Archive for the 'Updates' Category

The latest article at CRN is entitled Rick Warren tells Jewish leader “There are More Than Enough Christian Souls…” Sounds absolutely scandalous, doesn’t it? I mean, this obviously shows that Warren doesn’t want any more people to come to Christ, and is rooting for modern Judaism, right?
Or, we could simply look at it in context. With creative editing, you can make a story look so juicy. Let’s look at the quotes unedited.
CRN wrote

Warren managed to speak for the entire evening without once mentioning Jesus — a testament to his savvy message-tailoring…

The full quote

The other secret to his success is his passion for God and Jesus. Warren managed to speak for the entire evening without once mentioning Jesus — a testament to his savvy message-tailoring. But make no mistake, the driving purpose of an evangelical church is to evangelize, and it is Warren’s devotion to spreading the words of the Christian Bible that drive his ministry.

CRN wrote in the title

There are More Than Enough Christian Souls

leaving out the ending…

There are more than enough Christian souls to deal with for starters

obviously a joke, responding to why he was not trying to convert all the Jews he was working with. And finally, CRN wrote

The success of Warren’s second book, “The Purpose-Driven Life” (Zondervan, 2002), demonstrates his ability to turn a particular gospel into a universal one

However, we already saw from the first quote that the author clearly saw Warren’s agenda of “spreading the words of the Christian Bible” out of “his passion for God and Jesus”

On top of all this… the article is dated June 23, 2006. If you have to go back two years to dig up some dirt, you may be a bit to zealous for your cause.

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I am going to believe the best, and say that the General Editor at CRN is not as ignorant as this article seems to show. For the last time, when Rick Warren said, “the future of the world is not secularism, it’s religious pluralism”, we was not advocating for one global religion. He was simply stating the facts. Just like when I say, “the future of my friend with cancer appears to not be a long life, but an early death”, I am not advocating the ending of her life. I am simply stating where things are headed. So, I hope we do not see a plethora of posts about how Warren is calling for one big global religion, or accepts all religions as true.

But, when you say things like

Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary (FTS), and his embracing of apostate Roman Catholicism as a Christian denomination it would appear Rick Warren is not the only one interested in a future of Global religious pluralism…And apparently this religious pluralism extends to non-Christian cults as well.

It does not make sense. If it was meant to be a jab at Warren, it was not very good. If it was meant to show that cults would be a part of a religiously plural society, you as simply stating the obvious.

AN UPDATED SIDE NOTE

I laughed so hard at this video. The music, the captions, the exclamation marks! Check it out

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I found the missing segment of the film on unbelievers and salvation. Enjoy.

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A few things that stood out to me

“George Whitfield… led a huge number of people to Jesus”

really!? How was he able to, but the guy in the graveyard was unsuccessful? Hmmm.

There are also three reasons for evangelism in Calvinism

1. We don’t know who the elect are

2. It provides an indictment for the unbeliever

3. It has a leavening effect on the society as a whole

What they still fail to address in this film is why evangelize people if are dead, and unable to respond to the message. Let’s look at the reasons given. 1. The elect are still dead and unable to respond to human efforts. 2. The unbeliever is dead and unable comprehend or feel the weight of such an indictment. 3. And as for a leavening effect? Well, I am not too sure what good the leaven will do among unresponsive souls that are all simply moving towards their predetermined destiny… heaven or hell.

Finally

If we love people, then we need to tell them the truth

unfortunately, telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth has ZERO effect on someone’s eternal destiny. The elect will be elected and the unregenerate will be gladly tossed to eternal damnation. This has always been a point of confusion for me with the ODMs. They are so concerned about protecting the truth. However, protecting the truth has ZERO effect on anyone’s eternal destiny.

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twist, tangle, mix, mince, dice, kneed, jumble… all things done to Rick Warren’s words to create controversy. The latest

Rick Warren goes to the National Cathedral and declares that “the future of the world is not secularism, it’s religious pluralism.” Warren is also calling for mainline churches and evangelicals to come back together.

Can you say ecumenicalism or one-world religion?

No, you really can’t say that — at least about this quote. I would agree with Warren. The world is not necessarily becoming more and more secular. There is a rise in interest in spiritual things in modern culture. Both Kabbalah and Islam are on the rise. What we will probably end up with is a very religiously plual society. Does Warren support this, or think that it is a good thing? probably not. Does he think we need to to all get along? Sure.

I am beginning to think there is a a Warren obsession going on here.

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Both CRN and slice are up in arms once again over Rick Warren’s peace plan.  As expected, this global movement towards ending hunger, AIDS and poverty is getting lots of attention from many media outlets.  These ODMs cannot understand why a Christian would ever want to partner with someone of a different faith or sexuality to end such a horrendous problem in the world.  I wonder why the ODMs did not protest churches working alongside non-believers to help clean up Katrina or bring aid to the tsunami victims.  Surely, they too were advocating universalism.  Or could it be that simply because Rick Warren is behind this movement, it must be inherently heretical?

