Archive for the 'Misuse of Scripture' Category

Source: Fishing the Abyss
Comments: Ken Silva has discussed his past church experiences where his strident views and teaching have driven off a number of folks, which he has just chalked up as people being unable to accept Jesus’ teaching.  He has then gone on to say that people like Rick Warren, Rob Bell and other preachers at mega-churches have to have sold out to get large churches, because if you preach the Word it will drive people away.  (Strangely, though, this logic does not apply to Johnnie Mac and other TR favorites of Ken’s…)

In this article, Chris gives a contextual exegesis which demonstrates that warped interpretations like Ken’s are far from the truth of scripture.

Memorable Quotes:

If you drive the weak and wounded out of the kingdom, you are just a resounding gong or clanging cymbal, nothing more.

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Source: Fishing the Abyss
Comments: In one of Ken’s ‘miss-ives’, he tries to discredit the teachings of Jesus about the Kingdom of God beginning temporally by disengenuously quoting only a portion of John 18:36.  Chris reposts an old article of his about the Kingdom of God, directly refuting Ken’s prooftexting with multiple passages of scripture used in context.
Memorable Quotes:

Those who deny the present kingdom deny Jesus’ earthly teaching. Those who deny the future kingdom and its king (via a purely social gospel or universalism) deny Jesus’ sacrifice.  We must understand that the kingdom is here now in this imperfect world – and thus not yet complete in its creation – but it is forcefully advancing (Matthew 11:12) – let us be part of it, rather than casting stones at it.

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Source: Fishing the Abyss
Comments: A number of commenters on Slice, within a short period of time, denigrated missional work being done to help the poor, both inside and outside the US by dismissively (mis)using Jesus’ commenting that “we’ll always have the poor.” In the process of doing so, these commenters give Jesus’ words the exact opposite of their import. Chris posts a contextual exegesis on the actual meaning of this synoptic passage.
Memorable Quotes:

So, if it wasn’t obvious from the P’shat, the Remez should not only put the lie to those who misuse Jesus’ words, but show us, once again, that – while the eternal destination is not unimportant – our temporal responsibility is to care for both the physical and spiritual needs of those less fortunate.

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Source: The Todd Blog
Comments: Todd has a rough first introduction to Slice of Laodicea, learning that Fred Phelps’ brand of Christianity wears many faces, courtesy of folks like the ones on Slice. The commenter even had time to misuse a number of scriptures, including “you will always have the poor among you.”
Memorable Quotes:

[The quote that made him sad] “Sure, we as Christian individuals are do our part in showing compassion to the hurting for that is the Spirit of God working in us. But that is not the commission of the church. It is to preach the Gospel, not cure AIDS or what ever else comes along. In while delivering the Gospel we come across someone with AIDS , yes , we are to help. But as Jesus said, let the dead bury the dead. You will always have the poor among you. Jesus did not see a vision of eradicating suffering at least not in a practical way. He saw it in salvation and the promise of an afterlife of a sufferingless existance. Our suffering is to draw us to Him. If that is the case, then for those that would come to Him , suffering is a blessing in disguise. For what truly matters is our soul, not our present bodies. For unless one repents , they will all likewise perish.”

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Source: Fishing the Abyss
Comments: A number of commenters on Slice (including some of the writers) frequently (mis)use Jesus’ anger in the Temple as an excuse for their boorish behavior.  Here, Chris examines this event in Jesus’ life, using remez and contextual interpretation of the scripture to give a more accurate picture of what was going on in the Temple, and why Jesus was so upset with the goings on…

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Source: Fishing the Abyss
Comments: Another oft-misused set of scriptures by the Slice crowd is that of Jesus’ warnings of persecution. Using these, a number of Slice commenters sniff at any Christian figure (besides Johnny Mac) with all that much of a following of obviously ’selling out’, because they’re not being persecuted. In this post, Christ shreds this notion.

The comments on this particular post drag on for a good while, as Ken chose this thread to offer one of his ominous veiled ‘pastoral threats’ (for removing one of his favorite canards).

