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.

Fine…whatever.

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]

Ken,

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

Comments: John examines scripture in order to answer Ryan, a supporter of Ken, as to what the sin(s) of the Pharisees was, and how it is that Slice (and not its favorite punching bags) is close to mirroring these sins.
Memorable Quotes:

To sum up, what Jesus rebuked the pharisees for was primarily two things, hypocrisy and legalism. I have not accused Ken of hypocrisy. I accept your defense of his good character. But I do think he and all of the authors at Slice tend to want to make the entrance to the kingdom a lot narrower than it actually is. They are suspicious of success. They seem to think only sell-outs have mega-churches. This is not Biblical nor is it a fair characterization of the men who run these churches.

Bill Hybels, Rick Warren and Rob Bell have brought thousands of people to the Lord. That’s a good thing in my view. They are focused on fulfilling the great commision. If some people in their churches have shallow faith or fall away, the same can be said of the churches planted by the Apostle Paul. That doesn’t make it something to emulate, but it does suggest to me that it may be an unavoidable part of even the best led churches.

I leave it to you to judge where Ken stands, but for myself I think it says a lot that he and the other Slice authors want to bring down the very men who are most successful in adding people to the kingdom. This does not sound to me like the sort of thing Jesus would have criticized. On the contrary, the Lord’s criticisms were reserved for those who — through excessive legalism — blocked the way and made it too narrow.

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Source: Verum Serum

Comments: John notes that Ken has started using exchanges he’s had with John a guy, and John examines the context of these usages.
Memorable Quotes:

At the tail end of the comments to my earlier post about Ken Silva’s declaration of war on the emergent church, I stated my concerns about the wisdom of continuing the conversation. I said in part, “I believe it may be time for me to leave this matter between Ken and the Lord.”

Last night, a few hours after I posted those comments, Ken wrote a response (scroll down) to someone who had written him an e-mail about these same issues. Is it just me or is his response eerily similar to what I said to him just a few hours earlier? It also sounds quite dramatically different than his earlier comments on this site. All that to say, perhaps setting an example is working…

Regular readers are aware that Ken said those things right here, responding to me. That means I’m “one guy” and “the guy” being referred to in the statements above. Now, I understand he’s speaking extemperaneously, but it’s not like Ken doesn’t know my name at this point. He’s been exchanging comments with me — both here and at Slice — for almost a month now. But, fine, it’s not my show. I don’t expect to be named. I will note, however, that Ken once rebuked me for calling him “Rev. Ken,” (same link as above). He suggested I was belittling him in some way. Isn’t “Rev. Ken” (which is how he signs his posts at Slice) a lot better than “a guy.” I think so. But once again, Ken seems to have one yardstick for judging how others talk about him and a completely different one for judging how he talks about others.

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Source: Fishing the Abyss

Comments: Chris attended Rob Bell’s Everything Is Spiritual tour and then wrote about it, along with his unwelcome discovery of the Christian blogosphere’s rabid pit-bull terriers at Slice.
Memorable Quotes:

Sadly, in my searching and musings, I’ve encountered a small but rather vociferous group of legalistic folks who seem to have little more to do than paint Rob Bell as some sort of modern-day Anti-Christ, leading thousands astray, like some Satanic pied piper. The primary locus of these folks is a weblog called Slice of Laodicea, with the leader of this particular charge being ‘pastor’ Ken Silva – a gentleman who seems to spend a large amount of energy attacking Mr. Bell, reminiscent of Javert’s dogged pursuit of Jean Valjean.

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Source: Verum Serum

Comments: John provides some commentary on Ken’s infamous declaration of Rob Bell as a ‘Spiritual Pedophile’. The comments section of this post is fairly rich with content, including why Ken has decided to ignore Matthew 18 in his approach to Rob Bell.

Memorable Quotes:

Well, things over at Slice continue to go from bad to worse. You wouldn’t think it possible, but it is. Rev. Ken Silva — who I have had some good exchanges with — has now (and I mean this literally) declared holy war on the emergent church in general and Rob Bell in particular:

[John comments] Yes, your post refers to them as “spiritual pedophiles” (which isn’t a lot better by the way), but my reference to “approved comments” was to somethig I read at Slice almost two months ago. A commenter had compared Rick Warren to a child molester, i.e. a pedophile. It was used as a similie in that case, i.e. Rick is “like a child molester.” Both that comment and another one comparing Warren to a hit-and-run driver were approved. No one from Slice seemed bothered by them. This was actually what prompted my first ever comment at Slice.