Recently CRN boiled down Warren’s message to this

Global Crisis Requires Global Spiritual Unity for Global Good

This could not be further from the truth.  Spiritual Unity implies that we all need to be unified in our faith to combat this crisis.  I challenge any ODM to find where Warren has said that we all must share the same spirituality to combat this.  Never once has he called for spiritual unity, but for people of all faiths to work together, which does not require spiritual unity.  You see, this is not a spiritual issue, this is a human issue that we are facing.  Christians, Muslims or Hindus are not dying everyday , humans are dying everyday.  The phrase should be altered to say

Global Crisis Requires Global Human Unity for Global Good

I truly believe that most ODMs have a hard time not seeing people in one of two categories:  the non-elect and the elect.  They cannot simply see people as human.  I mean, this issue should appeal to our basic human compassion.  Almost every culture in the world agrees that certain actions, such as murder, poverty and disease epidemics, are horrible atrocities.  But, this is why you will hardly ever see an article on CRN that addresses the suffering of HUMANS in Africa, or the genocide that is taking place in Darfur.  If it doesn’t have a “Christian” label and theology attached to it, it is worthless.

Now, I will say this, because I know the rebuttal is coming, our primary message is to preach the gospel.  However, a hefty portion of Jesus’ teachings were on feeding the hungry, caring for widows and praying for the sick.  It is not an either/or situation;  It is a both/and.  I challenge the ODMS today.  Are you against Warren’s peace plan because he is truly calling for a “Global Spiritual Unity”, or are you against it because it is simply Rick Warren?

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I’ve made some modifications to the way comments are processed.  There have been a number of threads, weeks (and sometimes months) old onto which we get random (sometimes bizarre) comments, which don’t always get caught and responded to.  As such, I have started a script that will close comments automatically on posts older than 10 days (which seems reasonable, as I look at comment traffic.

If there are discussions carrying on (in a constructive manner) on a 10-day-old thread, we can exclude it from this closure list for a time, until activity has died down.  Our submissions page, as well, will always be open.

On one related note – if a comment thread devolves into a circular flame war on the road to nowhere (as happened on one thread yesterday), I may close down comments on the thread, as well, in hope that cooler heads will prevail.

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Ah, yes!First off, my apologies again for those of you who felt left out of the password-protected post. I was experimenting with ways to collaborate with the writers here outside of email. Not being a Wordpress expert, I was also interested in how the password-protection functionality worked. (Yes, I’m a geek…)

Something that has been noticed, by other writers, by some commenters, by some friends and by myself, is that there seems to be, in a number of discussion threads, an escalation in accusation and tone beyond what should be in evidence between Christian brothers and sisters.

As such, we are trying to address this on our own part – both in comments and in articles – and we are hoping that those of you who comment (all being welcome to continue to do so) might work with us on this, as well. In this light, we’ve added to our page “How We Seek to be Different” as a step toward addressing this. Here is what we have added:

____________________

In Tone and Character

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1

The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. – James 3:17

Due to the limitations of communication via the internet it is easy for misunderstanding to occur, for disagreements to escalate, for sarcasm and condescension to be employed, for argument on issues to become personal. We write things to others that we would never say in person.

Therefore while we defend those who are being attacked falsely, we will strive to take the high-road in dialogue at all time and to this end Posters and Commenters on this site are expected to:*

  1. refrain from using terms of condescension
  2. respond to arrogance and anger with a gentle answer
  3. not escalate the level of rhetoric or anger
  4. defend your argument, not yourself
  5. remember that in pursuing the purity of the wisdom that comes from above – do so in a peaceable manner.

*This list is not intended to be exhaustive but serve as examples of the tendencies and how we should strive to overcome them.

____________________

I realize that this is a lofty goal that we cannot achieve on our own, but with God’s help we surely can, whether or not those who disagree with us do so, as well.

Blessings,

Chris

[UPDATE - this post was originally placed on this blog on Monday, January 14.  Due to the importance of the topic we have updated the time stamp to keep it at the top of the proverbial pile]

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Watchkittie?With the New Year approaching and considering the blessings we’ve all received this past year in our own lives apart from, and possibly in relation to, this site, I’d like to take some space over the next few days for myself (and the other editors who want to join in) to look back over the year and offer an opinion of the “best of 2007″ articles.

Yesterday, we gave the dear readers/commenters on the site their “vote” (based on web-hits) for the most popular articles of the year, and so now I think it is only fitting that the writers take their picks, if they so desire. Here are my Top 15 (’cause I had a hard enough time getting to 15, let alone 10!) I could not, in good conscience, include any of my own articles, as I would probably not be a good judge of a “best of”, though my favorite one to write was the Chosen: To What Purpose series and the one that probably represented the biggest change to myself was this one.