Memorable Quotes:

And thus, the implication is that people agree with Person A, and therefore he is a false prophet. Additionally, since Person A is not being persecuted, he is therefore not a servant of the Master. Game, set and match – no need for further discussion. Person B can declare victory and assume any further conversation on the topic is divisiveness, and that Person A is to be avoided (often citing Titus 3:10, just to complete the scriptural abuse trifecta).

["Pastor" Ken Silva] I sincerely do pray that one day the Lord will help you to be able to see yourself more clearly that you might recognize what you are actually doing.

[Zan, in response to Ken] Which one of your blindspots have you projected onto Chris?

[Chris, to Ken] After today’s article on Rob Bell, you might want to re-read the definition of ’straw man’. You created enough of them to defend a small third world country, if only they could fight (but I guess that defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?)

[Chris, to Ken]

At first blush, I counted 5 ’straw men’ before I got all that far into the article. So, you want data? Let’s just go to one of the first ones. You said:

Let me also say that Rob Bell does state he affirms “the historic Christian faith,” which he then defines vaguely. Bell postulates, “But if the whole faith falls apart when we reexamine and rethink one spring, then it wasn’t that strong in the first place, was it?” The problem we immediately confront is that in the postmodern mindset nothing can be stated absolutely which then rules out a priori something being strong in the first place.

Funny thing, you just put words in Bell’s mouth that were NEVER there, and then you proceeded to tear the words he never said apart. Classic logical ’straw man’ fallicy. I could go on, but your articles are so easy to deconstruct and show false that I don’t have to put any words in your mouth, since you do it yourself…

And Ken, you do “call” yourself a pastor-teacher, and perhaps you act in that capacity in the real world, but nobody made you the pastor-teacher of the internet. If that’s all it takes, then I could call myself one, as well, and I don’t even need a piece of paper on my wall… As your discussion this evening has shown, though, you’re just not able to answer anyone’s questions/criticisms with any level of aplom that one would expect from a ‘pastor-teacher’ – even one wet behind the ears and fresh out of school.

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Source: Fishing the Abyss

Comments: Chris P. and Ken Silva both, within a short period of time, suggest the Jesus was trying to confuse people with his parables. Chris P. gives an awful exegesis (based upon a literalist hermeneutic which treats the Bible as if it fell out of the sky, disconnected from time and space) in a Slice thread giving the same faulty interpretation of the use of parables. Chris L. at Fishing then posts a proper interpretation of the synoptic passage in question and the Isaiah portion referred to in prophecy.
Memorable Quotes:

Person A will use one of Jesus’ parables, to which Person B – in order to avoid addressing Person A’s point – will quote Luke 8:9-10 (or a synoptic equivalent) and declare that we can’t know what Jesus meant, because Jesus told parables to hide the truth from people!

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Source: Verum Serum

Comments: Scott Ragan, who up until this point had not weighed in all that much on the numerous discussions with Ken Silva, wrote what has become ‘Exhibit A’ in almost any discussion on why Mr. Silva’s work should be thoroughly discredited as the work of a Christian tinfoil-hatter. What makes it the tour-de-force it a combination of two factors: The thoroughness of Scott’s writing, and the comments section in which Ken gives a live demonstration of his lack of reasoning skills and scriptural knowledge and his lack of qualification for the office to which he aspires.
Memorable Quotes:

Your view of Christianity and those involved in the Christian faith is WAY MORE NARROW than I believe the Lord would have ever intended. You spend most of your time measuring orthodoxy, not by the measurements spelled out in scripture, but by using your own opinion and what you “feel” the Spirit is telling you. That is a dangerous path to head down, my friend. I have some friends of mine who are Latter Day Saints (Mormons), and they use that same “sense” of what the Spirit is telling them to justify/verify their beliefs. Look where it gets them!

You talk about John 6 and how the crowds were large for Jesus and how they “thinned out” as things became a little more difficult/complicated in regards to Jesus’ teachings. You imply that Rick Warren and others have stopped at the “big crowd” stage and haven’t moved beyond (because if they had there wouldn’t be any more “big crowds). Yes, people left Jesus because his teachings were hard and challenged them in their view of life and religion and the role that God should play in their lives. And that happens in every church in every denomination. Sometimes people leave when they become uncomfortable with what is being taught or the level of accountability that is required.

