not, then how can you claim to be promoting anything.

Or, to pout it another way, if Pagitt radio is supposed to be promoting the Kingdom, and/or Kingdom values, any guess who challenges that should be challenged – or again, are you really promoting what you claim to be.

This all presupposes Pagitt is claiming to promote something with Pagitt Radio.

127   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 13th, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Well according to his website, this is how Pagitt describes the show:

Religious Radio?

Even though I call my program “Religious Radio”, frankly, it isn’t. Not in the sense that many have come to know religious radio anyway.

My program offers positive, fun, thoughtful conversation on all kinds of topics from news to parenting; politics to natural health; science to movies; finances to faith.

The program gets its religious flavor from the fact that I am a professional religious person, albeit a reluctant one – I am a pastor, I write books about faith and consult with religious organizations.

For me being a religious person in the way of Jesus means finding the goodness in all things and telling the story of God’s invitation for all people to participate in the benefit and blessing of the world.

The program carries the tone of my hopeful, optimistic, contrarian spirit. I like seeing the other side of an issue, asking questions and pursuing truth beyond catch-phrases and prefabbed answers.

On the political front I am an IndeDemoCan. This is my own term for recognizing that all political perspectives have a point, and those who identify with a political parties do so for reasons that make sense to them.

I am interested in the best ideas, no matter where they comes from. I am less interested in putting people in one camp or the other than I am in making something new from the best we all have to offer.

The program includes guests, live music, community connections and thoughtful considerations for life today.

So, this is religious radio, but in so many ways it’s just not quite right.

128   Neil    
February 13th, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Phil,

I guess that either settles it… or makes it worse… I can’t tell.

129   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 8:49 pm

I just don’t get it. We confess as Christians that they will know us by our love. Not by our open opposition to others we disagree with.

Doesn’t anyone else see how these sorts of discussions reduce life with Jesus to nothing more than mental gymnastics? It’s as if faith is entirely a matter of what you agree with or disagree with on an intellectual level (and this could change from year to year).

No one has once asked, “Well, how does Doug Pagitt live? How does Pagitt love?” Those sorts of questions seem to carry no power against the all important, “What does Pagitt think?”

130   Neil    
February 13th, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Chad,

Reducing life with Jesus to mental gymnastics is wrong, and as we’ve discussed many time that is one failing of modernism.

However, life with Jesus is based on faith and belief; and these require mental exercising.

So it is a matter of both… and both are important… particular of someone who is a religious leader.

The standard for religious leaders in particular is to be above reproach in BOTH the things they believe and teach and the lives they live.

So the question “How does Paggitt” live is important, but it does not counterbalance, it does not trump, it cannot make up for a deficiency in the answer to “What does he teach?” If there is such.

I think it fine to disagree and label (shameless plug for my recent post) as long a it is done properly.

131   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 13th, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Doesn’t anyone else see how these sorts of discussions reduce life with Jesus to nothing more than mental gymnastics? It’s as if faith is entirely a matter of what you agree with or disagree with on an intellectual level (and this could change from year to year).

Certainly, there are people who do seem to make Christianity a mental exercise only, but the way to correct that isn’t to say, “you follow Jesus your way, and I’ll follow Him my way”. The corrective measure is to realize that our faith in Christ is what saves us, and being in relationship with Him is what sustains us. But that entails learning about Christ as well. Certainly what we think about something or someone will influence how we live.

For example, if a person believe he is part of the Elect and has a very narrow definition of who is in that group, it will inevitably cause a legalistic mindset that makes Christianity more about exclusion than anything else. It’s not as if we can simply say ideas don’t matter. Ideas are what make us do what do.

132   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Neil,
I agree there is a balance to be struck. My concern is that we have tilted the scales far too much in one direction we don’t even know how to balance anymore.

Beneath the umbrella of a confession that Jesus Christ is Lord I believe there is a lot of room for disagreement. Some here would no doubt say that unless you affirm the Virgin Birth you are not a Christian. Others would say that you must affirm the Trinity. Others the inerrancy of Scripture. And still others the belief in a literal hell and we could go on and on.

No one seems to care anymore about how one actually LIVES. No one seems to ask, “Well, does he or she love their neighbor as themselves?” Rather, when it comes to assessing someone’s status in the Kingdom we ask, “Well, does he or she believe x, y or z.”

Don’t you think that is unbalanced?

133   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 13th, 2010 at 9:01 pm

So the question “How does Paggitt” live is important, but it does not counterbalance, it does not trump, it cannot make up for a deficiency in the answer to “What does he teach?” If there is such.

I think this is the thing I’d say in answer to the question about Pagitt teaching. Based on his books, I honestly don’t think he really considers himself a teacher. I think he sees the role he’s in more as a facilitator. He’s very big on having people arrive at their own conclusions on things. I can see how that rubs some the wrong way.

134   Chad Holtz    http://www.chadholtz.net
February 13th, 2010 at 9:06 pm

It’s not as if we can simply say ideas don’t matter. Ideas are what make us do what do.

Phil, again, I agree. Ideas do matter very much. Our beliefs matter very much. We are what we worship, we might say.

The question though is: Do those ideas matter in the grand scheme of things as it relates to God’s relation towards us? Or to ask it another way, do you think God really cares about our disputes over the Virgin Birth?

I believe in a set of doctrines not because I believe God will be angry if I don’t and send me to hell but because I believe this to be true and it makes sense to me – at least now.

The ideas I have now matter because they shape the sort of person I am and am becoming in the community I am in.

Not sure if this makes sense right now. I’m going through caffeine and sugar withdrawals and my head is killing me!

135   Neil    
February 13th, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Phil,

That may be true, but he’s an author, a preacher, a conference speaker… so he is a teacher and religious leader regardless of what he wants to call himself.

I believe here I have labeled him using proper methodology.

136   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
February 13th, 2010 at 9:06 pm

No one seems to care anymore about how one actually LIVES. No one seems to ask, “Well, does he or she love their neighbor as themselves?” Rather, when it comes to assessing someone’s status in the Kingdom we ask, “Well, does he or she believe x, y or z.”

Don’t you think that is unbalanced?

Well, I think there’s a few things. In the blogosphere and in interacting with books, what we primarily do is interact with other people’s ideas. I guess it’s very hard to prove or disprove how well someone is loving or not loving their neighbor. I mean, we will deal with things like slander or whatnot here, but this is just separated from the real world.

That’s basically why I’m against the idea of any webpage being thought of as a ministry of any sort. There are certainly plenty of good resource available online and all that, but I really think ministry involves getting involved in the nitty gritty of real life more than anything else.

137   Neil    
February 13th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

No one seems to care anymore about how one actually LIVES. No one seems to ask, “Well, does he or she love their neighbor as themselves?” Rather, when it comes to assessing someone’s status in the Kingdom we ask, “Well, does he or she believe x, y or z.”

I think this is massively overstated. Of course it matters – no matter how many time I must say it -

IT MATTERS!!!!!

But that is not what we are discussing. We are discussing the important “What does he teach?”

138   Neil    
February 13th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

He’s very big on having people arrive at their own conclusions on things. I can see how that rubs some the wrong way.

I am fine with that… in and of itself.