[Ken tries to pull rank] You know this isn’t a personal thing with me, but when you say, “I’ve called Ken out on his comments both here and on Slice,” it comes across a bit presumptuous on your part. And this is especially so after you title the piece “Rev. Ken…,” which gives the appearance of belittling my ordination with the Southern Baptist Convention. Not that it in itself means anything to me but you should know that in the SBC I am considered just as much a pastor as a Charles Stanley.

[To be clear, Ken is glorified home Bible study facilitator, but expects a level of respect for himself that he is unwilling to give to others. To wit, when was the last time he wrote about 'Pastor Rob Bell'?]

[John commenting] If you want to run a blog spoofing the zanier things to come out of evangelical chruches, fine. I’m all for open discussion and even ridicule where appropriate. However, when you start presuming to know the state of these men’s souls…when you suggest that they are tools of Satan…when you suggest that you represent the last remnant of the “true faith.” That’s where I begin to think it is you who are being very presumptuous.

In all my disagreement with you, which I think you’ll agree has been quite strenuous at times, have I ever suggested you were a “demon” or a “viper?” I have not.

[Scott responding to Ken]

What makes me think that I shouldn’t be listening to you (or that, in fact, nobody should be listening to you for that matter)? That’s quite simple. I shouldn’t be listening to you because of:

1) your irresponsible, unfounded, unsubstantiated attacks against anyone who doesn’t hold to the same line that you do including myself, John, Chris (from Fishing the Abyss), Amy, Rob Bell, and many, many, many others.

2) your twisting and torturing of the Word of God including misquotes, prooftexting, unsuportable interpretations of scriptural passages, denial of basic principles of Biblical interpretation, hermenutics, Biblical harmonics, etc.

3) your refusal to actually engage in any discussion in which you have to actually demonstrate the validity of your opinion/position using solid reasoning and Christian principles rooted in and based on the ACTUAL Word of God and NOT just your SPIN on what you claim the passages “really mean” to those who are “wise” enough to understand them (”wise people” meaning you and, uh,…well…you).

4) your obvious and frightening arrogance and spiritual pride in equating your words and thoughts with God’s words and thoughts, as demonstrated by, among other things, your cryptic and ominous warnings about how we should be careful about how we deal with and address you as God’s representative -AND- your attempts to use the words of Christ to apply to you as well.

5) your unscriptural attitudes towards those who question you and challenge your interpretations, insisting that those question you as a “pastor/teacher” must be dwelling in darkness, sheep in wolves clothing, spiritually blind, etc, etc, etc.

6) your unpastorlike-unteacherlike-unreverendlike conduct that creates far mor hurt and anger and confusion than anything that comes out of the Emergent Church movement.

As a whole, Ken, your conduct on the Web, over at SLICE and APPRISING, on the various blogs that you haunt, etc has been and continues to be appauling. If the Southern Babtist church had any standing and powers of oversight on the internet, I would suggest that they consider recinding your ordination. Your words are unloving, unwise, unscriptural, unsound, and uncool.

If how you conduct yourself in the blogosphere represents how you are in real life, perhaps that is why you don’t seem to have much success as a pastor and as a guy who is trying to drum up support and money for his pet project/ministry. I have read nearly everything on your site including your “missives,” your letters, your appeals for money, your background and history, etc. Taking all the pieces of the puzzle that are available there and fitting them together into the picture that they represent, it becomes obvious that though you claim to have a “calling” for the ministry, you really don’t (at least serving in the ways that you are attempting to do now or in what you have attempted to do in the past). You alienate people and drive them away (I believe you call this “weeding” out the unfaithful). You try to make your “mark,” not through building up and through edification but instead through criticizing and tearing people down. You fancy yourself as the “watchman,” though you have demonstrated that you aren’t capable of the wisdom or discernment necesary to serve in that capacity.