You aren’t just TESTING the Emergent Church and the Seeker Sensitive Movement and those who lead those philosophies. Testing is GOOD. Questioning is GOOD. You go beyond testing and questioning. You are attempting to establish yourself as the man in the watchtower, looking down and condemning any that you see that aren’t conforming to what you think and believe. You seem to see yourself as a modern day prophet, as a modern voice “crying in the wilderness” of the concrete jungle. You say as much at least once in nearly every one of the posts that I have read written by you.

I must agree with John (and others). You exhibit signs of the Pharisee’s legalism. I wouldn’t presume to call you a hypocrite. You are obviously sincere in your beliefs and at least one of your supporters has left comments indicating that you are a man of strong conviction who lives his beliefs and faith. But based on the preponderance of the evidence found in your comments on this blog and in the material that you write for Appraising and Slice, you have a severe case of near-fatal legalism. It isn’t fatal, but it sure will give you some problems if it isn’t treated.

[Chris comments on Ken's first response, wherein Ken tried to play plank-speck with Scott] To follow:

1) Scott writes a 2900-word article, of which 61 words are complimentary of John (roughly 2% of the article) – and are part of his thesis.

2) In his article, Scott notes that “you and Ingrid spend a considerable amount of time congratulating yourselfs (and each other)” [emphasis added]. (Evidence: In your Slicecast interview, greater than 50% is dedicated to “self-congratulatory” content).

3) The other 98% of Scotts article is an incredibly articulate summation of how Slice has jumped the rails.

4) Your first response is to leave a smarmy reply to point out Scott’s 2% “self-congratulatory” content.

5) If I recall, someone FAR wiser than I can ever hope to be once commented “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

[John comments] This discussion is spread over so many comments at this point, it’s getting hard for me to follow it all.

I have genuinely tried to focus on the content in this discussion. Yesterday I wrote this comment in response to Ken’s suggestion that any view of scripture ofther than Verbal Plenary Inspiration is tantamount to heresy. My most recent reply to Ken focused on contrasting his stated views about the spiritual significance of large crowds with direct quotations from the New Testament. I think (I hope) most readers will see these as honest attempts to deal with the substance, not attack the messenger.

I await Ken’s equally substantive response on one or both points.

[Chris L replying to Ken]

Your post above is a perfect example of why the feedback has been given.

1) A significant portion of the post is spent on superlative, emotionally charged words (alleged, false, rebellion, cult) and phrases (”straw man”, “Hollow Men”, “the new cult of liberalism”, “wishful speculations”, “pseudo Christianity”, “corrupt fruit”) that convey no meaning other than derision, and creates an overt tone of unrighteous judgmentalism. It says that you have no desire to convince, only to deride.

2) It is relatively free of new information to lead to a better understanding. In other words, it is only suited for “preaching to the choir”.

3) Your thesis relies an awful lot on “Christianese” – words that are used within church circles, which mean little to the lay person, and which become sloppily applied. I still remember a lesson taught by my youth minister 20 years ago, where he told us that we needed to use plain English rather than opt for the “lazy way out” by using Christian short-hand, especially when dealing with young Christians (example: “true saving faith will automatically result in living as Jesus did as we are conformed to His Image” – while I believe I can deconstruct your meaning from this, the possibility of misunderstanding is much greater – after all, this can be read as being very tart and judgemental if you put the emphasis on the wrong words…)

4) The logic, itself, is difficult to follow (primarily due to #1 and #3). As I read your posts, about the only conclusion I can come to is that a) Rob Bell is evil because he is part of the EC; and b) The EC is bad, because it is comprised of people like Rob Bell.

5) You do an awful lot of speculation as to what is said by figures like Bell and its effect on his listeners. Yesterday, you said:

And Rob as dazzling as it might be to talk about what happens with “Two-dimensional vs. three-dimensional vs. multi-dimensional thought,” one is hard-pressed to see just what this has to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Amazingly enough, sitting in the audience (since you’re quoting my “dimensional thought” observation), I understood exactly where he was going and how it related to the Gospel of Jesus! Better yet, I was able to use this line of discussion with a co-worker the next week who has never been open to discussion of faith, because faith is “anti-science”.

