Archive for the 'Blogging' Category

Hey – it’s that time of year where the editor of PPP.Info recognizes the efforts of this year’s writers by drawing attention to some of his favorites of their offerings – hoping that they would not go missed in the grand scheme of things.  So, without any more babbling (and in alphabetical order):

Brendt: This was a close one – I’m not sure I can choose between the giggles in Where Did This Come From or his (as usual) dead-on recognition of idiosyncrasies and hypocrisy in Whenever You Assume, You Make… So, instead of choosing, I’ll just pick both :)   Also, if you’ve not visited his blog before, be sure to go over there, as he’s got a lot more material there (including an interesting and spot on review of Avatar).

Chris: Not Chris L – Chris P.  Not that Chris P – the other one.  The one who, this year, introduced us to the music of Ken Silva.  That Chris (who has had more flat tires than anyone I know) probably challenges my thinking more than any other writer, and this year was no different.  His article Those People! What People? You Know THOSE People is an challenging indictment we all need to consider as we write in the blogosphere.

Christian P: One of our youngest, yet probably most mature, writers is Christian P (brief admission – we rather frequently communicate via IM, and participate in Woot-offs together). His article, entitled You Lie, is a very thoughtful piece on how we often go too far in categorizing items in too inflammatory a manner, particularly “lying” vs. being incorrect.

Eugene: Our newest writer here at .Info, Eugene is also our only non-American.  His life in South Africa has given him a diverse set of experiences, which he drew on in many of his articles, my favorite of which was Apartheid in the Body of Christ.  He also has a heart for Jesus’ parables, and I thought both of his articles on the subject – the first on the Parable of the Mustard Seed, and the other on the older brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son – were incredibly well thought-out and applicable.

Jerry: [Apologies to Jerry for not having this in the initially published version - I must have copy/pasted over it in the page-editor.  Sorry!]  I think no other writer here has had more “thoughts of the day” than Jerry (we should probably make our own tag for them!).  Perhaps it was a product of a tumultuous year, but (as Rob Bell pointed out in “Drops Like Stars”) sometimes our greatest creativity springs from our own times of suffering.  Since we come from a similar church background, I found Jerry’s posts on baptism and grace to be two of the most raw, honest articles I’ve read anywhere this year.

Joe: Mr. Martino, who co-founded this site with me several years ago,  is often rather economical with his words.  However, one of his more lengthy articles, What if a Muslim Street Preacher Showed Up at Your Vacation, is one that has probably had more reverberations since it’s original posting than any other article this year.  I owe Joe a great debt of gratitude for what he – and this blog – have brought me, in terms of my own growth and walk.  Thanks, Joe!

Joe C: Our own active-duty soldier/writer, Joe C, became a dad and had a good deal of travel this past year.  His incredibly-well researched article on Paul and what it means to be truly relevant, Becoming All Things, is the type of writing I wish all of us could produce every day.  He has our prayers for his continued safety.

Neil: One of our most objective writers (and comment-thread peacekeepers), Neil has a special place in his heart for Palestinian believers, and the injustices Western Christians often commit in reflexively siding with the modern State of Israel on any controversial topic.  His article on the current state of the Church in America, an Ode to Chicken Little, is one that I greatly appreciated, particularly in its objective view and wisdom (which, ironically, led to ODM’s channeling Carly Simon in assuming that the article was talking about them).  An excellent read, it was.

Phil Miller: As writers on this site go, I’d say that Phil’s thought processes and organization are probably most in line with my own – even if we do not always agree.  Possibly, it’s because we’re both engineers from the Big Ten, but I suspect it is something more than that.  Phil had quite a harrowing experience this year with his wife’s illness (which we are all so thankful that she has recovered from), and we are all blessed to have him writing with us.  His Easter Article, Jesus is For Losers, especially resonated with me, and the addition of Steve Taylor (one of my favorite “classic” Christian artists) was just icing on the cake.

Zan: My absolute favorite writer at PPP.Info (sorry guys – she’s a lot cuter than all of you, combined.  Plus, she does more to keep me fed, and in line, than any of you.)  She’s probably also the most shy of our writers – often talking to me about things she would want to write, but never does.  Her Esther study has challenged her walk this year, and her “eye-catching title” post, had some excellent thoughts that deserve a second read.