As I have said before, Ken, the saddest part of this whole situation is that you might have some valid points to make. But you have so discredited yourself and turned your whole “ministry” into such a farce that whatever it is that you have to share that might be beneficial is overshadowed by the arrogance, pride, and dillusions of “spiritual grandeur.” You are like Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Baker, Pat Robertson, etc,…they may have good things to say, too, but they have lost all credibility to say them.

By the way, Ken, it ISN’T that we don’t understand what you are saying. We have NEVER misrepresented anything that you have said and have, in fact, demonstrated time and again that we have a full understanding of your position (in fact, we probably express your ideas/thoughts/opinions/arguments better than you do). What we HAVE NOT done is agree with you. You confuse “not being clear” with “not agreeing.” Your words and thoughts are clear. But in our opinion, based on the Word of God, principles of sound Biblical theology, and the words of respected Christian thinkers throughout history, you are mistaken. Your thoughts are clear, and they are CLEARLY WRONG.

Sorry, Ken, but to have respect you need to earn respect. You have to spend time building up credibility by demonstrating wisdom and discernment in the small things before you get to jump up to the next level of standing toe-to-toe with the “big boys” (like Billy Graham, Rob Bell, Chuck Swindoll, etc). You haven’t wanted to “earn” anything. You want to just jump in and then demand to be listened to. Unfortunately, by donig so you have missed out on the process of learning discernment and gaining wisdom.

Right now when you speak you just show your spiritual ignorance and immaturity. You are like a petulant child who demands to be listened to and throws a fit when they don’t get their way.

Maybe you need a long spiritual time-out?!?

[Scott continues, after a second thought]

Ken,

Let me add that as I wrote my last comment, I could almost hear your voice/see you type your responses. Let me anticipate them:

1) You will make (or at least think about making) some pious sounding statement about how your suffering is nothing compared to Christ, how you have “given your all” for your Lord, how you consider it a blessing to “suffer” and/or be “persecuted” for your stand against the spreaders of iniquity that are infiltrating the Church, etc, etc, etc…

2) You will make (or at least think about making) a comment about how your small house church of 4-5 is parallel to Jesus’ small group of disciples, how large numbers equate to selling out the Gospel, how a true teacher of the Gospel would “weed out” the unfaithful by teaching the hard truths, so your little group represents a segment or “remnent” of the True Church.

3) You will claim that YOU represent the true teachings of Christ and that those who stand with you are the true “faithful” and “elect,” whereas everyone else who disagrees are representatives of Satan and/or are lost in darkness.

4) You will claim that my reference to “respected Christian thinkers and/or theologians throughout history” is evidence of my being in love with my own thoughts and the thoughts of men rather than loving the Word of God.

5) You will want to quote something from Dr. Walter Martin and/or A.W. Tozer to make yourself sound educated, well-read, and wise, though you criticize anybody else that does the same thing by quoting others who are just as widely read and respected as Martin and Tozer.

6) You will want to warn me against speaking out against a representative of the Lord who has been “called” to the ministry, as evidenced by your Southern Baptist ordination (even though you will also claim that the words and acknowledgements of men, like your SBC recognition mean nothing to you).

7) You will claim that one of the problems with my arguments is that people have been lead to believe that someone who declares the Gospel forcefully is wrong because the real manly-man Jesus stood firm and offended people constantly…and since Jesus did it, so can you.

I’m sure that if I had time, I could anticipate other arguments that you will make (or at least want to), but I have to run.

Scott

[Pastor Rod tells Ken]

There is a big difference between these two statements:

I am convinced that my position is correct, though I’m open to the possibility that I might be wrong.

I know that I am right, that God is pleased with my position and that ‘at the last day’ I will be vindicated.”

There is even more of a contrast with a statement often made by N. T. Wright, another whipping boy of the TR crowd, “I know that some of what I’m saying is wrong; I just don’t know which part.”

This does not spring from a post-modernist epistemology. It grows out of a quality known in some circles as humility.

For someone who makes it his mission to correct the perceived errors of others, you seem to be rather resistant to correction yourself.

[Chris asks a question of Ken]

Ken,

Is it possible that you are wrong in your criticisms against Rob Bell?

This is a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question.

Is it possible that you are wrong in your criticisms against Rob Bell?

[Chris follows up on the answer at length]

Ken,

For the record, you answered my question “Is it possible that you are wrong in your criticisms against Rob Bell?”