6) Prooftexting. While you didn’t do so in the above post, you tend to pull in a lot of scriptures that are either a) irrelevant; b) relevant, but not in a way that is obvious or explained; or c) irrelevant and out of context. A case in point is your liberal usage of John 7:24 in justifying your (admitted) judgmentalism.

7) This is the big one. All of the above techniques give the reader the impression that you believe you have a God-granted corner on the truth, and that the one-and-only true interpretation of scripture lies with you. It appears that you are assuming a level of authority that nobody has granted you. While I do not know you in RL, nor do I think I’ve ever met you, I do not imagine this is what you are like in real life. The internet makes people seem different than they really are, because it is up to the reader to “read” the tone. Your chosen style and tone (as illustrated above) discredit your message.

[John, responding to Chris P]

Chris P,

Saying the same thing a second time doesn’t make it any more true

[Ken comments, trying again to pull rank] Please stop and think for a moment. I’m a pastor-teacher who passed the test of oridnation with the SBC.

[Chris L commenting on Ken's deflecting] Ken,

Now that you’ve picked apart the minutae of a a single paragraph of a single post, how about actually answering some of the pertinent content?


As I’ve popped in now and then to read the past couple of days, I have begun to understand what Cable TV hosts must feel like when they have to keep asking a guest the same question over and over and over again because the guest wants to talk about anything but the question at hand.


Wow, Ken. Few people truly astound me, but you are one of them. I can only derive one of two conclusions from your utterly infantile responses:

1) You are being purposely obtuse because you cannot respond to the questions asked of you without admitting the enormity of your errors.

2) You’re just a functioning idiot-savant, trolling away in the blogosphere.

While I suspect you’ll try to prove me wrong, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and choose number 1.

[John commenting] Ken,

You approve of your reader calling Scott and I “spiritual pirates” who rape and pillage, but you disapprove of Scott making a joke about it.


I won’t ask you to answer the same questions again. It’s pretty clear at this point that you’re avoiding answering them and I think it’s pretty clear why.

[Chris L, nearly 100 posts in and Ken still hasn't responded to the questions asked...] For example, after multiple attempts requesting you to answer the substance of the initial post and the questions further in the comments, your most recent post takes us on a trip back to your credentials. What do you WANT to be called? If we don’t reference your ordination, you complain that we don’t recognize that you’ve got one. If we include the honorific, you complain that you’re being condescended to. You sign some posts Rev. Ken Silva, others Ken Silva and others just Reverend Ken Silva. If you can’t be consistent, how can you expect it from others? And – more importantly – what does your honorific (or lack thereof) have to do with any of the questions that have been asked of you? (I’ll give you a hint – the answer is nothing.)

[Ken claims no responsibility for the poor quality and lack of any real content in his writing, claiming that it's God's fault] As a messenger I am responsible to deliver the message as accurately as I can. This is I have done in over 350 articles this year at Apprising Ministries. The messenger is not responsible to “interpret” the message. I am to deliver it and then leave it between the hearer and my Master. This I have also done.

[In one of many instances, Ken takes on Jesus' authority] And Chris I really believe, and you didn’t address: “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29)

[Chris responds to Ken's use of Matt 22:29]

I purposely chose not to answer your scriptural reference because it was irrelevant to the conversation at hand (much like your frequent misuse of John 7:24. Because it was irrelevant, but to say so was not in line with the tone I was trying to convey, I chose the kinder route of silence. However, so that I am not a hypocrite for not answering a direct question from you while questioning why you would not answer the questions asked of you, I will do so.

Just to be clear, let’s examine the entire passage (Matt 22:23-33)

That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. Finally, the woman died. Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

(Your quote is bolded)

As I read this verse in context, once again your choice of scripture is a rather unorthodox one.

Taking it in context, Jesus is being questioned on Torah (Levirate marriage) as a way of trying to discredit Jesus’ teaching on the resurrection of the body (in agreement with the Pharisees). Jesus, in turn, skewers the Saducees (who only believed that only the Torah, not all of the Tanakh, was inspired) by condemning their narrow view of scripture.