Commenters: To all of our commenters – even more so than my fellow writers, you encourage us to grow more in the depth and strength of our beliefs, and – speaking for myself – have greatly enhanced my walk in challenging my way of thinking, and in encouraging me in a number of my areas of study.  My God bless you all, and bring you a blessed 2010.

Grace and Peace to you,

Chris L.

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just because we have changed the primary focus of our blog does not mean that we won’t “slum it” every once in a while and see what the buzz is on our favorite odm sites.  it’s the same fascination that allows me to argue the nuances of justification AND watch shows about people driving badly… or buildings collapsing…

over at crosstalk they are offering this commentary:

Evangelical Church Tattoos Woman on Altar

In the you-just-can’t-make-this-up department, a Seattle church decided to tattoo volunteers during the “live tattoo final” to a sermon series. I predicted tattoo parlors in church some time ago and was jeered at for doing so. I was wrong. They aren’t building parlors to tattoo anyone in church. They’re doing it on the altar. Read more from the Seattle Times.

i particularly like the angst of “They’re doing it on the altar” – complete with shock value and double entendre.

our church has had artists creating works as a form of worship while a pastor delivers a sermon, but we have never had a human as the canvas.  and i’m not sure we would – but that is not the point. the point is the interesting use of the term altar, the use of a sexual double entendre, and the appeal to the slippery slope of sin.

i am not sure why crosstalk uses the term “altar” – particularly since evangelical churches usually do not have them – they do not need them.  and crosstalk ignores a great opportunity for a jab since the linked article uses the term “stage.”   i have a hunch it is used for shock value, and to make an illusion to paganism.

this latter reference, of pagan altars, plays into the use of the sexual double entendre, which i find mildly hypocritical from folks that find this abhorrent when used by others.  remember, christians should not talk about sex in public.  this is a deliberate sexual reference, i believe, because of the popularity of the  “so and so’s do it…” jokes/bumper stickers/etc….  clearly this has not eluded the editors.

the inuendo was clearly seen by truthinator who posted the follow-up comment:

First coffee shops and now tattoo parlors… can the temple prostitutes be far behind…?

i find this appeal to a slippery slope interesting for its sheer grade of the slope; from coffee to church sanctioned prostitution in three simple steps (emphasis on simple).  it seems to slip the mind of truthinator that coffee and tattoos are neither illegal, immoral, nor biblically prohibited (and only quote leviticus 19:28 if you also obey 19:13a, 16-18, 19c, and 27.)

finally, what really mystifies me is why crosstalk (and truthinato) even cares what this church in seattle does – since what they did violated no biblical injunction.  i have a hunch that it is just another objection against folks doing things different – it’s probably not coffee that is objectionable… it’s that it’s not served the way we do it.

[UPDATE: it was pointed out that the newspaper article opened with the use of "altar" - this explains crosswalk's use of the term. i should have seen this in my reading.]

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This video pretty much speaks for itself, but I have to say that Wright’s phrase “cultural masturbation” cracked me up…

http://www.vimeo.com/5682808

NT Wright on Blogging/Social Media from Bill Kinnon on Vimeo

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It is amazing to me how – just like each of us, as individuals – communities grow, mature and gradually change over time. This is an observation the writers of CRN.Info (once SlicedLaodicea.com) have been making recently. Over the past year, while we have had a number of articles that have focused on countering spurious ODM claims, more and more our writing has focused on higher-order issues – documenting our own struggles, and those of our communities, and how best to apply the lessons taught by Christ and his followers to them.

As such, we’d like to recognize this shift in direction by recognizing the broadening in our focus, in line with the greater items in our site mission, by making a number of cosmetic changes and codifying our change in direction. While we’ve tried to clean up our policies and stuff, remove some of the snarky pages in our design, and to put in some basic recognized debunking (which we will add to over time) to try and cut down on recursive beating of deceased equines.

Prophets

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

In the kingdom of God, we are called to prophesy – to speak the words of God to the people, and to apply them to the issues of the day. All too often, the concept of prophecy is limited to foretelling future events, but when we are called to prophesy, it is to be one of those who remind and challenge the people of God to live up to their calling, and by doing so defend the defenseless and wrongfully accused. Included in this are the ideas of encouragement and iron sharpening iron.

