(i.e. shooting fish in a barrel)

As I have noted before, debunking the theological hokum that runs rampant in the God-blogosphere has never been a primary purpose for this blog, but has been described for years as “the lowliest” of the six tasks that this blog seeks to accomplish.  This perspective was, IMHO, strengthened by the somewhat recent name and URL change that we underwent here.

But in the words of Dr Horrible, sometimes “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do”.  Especially when it’s this dadgum funny (in the “ludicrous” sense of the word).

A little context first:

Mark 4:11 – And [Jesus] said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery  of the kingdom of God …”

Romans 16:25 – Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began

1 Corinthians 2:7 – But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,

1 Corinthians 15:51 – Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed …

Ephesians 1:9 – having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,

Ephesians 3:3-4 – how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),

Ephesians 3:9 – and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;

Ephesians 5:32 – This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Ephesians 6:19 – and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Colossians 1:25-27 – the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Colossians 2:2 – that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,

Colossians 4:3 – meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains,

1 Timothy 3:9 – holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.

1 Timothy 3:16 – And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

Notice a pattern? Is it too much of a stretch to say that the word “mystery” is often used in Scripture to describe (or at least be associated with) good things?

Now, admittedly, there is a verse in Revelation that associates this word with something bad:

Revelation 17:5 – And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

So, let’s see.  Fourteen associations with good things. One association with something bad. Is it too much of a stretch to say that it would be at least fallacious (if not downright silly) to somehow imply that the Revelation verse is the only standard by which we should measure the word “mystery” (ignoring the other 14)?

Yet that’s exactly what this post does.

Now granted, I have some major problems with Brian McLaren (the “attackee” of that post).

They used to be purely theological until I heard him sing.  But I digress.

But how am I supposed to take seriously anything said about him (or anything/anyone else) from a source so devoid of basic logic?

  • Share/Bookmark
This entry was posted on Sunday, July 18th, 2010 at 8:43 pm and is filed under Editor, Misuse of Scripture, What Can You Say?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
+/- Collapse/Expand All

16 Comments(+Add)

1   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
July 19th, 2010 at 8:18 am

That site has honestly become a great source of entertainment for me. Especially the other one that is tied to that site with the multiple authors.
I love how they are warning us about the people that want to take over the world and the irony of some posts.
It almost never fails to make me smile.

2   Neil    
July 19th, 2010 at 8:54 am


not only is debunking the logic as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, but so is picking an illustration. for far too many odm’s, the use of certain words such as mystery, meditate, relevant, and even spiritual formation is proof of apostasy. even thought they are all biblical concepts/

i wonder, if using the word mysterious in reference to god proves you worship a god not of the bible – does that mean using the name jehovah means you do… by silvan logic jehovah’s witnesses must be orthodox.

3   Neil    
July 19th, 2010 at 9:02 am

apparently holding a young earth belief is also now a necessity… the yoke becomes that much heavier.

4   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 19th, 2010 at 9:41 am

‘Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Charles Wesley, that crazy mystic.

5   Jerry    http://www.jerryhillyer.com
July 19th, 2010 at 9:52 am


As I was saying the other day, in a different context, we CAN trust everything we read at Apprising Minis….

I have a co-worker at that place I work, he assures me that everything I see in the movies is real. Just saying….


6   Eric    
July 19th, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Yikes. That is a particularly bad piece of “discernment”. It becomes clear at some point that a person or group of persons can take the concept of Biblical discernment and turn it into a god of sorts, becoming consumed by the idea, while stretching and perverting the practice of said Biblical discernment.

7   Brendt Waters    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
July 19th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Nathanael going old skool on us. Would probably surprise the snot out of Ed Itor that any of us know anything about hymns.

8   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
July 19th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

I love old hymns.

9   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
July 19th, 2010 at 6:47 pm

The majority of the singing we do at my church is hymns.

10   Rick Frueh    
July 19th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

McLaren himself is a mystery. But I cannot help but see blatant hypocrisy at CRN. They rail against Roman Catholicism and socialism, and then they post THIS that applauds a Roman Catholic socialist.

This woman, her heroic deeds aside, could well have been an emergent. Logic? Theology? Orthodoxy? Move on; there is nothing to see here. :)

11   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
July 20th, 2010 at 9:19 am

The awful song and singing of Brian McLaren must be viewed in the context of his entire theology. Yes, there is certainly mystery in God. That much is clear….but with his apostate beliefs taken in their entirety, we can draw a conclusion that which he calls God is not the God of the Bible, and this mystery he seems to embrace is a cunundrum even to him.

12   Rick Frueh    
July 20th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

PB – Can you address the acolades given to a Roman Catholic socialist on CRN?

13   Brendt Waters    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
July 20th, 2010 at 6:44 pm

PB, as I stated: “I have some major problems with Brian McLaren”. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that you and I agree more on McLaren than we disagree.

That said, it is the height of asininity to conclude from ONE STINKIN’ WORD in one song that “… McLaren and the Mystics have now inadvertently revealed just who it is that they are worshipping”. Which is exactly what the AM(sic) post does. It does not rely on any other analysis of McLaren’s beliefs.

14   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 21st, 2010 at 8:35 am

As long as you do not mesh other religions then the mystery is to be embraced. Even though we know the gospel and the historical and redemptive facts of the cross and the resurrection, we should not remove the inherent mystery in all of it. Mystery does not necessarily mean we do not know something, but it does mean we do not know everything including the wonder of it all.

15   Neil    
July 21st, 2010 at 10:48 am

re 13;

you are absolutely correct brendt. unfortunately that is standard procedure for apprising, crn (all too often), light house trails, and others…

it’s both funny and tragic and sad that the latter lists as unorthodox all seminaries and other schools that offer courses in spiritual development… regardless of content.

16   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
July 21st, 2010 at 8:53 pm

#12 No, I am unaware of who this person is.