So, if I take the entire context into account, I should actually be quoting this to you to condemn your narrow, limited view of scripture.

However, I am sure that I can correctly assume that this was NOT your intent.

So, if I take ONLY the verse you quoted:

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”

If that is the case, then I must assume that you are equating yourself with having the same level of inspired certainty as Jesus, and that you are telling me that you have this divine knowledge that I don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God (based on very little online contact with me and no real life contact with me).

If this is the case, I know some excellent psychiatrists who deal with people who have God complexes. If you let me know where you are in real life, I can probably get you an appointment with a good counselor nearby.

[Chris S. comments]

It seems that Ken wants to say that Jesus intentionally drove away self-centered followers by giving hard teaching, and that Rick Warren and Bill Hybles don’t ever give hard teaching. But he also wants to say that it’s ok for a teacher he agrees with to have a large church (John Macarthur).

As John said above, he really has painted himself into a corner. He can’t say any church with a large crowd is wrong because Johnny Mac has a large church. But he also says that Jesus intentionally drove crowds away, thereby stating that having a large following is wrong.

But Christ taught those large crowds you are so fond of in parables specifically so that they wouldn’t understand and they would fall away.

So what is it Ken? Apparentally Jesus drove everyone away. And yet Jesus also says he’s going to build his church (Matt. 16:18) and in Acts 2 we see three thousand added to the faith. Are all large churches wrong? Or simply the ones you don’t like? And if some large churches are alright with you, how does that jive with Jesus specifically teaching “so that they wouldn’t understand and they would fall away?” Does John Macarthur need to start intentionally driving people away?

[Scott responds to Ken's use of Matthew 22:29 in a response to John] Later on, after John points out that your interpretation of Galatians 1 is in contradiction to what many (or even most) mainline/orthodox scholars would say, you say,

“Again you err because you do not know the Scriptures and the power of God.”

What do you mean that John doesn’t know the Scriptures? Based on the poor showing that you have put on during this whole thread, I would venture to say that John knows the Scriptures as well as, if not better than, you. And he doesn’t know the power of God? What does that mean? If anything, you seem to be the one who doesn’t know/understand the power of God. You seem to think that some guys who do things differently than you want them to have the power to subjigate the Bible and instigate a great falling away within the church. They have this power and God is powerless? Read over my comment where I discuss Hebrews Chapter 4. Men having power like that doesn’t seem to be an option in the Bible, but perhaps you know better.

And THEN you say,

“…first of all, I’m only going to listen to scholars who correctly divide the Word of Truth…”

So the ONLY scholars who “correctly divide the Word of Truth” are the ones who agree with you? Everyone else must be wrong? And there can never be more than one view/interpretation of anything? By extension, that means that all other scholars who disagree with you are wrong and following darkness because, as you’ve made clear, YOU are walking in the Light of God and those who believe differently (like those within the EC/SS camps) are walking in darkness.

Wow, buddy! You have a COSTCO-SIZED pallet of spiritual guts.

[Chris comments] Ken is not the “pastor of the internet”, and so for him to claim that his posits, accusations and condemnations are superior based on a piece of paper he got from the SBC is intellectual laziness, at best, and egotistical heresy, at worst.

What is ironic to me with Ken’s posts was that where he finally became agitated with me and “shunned” me was when I mirrored his own words back at him, like here and here, and Ingrid’s words back at her here. What does that say about the style of invective he uses with people he does not know?

[Scott responding to an exchange between amy and Ken] Did you notice that rather than answering the overall “meat” of your questions, Ken decides that simply quoting the verse from Ephesians 4 should be enough to validate his whole position (as he eloquently says, “Looks pretty clear to me”). He ignores the fact that Ephesians doesn’t even come CLOSE to supporting his obvious opinion that as a “pastor” he has somehow been vested with special/unique/higher authority.