Priests

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

As Christians, we are all called to be priests, and the main calling of a priest is to minister to the people of God and at the most basic level are to be God’s representative on earth. As such, we try to seek ways of pointing out where God’s influence can be seen here, in His world. We are to teach, to learn, and to demonstrate God’s love.

Poets

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

As creatures made in the image of God – whose first action was to create – we have been blessed by Him with this aspect – creation. Creation of works made from His creation. While we, the writers of PPP.Info, may not all be cut out, literally, as poets, each of us has creative abilities granted by Him (as are all talents held by men). As such, we try to create and/or to recognize artistic beauty in our world, and to relay it to our readers.

.Info

Keeping these three roles in mind, we’ve changed the name and address of this site to http://www.prophets-priests-poets.info/ (though it may still take a few days to take effect). We’ve kept the “.Info” to remind us from where we’ve come. We will still defend brothers and sisters in Christ, wronged by the wicked words of “discernmentalists”, but we also want to recognize that this is not our full identity as a blog.  Please be patient as things start to look cosmetically different around here, and please continue to supply iron – as we hope to do, as well – on which to sharpen each other.

Thank you, and bless you, for joining us on this journey.

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Dearest Friends of CRN.info & Analysis:

Sometime today, if all goes according to schedule, I will receive my last severance check from the church I served for nearly ten years of my life. That’s what I got for nearly ten-years of service to one church: six weeks of severance and no going away party. I didn’t even get to go back and say good-bye. Just a ’sign this paper, clean out your office, and leave your door unlocked and keys on the desk’ was all I got. Life goes on.

So now I’m in a rather interesting phase of life. Even though I preached the Gospel with as much conviction and vigor as anyone, and I am as orthodox and conservative as the preachers I listen to (Carson, Wells, Keller; almost too conservative for CRN.info!) it wasn’t enough. The Lord had other plans for me and my family. So I have been hired to work at a local video store as an assistant store manager, I have gone back to graduate school to work on my M.Ed in Moderate/Intensive Special Education, and I am staying the community where the church I served is located which means I still hear the rumors, still see the people, and still have to drive by periodically and see the place that was my home for nearly 10 years.

Today I will receive the last paycheck I will ever receive from a church. It’s a weird feeling: Euphoric on one hand since I have always had issues with ‘paid’ ministry; heartbreaking on the other because I no longer have a pulpit to preach from and because, despite my flaws that were evidently too much for some, I really did love my people. Like I said, it’s weird. Churches are strange creatures indeed. This is a difficult period of life because all I have known since 1991 is church work: Preaching, teaching, funerals, weddings, etc. Now I am learning about Diversity in the Classroom, the Rights of Special Needs students, and how to teach phonics. Strange indeed.

Anyhow, I have decided that one of the important things I have to do, as part of this so-called reclamation project, is rededicate myself to the Word of God. I have thought long and hard about this because there is a large part of me that really wants to blog about the last ten years of my life and the church that so unceremoniously disrupted my life and that of my family. Instead, I am rededicating myself to Scripture. Thus I am starting at the beginning, Genesis, and taking a long, slow, pilgrimage through the Bible–one chapter at a time–and blogging my way through it.

This little post is to let you know what has been going on since the middle of July and why I may have been not a little tense. I have sadly taken out some of it out on some of you and I am sorry I did. I haven’t slept well for the last 8 months and my stomach is constantly upset–can’t shake the nerves, the tears, or the hurt. Good friends and a new church home have helped immensely. I’m trying to learn, trying to grow, trying to make sense of God’s will in all of this and it is difficult. There are no answers that seem satisfactory as I was never given a reason why I was asked to leave.

Anyhow, as a shameless personal plug, if you would like to follow me on my journey through the Scripture, I invite you to visit my blog: Pilgrim at Lake View Avenue. There you can follow as I chronicle my way through the Bible. I am not making any judgments. I am not consulting the 1500 theological books sitting in bookcases in my house–the ones that are no longer serving my former congregation. I am reading through the Bible, slowly, and listening to God’s voice as if for the first time. I am reading the Bible as if I have never read it before–getting a fresh perspective, fresh water, fresh bread. I would be honored and greatly appreciative if you would join me on the journey–even if only periodically you pick up your Back-pack, lace up your boots, and travel with me.

