Archive for April, 2012

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer;
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my Savior
My God is my rock, my secure haven,
My shield and the horn of my salvation.
The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be the Savior of His flock! 

In my distress I called to the Most High
I called out to my God with tears
My desperate plea came to his ears.
From his temple he heard my cry

He reached down and He took hold of me;
He drew me out of my deep disgrace
He brought me into a spacious place;
He rescued me for He delighted in me. 

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer;
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my Savior
My God is my rock, my secure haven,
My shield and the horn of my salvation.
The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be the Savior of His flock! 

As for God, His way is perfect and sure
His word is trustworthy and true
His presence will revive and renew
For who is God besides the LORD?

It is God who arms me with His might
It is He who keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like those of a deer;
And causes me to stand on the heights.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer;
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my Savior
My God is my rock, my secure haven,
My shield and the horn of my salvation.
The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be the Savior of His flock!

Therefore I will praise you, LORD, among the nations;
I will sing your praises, O God of my salvation

(From 2 Samuel 22)

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As you are likely aware, Chuck Colson died on Saturday. There have already been many glowing eulogies written about the man from all corners of Christendom.

In slight contrast, a friend of mine remarked that it’s sad that most of the articles in the secular press focus on his Nixon/Watergate years. One such article even (essentially) admitted to having to consult Colson’s web site to see what the man had been up to for the last 35 years. In one sense, this is sad. But in another sense, it’s a good thing. Though Colson was a prominent figure in the “culture wars”, he apparently did his fighting in such a way that he was not the focus.

Put another way, when John Doe heard the name “Chuck Colson”, he had one of two responses — either (1) “who?” or (2) “oh yeah, that Watergate guy.” He didn’t respond with, “oh yeah, that bigoted, homophobic and misogynistic jerk.” What does that say about who (or should that be “Who”) was most obvious in Colson’s life?

OK, to be fair, one John Doe did have that response. But Franky Schaeffer has a history of selling entire books that bash on dead guys (like his own father) in order to prop up his own agenda. So one measly blog post is hardly noteworthy.

Outside of special cases like Schaeffer, the only people who seemed to have a major beef with Colson were from a segment of Protestantism that was far too uncomfortable with his work with Roman Catholics on ECT and the Manhattan Declaration. Now, it has been well established that Online Discernment [sic] Ministries [sic] are wildly Romophobic. So, I cynically asked some friends recently if they wanted to start a pool on which ODM would be first to dump on Colson for his associations with Catholics. After all, they have a history of using not-yet-cold dead guys to prop up their agenda, too.

Ya know what? As far as I can tell, none of them “went there”. Kudos to them.

So that’s all I have to say. I just wanted to praise the authors for not …

Wait …

What ?!?!?!

(And you thought this post was over ….)

There’s a very prominent Christian blogger out there — we’ll call him Tom.

As is my wont, I’m not giving his real name. My issue is with the actions/attitudes, not the person. Though I don’t have any real desire to give the person any Google juice either.

Several years ago — I think it was in a comment thread on iMonk’s blog — someone referred to Tom as being “irenic”. At first I thought that was a typo, but “ironic” didn’t fit the context, so I hit an online dictionary and found this definition for “irenic”.

favoring, conducive to, or operating toward peace, moderation, or conciliation

And I thought, “yeah, that’s a good description of Tom”.  While he had no “Randy Alcorn” moment of major reconciliation, Tom is (was?) a very even-keeled guy who would seek to get rid of the dividing lines in Christendom when they weren’t of primary theological importance. Further, while not specifically addressing their Romophobia, Tom had — on more than one occasion — spoken out against the ODMs for their tendency to wantonly bash their brothers and sisters in Christ.

Heck, he even once had a meal with Rick Warren and came to the conclusion that he is not the anti-Christ (contrary to what ODM authors seem to believe). Tom disagrees with Rick on several issues, but he did not let that stand in the way of genuine fellowship.

So it was rather surprising (and massively disappointing) to watch Tom throw that irenic nature out the window and go for Colson’s jugular. In his article, he expresses “surprise” that others’ remembrances of Colson are uniformly positive. While giving Colson some credit for some of his work, Tom then accuses him of working “against the Lord’s church”, laboring for “outright sinful causes” and “undermin[ing] the gospel”. All of his accusations revolve around Colson’s work and alliance with Roman Catholics and those of the Orthodox faith.

Sigh.

Now — ya want to take the irony up another few notches?  Another definition of “irenic” is:

a part of Christian theology concerned with reconciling different denominations and sects

Yeah, I think we can stop applying that word to Tom from now on.


UPDATE: Since I started writing this, one of the ODMs did “go there”. But it’s pretty obvious from the ODM article that Tom’s article was both the impetus and inspiration for the ODM article. So Tom still retains a good bit of his uniqueness.

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When I read how Rick Warren was misrepresented in the press I wondered how our old friends would react. I was not too surprised to see one of them twist the story (much like the original reporter did) into yet another opportunity to attack a brother.

On his blog, Wittenburg Church Door, Pastorboy takes Warren to task – again. What I found interesting was the headline – Rick Warren Retracts ‘Chrislam’ Statements made to OC Register.

I read several clarifications written by Rick Warren and none of them can be called a retraction. A retraction is a public statement, by the author of an earlier statement, that withdraws the original statement. This is not what Warren did. Warren did not say anything that needed to be withdrawn… and I believe Pastorboy knows this full well. Yet he posts a blog that implies that Warren promoted a synergism between Christianity and Islam.

In the blog post that precedes the one linked to above, Pastorboy makes blatantly false comments and accusations against Rick Warren, a brother in Christ. This shameful, it is deceptive and dishonest, but it is not unexpected.

The original article that began the controversy was wrong – either accidentally or otherwise. The same can be said of Pastorboy.

    UPDATE – May, 2012

In checking the links above I see the articles in question have been removed. It would have been better if Pastorboy posted an admission of the error and false treatments about a brother in Christ – but even his removing the false accusations and twisted gossip is better than I expected.

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