You know of course that anything is possible

With this in mind, when you make statements like this

And those of us who hold these views will simply tell you that when we quote the Word of God on an issue, then it is not OUR opinion, but His. The results belong to Him and I cannot change your minds, which is patently obvious.

can you understand how this statement appears to be in contradiction to your answer that it is possible that you are wrong in your criticism of Bell?

In light of the discord between these two things you’ve written, I could possibly say something like the following:

It then seems as if no one is really able to definitively say what Bell’s meaning is in much of what he writes. I see what I see, you see what you see, Scott sees what he sees, etc.

How is that being a good pastor-teacher on Ken’s part? At best then what we are seeing would be a style of writing which people can make say whatever they want it to say. But the Bible says the pastor – must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it (Titus 1:9). [note: I am quoting your post from E-What with the names changed.]

However, I would not make such a statement, because that would be a poor prooftexting of scripture. Were I to make such a statement, then I could quote Peter in 2 Peter 3:16 to suggest that Paul is unqualified based upon his own criteria.

Additionally, someone (I can’t remember who, and forget where it was posted) commented that when you paraphrase someone, they ought to be able to read your paraphrase and say “yes – that’s what I meant” (note: this is different than drawing a conclusion from what they said), and if not, you’ve just created a straw man.

This is what you constantly do in your writing, which discredits your arguments, rather than supports them.

As deborah wrote on E-What:

Please do not put words in my mouth, please do not try to add your interpretation to what I say. It serves no purpose. Next time please try asking why someone said something instead of trying to guess.

A perfect example is in your post #75 when you say

Seriously, your whole diatribe is summed up here:

“Why must it be YOUR way”

and then attempt to dismantly your paraphrase of Scott. I seriously doubt Scott would agree with your paraphrase, because it does not address ANY of his primary points,

I shouldn’t be listening to you because of:

1) your irresponsible, unfounded, unsubstantiated attacks against anyone who doesn’t hold to the same line that you do including myself, John, Chris (from Fishing the Abyss), Amy, Rob Bell, and many, many, many others.

2) your twisting and torturing of the Word of God including misquotes, prooftexting, unsuportable interpretations of scriptural passages, denial of basic principles of Biblical interpretation, hermenutics, Biblical harmonics, etc.

3) your refusal to actually engage in any discussion in which you have to actually demonstrate the validity of your opinion/position using solid reasoning and Christian principles rooted in and based on the ACTUAL Word of God and NOT just your SPIN on what you claim the passages “really mean” to those who are “wise” enough to understand them (”wise people” meaning you and, uh,…well…you).

4) your obvious and frightening arrogance and spiritual pride in equating your words and thoughts with God’s words and thoughts, as demonstrated by, among other things, your cryptic and ominous warnings about how we should be careful about how we deal with and address you as God’s representative -AND- your attempts to use the words of Christ to apply to you as well.

5) your unscriptural attitudes towards those who question you and challenge your interpretations, insisting that those question you as a “pastor/teacher” must be dwelling in darkness, sheep in wolves clothing, spiritually blind, etc, etc, etc.

6) your unpastorlike-unteacherlike-unreverendlike conduct that creates far mor hurt and anger and confusion than anything that comes out of the Emergent Church movement.

Mighht I suggest that you address each of these issues directly (which requires no paraphrase), or at the very least, use one of his summations, like this one:

Notice that the problem people have is not necessarily with your ideas but also ( and I think far more forecefully) with your presentation and with your seeming arrogance and judgemental/pharisaical attitude with which you refuse to engage in discussion and only engage in condemnation.

or this one

Remember, ALL of this drama in the blogosphere that you are a part of has taken place, not because you disagree with Rob Bell or because people disagree with you. It is because YOU have placed yourself in the seat of judgement and have deemed it right for YOU to declare the motivations and spiritual well-being of men like Rob Bell and people like John and me. YOU have passed open judgement on many, many people as though you were the Grand Inquisitor of the blososphere

Neither of these summations (nor his initial post yesterday) could be summed up as

Why must it be YOUR way?

Thus, the argument you make in #75 is a straw man. In this particular case, since your answer is such that a simple reading of it leads one to the conclusion that you believe your words are God’s words, with no possibility of error – in direct contradition to your later admission of the possibility of error – one could even declare victory for the straw man.