Below is where my journey led me today–Genesis 2. Yesterday’s post is for Genesis 1. As always, I appreciate the friendships I have here at CRN.info–especially the other writers who have been so gracious as to pray for me and my family and counsel me behind the scenes. Thanks again.

__________________________

It is hard to start a project so massive. I think maybe I’ve taken on too much. Day to day. My course load at CSU is rather intense; 10 hours of graduate work is nothing to scoff at. Still I’m going on with my project to stay grounded in Scripture during this period of transition. If I don’t stay grounded, it is likely I will fall apart. So, Genesis 2.

I am reading this as if it were the first time I have ever read the Bible. How would the first time reader or, better, listener, have heard this chapter? What would have gone through their minds? Fresh eyes will hopefully lend fresh insight and fresh understanding. I come at this chapter, Genesis 2, then with mounds of questions:

Why is there a ‘second’ account of creation? Wasn’t the first enough? Did we need more detail?

Why does the Pishon river get more attention than its more famous brother, the Euphrates? Or even the Tigris?

Why did God rest on the seventh day? Was God really tired?

Does this chapter ‘fit’ with the previous chapter? Can they be reconciled?

Why did God create man to work? Why not create a self-sustaining world that never required any maintenance?

Why are we given so much information about this garden that God ‘planted’?

Why are we told about the gold in Havilah? The bdellium and onyx stones? Will knowledge of these ancient things give us greater insight into the mysteries of God? Will knowledge that there was good gold in Havilah, a place I cannot go now, give me greater wisdom unto salvation?

Why did God create the possibility for man to do the wrong thing by creating a tree ‘of the knowledge of good and evil’?

Did Adam and Eve understand what God meant when he said, ‘On the day you eat of it you shall surely die’? Did they know what death meant?

When man was in the garden, with God Almighty, why did God decided it was ‘not good’ for man to be alone?  Did God really expect Adam to find a suitable companion from among the oxen, beavers, and rattlesnakes?

What sort of drug did God use to cause Adam to fall into a deep sleep? Or is this a subtle way of saying that without sleep the creation of the woman would have caused man a great deal of pain?

Why did God entrust Adam to name all the animals? Did Adam ever have any regrets about the platypus? Did he have to think twice about the armadillo? And where did okapi come from?

Why did God shape the woman out of flesh but the man out of dust?

I wonder what the first night of sex was like? I wonder how they discovered it? I wonder who was on top? Did they do it for hours like teenagers who cannot get enough of the joyous discovery? Or was it like 10 minutes and done? Were either of them disappointed? Was it awkward or were they pros?

I wonder what it was like to not be ashamed? I wonder why we are told they weren’t ashamed? Is it to shame us who are ashamed?

I wonder what Adam and Eve looked like? Were they the quintessential buff models of physical perfection? Or were they rough, hairy, and reeking of body odor and bad breath?

Why are told more than once that ‘God put the man in the garden he had formed’?

What kind of work did Adam do in the garden without tools like shovels, hoes, spades, edgers, post-hole diggers, backhoes, front-loaders, and Chevy pick-up trucks? How did he get along without mulch and manure? What about a John Deere? How did he manage without that?!?

If chapter 1 teaches me a great deal about God, chapter 2 teaches me a great deal about man. Man was formed, shaped, created for work, given instructions, a consumer, married, unhappy as a loner, creative, fragile, and in love. And even in the midst of all this, all this newness and wonderment, man somehow survived. I mean, if I have this many questions, and more, imagine Adam’s questions. One day he wasn’t; then he was. Did he have to learn? Or was he like Neo: Plug him in and upload the knowledge?

I wonder what Adam’s first words were? What was the first breath like? Did he play Yahtzee?

I wonder what it is like to be in the presence of Almighty God, in a really cool garden, and yet still be rather lonely–lonely enough that God Almighty recognizes it and decides that despite all the ‘good’ stuff he had created, man’s loneliness is ‘not good.’

I wonder why God was not offended that man was lonely enough to need a companion other than God?

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Since ‘we’ do not have a blog publishing clearinghouse per se, I thought you might be interested in something I came across.

It appears that The White Horse Inn blog section will be posting Mike Horton’s unpublished reviews on NT Wright’s latest book Justification. I don’t know if ‘Wright Wednesdays’ is the title of the full series or just of today’s post.