Walter Martin, a great man of God whom Ken enjoys quoting a lot over at his Apprising blog, used to say that if you are asking someone a question about spiritual things but they refuse to give you a straight answer, watch out! Chances are there is a reason why they don’t want to give a straight, plain, direct answer… namely that if they do they will be exposed as spiritually suspect.

It’s your call, but I wouldn’t expect Ken to actually answer ANY of the valid questions you have posed on this thread. I don’t know if it is because you are a woman (which would be a pathetic reason), or if it is because if he did he would be exposed as being someone whose spiritual authority and judgement are suspect.

[John comments] Ken,

“the Word contains more for me to learn.” By the way, people who hold my correct Biblical position aren’t saying the Bible doesn’t.

This is the sort of language that leaves many of us wondering how you view yourself. Referring to your views as “my correct Biblical position” seems to go beyond boldness into arrogance. It also suggests that there is no room for disagreement. After all, if yours is the “correct Biblical postition” who can disagree? Only those without “eyes to see,” exactly as you’ve suggested here before.

Furthermore, your statement about there being more to learn is completely at odds with your statment above that scolarship is man-centered blather. You also went on to say you pity those who (like me) are impressed with such scolarship. Isn’t the Biblical pattern to learn from someone who teaches, i.e. a theologian or Biblical scholar? Isn’t that how you learned (from Walter Martin)? Do you see the disconnect, Ken?

You seem to be talking out of both sides of your mouth, saying on the one hand you have never suggested there is not more to learn and on the other criticizing those of us who are trying to do so. Which is it? Is scolarship a good thing or a bad thing? Like your supporter Mike Ratliff, you seem to want to have it both ways.

[Scott commenting on Ken's incredulity at being asked for citations for a Walter Martin quote] Perhaps you didn’t notice but John asked for the CONTEXT of the quote. In other words, he doesn’t want to have to take your word for what the quote is…he wants to see it in its entirety and in context. Considering how often in this thread that you’ve been caught pulling things out of context and twisting things around, I don’t think that is an unreasonable request.

You say that the quote you used from Walter Martin is from “The Annihilation of Hell.” Could you please cite chapter, page, edition, recording, publishing date or something so that if John or I want to, we can go look it up?

At the same time, SO WHAT if John disagrees with Walter Martin about something? YOU disagree with well-respected authors and theologians quite requently. In fact, you spend much of your time rejecting a lot of the “well-respected” Christian leaders because they don’t match up with what YOU expect from them. You reject them and then level serious accusations at them. John simply said that given the little information that you provided about the Walter Martin quote, he thought that Dr. Martin may have taken some liberty with the text.

How do you expect anyone anywhere to take you seriously when you behave this way, Ken?

[Scott commenting on Ken's lack of answers and abundance of pseudopious proclamations] And YET you STILL cannot/will not/do not provide ANY explanation in your comment. You simply make a claim/state an opinion/level a charge…and then run away like a vandal throwing a flaming bag of dog maneur who is afraid to see what happens next.

I am “spiritually blind?” Please be SPECIFIC and tell me and/or show me HOW!!!

Is it because you don’t appreciate how I characterized your use of Dr. Martin’s name and materials? GREAT! Then be specific and say so and then prove me WRONG!

Is it because you disagree with the comment that I made about using 2 Timothy 3 in context as opposed to out of context? GREAT! Then be specific and say so and then prove me WRONG. Correct my interpretation of the passage in term of how it contradicts with how YOU used it.

Is it because I pointed out that the men referred to in the context of 2 Timothy 3 were SPECIFICALLY described as being horrible, degenerate people who masqueraded as something they weren’t so as to be welcomed into people’s homes and to be a part of the church? GREAT! Then show/explain me how that passage, when applied to John and I, DOESN’T paint us in the light of being morally and spiritually degenerate?

And you are WRONG in how you described your role as a “pastor-teacher,” a role that YOU have extrapolated FAR BEYOND anything that the Bible specifies. The role of EVERY believer (not just you) is to faithfully proclaim unashamedly and boldly whatever God gives us to say AS LONG AS IT IS NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE BIBLE. We have demonstrated repeatedly that much of what you proclaim IS IN CONFLICT WITH THE BIBLE and have VERIFIED this with the use of Scripture (in context), specific references to historically accurate and ORTHODOX Christian teachings and traditions, and well-respected theologians and apologists.