It is one thing to criticize someone else’s ideas. It is a completely different thing to quote someone’s ideas, give them a completely different meaning (i.e. what they’re “really teaching”) and then extrapolate from this different meaning to an ill conclusion (i.e. “where he is heading”), and to then pronounce judgement that he is a “tool of Satan”. That is a straw-man argument. That is defamatory. That is slander.

Do you understand this? If so, why do you continue to do it?

When you are quoting scripture to disagree with someone, do you understand that quoting things like:

You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. (Matt 22:29)

or

Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment. (John 7:24)

Do you understand that this type of quotation does nothing to answer the person you’ve directed it to, but it actually
1) gives you the appearance of taking on Christ’s authority
2) at the very least says nothing more than “I believe I’m right”
3) conveys the air of “and Jesus thinks I’m right too”
4) In all of the above, creates an impression of hubris on your part.

Do you understand this? If so, why do you continue to do it?

It is totally fine if you choose to disagree with Bell, McLaren and others. That is your perogative. It is completely different to say that

the Lord Jesus has sent me specifically to teach against these men at this time. I know God’s pleased with my work, and I also know that He hates what they are doing.

or things like

I caution you this doesn’t mean the Lord is taking lightly your obsessive unwarranted misrepresenting of me, and you’re speaking about things you simply do not understand.

Or ominous quotes like

You do realize you accuse me here, right?

Or (when you’ve been corrected in misuse of scripture)

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.

When you make statements like these, you have gone beyond stating your opinion. Whan you make statements like these it appears that you have given yourself an authority above anyone who disagrees with you – an authority that just isn’t yours to claim.

I could go on, but I’ve got things to do today – please seriously think on these things – none were meant in anything but truly wondering how you do not see the disconnect between the way you present yourself and the way you seem to believe you actually are.

It’s not about disagreement over Bell, the EC, etc. Brotherly disagreement is OK. It is about disagreement over your methods, which lie in stark contrast to those of ‘pastor-teachers’. It is not about Bell, the EC, etc. In this case, it is truly about you.

[Chris follows up with the same question MANY times on a couple of forums, trying to get an answer]

Ken,

On one hand, you admitted last night that you might be in error re: Bell. Today you said:

have made mistakes before, and every human teacher will, but I am not wrong re. Bell.

Which is it? A straight answer, not a rebounded identical question (because I believe it is possible that I could be wrong about Bell).

Which is it:

A) You could be wrong about Bell
B) You are not wrong about Bell

Which is it – A or B?

[Ken finally answers - indirectly and ironically with a Brian MacLaren quote]

To be clear…as you are fond of saying in this inquisition…I posted this (with an additional “k”) at E-What:

You know, as I look at it I guess this does come across as rather pomo and McLarenesque as robby mac pointed out re. nailing jello.

So let me leave it then with a quote from Brian M.: “So wherever you think I’m wrong, you could be right. If, in the process of determining that I’m wrong, you are stimulated to think more deeply and broadly, I hope that will have somehow served you anyway.” (AGO, 20)

There’s a lot more in the comments – check it all out.

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Source: Musings from Two-Sheds Gomer

Comments: After John Piper was demoted from the Halls of the Saints (for inviting Mark Driscoll to Desiring God ‘06, among other things), Brendt has a throw-back to Sesame Street that will make you think a little bit…
Memorable Quotes:

Not only was I masochistic enough to go to that blog, but I even commented on one of the entries, in which the author and one of the commenters essentially stated (though, not in so many words) that man was more powerful than God.  Went back there later today to check on the comment moderation.  My comment was dis-approved.  Big surprise.

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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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Source: Verum Serum

Comments: John responds to an article written by Ken about Rob Bell. Ken’s criticisms of Bell were based on an excerpt from the three-year-old interview, which was then twisted and distorted by Silva. Additionally, Ken quoted a person who attended Rob Bell’s “Everything is Spiritual” tour, mischaracterizing his comments. John contacted this person, who wrote a correction to Ken’s comments. Since this time, Ken has been much more reliant on quoting dead theologians rather than live folks who might decide to correct him.
Memorable Quotes:

After reading Ken’s revised attack on Rob Bell, I contacted the individual he quoted, Patrick Hanley. Patrick is a youth and college pastor who was not aware how his words were being used. I encouraged him to clarify his comments and he has done so below. Here is the key bit:

This Ken guy, whom I don’t find very fond, has taken my words and made them say something I did not intend. I like a lot of what Bell says. I saw him speak last week in Indy and it was pretty good. My only wish is that he would be more cross-centered. I would not call him a heretic or a wolf seeking to devour.