I like The White Horse Inn and listen when I can via podcast, although, to be sure, I think the esteemed fellows of the establishment are off the mark at times. Still it makes for good, thought provoking provocation. Here’s an excerpt from Horton’s first post:

So along came Tom Wright, saying that the gospel is the Jesus Christ is Lord, proved and in fact achieved by his resurrection from the dead, as the first-fruits of the age to come right in the middle of our history.  While the Greeks (and many other religions) treat salvation as the escape of the soul from its prison-house of flesh, the world, and history, biblical faith anticipates the resurrection of the body and life everlasting in a new heavens and earth.  Much of this has been put together for a wider audience in his book, Surprised by Hope (2007). Amazingly, the secular media treated this book as a radical departure: the sort of thing one expects from an English bishop.

Part of this reaction is no doubt due a shallow form of popular Christianity that is insufficiently grounded in its own biblical story.  Part of it can be explained also by the enthusiasm with which Bishop Wright presents his views, sometimes conveying the impression that he is introducing a completely new understanding of the Christian faith.

Justification is no different.  After writing several scholarly monographs on the subject (as well as a couple of brief popular treatments), the latest was provoked by the critique, The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright (2007), written by John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.  I won’t be interacting with the specific charges and counter-charges between these esteemed pastors, but will focus on Wright’s book.  In many respects, this is the best of Wright’s treatments of this subject.  Besides its accessibility to a wide audience, its polemic is sharp and to-the-point, clustering his arguments into a narrative of Paul’s gospel as the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham in Genesis 15 with sweeping exegetical vistas.

We have discussed Wright’s book a week bit here at CRN.info, and we have beaten to death the subject of justification. I’m posting this to give you access to another point of view that you may or may not agree with. Horton is a respected scholar and a bit of a firebrand at times, but I’m persuaded that he loves the Lord Jesus and serves him well.

I’m still awaiting my copy of Wright’s book to come in the mail so I haven’t read it yet, but I will look forward to reading Horton’s reviews. Be well and live blessed in order to bless.

ps–I’m sorry for the formatting issue. I just cannot seem to get pictures correct here. :-)

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I started reading N.T. Wright’s new book, Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision, today.  I have been looking forward to reading this book ever since I heard it was coming out, and in fact I was almost giddy to start it.  I hope to offer a full review of it once I am finished.  But as I read the introduction, I came across this paragraph, and I think it is very applicable to what goes on here.

Test this out.  Go to the blogsites, if you dare.  It really is high time we developed a Christian ethic of blogging.  Bad temper is bad temper even in the apparent privacy of your own hard drive, and harsh and unjust words, when released into the wild, rampage around and do real damage.  And as for the practice of saying mean and untrue thing while hiding behind a pseudonym – well if I get a letter like that it goes straight in the bin.  But the cyberspace equivalents of road rage don’t happen by accident.  People who type, vicious, angry, slanderous and inaccurate accusations do so because they feel their worldview to be under attack.  Yes, I have a pastoral concern for such people.  (And, for that matter, a pastoral concern for anyone who spends more than a few minutes a day taking part in blogsite discussions, especially when they all use code names:  was it for this that the creator God made human beings?)  But sometimes worldviews have to be shaken.  They may become idolatrous and self-serving.  And I fear that that has happened, and continues to happen, even in well-regulated, shiny Christian contexts – including, of course, my own.  John Piper** writes, he tells us, as a pastor. So do I.

**Wright’s book is largely in response to John Piper’s book, The Future of Justification: A Response to N.T. Wright

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I’ll confess I go to ??N now and again to see the stuff they write. Sometimes, I laugh, sometimes I cry and sometimes I agree. Recently though, there were two posts that I just don’t get what the point is. Here’s the first one (which is put in the category of “seeker sensitive):

The Title says, “God Planned Sin

So says NewSpring “pastor” Brad “BCoop” Cooper:

SIN didnt sneak up on GOD… HE HAD PLANNED IT ALL ALONG…

Um, is the ubiquitous editor trying to stay that sin did sneak up on God? Would that make said editor an open theist? When can we expect our favorite pirate to take this anonymous editor to task?