And what is your response? Nothing of substance, just more accusations. In fact, your approach to supporting/justifying/proving your accusations seems to be to make more accusations and claims. Rarely do you get around to actually, SUBSTANTIVELY answering a question.

Instead, what we get is more of your self-important proclamations.

[Chris comments]

With that said, a tangential conversation between Ken & Ingrid on the Slice-cast has been coming back to me all weekend, and after re-listening to it, it really “rings wrongly”.

(begin at timestamp 11:41 of ‘Rob Bell:Emergent Elvis’.

Ken: There were times I’m writing these articles and I literally turned to the Lord, as if He was standing there, and I said ‘Lord, I didn’t know that. I could not have written that sentence.’ I say that time and time again. I take no credit for this. I’m one of the few who’ll tell you that.

Ken: This is – I told one guy I was dealing with. I said ‘this isn’t a game for me – this is my life’. I have lost much support financially since I started this, particularly Rob Bell. My readership has gone up, praise God for that – we’re getting all kinds of folks reading it – but I’ve had a number of people back off because of it. I don’t care. I’m a walking dead guy – If the Lord doesn’t want this ministry any more, He can have it.

OK – based on this, we have Ken somehow receiving knowledge outside of himself – implying that he is giving us an inspired message from God. What if the message was not from God? I am reminded of the ’80’s song ‘Guilty by Association’ by Steve Taylor:

So you say it’s ‘of the devil’ and we’ve got no choice
‘Cause you heard a revelation from a ’still small voice’
Psst! – Hey, you!
If the Bible doesn’t back it, then it seems quite clear
Perhaps it was the devil who whispered in your ear

Satan’s greatest triumphs against the church have always come from within – the desire to do good combined with an innate belief in infalibility, leading to tyranny and strife within the body – the exact type of thing so often coming from Ken and Slice. Don’t get me wrong, Slice often posts things of value (like exposing Burke’s “opt-out” universalist bent), but spends much of its energy ripping the body of Christ apart, like a cancer.

As many of you should have noted, I have continued to ask Ken (with no answers) if he could find someone to whom he holds some level of accountability and have then analyze his writings – I have prayed for this for weeks. What I didn’t realize was that they had already done so, and that Ken knew it:

I have lost much support financially since I started this, particularly Rob Bell. […] I’ve had a number of people back off because of it. I don’t care.

Unfortunately, I’ve also heard my answer of what his response would be if they attempted to hold him accountable: “I don’t care”.

[Chris commenting on Slice's call for Rick Warren personal stories] So, if Rick warren floats, he’s a witch, but if he drowns, he wasn’t one – right?

[Scott, teaching Ken the definitions of some logic terms he doesn't seem to understand]


You seem to take objection to Chris L.’s comment:

When I saw your name on a post, I actually thought you’d taken a break from your snipes and content-free, arrogant swill, but I guess I was wrong.

Your response to Chris L. was:

When I continue to read your ad hominems regarding my labor for Christ and “your snipes and content-free, arrogant swill” throughout your laborious posts concerning your guesses as to how the LORD God Himself taught when He stood upon His planet…

Let’s take a step back for a moment, Ken, and look at the big picture. You throw around “ad hominem” and “straw man” terminology a lot. In fact, you illustrate a point that my old philosophy professor used to make in class from time to time, namely that a little knowledge about logic and philosophy is a dangerous thing in the hands of one who isn’t able to understand its use or apply it correctly.

I could probably go back and count at least 100 times between this site and Slice and Apprising where you claim someone is making an ad hominem argument against you. In fact, I would argue that this is your first reaction to any criticism…it’s ad hominem and so you don’t need to pay attention to it. Do you actually understand what “ad hominem” means, Ken?

I’m sure that you can’t believe that I would have the temerity to suggest that you aren’t familiar with the basics of logic, but as Walter Martin used to say, in order to have a discussion it is important to make sure that everyone is using the same terminology and definitions. Just to be clear, let’s use this basic definition from Wikipedia:

An ad hominem fallacy consists of asserting that someone’s argument is wrong and/or this person is wrong to argue at all purely because of something discreditable/not-authoritative about the person or those persons cited by him rather than addressing the soundness of the argument itself.