So, without more rambling, here’s my list:

  1. Mr. Corley Goes to Washington – I can’t say how much Mike’s example should speak to other ODM’s on how to conduct actual “research” into those they may desire to criticize. This also speaks to such things as reading books before you critique them, etc.
  2. Humor Day – Rick Frueh came in from out of the blue with this one, and it was great seeing everyone “play nice” and get into the spirit of laughing together.
  3. Why Do I Write Here? – Joe Martino, one of the first co-editors here at CRN.Info lays out his reasons for writing here. Of all the writers here “on staff”, Joe’s passion is always evident and transparent. This article is one I like to go back to.
  4. Are Women Human? – I have to say that, based on my conversations with her, I expected Julie would quietly dip her toe in the water with her first post here on CRN.Info. Instead, she just jumped right in with both feet, and it was an interesting conversation to have.
  5. If You Don’t Agree With Us, You’re Going to Hell – The title pretty much describes one of hundreds of CR?N articles from the previous year, but its subject matter was an article by Mike Ratliff that raised matters of conviction to the level of essential doctrine.
  6. Christian [Insert Noun or Verb] – As we keep butting up against such human classification as “secular” vs. “Christian”, Neil did an excellent job laying out the logical inconsistency in trying to classify things as “Christian”
  7. Do Seeker Sensitive Churches Produce False Christians? – I have to admit that one of the things that irks me most is the way some folks bandy about charges of mass numbers of believers as “false Christians”, particularly when it is because the accused don’t hold to the same systematic theology as the accuser. John D did a great job defending one such group of believers in this article.
  8. Dan Responds To His Critics – One of the things I set out to do when I set up this site was to give a place for those folks mauled by the watchdoggies a platform from which to respond, if they so desired. This article was just such an occasion, where we gave Dan Kimball the floor to defend himself against Ken Silva’s slander.
  9. Suddenly It All Becomes Clear – Contrary to popular belief, I’m not an anti-Calvinist. I know a good number of Christians who believe in part – or in whole – much of what Calvin taught, and I would never hesitate to call them my brother. Brendt is one of those kind folks and he does a beautiful job with what I think was his first article here on CRN.Info. I also loved the comments section of the article which spent most of the time in rational discourse without lots of sidetracking.
  10. Was Wesley a Christian? – An excellent post by Matt B, who seems to have a knack for visiting the way-back machine and making history (dare I say) relevant to current events.
  11. Preach it Brother (and only preach it) – Wow! I had thought that the “Regulative Principal of Worship” was an artifact of the A Capella Churches of Christ, but this piece showed me how wrong I was. What it seemed to underline was how little faith we have in the Spirit to lead when it doesn’t match our preconceived notions whose roots are actually apart from scripture…
  12. Lessons from the Language Incidents – an excellent summation from what was learned in the discussion about language and the attack-mechanics of O”D”M’s
  13. Irony, Thy Name is Ingrid – As a fan of Francis Schaeffer years ago, I found his son Frank’s autobiography to be interesting (confession: this article got me to pick it up and skim it a Border’s over lunch, but I’ve still not bought it for a full read). Ingrid’s review seemed to be of a completely different book, which Phil seemed to notice, as well…
  14. Serving Christian Dirt – Back in August, Rick dug into some of what seems to be behind the “need” to dish dirt on other Christians, and the sad state of ODM affairs. It was a sobering article.
  15. Just The Facts, Ingrid, About Christmas at Saddleback – The ODM “reviews” of the Saddleback Christmas program last year were pretty much written before the event even took place, and John D did a great job pointing out what actually happened and how it honored God.

So, there you go – I could easily have gone to 25 or 30 – which was where I started – but I have to say I’m consistently and pleasantly pleased with all of the writers who have participated here in 2007. Thank you all of you!

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Grumpy CatSo, the end of the year is always the time for “Top 10 Lists”, and to carry on that tradition, here is the list of the top 10 articles, in terms of readership, from 2007.

From a quick perusal of the list, I would also note that two of the articles were from January (the first full month of operation) and that, despite the huge spike in traffic over the past month or so, only two articles were from December.

  1. Criticism of Christian Yoga as “Oxymoron” is Simply Moronic
  2. O Holy Night (Sort Of)
  3. Is it Just Me…
  4. Ingrid’s 1/26/07 “Missing” Article on Watchblogging
  5. Dine with the Porn Producers!
  6. Hallelujah: What’s Right With the World
  7. How Systematic Theology Kills People – Forever
  8. When Scoring Points is of Greater Need than Love
  9. Thou Shalt Not Say “Dude”, Nor Shalt Thou Call Thy Wife “Hot”. Henceforth Consult Ingrid First
  10. Anatomy of a Blogstorm

Also, to honor Julie’s request for more cats, I’ve pulled in a cat picture for this article…

Here’s looking toward a great 2008!

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Just thought I would add this to the relevant conversation.

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