Then the second one, which is another head-scratcher. It says:

My wife and I just returned from a trip to Oklahoma. To get to where we are going each way we must drive over part of I-35 that goes through a town in Oklahoma called Guthrie. On the East side of the road, as we drove past this city, is a church very close to the highway. Someone at this church has erected a very large sign that says in bold letters, “I LOVE THIS CHURCH!” This really puzzled me and caused me to think of what the intent could be in the erecting this sign. As I thought through all of the possibilities, the only one that seemed to make sense was that someone wants to draw people to this church BECAUSE he, she, or they love it. In other words, this is an attempt to market this church using the ploy that since they love it, others will be sure to “come and try it.”

Well, don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the travel update and I’m super exited to know there’s a town called Guthrie on I-35 but have you really come to the place where someone loving their church is something to deride? Of course, this brings up a whole host of new questions:

1. Does Mike Ratliff’s church use any signs at all?  (Isn’t that marketing?)

2. Does Mike Ratliff’s church use the phonebook? (Isn’t that marketing?)

3. (The most important one so I’m gonna cap it) WHAT IS YOUR POINT?

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I hadn’t heard/seen these in the past, but apparently Rob Bell gave a bit of a background/defense of the criticisms leveled at MHBC, Velvet Elvis, and himself.  Some good stuff there:

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image
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Hello all!

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written an actual post here, and the main reason for that is that these last two months have been quite challenging for my wife and I.  In the beginning of May, my wife was diagnosed with a bacterial infection that ended causing her to be hospitalized for six weeks, with four of them being in the ICU.  The good news is that she has since made a miraculous recovery, and though she isn’t completely out of the woods, she has come so far.  One thing I would appreciate prayers for is her kidneys.  The infection caused acute kidney failure, and as result she has been on dialysis for a while.  Her kidney is improving, and we believe God is going to bring them back to full function, but your continued prayers are appreciated!

Anyway, during these past few months, I’ve had time to re-evaluate certain things in my life, and I’ve taken a second look at how I spend my time.  While all this was happening, being concerened about what some ODM I’ve never met said about some pastor I never met really never crossed my mind.  It really became obvious how little most of the opinions expressed Christian blogosphere matter.  On the other hand, I do appreciate that I was able to share prayer requests with the writers here, and that through modern technology, more people were able to pray for wife than would have been possible before.

Another thing that I really appreciated during this time was how I was able to depend on the body of Christ when I needed it most.  While my wife was lying in a hospital bed, on a ventilator, with all sorts of tubes coming out of her, it really didn’t matter to me what my friends thought of Rob Bell, the Rapture, or a lot theological issues.  All that mattered is that they we there for me.  What mattered was that friends gave up their time to be with me in the hospital.  What mattered is that I knew people loved my wife and I.

So, yes, I will acknowledge that a lot of the things we discuss here will fade away during times of crisis.  That doesn’t mean it’s wrong for us to discuss and disgree about them.  It just means they each have their place.  However, it has also heightened my sensitivities about people attacking my brothers and sisters in Christ needlessly.  What we are involved is truly spiritual warfare, and unfortunately it seems that some have chosen to take aim at those they should be fighting with and for.

I’ve seen many examples of this, but perhaps one of the most ridiculous I’ve seen recently is this.  Now, I have to admit that I actually have been to one of Ken Ham’s lectures, and at the time I actually found him to be smart and articulate.  It’s perhaps because of that fact that I find his attacks on Hugh Ross to be saddening.  I would have no problem if he simply stated he disagreed with Ross on many issues, but what good is done labeling him a “compromiser”?  Aren’t they actually working toward the same goal – convincing people that God is the Creator and that the Bible can actually be trusted?  Granted, Ham and Ross would interpet that statement in different ways, but I don’t believe that one of them loves God more than the other because of that.

I do not want this post to become a young earth/old earth debate.  I really have little interest in debating those views.  Yes, I have an opinion, and I’m sure most people who read this do as well.  But if we can’t share our opinions on a subject without showing love to those we are debating, I believe both sides have already lost the debate.

I guess my point is this.  As Christians I believe that it’s easy to forget that we are in a war, and that are enemy is real.  We cannot afford to be taking each other out with “friendly fire”.  This becomes most evident in our times of greatest need, and I hope that we are able to remember it in our everyday lives as well.

Grace and peace.

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