Chris’ comment wasn’t an ad hominem attack at all. He didn’t say, “Ken, you suck as a person and so your arguments must be invalid.” He was stating an opinion about the quality of your logic and reasoning skills. He was saying that the arguments themselves that you try to spread and support are free of content and filled with arrogance. I could be wrong, but from everything I have read I don’t believe that Chris has ever tried to make an argument to discredit you as a person. He has criticized: your reasoning and logic; your regular use of proof-texting to ignore context and to make points using quotes and Biblical texts differently than how they were intended; your attacks against anyone who disagrees with you; and your habit of implicitly and explicitly indicating that anyone who disagrees with you is walking in darkness, a tool of the devil, a spiritual pedophile and moral relativist, etc, etc, etc. But there was not now nor do I believe there ever has been an attack on you personally.

It appears as though you have a persecution complex combined with a MASSIVE ego. That is obvious because in the end, you can always bring an argument back to your belief that it is all about you. If someone disagrees with your argument, you somehow convince yourself that it is a personal attack against you and that you are being persecuted in God’s name for your stand against the ungodly. You can’t separate yourself from your arguments. You think that if people say that your arguments are weak, unsupported, illogical, unorthodox, incoherent, proof-texted, ill conceived, poorly reasoned, etc,…that this means that people are attacking you. On the contrary, Ken. At this site we have been careful to always acknowledge that you are obviously devout and sincere in your love for the Lord and in your desire to be of service to the Kingdom. Chris L. and others here at VS just happen to believe that you are doing more of a disservice to the Kingdom.

While we are at it, let’s look at your frequent claim of “straw man” tactics against you. Again, Wikipedia will explain to you that:

A straw man argument is a logical fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “set up a straw man” or “set up a straw-man argument” is to create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent. A straw-man argument is in fact misleading, because the opponent’s actual argument has not been refuted. A straw man “argument” is a bogus, distorted or deliberately flawed interpretation of an otherwise valid position that has been altered so it can be more easily attacked, delegitimized and disassembled (hence the straw man metaphor) before the eyes and ears of an otherwise impartial audience unfamiliar with the facts and history of an issue or case.

Typically you claim “straw man” anytime someone tries to summarize a point that you have been making in a series of comments, or in a post, or both. However, the problem is that typically what you are claiming as a “straw man” is usually a summary of a point made by you and/or a direct quote from you to support the summary. Or, as has happened on this blog frequently, you fail to substantiate ANY claims that you have made or ANY argument that you have presented, AND you refuse to acknowledge legitimate questions or respond to legitimate points of contention, which has left people to do their own research and find their own information since you have refused to engage on the topics that you have initiated.

As has been said to you before, Ken. The easiest way to eliminate the possibility of people misquoting you or misrepresenting you and your arguments is for YOU to actually step forward and present the arguments in their entirety including support, verification, and proof. You are in a constant lather about being misrepresented and misquoted and misunderstood, but rather than try and solve the problem you have typically chosen to dodge the opportunity to engage and instead offer snide, smarmy pot shots.

As a last point, to Chris L. you discussed his:

…laborious posts concerning your guesses as to how the LORD God Himself taught when He stood upon His planet…

Ken, do you read the same Bible that Chris and I read? How have Chris or I or John or Amy or any number of commenters GUESSED about how the Lord taught when He stood upon His planet. We don’t have to guess. The Bible tells us very clearly and provides examples of the Lord and the disciples and how they taught. God has also been gracious in allowing us to have the knowledge and insight into the way of life that was lived in the 1st century so that we can understand the immediate context of his teaching.

How is that guessing?

(There’s lots more, but you’ll need some time to read it all!)

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Source: Verum Serum – Part OnePart Two
Comments: John responds to a question from Ken on who it is that can ’seek God’, particularly in light of a few prooftexted scriptures.
Memorable Quotes:

Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Heb. 11:6b)

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