We then had a whole discussion about the proper interpretation of Acts 17, the highlight of which (for me, anyway) was when a commenter named LadyDoc argued that Paul’s preaching model was a failure:

Oh, his sermon didn’t go over too well, by the way. Only a few people really took to it; the rest mocked him. I guess that model doesn’t work very well for Mr. Bell’s purposes…you know, trying to be “culturally relevant.”

Sort of sounds like she got halfway through that sentence and realized she couldn’t say what she started out to say. Notice she starts talking about Paul (”his sermon” is the one in Acts 17) as being a failure, then shifts midway to a criticism of Rob Bell. Well, I guess she’s on record as disagreeing with Paul’s methods of evangelism. Good luck with that.

I had no intention of recapitulating any of this discussion here. In fact, I thought it was over, given that Ken closed the comments on his post at Slice. Then, yesterday, Ken revised and expanded his criticism of Bell (now with new accusations!) and created a new post at Slice highlighting it. Strangely, he left the bit about Bell blaming God for Yoga basically untouched. Since he recycled the same argument, I left a comment last night recycling the same reasons why he’s mistaken. I’m sad to say my comment seems to have vanished into the Slice ether. Apparently, it’s one thing for Ken to recycle the same bad argument, but it’s something else for me to recycle the response.

To say that heathen “seek God” is to undermine the Gospel and trivialize God’s role in salvation!

So I guess when Rob Bell said:

God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

He was undermining the Gospel and trivializig God’s role in salvation?

Oops, that wasn’t Rob that was Paul, Acts 17:27. Your argument needs some work.

Well, no one has compared him to a child molester yet. I guess Rob Bell isn’t in Rick Warren’s league.

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Source: Verum Serum

Comments: John dissects the Slice view on the only way one can ‘do church’, eschewing laughter, music written while anyone currently living was around, and personal stories by pastors.  He uses two articles by Ingrid contrasting a ‘God-centered’ and a ‘man-centered’ (in her view) church.
Memorable Quotes:

I’ve written about that divide before using some definitions of those terms I found on another site. As I said then, the terms themselves are loaded. In fact, it seems to me that they are little more than code words for a type of church or a particular way of doing church that the Slice authors don’t like. This includes churches that use rock music or praise hymns, pastors who tell jokes, etc.

She mentions “hand shaking, back slapping, and occasional loud shrieks of laughter” as if these are out of place at church. Later, she mentions a series of jokes by the pastor. She obviously feels these are out of place as well. Again, I’m fine with her holding that opinion. My problem is when she crosses the line and suggests that God holds it too.

To invalidate personal anectdotes as teaching tools is to invalidate most of the Bible itself.

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Source: Verum Serum

Comments: Part of the hue and cry at Slice is that modern theology is “Man-Centered Theology”, and that anything that brings pleasure or laughter has no part in the church.  John dissects this idead and puts it to rest as only being “wishful thinking” of these modern acetics.
Memorable Quotes:

First off, these are loaded terms. Man-Centered Theology is an oxymoron. So you immediately get the sense that, if both terms were to appear on an exam, it would be unwise to choose the one that sounds sketchy and self-defeating.

Or consider fellowship. God clearly establishes the church for the purpose of believers gathering to edify one another. But this begs an obvious question. If theology is ideally God-Centered, why do we need fellowship at all? Why can’t we just focus on God at home? Wouldn’t we be more efficient without all the distractions presented by other people? And here again, I don’t believe fellowship is simply a “work-around” in light of our sinful nature. Had man not sinned, there still would have been fellowship among men and women. It was part of the design. It was good and also enjoyable.

I believe the core problem with GCT proponents is that they often seem to see our existence as a somewhat grim, zero-sum game. Under this view, anything which is not God-Centered, anything which is merely human, is in effect a moment stolen from God. I find this wrongheaded. Worse than that, I find it dehumanizing.

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